The Beatles, ‘Get Back’ and the Britain of 1969 and the PresentGerry HassanScottish Review, 1 December 2021 The Beatles still fascinate, mesmerise and speak to us – a timeless phenomenon from post-war British society and another age and world. Peter Jackson’s opus ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ - released last week on Disney+, an eight-hour extravaganza of the band in three parts – shows their work and different personalities up close in an unprecedented fly in the wall film that drew from 56 hours of footage and 150 hours of audio tape. The result is spell-binding and transfixing, inviting
Imagine a Scotland where we won the FIFA World Cup ... And when we didGerry HassanScottish Review, 24 November 2021 Imagine a world where the Scotland men’s national team were not only occasionally very decent and even sometimes very good at football, but actually contested and succeeded at the top of the international game - and had the ability to win the FIFA World Cup. Think about it for a second. Not the practicalities or whether or how it could be attained. Or the fact that it involves an element of fantasy. But rather what effect such an
Falling in love with the Scotland football team againGerry HassanScottish Review, 17 November 2021 Scotland are on the rise again. At least in terms of the men’s national football team who are on a roll. They have qualified for the World Cup play-offs next year after winning six World Cup qualifiers in a row: something no Scotland team has ever done. And they have done this by convincingly beating Denmark, one of the best teams in Europe, in a 2-0 victory at Hampden. A new spirit, sense of belief, camaraderie - and intelligent, skillful team football now infuses
The British political crisis is deeper than Boris Johnson and the ToriesGerry HassanScottish Review, 10 November 2021 The UK is undergoing one of its periodic spasms of concern about Tory sleaze and corruption. Two complacencies underpin much of this coverage. The first is about Boris Johnson’s unique slapdash version of morality, monies and government. The second is that the decline in trust and crisis in institutions is merely cyclical and can be tackled with a simple change of government and political renewal – as happened in the past with Tory troubles and degeneration in 1997. This is different
A Short Cut Out and Keep Guide to Scotland for COP26 Gerry HassanScottish Review, 3 November 2021 Welcome to Scotland. This is your chance to contribute to saving the planet – or at least to making it a slightly more hospitable place. While undertaking your serious work in Glasgow here is your concise cut out and keep guide to some essential facts about life in Scotland.
Scotland is a nation. It was once an independent nation. It might be an independent nation in the future. And it might not.
Can books really change the world? Gerry HassanScottish Review, 26 October 2021 The past two months has seen me spend much time packing and unpacking piles of books: putting them into boxes, labelling them, taking them out of boxes, and putting them up on newly built shelves as I recently have moved house. It has made me think many things: firstly, about the importance of books and ideas generally; secondly, about their role and impact in my life; and thirdly, on the role of books and ideas, considering the huge challenges we face as humanity and a planet.
Challenging hate is not enough. We have to look at the collapse in trustGerry HassanScottish Review, 20 October 2021 The aftermath of the murder of David Amess has rightly seen a huge public reaction and revulsion to the politics of hatred and violence and a yearning for things to be different. Much of this has concentrated on social media abuse, anonymous trolls and the invective now commonplace in much public discourse. Yet this does not acknowledge, as Labour MP Chris Bryant has pointed, out the role of parts of the print press – newspapers such as the Daily
Luftwaffle: The Trashing of the Last Good Story of Britain Gerry HassanScottish Review, 13 October 2021 The Second World War looms large in the life of Britain. Never a day passes without a politician, public figure or celebrity making some crass reference to the war, linking it to the present convulsions and challenges which the UK faces. Once upon a time World War Two references were few and far between, and chosen with care and humility. This was undoubtedly true for the immediate decades after the war of 1945-65 – a period which ended with the death of
The political times are changing: Boris Johnson’s broken economic Britain and beyondGerry HassanScottish Review, 6 October 2021 Boris Johnson’s campaign of shameless differentiation from the Tory Governments that directly proceeded him goes on, as he tries to distance himself from David Cameron, George Osborne and Theresa May. It has now extended to a break not just with the past Tory decade of austerity, but over the past weekend to a rupture with the politics and economics of the past four decades which have shaped the UK. This is in words a break with Thatcherism and New Labour, and
Glasgow School of Art, Power and the ChumocracyGerry HassanScottish Review, 28 September 2021 How power is held to account has been a problem in Scotland, predating the Scottish Parliament and the independence debate – neither of which have aided the shining of a light into the recesses of public life which for too long have been in darkness. Many public institutions and bodies have fallen short and let down people, with their failings only brought to wider attention too late or long after the event – from deaths in hospitals such as the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow