The writers are invited to respond to the challenge of imagining a new Scottish democracy. What changes will help transform Scottish society when we get the powers to control our own affairs? How can we get closer to democracy, closer to land, closer to nature, closer to a way of living that isn’t so distorted by the economics of exploitation? It’s an amazing snapshot of hope, potential and vision.
Issue 1 launched at the Bongo Club on Sept 21 2013 and completely sold-out. Isobel Lindsay asks what would a demilitarised Scotland look and feel like? Lucy Conway explores the Eigg electricity model writ large across Scotland. José M. Ramos examines how new peer to peer practices are shaping a new politics. Andy Wightman looks at how we can extend the idea of self-determination down to a local level. Fraser Macdonald questions ideas about wildness and wilderness. Dougald Hine on how DIY and hacker culture can help a new country when state and market have failed. Lesley Riddoch on what Scotland needs to flourish. Kevin Williamson on why we need a new digital democracy. Douglas Stuart Wilson on ‘maximum cultural diversity’. Robin McAlpine on moving away from an economy based on low income low skilled jobs. Cat Boyd on union laws and social justice. Elaine Morrison on an alternative to polluting rip-off energy systems that are staring us in the face. Iain Mackinnon on language, culture(s) and ‘large scale solidarity’.
Issue 2 has artwork by Noel Douglas in a fabulous free pull-out commemorative Nick Clegg and David Cameron poster. Stephen Elstub explores the six barriers to making this happen, and outlines practical solutions. Lesley Orr challenges us to overcome the gender gap that excludes women on multiple levels from society. Christopher Silver looks at how film and broadcast represent a huge opportunity for telling ourselves a different story, one of innovation and cultural expectation, rather than the dregs of a British broadcasting service that has become a tired coercive voice of the establishment. Having escaped those dregs, Derek Bateman suggests ways to reconnect people and place, engage young people with their land and breath new life into old towns. Paddy Bort explores how local democracy has ‘gradually been dismantled over the last 50 years’ from over 400 elected local governments in 1946 to 32 today – and how we might repair it. Robin McAlpine (and others) have a proposal for creating a crowdsourced constitution after a Yes vote. AR Frith examines the issue from three angles in his poetry series. In amongst it all, in a crucial piece, Niki Seth-Smith gives a unique account of how, as an English woman, she sees the potential for Scottish independence to unlock a new democracy in the rest of the UK after a Yes vote. Elsewhere Stuart Kelly reflects on how history and memorial is used to frame our own understanding of nationhood, and how this can boost or bedraggle democratic systems. Finally, but not least, Vonny Moyes gasps at the possibility of it all and the vitality of shedding decades of cool cynicism.
Smari McCarthy’s feature describes how the Icelandic people tried to reclaim both their broken economy and their bankrupt political system, the need to protect this new wave of political revival comes into focus.
Closer Issue 2 £5.00 including postage