Second day of debate, contemplation and discussion at the Festival of Politics


The second day of the Festival of Politics will feature thought-provoking sessions on the constitutional future of Scotland.

The day will start with The Future of Europe and Small Nations, where Professor Charlie Jeffrey will be one of the panellists who will answer questions about the power and influence of the European Union.

Independence and Economic Issues will be chaired by respected economist Jeremy Peat, with contributions from Executive Editor of the Scotsman Bill Jamieson and Professor David Bell.

Culture and Broadcasting, being held in association with the Royal Society of Edinburgh, will consider the impact of constitutional change on Scotland’s culture. Chaired by Magnus Linklater there will be contributions from journalist Ruth Wishart and former Director of BBC Scotland James Boyle.

Public Attitudes to our Constitutional Future will question people’s attitudes towards independence. With contributions from Professor John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde, the session will be chaired by journalist Iain Macwhirter.

Identity and community will be explored with a screening of The Happy Lands, which focuses on Fife’s mining communities around the great strike in 1926. Former First Minister, the Rt Hon Henry McLeish will explore the issues with panellists including film director Robert Rae and journalist Polly Toynbee. 

Linda Fabiani MSP will chair a session on Politics and Art, asking what happens when art challenges the political status quo.

The Scottish Youth Theatre will present Now’s The Hour which will be performed by young people from across Scotland, as they share their fears, aspirations, questions and views on one of the biggest decisions in Scotland’s history.

The café bar programme will be headlined by Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall. David Hershaw will start the lively programme of music and comedy at 12.30pm and the programme will include performances from the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Jazz Quartet and modern choir InChorus. Political comedian Steve Richards previews the start of the political year and makes predictions on what is likely to happen in the Referendum and the General Election and invites the audience to do the same.


Now in its ninth year, the Scottish Parliament’s Festival of Politics includes a three day programme of politics, music, art, theatre and debate under the theme of Scotland’s Place in the World. Events take place on Friday 23 - Sunday 25 August at Holyrood, the home of the Scottish Parliament.

Our Festival partners are Carnegie UK Trust and Cameron Presentations.

Programme availability and tickets

  • Online via
  • A limited number of tickets are available via the Scottish Parliament in person and via telephone on 0131 348 5200.
  • Full details of the festival programme are available from
  • Hard copies of the programme are available from most Waterstones and Blackwells.

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Photographs of the event will be available free of charge from the following gallery: 

Password: holyrood


Contact information

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