Issue 1: December 2011

WELCOME EDITORIAL

By Prof. Richard Kerley, Editor

Digital Scotland - coming to your screen soon?

 

Welcome to the first edition of Scottish Policy Now.

Scottish Policy Now is an online magazine that will provide regular news and analysis of changing government policies, regulation, initiatives and legislation and the impact of all of these on Scotland and people living in Scotland.

This first edition of Scottish Policy Now [SPN] is centred upon current developments in the building of ‘Digital Scotland‘, a central ambition of the Scottish Government and, for that matter, of previous governments and the Westminster Government.

Pretty obviously, if you are reading this in the form it left my desk (or screen) then you are already a signed up member of Digital Scotland. You may not be at the leading edge of this revolution - but then neither am I - but you are at least somewhere in there.

What the contributions to December SPN discuss is some of the wide range of different aspects that will help us move Scotland forward so that all of us can derive the greatest potential benefits from an array of technologies that simply did not exist when most of us entered our adult lives.

There are great advantages in achieving some of the current programmes that are currently under way, whether in education, in our work settings, in our social lives or in our democracy and governance. There are also major hurdles and possibly even barriers to making this happen. The sparsely distributed population in some parts of Scotland, where physical barriers can pose a heavy challenge to creating (and supporting) the necessary infrastructure, and even if such infrastructure can be installed, it may well be at great cost which has to be borne either by individuals or by the rest of us through subvention of some kind.

And most importantly of all, even today, there are many of us who are comfortable enough to view the purchase of a new PC, laptop, netbook or tablet as simply a minor down payment on modern life. We all need to think very hard about how we make such services and facilities available to families and households where the choice is between eating and heating, long before they are able to think about surfing.

Our plans

Scottish Policy Now will use a variety of means to explore, explain and debate the possible impact of planned change, whether initiated by the Scottish Government, the Westminster Government, local government,by government agencies and other public bodies or by Scottish civic society.

Our aim is to provide a platform for policy discussion which illuminates the choices made by decision makers and brings together leading thinkers and practitioners to help inform that decision making.

Prof. Richard Kerley, Editor

Our aim is to provide a platform for policy discussion which illuminates the choices made by decision makers and brings together leading thinkers and practitioners to help inform that decision making.

As part of this dialogue we encourage and support informed and critical discussion of initiatives and proposals put forward by governing majorities at Holyrood, Westminster and in council chambers. We will apply the same standards of critical analysis to the views and counter proposals of governing and opposition parties in all those settings.

Regular editions will contain interviews, opinion pieces, debates, legal analysis and other expert review and ‘virtual round tables’. We welcome contributions in various forms from readers which will be moderated by the Editor.

Let us know your views to scottishpolicynow@mackayhannah.com

Scottish Policy Now is distributed free to your screen and can be received either directly or through the website of MacKay Hannah at http://scottishpolicynow.mackayhannah.com/

By Prof. Richard Kerley, Editor

Issue 1: December 2011

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