Politics

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The Hot 100 2014: 10-2

11 Dec 2014

Rachel Maclean, Young Fathers and National Collective among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors

The Hot 100 is The List's annual celebration of the figures who've contributed most to the cultural landscape during the year. From chefs and theatre-makers to writers and musicians, you'll find them here.

Iain Macwhirter – Disunited Kingdom

8 Dec 20144 stars

An authoritative and peerless sequel to Road to Referendum

While the space between deadlines for Iain Macwhirter finishing and publishing his post-indyref book was clearly a tight one, it still missed the event which perhaps encapsulated his central point most perfectly. With newspapers continuing to struggle…

Yes or No? 15 shows to help you make your decision for the Scottish independence referendum

12 Sep 2014

Need help deciding? Let the worlds of art, theatre, comedy, books and music lend a hand

Glasgow Early Days: The Arches Referendum Festival A week of special theatre commissions including work by Rob Drummond, Gary McNair & Davey Anderson and Robert Ormerod, with the Arches Political Party the night before and the What Now? Brunch the…

The Scottish Independence Referendum: a brief guide to the story so far

28 Aug 2014

As the country prepares for the big vote on 18 Sep, we look back at the significant dates leading up

May 2011: Holyrood elections The SNP win an unprecedented majority at Holyrood with 45% of the votes. May 2012: Launch of Yes Scotland Launch of Yes Scotland organisation to campaign in favour of independence. Featuring celebrities such as Alan…

Five events discussing the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum

17 Aug 2014

Including ReferendumFest, Independence and Monetary Reform, Aye Right? How No? and Glasgow Skeptics

ReferendumFest If you've been itching to get your voice heard among the yes / no / undecideds of the debate, now's your chance. Join MSPs, MPs, MEPs and other members of the public when ReferendumFest gives Edinburgh its own Speakers' Corner. These…

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ReferendumFest 2014 to explore issues surrounding Scottish independence debate

17 Aug 2014

Guests include Lesley Riddoch, Kate Higgins, Gerry Hassan, Owen Dudley-Edwards and Henry McLeish

Make up your own mind The Yes campaign plays on Braveheart sentiments about saving Scotland from the Auld Enemy, while the No-voters are a bunch of land-owning upper class Tories, right? Separate fact from emotion at this five-day festival promising…

Iain MacWhirter: After the Referendum - Sat 9 Aug 2014

12 Aug 20144 stars

Clear-sighted analysis of Scottish independence referendum from experienced political journalist

'What would happen if Putin invaded an independent Scotland?' asks one tweedy doomsayer of Iain MacWhirter. 'You can't be serious,' the political journalist laughs, 'Are you a Yes campaign plant?' That apocalyptic warning aside, this event, chaired by…

Talks around 'Culture and Conflict' highlight the WWI focus of Edinburgh International Festival 2014

10 Aug 2014

Topics include women's roles in wartime, soft power, pacifism and anti-war activism

It may have come in for some knocks last year when it was announced that 2014’s Edinburgh International Festival wouldn’t be touching upon certain timely political subjects, but in the ancillary programme which accompanies the high-end performance…

Kingmaker

5 Aug 20144 stars

Sharp political satire from Coalition writers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘Max Newman is a joke’, we are told, ‘but a joke that happens not to be funny’. Fortunately, the same cannot be said for Alan Cox who plays Newman, a thinly veiled representation of a certain London Mayor, who stands to become Prime Minister.

All Back To Bowie’s set to tackle Scottish referendum debate at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

30 Jul 2014

Unique take on the Scottish referendum debate through Bowie-themed musical and political salon

February 2014: David Bowie wins a Brit Award and uses the occasion to appeal – via a proxy, who just happens to be Kate Moss – ‘Scotland, stay with us’. Some idiots threaten to bin their Bowie collections but playwright David Greig, who describes his…

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The Great Tapestry of Scotland returns to the Scottish Parliament for 2014 Edinburgh Festival

15 Jul 2014

Scotland's history presented in an unparalleled work of collaborative art

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is more than just an unparalleled work of collaborative craft. At 143 metres in length, with 160 panels depicting the history of Scotland from the formation of the rocks to the creation of Scotland’s parliament, it’s an…

Allan Brown - Fifty People Who Screwed Up Scotland

20 Jun 20141 star

Dreadfully written high-pitched jeremiad full of factual errors

To criticise this book for being sour, petulant and pusillanimous would be to miss the point. Brown’s shtick is snark and he’s sticking to it. Indeed the whole series to which this high-pitched jeremiad belongs depends upon a certain sixth-form…

Summer Festivals 2014: the five best fests for culture vultures

20 May 2014

Featuring Solas, Yestival, Bloody Scotland and the Edinburgh Mela

Solas Festival A 10-minute drive from Perth, the picturesque Bield at Blackruthven hosts the fifth Solas Festival this summer. With events for all ages, Solas is a breeding ground for exciting political and cultural debate – Alasdair Gray and Liz…

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum debate is about power, not politics

22 Jan 2014

We have relinquished power to the political classes, but how many of us actively seek involvement?

