Westminster and the Scottish Parliament: Who speaks for Scotland and who will decide its future? Gerry HassanThe Audience, January 22nd 2020 As expected Boris Johnson has said no to Nicola Sturgeon and her demand for a second Scottish independence referendum. This will not be any surprise to anyone in the SNP, all those living in Scotland, or anyone who follows politics. It all had the air of inevitability, with only the tone and certainty of Johnson’s refusal having any element of surprise – born of the confidence of the recent election victory and his majority of 80 seats.
Why Boris Johnson cannot say no forever Gerry HassanSunday National, January 19th 2020 Thirty years ago the Proclaimers sang ‘What do you do when Democracy's all through? What do you do when minority means you?’ This was the environment in Scotland after Thatcher’s third term victory of 1987. The Proclaimers caught the denial of democracy and sense of powerlessness many felt in the face of that political juggernaut. They also gave voice to the need to name the democratic crisis of the UK as such and its impact on Scotland, while emphasising our collective refusal to acquiesce to
Taking Back Control: The Rise of People Power in Scotland Gerry HassanSunday National, January 12th 2020 Rallies and marches are an intrinsic part of politics the world over. Throughout history the politics of protesting and marching has made an impact and on occasions truly shaken power. Chartist rallies for democracy in the 19th century, Suffragette protests of the early 20th century, the civil rights marches of the 1960s of Martin Luther King and others, the anti-Vietnam war protests which spanned the globe in the late 1960s; and the anti-Communist rallies across Eastern Europe in 1989 which overthrew rotten
The Long Game of Scotland’s Independence Referendum: 2020 and BeyondGerry HassanSunday National, December 29th 2019 Scotland is on the move. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has requested that the Scottish Parliament be given the legal powers from Westminster to hold a future independence referendum, and has written to Boris Johnson asking him to enter into serious negotiations. The case for a second indyref is based on Scotland voting to remain in the UK, and being told that this was the only way for Scotland to remain in the EU. In 2016, Scotland voted 62:38 to remain in the
Time to Decide: Scottish Labour and the Independence QuestionGerry HassanSunday National, December 22nd 2019 This week reality hit the Labour Party in Scotland. In the aftermath of yet another disastrous election defeat senior figures in the party have decided to question Labour’s long held opposition to an independence referendum, believing they should champion Scotland’s right to self-determination. Paul Sweeney, Monica Lennon and Neil Findlay as well as others have indicated that the party cannot be seen as standing for Westminster minority rule and against the democratic right of the Scottish people. There was a backlash against these pronouncements.
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour and Scottish IndependenceGerry HassanSunday National, November 17th 2019 This week Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s trip to Scotland made the headlines - and not for positive reasons. Corbyn’s position in less than 24 hours changed more than once on independence. First, he shifted from his previous position of not having an independence referendum in the ‘early years’ of a Labour Government, indicating that a vote would not take place in ‘the first term’ of an administration. Then when this was seen as the significant shift it was, he rowed back and returned to the first position,
Scotland needs fundamental change. A nationalist project is not enough Gerry HassanScottish Review, October 16th 2019 Five years after the indyref and three years after the Brexit vote Scottish politics feels like it is in a holding pattern, full of pent up pressures, but stuck in a vortex of powerful forces beyond its control. The SNP, who just met at their annual conference in Aberdeen, are by far the leading party. Yet their dominance can be overstated, it being aided by the fragmentation of multi-party politics, divided opposition and the negatives of Labour and Tories. The most recent
What should we talk about to make Scotland a place we are proud to call home?Gerry HassanScottish Review, August 7th 2019 There is only one subject on the lips of many this week: independence and Michael Ashcroft’s 52:48 poll. This is the Scotland of 2019 - twenty years of the Scottish Parliament, five years since the indyref, nine years of Tory-led government, and with less than 90 days to the prospect of a ‘No Deal Brexit’. We have also had twelve years of SNP Government. Once upon a time its admirers talked of its competence and sure touch,
Scotland’s Independent Story isn’t over:A Review of Yes/No: Inside the IndyrefGerry HassanBella Caledonia, March 19th 2019 As British politics enters a mixture of meltdown and an endgame, convulsed by Brexit, everywhere in political discourse there is an obsession with the past. From the rise of Churchill to unquestioned national hero, to the ultra-Brexiteers talking of the UK reduced to a ‘vassal state’ of the EU; and now, Speaker John Bercow announcing there cannot be a rerun of parliamentary votes due to a 1604 English convention, while being compared to Speaker William Lenthall who presided over the long
Independence is about more than an indyref. It is about changing minds and ScotlandGerry HassanBella Caledonia, January 25th 2019 Independence has to be about more than tactics and processes – which has dominated too many conversations since 2014. Independence is about more than an indyref - and in particular, timing, the question asked and how it comes about. This is politics as process and taking the substance for granted. And it is a trap too many independence supporters have fallen into post-2014. The last four plus years have been a strange time in Scottish politics. The democratic spirit