Recent Posts - page 33

  • The Breakers Yard of the Vanities

    `Rome fell, Venice fell, Hindhead’s time shall come.’ Bernard Shaw’s forecast in Heartbreak House (1919) casts back to John Ruskin’s `less-pitied destruction’ of the Empire and to Kipling’s`Recessional’. They imagined not just the decline, but the partition of Britain, going the way of Venice the Serene, or the empires of Sweden and Lithuania. Was 2008-9 not, objectively, both inevitable and a relief? Like that moment in the life of the very old where the brave attempt at coping, `understanding the world’, ends, and the care home doors fold behind?

  • Scotland Speaks


    Tonight’s leaders debates (sic) is the latest line in efforts to distort the electoral process reducing the imagined choice at the UK General Election. ITV1 will broadcast the show from 8.30 pm in Manchester. Sky and BBC One will host… Read More ›

  • Gaelic Language Matters


    Wilson McLeod writes: The Gaelic digital service BBC Alba has been broadcasting for more than eighteen months now, but is still struggling to find its feet. In many ways, the situation of BBC Alba ­ under-funded, long delayed and deliberately marginalised… Read More ›

  • There is no Alternative?

    A Twitter Poll site wrote this morning: ‘So Deutsche Bank are with the Tories? It’s slipping away Labour’. The election is being conducted as if business backing policy decides all.  Kevin Williamson on the narrowing of the political agenda: As the UK… Read More ›

  • Autonomy & Independence

    Doug the Dug writes: Ian Bell has an article in the Sunday Herald (‘Hung Drawn and Independent’) where he looks at how a hung parliament might lead to Scottish independence. In can be summarised as follows, independence doesn’t have majority… Read More ›

  • Team Glasgow


    Mhairi McGregor writes: my ‘Sunday Best’ column is late. I blame Jesus, bunnies and Cadbury’s (not necessarily in that order). Kenneth Roy over at the Scottish Review (‘The Secret Networkers’) asks simply: who is Team Glasgow? “Two weeks ago, I suggested… Read More ›

  • Huckster Nation


    Mike Small writes: This is Scottish Labour going through its Edgar Allan Poe phase. It’s transfixing like a multiple pile-up. You feel slightly soiled just to be observing the process, and it’s difficult to keep up with the unfolding carnage…. Read More ›

  • Coke Dealers Celebrate Mephedrone Ban


    Kevin Williamson writes: The usual suspects in the media and politics have finally got their way. They managed to find two kids in England who died from taking Methadone and pass it off unchallenged as mephedrone deaths. It’s a classic… Read More ›

  • Wee Three Kings


    Mhairi McGregor writes: A Sunday evening regular trawl of ‘good things’ from ‘around’ is now instituted, by order of the Eds, to be written by me. Rules: we didn’t write it, it draws a smile (or even a chortle), and,… Read More ›

  • Broonland – Two Views


    Verso have just published Chris Harvie’s Broonland (available at Word Power Books) described as: ‘an essential anatomy of New Labour’s bankrupt policies and a caustic portrait of a decade that went from boom to bust.’ Last month we published Harvie’s… Read More ›

  • Marine Renewables – Riding the Crest of the Wave

    1974: The first duck. Stephen Salter on right with David Jeffrey the co-founder of the Wave Energy group.

    The recent announcement of a massive boost for green jobs sees the first tangible sign of the much vaunted ‘Green New Deal’ in Scotland while the recent tidal energy announcements, represent the delayed inheritance of Stephen Salter’s lifes work and… Read More ›

  • Open Letter to Clean-Up Glasgow


    As the implications of New Labour’s disastrous political coterie in Glasgow and wider Scotland becomes daily more apparent, we publish an Open Letter from Variant co-editor Leigh French to opposition Glasgow City Council Councillors and MSPs. At the heart of… Read More ›

  • Thanks

    Thanks to Catriona for organising last nights meeting with Christopher Harvie at Edinburgh University, a good turn out and discussion afterwards.

  • Support Frank Mulami

    On top of Precious Mhango case and the terrible deaths of Serge Serykh’s family – focus has been concentrated on the British States asylum and immigration policies. Now a new case of Frank Mulami is the latest to expose the… Read More ›

  • Unchanging Scotland?


