This was first posted on Facebook on 23rd March 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Tag Archives: John Swinney
Over the past 24 hours, I’ve been putting together a list of women either born or living in Scotland who could have been asked (but most of them weren’t) to be judges at the Creative Scotland Gala Awards Ceremony. There are currently over seven dozen names on the list: the list includes women who are not white, who are not able-bodied, who are not cisgendered, who are not straight.
None of this diversity is apparent to me in the Daily Record/Creative Scotland panel.
Between them, Creative Scotland and the Daily Record asked at least half a dozen women – Creative Scotland claims over a dozen were asked. None of the dozen women could manage it, and CS just gave up and decided to have an all-male panel: two men from the Daily Record, a man from Creative Scotland, a man from the BBC, a man from the Royal Conservatoire Scotland, and two writers: Tom Pow and Sanjeev Kohli.
I’m sure both Tom Pow and Sanjeev Kohli were fine judges. (Kohli could not be present for the judging, and cast his vote remotely.) This is not to decry the quality of the judges selected, but to point up that this failure to have even a gesture towards gender balance does not in any way reflect either the diversity of Scotland or the Scottish arts community, and certainly does not reflect well on Creative Scotland’s aspiration to put equality at the heart of its activity.
This is “A consultation on facilitating a legal, fair and decisive referendum on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom” available from the Scotland Office website. (PDF)
I agree with John Swinney:
“This is the biggest decision in 300 years so it must be founded in a fashion in which people have confidence. That means we’ve got to consult first on the approach to the question, the process, of the referendum. We then have to make sure that parliament has adequate opportunity to legislate. If we were to cut any corners in the legislative process, I’m sure I would be on this programme answering questions about jiggery-pokery.”
That consultation is being carried out at Holyrood, but you have until 11th May 2012 to consider your answers to that.
However, the deadline for responses for the UK government is earlier that the real consultation – Friday 9 March 2012. You can respond by letter or e-mail to:
1 Melville Crescent
I responded as follows – note my answer to questions 6-9. I think this especially worth saying to the UK government.:
1. What are your views on using the order making power provided in the Scotland Act 1998 to allow the Scottish Parliament to legislate for a legal referendum in an Act of the Scottish Parliament?
The Scottish National Party made clear several years ago that they would hold a referendum on independence for Scotland after winning two elections in a row. Prior to the May 2011 election, Alex Salmond amplified this – that if the SNP won, the referendum would be held in the second half of the coming term of the Scottish Parliament. No other political party committed to holding a referendum. The SNP won the 2011 election and secured a majority in the Scottish Parliament. They therefore have a clear democratic mandate to hold the referendum, which should naturally be legislated and run from Holyrood, by the Scottish Parliament.