This is the final edition of the Scottish Review
For over 20 years, SR has been the journal of the charity Institute of Contemporary Scotland (ICS). ICS was set up as a Scottish charity by Kenneth Roy in 2001, against a backdrop of the new millennium. Its aims were mainly to promote for the benefit of the public the study of and research into all aspects of contemporary Scotland, including in particular social, economic and cultural aspects
. A particular emphasis was made to the organisation of meetings and lectures and the publication of papers to encourage the exchange and dissemination of knowledge on matters of local and national importance
. The charity transformed into a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) in 2015, a legal framework designed exclusively for the Scottish charity sector.
Times have changed immensely since the conception of ICS. The world has changed. Scotland has changed. We have, however, tried to keep up. Initially taking the form of a paperback publication, the Scottish Review
was first put online on 15 February 2008, by my own hands, after a crash course in website technology. I remember the day well: a stressful leap into the unknown! The Friends of the Scottish Review
scheme was then set up to fund the publication in 2009 and proved to be extremely successful. Indeed, we have always taken pride in not being funded by government or public sector sources – or, heaven forbid, advertising, with irritating pop-ups and cookie collection!
But with the rise of social media, ever creeping into all aspects of life, the journal has suffered an inevitable decline in recent years. Having edited SR for five years, I will be moving on at the end of the year. Given the circumstances, the board of ICS have come to the decision that the SCIO is no longer financially viable. It can no longer afford to pay a full-time member of staff. And so, seeking the permission of Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, we are now going through the process of winding up, with the aim to be completely dissolved early next year.
Thank you to all of our contributors, some regular, others more fleeting in their attendance, but all nonetheless part of a platform which attempted to question authority and cover all fields of debate over the years. We have lost a lot of good people in that time – too many to recount – but none more missed than former editor and founder of SR, Kenneth Roy, my colleague and friend, who died five years ago this week. Kenneth wrote tirelessly for the review over the years: hundreds of pieces, from serious campaigning journalism to his trademark humorous observations. I still miss him terribly. Having liaised with contributors covering all walks of life – from reformed bank robbers and recovered addicts to university professors and public figures – I can confidently affirm that no two weeks with SR has been the same! It has been a privilege to work with you all.
Before I leave you for the final time, a heartfelt thank you must go to our readers. Without you, the Scottish Review
wouldn't have existed for a valuable 28 years. Thank you for your support and encouragement – it really is appreciated. Perhaps someone, somewhere, will have the impulse to start a similar publication.
Islay McLeod is editor of the