How the 1970s began for me and how I was nearly written off at the age of five
How the 1970s began for me and how I was nearly written off at the age of five Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 22 June 2022 It did not start too well for me: the seventies. I was only a few months into primary school. Making friends. Finding my feet as a shy, sensitive only child used to being the centre of attention of my parents. I had many advantages. The school I attended had been built and opened to mark the completion of the new expansive council estate that I lived in on the outskirts of Dundee. It was filled
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The last days of Boris Johnson and what comes after?
The last days of Boris Johnson and what comes after? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 8 June 2022 Tory leadership votes of no confidence come around much more frequently nowadays. This is not a misperception, but rooted in the decline in the authority and quality of Tory leaders, the nature of the Tory tribe and the failures of Toryism to address the UK’s underlying issues. The current debacle and decline of is directly connected to the lack of any redeeming moral and positive qualities in him as a public figure. But this is about much more than ‘Partygate’, the lies he
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The relevance of George Orwell today; Standing up for democracy and against fascism
The relevance of George Orwell today: Standing up for democracy and against fascism Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 1 June 2022 George Orwell’s influence as a writer has grown since his death in 1950 at the age of 46, particularly in recent decades. He was unashamedly a voice on the left - independent minded, an iconoclast and unafraid to stand against the hypocrisies and tyrannies of both his own side, as well as of the right. In today’s challenging world – from climate change to the war in Ukraine and rise of despotism, demagoguery and a nascent fascism from Russia
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How do we put government and leadership back in Scotland and the UK?
How do we put government and leadership back in Scotland and the UK? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 25 May 2022 UK government and politics are not in a good place. They have been traduced and trashed in ways once unimaginable. Boris Johnson has presided over an administration from top to bottom of unbelievable incompetence, serial lying and disdain for the law and due process, vandalising government, civil service and public standards. At the same time in Scotland fifteen years of SNP rule do not find things here in a good place. All across society and public life there are questions
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Sarah Smith and why inaction is not an option with the politics of hatred
Sarah Smith and why inaction is not an option with the politics of hatred Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 23 February 2022 For many years now we have been witnessing a rising tide of intolerance, abuse and threats of intimidation in politics and public life – in Scotland and the UK - with sometimes violence occurring -witness the murder in recent times of the Labour MP Jo Cox and Tory MP David Amess. This is often just associated with social media, although it is more serious than that, and undoubtedly such platforms have released and amplified voices previously unheard, mediated
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Singing for Scotland at Hampden, Murrayfield and Beyond
Singing for Scotland at Hampden, Murrayfield and Beyond Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 9 February 2022 The songs that we sing individually and collectively in our hearts, homes and at public occasions tell us something - about who we are, our relationships with each other, and the society and nation we live in. There are numerous different layers to this. There are the songs we sing and hum along to on the radio or on streaming devices; the golden oldies that remind us of favourite or not so favourite past moments; and then there are the collective songs we sing together
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Ukraine, the Crisis of the West and Britain’s Decline
Ukraine, the Crisis of the West and Britain’s Decline Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 26 January 2022 The situation in the Ukraine is a high-level international crisis. It has not come out of the blue but been slowly escalating for years; Putin’s long track record of threats and aggression towards neighbours of Russia have been well documented. Yet the West has been caught again and again off-guard and unsure of how to deal with Putin and Russia. It has been consistently divided and indecisive about how best to collectively respond and oppose Russian aggression. There is the war weariness of the
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Time for a Genuine Tartan Tory Party!
Time for a Genuine Tartan Tory Party! Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 19 January 2022 The Scottish Tories have had a shoogly past week. Douglas Ross, Scottish Tory leader, dared to put his head above the parapet and say the unthinkable - that Boris Johnson was long past his sell-by-date and should for once do the decent thing and resign. He was subsequently followed by the entire group of Tory MSPs at Holyrood; while former Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson was even more indignant and incandescent with fury. This was met by Jacob Rees-Mogg calling Douglas Ross ‘a lightweight’ and even
Novak Djokovic, the Celebrity Class and the End of News
Novak Djokovic, the Celebrity Class and the End of News Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 12 January 2022 The start of the new year brings the prospect of fresh perspectives but not it seems in the world of mainstream news. Across nearly all news outlets, and in particular TV and radio broadcasters, the main story for the past week globally has not been the Trump insurrection anniversary and US democracy hanging in the balance, or the Russian invasion and violence in Kazakhstan. It has not even been the ongoing domestic scandal of UK PM Boris Johnson’s continued evasions and refusal to
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‘No Sex Please we are Scottish’: The rise of the Scottish miserablists
‘No Sex Please we are Scottish’: The rise of the Scottish miserabilists Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, 8 December 2021 These are times of huge challenge – globally, in the UK and Scotland – and an age where we need to get serious, mobilise and prioritise given the scale of problems humanity and the planet faces. Too often the big problems of our age struggle to get time and attention. These include the climate emergency and the urgent need to rethink economic growth. There is the march of AI and how work and employment will change in the near-future. There is
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