Archive for August, 2015

Sectarianism is about the hard politics of difference, and requires Scots to confront who we are and who we would like to become

Sectarianism is about the hard politics of difference, and requires Scots to confront who we are and who we would like to become

Scotland, and particularly the West of the country, has a reputation for sectarianism, partly fuelled by the football fans of Rangers and Celtic FC in Glasgow. However, despite the widespread perception that it is a problem, most people feel that it doesn’t affect them personally. David McCrone argues that tackling sectarianism where it does exist is hard as it forces us to confront viewpoints with which we fundamentally disagree – but that the ‘hard politics of difference’ requires Scots to answer existential questions about their identity, and the kinds of people they want to become. 

By 28th August 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Could a Jeremy Corbyn leadership victory revive Labour in Scotland?

Could a Jeremy Corbyn leadership victory revive Labour in Scotland?

Could a Corbyn victory win former Scottish Labour voters back from the SNP? Craig McAngus suggests that they may agree with him on many issues but the constitution would remain a sticking point. 

By 17th August 2015 0 Comments Read More →
In both Scotland and England, the 2015 election was won and lost on brands, messages, and leaders rather than policy

In both Scotland and England, the 2015 election was won and lost on brands, messages, and leaders rather than policy

With the General Election now firmly behind us, we are beginning to gain a better sense of what it was that proved decisive when the votes were counted on the night of Thursday May 5th, and the Conservatives gained their first majority government since 1992. Raphael Malek shares research from BritainThinks which shows that national level concerns, party ‘brand’ and leadership all played their part in consigning Labour to a second consecutive election defeat. 

By 17th August 2015 0 Comments Read More →
In UK and Scottish politics, should you assume that people are stupid?

In UK and Scottish politics, should you assume that people are stupid?

Political commentators often make fun of other political commentators when they complain that the public is stupid. Yet, maybe we all do something similar – assume that most people make quick, emotional and habitual decisions to turn a complex world into a series of simple actions. In that sense, the ‘realistic’ political campaigns (and some policies) favoured by such commentators may be based just as much on the ‘stupidity’ of the target audience, argues Democratic Audit – Scotland co-Director Paul Cairney

By 14th August 2015 0 Comments Read More →
Westminster will benefit from greater Scottish influence more than it expects

Westminster will benefit from greater Scottish influence more than it expects

The SNP swept the board at the 2015 General Election, with the party winning all but two parliamentary seats (al biet in an unrepresentative First Past the Post election). One of their number Stephen Gethins argues that Westminster has much to learn from the way Holyrood has worked in recent years, and that his party intend to be a positive influence on Westminster rather than the destructive one its critics argue it will play. 

By 14th August 2015 0 Comments Read More →
David Cameron is invoking a convention that does not exist in justifying his appointment of a tranche of new Lords

David Cameron is invoking a convention that does not exist in justifying his appointment of a tranche of new Lords

Yesterday Prime Minister David Cameron, seemingly undeterred by the already negative media coverage about the Lord Sewel affair, gave strong indications that he intends to make yet more appointments to the Lords. In doing so, he appeared to invoke a convention that does not exist: that of bringing Lords membership into line with Commons seats. In this post Meg Russell sets out some of the basic facts about Lords appointments, and some options for what might be done.