By Gerry Hassan, The Scotsman, March 10th 2012

A new vogue has swept across the globe: concern about inequality.

From the Davos World Economic Forum to Occupy Wall Street, from Barack Obama to David Cameron and Ed Miliband, there is an acute awareness of this issue, from talking about the superabundant wealth of the top 1% to the constant political chatter about ‘fairness’.

By Paul T Kavanagh

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.   That’s not always true, given the choice between the 1995 Uzbekistan telephone directory or a framed photie of Labour’s front bench team, I’d go for the out of date phone book of furren pairts.  I could at least put it on my bookshelf and pretend to be cosmopolitan.

By Hazel Lewry

International Women’s Day was on March 8th, so it is appropriate to look at the issue of UK gender equality in the run up to the independence referendum.  Details in the polls show women rather more likely to support the status quo, the Union, than men.  As a group women are perhaps more inclined to be conservative – with a small c – than men.

By G.A.Ponsonby

“I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it” … unless you are Scottish and support independence it seems.

It’s one of the defining aspects of our society, the freedom to express an opinion, to disagree, to criticise – in short, free speech is fundamental to who we are.

By Kenneth Roy

Gerry Hassan, that tireless commentator on where we were, where we are and where we could be, came to the airport yesterday to interview me. It seems I am one of 50 people whose impressions of life in Scotland he is gathering. His subjects are to be given a transcript of what they said. Please, don’t bother on my account.

We are in the last weeks of the winter timetable down here, so I expected to have the bar to ourselves. Instead it was full of jolly certain-age Scotswomen preparing for a midweek jaunt to Tenerife.