As someone whose work is words, I find myself increasingly uneasy about the manner in which the campaigns both against and for independence are being conducted. Both sides have made many different kinds of appeals for our votes: political ones, emotive…

Extract: How We Should Rule Ourselves by Alasdair Gray

22 Jan 2014

Glasgow artist and author has written several political pamphlets on home rule

As Edmund Burke is often said to have remarked, ‘all that has to happen for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing’. We believe that we are a sovereign people. If we are unhappy with our present system of government in Britain, all that stops us…

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The strength of Scottish culture should give us the confidence to continue to connect with our neighbours

22 Jan 2014

We have much to celebrate together and a wide range of emerging new talent to encourage

It is often said that decisions need to be taken by the head or the heart. In the debate leading up to the referendum in September, the discussion has so far mainly focused on the economic and political issues. What exactly would independence mean in…

Rab C Nesbitt: The Govan philosopher on the 2014 Scottish referendum debate

22 Jan 2014

"This referendum will be asking me who I’d prefer to be marginalised by: Holyrood or Westminster?"

The great philosopher John McVicar was jailed for his beliefs. Since his main belief was armed robbery that was hardly surprising. From Durham jail he opined that the Scots were the best footballers in the prison yard but usually lost because they would…

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum debate is an important act in itself, regardless of the outcome

22 Jan 2014

Process of rethinking how we want our country to be in the future isn’t just a means to an end

It boils down to a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but behind the ‘thumbs up, thumbs down’ vote this September is a large, complex and shifting debate that has repercussions for every aspect of our lives. Some people are complaining of ‘referendum fatigue…

Flash fiction: New writing inspired by the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

22 Jan 2014

Prose and poetry on Scottish independence by Samuel Best, Simon Williams and Harry Giles

Quilt. By Samuel Best. It was autumn when I began to dig at the edges of my garden. I’d been getting headaches for a couple of weeks and thought some peace and quiet might do some good. The doctor told me a lot of people had similar problems and…

Blythe Duff and The Killing's Sofie Grabol star in Edinburgh International Festival theatre trilogy

20 Jan 2014

The James Plays trilogy by Rona Munro brings Scottish independence debate back to 2014 festival

Following denials last year that the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival would go anywhere near the Scottish independence debate, a major trilogy of plays on the theme of Scottishness has been announced for this year’s Festival. The James Plays are a…

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Edinburgh Fringe shows explores stories of Anna Politkovskaya and Yulia Tymoshenko

15 Jul 2013

Ines Wurth and Badac Theatre present shows dealing with prominent women in Eastern Europe

Every year, Amnesty International gives an award to a play on the Fringe that presses the right artistic buttons and spreads the word about human rights. When the judges come to consider this year’s Freedom of Expression Award, two shows in particular…

Iain Macwhirter - Road To Referendum

10 Jun 20134 stars

The political commentator's book is a vital contribution to the discussion on Scotland's future

Iain Macwhirter’s Road to Referendum is easily the most accessible piece of writing concerned with the independence debate. Not only one of the shrewdest commentaries on Scottish politics, it is also an important tribute to the country’s…

Reel Iraq festival explores contribution of culture and creativity to Iraqi life

22 Mar 2013

Talks, film and music in programme including Hassan Blasim, Leila Albayaty and Lord Erregal

It’s ten years this month since American missiles first found their range on Baghdad amid the shock and awe campaign that kicked off the second Iraq war, and as a culture we – Iraqis and Westerners – are still trying to reconcile, piece together what…

Andrew Dixon of Creative Scotland speaks to Parliament

19 Sep 2012

Chief executive of Scottish arts body clarifies organisation’s policy

Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, yesterday explained the organisation’s policies during a session at the Scottish Parliament’s culture committee. The meeting came after several high profile members of the Scottish arts community spoke…

Why has Creative Scotland been under sustained fire during 2012?

18 Sep 2012

The questions surrounding the debate over Scotland's arts funding body

The appearance of Creative Scotland’s chief executive Andrew Dixon in front of the Scottish Parliament’s education and culture committee on Tuesday 18 September reflects the arts community’s deep concern about the competence of the national funding…