Are we really a nation of equality and fairness?
Are we really a nation of equality and fairness? Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, May 24th 2015 Scotland is one of the hot subjects of the moment. This is true even in places that usually ignore us - such as Westminster. One take from the centre-left Compass pressure group is that Scotland is the progressive future they would like to see across the UK. Another from disgruntled Labourites wants to get even with the SNP for taking so many parliamentary colleagues from them. It feels good to be talked about. But actually these voices aren’t really interested in Scotland. Instead, they
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A Great Moment for Scotland and Equality: Now Let’s Get Serious About It
A Great Moment for Scotland and Equality: Now Let’s Get Serious About It Gerry Hassan Sunday Mail, January 4th 2015 As the clocks this week marked Hogmanay, Scotland’s first ever same sex marriage ceremonies took place. Each of the couples had their own unique and personal histories and backstories. Many had lived through times less enlightened and more repressive where people often had to hide their love, feelings and identities from family, friends and work colleagues. On that momentous night, at the Bell and Felix bistro in Glasgow’s Southside I had the honour of being amongst those who saw Gerrie
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What kind of Scotland does Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP want?
What kind of Scotland does Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP want? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, November 12th 2014 Scotland and Scottish politics are in unchartered waters. The post-indyref has shaken and rearranged the normal reference points: SNP membership has gone through the roof, while the Labour ‘winners’ have laid claim to putting on a paltry 1,000 members. Amid all the noise and debate, there is in the confusion, an eerie lack of substantive discussion, as people try to find their way. In the Labour Party a clutch of left-wingers believe that their core problem is the party’s embrace north
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Time Travel: the Parallel Universe of Post-ref Scotland and the Voice of Doubt
Time Travel: the Parallel Universe of Post-ref Scotland and the Voice of Doubt Gerry Hassan Twenty five years ago this coming Sunday an event occurred which changed our lives and is still shaping much of the modern world: the fall of the Berlin Wall. This brought about the demise of the Soviet bloc, the end of the Yalta settlement which had divided Europe from 1945, the unification of Germany, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and with it, its monolithic variant of Communism and any aspirations it had to making and being the future. Much of the last 25
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Is Social Justice Really What Defines Modern Scotland?
Is Social Justice Really What Defines Modern Scotland? Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, October 8th 2014 There are many Scotlands and there are many realities, lives and experiences which do not find favour or voice in prevailing public descriptions. Many of our dominant versions give centrestage to politics, which isn’t all there is to life anywhere. Think of Yes and No, unionism and nationalism, left and right, Labour and SNP, Tory and anti-Tory. These are all politically restrictive labels in which some see themselves, and that define others who are different to them. How much of Scotland do these terms capture
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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,
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
The UK has failed but we have to address Scottish shortcomings
The UK has failed but we have to address Scottish shortcomings Gerry Hassan Newsnet Scotland, April 26th 2014 The Scottish independence debate is about many things. It is about the state of modern Scotland and its different possible futures. But it is also about the condition of the UK, its multiple crises and how these impact north of the border. The state of the United Kingdom is one of the main drivers of the Scottish debate. It has become an accepted fact that the UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world, ranked fourth in a
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Scotland’s Historic Year and the Zeal of the Missionary Men
Scotland’s Historic Year and the Zeal of the Missionary Men Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, February 12th 2014 This is Scotland’s great date with destiny. The biggest moment in 300 years of history. So how are we doing versus the hype and expectation? There is an echo chamber in large parts of public life which so far most of the Yes/No debate has amplified. There is the trench warfare of various tribal positions and the numerous one-way conversations with people talking past one another. And just as problematically, in some of the radical shades of opinion and institutional Scotland, there is
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