Making our own collective future in Scotland Gerry HassanSunday National, January 3rd 2021 Until it arrived, 2020 was seen by many as a symbol of the future. It was a benchmark and distant date with destiny – aided by phrases like ‘2020 vision’. But 2020 didn’t feel like the future that had been predicted - or like any other year. This is a salutary lesson. Much of the future is always surprising, unimagined and unpredictable - while other parts are predictable or ‘inevitable surprises’. To think, dream and conceive of the future is part of what
Message to the Messengers: What do we do after Yes?Gerry HassanScottish Left Project, December 5th 2014 It is a frenetic, dynamic time to be living in Scotland – politically, culturally and in many other aspects of public life. Nearly three months since the momentous indyref Scotland is still gripped by a sense of movement, possibilities and new openings – up to and beyond the 2015 and 2016 elections. Yet at the same time in parts of the independence movement there are unrealistic expectations of political change, of belief that the union is finished, and that Scotland can embark
What do we do we do about the United Kingdom? And Why Federalism isn’t the AnswerGerry HassanOpen Democracy, July 4th 2014 In the last few weeks political debate has become filled with talk of the possibility of a federal United Kingdom. This has come not surprisingly exclusively from pro-union voices. There was Tory MSP Murdo Fraser’s recent thoughtful speech, David Torrance’s short book on British wide federalism, and even former Prime Minister Gordon Brown mulling over the subject. Murdo Fraser in his Reform Scotland talk said that ‘federalism within the UK, if it were workable and could be
Creating a Space for a Different Scottish FutureGerry HassanNational Collective, March 7th 2013 Thinking, imagining and attempting to create the future, and embracing and encouraging change, comes naturally to human beings. We do these things everyday in numerous ways throughout our lives, subconsciously and unconsciously, usually without reflection or realisation. Recognising that we do is one of the first steps in demystifying these terms, democratising them, and taking them back from the consultancy class and from managerial jargon. When I first saw Say So Scotland’s initiative to develop a Citizens’ Assembly I was initially wary, thinking it was
So who will speak out for a better Scotland? Gerry HassanThe Scotsman, February 4th 2012 Human beings have a need to associate, to feel they belong and to be part of wider groupings. We all recognise this, but we also know some of the limits: the power and negativity of being in a gang, tribe or group, of including and excluding. In my life many things have defined how I see myself and how I interpret the world: various values, philosophies, labels and outlooks, from politics to culture to of course, football. I used to define myself
Scotland’s Future Story of Hope: How we Defeat the Forces of PessimismGerry HassanBella Caledonia, April 28th 2011 Imagine this. If you were studying Scotland from a far off world, say Venus or Mars, what kind of impression would you get? If you were looking and listening to our TV and radio you would find a very peculiar place. It would be one that lived on or off one street: Byres Road, Glasgow; it would be nearly entirely male, with very few women; and the men would be often boorish, angry and shouting perhaps because of this; and
What’s the Story of Scotland’s Future?Gerry HassanScottish Review, April 28th 2011 Like many people I have been watching and reflecting on the Scottish Parliament elections, and finding them in equal parts fascinating and frustrating. In one way, these are elections of some theatre and drama, the Labour-SNP contest, the background of the cuts, what happens to the Tories and Lib Dems. And yet they are not really an example of an imaginative, emboldened, or even in parts honest politics. Post-war Scotland: From ‘We Have a Dream’ to ‘We are Doomed’ There is so much unsaid and unstated.
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