27 October 2013

The unctuous, the odious ... and the nakedly political

And we're back! After a wee early Autumn break from podcasting, Michael and I have thrown open the green room windows, retanked the sideboards with with gin, and fired up our recording equipment. For A' That is back. 

And what a week it has been in Scottish politics. The looming tale of the week has been the industrial stand-off - and saviour - of the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, and with it, 800 jobs. Labour romp home to victory over the victory over the SNP in the Dunfermline by-election, but what, if anything, does the result tell us about the state of Scottish politics in general and of the Scottish Labour Party in particular? Has Cap'n Lamont reformed her troops into a fighting phalanx, willing and able to take on the SNP?

As Euan McColm points out in the Scotland on Sunday this morning, echoing the point I made earlier in the week, one consequence of Dunfermline is that "Lamont has let a clear message become garbled".  Has political expediency trumped Labour's nascent policy strategy? Joining Michael and I to chinwag about these issues are two old friends of the podcast, Jamie Maxwell, who blogs over at the New Statesman and freelance journalist, Peter Geogeghan

Michael, a keen linguist, has been keeping a weather eye on the language of the independence debate. The question of the language of politics and the politics of language in the independence debate caused a wee stooshie.  "Separation" or "independence" or "constitutional change"? Which of these terms is appropriate, and against what criteria can we decide? Is the language of "liberty", or "liberation", or "colonialism" ever appropriate in the Scottish constitutional debate?

As usual, you can download this edition of the show via Spreaker or your iTunes. You can also sign-up for our RSS feed to ensure no episode will ever run astray. Thanks to Michael's technical efforts, you can now also find our back catalogue on YouTube. Or alternatively, just lend it your lugs right here.


  1. Language: You'll no doubt be keenly aware that William Gladstone complained in HoC of being called a separatist. That was Irish Home Rule, way back when (can dig out the reference if I have to)

    1. kininvie,

      What an interesting parallel: one that I wasn't aware of at all.