Is the Southbank Centre right to exclude Scotland from its flagship exhibition on British history?
The big new exhibition at the Southbank Centre in London “History is Now” is meant to address British postwar history. It does not do so. As a Scot who voted ‘No’ in the referendum I found the experience of visiting this show profoundly depressing. I left with an increased sense that a ‘British’ identity has become problematic, dislocated and fragile, and that the ties that bind the countries that make up the Union are fraying.
On #KingsmanTheSecretService and the Porno Society.
A friend of mine was kind enough to say recently that she had found the piece I wrote below about the movie Kingsman The Secret Service really helpful. Her 15-year-old daughter had been to the movie with friends and because my friend had read my blog, she was able to raise with her daughter the fact that there is a graphic image of anal penetration in the closing minutes of the movie. Her daughter said “Oh Mum, it’s all right, the woman wanted that done to her.” My friend responded that this scene represented a male fantasy. My friend then went on to say that she felt sorry for all the young women who might be thinking: ‘What’s wrong with me, that I don’t enjoy this?”
The scene is a glimpse into the porno world which I generally manage to avoid. But taking place as it does in a mainstream movie now heavily advertised on TV as a DVD or download - it’s another example of how mainstream that current has become.
This was published in the Herald in 2004. I wonder how much has changed in the family court system?
It is easy to mock the press. But often it is journalists who help the victims of miscarriages of justice. In court, it is easy to forget that the press bench is one of the most important fixtures. The jury and the press representing ordinary people are vital for justice to be seen to be done. G K Chesterton wrote that among officials of the court it is only the jury who can really picture what it might be like to be the man in the dock, who may be innocent. To the others it is simply ''the usual man in the usual place''.
A version was published in The Scotsman Wednesday 31 October 2012. This sentence did not appear in the Scotsman article
"Relate this week said that large numbers of young people are ascribing problems with intimacy and relationships to their early introduction to the porn industry. Covering this, Radio One newsbeat featured a young woman discussing how her university boyfriend insisted on having rough anal sex with her while watching porn on a handheld device. She said she thought she was “weird” for not enjoying it."
I was saddened but not surprised by a Plymouth University survey published earlier on this week showing that it has become “common practice” for children to view pornography from age 11. The academics involved called for sex education in schools to include pornography.
Maclennan read a passage about her memories of touring the Highlands and Islands in 1973 with the huge theatrical success of that time ‘The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil’ , a play about the Highland clearances, and land rights. Dolina recalled the audience member who rose to her feet to deliver a Gaelic curse to the actor playing land agent Patrick Sellar; rolling up the gaffa tape on a pencil to use it again; travelling with pots and pans and taking £5 from the cast each Thursday to feed them for the week. She linked the tumultous reception the play received in its tour across Scotland to a surge of nationalism which sent 11 SNP MPs to Westminster a year later.
James McArdle and Gordon Kennedy. Photo: Manuel Harlan
History? James McArdle (James I) and Gordon Kennedy (Murdac Stewart). Photo: Manuel Harlan
Dramatising Scotland’s Past: free event at Scotland’s History Festival, ‘Previously...’ Adam House on November 19, 2014.