What Future is there for Young Working Class Scotland?
What Future is there for Young Working Class Scotland? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, June 15th 2016 There is something about Scots and class, and in particular about working class identities. Many Scots define themselves when given a choice as working class, yet in terms of occupations and status, on any definition, a majority would be categorised as middle class. Interestingly, in some surveys, a majority of such middle class people reject this term, and call themselves working class (one survey a decade ago saying that 52% of middle class people identified as working class). Some of this is history, tradition
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Whatever happened to the Scottish Tut?
Whatever happened to the Scottish Tut? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, January 13th 2016 Once upon a time there was a thing called the Scottish Tut. It defined many of our exchanges, stalked our land and policed the boundaries of permissible behaviour. It gave and took away acceptance; and once it was seemingly everywhere and now seems nowhere. Whatever happened to the once powerful tut, can we live without it, and should we lament its apparent demise? The Scottish Tut involves many different motivations, styles and gradations. It could be used to indicate someone seen as ‘getting above their station’
What happened to the Spirit of 2014?
What happens to the Spirit of 2014? Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, December 21st 2014 It has been an action packed 2014. Scotland’s year has witnessed drama, theatre and spectacle: the Commonwealth Games, First World War anniversaries, the Ryder Cup, and of course, the Big Day in September - the independence referendum. Scotland voted to stay in the union for now, but changed in the process, became more self-confident and more sure in its capacity to self-govern itself. The UK political classes seemed less sure-footed by the day. The spirit of 2014 witnessed the greatest democratic expression of Scots ever seen
Message to the Messengers: What do we do after Yes?
Message to the Messengers: What do we do after Yes? Gerry Hassan Scottish Left Project, December 5th 2014 It is a frenetic, dynamic time to be living in Scotland – politically, culturally and in many other aspects of public life. Nearly three months since the momentous indyref Scotland is still gripped by a sense of movement, possibilities and new openings – up to and beyond the 2015 and 2016 elections. Yet at the same time in parts of the independence movement there are unrealistic expectations of political change, of belief that the union is finished, and that Scotland can embark
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Reflections on Turning Fifty in the Scotland of 2014
Reflections on Turning Fifty in the Scotland of 2014 Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, November 26th 2014 I knew from an early age I would turn 50 in 2014. It was simple maths. At age eight, reading the ‘Tell Me Why’ encyclopedias of facts and figures, I became aware of a sense of time. Apparently the sun would explode in around five billion years wiping out all life on planet earth and any chance I had of immortality. And at around the same time, confronted with this reality, I worked out that I would be 36 in 2000, 50 in 2014
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Why Scotland has finally woken up and become a democracy
Why Scotland has finally woken up and become a democracy Gerry Hassan September 21st 2014 It has been an incredible few years to live in Scotland. Assumption after assumption about public life, society and the closed order of how politics has been traditionally done, has been turned upside down. People will still feel raw on either side. Yes people feel deflated and disappointed; No supporters sense that they were forced into a debate they didn’t want to have. But if we step back the bigger picture is an impressive and powerful one. It is one many of the observers from
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A Hopeful Guide to Scotland
A Hopeful Guide to Scotland Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, September 17th 2014 This week, depending on the building US-UK government clamour for more military action in Iraq, Scotland will be the biggest story on the planet. News crews and journalists from all over the world are covering this. Glasgow and Edinburgh hotels are enjoying an unexpected bonanza with high occupancy rates. For at least one week, James Robertson’s famous dictum about ‘The News Where You Are’ will be met by the shock that for a short while, ‘The News Where We Are’ will be the same! It has,
Scotland: On the Eve of a Historic Choice
Scotland: On the Eve of a Historic Choice Gerry Hassan, Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland, Luath Press £11.99 Reviewed by Joe Lafferty On the eve of a historic referendum on Scottish independence in September 2014, Gerry Hassan’s Caledonian Dreaming is a landmark book. He articulates, with incisive political and historical analysis, the landscape of what has taken the UK and Scotland to where they are today. And at the same time, this is a profoundly human book. Hassan is no stranger to serious and heavyweight political analysis with a number of books under his belt from The
What does it take to be a good man in Scotland?
What does it take to be a good man in Scotland? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, August 6th 2014 This is the day after the first gladiatorial debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling - two respectable, rather conventional, men of similar age only divided by the constitutional question. A large part of the independence debate like significant elements of Scottish public life is defined and shaped by gender and in particular, the behaviour, actions and views of some men. For decades Scottish politics, at Westminster level, was a male-only zone; as recently as 1979 only one woman Scottish MP was
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How to Make a New Scottish Democracy
How to Make a New Scottish Democracy Gerry Hassan The Herald, June 18th 2014 The contemporary Scottish independence debate is about many things and influences: the aspiration of some to make a new Scottish state, or to remain in the shared sovereignties of the UK. But another crucial influence is the state of the UK: its economic and social inequities and concentrations of power and wealth, and the failure of the progressive dream at a British level despite thirty years of Labour Governments in office over the post-war era. Underpinning all of the above concerns is the fact that