Law is a blunt tool for fighting hatred

Good intentions often make bad laws and the Scottish Government’s Hate Crime Bill is chockfull of good intentions. Introduced by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf on Thursday, the Bill seeks to drive out hatreds in our midst, whether long-understood prejudices such as racism or more modern and contested concepts like ‘transphobia’. Yousaf says his legislation isContinue reading “Law is a blunt tool for fighting hatred”

Will Coronavirus finally change our toxic attitudes towards older people?

Fans of Eighties TV will remember The Golden Girls, the hit US sitcom that was the first to put older people and their lives front and centre. At its heart was the mother and daughter duo Sophia and Dorothy and the acid repartee between them over Shady Pines, the decidedly basic care facility where DorothyContinue reading “Will Coronavirus finally change our toxic attitudes towards older people?”

Covid-19 could kill off newspapers. You’ll miss them more than you think

Coronavirus is laying waste to whole industries. The spectre of mass unemployment looms. Economists forecast a slump to rival the Great Depression. Against this backdrop, the future of newspapers might seem a point of niche interest but the Covid-19 lockdown is edging our trade closer and closer to the wall. Journalists don’t expect to beContinue reading “Covid-19 could kill off newspapers. You’ll miss them more than you think”

Zoom without zoomers: the first virtual FMQs

Do you Zoom? You simply must. Everyone is Zooming these days. It’s the latest in video-conferencing techno-wizardry, allowing businesses to hold meetings with quarantined staff via webcams. At least now you can mute Dave from marketing when he starts on about onboarding diversification of core verticals.  Now Holyrood is Zooming too. Yesterday, Presiding Officer KenContinue reading “Zoom without zoomers: the first virtual FMQs”

Why the chief medical officer had to go

Seldom has a public servant’s stock risen so sharply only to collapse so quickly. For several weeks, Dr Catherine Calderwood was the public face of the Scottish Government’s response to Covid-19. In television ads urging us to ‘stay at home’, her beefy Belfast-by-way-of-Cambridge tones reassured a nervous populace with cool expertise. Scotland’s chief medical officerContinue reading “Why the chief medical officer had to go”

How Sturgeon defended then dumped her chief medical officer

Her resignation came eventually, late last night, but until then Dr Catherine Calderwood had intended to continue in post. On Sunday, as she arrived for the daily briefing on coronavirus, there was one question on everyone’s lips: Is there a doctor in the house, and which house is she in?  This was no routine check-up.Continue reading “How Sturgeon defended then dumped her chief medical officer”