andrew tickell

For A’ That 42 – Margo And Beyond

nonsenseFor the 42nd episode of the For A’ That podcast Andrew and I were joined for the first time by Vonny Moyes who is the Arts Editor for The Skinny magazine and also wrote a marvellous article over at National Collective recently. Our returning guest this time was Gary Dunion, who, amongst a number of other things is the Communications Director for the Scottish Greens.

The first thing we discussed was the passing of Margo MacDonald, and how the parliament may well be a much poorer place without her. We were lucky to have a number of different perspectives on this. Gary in particular had been working with her recently and had an interesting story to tell.

From an interesting story to a frankly bizarre one. We’re used to better together prophecies of financial doom or some such other thing, but George Robertson took it on himself to make a prediction of actual apocalyptic doom should Scotland go independent, with the Forces of Darkness being unleashed (artists rendition above).

Gravely DisappointedThis forced us to bring our own big guns out and so we got to it. In fact we unleashed our dogs of war, with grave consequences for Andrew.

Vonny had some interesting comments on the importance of language in the whole debate, and we also put our heads together to try and predict where the next scare story could possibly go – have they run out or have they used them all up too fast?

There’s much more besides in the latest episode, and I haven’t even mentioned Douglas Adams in the introduction either.

Hope you enjoy (and if you feel up to helping us along with our running costs you can pop us a donation too.)

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For A’ That 41 – Shout!

Bhk8BJBIYAAXPzsFor the 41st episode of the For A’ That podcast Andrew and I were joined by broadcaster and blogger Derek Bateman, former Socialist MSP and member of Women For Indy, Carolyn Leckie and writer and blogger William Duguid.

First we talked about the Sturgeon/Lamont stramash. At the risk of going against one of the things we thought was bad about it, was the real knockout blow actually delivered to the political process itself? Is it too simple just to say it was awful and move on? Were they both equally guilty? Do we (or well, the media) need to start using alternative formats?

Secondly we talked about the recent activities of the Tory government who seem to have been going round businesses begging them to say something negative about independence. Should we just be a bit stronger and tell them where to go?

Another topic was the Women for Indy project and the report it is going to publish shortly. Carolyn let us know what the main problems and outcomes were, and how much work there still is to do in this crucial area.

We also got on to the crowdfunding stories in the last week. Amazing, certainly, but why has this phenomenon started to gather pace and can we be sure the money is going where it’s needed most?

There is all that and more in the new episode.

Hope you enjoy (and if you feel up to it you can pop us a donation too.)

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For A’ That 37 – Battles and Battleships

JlamFor the 37th For A’ That podcast, Andrew and I were joined by Natalie McGarry and Rev Stu Campbell from the Wings Over Scotland site.

The first topic up was the recent problems surrounding the allocation of contracts for shipbuilding in Glasgow and/or Portsmouth. Ian Davidson’s remarkable performances were discussed, as were the different narratives the story was run with depending whether you were north or south of the Tweed.

Second was the continuing travails of Johann Lamont. Where does she go from here? More to the point, where has she actually been going up to now?

The constitution of an Independent Scotland is obviously an important issue we’re going to have a look at. What should be in what should be out? What are the dangers of basing it too much on the politics of today? Why shouldn’t economic rights be in there? Finally, why are the dangers in holding certain other places up as examples.

The last topic was the poppy. Do the public necessarily go along with the examples being set by media and politicians alike? Are there dangers in the way remembrance services are currently portrayed?

Deep fried mars bars and Prince Philip also get a look in.

Hope you enjoy…

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For A’ That 34 – Fussing & Fighting

Andrew and I were joined by two guests for the 34th episode of the For A’ That podcast.

Making his second appearance was Pat Kane, and making his first was James Kelly, who writes the blog Scot Goes Pop.

The first topic of discussion was the errrm, debate, between Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar. We didn’t talk about it in glowing terms.

Gordon Brown making another appearance in the debate got a look in. Were his proposed constitutional changes just hot air or do they actually mean something? Also Brown himself, a confusing (surely confused?) figure at the best of times.

Should we be trying to rock the boat more and strike out with a bold vision of a new Scotland or should we be trying to allay the fears that some people have about Indy.

In a week of wildly differing polls, we asked if they matter, and if they do, why?

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For A’ That 22 – Labouring Away

BGTw04BCQAIgNH8.jpg largeFor episode 22 of the For A’ That podcast Andrew and I were joined by New Statesman contributor James Maxwell and Huffington Post blogger and Labour Party member Andrew Smith.

The Labour party was the focus of a large part of the discussion. More specifically, the couple of interviews that Johann Lamont did this week and her speech at the conference. This became a more general discussion on some of the woes of that party in the post-devolution era.

We also discussed their new Truth Team and what that says about politics in this country. Some of us felt this had a kind of Orwellian overtone to it, others felt it represented the Americanisation of politics in Scotland and the UK and is reminiscent of American style attack ads.

Devo-somethings were also a topic. With the three Better Together parties now all backing some form of further devolution, will they be able to come up with a unified plan. Furthermore, would further devolution damage or in fact strengthen the SNP’s hand.

