This is The Debatable Land, a weekly newsletter about politics and culture from Scotland, the UK and beyond with occasional forays into sport, business, science etc. A miscellany of thoughts, views, and ideas some of which don’t fit in elsewhere, some of which are best-suited to being here in the first place. Basically a blog delivered in newsletter form.
Why? It is around 15 years since I had my first blogspot account (fairly swiftly followed by a Wordpress one) and I miss the informality of the blogging medium. Now almost nobody blogs - or at least they don’t blog the way blogging was done back when it was going to change the world - but they do have newsletters. Hence this.
Why is it called The Debatable Land? In part because that is what my old blog was called and I liked the name then and see no reason to dislike it now. In part, too, because I grew up in the Scottish Borders not far from the frontier with England. Back in the day - by which I mean the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries - that frontier was divided into administrative units named “Marches” (not a great deal of administration took place) and in the western march lay a patch of territory claimed by Scotland and England alike. This was “The Debatable Land”, neither wholly one thing nor fully the other. And since I write for a living and write about public affairs, there is a sense in which I live - and toil - in a different kind of “debatable land”. So it fits and doubly so. Few things here are wholly black or white.
Is it free? For the time being, yes! There may come a time when that changes but if it does, early subscribers can count on preferential treatment. I’m still working a few things out and there may be some experimentation but, yes, free to all and for some time yet. Let’s just see where this takes us…
When will I receive it? At least weekly, though this schedule may be supplemented by occasional “special editions”.
If this appeals - and perhaps it does, if you’ve already hit subscribe - then please share with chums and family. Or even with acquaintances or those you ordinarily have little time for.