Reform Scotland

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How Scotland’s space industry can help create world-leading environmental policy – Alan Thompson

Before the current crisis, there was already a pressing need to tackle the environmental challenges faced by Scotland, the UK and the wider world. There was reason to hope we would rise to these challenges, although we also face many questions about how long it would take before we see any tangible results. So, if …

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Faith and hope are not enough to save Scotland’s charities – Daniel Johnson

When we look back on this period of lockdown, the role charities, voluntary organisations and community groups have played will be difficult to over-emphasise. I know from my own constituency that many people would have struggled to get food and household basics were it not for their rapid response. Without charities, the inevitable delays and …

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Should the UK hold another Referendum on the EU? – Dr Paul Jourdan

The European Union Referendum Act 2015 (“the Referendum Act), which led to the EU referendum taking place in June 2016, has created a constitutional crisis in the UK.  This is a crisis which cannot be resolved until it is first admitted.  The symptoms of this crisis are evident in a Parliament so deeply divided and …

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When is a ban not a ban? When a judge says it’s not a ban – Stuart Paton

Until last week, I had specifically steered clear of commenting on the Scottish Government’s approach to the development of onshore unconventional oil and gas (let’s call it ‘fracking’). The government seems categorically and absolutely opposed to the issue as are all the other parties at Holyrood (bar the Conservatives). There seemed little point even raising …

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Homelessness & rough sleeping: The long view – David Belfall

In March 2002 the Homelessness Task Force led by the Housing Minister (first Jackie Baillie and then Iain Gray) published its second and final report on how to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in Scotland. After nearly 3 years work it provided an analysis of the problem based on extensive academic research, proposals for major …

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Deposits and beyond: what next for plastic waste? – James Mackenzie

It’s becoming a niche obsession of mine: effective and fair policy ideas that can get support from left and right. One such is deposit return on drinks containers (declaration of interest: I am paid to work on this as a consultant to the APRS campaign Have You Got The Bottle?). Frustration with litter on land and at sea …

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Levenmouth Rail Campaign – David Shirres

Just after the Borders line opened my editor asked me to produce an article that investigated what might be the next re-opened railway. The research for this article included one campaigning website promoting no less than 215 re-opening schemes. To determine which of these were serious possibilities I researched their respective costs and benefits. Re-opening …

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