Scotland’s independent think tank
Scotland’s independent think tank

Melting Pot 2023

On behalf of the team at Reform Scotland, I’d like to thank you for your on-going support in all its forms throughout 2023. We hope you value the relationship as much as we do.

It’s been quite the year in the world of politics. The departure of a long-serving first minister, the arrival of a new one, a police investigation into the governing party, policy chaos, the revival of Scottish Labour… and that’s not to mention Westminster.

The past few months especially have been busy and productive ones for Reform Scotland. We’ve launched two discussion forums which have gained widespread interest and continue to receive a range of fascinating contributions.

Devolving Scotland considers how we can re-generate local government, with an opening piece from our chair, former first minister Lord Jack McConnell.

Our NHS 2048 project began with the publication of NHS 2048: Future-proofing Scotland’s health and social care, which uncovered worrying data in relation to waiting times and waiting lists for orthopaedic procedures, and highlighted the growing stresses facing the NHS. Published in partnership with the BMA, the paper led to an urgent topical question at Holyrood. The discussion forum opened with an article from Paul Gray, former chief executive of NHS Scotland.

Linked to this, we are developing our website to create a new function which will allow reader comments to be added below our articles and blogs and stimulate ongoing conversation and debate.

As always, our guest blogs, brought together in this annual compendium, have highlighted problems, suggested solutions and encouraged some much-needed fresh and expert thinking.

From Stuart Paton addressing the nuclear question, to Roy Leckie on attracting immigrants to Scotland, to Dunc Chisholm highlighting the potential of football clubs to meet a number of community challenges, the blog offers inspiration and ideas. Thank you to all our contributors.

As we move into 2024, I view these coming 12 months and beyond as the most important period for Reform Scotland since I took over as Director. We are heading not just for a change of government at Westminster after 13 years, but a major shift in the dynamics of Scottish politics. The polls show not just that Labour will win back Number 10, but that the party is likely to take as many as half of the SNP’s Westminster seats. After such a long period of seemingly effortless Nationalist dominance, Scottish politics is becoming highly competitive again.

Chris Deerin
Reform Scotland

Read the Report (PDF)

Melting Pot 2023