“Cognitive dissonance”. Definition: the state of simultaneously holding at least two conflicting views or ideas. Extent? If our conversation is anything to go by, the phenomenon spans continents and times. The theme recurred again and again in this week’s episode of the For A’ That podcast, in which Michael Greenwell and I had a chat about Europe’s Obamamania, and whether we haven’t been hoodwinked by the re-elected President’s charismatic rhetoric, and consequently fail to hold America’s elected king responsible for the substance and effect of his his policies. Back across this side of the water, we also had a wee blether about whether Better Together’s resuscitation of New Labour’s Old Guard to make the case for the Union. Will Darling and Brown prove as effective as its advocates and partisans clearly hope? With an eye to Europe, what ought we to make about Spanish interventions in the debate on Scotland’s status in the European Union? More generally, is there a peril that pro-unionist and pro-nationalists cease talking to one another in any meaningful way, favouring their own “alternative knowledge systems”? You can download the podcast here, via iTunes here, or lend your lugs to it directly here:
Today, Michael took us on a jaunt up to Holyrood, to the office of Patrick Harvie MSP, Scottish Green Co-Convenor, in a conversation ranging from the environmental and energy opportunities presented by Scottish independence, but also Patrick’s conversion to a pro-independence position, his fatalism about the possibilities of reform within the UK, and the strategic challenges faced by YesScotland, in making space to articulate the diverse coalition of opinion, uniting around the bare proposition of Scottish independence. Patrick also touches on the Scottish same-sex marriage debate, and argues that that those opposing the reform, including the Catholic Church and Scotland for Marriage coalition, peddled “junk science” in promoting their case (download via Spreaker, or iTunes).
Elsewhere, Lesley Riddoch podcasts on the crisis currently engulfing the BBC, while Stewart Lochhead of Three Men in a Blog has this audio-grab from a speech from former Labour Party MP, John McAllion, explaining why he supports Scottish independence.
Lastly, the fourth of our regular For A’ That podcast will be available on Sunday as usual (around noon, rapacious blog goblins permitting). If you have any topics you’d like to hear discussed, or guests you’d like us to dragoon into appearing on the show, do let us know and we’ll do our very best to bend their ears.
Political Blogger and Podcaster