    Following on from Joan McAlpine’s piece (‘Purcell and the Scottish Press’) Gerry Hassan explores the political implications and backdrop to the Purcell case in the Scotsman today. He writes: “The resignation of Steven Purcell as Glasgow council leader has been… Read More ›

  • Mediaocracy


    By Mike Small: I am suffering a thought crime. I am paying for democracy to be beamed to me and I know it is distorted. “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully… Read More ›

  • Drone Wars


    By Des O’Sullivan: UK Police are in talks with BAE to supply Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for surveillance purposes and hope to have them operational in time for the 2012 London Olympics. Their perceived success in Afghanistan and other regional conflicts… Read More ›

  • The Sense of an Ending


    As Broonland is launched we feature this extended article by Christopher Harvie. He writes: “Since the crash the UK political world seems to have realised that it’s rooted in nothing: so rapidly has the dissolution of industrial membrane and post-industrial… Read More ›

  • A Referendum on Independence for Scotland

    “It’s time for the people of Scotland to have their say on their destiny…” Plans to give the people of Scotland their say on the nation’s future – including enhanced devolution and extending the powers of the Parliament to enable… Read More ›

  • The English Question and the Rise of a Zombie Political System


    Gerry Hassan refects on the culmination of a strange political process and how radical change is a simulacrum for more of the same. The British constitution is in a bad way. The Westminster system of absolutism is creaking and falling apart as… Read More ›

  • Labour’s Fantasy Electoral Plan


    Listening to Douglas Alexander’s evasive shuffling to James Naughtie a realisation dawned.  New Labour’s internalised belief in themselves and delusion that there is still an ideological umbilical cord between Labour’s Old & New will be Gordon’s death-knell. Yesterday the Twitterati speculated that… Read More ›

  • Cut Trident Not Jobs


    An opinion poll by ICM for Scottish CND at the end of January 2007 found that 73 % of Scots are opposed to spending billions on replacing Trident. We believe the presence of these weapons is central to the case… Read More ›

  • Bad News (again)


    This is a story about the telly, the tabloids and what’s still referred to, semi-seriously as ‘the Scottish broadsheets’. It may seem repetitive but the affect of the process is a re-writing of history as it happens. Joe Middleton over… Read More ›

  • The Battle for Mainshill Wood


    This article from Rebecca Nada-Rajah on the recent battle for Mainshill Wood, where young people are leading the efforts to resist new coal against the powers that be… On the vision of a more democratic Scotland, Neal Ascherson wrote: The dream… Read More ›

  • Everything But the GARL


    The Lunchgate affair has been rumbling along nicely for the past week like a half-digested chicken tikka. Labour must be loving it. If today’s poll is anything to go by the drip-drip of bad news about the minority SNP administration… Read More ›

  • Hillsborough: Last Chapter or Opening Lines?


    While unionists heave a sigh of relief that devolution is finally over, ‘settled will’, concluded, the bigger picture suggests a different process at work. A guest piece by Our Kingdom writer Tom Griffin. Following the agreement concluded at Hillsborough this… Read More ›

  • Vice Captain for Englands Golden Age


    You’ve heard the jokes. Not since ‘No clean sheet for Seaman’  had the jokes of the terracing been so widely and quickly passed around. The realisation that much more was about to tumble out of WAGland and across Ingerlund undoubtedly nudged Capello to… Read More ›

  • Elite Rule Has Failed


    On a sad day when the political charades of Chilcot will be gone through with rigorous predictability and we mourn the loss of Jerome David Salinger, a great writer from an era where you could distinguish great literary work and… Read More ›

  • Burke and Hare


    Burke and Hare Martin Conaghan and Will Pickering (2009) Insomnia Publications The Anatomy Murders Lisa Rosner (2009) University Pennsylvania Press Since Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen (1986 ) everyone’s been waiting about for ‘the graphic novel’ to grow up…. Read More ›

  • Mercury

    A brand new news venture launched today: Caledonian Mercury revives an old Scottish title with Scotland’s first ‘truly online newspaper’. Good luck to them. I did think it might be abit more interesting than it is. It seems technology-driven and… Read More ›

  • Judgement Day


    It’s Burns Day and the news is that the British Government have tried to bury the facts about David Kelly’s death. Evidence relating to the death of David Kelly is reportedly to be kept secret for 70 years. This is… Read More ›

  • Precious Cargo

    Anne McLaughlin was unexpectedly elected to the Scottish Parliament in February 2009 after the death of fellow SNP MSP Bashir Ahmad. She has campaigned for Scotland’s Independence for more than 20 years. Her approach as a parliamentarian is a practical… Read More ›

  • Scotland’s Constitutional Timeline

    A brief journey through Scotland’s constitutional history leading to the launch of the White Paper ‘Your Scotland Voice’. Apparently Labour are furious at Keir Hardie’s inclusion. I’m more interested in what’s missing. The Upper Clyde Shipbuilders ‘work in’ should have… Read More ›

  • Bhopal 25 Years On

    R Bombay Boy

    An important new book for the environmental justice movement has just been produced by independent Edinburgh publisher Word Power Books.  ‘Saving the World: Twenty Five Years of the Bhopal Survivors’ Movement’ edited by Eurig Scandrett is a powerful testimony of… Read More ›

  • Is Comment Free?

