Day: 8th October 2013

Spanish eyes are on Catalan independence

While opposing factions argue over attendance figures at the Yes rally, Catalonia musters 1.6 million for the cause , writes Peter Geoghegan EARLIER this month, I spent an afternoon outside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I didn’t go to admire the haunting spires of Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece – impressive though they are – but to […]

Building for a better future

I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because I always need another pair of eyes! Speaking to the Conservative Party faithful in Manchester last week, George Osborne declared: “We are the party of home ownership and we’re going to let the country know it.” The conference may have been festooned with messages about “hard-working people” – and dire warnings […]

Scots rally for independence from UK

Edinburgh, Scotland – In 1992, on the same evening the Conservatives won a fourth successive UK general election, a small group of campaigners started a vigil for a Scottish Parliament at Calton Hill in Edinburgh. Their constant watch lasted five and half years, until Scots had a chance to vote “yes” to devolution in 1997. Thousands […]

Catalans form human chain for independence

BARCELONA, Spain — People in Catalonia formed a 250-mile human chain across this Spanish region in the latest push to create an independent state. At least 400,000 people took part in the event on part in Catalonia’s national day. On Tuesday evening, a crowd walked slowly through the narrow streets around Sants, a neighborhood west of Barcelona, […]

Should Scotland’s famous arts fest join the independence debate?

August in Edinburgh in synonymous with the arts. This August over 25,000 performers have descended on the Scottish capital, offering everything from stand-up comedy and one-act plays to jazz, opera, and poetry readings as part of several separate festivals that are collectively known as the “Edinburgh festival.” But while the cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town will be littered […]

Scotland’s Epic Media Fail

EDINBURGH, Scotland — When parliament opened here in 1999 with new powers thanks to the devolution of control away from London, it was expected to herald a golden age for Scottish journalism. Back when Scots were ruled directly from Westminster, they already bought more newspapers per person than the rest of the British population. Circulation […]

LRB Blog: In Tirana

The Palace of Culture in Tirana has housed Albania’s national library, opera and ballet companies for almost 50 years. Khrushchev laid the first stone, in May 1959, during what one American newsreel described as a ‘lengthy visit with mysterious overtones’. These days the ground floor of the opera is a count centre during national and local elections. […]

Who Owns Scotland?

Scottish Land and Estates, which represents landowners in Scotland, recently released a promotional video to tie in with its submission to the Scottish government’s Land Reform Review Group. The ten-minute film opens with a reassurance from Luke Borwick, the group’s chairman, that Scotland’s landowners aren’t all plutocrats: ‘The vast majority of our members are medium and small owner […]

Albania: Can one of Europe’s poorest countries change its ways?

HAJMEL, Albania — Wine production has a long history in the northern region of Zadrima: The first recorded planting of its signature grape Kallmet took place in 1555. Today, rows of well-tended vines filling the neat fields around this small village bask under a hot sun. It feels as if nothing has changed for centuries. […]

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