Armageddon Days are Here Again: Ulsterification and the Potential of DIY ScotlandGerry HassanScottish Review, May 11th 2016 Language, words and how people communicate matter. Yet, many would agree that much of the conduct of politics and politicians - and even public life in Scotland and the UK – falls short and leaves a lot to be desired. There is a lack of straight-talking and honesty, and over-use of worn out phrases and expressions, along with attempts to close off debates by caricaturing and stereotyping opponents and their arguments. This week David Cameron decided to invoke, in relation to
Should I Stay or Should I Go? The Question of Europe, the UK and ScotlandGerry HassanScottish Review, April 20th 2016 I am a European. I believe in Europe as an idea. And for all of my life I have felt an affinity and connection with the notion of greater European integration. Now I am not so sure. When I was a child my parents voted in the 1975 referendum against the then EEC. I wasn’t convinced of their argument. The BBC were showing then John Terraine’s ‘The Mighty Continent’ – a history of Europe in the 20th century
What are politicians for today? In Defence of a Different PoliticsGerry HassanScottish Review, March 9th 2016 For all my adult life, I have defended the potential of politics and politicians to aid a better world. I have defended politics as the means to bring about change, for people to come together collectively and exercise power, and to aid the art of living together well. I have defended politicians as both a necessary evil - not all being the same and tarred with the same brush – and as people undertaking an activity in which many try their best.
Fear, Loathing and the Problem of ‘Sovereignty’ in the EU ReferendumGerry HassanScottish Review, March 2nd 2016 After years of second guesses and a rising tide of Europhobia and scare stories, finally the UK faces the certainty of a vote on June 23rd on whether or not it remains a member of the European Union. This will be a debate about so much - about how people see Britain and its future, the English question, and the distinctiveness and autonomy of Scotland – all illustrating the absence of any uniform national British politics. The referendum will be dominated by
Britain’s Elites can no longer control our politics:The European Vote will change Britain and Scotland ForeverGerry HassanBella Caledonia, February 26th 2016 The European referendum is a milestone for Scotland and the UK. It is impossible to understate the historic times we are witnessing - a British establishment and political elite no longer in command of politics and affairs of the state in a way they are used to. The Economist this week, well known for its advocacy of economic liberalism and the maintenance of the union of the UK, acknowledged that this vote was ‘not only the
The European debate begins but what about a debate about Britain?Gerry HassanSunday Mail, February 21st 2016 After months of rumours the official countdown to the European referendum on June 23rd begins. This is David Cameron’s triumph, the high point of his Premiership, and the beginning of the end for him. Whatever the merits of his ‘deal’, power now and particularly after the vote, irrespective of the result, flows away from him. It is a huge moment for Britain. Its ‘special status’ in Europe has been formally recognised – making explicit something obvious from the moment the UK joined
The Europe Debate will tell us much about the state of BritainGerry HassanSunday Mail, January 24th 2016 2016 will be a turbulent year for Britain and the world. One issue will dominate the UK political classes beyond economic and financial worries or anxieties about immigration and security, and that is Europe. Europe will connect with all of the above and more. Cameron’s main impetus is to have a quick referendum, to win it and get on with the rest of his Prime Ministership. It won’t work out that way. To have the referendum relatively soon (meaning before Scottish