Publications

Let’s hold on to family values

Let’s hold on to family values

It was a wet, windy, December Monday. Perhaps that, perhaps the passing years, but as I listened to the news, I found myself, amazingly, identifying with former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. He reminded me that children from a broken home are twice as likely to have […]

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No boasting please, we’re Scottish

No boasting please, we’re Scottish

No boasting please, we’re Scottish   Peter Peacock’s description of “the staffroom cynics, the refuseniks, those not taking responsibility” sums up the small-minded minority who have cat-called Susan Ward’s UK Teacher of the Year award. We know them. Most staffrooms have a few. They belittle others’ achievements. […]

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State of the Union

State of the Union

  State of the Union   We asked an SR panel two questions:  (a) Do you think the break-up of the UK is now likely? (b) Would you welcome it?   Alex Wood Head teacher An improved SNP vote and a government more likely to achieve a […]

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Above the dog-fight: Scotland can ill-afford to lose the Greens

Above the dog-fight: Scotland can ill-afford to lose the Greens

As the Scottish election rumbles on, one outcome is already certain: Robin Harper will no longer grace Holyrood. That will be Scotland’s, and democracy’s, loss.  Harper has added an ethical dimension, missing from much of Scottish politics and a style of engagement – courteous, concerned with issues […]

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An ethical emptiness

An ethical emptiness

Tommy Sheridan’s trial verdict marks the end of a long era in Scottish politics. Despite the hegemony which Scottish Labour seemed to enjoy, the socialist left, in its different guises, was an ever present irritation. Throughout the 30s and 40s the ILP provided Labour with a popular […]

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Dennis is no menace

Dennis is no menace

There are few politicians in Scotland, who leave the political arena as respected as they entered it. Dennis Canavan is one. His autobiography, ‘Let the People Decide’ (Birlinn, £9.99) is a remarkably simple and straight-forward account of events and times which were far from simple and straightforward. […]

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Wisdom before knowledge

Wisdom before knowledge

In 2004 Norman Drummond’s ‘The Spirit of Success’ was published. It was a powerful critique of the emptiness of much of contemporary life, a life-style guide, an optimistic but ethical alternative to the shallow culture of the early 21st century. Along with his inspiring work as the […]

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Why abusers are still priests

Why abusers are still priests

Why abusers are still priests The Catholic church fears acutely the indignity of a priest in the dock for child abuse During the second television election debate, the issue of the forthcoming Papal visit was discussed. All three leaders stated that they disagreed with the Pope on […]

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No capital. No cool.

No capital. No cool.

No capital. No cool Carol Craig stands out in contemporary Scotland. She has analysed Scotland’s crisis of confidence and roundly condemned the various theories which attribute personal or social deficits to a lack of self-esteem. She is sceptical about the marketing of Glasgow as the post-industrial ‘Capital […]

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Cherry tree poem gave pupils’ insight a chance to blossom

Cherry tree poem gave pupils’ insight a chance to blossom

In the playground of my last school stands a cherry tree.  It stood there before the school was built but being close to the building line it was cut and pruned over the years.  In winter therefore, leafless, its branches pointing in one direction, away from the […]

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