In the Scottish referendum, people voted who had never voted before, often in areas where the status quo means foodbanks and poverty. The prospect of a record turnout shook Westminster politicians out of their complacency, forcing them to rush up to Scotland in a panic. Imagine if we could make this happen throughout the UK, at the next General Election?
The Church of Scotland has backed calls from a Convention of Scottish Local Authorities report which states a radical overhaul of the democratic system is required to overturn 50 years of centralisation.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games brought moments of sporting glory, and a grand finale with Lulu, Kylie Minogue and Deacon Blue, to Glasgow. It also brought protests exposing the gap between Commonwealth ideals and reality in many member countries.
“They showed themselves weak in trying to frighten us.” My grandfather's words about the Blackshirts, born out of his experience of the conflict of Cable Street, have stayed in my mind. As a young child, I sensed their import, even though I had little understanding of the context or the meaning. I revisited his words with an adult understanding in the light of two occasions of weak and ugly behaviours from UKIP supporters over the last few days.
Extremist politician Narendra Modi has dangerously inflamed religious tension during the Indian election. “This is the land of Lord Ram,” he declared in Faizabad, standing in front of a picture of the god. In 1992 fanatics tore down a nearby mosque and pledged to build a temple to Ram in its place.