Posts Tagged ‘Scottish Independence’
The SNP Ascendancy is changing Scotland and the SNP
Sunday Mail, June 14th 2015
The Scottish sun is out, and summer is approaching. This is true not just of the weather but reflects the mood of the SNP, their popularity, and especially that of leader Nicola Sturgeon.
In the last week a TNS opinion poll for next year’s Scottish Parliament election put the SNP on 60% and Labour 19% in the constituency vote – a historic all-time high and low respectively. This would give the SNP a second overall majority and more seats than it won in its 2011 landslide.
Nicola Sturgeon is getting plaudits everywhere. She survived being billed as ‘a comedian’ in advance publicity for Jon Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show’ in the States, and was then compared to Saddam Hussein by the host on the programme – on which she performed with humour and star quality. Read the rest of this entry »
Debating with ‘The Economist’ its Scottish Independence Coverage
An Exchange between Gerry Hassan and Jeremy Cliffe
June 11th 2015
June 10th 2015 17.00
Thank you for your letter of May 14th (1). Zanny has asked me to reply on
On our use of “secession”, “secessionist” and “separatist”, I refer
you to my email of March 24th. On “partition” and “dismemberment”, I
repeat the points made in that earlier message. Those terms are
descriptive and accurate. We use them in other contexts where – unlike
that of the United Kingdom – we support the separation in question.
For example, we welcomed both the “dismemberment” of the FSA and the
“partition” of Sudan.
Nor is Scotland’s pro-independence movement the only one of its kind
to which we apply such language. As a keen reader of The Economist you
will know that we use “secession” and “separatist” in our coverage of
its Catalan and Quebcois counterparts. Indeed, a quick perusal of our
recent pieces on Catalan nationalism shows that we have used every one
of the terms to which you object in that context too. Read the rest of this entry »
A Man of Principle and the End of an Era of Liberal Radicalism
Sunday Mail, June 7th 2015
Politics and public life in Britain caught its breath this week with the tragic death of Charles Kennedy.
MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber for the past 32 years; leader of the Lib Dems from 1999-2006; the youngest MP elected to the Commons in 1983 at the age of 23 – none of these do justice to the talents, principles and wit of Kennedy.
He got, as many people have said, many big things right. He was the most successful Lib Dem leader electorally since 1923; the most prominent political leader against the Iraq war disaster; the only Lib Dem MP who voiced his opposition to the Tory-Lib Dem coalition in 2010.
Kennedy represented a long and historic tradition in Scottish and Liberal life: that of Highland radicalism: a lineage which gave us Jo Grimond and contributed to maintaining the Liberal presence in British life in the 1950s. Read the rest of this entry »
A Letter to the Editor of ‘The Economist’ on Scotland and Scottish Independence
June 4th 2015
I am a long-term reader and admirer of ‘The Economist’.
Even when I disagree with the magazine’s position I know that I can trust it to aid myself learning and becoming more knowledgeable on an issue.
This is true across the globe, and subject matters, with one consistent exception: the subject of Scottish independence.
I am not talking about ‘The Economist’s’ anti-independence stance, which you are perfectly entitled to take. Nor would I wish to dwell on the appropriateness or not of the infamous ‘Skintland’ cover. Instead, I am talking about something much more embedded: the language and terminology ‘The Economist’ consistently uses to frame this issue. Read the rest of this entry »
What do we do about the British constitution?
The Conversation, May 22nd 2015
There can be little doubt that Britain is on the move. This can be seen in the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum and forthcoming European Union vote.
This is a time of flux and uncertainty. While for some such as the SNP and critics of the British status quo this is a positive, for many elites and experts this produces anxieties and worries. No more is this is so than with benign liberal opinion – which believes that for every problem there should be a solution, and often an over-arching British constitutional solution at that.
This is the spirit of the just released Lord Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law report ‘A Constitutional Crossroads: Ways Forward for the United Kingdom’ which brings together an impressive array of the great and good from John Kay to Linda Colley, Tony Travers and Adam Tomkins.
Britain is at a ‘crossroads’ if not a crisis and at the outset the report invokes the late Lord Bingham who observed that ‘constitutionally speaking, we now find ourselves in a trackless desert without any map or compass.’ Read the rest of this entry »