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Scotland for Foulkes...

9 September 2007

Anthony Barnett (London, OK): I didn't know that life peers could also be members of our various parliaments, but it turns out that 'Lord' George Foulkes is now also an MSP. He has just implicitly suggested that the leaders of the Scottish government are racist - by denying that he is saying this, while calling on them to exercise care with their language. You can hear the BBC interview for yourself. He wants SNP leaders to stop all sneering, anti-English antagonism as it could lead on to dangerous things. For examples of such remarks he refers to a comment sent into the the Scotsman. But at the same time it is the web itself that has opened the way for dangerous talk, permitting the SNP to "legitimise the cyber nats that come out in the middle of the night blogging onto the Scotsman website". Its a wonderful image, bloggers who dare not share their views except at night! A Scottish friend recalls the splendid slogan that swept over Ayrshire in a general election in the 1980s: "Vote Labour for Foulkes' Sake". I need to be careful with the date if not my language, can anyone confirm which election it was?

Will COVID break up the UK?

Support for Scottish independence is at record levels. Support for a united Ireland is at record levels. Support for Welsh independence is at record levels.

The British state's management of the COVID crisis has widely been seen as disastrous. Will the pandemic accelerate the break-up of the United Kingdom?

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Anthony Barnett Founder of openDemocracy, he has often written about the need for a progressive England to emerge from the shadow of Britain.

Allison Morris Security correspondent and columnist with the Irish News, and an analyst of politics in Northern Ireland.

Harriet Protheroe-Soltani Trade union organiser for Wales and the south-west, vice chair of the campaign group Momentum, and has written about rising support for Welsh independence on the Left.

Chair: Adam Ramsay Editor at openDemocracy and frequent writer about Scottish independence, most recently in The Guardian.

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