This was first posted on Facebook on 23rd March 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Tag Archives: Andy Wightman
This was first posted on Facebook on 6th March 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
“…well, imagine a person standing on a block of ice, planning and planning and planning. Planning ways to get about on the ice, ways to decorate it, ways to divide it up, ways to cope with all the possible knowns and givens of a block of ice. That would be a busy person, provident and industrious and independent and admirable, isn’t that so? Except that when the ice melts, none of that is any use at all.” – Native Tongue, Suzette Haden Elgin
At the beginning of October someone tweeted me a link to Yes Edinburgh North & Leith‘s first public meeting, on 3rd October in the Halls on Henderson Street.
Unlike most Yes events, this one was billed explicitly, both in the header and in the text, as for undecided voters – so, unlike with most events organised by Yes Scotland, I felt free to go along. When I got there, about five minutes before the start, I found some Yes activists who’d come anyway were leaving, and people identifying themselves as undecided were being let in on a one-for-one basis (the hall was packed). I got a seat at the front that had been vacated by a Yes voter and was sitting next to two Yes voters who weren’t budging and who didn’t know Leith votes Labour.
David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Easterhouse in Glasgow. Panellists include:
- Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP
- Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, Ruth Davidson MSP
- Shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret Curran MP
- Daily Telegraph, Scottish Editor, Alan Cochrane
- General Secretary of the PCS trade union, Mark Serwotka
And then there’s the new BBC Extra Guest. Last time was Toby Young, and very dull he was. Who should be the Extra Guest this time?
Today, Andy Wightman reports, the Scottish Government announced
the establishment of a “Land Reform Review Group” that will oversee a “wide ranging review of land reform in Scotland”. If this happens it will be very worthwhile.
However, the remit and membership of this group are yet to be agreed with Scottish Ministers and it is unclear how wide the remit will be. If it is simply to undertake a technical review of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, it will be of very limited value when the real issues concern inflated land values, affordability of housing, succession law, tax avoidance, secrecy, absentee landlordism, theft of common land, land registration laws, common good etc. etc. etc.
So Andy is crowdsourcing definitions of “land reform” and outlines of the remit of this Land Reform Review group in the comments at his blog – go, read, join in.
1. Enhanced constitutional rights (e) Rights to the Commons (eg water, access to countryside)
You may remember, before the council elections earlier this year, an Aberdonian pensioner, Renee Slater, registered a mannequin, whom she named Helena Torry, to stand in the Hazlehead, Ashley and Queens Cross ward. When it was discovered that Helena Torry was not entitled to be a council candidate, the notice of poll for that ward was republished, deleting Helena Torry, and Grampian Police charged Slater with an offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983.
What you may not remember, unless you live in Aberdeen, was that this wasn’t just a silly joke or a satiric commentary on the quality of council candidates these days.
Union Terrace Gardens are a public park opened in 1879: part of the park is planted with elms that are about 200 years old, about two and a half acres of sunken gardens, planted with elms that are nearly 200 years old. From early in the 21st century onwards, there had been plans to develop a centre for contemporary arts in Aberdeen, in partnership between Peacock Visual Arts and Aberdeen Council. The development had been designed by Brisac Gonzales, had been budgeted at £13.5 million, and would have included a restaurant and a gallery. Full planning permission and £9.5 million of public funding from various sources had been secured.