It was just three weeks ago that Dennis Skinner, probably one of the most well-respected and prominent politicians of the Labour left, was rather unceremoniously booted off the National Executive Council, after – or so it was reported – he had ‘irritated’ Ed Miliband and the rest of the leadership.
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We live in a globalised and increasingly globalising world. We know this, and we have been working quite consciously and deliberately to build the world in this way. And whether it is through Scotland’s banks that have for a long time been amongst the largest in the world, or Scotland’s oil industry which has made Aberdeen a global hub of research and innovation in the energy field, or just Scotland’s world-famous whiskey distilleries, we have gained much wealth from our openness to world commerce.
Now the dust has settled from Cameron’s re-shuffle, the aim is clear. It was widely anticipated that this reshuffle, most likely the last this side of the election, would place women at the heart of government, but instead it seems little headway has been made. Instead, we have a more right-wing, anti-Europe and dangerous Conservative leadership.
Well, looks like the No campaign have seized on and twisted comments made by the new European Commission president Jean-Claude Junker. From their HQ at Blythswood Square, the No campaign scrambled to get a press release out to the media proclaiming that the Yes campaign had been dealt a “hammer blow” as “Junker Ends Salmond’s European Dream”.
They say you should never meet your heroes – they never tell you the part about not listening to them talk about politics either. Last month, Simon Schama decided to turn his usually sensitive grasp of the sweep of time towards Scottish independence, or as he calls it ‘a catastrophe that somehow came about in our political sleep‘.
Andrew O’Hagan should be a Scottish national treasure. A stunningly successful writer, he’s won and been nominated for a plethora of awards. He’s written plays, fiction, and even ghost-wrote for Julian Assange. Yet he managed to get himself in trouble with his essay ‘Scotland’s Auld Injury.’ The essay systematically rips into the myth of a progressive, liberal, open minded nation, seeing Scotland’s values as tribal, insular, canny and conservative. It isn’t hard to see why it attracted so much ire, but it’s noticeable just how much attention Scotland’s political class seem to have given it, especially in the midst of the campaign for independence.
This week has seen two cases on both sides of the pond that, while seemingly small in scope, have implications beyond their initial areas. Tomorrow, I want to look at the US Supreme Court’s decision in the ‘Hobby Lobby Case’, but today I want to have a look at the Scottish Court of Session’s judgement in “Moohan and Gillon v LA” which will become known as ‘The #IndyRef Prisoners’ Case’
While some people would argue that the age of selfies has encouraged a new wave of vanity, that we are Narcissus staring not into a river, but into a front camera, I disagree. Yes, in its most basic form a selfie is a picture of someone taken by themselves. But in reality, selfies are so much more than that.