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Lesley Riddoch to present Nordic film screening in Wick

By Jean Gunn

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Broadcaster, activist and journalist Lesley Riddoch will be presenting a screening of her films Norway and Faroes at the Pulteney Centre in Wick next week.

The event on Thursday, May 23, starting at 7pm, will include a discussion as well as a question-and-answer session with the well-known speaker and writer who has a strong family connection to Wick.

Lesley sees great opportunities for Scotland in following some of the ideas of the Nordic countries.

Lesley Riddoch.
Lesley Riddoch.

Last summer she crowdfunded along with Phantom Power film-maker Al McMaster to finance the production of three films about Scotland's small, successful Nordic neighbours.

Lesley researched and set up interviews, then travelled to the Faroes, Iceland and Norway with Al who filmed and edited the interviews and landscape shots.

She said: "The aim was to find out more about these countries – all of which punch well above their weight in health, literacy, average income and happiness.

This is the different path our Nordic neighbours have been able to follow. Is Scotland ready to join them?

"We have tried to explain how they’ve all overcome immense challenges of remoteness and relatively barren landscapes to achieve independence – or, in the case of the Faroes, the world’s most powerfully devolved parliament. We have also tried to show how they've used those powers to provide services that far exceed what’s available in Scotland.

"Iceland, for example, is the world’s most literate country, despite the constant threat of volcanic eruption, and has affordable energy thanks to its mastery of geothermal energy.

"The Faroes has the world’s fastest mobile broadband and this fishing-dominated island cluster has been able to remain outside the EU whilst 'mother ship' Denmark is inside – thanks to a devolution settlement in 1946 that allows them to sign international treaties.

"Norway has the same population as Scotland and shares the oil, gas and fishing resources of the North Sea. But over the last 200 years it has left unions with Denmark and Sweden and invested its oil wealth wisely while Margaret Thatcher squandered ours."

She added: "This is the different path our Nordic neighbours have been able to follow. Is Scotland ready to join them?"

Tickets are free but with donations for Pulteneytown People's Project. Anyone interested in going along must register on Eventbrite.

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