on building a movement

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Like all the best revolutions there was no silver bullet, no single event, no starter pistol and no paid organisers clutching mission statements and clipboards.  Well maybe a few – but mercifully most stayed inside Yes Campaign headquarters.  Their early self-absorbed, apparent inactivity was a mistake.  But like the error that prompted penicillin’s discovery – […]

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on the engagement of the politically missing

on the engagement of the politically missing

During the Scottish independence referendum of 2014 there was massive voter engagement, particularly within the ‘yes’ camp, which saw the official Yes Scotland campaign group become little more than a campaign figure-head and distributor of materials as grass-roots organisations with their own visions sprang into life.  Many of these groups continue to exist to this […]

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Harder than I thought

Sanity is a cozy Lie

In rebooting MadeStuff I had thought it might be a good way to talk publicly about some of the mental health issues I deal with on a day-to-day basis, in a semi-anonymous fashion.  The opportunity for self-examination, self-help and hopefully, ultimately, some self-redemption and re-invention. It’s really tough though.  Even in the written form I […]

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on global capitalism as an apology for massive privilege and inequality

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Once you cut through the rather flowery almost high brow language at the start of this piece the tone rapidly changes and some element of righteous anger becomes really quite, and understandably, clear. … “a brazen apology for massive privilege and inequality”, it’s difficult to argue with.  Capitalism to a point is assuredly not a […]

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on the neo-liberal state

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I happened to be reading this section of the book shortly after George Osbourne had made the autumn statement on behlaf of the Conservative Liberal coalition government.  The 1938 date came from a programme I was listening to on Radio Scotland at the time. Meanwhile the Guardian commented: George Osborne came under fire on Tuesday […]

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on insulting the poor

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It’s the sort of thing that should go without saying, but in an era where we have seen millionaire politicians claiming expenses from the public purse to maintain their duck houses and heat their stables whilst simultaneously demonising the most vulnerable in society, cutting their benefits and suggesting that they only heat a single room […]

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on hope vs optimism

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If optimism is a passive virtue, then it follows that pessimism must be too, requiring nothing more than an individual or group to look at ‘something’ and shudder.  Where hope is the act of an individual or group on themselves then fear must be something that is acted upon them by an outside force, individual […]

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on what is Britain? Oh yea, and alcohol.

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Two seemingly unrelated quotes, and yet, they seem to go together aptly. More specifically the UK is a unitary state with extremely limited democracy (unelected head of state, unelected second chamber, large, quangos, and institutions), and what little democracy there is (House of Commons with limited policy difference between parties, First Past the Post elections, […]

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on the ‘old firm’

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When I originally penned this Jim Murphy had not yet ascended to the thorny throne of Scottish Labour, yet as I go to publish this it seems more relevant than ever as “the alpha ned” promises to repeal a widely supported piece of legislation and also encourage further drinking in Scotland’s football stadia. … since […]

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on who leads change

In essence, don’t look to the ruling elites to make any real difference in your life for the better, not without taking something else away.  Constant flux in leadership of a country will only benefit the masses, those at the top preach ‘stability.  Indeed, it is a key argument for the maintenance of a monarch […]

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Common Place Journal – Mary Hepburn, WHRS, on the impact of deprivation

an idea for a basic christmas tree design

Mary Hepburn is an experienced health professional who has campaigned on these issues for some time, she’s definitely someone who should be taken seriously. Maternal mortalityy is an issue I’ve quoted and commented on previously, yet this is a further condemnation on the targeting of the most vulnerable by a callous and cold government.  Just […]

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Common Place Journal – a question of scale

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Everyday we seem to learn something new about something that one government or another is doing that is at best morally questionable and at worst downright evil.  From Guantanamo Bay and the illegal imprisonment of civilians to extraordinary rendition, through state sponsored and sanctioned torture and assassination to more mundane and domestic affairs that target […]

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