Editor's Choice

Scotland and the "second referendum"

The SNP victory – or SNP-Green victory – in the Holyrood election of 6 May 2021 was a mandate for a second referendum on Scottish independence.

The fact that the SNP did not get an absolute majority of seats or an absolute majority of the popular vote is irrelevant.

The Holyrood voting system is designed to stop one party gaining an absolute majority of seats (and the SNP fell only seat short of that). And no one ever argued that the 1945 Labour government had no mandate because it failed to win 50% of the popular vote.

For Russia's left, the "Navalny protests" are not about Navalny

Loretta Marie Perera reports from Moscow.

An aversion to Russia’s leading opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, is a sentiment shared by many of the feminists, socialists, leftists, and anti-capitalists who joined tens of thousands in protests around Russia starting on Saturday, January 23.

“I disagree with many things about Navalny’s politics: his attitude to migrants, feminism, LGBT,” said Daria, 33, who protested in St. Petersburg. But for many, Daria included, there is a bigger enemy to reckon with.

Pandemics and the drives of capital

With SARS-Cov-2 after H5N1 (or avian influenza), SARS, MERS, swine flu, Ebola, and Zika, we are living in an age of pandemics.

A widening circuit of agricultural production, consumption and exchange is pushing deeper into forests and back out into cities. Host species that historically would have been confined to deep forests are now transported to peri-urban regions with high concentrations of human bodies. Traversing a globally integrated air traffic network, pathogens previously not on the global stage are being brought to it.

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