Brexit is turning Britain upside down – and Scotland has a chance to say NoGerry HassanThe Guardian Comment, January 15th 2018 Brexit has turned British politics and Britain itself upside down. But to the UK Government and Westminster political classes it is business as usual on the home front as far as Brexit and everything else is concerned. Not for them that Brexit is nearly entirely an English revolt (with Welsh acquiescence), or that Scotland and Northern Ireland are being dragged along against majority sentiment in their territories. Today the Scottish Government published its latest paper on Brexit,
Holyrood has given Scotland independence of the mindGerry HassanThe Guardian, September 11th 2017 Twenty years ago today Scotland voted 3:1 for the establishment of a Scottish Parliament. It was clear the old Westminster system of governing Scotland was discredited. Voters recognised it was undemocratic, and produced bad politics and legislation. The case for change had become a consensus – ‘the settled will’ in John Smith’s description – that the referendum merely and validated. Twenty years later devolution has been a success. There are no serious calls for the Scottish Parliament to be abolished or for a return of
Does the appeal of Corbyn in Scotland hold the keys to Downing Street?Gerry HassanThe Guardian Comment, August 28th 2017 Jeremy Corbyn has been causing waves in Scotland, as he has been across the entire UK. A five-day visit has seen him get lots of coverage and in places crowds, while annoying his political opponents. It wasn’t always so. Pre-election Corbyn had written Scotland off as hostile and unfriendly territory. Now it is back in play – after six Labour gains in June from the SNP, along with a small rise in their vote - all against everyone’s expectations.
From Peak Nat to Pique Nat: Is Alex Salmond becoming a problem for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP?Gerry HassanThe Guardian Comment, August 15th 2017 Alex Salmond is one of the big beasts not just of Scottish, but British politics and the defining figure of modern Scottish nationalism and the SNP. He has been leader of the SNP for a total of twenty years (1990-2000; 2004-2014), First Minister of Scotland for seven years, and in 2014 took the SNP closer than any of its opponents thought possible to the party’s ultimate goal of independence. Yet he now finds himself
The SNP and Tories have swapped places in Scotland: The former is the party of government. The latter the party of protestGerry Hassan The Guardian Comment, May 31st 2017 It is a topsy-turvy time in Scottish politics. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon now regularly challenges Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson for going on about nothing else but independence. Tories in Scotland have become a party of protest. Today Tory protestors stood outside the SNP manifesto launch earlier in Perth with anti-independence placards. The SNP have become a party of government. The two have literally swapped roles. The SNP
The UK as we know it can't survive Brexit and TrumpGerry HassanThe Guardian, November 17th 2016 The United Kingdom’s sense of itself and place in the world is more in question now than it was before Donald Trump’s election. It was already facing the precarious process of Brexit that has destabilised the nature of fifty years plus of UK foreign policy and international alliances. All of this should be a moment for opposition but Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour are missing in action, focusing on internal battles, and letting the struggle with the Tories slip through their fingers. Whatever the
The disunited Kingdom and the confusion in Britain's political elitesGerry HassanOpen Democracy, April 5th 2015 Scotland is still making the news. The tartan tsunami that is the SNP surge shows little to no sign of abating as election day approaches. Beyond Scotland’s shores the UK and international media are making frequent references to the debate north of the border. Strangely some of this coverage – mostly in London based outlets – is even more ill-informed and inaccurate than was seen during the indyref. This is itself no mean feat. Then most neutral and pro-union opinion thought No would win.
The Rise of a Very Different Nation: The Emergence of ‘the Third Scotland’Gerry HassanThe Guardian, April 23rd 2014 The Scottish independence referendum has in the past few months become more alive and interesting. The polls have narrowed markedly and what was previously seen by many on the pro-union side as a mere formality has become a real competitive contest. Such a swift transformation has left most of the British political classes and media struggling to catch up with events. But it has also left large parts of pro-union Scotland feeling bewildered and disorientated at the pace of change.
Alex Salmond, Rupert Murdoch and the Pitfalls of Crony CapitalismGerry HassanThe Guardian Comment, April 26th 2012 Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, has emerged as a significant player in the Leveson inquiry. This is a result of the release of 163 pages of emails from News Corporation which have publicised the extent of their contacts with the Scottish Government. The charge is that the Scottish Government were prepared to go into bat for the Murdoch empire as a quid pro quo for ‘The Sun’ supporting the SNP in last year’s elections. This is contested and denied by Rupert
Scotland Names the Big Day and the Alex Salmond-Rupert Murdoch Relationship Gerry HassanThe Guardian Comment, February 26th 2012 The launch of ‘the Sun on Sunday’ may have caused shockwaves in media and political circles in the corridors of power in London, but its headline about an Amanda Holden exclusive surely didn’t. North of the border things were very different where a distinct Scottish version of ‘the Sun on Sunday’ was even more eagerly awaited and didn’t disappoint. This was following Rupert Murdoch’s tweet this week that he was in favour of Scottish independence, declaring, ‘Let Scotland go and