    “Scotland might become to Westminster the nemesis that Ireland was a century ago, but analysis of it has all but disappeared.” Christopher Harvie on problems with the Guardian’s Comment if Free site.

  • 13D – This is what Democracy Looks Like


    “Now I am not so convinced that we need the permission of three minority Unionist parties to hold an independence referendum in Scotland. If civic society chooses, Scotland could have its referendum next year on its own terms.” Grant Thoms… Read More ›

  • Independently Minded


    We need a new media this new year: there’s an urgent need to find better ways to communicate together in the year ahead to build a movement for change. Mainstream media is dogged by special interests, plagued by celebrity culture… Read More ›

  • COP Out


    COP15 isn’t just a political failure it’s the failure of politics, leaving liberal lobbying exposed as a strategic model. Where does  that leave us in Scotland as part of a wider geopolitical movement? By Mike Small. “The most progressive US… Read More ›

  • British State Collusion Exposed

    Explosive collusion allegations have been published by a US Congress body as part of its examination of a loyalist murder case dating back 12 years. This from America via Belfast. Hat-tip to Tom Griffin: Members of the US House of… Read More ›

  • Copenhagen – Climate Justice

    What’s emerging out of Copenhagen (the conference we cant be represented at)  is a much clearer set of relations. The developed world is protecting its assets. Naomi Klein has written that: “We are seeing a redefinition of environmentalism” in which… Read More ›

  • Lessons from Copenhagen

    As COP 15 teeters on the edge of failure and crisis, we ask, what’s happening? First the global connections between rich and poor are being exposed. And second, as the elite grasp on polluting profits is being threatened the real… Read More ›

  • Cop 15 Report

    While the Scottish media rail on Salmond for having the temerity to try and have Scotland represented at Copenhagen, what slavish timorous mouth-pieces, a series of direct eye-witness reports fillt the vacuum of the mainstream media. Today, this from Justin… Read More ›

  • Your Kingdom

    A strangely bitter and nonsensical piece by Tom Gallagher in Our Kingdom: “The white paper published on 30 November 2009 by the Scottish National Party (SNP) government led by first minister of Scotland outlines a number of possible constitutional paths… Read More ›

  • Invisible Wind of Change


    ‘The wind is invisible but we can see which way the trees lean’. – Ian Hamilton Finlay, from Proverbs for Jacobins Amidst all the gloom, relentless negativity, media bias and dark winter onset, here’s some different voices. The  Scotland’s History… Read More ›

  • The Image and the Imagined


    On CITV which is aimed at very young children (mine and yours) something called the HM Armed Forces are relentlessly advertised. In a response to my (rejected) complaint to the ASA these adverts were compared to being “know different than… Read More ›

  • If You Know Your History…

    This from last nights Conspiracy Files, BBC Two Scotland featuring a fresh faced Salmond, Dewar, Sillars and McDonald & an unrepentant George Cunningham. Well worth a watch.

  • Power 2010


    Power 2010 is a new project, ‘a unique campaign to give everyone the chance to have a say in how our democracy works for us..’ If you haven’t heard of it here’s what it says about itself… “Our democracy is… Read More ›

  • Western Sahara Activist on Hunger Strike


    The Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa bordering Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. Formerly controlled by Spain, Morocco has occupied most of the territory since 1975, just when the Western Sahara was gaining its independence from Spain. In… Read More ›

  • St Andrews Day 2010


    Saturday saw people travelling from Dumfries, Fife, the Borders, Glasgow and across central Scotland to be part of the Building a Movement for Yes event. There’ll be a full report to follow, but first a round up of some of… Read More ›

  • Non-Identity?


    This extract from The English Postman, by Tom Nairn on the past and emergent future identity of the Anglo-British identity published inthe latest issue of  Scottish Left Review: …Identity is of course a collective metaphor; but metaphors are malleable, and… Read More ›