Labour troubles, the Independence Question and the future of BritainGerry HassanSunday National, September 27th 2020 Labour conference met this week but in the new online world of Zoom the only cut through was Keir Starmer’s keynote address along with his TV response to Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 broadcast. It is now nine months since the Tories won a landslide election victory. But the world has been turned upside down since last December. Boris Johnson was sold as a great communicator and campaigner, but as UK Prime Minister has proven inept, unfocused, untrustworthy and amateurish. Labour matters in UK politics.
The UK is a Rogue State Gerry HassanSunday National, September 13th 2020 The UK Government took the UK’s reputation to an all-time low in the past few days. Tragically, Britain’s descent into potential illegality, breaking agreements and weakening peace in Northern Ireland comes as no surprise. Even if part of this bravado turns out to be bluster and bluff, this deep chasm at the heart of UK government and elites will have lasting damage. We have travelled a long and painful journey to get to this point. One which says much about the state of Britain, degeneration of
We are living through history and we are the history makersGerry HassanSunday National, July 12th 2020 The UK Government is convulsed in multiple crises - COVID19 and the related coming economic storm - while Brexit still remains unfinished business with a No Deal Brexit still highly likely by the end of this year. If this were not enough, the UK is committing self-harm at the bequest of a government both rudderless and dogmatic. It is treating large parts of England like distant provinces while remembering Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland only when they cause trouble or to keep
The long road down: The failures of British government have brought us to Dominic CummingsGerry HassanSunday National, May 31st 2020 The past week in British politics has been dominated by one story alone: Boris Johnson’s senior adviser Dominic Cummings and the extent to which he broke lockdown rules and flouted the very restrictions he was involved in creating. This is not a Westminster political class or bubble issue. Rather it is about a much deeper, worrisome set of processes and dynamics. These include the failures of the British state going back many decades, how it does politics domestically
Living in the Shadow of Empire State Britain and the Problem of Cultural DementiaGerry HassanBella Caledonia, April 19th 2018 The UK has been an uncomfortable place in the last few days. There has been the controversy over the Windrush deportations, Tory Cabinet minister Esther McVey defending the rape clause at the Scottish Parliament as ‘non-invasive’, and the resuscitation of Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ 1968 speech from beyond the grave. On top of this there has been the Trump-led bombing of Syria, backed by UK and French forces, without parliamentary vote or international approval. We have to understand
Is this the end game for Theresa May and Tory Britain? Gerry HassanScottish Review, October 11th 2017 The British Conservatives have for most of their history been an impressively successful political force, winning elections and forming the UK government on its own or in coalition for two-thirds of the 20th and 21st centuries. It then behooves the rest of us to try and understand the Conservative Party – what motivates its thinking, actions and ethos. And this matters even more when they are engulfed in infighting and faction fighting, in what looks like the lingering death rites of
‘Arise Now and Be a Nation Again’: The neverending story of Scotland’s history Gerry HassanScottish Review, March 23rd 2016 Tom Devine has been a huge intellectual influence in Scotland in recent decades, having made major and thoughtful contributions to many important historical and contemporary debates. His latest work, ‘Independence or Union: Scotland’s Past and Scotland’s Present’ is part a summary of his previous research, ‘The Scottish Nation’ and his work on Scotland’s Empire, seen through the prism of Scotland’s place and influence in the union. This descriptive, wide-ranging book covers not only over 300 years of Scottish history,