Sunday, April 26, 2015
English French German Spanish

Chris Harvie is a frequent contributor to newspapers, magazines, blogs and opinion forums such as openDemocracy, the Scottish Review of Books, Scots Independent, the Guardian’s Comment is Free and the Scottish Review.



The Bodies (January 2011)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia

The Scottish modernisation of the 1960s was a sort of Enlightened Despotism with Marxian trimmings, with a base and brickish skirt mired in B-division local corruption. Andrew O’Hagan gets the spirit in his novel Our Fathers (1999) and it had its parallels in university courses, at Strathclyde and Edinburgh in particular.

Read more...
 

Wallace in Flesh and Stone (September 2010)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia.

To Lanark to deliver the ‘Guardian’s Address’ at the annual commemoration of Wallace’s death in 1305. By bus from Melrose and a lift from Aileen Campbell MSP from Peebles to Lanark through the glorious John Buchan country. Connection with Wallace? Yes, that huge statue above Dryburgh raised by another Buchan, the eleventh Earl.

Read more...
 

A Lesson From Snowdonia (July 2010)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia.

In 1966 I spent Easter working on the Festiniog Railway, then running about half its length from the old slate port of Porthmadog towards Blaenau Festiniog and its moonscape of derelict slate quarries and their gigantic tips. The brightly-coloured little trains with their tourists looked like caravanned gypsies camping out on a World War I battlefield. Perhaps a telling simile as the man who won the war, David Lloyd George, had started as a ‘damned little Welsh attorney’ in a Porthmadog office. Across the Vale of Festiniog, above Maentwrog, was rising the immense bulk of Trawsfynydd nuclear reactor. Remember when this magic was going to produce power ‘so cheap we won’t have to bill you’?

Read more...
 

The Matter of Britain (May 2010)

This article was first published on openDemocracy

If ever there was an election in which media became message, the United Kingdom contest that climaxed on 6 May 2010 has been it. The focus on the three live TV debates between the Westminster party leaders – Gordon Brown (Labour), David Cameron (Conservative), and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat) – confirmed a drastic centralisation of opinion, and gave the London-based party bureaucracies the ability for the moment to switch off the centrifuge that has in the post-devolution decade since 1999 looked like tearing UK politics apart.

Read more...
 

Poisoned Chalice, Anyone? (May 2010)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia

Argument with Michael Fry, the grand fauve of Scottish history, is exhilarating, and as usual the solid citizen has to talk the man down from the ceiling. The man might have converted to nationalism but is still rabid profit-seeking personified, at least in theory. Given that he has twice the talent and narrative skill of say Simon Schama, Linda Colley or Niall Ferguson, even such a generalisation-merchant ought to have cottoned on to the reality that talent (no matter how effervescent) and theory (no matter how libertarian) is no match for a good old elite or cartel.

Read more...
 


Page 3 of 20
Home > Comment