Hello, and welcome to the December issue of the Voice.

As 2018 draws to a close, the political affairs of the country have been intensifying, particularly around the big issues of climate change and of course Brexit. We have been hearing about some of these matters around the clock while about others we have heard comparatively little.

The climate protestors of Extinction Rebellion, a new environmental mass movement, have been bringing London to a fairly regular standstill over the past couple of weeks with bridge and road occupations, and these types of protests are spreading across the globe. Yet these demonstrations in the capital have been filed away into the regional news corners of the BBC, and many people it seems, at least possibly out-with London, are not aware of the protests happening. Meanwhile Heads of State are preparing to meet for the UN Climate talks in Poland (COP24) at the beginning of December. Will they listen to the messages of those people who are going out onto the street and who are prepared to go to jail for this foremost issue of our time?

In this edition of the Voice, to bring an alternative perspective to the other major and much more visible UK matter, we have an article on the possibilities that Brexit could open up (even if it may seem very unlikely at this point), if the country was to move along the lines of the principles of ‘degrowth’, a concept that argues for a less aggressive approach to economic growth that would lead to a fairer and greener society.

Nearer to home, we take a look at some interesting events that have been happening over the last month in Arran. We have a piece on the visit to COAST by Marine Scotland Compliance, a report from the Arran Community Land Initiative with news from their recent AGM, and a brief update on the reforesting Glen Rosa project. These community initiatives connect in different and pertinent ways to the broader ongoing political and environmental issues. To show just how clear these links often are, we have included a recent article on reforestation by Mark Maslin where he describes in his article on Rewilding the UK, how planting hundreds more trees would significantly help the UK reach its climate targets.

Looking forward, in amongst the Christmas parties there are plenty of things to be doing in the very near festive future in Arran. The Christmas pantomime, this year The Sound of Music, starts on Thursday 6th at the High School and runs till 8th December. There is also a Poetry / COAST night in Brodick on 5th, the launch of a community arts project 52 Stitched Stories on 7th, another Corrie Food Festival, this time with a Winter theme on Saturday 15th, and a children’s drawing competition to enter – see Corrie’s Christmas Art Competition, open until 5th December.

Zooming out again to the national picture, there is of course THE vote taking place in Westminster in the middle of the month. So which way will our MPs vote on 11th? For the Prime Minister’s Agreement or for a No Deal?? At this stage, possibly only Santa knows! We’ll see you on the ‘other side’ in 2019! We hope you enjoy this edition, and from all of us at the Voice, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.