Archive for the The Scottish Review Category

A coincidence that leaves me worried about our lives

A coincidence that  leaves me worried  about our lives

Perhaps I shouldn’t read too much into the coincidence but I’ve had almost exactly the same experience twice in the last fortnight and I’m concerned. The first occasion was at Waverley Station entering from Market Street. As ever the place was awash with travellers in a hurry. […]

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The vanished Scotland of Matt McGinn

The vanished Scotland of Matt McGinn

Last week I attended a tribute concert to Matt McGinn. It was the 13th year that Linlithgow Folk Festival has started its year with a fundraiser based on McGinn’s music. Several of the Scottish folk scene’s well-established singers and groups joined local talent to entertain a packed […]

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How my friend Alistair Darling and I went our separate ways

How my friend Alistair  Darling and I went  our separate ways

Alistair Darling spoke recently at the Linlithgow Book Festival about ‘Back from the Brink’ (Atlantic Books, £19.99), his account of the banking crisis and its consequences.

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McLeish fails to grasp the popular desire for small nations

McLeish fails to grasp  the popular desire  for small nations

Henry McLeish’s new book, ‘Scotland, the Growing Divide’, is already dated. McLeish’s primary appeal was for a second question, on devo-max, in Scotland’s 2012 referendum.

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Reasons for keeping God and truth at arm’s length

Reasons for keeping God and truth at arm’s length

The recent film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’, has generated violent reactions, including the killing of the US ambassador in Libya, from various groups in the Islamic world. Cultural critic Stanley Fish has written a piece in the New York Times, ‘Libya, Violence and Free Speech’ which lambasts both […]

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Hers not reason why

Hers not reason why

Nationally and internationally, the Catholic church has been having a rough time. Its failure to root out paedophile priests and hand them over to the criminal justice system just about seemed to have blown over when, in Scotland, it became embroiled in the same-sex marriage issue. Keen […]

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The historical myth of Labour as Scotland’s national party

The historical myth of Labour as Scotland’s national party

Gerry Hassan and Eric Shaw have produced a fact-rich, reference-rich work, ‘The Strange Death of Labour Scotland’, which illuminates contemporary Scottish politics. For some 40-odd years Labour seemed to dominate Scottish politics and convinced itself, especially after Thatcher’s accession to power, that it was the national party […]

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The simple symbols of unionism are disintegrating

As every Black Bitch knows, the first Tuesday after the second Thursday in June is Linlithgow’s Marches. The 19th of June 2012 was a splendid Marches Day. The sun shone, the bands played. My wife and I saw the morning parades on our way to Glasgow to […]

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Holiday postcards: from Arran

Since 1997 our family holidays have been to Arran. This will be our 16th, every one wonderful. Our grown-up children still steal a few days, with friends or partners, each summer on the island they love as much as we do. Was there a ‘most memorable’ one?  […]

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Labour needs to ask: Is Scotland a nation?

Labour needs to ask: Is Scotland a nation?     The independence campaign has officially started. Over the next two years the positions of politicians will meld and change. Already several former Labour Party activists, including a few heavy-weights such as Denis Canavan and John McAllion, have […]

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