Category Archives: Guest Blog

An avalanche of steel snowflakes

This is the speech Susan Rae, the Scottish Green Party’s candidate for the Leith Walk ward in the May 2017 council elections, gave at the WMV Sister Women’s March in Edinburgh on Saturday 20th January. Reprinted here by permission.

Susan Rae at the Womens MarchHello and welcome to Edinburgh.

This is my first speaking event this year and I could not be prouder to be with you. I send solidarity from my fellow Scottish Green candidate Claire Miller who cannot be here today.

We’ve gathered here today in circumstances that in all honesty not a single woman out here, whether they are young, fresh and fiery, like Leah, or those like me who are not only pre-Google, but pre-proper feminism would have considered possible a year ago.

But we are here together – all of us – because the only way to stand up to a man who considers using his awesome sheer male money fuelled power of his voice to silence us; whose only consistent traits are inconsistency and pure misogyny is not compliance. You want to silence our voice?

Well. No.

We will not be silenced.

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Filed under Guest Blog, Scottish Politics, US Politics, Women

Tony Blair: Even if you hate me, please vote the way I tell you

Labour leadership: Corbyn, Burnham, Cooper, KendallGuest blog by Ian Shuttleworth, a parody of Blair’s “Even if you hate me, please don’t take Labour over the cliff edge” in today’s Guardian

The Labour party is in danger more mortal today than at any point in the over 100 years of its existence. I say this as the current record-holder for putting the Labour Party in mortal danger. The leadership election has turned into something far more significant than who is the next leader. It is now about whether Labour remains a party I approve of.

Governments can change a country. Though mine didn’t, at least not the way you wanted, ahaha. And three of the four current candidates have made clear that they think it’s so important to get into power to be able to change things that they’ve promised not to change anything if they get into power. Labour in government changed this country. We changed the nation’s zeitgeist. We made socialism a thing of the past. We forced change on the Tories by occupying their territory and freeing them to move further to the insane right which they now get to define as the “centre”. We gave a voice to those who previously had none: instinctive Tories too scared to admit it by joining the Tories. We led and shaped the public discourse. Shaped it by amputating its left leg. And, yes, governments do things people don’t like, and in time they lose power. That is the nature of democracy. Even if you were all wrong to get rid of me, and I will always follow you FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE.
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Guest Blog: Constitution First

Whit Noo This guest blog is by Stewart Robinson: “a time served Civil Servant, which should not be held against him! He is married with one daughter and lives in East Lothian, where his hobbies include overthinking everything and grinding his teeth.”

Stewart Robinson writes: During the indyref campaign I made lots of new friends, all sharing the same passion for independence, but I have to share my thoughts with my new friends in the knowledge that some of you will not wish to remain my friend after you read this post. I respect all opinions, even those I cannot agree with, but I will understand if you cannot live with mine.

To begin with, I think we must accept that we lost the vote fair and square. Yes, there was BBC bias. Yes, there were scare tactics from the Better Together side, but we also got our point across often enough. Sadly though, our case just wasn’t strong enough to convince the wavering voters to support the idea.
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Filed under Guest Blog, Indyref White Paper, Scottish Constitution, Scottish Politics

GUEST BLOG: Rangers – washed up offshore

As they say, football isn’t Scotland’s national sport, it’s much more important than that. Today as Scottish Football League clubs gather at Hampden for a vote on whether New Rangers should play First Division or Third next season, Brian Smith (@Einveldi on Twitter), a Glaswegian now living in Edinburgh, blogs here about the pay, taxes, and corruption off the pitch.

Taken at face value, the business case for a successful Rangers F.C. is compelling. 46,000 punters paying between £23 and £42 for a ticket 20 or more times a season. The lion’s share of a £16m-per-year television contract. A place in the lucrative Champions League almost guaranteed due to lack of domestic competitiveness. Sponsorship deals. Manufacturing deals. Replica kit sales. Lunchboxes, bedspreads and alarm clocks bearing the Rangers logo.

Rangers FC beanie bear Rangers FC lunchbox Rangers FC duvet set Rangers FC alarm clock

All of these figures seem impressive but all pale in comparison to the expansion of finances in the English Premier League.

Against a vastly more successful set-up down south (complete with oligarchs and sheikhs propping them up) Rangers tried and struggled to keep up. In order to keep their most talented players, Rangers resorted to paying them English Premiership-type wages.

The finer details of footballers’ contracts are tricky to obtain or decipher but the notoriously detailed fan-researched Football Manager games by Sports Interactive (SI) suggest that even in 2009, when Rangers’ financial situation was becoming increasingly precarious, it was paying at least three members of its playing squad in excess of £25,000 a week.

You have to stop and think about just how much money that is. £25,000 a week is £1.3 million per year, pre-tax. Continue reading

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Filed under Guest Blog, Scottish Culture, Tax Avoidance

LIFE GOES ON – guest blog by @CoraSherlock

At this point in time @CoraSherlock’s blog SherlockSoundbite where my guest blog “The Kindness of Strangers” is posted is down for me at least so I don’t know how she’s formatted my guest post! Comments are open for debate but not insult: please note that if you haven’t commented here before your comments will go into moderation till I confirm you’re not a spambot.
Abortion – Where Do You Stand?

It’s not one of those issues where you can sit back and wait for someone else to set the laws.  Abortion is the human rights issue of our times; it behoves every human being to make a careful deliberation of the facts involved.  And once you have settled on a position, there is no shortage of groups ready to have you as a member.  A quick online search reveals the activities of groups as diverse as Secular Prolife,  Catholics For Choice,  Catholics Against Catholics For Choice,  Pro-Life Alliance Of Gays And Lesbians and a host of others.

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Filed under Guest Blog, Religion