A Tale of Two Nations. And Two LeadersGerry Hassan Sunday Mail, May 10th 2015 We awoke on Friday morning to a very different world. A nearly completely yellow Scotland. A bluer England. And a patchwork Wales. The first majority Tory Government elected since 1992 whilst Scotland passed in one night from Labour dominance to an even more impressive SNP strength. These and more things weren’t meant to happen. David Cameron’s re-election as Prime Minister with a majority has taken many people by surprise. No UK Government sitting for a full term has seen its vote rise since Anthony
Can Ruth Davidson persuade us to listen to the Scottish Tories? Gerry HassanSunday Mail, February 22nd 2015 Two of Scotland’s established parties had a good independence referendum: the SNP who are now prospering in the polls and the Scottish Tories who have been gathering this weekend in Edinburgh. For once the Tories have something to cheer about. In Ruth Davidson the party have a personable, likeable leader who is comfortable and growing into the job. Her Conservative video released this week was another talking point – modern, relevant, human, showing her with her parents - and her partner, Jen.
We are One Scotland: Anatomy of a ReferendumGerry HassanScottish Review, September 24th 2014 It was a momentous moment in Scottish and British history. The Scottish independence referendum. It dominated Scottish and British airwaves in the last couple of weeks, and became a huge international story. Nearly every single cliché has been dug up, used and then over-used to exhaustion. What then as the excitement, claim and counter-claim quieten down, is there left to say and do? Actually, there is quite a lot. Let’s talk about the immediate reactions post-vote from the Scottish and British political classes. They both
The Dangers of the Right-Wing Revolutionaries in the UK and USGerry HassanThe Scotsman, October 13th 2013 The world as we know it stands on the brink of extinction. It could literally come to an end next Thursday on October 17th. This is not some Nostradamus style prediction but the stand-off between Democrats and Republicans in the US over whether to raise the debt ceiling. There have already been two weeks of the US shutdown with numerous levels of government inactive. There have been no food inspections or publically funded medical drug trials, while 800,000 government employees remain furloughed.
A Rare Moment of Wisdom at the Heart of British Democracy Gerry Hassan The Scotsman, August 31st 2013 Parliamentary debates about military intervention are often rightly solemn occasions. They carry the weight of history and memories of past triumphs and disasters. The Syria debate this week had initially been downplayed by the Cameron government as it faced the realities of parliamentary arithmetic and the possibility of defeat. But this was historic, evoking past even more momentous debates, and opening a chapter in British foreign policy which could see military intervention in Syria without the UK. The entire parliamentary debate on
Four Nations and a Funeral: The Demise of the British Welfare StateGerry HassanThe Scotsman, March 30th 2013 The British welfare state is meant to be one of the ties that bind us together; along with the NHS and the BBC representing our common strands of citizenship. Each has been remarkably eroded in recent years but on Monday April 1st huge changes will occur in the first two - the welfare state and NHS in England – which will have massive consequences for hundreds of thousands of people up and down this country already hard pressed and vulnerable, and
The Beginning of the End of ‘the Global Kingdom’Gerry HassanThe Scotsman, March 9th 2013 This week something momentous happened for the future of the Britain, its economy and politics, for Europe, and our relationship with the continent. The European Union proposed and agreed a curb on bankers bonuses, over-riding the predictable opposition of the UK Government and George Osborne. The EU proposals supported by the European Commission, European Central Bank, and 26 out of 27 EU members, will put a ceiling on banker bonuses of one year’s salary, or two years if approved by a large majority
Scotland’s Place in the World and the Problem with British IsolationismGerry HassanThe Scotsman, November 3rd 2012 Europe has been in the headlines in the last two weeks. There was Salmond’s little legal controversy on EU matters, followed by David Cameron’s problems with his backbenchers on Europe, while some Labour politicians charged Ed Miliband with opportunism for siding with Tory Euro-sceptics. If it is possible to rise above Scots insularity and petty partisanship which we have seen in the last week, it would be helpful to note the wider European and international dimension in which the Scottish self-government
The Strange Death of Tory EnglandGerry HassanThe Scotsman, August 11th 2012 The Tory Party was once the party of Britain and a British-wide party. They were the main force of emotional, instinctual, and lest we forget, intelligent unionism, which contributed much of the glue and credos which gave the UK its sense of shared values for so long. No longer can we say this about the Tories. They are a British-wide party no more , bringing far-reaching consequences for British politics and democracy and with it the future of the union. People have seen that the Tories
There is a long story to the crisis we are inGerry HassanThe Scotsman, July 14th 2012 As the economic, social and political turmoil mounts across Britain, Europe and the West, some voices of certainty have arisen. One of the most vocal strands of opinion concerns who to blame for the wreckage and debris we see before us, with some wanting to lay the responsibility solely on the shoulders of Thatcherism, ‘the Big Bang’ and 1980s. It is very simple and easy to understand; the human need to rewrite history as a self-fulfilling prophecy. The 1980s as the epitome