This week Lesley flies back from Belfast. She has spent a week filming in Northern Ireland and is full of stories of pipers, bands and the Irish Language. We also manage to touch base about Europe, Hillary and have a bet
Andy Wightman MSP kindly stepped in for Lesley this week in the pod. We had an interesting discussion. You will learn what happened in the fracking debate and what it is like to be a first time MSP. We also touched on the current debate about Europe and the environmental aspect which seems to be missing. And, of course, land reform...
This week we are talking about the latest dietary advice and Lesley interviews Sion Parkinson of the Dundee Design Festival. And we take in Vital Spark at Dunoon and Men's Sheds. We also talk about the challenges of local democracy...
Important note 1. Sion does not imply smoke detectors don't work. They do and will save people's lives. It is just they fail to wake kids. That is the problem the Design Festival is seeking to rectify.
Important note 2. Lesley is taking some PhD time off this coming week. There will be no podcast. However, there are podcasts stretching back to 2007 to enjoy. For free and here.
Sometimes it feels like Scotland gets into reverse gear. The recent decision by Muirfield Golf Club not to admit women seems retrograde. Especially after the evident change in public perception about, for example, the Scottish Government Cabinet gender balance. Lesley picks this topic up and develops a theme about gender imbalance across the new media, the BBC, and the ways it can be addressed.
We also touch on local campaigns, #handsoffgeorge , the Fife Ecology Centre among others. Lesley also highlights the case of the Cupar postie. Note to our listener, it is recorded outside and there is ambient noise.
This week we try and make sense of Eurovision and also the 'Named Person' policy of the Scottish Government. Eurovision is a lot of fun and illustrates an intriguing ongoing appeal of the quirky; from music to voting.
The policy of 'Named Person' has flared up again following the reaction to last week's BBC Question Time from Aberdeen. It is a complex topic and requires a lot of knowledge to unpick its complexity. Or does it? Lesley has spent a couple of days writing about it and explains some of her thoughts.
Will the fifth Scottish Parliament be the first to give the relatively young institution its first major overhaul? Since its inception there’s been justifiable pride that Holyrood’s electoral structures and governance systems are fairer, more modern and less pompous than Westminster. There are no unelected peers, no arcane ceremonies and no men in wigs, stockings and garters (well, none that we know of).
Holyrood’s debating chamber is shaped in a consensus-enhancing semi-circle, not the confrontational opposing benches of the Commons. And we elect MSPs using a semi-proportional system whilst Westminster thunders on with first-past-the-post. Admittedly Scotland’s claims to modernity aren’t very impressive in a North European context. In Sweden, you can vote early, retrieve your vote and change it right up until election day. In Western Europe 21 out of 28 countries use some form of PR and most of the Nordic nations have used it since the 1920s.
This week we manage to record in two parts. The first is a meander through the week. The big news is the Hillsborough verdict and its implications. We also briefly touch on 'Ken', Jackie the musical , and a hustings in Dundee.
And the lack of vision in this election....then we come back after watching the last leaders' debate...what was it about ?
In this week's podcast Lesley talks about her encounter with Huw Edwards on the TV. She also recounts the Electoral Reform Society meeting and its aftermath. She also mentions Affa Sair, and a forthcoming ball in Fife. Oh, and she name checks Obama too.
The Italian academic referred to is Giovanni Sartori. But you probably already knew that.
Is the heavily be-suited and Unionist-dominated campaign to stay in Europe turning off Scots – hitherto Britain’s most enthusiastic Europhiles? Certainly the issue is getting more complex and more discussed. After long years denying any significant cross-Border difference in attitudes towards European Union membership, commentators now sagely assure us the biggest Remain vote will unquestionably be registered here.