Where have all the leaders gone?Gerry HassanScottish Review, September 20th 2017 We have a problem with leaders - specifically, a dearth of them in Scotland, the UK and most of the Western world. There is a crisis of authority, trust and legitimacy with, for some, populism, trusting instincts and voicing your inner rage all that is left. Who do we trust to speak to us, to listen and understand our problems? To offer a guide that points in a direction and takes us there at a speed and consistency that respects anxieties and doubts, and the need to
Armageddon Days are Here Again: Ulsterification and the Potential of DIY ScotlandGerry HassanScottish Review, May 11th 2016 Language, words and how people communicate matter. Yet, many would agree that much of the conduct of politics and politicians - and even public life in Scotland and the UK – falls short and leaves a lot to be desired. There is a lack of straight-talking and honesty, and over-use of worn out phrases and expressions, along with attempts to close off debates by caricaturing and stereotyping opponents and their arguments. This week David Cameron decided to invoke, in relation to
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
Why Scotland has finally woken up and become a democracyGerry HassanSeptember 21st 2014 It has been an incredible few years to live in Scotland. Assumption after assumption about public life, society and the closed order of how politics has been traditionally done, has been turned upside down. People will still feel raw on either side. Yes people feel deflated and disappointed; No supporters sense that they were forced into a debate they didn’t want to have. But if we step back the bigger picture is an impressive and powerful one. It is one many of the observers from
The Independence Debate is not a Non-Event but Changing ScotlandGerry HassanThe Scotsman, September 28th 2013 How often have you heard it said: the independence referendum is a non-event and as boring as paint drying? This has become the uncontested view of part of mainstream Scotland and many in public life and the media. Last week ‘Newsnight Scotland’ anchor Gordon Brewer stated as fact that the whole thing was ‘dull as dishwater’, while others regularly pronounce that it is ‘turning off voters’, ‘deadening’ and ‘never-ending’. It is a cliché, caricature and articulating a world-weary, cynical, Paxmanesque attitude of condescension.
The Emergence of ‘the Third Scotland’Gerry Hassan Scottish Review, September 12th 2013 Two Scottish establishments facing one another - one the old Labour Scotland which has administered and dominated public life for the last 50 years; the other the newcomer on the block: the bright, shiny SNP establishment full of vigour and promise. This is what lies behind the slugfest of the ‘Yes/No’ debate, its partisan adherents, and the simple, superficial presentation of this in large sections of the mainstream media. Two weeks ago a piece I wrote for ‘Scottish Review’ outlined the nature of this non-debate