On the fourth day of the Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics, members of the public can come to Holyrood and take part in debates on hot climates and political hot potatoes.
A taste of Cuba will come to Holyrood during a session called "Salsa, Song and Socialism: Cuba 50 years On". Fifty years after the Cuban revolution, its socialist regime continues to flourish despite a 47-year US economic blockade, frequently condemned by United Nations. The session will provide an opportunity to hear about the politics of the revolution. Cuban music will be provided by renowned band Voces del Sur, bringing the sounds of Cuba to the Parliament.
Writer and academic Germaine Greer will take part in a debate on the future of Scotland’s built environment during a session held in the Main Chamber. Joined by two industry experts, the group will address the question: “What do we mean by ‘sustainable places’ and how can these best be delivered?” The debate in the Chamber will offer a public platform to discuss a number of issues.
Later in the afternoon, Young People’s Question Time, chaired by Channel 4 and Off the Ball’s Stuart Cosgrove, will take place in the Main Chamber. In the first event of its kind at the Festival of Politics, young people from across Scotland will gather to comment and pose questions on issues which affect them to a panel of politicians and renowned social commentators – both young and not so young.
Other events during the day include:
- A session looking at how well the human rights framework protects the rights of disabled children and young people. Deputy Presiding Officer Trish Godman MSP will chair the session exploring whether devolution has made a difference and what needs to happen next.
- As the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) celebrates its 50th birthday in 2009, Jamie Hepburn MSP will chair a session asking whether a court in Strasbourg really offers protection to ordinary people who believe their human rights have been breached in Scotland.
- Dr Stan Naismith, from the ECHR, will provide an overview of cases that have changed domestic laws, practices and culture
- Muriel Robison, from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, will speak on "Equality is a fundamental human right"
- and Katy Macfarlane, from the University of Edinburgh, will focus on "Strasbourg to Scotland – Bringing rights home for children".
- An expert-panel discussion on how devolution can continue to improve the position of Scottish women, and bring less confrontational politics, as favoured by early suffragists such as Chrystal MacMillan.
This year’s Festival of Politics is delivered in formal partnership with:
Carnegie UK Trust and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust
The Law Society of Scotland
EAE Leaflet Marketing Specialists
The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City