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The News Where You Are

The News Where You Are as read by James Robertson, from the Bus Party (Kingskettle)

The Bus Party is a touring group of artists, listening across Scotland in the run up to the Referendum, and asking, “What kind of Scotland do you want?”

In 1997, William McIlvanney led a group of fellow artists on a bus tour round Scotland in the run up to the referendum on the Scottish Parliament. They were listening to local people’s views on the kind of Scotland they wanted to live in after the referendum, whether they were voting Yes or No. Now the bus is back, riding towards the referendum on September 18, asking the same question, “What kind of Scotland do you want?” Our “Listening Lugs” tour runs from May 24 to May 31.

As a non-partisan civic arts tour, we are listening to local communities in community centres, art centres, libraries, churches and book shops from Stromness to Stirling, opening up the conversation on the sort of society local communities want in music and song, poetry and readings from the artists on the bus.

You can connect with the Bus Party here.

Comments (14)

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  1. picpac67 says:

    A great initiative. Reminds me of the Omnibus for Direct Democracy (cf. ww.democracy-in-motion.eu and click on EN for the English version) which has been travelling backwards and forwards across the length and breadth of Europe for 12 years, spreading the idea that the popular sovereignty stated as a first principle in most European constitutions is not implemented in practice until the direct-democratic rights of initiative and referendum are guaranteed – as they are now in every German federal state, though not yet at the national level.

    The website states: “The work of the OMNIBUS is grounded in the Extended Definition of Art, which,
    oriented toward the essence of freedom, enables people to throw off the structures of outside domination”. The Omnibus is financed from the money it receives from the roughly 3,000 members of its sponsors’ association. It receives no money from government or business.

    Bavaria is a great example of the impact the introduction of direct democracy can have on a society. Direct democracy was introduced into the state of Bavaria (via a citizens’ initiative) in October 1995. By the end of August 2010 there had been 1,694 citizens’ initiatives, 903 of which resulted in a referendum – clear evidence that when the people are given a chance to co-decide what kind of society they want to live in they grasp the opportunity with both hands. This is how real democracy (the people’s right to co-determine policy within what is still primarily a representative system) can unleash vast creative energies for the whole of society. I recall a Swedish parliamentarian at a conference on direct democracy admitting that in his experience the people come up with better solutions to problems than the professional politicians (no surprise there).

  2. sheltie2014 says:

    Now that was funny

  3. From Stromness to Stirling. Such a pity people in the Borders didn’t get an opportunity to be part of it. We tend to be forgotten, but have a vote too.

    1. majormacbloodnok says:

      Perhaps it’s via Selkirk?

      1. Ah, major, I suspect there is a feeling us folk in the Borders are beyond help, in a no-mans land between Scotland proper and rUK.

  4. James Robertson says:

    A second leg of the Bus Party tour is scheduled for September, and the hope is to visit communities in Inverclyde, Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders and Midlothian. However, this is not yet guaranteed to happen for various reasons – including finance, pressures of time and work, the amount of organisation required and so on. Whether it happens or not, you are not forgotten.

  5. I saw the word poetry in the intro and got inspired.

    Bruised Heads
    Divide and conquer, it’s the English way
    Then you are made to pay and pay
    Pretty soon they’ll have the clothes off your back
    Then will return for your shoes and your dacks
    One thing is clear for it couldn’t be clearer
    Your in the hands of an expert shearer
    The Empire’s wealth from the many for the few
    At this the English have earned their due
    If Scotland can’t learn from historic example
    Then on their heads they deserve a good trample

  6. John Page says:

    Great piece with really brilliant delivery! Have recently cancelled my Weekend FT sub due to poor Opinion pieces ex Iain Martin and Simon Schama on the Union
    Have looked again at my BBC NEWS App in the light of this video……….just realised how many Scotland articles there are every day about crashes and violent crimes and how little about the current unprecedented level of public discourse and engagement around the Referendum
    Some more free space on my machine for Bella and Aye! Talks…………….

  7. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    The BBC news ‘where you are’.

  8. Pingback: Brick by Brick «
  9. sonny onit thoms says:

    classic bit of banter this is absolute quality

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