Posted at 05:04 PM | Permalink
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Oct 22nd. Dundee Steps Theatre, Wellgate Library. 7pm FREE https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nation-norway-film-launch-tickets-51087230281
More Norway screenings being arranged in Edinburgh. Details soon.
Nov 1 Perth 6.30pm St Matthew's Church, Tay Street, PH1 5LQ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/norway-the-twin-nation-film-screening-and-talk-with-lesley-riddoch-tickets-47986749660
Nov 3/4 Comrie - Faroes on Saturday @ 17.30 and Iceland on Sunday 4th Nov at 17.00. Talk 18.00 Sunday. Both are part of the Comrie Film Festival and this years theme is ‘Exploration’. White Church, Dunira Street, Comrie. Tickets for weekend (£15) or day (£10) or £5 a film will be available at Hansens Kitchen in the village and on Eventbrite nearer the time
Nov 8 Kelty 7pm Kelty Community Centre 90-92 Main Street https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/norway-the-twin-nation-with-lesley-riddoch-kelty-community-cinema-tickets-51136476578?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
Nov 9 Musselburgh The Ship Inn, 7.30pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lesley-riddoch-nation-what-can-the-faroes-teach-scotland-tickets-50488824433
Nov 15 Livingston 7.30pm Inveralmond Community High School, Willowbank, Ladywell, Livingston, EH54 6HW
Nov 16 Lochalsh 7.30pm at Inverinate Hall IV40 8HD https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nation-the-faroes-and-iceland-with-lesley-riddoch-tickets-50867005583
Nov 17 Portree Skye 2.30pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nation-the-faroes-and-iceland-with-lesley-riddoch-tickets-50867005583
Nov 30 Peterhead 7pm Waterside Hotel https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nation-norway-and-the-faroes-with-lesley-riddoch-tickets-51154701088
Dec 7 Greenock Beacon Centre Cinema 7pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nation-with-lesley-riddoch-tickets-50926906749
Dec 8 Clydebank 2pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nation-with-lesley-riddoch-tickets-51587400303
Posted at 01:28 PM | Permalink
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Great day making honey with beekeeper and herbalist Jacqui Calder. Heavy work getting spinner onto kitchen table and placing the combs inside, then cranking the wheel with the Aberfeldy Wild Women hinging on (!) to spin the honey out of the combs for pouring out into wee jars. Fascinating to hear about the incredible life cycle and behaviour of the bees - Jacqui's are Buckfast bees (!) with a calm, unaggressive temperament that's ideal for careful handling. If anyone fancies a jar of the final comb honey (which is mild, flowery and beautiful) contact Jacqui email@example.com. It's £6.50 a jar.
Posted at 09:49 AM | Permalink
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Do you want to live in the country with the least truly local government in Europe? This is your chance to do something about Scotland's topdown democracy and over-sized non-local councils. An incredible line up, a vital discussion and hundreds of people like you.
Democracy 21, a major conference organised by ERS in collaboration with Common Weal, to be held on June 23rd in the Glasgow Marriott, will look at how we can make a democracy fit for the challenges of the 21st Century. This is not to be missed. Please note that over 400 people have now booked tickets - so if you are planning to attend please book asap to guarantee your place. Levels of local representation in Scotland are the lowest in Europe – leaving many feeling powerless. It is our belief that communities work better when they are engaged and empowered to allow citizens to decide how they run. This conference aims to make this happen.We will be joined by democracy activists from Barcelona who will be part of an incredible line up of speakers and sessions including:
Darren 'Loki' McGarvey
Author, Poverty Safari
STUC Policy Officer
Electoral Reform Society
Director, Equate Scotland
And actor Iain Robertson will be doing a very special reading of the famous Jimmy Reid speech on alienation. It is going to be an important, exciting and impactful day - make sure you are part of it.
Tickets are still available now. If you've been to any of the events I've spoken at over last four years since Blossom publication, you know this matters. So come along! Book here https://www.eventbrite.com/e/democracy-21-lets-build-a-democracy-fit-for-the-21st-century-tickets-42562134490
Posted at 09:49 AM | Permalink
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Professor Christophe Hillion, from the Centre for European Law at Oslo University, will tell MSPs on Tuesday how the "halfway house" option of single market access without EU membership works for Norway. He will also outline an overlooked aspect of Brexit – its impact on the three EFTA members who are part of the single market via the EEA agreement. Hillion – an expert on EU external relations -- will argue there is no option for a Brexiting UK to remain in the EEA because “Brexit means Br(EEA)xit.” The Nordic Horizons speaker will also suggest solidarity within the EU has been bolstered rather than weakened by the Brexit process; “There have been few signs of fragmentation in the EU following the UK’s activation of Article 50 TEU. On the contrary, thus far, the withdrawal process has shown some integration-friendly features.” Nordic Horizons Director and McSmorgasbord co-editor Lesley Riddoch will be chairing the event.
She said; “The impact of Brexit on small nations with indirect single market access has been ignored so far. As one of Europe’s leading legal experts in the structures of the European Union we hope Christophe will rectify that and describe how access to the single market via the EEA “halfway house” works in Norway - the pros and the cons. It’s an option the Scottish Government is also considering as it tries to plan Scotland’s post-Brexit future.”
Sponsoring MSP Ivan McKee said; "I'm delighted to be hosting Nordic Horizons' timely debate. There's so much we can learn from other small, successful countries - and important to know there are options other than hard Brexit".
