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row of houses

How to campaign: tails from the trail

From 2 ½ years to just 2 ½ weeks. The end of the mammoth #IndyRef campaign is nigh! Soon, Scotland will soon have decided and we can try and return to some semblance of normality. Recapping her recent campaigning stories, Kate Higgins (aka @BurdzEyeView) posted a few of her ‘Tales from the Trail’ and a brilliant list of tips for those new (and not-so-new) to political campaigning. This inspired me to add to this list with some of my own. Some of these are about safety, some about satisfaction and some about sanity – but I hope that all of them are useful.

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The greatest supporters of Scottish Independence… the English?

Another referendum day, another referendum opinion poll. At least the recent YouGov survey of more than 3,600 people in England, which was commissioned by Cardiff University and the ESRC Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change as part of the Future of England study, had an element of novelty to commend it. This was the first significant temperature-taking of opinion down south and how it was being influenced by the referendum mood music. Poll results, as we have surely come to learn, are like freshly cooked pasta in a colander; there to be tossed about before sauce and seasoning is added to the consumer’s liking.

British passport

The Great British Revival: Identity politics and the IndyRef

The Scottish Social Attitudes survey has delivered the latest batch of polling data for psephologists and political pugilists to digest. Particularly useful for monitoring the long-term development of public opinion, this week’s publication contained a number of headline-worthy results as the referendum campaign prepares to draw to an exhausted conclusion.

beep

A Yes vote isn’t the way to save the NHS

There is no subject in the British political discourse that evokes as much passion and loyalty as the National Health Service (NHS). Brits, regardless of where they live, are committed to their public healthcare service so it comes as no surprise that the topic has taken centre-stage in the debate over Scotland’s future. The Nationalists argue that a no vote in September threatens the future of free at the point of use healthcare in Scotland, they argue that the budget-balancing efforts at Westminster threaten the funding for Scottish healthcare and that the only way to prevent this is a yes vote. However, upon closer scrutiny this does not appear to hold up as an argument.

Robin Williams

Depression: we need better education

Like many across the world who have ever experienced and been touched by the work and talent of Robin Williams, we are in mourning this week. His acting brought joy and laughter to everyone across the globe. He was a part of at least my generation’s childhood, I remember fondly his roles as Mrs Doubtfire and the Genie from Aladdin. Away from acting he was a generous man and just as funny. It is therefore heart-breaking to have heard that he has taken his own life due to the demons that haunted him.