‘What next for Scotland?’ asks this year’s Festival of Politics


The festival that puts people at the centre of politics has today launched an exciting programme, looking at ‘What next for Scotland?'

The Festival of Politics 2014 offers informed opinion and balanced debate from experts and academics as they tackle the key issues of the Referendum. Now in its 10th year, the Festival of Politics will take place at the Scottish Parliament from Friday 15 August to Sunday 17 August.

Speaking of this year’s Festival of Politics, Presiding Officer the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:

“When the Festival opens, it will be just over one month to go until the Referendum. It is only right that we use the Festival of Politics to give people the space to gather and discuss the implications of the important decision being made. From oil to currency, Europe to the economy and immigration to poverty, we are offering three days of thought provoking and inspiring sessions within our unique building. ”

Opening on Friday 15 August, the Festival of Politics runs until Sunday 17 August and sessions include:

  • Screening of ‘One Humanity’ telling the story of the end of apartheid in South Africa
  • Sponsored by the Law Society of Scotland, Isobel Fraser will chair a panel of international journalists exploring how the referendum campaign is being viewed around the world
  • Polly Toynbee looking at poverty and its impact on life expectancy
  • The most recent research and findings from the Economic and Social Research Council on Scottish social attitudes / identity
  • James Naughtie and an expert panel exploring what the country will look like in six years’ time with either outcome
  • Alan Cochrane and George Kerevan discussing their views and sign copies of Scottish independence ‘Yes or No’ book
  • Gary Christie from Scottish Refugee Council discussing immigration
  • A showcase performance of highlights from The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of ‘In Time o’ Strife’ by Joe Corrie, adapted, designed and directed by Graham McLaren, including post event discussion with the director.

The Garden Lobby will once again be transformed into the Festival Café Bar and the Presiding Officer commented:

“Last year was the first time we opened our Festival café bar. It was such a success that it is back again, offering a range of food, drinks and entertainment, as well as the space to continue the debates of the day. We’d be delighted to welcome people here to have their say and discuss the big issues of what next for Scotland.”

The Scottish Parliament’s Garden Lobby, usually the preserve of MSPs, staff and their guests, will be transformed into the Festival Café Bar for the duration of the Festival of Politics. The eclectic line up of musicians ranges from blue-grass 5-piece Blueflint, to BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Robyn Stapleton. The Banjo Lounge 4 return, whilst The Gramophone Jass Band will bring their New Orleans swing to the stage.

The GrownUps DJs will also play a set of political records, in amongst the political cartoons by the Edinburgh Evening News’ Frank Boyle. In the style of an old-fashioned political hustings, poets and performers, including Liz Lochhead, Kieran Hurley and Rachel Amey, will explore political debate in verse.


Please visit www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk  (external website) / @FoP2014 for the full programme information.

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