The Glasgow Games, the Great War and A Requiem for the Post-War DreamGerry HassanNational Collective, August 4th 2014 Two very different tales of a city and a country - Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games followed by the Glasgow Cathedral commemoration of the outbreak of World War One when the UK declared war on Germany. The Commonwealth Games showcased Glasgow on a Scottish, UK and global stage, aided by ‘Team Scotland’s’ best ever haul of medals. The games profiled Glasgow as an international city and tourist destination – a transition which has been underway for at least the last 30 years.
A Scotland Beyond Yes and No: My Journey to YesGerry HassanNational Collective, June 26th 2014 I want to live in a Scotland which is not defined by Yes and No - a world of ‘us’ and ‘them’ - of politics, families and friendships reduced to the emotions of football supporters and tribalism. I want to live in a world of one Scotland and many, multiple, diverse Scotlands. This is a time of many different debates in our nation; about the nature of our constitutional status and the meaning of independence, about who has power and authority in an
The Art of Living Together and the Art of DyingGerry HassanNational Collective, January 22nd 2014 Sometimes it takes outside voices to reinforce what you already know. So it was with Fintan O’Toole and the second in the series of Glasgow School of Art-University of the West of Scotland ‘Cultures of Independence’ seminars. O’Toole is author of the acclaimed books, ‘Ship of Fools’ and ‘Enough is Enough’ (1), both wonderful and powerful counter blasts to the baloney and bubble of the Celtic Tiger and its excesses. He is of no doubt that Scotland is at a hugely important
History in the Making: The Battle for Scotland’s FutureGerry HassanNational Collective, November 20th 2013 The campaign on Scottish independence has reached new levels - a battle of competing specialist documents – firstly, there has been an Institute for Fiscal Studies report, matched by a Scottish Government paper on the economic independence, and next week the much anticipated White Paper on Scottish independence. The latter is a milestone in the pro-independence debate. Whatever its content, style and persuasiveness things will never quite be the same again. A devolved administration in part of the UK lays out the case for
Minority Report Scotland: Politics and Ideas in a Substance Free WorldGerry HassanNational Collective, September 6th 2013 A week in Scottish politics. Two discussions and two long-term, deep challenges in the independence referendum debate showcased. These are how we address social justice, poverty and exclusion, and the way the mainstream media and broadcasters in particular are portraying this debate. The two examples I wish to draw from are a ‘Newsnight Scotland’ ‘special’ on Monday (September 2nd) and a ‘Scotland Tonight’ ‘special’ on Thursday (September 5th). Both addressed, if that is the right word, the subject of welfare and pensions;
Manifesto for a Culture of Self-DeterminationGerry HassanNational Collective/Open Democracy, December 5th 2012Introduction: Scottish Politics and Language In the last few weeks people have become increasingly aware, and to some extent concerned, about the rising prevalence of a culture of abuse, insult and invective in Scottish politics around and associated with the independence referendum. There is a longer story to this, of the failure and dogma of Labour unionism, of the SNP’s adoption of command and control politics, and of an embryonic self-government movement unable so far to find full form and voice. At the same time