Region Archives: Scotland

“By standing firm against the London-Dublin Tory axis, Sinn Féin achieved a welfare system better than the one in Britain…”

According to Sinn Féin national chairperson Declan Kearney, [Don’t mention the Dark Side! – Ed] …Sinn Féin from 2011 onwards opposed the proposed welfare cuts and insisted welfare protection was absolutely fundamental for all citizens. “That is why Sinn Féin politically campaigned against welfare cuts alongside trade unions and grassroots communities. “This principle guided our more…

Labour’s Scottish Play – the onward march of the SNP

Scotland Forecast 2015

Election watchers and political anoraks have been spending much of the day absorbing the eagerly-awaited Scottish constituency opinion polls from Lord Ashcroft. The SNP have been polling very strongly in national Westminster opinion polls since the failed independence referendum, and have consistently polled leads over Labour of over 20%. The big question for those trying more…

The Election Debates and the Northern Ireland ‘Difference’

Nick Robinson: inclusion of NI politicians in the election debates a step too far?  Pic: Tom Page

Northern Ireland is politically different from the rest of the UK, according to the BBC’s Nick Robinson. That’s why, he argued this morning on the Today Programme, broadcasters are confused by the Prime Minister’s insistence that if the Scots/Welsh Nats are including in the proposed television election debates, Northern Irish parties should be included too. more…

A spirit of genuine power sharing is needed to make more powers work for the Scottish Parliament

Power sharing of the genuine sort  is clearly needed to make work the complexity contained in the 44 draft clauses of legislation to grant sweeping new powers to the Scottish Parliament. But not for a while yet, if ever. David Cameron’s visit to Edinburgh to present the Command Paper was marked by political jostling much more complicated more…

Open Government: In what practical ways can citizens increase their engagement?

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 20.01.21

How to make Open Government practical or realistic possibility? As Matilda has pointed out there’s no pro forma method for going forward. In some countries it’s felt that it’s better if citizen start things, because few trust the government, and in other places, vice versa. In research into priorities amongst #OpenGovNI network members participation comes out more…

“Rangers has become a magnet for every chancer in town….”

Great piece from John McDermott in the FT (worth the registration)… The club, like the nation, had a comfortable dual identity as both Scottish and British. At its most famous game, the 1972 European Cup Winners’ Cup victory over FC Dynamo Moscow, fans sporting kilts and Robert Burns T-shirts waved the Union Jack alongside the more…

Spreading the word in the Irish language requires a new beginning

I thought I’d tiptoe into the minefield of the “Irish Language Act”, an area where the massed ranks of persuadables risk getting wasted by the zealots, but here goes. Concubhar is right, there should be a mature discussion. I’m one of those who shrugged off Gregory Campbell’s leaden humour and hoped that most language supporters felt more…

Testament of Youth (QFT 16-29 January) – powerful on-screen adaptation of Vera Brittain’s extraordinary WW1 memoir

testament of youth roland vera

Most war films focus on the lives of those who join up, concentrating on the action at the front. Yet many more people are left behind at home than enter the military. Testament Of Youth quite brilliantly captures the life of Vera Brittain (played by Alicia Vikander), an intelligent and boundary-pushing young woman who in more…

“my offence at your satire of [thing I care about] is so great that you must be censored”

So, there’s official censorship (which these days, outside questions of national security) scarcely exists in the west. And then there’s unofficial censorship (you publish that and our advertisers/backers would be very displeased). There’s also whistleblowing (no one in the sector will ever work with you again), and there’s downright intimidation (I’ll put your lights out/windows more…

Is the TUV a major party? Consultations from Ofcom & BBC Trust open on which parties should be offered Election Broadcasts

Ofcom logo

Ofcom has launched a consultation around this year’s list of “major parties” that will be offered at least two Party Election Broadcasts on non-BBC TV and radio channels (ITV, STV, UTV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Classic FM, Talksport and Absolute Radio) ahead of May’s General Election (and the English local government elections the same day). more…

Today London, perhaps it’s time for another naming of parts.

No further comment, but to quote Alex Massie in obvious frustration with an elite London commentariat that seems to understand less and less of how the wider country works… We’ve just had two years of intensive constitutional politics. Time enough, you’d think, for even London-based politicians and commentators to work out how British politics actually works. more…

#SluggerSoapBox: In praise of Bob Purdie 1940 – 2014…

From Stephen Howe who is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, having previously taught for many years at Ruskin College Oxford and worked at the New Statesman.  Irish writings include the 2000 book Ireland and Empire, and contributions to Irish Political Studies, Irish Historical Studies, and the new Oxford Handbook of Modern more…