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About Gerry Hassan

Gerry Hassan is a writer, commentator and academic on Scottish and UK politics, power, democracy and social change. He has written or edited over two dozen books including Scotland the Bold and the newly published A Nation Changed? The SNP and Scotland Ten Years On (edited with Simon Barrow). His writing can be found at:

Articles by Gerry Hassan

This week’s front page editor


Adam Bychawski is an editorial assistant at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The war on free speech and free thinking in Scotland and the UK

Both left and right need a more tolerant attitude towards speech: and Scotland's offensive behaviour at football act must be abolished.

The last of the true believers: comrades of the world unite!

A slew of new books reveals much about the recent history and current state of the British left.

Is culture really what makes Britain great? And does Dominic Sandbrook understand it?

Sandbrook's new book takes a narrow version of British culture which fetishises Tory England and ignores all else.

The Europe debate will tell us much about the state of Britain

The European referendum is looming in Britain. But when will it be?

The wider Syria debate: challenging Britain’s ‘empire of the mind’

This is not an opportunity for progressives to miss.

The SNP need to get back to governing – and being honest with us

The SNP must demonstrate that they offer more than Independence and grievance justification.

If independence is a state of mind then we have to fundamentally change

Instead of waiting for independence with constant bickering, Scotland must act now as if it were independent – it must be mature, sensible, and take responsibility for its own decisions.

‘English Votes’ is sheer political vandalism and fundamentally changes Britain

The break up of Britain has moved one step closer.

The SNP cannot afford to become the party of the status quo

The SNP, like Scotland, has tough choices ahead.

Nationalism alone is not enough: the SNP finally shows it is mortal

If the SNP wants to advance a democratic and independent Scotland, it must do more than act as the dominant party.  

Scotland and Britain have changed: the ‘big bang’ of the indy ref and after

The Scottish independence referendum was only one part of a wider democratisation of public life. 

A revolution is coming to the BBC in Scotland and the UK

Change is coming whether the BBC likes it or not. Far better to take the intiative itself: for instance, making good on a real BBC Scotland.

One year on from the indyref: making the Scotland of the future

Six observations about Scottish society, a year on from the referendum.

Let us face the future: Labour, Jeremy Corbyn and the power of the past

Labour needs to embrace tomorrow, not pine for yesterday.

The summer of the living undead: a Labour party for what?

The Labour leadership election reveals a party stuck in the past.

A cut out and keep guide to understanding the 2015 general election in Scotland

Scotland is at the centre-stage of this year’s general election. What is at stake historically?   

The disunited Kingdom and the confusion in Britain’s political elites

The Scots indyref was a watershed moment. But the debate hasn't gone away and large parts of pro-union opinion seem more angry and in dismay than they did last year. This points to future problems for the continuation of the UK.

The tartan tsunami and how It will change Scotland and the UK for good

As Britain faces a general election, it's clearer than ever that Scotland is a completely different country.

Message to the messengers part two: where next after the indy referendum?

'Scotland’s radicals need to take a long view in these heady times, and chart a different path and culture of political change, which contributes to making Scotland’s second ‘long revolution’.'

Message to the Messengers: What do we do after Yes?

Yes campaigners should stop believing their own spin, and engage with the realities of a Scotland which voted no.

What kind of Scotland do Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP want?

Post-referendum plenty of big questions remain to be answered.

Scottish Labour: the never-ending soap opera that matters

The crisis in Scottish Labour has been long in the making, and needs to address its root.

When Britannia ruled the waves - the politics of a cruise

10 days on a cruise ship offers some interesting perspectives on British politics.

We are one Scotland: anatomy of a referendum

The independence referendum shows a need in Scotland to reach out.

Britain is on borrowed time: the future of Scottish independence

The British state has bought itself some precious time. If it does not use it wisely, this debate will be back in a decade and Scotland will produce a second referendum.

A journey into the world of George Galloway: the indyref and the limits of left populism

At a public meeting in Portobello, a grumpy George Galloway couldn't get his basic facts right...

The power and absence of doubt in the nationalist independence cause

The idea of independence has already won. A show of doubt and an acknowledgement of risk would reassure, not deter, wavering voters.

The strange death of liberal England continued

Could the referendum prove a transformative moment for liberal England's understanding of British politics?

A letter to Scotland’s new radicals: the opportunities and dangers of the independence debate

The radical left has grown hugely in Scotland, and it is important that they don't get too caught up in their own myth-making.

What do we do we do about the United Kingdom? And why federalism isn’t the answer

Federalism may sound like a nice idea, but it isn't the answer.

A Scotland beyond yes and no: my journey to yes

Ultimately, independence is about democracy, taking responsibility, and looking forwards, but that doesn't mean we should pretend it's simple.

Why the Nazis and 1930s are alive and kicking in the independence debate

Ever more attempts to link the SNP to fascism and Nazism are a ludicrous sign of desperation.

The BBC and the referendum

BBC Scotland is having a bad referendum - and things just got worse.

How fewer than 200,000 Scots could decide the referendum: your cut out and paste guide to the independence result

If the Scottish independence referendum is close, it will swing on the voters too long ignored. That prospect alone could change Scotland.

The age of rage and the importance of opposition - in Europe, UK and Scotland

Political and economic elites have failed throughout Europe and anyone who can pose as genuine opposition is set to reap the benefits.

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