Posts Tagged ‘The British State’
The Problem with Britain and Why It Can’t Be Tidily Put Back Together
Sunday Mail, August 14th 2016
Britain throughout its history has had a reputation for stability and security.
This after all was one of the main clarion calls in the indyref and, more recently, the Brexit vote, but this has always been a bit of a myth and is now increasingly fictitious.
In the European referendum and its aftermath, much of the discussion that occurred repeatedly – supposedly about the country, its challenges and future – wasn’t actually about the UK, but instead about England.
This has become the way the country is presented by its elites. One glaring example of this was the previous week’s BBC post-vote analysis, ‘Brexit: The Battle for Britain’ which had lots to commend it. Politicians were candid, telling stories about decisions – and about each other. 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 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 »
An Exchange with ‘the Economist’ on Scottish Independence
April 2nd 2015
‘The Economist’ has a problem with Scottish independence from its infamous ‘Skintland’ front cover to its editorial view and general language it chooses to use. In the last three years, it has consistently used a pejorative language to describe the Scottish independence case, moving me to write pointing this out. They did not publish my letter, but felt moved to reply attempting to rebuff my points. Read the rest of this entry »
Message to the Messengers Part Two: Where next after the indy referendum?
Scottish Left Project, December 12th 2014
The winds of change are without doubt blowing through Scotland.
There is the decline of traditional power and institutions, the hollowing out and, in places, implosion of some of the key anchor points of public life and a fundamental shift in authority in many areas.
This is Scotland’s ‘long revolution’ – which the indyref was a product of and which then was a catalyst of further change. It is partly understandable that in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, expectations have risen, people have thought fundamental change could happen in the period immediately following the vote, and timescales once thought long have been dramatically shortened by some on the independence side.
Popular expectations, pressure and demand for change are a positive, not a negative. Yet, there is the potential pitfall of playing into a left-nat instant gratification culture which poses that all that is needed for change is wish fulfillment, collective will and correct leadership, and hey presto Scotland will be free! This is a dangerous cocktail because when change doesn’t happen quickly, many of Scotland’s newly politicised activists may turn away in disappointment.
The times they are a-changing, but they are still messy, complicated and full of contradictions. For a start, the power of establishment Scotland is still, for all its uncomfortableness and nervous disposition in the indyref, well-entrenched and deeply dug in across society. If brought under scrutiny and challenge, from land reform to a genuine politics of redistribution, they will fight bitterly and with powerful resources for their narrow vested interests. Read the rest of this entry »