Columns

A Year of Blogging and my Most Read of 2015



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"The path of truth is a lonely road" Cairngorms: A cyclist emerging from a cloud inversion. Photo Rob Bruce 2015

 

2015 has been the year I really started blogging. It was a big step for someone who has worked as a professional journalist and freelance to start putting their work out there onto the web without it being commissioned and paid for. Why would you write something when you are not getting a fee? Once this kind of writing was known as 'vanity publishing'. David Torrance quoted the great and much-missed Ian Bell in his Herald column this week “There is no such thing as free in journalism. Free is just another word for hobby.” Maybe so. I believe in the value of newspapers and professional journalism.

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Poppy Fascism? Give me Strength

    Over the last few weeks, I have noticed that some of my twitter-loving friends have been posting blogs and articles about something called “poppy fascism”. What on earth they mean by this frankly ridiculous term I’m not sure. It appears to refer to the ostentatious wearing of the poppy by politicians and public figures who are keen to link themselves to the memory of Britain’s war veterans. In some circles apparently, though not any that I am in, it is regarded as obligatory to wear a poppy and people who choose not to do so feel criticised in some way. Although as we mark the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second World War, we may just pause to remind ourselves that social death is not as bad as actual death.

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If The Eurozone Survives the Greek Crisis It Can Come Through Stronger

 

You would have to have a heart of stone not to feel for the people of Greece. It seems ridiculous to hold Greek pensioners who can't pay their electricity bills responsible for the jigsaw of calamities which mean that their government is now struggling under an unpayable mountain of debt.

 

The situation for Greeks has been very much worse, according to a recent report int the Ecomomist (http://www.economist.com/) than it has been in any of the other hard-hit countries such as Ireland.

 

Within any unit of economic union, some parts are wealthier than others - in Germany the West transfers assets worth roughly £80 billion to the former East Germany each year.

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany). In Britain, London funds public spending in Wales, for instance.

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JK Rowling, the Tartan Tebbit Test, Scotland's Rugby World Cup Exit

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Photo: Rob Bruce. Click 'read more' to see the whole article.

 

LIKE JK ROWLING, it seems, I am an “80 minute patriot”. This is what she was called on Twitter for being a No’ voter who supported the Scottish rugby team in the World Cup.

Personally, I feel that when it comes to full-throated, flag-waving ostentatious declarations of love for one’s country, 80 minutes is probably enough. Again, for me, I don’t know about JKR, I am quite happy to stick the Jimmy hat and saltire in a bag when I leave the ground.

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Israeli Performers and the Edinburgh festival: A Personal View

Also published in the Scottish Review on 27 August 2014
The censorship 
of artists in 
the festival city

Jerusalem's Incubator Theatre company

This year's theme for the Edinburgh International Festival – 'War' – was more apposite than planned, disturbed as the city was this summer by the rumble of distant guns.

 

 

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