Back on Labour, is the idea of more devolution causing a problem between the Westminster party and the Holyrood one?

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Enjoy

Michael Greenwell

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For A’ That 20 – Immigration & Sporran Policy

1086For the 20th episode of the For A’ That podcast, Andrew and I were joined by Caron Lindsay from the Liberal Democrats and Douglas McLellan, who is possibly the most right-wing member of the Green Party.

I was also joined by six new additions which prevented me from making an answer decently at one point, but there you go.

On the menu this week were immigration policy and how things might be different in that regard. Foreign policy was also up for discussion again, and it got a bit heated.

Ruth Davidson’s recent conversion to the cause of further devolution came up – what was behind this volte-face?

If the better together parties came up with a semi-plausible/believable devolution plan, how would this affect the debate?

Does the SNP have a tendency to centralisation? This and some of their other motivations and policy pronouncements came under scrutiny.

Douglas also took the opportunity to explain why he ended up in the same party as Patrick Harvie.

Finally, Caron had an 80s party to go to, so that explains the introductory song.

As usual, this is the direct download link (right click and save as)

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Enjoy

Michael Greenwell

For A’ That 19 – Wholly Rude In Holyrood

For the 19th episode of the For A’ That podcast Andrew and I were joined by Stewart Lochhead of the 3 Men In A Blogblair_kennard_640 site.

This week there was a lot going on down Holyrood way, from the usual shenanigans at First Minister’s Questions to the Iraq war debate and finally the announcement of the referendum date as September 18th 2014.

On the announcement we discussed not any historical significance the date itself may have, but rather the lack of respect in the tone of some of the members of the Holyrood parliament towards the announcement and indeed referendum itself. Andrew gave an example from his own history as to why this tone was a little off.

On the Iraq war debate, we had a think about whether the claims of some members that the whole thing was orchestrated only in order to make the SNP look statesmanlike before the announcement of the date itself. Was it justified to have such a debate?

Finally, we took a look at some of the polls that suggest that a majority wish to have all decisions about tax, spending and welfare made in Scotland. On the face of it, where’s the difference between that and Independence? What would it take just to help people to make that final little jump?

Finally, why do Better Together now have one more reason than the rest of us to dislike Barbara Streisand?

Hope you enjoy…

As usual, this is the direct download link (right click and save as)

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Enjoy

Michael Greenwell

For A’ That 18 – From Shetland To Cyprus (with Natalie McGarry)

For the 18th episode of the For A’ That podcast Andrew and I were joined once more by Natalie McGarry who is standing for the European Parliament this week.

741312140We discussed a rather unfair measure Europe seems to be imposing this week and for the second time in 3 weeks I was sort-of-accused of being wealthy.

We then got on to Natalie‘s run at the European parliament and how she feels about it.

Shetland’s independence movement got a look in and we tried to see where all this was coming from.

Andrew was more than a little bit concerned about the recent report regarding media regulation in Scotland and I think it is fair to say Natalie and I shared his concerns.

Finally, we talked about where we thought the various parties and politicians actually stand on human rights issues and how much of it is just opportunism or hot air, or indeed both.

The sound quality isn’t magnificent in a couple of parts.

Please send complaints to:

The Get Bloody Decent Broadband As A National Right Committee

If you want to know how that tune at the beginning really finished, I suggest you do a youtube search for “Vatican Broadside”.

As usual, this is the direct download link (right click and save as)

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Enjoy

Michael Greenwell

For A’ That 16 – Putting Rights To Right

Pat KaneFor this unusually wednesdayed episode of For A’ That, Andrew and I were joined by writer Pat Kane of Thoughtland. I believe he once had a band too (here he is doing something with white paint, or rather having something done to him with white paint).

Up for discussion this week were the Luxembourg Foreign Minister’s little intervention (or not), how offensive is the offensive behaviour bill, wee Dougie’s speech this week and a more general look at the the media and how strange it seems that none of them seem willing to take the plunge and go Indy, even though this may reap some financial rewards.

In the middle of all that, Andrew changes the normal question around at one point  by asking what exactly Theresa May finds intolerable, instead of asking the normal question, which is “Exactly how intolerable is Theresa May?”

Finally, at one point Andrew conjures up a hideous image but he shouldn’t be so offended – a list of 100 best green bloggers once had me put directly beneath Peter Tatchell…which is not a place I’d ever imagined I’d find myself.

As usual, this is the direct download link (right click and save as)

You can listen to the show online at it’s web page

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Enjoy

Michael Greenwell

For A’ That 15 – Good Grades

For the 15th episode of the For A’ That podcast Andrewthe_Burd and I spoke with Kate Higgins of Burdz Eye View fame.

We had a quick natter about the AAA rating story and why it may be more interesting in a political rather than economic sense.

The recent mock referendum at the University of Glasgow was a subject of discussion as were land reform and the recent case about shooting rights that came up at First Minister’s Questions this week.

Finally, we got on to the possible changes to the trial by jury laws.

As usual, this is the direct download link (right click and “save as”)

You can listen to the show online at the homepage.

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Enjoy.