The Breakup of Britain

This is a major conference on the democratic future of the United Kingdom and its constituent nations. Speakers include Neal Ascherson, journalist Isabel Hilton, Clive Lewis MP, The Scotsman journalist Joyce McMillan, prize-winning novelist James Robertson, Professor Richard Wyn Jones, former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood – with many more speakers from across Britain, Ireland and Europe soon to be confirmed.

Join us at The Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on the 18th November for this unparalleled gathering celebrating the life of Tom Nairn by embracing his spirit of restless engagement which was an inspiration to so many radicals and reformers across these islands, and beyond.

The conference will feature a packed schedule of panel discussions, both in the Main Hall and in our two smaller break-out rooms.

Our panel members will seek to challenge the reactionary drift of British politics and debate central questions raised by Tom Nairn’s work.

Tickets are available HERE.

Read the full programme is HERE.


Comments (26)

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  1. SteveH says:

    Wishful thinking.

    Goid luck on that one.

    1. Alasdair Angus Macdonald says:

      Do troll bots not have spell-check?

  2. Madeline Usher says:

    We really need some fresh faces and voices. SNP acolyte and baldilocks Pat Kane is not inspiring anyone.

    Just another talking shop while the SNP falls apart in front of our eyes.

    1. Derek Thomson says:

      Baldilocks? Really?

      1. Yeah I did think that was rude and weird

        1. Derek says:

          I’ve also seen it used referring to William Hague; just none rather than golden.

          1. Derek Thomson says:

            Aye, but he’s a (word deleted for being rude and weird.)

    2. Graeme Purves says:

      The chauvinism of the hirsute to add to our woes!

      1. Madeline Usher says:

        Are you using Pat Kane’s thesaurus?

        1. Niemand says:

          Hair is an affectation, ‘four eyes’

        2. Graeme Purves says:


  3. Peter Havelock says:

    The idea of an independent Scotland sounds good and something I did desperately want to see.
    But “broken” is a more apt description of Scotland rather than the UK thanks to a few years of SNP rule. Imagine the catastrophe for the people of Scotland if these people were fully in charge all the time!
    An NHS that is in a far worse state than the rest of UK, absurd proposals to allow men, including rapists, to declare themselves women, and so on.
    The sex-swap lunacy, and the very real danger it poses to the safety of women and girls, is just one of the things that has made many Scots realise that an independent Scotland is not going to make their lives better.
    And from recent experience they know it is likely to make their lives much, much worse.

    1. Derek Thomson says:


    2. Alasdair Angus Macdonald says:

      Rule no 1 for trolls – never let the truth interfere with a lie.

      The performance indicators for NHS Scotland are better than those for the other three countries.

      The Gender Recognition Act was the product of several years of Parliamentary debate and was passed by a very large majority, with members of all five parties at Holyrood voting in favour. All of the parties except the Tories voted by substantial majorities. The Act is very similar to legislation passed in other countries. Almost all organisations supporting abused women are in favour of the Act.

      1. David McCann says:

        Exactly !
        I suggest our troll reads this article by Professor John Robertson, who sets out the facts with links to references for the hard of understanding/unconvinced.

    3. Peter Havelock says:

      How pitiful, apparently this is where we’re now at in the independence debate. Anyone we don’t agree with is a “liar” or a “troll”.
      It’s the seige mentality of those who know full well the SNP “government “ has set back hopes of independence for a generation. And nothing can undo that which is a tragedy for Scotland because for a while independence did look very achievable.

      1. Graeme Purves says:

        Trolls are so boringly predictable.

        1. Peter Havelock says:

          Thank you Graeme, you’ve proved my point delightfully.

          1. Graeme Purves says:

            Perhaps if you hadn’t taken such evident delight in banging nails into the coffin of Scottish agency there might have been room for taking you more seriously?

  4. Mike Parr says:

    The conference looks interesting. I wonder if there will be any discussion on energy & the reality that Ingerland depends on Scottish energy, be it green or fossil. One subject worthy of discussion would be how the benefits to Scotland of this dependency have been realised or rather – not. Given the plans by the current UK “government” (rabble?) with respect to renewable energy, it might be worthwhile working through the angles for maximsing the benefits to Scotland. One thing for sure, the current benefits to Scotland are minimal (probably by design).

    1. John says:

      Good point – my response to opponents of independence who claim Scotland is too poor to be independent is always:
      Why is that considering the abundant natural resources Scotland has?
      If Scotland has become so impoverished being part of UK what does that say about value of union to Scotland and more importantly the residents of Scotland?

  5. Satan says:

    I don’t know if Britain is broken or not but the NHS in Scotland is very broken. Unfortunately I have a wife and a mother who both had cataracts. That means you can’t see at all well. The NHS’ legal maximum waiting time for a cateract operation is 3 months, not 3 years. It’s a two-tier system where people who can afford it get an operation (from an NHS surgeon) in 2 weeks, and people who don’t have money have to wait 156 fucking weeks (hopefully not in the back of an ambulance or an emergency dept. waiting room). But there is no historical requiem about that – it’s the here and now.

    One of the people responsible for this is the fucking Fisrt Minister of Scotland, and another person responsible for this was the last fucking First Minister of Scotland. Perhaps Scotland is broken from tip to toe?

    1. John says:

      Perhaps the current state of NHS in Scotland has something to do with:
      hangover from a once in a century pandemic?
      devolved government having limited power to make radical changes
      Junior Doctors being given a reasonable pay award and not striking in Scotland- that really hit NHS in Scotland hard?
      Lastly swearing in your post doesn’t make your point any more forcefully it just makes people think you are a bit of a ??

      1. Satan says:

        It’s because of gross incompetence. And a remarkably Scottish lack of holding anyone in the upper classes to account. eg. politicians. Like the last FM and the present FM – they were both health ministers in charge of the NHS. The NHS prior planning for the las t 20 years has been really very bad. Growing elderly population = less hospital beds, etc. Now we reap the harvest, probably for the next 20 years, and it will fully involve raping places like West Africa of their medical staff, because we have better salaries and can’t train medics. I think that’s a mirror on who we have become: Vaympires.

      2. Satan says:

        You think that the Scottish NHS is a desert of cataract operations because of something to do with with the Scottish government somehow being unable to be as radicly left wing? as they wish.

        That may be shining bright in the night.

        It’s because they have been stupid for at least a decade.

        And it’s like they have an electorate of Church mice. ie. the Scots.

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