The event is full with a waiting list. Accredited journalists, MSPs and Holyrood staff are very welcome to attend but the talk will also be live-streamed via this link which will be live from 7pm on Tuesday night. (Note later starting time because of likely late-running of parliament) https://www.youtube.com/c/DemocracytvScot/live
He will brief Scottish civil servants on legal and practical aspects of EEA membership before his talk in the Scottish Parliament.
Posted at 07:42 PM | Permalink
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The day after I write another lengthy catch-up piece about evictions, removals and terminated leases in rural Scotland, (including Balavil pictured above) there are two big hopeful announcements. Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart has announced that Scotland is to introduce a housing first model for homeless people with the most "complex needs". This will see them moved into permanent rather than temporary accommodation straight away. Mr Stewart said that meeting the Government’s ambition to “end homelessness in Scotland” would need the help of councils and housing associations to provide permanent accommodation, and urged them to ensure that Government funding of £3bn to build 50,000 homes within this parliamentary term did not ignore such accommodation, saying it was up to local authorities and associations to “get their allocations policy right.” That's very welcome. So is the announcement from Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association to build 200 new houses by 2023. Forty four of the properties are already under construction or being purchased and a further seventy houses and flats will start on site during 2018. The anticipated cost of the development programme is in the region of £25 million.The priority is "new affordable rented homes for those in priority need including those affected by overcrowding, damp, temporary and poorly repaired properties"
Great news. But meanwhile more folk all over Scotland are being forced out of homes because of the weakness of tenancy agreements for homes and farms. Cant we tackle that? Folk cant get homes nearby because there is no land and it's unaffordable for most public and affordable private builders in any case. Behind all this homelessness and people living in foul, damp conditions with high rents is a land shortage that so far has not been tackled by land reform. Here's this week's column;
Posted at 09:16 AM | Permalink
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A wee offloading of rural irritation about A-road-fixated news/weather coverage over recent days, with apologies to James Robertson for mashing up his marvellous poem, "The News Where You Are." (Read the original here https://www.scottishreviewofbooks.org/20…/…/six-of-the-best/)
That’s all from us. Now it’s time for the snow where you are.
The snow where you are does not come after the news where we are. Because if there is no snow where we are then there is no snow where you are. The snow where we are is the snow. It comes first. The snow where you are is the snow where you are. It does not cause serious problems because we do not have the snow where you are.
The snow where you are may be snow to you but it is not snow to us.
The snow where we are may be the Beast from the East, Snowmageddon or A Red Alert. The snow where we are is serious snow. The snow where you are is not serious snow. Where you are is not serious. The snow where you are is not serious or official snow.
If the snow where you are is serious snow it is only serious where you are.
The snow where we are is serious wherever you are.
Right. That feels better.
Posted at 05:27 PM | Permalink
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Nordic Horizons with support from the Scottish Government is holding a panel debate to open the Arctic Forum conference in Edinburgh.
Is the Future Arctic?
19th November 2017, 1.00-3.00 pm, Lecture Theatre A, David Hume Tower, University of Edinburgh
Free tickets still available -- book here.
Background As delegates from the Nordic, Arctic and beyond arrive for the Arctic Forum in Edinburgh, guest speakers from Iceland, Norway and Greenland will discuss the opportunities and threats to the Arctic, ask if the region has the political power it needs to develop sustainably and explore Scotland’s future role as a North Atlantic nation. The discussion will be followed by an open Q & A session.
Lesley Riddoch is a journalist and is the Director of Nordic Horizons and will Chair this event.
Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson is the ex-leader of Iceland's Social Democratic Party (SPD) and former Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs responsible for their EEA negotiations in the 1990s. He was also first to recognise the Baltic countries as independent states.
Rune Rafaelsen was Secretary General of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat for 12 years until 2015 when he was elected Mayor of the Sør-Varanger municipality in northern Norway, Europe’s northern-most Schengen border region with Russia. Rune is an expert on oil, fishing stocks & Russian politics
Tukumminnguaq Nykjaer Olsen is a young student & campaigner from Greenland who won this year’s Arctic Innovation prize.
Scots-born Rachael Johnstone is Professor of Law, Arctic Oil and Gas Studies at Greenland University.
Andy Wightman MSP will respond to give a Scottish perspective on contributions by our Arctic speakers. Andy is Green MSP for the Lothians and sits on the Europe, Economy, Environment and Communities committees at Holyrood.
Book free tickets https://www.eventbrite.com/e/is-the-future-arctic-tickets-39326451475?ref=estw
Posted at 01:27 PM | Permalink
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Great night in Barcelona thanks to Joyce and Nuala fae Scotland and her pal Conor -- all got in touch via twitter (positive power of social media!) I even got to borrow Nuala's ever-ready Scotalan flag. Interesting to see the way Franco thinking lives on in "modern" Spain. Country is on Central European Time even though it should be on GMT cos Franco wanted to express solidarity with Hitler's Germany in 1940. Biz must open during sunlight hours cos Franco believed in that - even though 8am - 8pm with a three hour break is knackering people. Catalonia intends to pilot 9-5 working. Spain has second greatest number of fast rail lines in Europe (or world?) - but all radiate out from Madrid and none connect other big cities like Barcelona and Valencia. As Nuala pointed out Franco wasn't defeated - he died and was effectively just replaced so his thinking lives on unchallenged in much of Madrid politics. Strong parallels with Scotland's attempts to modernise archaic topdown British democracy.
Fascinating to be here at such a big moment for democracy in Spain and whole of EU.
Posted at 11:24 AM | Permalink
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