The Crisis with Mainstream ‘Safety First’ ScotlandGerry HassanOpen Democracy, May 2nd 2011 The Scottish election approaches the finishing line; the polls have narrowed with the latest Scotland on Sunday/YouGov poll putting the SNP on 42% to Labour’s 34% on the constituency vote, a lead of 8%, and 35% to 33% respectively on the list vote, an SNP lead of 2% (1). The campaign has shown thanks to three consecutive Sundays of YouGov polls, that the SNP’s campaign has worked with men and stalled with women; the Nationalists are 13% ahead on the constituency vote with men, 3%
What is Happening to Scottish Politics, its Future and Why It Matters?Gerry HassanOpen Democracy, April 19th 2011 Something interesting is happening in Scottish politics. The forthcoming elections were meant to see the return of Scottish Labour and normal service resumed. Instead, the SNP is pulling ahead, Labour is slipping back, confused and fighting an inept campaign, while in a sign of the times Murdoch’s ‘Scottish Sun’ has – unlike last time – just come out for the SNP, with a front page endorsement of Alex Salmond, ‘Play It Again, Salm’ (1). This later story has got the
What is Scotland’s Big Story?Gerry HassanThe Scotsman, March 26th 2011 What is the Big Story of Scotland: as a nation, society, and politically? Like William Hague’s mojo, we know we once had one and that we have now lost it. Scotland has had a number of big stories over the years: Empire Scotland, kirk Scotland, Red Clydeside, and the nationalist dream of independence. Now we mostly have muddle and confusion. The next few weeks are going to see an awful lot of sound and fury. Politicians will make jabbing points not listening to each other; men will make
Whatever happened to Scotland’s Salon Society?Gerry HassanThe Scotsman, February 5th 2011 One of the early hopes of the Scottish Parliament and the era of ‘new politics’ was that Scotland would awaken to a new age of engagement which would produce a more informed, inclusive politics. A lot of this was wish-fulfilment; certainly much of the talk of ‘new politics’ and an emboldened civil society was just that. Yet at the same time this feeling tapped a sense that Scotland could sustain a kind of salon society – a modern day harking back to the Enlightenment vision of Edinburgh.