Choosing the future

Wee Ginger Dug

It’s time. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to say enough is enough. It’s time to seize control of the political agenda from the British press and say loudly and clearly that Scotland will be the mistress of her own destiny. It’s time to say that Boris Johnson and Alister Jack don’t get to be the arbiters of what Scotland can or cannot do. It’s time.

It’s time for Scotland to make a choice, a choice between assertion or submission, between confidence or fear. It’s time that this cold damp country of ours learned to see what the rest of the world sees, a place of beauty, of talent, of incredible potential, of natural wealth, of friendly people who are open and welcoming. It’s time that we realised that this land is not defined by narrow lipped closed minded British nationalism, fearful and resentful, projecting all its own shortcomings…

View original post 1,274 more words

Reforming Local Democracy in an Independent Scotland

The Stirling Wolf

The chaos of this Tory Brexit has engulfed the political landscape for some time now. Whilst many of us scratch our heads wondering “what is the Northern-Ireland backstop?” or “Is the People’s Vote voting on the deal or staying in the EU?” there has been less discussion on other constitutional areas. Which is probably a good thing considering we all need a breather from the topic of Scottish independence once in a while. However there was great news when a panelbase poll from The Sunday Times found just under 60% of Scots think independence would be better than a no deal Brexit and 53% saying it would be better than May’s negotiated deal. So with growing support for Scottish independence (and not terrible curve-fitting methods applied by unionist commentators) I thought I’d discuss a democratic model an independent Scotland could adopt for local government.The model I refer to is…

View original post 2,250 more words

We need to talk about light-skinned privilege

Media Diversified

Kristel Tracey talks about the importance of acknowledging light-skinned privilege amongst black communities

If you is white, you’s alright,

if you’s brown, stick around,

but if you’s black,

get back.

Almost seventy years ago, American blues singer Big Bill Broonzy sang of the racial hierarchy in place under America’s Jim Crow system.

Colourism. Shadism. #teamlightskin. #teamdarkskin. Divide and conquer, make one group believe they’re better than the other (but always inferior to white). Perhaps one of the most harmful remnants of colonisation and slavery was the internalisation of these cancerous notions, which persist across continents and cultures to this day.

To borrow the definition provided by Edward Ademolu, colourism (or shadism) “…is an intra-racial complexion-based hierarchy, that often affords societal, cultural, economic privileges and favouritism for/towards lighter-skinned people and discrimination against those with darker complexions. Some academics have even proposed that this may influence a persons’ life chances as…

View original post 1,451 more words

Guest Post: The Secret BPTC Student on legal aid cuts and the criminal Bar

The Secret Barrister

I am delighted that a current law student, and soon-to-be criminal pupil, has taken the time to write the following explainer on the ongoing dispute between the criminal Bar and the government over legal aid fees and the funding of the criminal justice system. A point which would be easy to lose – and which, more importantly, the Ministry of Justice hopes will be lost – in the clamour is that this is not simply about lawyers’ fees. The Ministry of Justice’s new legal aid pay rates for advocates (“Advocates’ Graduated Fee Scheme”), which amount in practice to a cut of up to 40% in complex cases, is simply the final straw. Our argument is that criminal justice across the board has been subjected to financial cuts unrivalled in other government departments, with the result that every aspect – from the police to the Crown Prosecution Service to legal aid to the crumbling fabric of our…

View original post 758 more words

The “hostile environment” that puts grandparents behind bars

Media Diversified

The dehumanising treatment of the Windrush generation by the Home Office needs to be challenged, writes Marcus Stow

Racist graffiti, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Black Cultural Archives.

What would you say if I told you of a state that retrospectively enacts policies that demand grandparents who have lived there for decades prove their identity, or face the threat of deportation or imprisonment? Am I talking about dystopian fiction? Some fascist regime from the distant past, perhaps?

Wrong and wrong again. This is modern Britain. Although perhaps it helps to add the context that we’re talking about African and Caribbean senior citizens. Not so surprising now?

In recent months there have been a disturbing number of cases of African and Caribbean elders being treated appallingly by the home office and benefits agencies. Many of these people arrived in the UK as British citizens when there was free movement from Commonwealth countries. Most…

View original post 1,168 more words

First they came for Catalonia..

Barrhead Boy

In the coming days Madrid will issue an arrest warrant for President Puigdemont of Catalonia on the charge of Rebellion.

It has the sound of something from a bygone age ,something that happened in the 18th or19th Century,not something that happens in 2017.

It leads one to believe this will not end in a 30 day custodial sentence and a €500 fine for the good President.

The last President of Catalonia to declare Independence Lluís Companys was put up against a wall in 1940 by Franco’s fascists and shot.

He remains to this day the only incumbent democratically elected President of a European country to ever have been executed.

Let us hope that this remains the case forever more.

However we do not know what the intentions of this extreme right wing minority government of Spain is in regards to President Puigdemont,we don’t even know if this charge of Rebellion…

View original post 1,334 more words