Why do legal loving relationships need the seal of a single word?

Comment piece by Jackie Kemp from Scotland on Sunday August 18.

`Does any group have the right to demand that a word be redefined?`

GAY marriage is a subject which arouses strong emotions. Many support it in the name of equality and human rights – including, apparently, virtually the entire Scottish Cabinet. Some oppose it in the name of religion. Unpleasant names are hurled across the gulf. Surely, however, this is an issue which merits dispassionate consideration.

Daniel Cohen on the Euro crisis

This brilliant and informative column appeared in Le Monde on the weekend of June 23/24. Translated by Tiffany Reed and Jackie Kemp

A few days before the European Council of June 28 and 29, the Franco-German discussion is becoming a dialogue of the deaf. The French want to strengthen economic union, the Germans want progress on political union. Neither can hear the other.

The Germans understand the French proposals as a new version of the slogan "Germany will pay", which reverberated through French politics after the First World War; the French see political integration with Germany as handing over the right to inspect their welfare system.

The lack of mutual understanding is actually a symptom of the underlying problem. The euro is rudderless, a currency union adrift.


Read more: Daniel Cohen on the Euro crisis

My father Arnold Kemp and the Leveson Inquiry

from the Scottish Review March 21, 2012

What would Arnold Kemp have thought of the Leveson inquiry? My father,  journalist and editor of this parish, will have been dead 10 years this September. So it was something of a surprise to his nearest and dearest to be called by the Guardian and told that his name had been raised at the Leveson inquiry in connection with a tragic and distressing case surrounding his columnist Jack McLean in the early 90s, a case touched on by Kenneth Roy in his SR column (13 March).

Read more: My father Arnold Kemp and the Leveson Inquiry

Creative Scotland, and its 'crude ethic of sado-competition'

This piece appeared in the Scottish Review on May 31, 2012. For legal reasons, the last 2 pars were removed. They are reinstated here. Below is a photo of Creative Scotland execs in Cannes the same week they announced the end of flexible funding.

Joyce McMillan knows what she is talking about when it comes to judging performances. The Scotsman’s theatre critic has spent a few years of her life rattling across Scotland on night trains from small towns – the proverbial ‘Shotts in the dark’ - writing reviews.
The fact that she knows most of Scotland’s theatre people pretty well and in general is held in respect by them does not interfere with her ability to do her job. She can give a bad review if it’s required.

The agenda behind the bill: feminisation of Scotland

From the Scottish Review, Dec 2011. 

This piece is also in the Scottish Review anthology, Scottish Review 2012, available from

It seems bizarre that the Scottish Government has forced through such a wide-ranging set of laws as the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill in the name of anti-sectarianism.

Read more: The agenda behind the bill: feminisation of Scotland