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Posts Tagged ‘Changin’ Scotland’

What is Changin’ Scotland?

Changin’ Scotland has been a regular event at The Ceilidh Place since 2002. Run twice a year – every March and November – each weekend is put together and hosted by Gerry Hassan and Jean Urquhart – and covers a range of discussions and happenings on politics, culture, music and film, with the intention of having a good time. Weekends cover the entire universe of political and cultural thought, artistic endeavour, community activism, philosophical investigations, international campaigning and imagining new possibilities. Sometimes we just like to have a bit of fun! The story continues into what will be in 2010 unbelievably our eighth year!

Why is it called Changin’ Scotland?

Jean and Gerry were lost for a title for their first weekend in 2002 and it became known as Changin’ Scotland. It was originally going to be called Changing Scotland, but when Jean went to the Woolworths in Inverness (in the good old days) to buy a set of letters to form a backdrop in the Bunkhouse, Woolies only had one ‘g’. No wonder they shut down! Initially a second ‘g’ was going to be purchased, but the original name stuck!

Changin’ Scotland is not a narrow or insular set of discussions, but about Scotland, the UK and the world. It deliberately encourages international discussions, reflections on campaigning, and exploring the connections and differences Scots and others make across the globe.

When is the next Changin’ Scotland?

The next weekend is March 19th-21st 2010 – our fifteenth weekend. Tickets can be booked by calling up The Ceilidh Place on 01854612103. Check this website for programme details.

A few reflections and found memories from the weekends ….

Some of the best moments ….

The nervousness of the first one. Hiring a minivan to take people up from Glasgow to Ullapool for it. The experience of seeing Croft No. 5 that first weekend – on the Saturday. An intoxicating mixture of traditional, jazz and dance music in a Ceilidh Place packed with young people enjoying themselves: a harbinger for future weekends and our country!

The Wendy Alexander/Fiona Hyslop discussion on Labour-SNP lack of understanding.
This was originally going to be Wendy and Jim Sillars after their legendary exchange of admiring letters, but Jim pulled out with weeks to go. Wendy declared that if Scotland became independent ‘she would cope with it’. George Kerevan and John Curtice provided another perspective in this session, and with the two women in the middle and men as bookends it had an air of ABBA or more accurately Brotherhood of Man! Read the rest of this entry »

Changin’ Scotland No.  14  November 6-8th 2009

Action packed and diverse as ever! James Robertson on the Scots language, A. L. Kennedy and Stuart Kelly on stories and the future, Gerry Hassan, Jim and Margaret Cuthbert and Stephen Maxwell with Iain Macwhirter on the politics of the SNP post-crash. Andy Wightman on landownership from Princes Street to Rockall, Dennis Canavan on his political life, Wiliam Walker on Scots and the nuclear question, Christopher Whatley on the meaning of 1707 and why it matters today, and Antje Bednare on her research speaking to Scottish Tories.

Plus and how do we have the time for it: Greycoast Theatre Company play ‘Fields of Barley’ and live music on Saturday nite! Sleep obviously optional!

Changin’ Scotland No.  13  March 20-22nd 2009

Phillip Blond on the Conservatives and ‘Red Toryism’, David Torrance on Thatcherism and the Scots, Graeme Turner on economics and finance after the crash, Douglas Robertson on what happened to council housing, David Purdy and Pat Devine on what happened to Britain, Martin Cloonan on the Scots music scene, Janet Paisley on the Scots and stories and Alex Bell on civilisation and water.

Changin’ Scotland No.  12  November 21-23rd 2008

Iain Hamilton on the Stone of Destiny (and ‘stealing it’ in his words), Chris Carmen on Obama and what happened in the US Presidential Elections, John McLaren, Barbara MacLennan and Alex Bell on making sense of the economic meltdown,  Gerry Hassan and Iain Macwhirter talk about Scottish politics after Glasgow East and Glenrothes, Neil Mulholland on creativity, independents and the Scots, Murray Pittock on tartan from past to present and Nick Higgins presents his film ‘The Ten Commandments’. Plus the presentation of the first ever Changin’ Scotland Somhairle Award – for being unique and making a difference went to – Iain Hamilton.

The People’s Flag and the Union Jack: An Alternative History of Britain and the Labour Party
Gerry Hassan is a writer, commentator and thinker about Scotland, the UK, politics and ideas. more >
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