Blossom is an account of Scotland at the grassroots through the stories of people I've had the good fortune to know - the most stubborn, talented and resilient people on the planet. They've had to be. Some have transformed their parts of Scotland. Some have tried and failed. But all have something in common - they know what it takes for Scotland to blossom. We should too... /em>
Weeding out vital components of Scottish identity from decades of political and social tangle is no mean task, but it's one journalist Lesley Riddoch has undertaken.
Dispensing with the tired, yo-yoing jousts over fiscal commissions, Devo Something and EU in-or-out, Blossom pinpoints both the buds of growth and the blight that's holding Scotland back. Drawing from its people and history as well as the experience of the Nordic countries, and the author's own passionate and outspoken perspective, this is a plain-speaking but incisive call to restore equality and control to local communities and let Scotland flourish.
A brilliant, moving, well written, informative, important and valuable piece of work. ELAINE C SMITH
Not so much an intervention in the independence debate as a heartfelt manifesto for a better democracy. ESTHER BREITENBACH, Scotsman
LESLEY RIDDOCH is an award-winning broadcaster, writer and journalist. She writes weekly columns for The Scotsman and Sunday Post and is a regular contributor to The Guardian, Newsnight Scotland, Scotland Tonight and Any Questions. She is founder and Director of Nordic Horizons, a policy group that brings Nordic experts to the Scottish Parliament. Lesley presented You and Yours on BBC Radio 4, The Midnight Hour on bbc2 and The People's Parliament and Powerhouse on Channel 4. She founded the Scottish feminist magazine Harpies and Quines, won two Sony awards for her daily Radio Scotland show and edited The Scotswoman - a 1995 edition of The Scots man written and edited by its female staff. She lives in Fife and is married to an Englishman who grew up in Canada.