Author and political heavyweights at third day of festival


The economy and gender equality are among the topics being discussed today at the Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics.

Two former Labour Party heavyweights, Clare Short and Dennis Canavan, will give individual talks about their colourful careers.

Now independent MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Clare Short will discuss the issues – both from home and abroad – which are important to her. These include the war in Iraq, international development and climate change. Deputy Presiding Officer Alasdair Morgan MSP will ask how she would make “politics fit for purpose”.

Later in the day, former Labour MP and Independent MSP Dennis Canavan will give an audience in the Debating Chamber an overview of his life in politics. The long-time supporter of devolution will talk to Deputy Presiding Officer Trish Godman MSP about why he championed the abolition of corporal punishment and why he believes sport is important to a nation.

Booker Prize-winning novelist James Kelman also appears at Holyrood to talk about how, if at all, devolution has reshaped Scotland. He will be joined by a number of experts from the world of the arts for the Devolution and the Arts: To be yersel’s – and to mak’ that worth bein’ event.

In Committee Room 1, there will be an hour-long session on how Scotland has pioneered research into diabetes. The session will also look back at how author HG Wells and Aberdeen-based Dr RD Lawrence, who set up the Diabetic Association, helped transform the lives of people with diabetes.

Other events include festival favourite Parliamentary Questions, when MSPs Michael McMahon, Shirley-Anne Sommerville, Derek Brownlee, Hugh O'Donnell and Patrick Harvie will take part in a lively debate chaired by The Scotsman's Peter MacMahon on a range of topics making the news.

The economic challenges facing Scotland will be discussed during Scotland’s Economy: Changing Needs or Needing Change? event. And another afternoon session, Climate for Change – From Economic Crash to Eco Recovery will look at whether the credit crunch could provide an opportunity to build a sustainable future.

Later, gender equality will be discussed at Has Devolution Delivered for Women? Participation, Representation and Power – which will question why 2007 saw the first drop in the number of female MSPs.

Festival Partners

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
The Scotsman
EAE Leaflet Marketing Specialists
The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City

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