Castro on Catalonia

The latest in Phantom Power’s Perspective series. Castro on Catalonia, an exclusive interview with writer Liz Castro on Catalonia’s historic independence referendum. Liz gives her insight into the history and politics behind the vote including Catalonia’s complex relationship with Spain, the rise of the independence movement, campaign strategy, parallels with Scottish self-determination and what happens next. Liz is a writer and publisher living in Barcelona. ‘Many Grains of Sand’ documents the creative and highly effective campaign methods of Catalonia’s independence movement and is available @ Follow Liz for news and updates @

The Power Grab

POWER GRAB – The Threat to Scottish Democracy. 20 years after devolution and the creation its own Parliament, Scotland now faces its biggest challenge in the form of Brexit and a hard-right UK Tory Govt determined to centralise power. Former MP, MSP and Presiding Officer, George Reid, was involved in the 1979 devolution vote won by Yes but lost on a controversial technicality. George Reid played a key role in overseeing the building of the new Holyrood Parliament. The parliament was symbolic of a changing, more powerful nation. It came under constant attack during its difficult birth and almost threatened the devolution process itself. George reflects on the Parliament building, its inner workings and how, against the odds, Holyrood has now become the centre of political life in Scotland. As a gradualist, George sees opportunities in a hard Brexit for a realisation amongst the Scottish public and political parties that independence in Europe is indeed the next natural step for Scotland. Alan Bissett is a playwright, author and activist who played a leading role in the independence referendum of 2014. During that campaign, Alan made a prediction of events following a No vote that proved uncannily accurate: A Tory Govt heading for a hard Brexit Scotland never voted for has created a new situation. Alan considers how this threat is already playing out and the future dangers posed to Scotland by a Tory UK Govt off the EU leash. The stakes have never been higher. The power grab is underway. You can support Phantom Power here: