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.
Why we need to get serious about sectarianism in modern ScotlandGerry HassanThe National, 7 September 2021 In 1999, within months of the Scottish Parliament’s establishment, composer James Macmillan delivered an address that had a major impact, ruffling feathers and beginning a long overdue debate. Entitled “Scotland’s Shame”, it spoke about our long disgraceful tradition of anti-Catholicism. He suggested that “we as a nation have to face up to the ignominy of our most prevalent if unspoken bigotry if we are to move together into the next millennium with a sense of common purpose.” This sparked soul-searching, the publication
Wake Up Scotland: 1,339 and counting ….Gerry HassanScottish Review, August 4th 2021 Last week the tragic milestone that is Scotland’s drug death total for the year ending 2020 came out. The figures showed that 1,339 people died, a rise of 5.9% on the previous year’s bad enough total of 1,264. This is up from 455 in 2007, the year the SNP came to power- a staggering increase of 194% in the drug-related mortality rate over their time in office. This is the highest annual number of drug deaths recorded in Scotland since records began in 1996, and the
How do we hold power to account in Scotland?Gerry HassanScottish Review, July 7th 2021 Scotland has a rich tradition of celebrating its difference and distinctiveness, seeing in its autonomy a kind of semi-independence that is exhibited in civil society, the public sphere and public life. Scotland’s public sphere is one of the main ways we communicate, define ourselves, relate to others in public, and hold power and institutions to account - hence contributing to the democratic and political process. This contributes to an ‘independence of the Scottish mind’ – a distinctive outlook which has evolved and separated from
What do we do about Rangers?Gerry HassanScottish Review, May 19th 2021 Glasgow Rangers FC have returned to the top of the football game in Scotland. At the same time twice in the spate of two months a section of their fanbase (small but incredibly visible) have trashed parts of Glasgow - engaging in hooliganism, thuggery and violence in George Square and its surrounds. What the above events show is something toxic at the heart of Rangers and a section of their support, along with wider collusion and a malaise in the football authorities. Beyond this there is a
A Different Class: Choose Your Side Gerry HassanSunday National, February 21st 2021 Class is one of the defining concepts of life, Scotland and capitalism – but barely receives much informed analysis on our TV screens. Instead, we are offered unstated but loaded assumptions in news, TV documentaries and countless other programmes, with a distinct bias on how success, aspiration and failure are seen and judged. In today’s environment Darren McGarvey’s Class Wars – a new four-part series on BBC Scotland - is a breath of fresh air; the first two of which have been aired. This is in
When Four Young Scots Shook the British Establishment: Ian Hamilton and the Stone of Destiny Gerry HassanSunday National, December 20th 2020 Scotland has always had a tradition of stories, legends and myths which have given sustenance to history and identity. One of the most evocative over the years has been that of the recovery of the Stone of Destiny on Christmas Day in 1950 – the 70th anniversary of which is next week. The Stone of Destiny has an important role in Scottish, English and British history; it even has different names and is known in official royal
Scotland and life after COVID-19Gerry HassanSunday National, November 29th 2020 2020 has been a year like no other in living memory. As our lives have been thrown upside down, politics and public life have struggled to keep up and find a language to convey the scale of human loss, tragedy and disruption. It goes without saying that the UK Government and Boris Johnson have had an appalling pandemic. The Prime Minister has been unable to find the right response, words and tone; while Downing Street has embodied chaos and farce. And shockingly, but hardly surprisingly, dozens of Tory
The battle for Scotland and the language of apocalypse from Andrew Neil and the rightGerry HassanBella Caledonia, November 20th 2020 One of the recurring themes of Scottish politics, from those of a pro-union disposition who are trying to find ammunition to attack the SNP and independence, is the propensity to dismiss the record of the Nationalists in office in language which borders on the apocalyptic. This entails talking of Scotland as some kind of disaster, basket case – while ignoring where such logic would take descriptions of Boris Johnson’s government. Some of this overblown rhetoric is a sign
The fate of Scottish football is about much more than footballGerry HassanScottish Review, September 30th 2020 Scottish football is about more than who makes the most noise whether it be ten in a row - or stopping ten in a row - or the obsessions of the top league and clubs. Scottish football’s deep roots reach much further than the dominant media narratives. They provide an insight into wider society, with the state of the game reflecting how healthy and vibrant Scotland is – and how we are being tested by the COVID-19 pandemic. Scotland has 42 senior