From climate crisis to police brutality, from Jo Cox’s murder to new forms of institutionalised racism. From the refugee crisis to the appointment of Theresa May, from Peak Farage to Donald Trump as President Elect, 2016 has made jaw-dropping headlines over and over. From the rise of the right and the far-right in Britain and America, to the horrors of Aleppo and Syria, it’s been a year characterised by shocks to the system and feelings of rage and impotence. In Britain from the Investigatory Powers Act, described by Edward Snowden as: “the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy” to the measures introduced by the Conservative Government to tighten control on people through benefits and sanctions, we are witnessing a lurch to the right. But this isn’t a uniform story, with the unlikely rise of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn and victories for the Greens in Austria and for the Pirates in Iceland. Scottish politics was not immune to the seismic shifts and the SNP won a historic third victory in the Holyrood election in May. But questions remain about they – and we – move forward.
To try and put some sense on it we have gathered two panels of people to help us reflect and remember and collectively understand ‘what just happened’ in 2016?
David Pratt has been a a foreign correspondent for over 20 years, specialising in conflict, humanitarian and security issues, and has first-hand account of the Trump phenomenon. Read him on the rise of the far-right here.
Lesley Riddoch is a broadcaster, journalist and author of Blossom, What Scotland Needs to Flourish.
Gordon Guthrie is the author of Winning The Second Independence Referendum – a manifesto for Scotland and the EU after Brexit, amongst other things.
Laura Cameron-Lewis is an artist, producer, writer, musician, and Bella Caledonia board member.
Andy Wightman is a veteran land reform activist, author of The Poor had No Lawyers and now MSP for the Scottish Green Party.
Joyce McMillan is a columnist and theatre critic and author of Theatre in Scotland – A Field of Dreams
Heather Burns is a a digital law specialist. She researches, writes and speaks extensively on internet laws and policies. She is the author of The Web Designer’s Guide to the Consumer Rights Directive,
Christopher Silver is a freelance writer and the author of Demanding Democracy, the Case for a Scottish Media.
To soften the blow we’ll be playing the best music from 2016 from FOPP’s Best Albums of the Year to the sounds of the SAY Awards plus floating some reminiscence from the recently departed Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Angus Grant of Shooglenifty amongst others.
It was a year with few saving graces but the continued success of Andy Murray, now the world’s number one tennis player – and Hibs epic victory at Hampden to lift the Scottish Cup were two stand-out achievements.
Join us for an evening to remember after a year to forget.
VENUE: the Melting Pot in Rose Street Edinburgh
DATE: Wednesday December 21 2016.
TIME: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM