Podcast: Pat Kane says it’s time for Scotland to tack left


A vote for modernity and defining our own path. That’s how self-described “musician, writer, thinker and pest” Pat Kane describes the independence vote Scotland might have had back in 2014 as he reflects on all that has happened since.

Pat Kane
Pat Kane

He warns that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government risk being sucked into what he describes as “the Brexit maw”, and somehow misses the boat on achieving a better future for Scotland as they grapple with Westminster’s confused and all-encompassing relationship with Europe.

Pat discusses Scotland’s Brexit dilemma with podcast host Derek Bateman covering the risks facing Scottish universities, cultural life and   modern outlook in a broad discussion. He calls on Scottish political leaders to be bold and provide people with a powerful and persuasive vision of the future, via Scottish independence.

But he also insists that the SNP must tack to the left, and deliver policies from the left, to succeed. “The case for independence can’t just be about making us a cosmopolitan home for the talented of the world but about taking control of public works to deal with endemic poverty issues that have plagued Scotland since the 1970s,” he believes.

You can tune in by clicking on the audio file above, via your usual podcast channels including iTunes, or using our RSS feed: http://www.buzzsprout.com/57229.rss

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  1. “The case for independence can’t just be about making us a cosmopolitan home for the talented of the world”

    Somebody in the SNP leadership needs to tell this to Scotland’s elite universities, the latter allocating the majority of their student places to the wealthy offspring of the global elite, effectively shutting the door on many Scottish applicants. Such practice also reduces the proportion of Scottish academics in our HE system, as we see daily from media interviews of academic experts employed by Scotland’s universities, the majority of whom are not Scots. Our greatest resource is our people, so said Ian Hamilton QC, yet we effectively discriminate against them and limit their potential by closing the HE door on them. Scotland’s ongoing high level colonisation is welcomed by unionists, however it does not even seem not to be noticed by the independence lobby.

  2. Tack left, right or centre, drag chilly Scotland into the tropics? Sturgeon and co and the independentists generally must be constantly reminded that it’s Independence First. Until then, talk of ‘our path’, just dream on dude. Btw ‘modern’ and ‘modernity’ are loaded terms likely to trigger negative and positive reactions depending on context and reference. Neither, in many human disciplines, has a particularly good track record.

  3. As usual with you Derek, a fascinating discussion.

    Anton Muscatelli, some big noise at Glasgow University I believe, is, according to reports, incandescent about us walking away from Europe, which has a decent commitment to science, not something too obviously about to be replaced by the somewhat piratical morons that inhabit the upper levels of the Conservatibe and Unionist Party.

    Whilst I admire much of what Pat Kane has to say, I am not entirely convinced that the issue is as class based as he says, at one stage in the interview, so frequently that it became an annoyance. If it annoys me, it may annoy others, for not everything, except perhaps the structure, reflects into everyone’s head in quite the way Pat says. Frankly, I have no idea what ‘class’ I am, and would be utterly offended if someone else determined it. It might be shorthand, but it is bad shorthand.


    If we are anything it is a society, and that society pays less and less attention to class than traditionalists like Pat do.

    Having said that, I agree with his analysis about time scales.

    I, more or less, want the same society that Pat wants. I am kind of hopeful that Nicola Sturgeon will deliver it.

    • “Frankly, I have no idea what ‘class’ I am”

      Ye micht no ken whaur ye bide in society, yet thon upper classes ken fineweel whaur thay bide – the preevat schuil/elite uni bakgroond an £400,000+ Prof Muscatelli taks hame gies a wee clue as tae whaur he belangs.

      For Nicola to ‘deliver it’ she would need to put her foot down very firmly on overpaid public officials like Muscatelli and several hundred other occupants of Scotland’s elite-unionist public sector swamp. A widna haud ma braith tho.

      • Alf,

        £400,000 a year wouldn’t get your average elite financier out of bed. And Muscatelli runs an institution that not only teaches but does a lot of important research too. Well, compare what he runs with some authors of fiction, bus conductors and footballers.

        Unless and until the likes of J K Rowling, Brian Soutar and certain folk playing for Rangers and Celtic are deliberately and punitively taxed on their earnings too, I don’t think income alone is a realistic definition of ‘class’.


        It is only and exclusively the public sector that should be accused of over-inflated earnings? A swamp to be drained whilst private citizens can offshore their capital without a qualm about contributing a bean back to the society that nurtured them? (Stretching a point with Rangers and Celtic players there, right enough.)

        May I suggest to you that that is utter bullshit?

        Your criticism of the income gap is not without merit, but Muscatelli is, perhaps someone who at least contributes to our economy for what he gets, unlike some others who parasitise it.

        I suspect that you and I mutually disapprove of the ‘trickle down’ notion of economics. If you are making a ridiculous amount of money then either put up, shut up or leave. As an exercise you can figure out who is putting up or leaving. No-one is apparently shutting up.

        I am, incidentally, pretty sure that Pat Kane is not stuck for a bawbee or two either.

        Which, or what class do you think he is? I think he still recognizes his ‘roots’ as working class but it all becomes a tad meaningless if you have a not insubstantial bank balance. Money insulates as much as it enables.

      • What proportion of Scotland’s public sector workers went to private schools, Alf? The sectors with high proportions of privately educated employees are the legal profession and journalism.

        • Hi Graeme, suggest you read the Report looking at the social background of people that hold positions of power and influence in Scotland – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elitist-scotland.

          Its not the ‘whole’ you need to look at, but primarily the elite/leadership, and the public sector extends much further than the civil service. As an aside, a good proportion of the legal profession is of course employed within the public sector, plus hundreds of public organisations employ journalists in their communications/media functions. e.g. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14919243.Scotland_s_top_judge_accused_of__stifling__Holyrood_justice_inquiry/

          • ‘Dodgy assumptions and methodology in this report, if you ask me! Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen universities enjoy high social prestige but they do not function as finishing schools for the privately-educated elite in the way that Oxford and Cambridge do in England. St. Andrews University is another matter. It does tend to function in that way.

            The report seems to be an all-too-familiar example of applying English norms and assumptions to a Scottish subject, something I would have expected you to frown upon, Alf! To understand how elites work in Scotland you have to equip yourself with a good understanding of Scottish society and how it works.

    • Yes, same as ports, airports, energy and most other major essential utilities in fact, sold off cheap together with public monopolies to exploit. That ‘someone’ is the Tories of course. But I still do not understand your need to support any public official being paid £8,000 per week to head up a ‘charity’, that is something the public sector does have control over.

      • I haven’t seen anybody supporting that, Alf. There are a few people in the public sector who are grossly over-paid, but, as you point out, it’s only a few hundred and a tiny minority of the people working in the public sector. I would like to see their salaries cut, but I’m realistic enough to recognise that that wouldn’t yield enough money to be redistributive in any meaningful sense.

  4. Graeme Purves,

    There are numerous people in the private sector who just sit back and take the money. Perhaps we could start off by tackling that? Oh! No! What they earn is private and not available….

    I happen to think, correct me if I am wrong, that Glasgow University contributes a heck of a lot more to our economy than fly by night capitalists. There will be a few who break the trend, but, in general, private is bad, public is good. You disagree?

    It is this direction of travel – private good, public bad – that makes me despair for sense in our public discussion. There have been ridiculously ego driven folk in both sectors that see the public purse, or the loosening thereof, as a get rich quick scheme.

    Frankly, given their mind set – which is prevalent amongst all driven folk everywhere – it would take a revolution to alter it.

    That said, I do not think that running Glasgow University for £400,000 a year is as ridiculous as you claim it is.


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