Recent Posts - page 36

  • Bombing Kelpies

    The Encyclopedia Mythica

    A review by Alastair McIntosh of the journal, Dark Mountain, Vol. 1, Summer 2010 The editors of Bella have kindly drawn my attention to this debate about the Dark Mountain Project that’s been playing out on Bella Caledonia and asked… Read More ›

  • South of the Border

    An inspirational film from Oliver Stone on the experience of many Latin American countries. A vision for Scotland seizing control of its own destiny, not just constitutionally, but in terms of ownership of its energy and utilities, dances through my… Read More ›

  • Letter To George Osbourne

    Chancellor of the Exchequer 11 Downing Street London England 24th June 2010 Dear George Osbourne It has come to my attention that while many of my friends and I were at the funeral of our good friend Paul Reekie (aged… Read More ›

  • Dark Side of the Mountain


    Douglas Strang writes: The Dark Mountain Project began life as a manifesto, published in 2009, by the writers Dougald Hine and Paul Kingsnorth. In it they contend that we are living through a period of unavoidable decline and that the… Read More ›

  • The Democracy Of Books

    “I’m of the opinion that authors should avoid reviewing books of their peers” Philip Kerr. By Kevin Williamson There’s been a nice wee authorial square-go erupted between our very own Philip Kerr and Allan Massie.  Its not quite the talk… Read More ›

  • Letter To MP & MSPs Regarding Israel’s Cowardly Attack On The Humanitarian Aid Convoy

    Impromptu march along Edinburgh's Princes Street against the actions of the Israeli state and in support of the humanitarian aid convoy 31st May 2010

    Letter sent to:  Alistair Darling MP, David McLetchie MSP, Gavin Brown MSP, George Foulkes MSP, Robin Harper MSP, Fiona Hyslop MSP, Margo MacDonald MSP, Ian McKee MSP, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP 1st June 2010 Dear Alistair Darling MP, et al I’m… Read More ›

  • News from Nowhere


    Mhairi McGregor writes: Questions of leadership are not confined to the Miliband family. At Go Lassie Go, Joan McAlpine asks how Labour will cope without the Big Lies of Jim Murphy? Elsewhere, Kenneth Roy at the Scottish Review riles against maudling… Read More ›

  • A Very English Coup


    It’s not for nothing that the twentieth century is known in ‘Britain’ as the ‘Conservative century’. And make no mistake, if we remain in this dying union much longer, then before we know it, the Conservative twenty-first century will be well underway. No-one does British statecraft like the Tories, as the Liberal Democrats will discover first-hand.

  • Dawn of the Replicants


    The media frenzy (including Adam Boltons hilarious loss of composure with Alasdair Campbell – go here if you’ve missed it) centered around the arcane vagueries of Britain’s non-constitution, the predominant characteristics of which are: nobody knows what’s going on (not even the participants), we make it up as we go along, it all happens behind closed doors, extreme deference is assumed.

  • Song and Dance

    As Liberal apologists quickly ditched their non-existent ‘anti-Trident commitment’ in the scramble for office, this emssage from Trident Ploughshares, Scottish CND, CND UK and the Scottish WILPF… KICK UP A SONG AND DANCE! at FASLANE SAT 5 JUNE 12.30 –… Read More ›

  • Unpeople


    This is the stuff of Burroughs not Orwell. The media elite have created an ‘unpeople’ governed by an invisible party only seen in fleeting glimpses of the ‘campaign’. These ‘unpeople’ also have certain ‘unmentionable’ topics, and this is the reason… Read More ›

  • Poisoned Chalice, anyone?


    As a nation reels from what can only be described as ‘a kick in the polls’ by the London Meeja and their cross-party paymasters, Christopher Harvie writes on bankers, historians, industrialites and elites: Argument with Michael Fry, the grand fauve… Read More ›

  • Scottish Green Party on the Indefensible


    Peter McColl and Elaine Morrison write: The Liberal Democrats are a third party. This means that they choose their policies not on principle, but because they distinguish liberal democrats from Labour and the Conservatives. But this distinction can never be… Read More ›

  • TV Coup


    At (almost) the end of an election campaign dominated by media interests and distortion, we asked Doug to examine the legal case against the SNP. Doug the Dug writes: So the SNP failed to get an interim interdict to stop… Read More ›

  • #scotlandspeaks again


    What’s being billed as ‘the last debate’ takes place tonight. No, I know there are other debates in ‘the regions’ but they were put there just as a pretence of parity so we don’t mention them. Tonight is the most… Read More ›

  • Prepare for Civil Disobedience

    Anger is the most common response to the court case ruling, but not surprise. Ian Hamilton writes: “Think on this. Every political institution in Scotland has been created by the English Parliament. What it creates it can take away. This… Read More ›

  • Common Good


    In a sea of cynicism, when it seems as if the courts, the media class and the political elite are against us, here’s a blast of practical Glaswegian idealism, ‘its not all bad news – crisis can also be a… Read More ›

  • #scotlandspeaks


    Our report just back on the #scotlandspeaks campaign over the last few days says that we reached 48, 797 people via 1,471 tweets, which created an exposure of 380,223 impressions. Wow! That’s amazing! To take part just Twitter your protest… Read More ›

  • The Myth of the Liberal’s Defense Policy


    It is fatally flawed because he is trying to placate the deep-seated nuclearism of the British nationalist parties – that is, all the Unionist parties – while aspiring to don the mantle of progressive anti-nuclear campaigner at the same time. And it doesn’t work…

  • Time to Settle a Democratic Disgrace

    There are two days to change the election. Alex Salmond has said the BBC must either include an SNP politician on Thursday’s debate or organise a fourth debate with the Nationalist voice heard.  At last, game on. The SNP leader… Read More ›

  • Identity (Cards) & Democracy


    As Labour gets driven and split in it’s already post-Brown squabbling it faces a simle choice. It can revert to type, retreat to the ‘heartlands’ and avoid a whitewash, or change rapidly and adapt, try and roll with the punches, accommodating… Read More ›

  • Three Questions


    In our instant poll of polls our readers concluded: 33% thought the live TV debate was an insult to the people of Scotland and Wales, 30% thought that it was manufactured consent for identical politicians and 37% think Murdoch’s SKY’s… Read More ›

  • BBC Trust Reject Scotland


    Complaints from the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru over being excluded from the BBC leaders’ debate next Thursday have been rejected by the BBC Trust. No surprise there. Tonights debate will be at 8pm and broadcast on SKY. It will focus… Read More ›

  • Carbeth Land Buy-Out


    Fran Higson writes: Travelling North West out of Glasgow on the A809, wealthy suburban housing estates give way to rich farm-land and pristine tgolf-courses, the land opens out towards the Campsie Fells and Trossachs.  Here you are in prime des-res… Read More ›

  • The Constitution by Media


    Mike Small writes: There  are certain rules. Davina is the Queen of Big Brother (RIP). Simon Cowell is the King of X-Factor and Graham Norton searches for Dorothy. The latest tv tradition we have established instantly is not decided  by parliament, or the… Read More ›

  • 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 ›