Articles on Scotland

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Irish situation is delicate enough without talk of referendums anywhere near Stormont. Joel Riley

Scottish ballot is not stoking nationalism in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s oldest joke is that a man is asked, “Are you Protestant or Catholic?” to which he replies, “Actually I’m Jewish”. His questioner responds: “Yes but are you a Protestant or a Catholic…
One of Scotland’s most popular politicians. Andrew Milligan/PA

Margo MacDonald, independent Scot, 1943-2014

The Scottish Parliament prides itself in the number of visitors it receives. They might hope for a sighting of the first minister, but Margo MacDonald was the member the public was keenest to actually…
The poll tax was a key milestone on the road to the Scottish referendum. Stephen Fyfe

Scotland Decides ’14: what does Alex Salmond owe the Poll Tax?

This week saw the 25th anniversary of one of the key events in recent Scottish political history. On 1 April 1989, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government introduced a new tax in Scotland to replace…
The Catalans want an independence referendum in November. Liz Castro

Catalonia deadlocked as nationalists plan new offensive

Welcome to Breaking Nations, a series of articles that examines independence movements across the globe ahead of the Scottish referendum in September. To begin, Dani Cetrà gives us the view from Catalonia…
Prefab resprout: Here they come again! wikimedia

Prefab housing is coming back, and this time it’s permanent

In the late 1950s, more than a decade after the war and not long after the rock and roll explosion, Britain embarked on a house-building programme the like of which we have never seen before or since…
The final countdown. Scottish Government

Scotland Decides ’14: The Conversation expert panel

Britain’s most significant political event of 2014 takes place on September 18, when the people of Scotland will vote on whether it should become an independent country. It is a referendum with massive…
Scotland is considering an assisted suicide bill. Matt

Assisted suicide bill is laudable, but poorly drafted

A bill on physician-assisted suicide is being considered by the Scottish parliament. It is the second attempt by independent member Margo MacDonald, who has Parkinson’s disease, to get such a law onto…
Now, where to put my cross? Cx1uk

Scotland’s referendum: can we trust the polls?

Opinion polls can have a profound influence on the atmosphere of a campaign. If they suggest that one side is well ahead, the media loses interest. The politicians get less space and perhaps airtime, while…
Sir David Gill, the most important astronomer you’ve never heard of? Uncredited via Wikimedia Commons

Sir David Gill – Scotland’s most notable astronomer?

There have been 10 astronomers royal for Scotland since the honour was created in 1834, only three of whom were Scots. I believe Aberdonian Sir David Gill (1843-1914), who never held the honour, trumps…
Child poverty is not going away. Need Not Greed

Scots more likely to blame parents for child poverty

Evidence about poverty is meant to be troubling. The only crumb of comfort for campaigners is that the harsh realities of everyday life portrayed through statistics, imagery and narratives can be the catalyst…

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