Making the Debate on More Scottish Powers RealGerry HassanSunday Mail, July 5th 2015 Another week has seen more turbulence and uncertainty across Europe, north Africa and the Middle East. The unprecedented Greek vote on European Union intransigence will, whatever its outcome, have huge continental implications. In this frenetic period, what have Scottish politics been dominated by, since the May general election? From nearly every corner and political persuasion – from the SNP to Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and Greens – the incessant talk has been of ‘more powers’ and whether the Smith Commission and ‘the Vow’ is being
The Voices of Tomorrow’s Scotland: A Challenge to All Our PoliticiansGerry HassanThe Scotsman, June 15th 2013 For once young people have become central to the Scottish political debate due to the Scottish Government’ giving 16-17 year olds the vote in the September 2014 independence poll. Rarely do we hear directly and in detail from young people which is why I was enthusiastic to participate this week in the National Museums Scotland conference in Edinburgh bringing together over 300 pupils from more than 20 state schools from Glasgow and Coatbridge to Biggar and Inverkeithing and further afield, to discuss
From ‘Generation Self’ to ‘the Saltire Generation’Gerry HassanThe Scotsman, March 16th 2013 Scotland is to embrace giving 16-17 year olds the vote in next year’s independence referendum. This is a powerful statement of intent of Scotland wanting to do something different, and enfranchise young people in the debate on Scotland’s future. Yet it leaves important questions unanswered. How different are young people from the rest of society? What political motivations dominate a generation who grew up as children after Scotland last qualified for an international football tournament – the World Cup of 1998? And more seriously, who began
How Do We Connect with the ‘Lost Generation’? Gerry HassanThe Scotsman, November 26th 2011 The economic storm clouds are gathering and looking increasingly foreboding across Britain: rising unemployment, low to non-existent economic growth, rising debt levels and record youth unemployment. The political ping-pong of Westminster and the Scottish Parliament seems nearly completely irrelevant to much of this showing a debate which is mostly dispiriting and irrelevant to the big economic questions. We have to look seriously at the true nature of youth unemployment in the UK and across Europe. In the UK youth unemployment for those aged
The Age of ResponsibilityGerry HassanThe Scotsman, August 13th 2011 As the burning embers fizzle out and the streets and cities of England return to some degree of normalcy, so the inquest begins into the causes and consequences of what we are all now calling ‘the English riots’. It is clear the losers are those who have chosen to simplify and attempt to make too obvious political capital out of the troubles: Ken Livingstone for one was disowned by many Labour colleagues for jumping on ‘the cuts were to blame’ bandwagon ahead of next year’s London Mayoral contest.
How We Grow Up in ScotlandGerry HassanThe Scotsman, March 5th 2011 Scotland we know has its fair share of problems, but we used to tell ourselves a set of comforting stories to disguise this. One was that we were an egalitarian nation. Another was that this was a child friendly society – due to things like Children’s Panels – but fortunately you don’t hear that much anymore. Susan Deacon, former Labour minister was commissioned by the Scottish Government to look at early life experiences - with ‘Joining the Dots: A Better Start for Scotland’s Children’ the result. Deacon