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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.



End of the World: Not Many Affected (May 2011)

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This article was first published on Bella Caledonia

If you were looking at Thursday 19 May’s evening news on BBC Scotland, hoping to see details of the Cabinet changes, and blinked, you’d miss them. They came after a quarter-hour on the Killer Webster and just before the evening’s Footbollocks. I’m not being provocative – even if provocation: c’est moi (thank you Hootsmon colleagues) seems to be my by-line – but I reckon for two-thirds of the population two hours with Professor John Curtice on polling data would be preferable to the same time with the Old Firm.

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The Fire and the Flood: Energy, Inundation and the Future of Scotland (April 2011)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia.

What we think and say now is quite different from the autumn of 2010; in a different world from the Copenhagen agenda of late 2009. An overdriven encomium to Western capitalism like Niall Ferguson’s Civilisation: the West versus the Rest loses credibility through its almost complete neglect of the social and environmental impact of its hyper-marketism. What confronts us is subject to factors beyond human control – tectonic overlap and slippage in the ‘Ring of Fire’ round the Pacific – promising near-apocalyptic results.

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Black Forest to Green Wood? (March 2011)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia.

The Green party’s election victory in the German state of Baden-Württemberg is expected to have a major impact on industry and politics. What does it tell us? It’s a vote blow for Merkel but is it also a sign for the Scottish Greens at Holyrood?

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These are my Principals, and If You Don’t Like Them I Have Others (February 2011)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia.

Principals of Scottish Universities, currently undertaking drastic restructuring, recently gave themselves an 8.5% pay rise to an average of about £250,000.

(With research assistance from Stefan Buettner)

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The Emperor’s New Strip (February 2011)

This article was first published on Bella Caledonia.

I once went to a football match. Motherwell versus Hearts at Fir Park, in the spring of 1958. One-all. I enjoyed it, but I’ve never gone to another. The same feeling recurred years later, reading the first hundred pages of Harry Potter: not bad, but did I want to read another two thousand pages when there were other, more interesting things to be done? Trains, which some might judge as nerdish (but turned out a much better bet than cars, and you can work on them) music, films, books, food and drink, and girls to share these, and a lot more, with. One said, accurately I thought, that, heard at night, the Whoo-Whooooo of an American train at a grade crossing was almost as sexy as the act itself.

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