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Joan McAlpine
Glasgow, Scotland
flame hair, cool analysis
Interests: everything cultural and political that's happening in scotland and around the world.
Recent Activity
Professor Tom Devine's To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland's Global Diaspora is one of the most important books written about Scotland in recent years. It debunks myths while at the same time demonstrating, through fact and statistic, that Scotland's... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Update 18.00: since posting this Sky and CNN have also dropped the reference to UK riots First of all congratulations to the BBC News Channel for changing the headline “UK Riots” to “English Riots” on their coverage. I hope Sky... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
I've driven by past these buildings all my life, but only yesterday did I learn that the Greenock Sugar Sheds anticipated the Bauhaus and reference John Ruskin's Italian medievalism. They are cathedrals of industry, an essential part of the historic... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
A quiet demolition has been taking place early on Saturday mornings. If you like to catch up on your sleep – or head out for a bracing weekend run at that time – you may have missed Newsweek Scotland’s myth-busting... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Ninety per cent of the world's grain trade is controlled by four giant multinationals. The biggest, Cargills, is the largest private company in the world and has a turnover that dwarfs most government budgets. These are the faceless people who,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Column in this week's Scotsman. The .scot domain name could be with us by 2013 now that regulators are reforming internet names. But the country needs to get behind the not-for-profit bid, which will put any surplus from sales of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
I am fortunate in having a gorgeous teenage daughter, but Eleanor and I don't always agree. I am obsessed with Scotland's future. Her preoccupations are musical theatre, boys who look like Justin Bieber and the quest for the perfect black... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
My Scotsman column today examines the rise of unionist fundamentalism - a trend first identified by Professor James Mitchell. If you doubted its existence before, Michael Moore's bizarre belief that Scotland needs a (historically unprecedented) two referendums to become independent... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
The headline on my Scotsman column today "Trying Mladic won't cure Bosnia's ills" perhaps gives the impression that I do not think the general should be tried for war crimes. Not true! The column makes it clear that Ratko Mladic... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
I am saddened to hear of the death of Gil Scott Heron, the man who can claim to have inspired the first wave of rap musicians. Without "The Revolution will not be Televised" we might not have had "The Message".... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
crown estate, crown estate commissioners, CEC, liberal democrats, seabed, foreshore, offshore renewables, Labour, brian Wilson, Tavish Scott Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Alex Salmond was elected First Minister of Scotland today by a majority. He reached out to the other parties in the Holyrood parliament. I hope they reflect on his words. Everything is changed in Scotland. They must now move in... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
I spent a couple of hours yesterday travelling across the South of Scotland with the First Minister Alex Salmond on his Saltire 1 helicopter. We went from the well trodden turf of Kilmarnock football club to the manicured lawns of... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Two of Scotland's leading Financial Entreprenuers today endorsed the SNP as the best party to handle the economy - just as Labour were trying to stir up fear by saying the opposite. Martin Gilbert, the chief executive of Aberdeen Asset... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
David Cameron's attack on the Alex Salmond for First Minister campaign has thown Labour off kilter (if that is possible, given their tendency towards self-destruction) Quoted on PA today Labour MP Tom Greatrex said: "If David Cameron thinks the SNP... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
I understand that there are still places available in the 1,000 strong audience for the BBC's last leaders' debate in the fair city of Perth. > There would appear to be some updates on the site to apply if you... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Congratulations to Glasgow online content agency Purplefeather, whose film "the Power of Words" has moved almost 6 million people on youtube. You can read the full story here at The Drum Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Amidst the madness of Royal Wedding fever, an important development. The First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, has written to the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, asking him to scrap the law that bans Catholics from sitting on the throne... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
If Labour lost the election in a Glasgow sandwich bar, history may well show the SNP won it in a converted cotton mill in Liverpool. This is not to ignore the impressive, upbeat manifesto launch, the professionalism of the campaign... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Doorstep canvassing has already indicated that Iain Gray's "flight into Subway" was enormously damaging to the Labour campaign. This suspicion is confirmed in a new YouGov Poll that shows the SNP surging ahead of Labour. This poll is particularly significant... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Think of a number and then half it. That more or less summarises Labour's approach to cutting cancer waiting times. They are all puffed up that their two week waiting policy is top of voters' agenda. But Labour have a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
Dare you not to have tears in your eyes.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2011 at Go Lassie Go
This man wants to be First Minister of Scotland and has made "standing up to the Tories" a slogan in his election campaign. But he cannot even stand for himself. He ran away from a vocal group of Glasgow pensioners... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2011 at Go Lassie Go