Month: August 2011

Writer’s Bloc

The Guardian recently published  a panel of views from Scottish writers: AL Kennedy, Iain Banks (‘I support the idea of an independent Scotland’), Shena Mackay and Janice Galloway (‘The SNP needs to establish that its motivation has more in common… Read More ›

The Silent Blockade

A short film about this summer’s attempt by a few hundred Pro Palestinian and human rights campaigners to access the West Bank by Jon Pullman. Jon writes: “The Israeli reaction was a remarkable one yet it has been largely ignored… Read More ›

Why Iceland Should Be in the News But Is Not

The 2008 world financial crisis was terrible for Iceland. At the end of the year the country declared bankruptcy. Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution….

Inspiring Capital

By Mike Small Auld Reekie’s catchphrase is, I think, a throwback to the golden age (about 7 years ago) when the city’s financial elite (let’s be polite) were in  more ebullient mood. Few of them had been sacked or exposed… Read More ›

Yob Culture

And so we continue, hurtling back, day by day with a sort of deformed debauched British State led by the Bullingdon Club Cabinet. As K-Punk tells it: “the most breathtaking aspect of the Bullingdon swindle is the “we’re all in… Read More ›


Remembering Harry Stanley, Jean Charles de Menezes and Ian Tomlinson. This from John Pilger This is not in any way to excuse the violence of the rioters, many of whom were opportunistic, mean, cruel, nihilistic and often vicious in their… Read More ›

The Sovereign Grant Bill: Bad for Scotland and Bad for the UK

The crown estate represents a varied mix of property – with a book value currently estimated at £6.6 billion, a figure which almost certainly underestimates the true value. It includes large holdings of rural and urban land, as well as extensive marine assets. These marine assets include over half of the foreshore of the UK, all of the seabed out to the 12 nautical mile limit, and mineral rights, (excluding hydrocarbons), over the continental shelf.

Justice, Tory-style

This piece of shit got four years for distributing 100,000 child porn photos of children being sexually abused. BBC News – Facebook child abuse images ringleader jailed “These are real children who are abused in order to satisfy the sexual… Read More ›

Ideas Fightback

Even while Scotland is rejecting right-wing policies at the polls and the mainstream of Scottish politics is walking away from these agendas, still they are almost inexplicably dominating the airwaves and the press. How can an issue so far off the real agenda as the privatisation of Scottish Water (or some precursor step) still be floating around? Why is the question of creating a market in higher education in Scotland still being discussed?

Rorschach England

This has been England’s Rorschach moment, where the collective bile against the underclass that 30 years of neoliberal policy has created comes to the surface. Where exactly did the rioters get the idea that there is no higher value than acquiring individual wealth, or that branded goods are the route to identity and self-respect?

A Call to Reason

This from the excellent Steven Maclean on Dreaming Genius: London is bracing itself for a fourth night of riots. Towns and cities all over the country are also now on alert as the unrest continues to spread. As it does,… Read More ›

Love Life

Love Life is also a reminder that being radical doesn’t have to mean being grumpy. Nietzsche reckoned that holding on to resentment about the world not being the free and equal place you or I might want it to be can be a way of holding on to that inequality and lack of freedom. I think he’s got a point.

Paul Jorion

This courtesy of the ever brilliant Frankly : The systemic crisis experienced by major economies has drawn attention to the shortcomings of current market practices. Generating as much poverty as growth and as much hidden risk as profitability, these practices… Read More ›

The Flottila Effect

Small countries would never be able to survive the coming economic storms, right? We need to cling on to great stable financial states like, er the USA and the UK, er, right? The potential economic benefits of Welsh independence have… Read More ›