Friday, January 13, 2012

To boldly go ...

There are some fascinating things coming out of the woodwork now that Scottish Independence is once more in the news. This bizarre star ship comes from a cartoon video on NMA.TV - do watch the whole thing if you feel the need to retain a sense of humour, as some of my friends obviously do. The trouble is that the old adage of not discussing contentious subjects at the dinner table now seems to apply, really, to only one subject: religion and sex don't seem to have the same effect any more. But politics?

Today I was discussing the effect that living through the Thatcher years as a Scottish adult might have had on those who shared this experience. I said in my last post that I was able to view The Iron Lady equably because my experiences of these years were history - but I know that I am still capable of the instant emotional response to a quip such as Kelvin Mackenzie couldn't resist making last night on Question Time - one about the possible name of a putative Scottish currency, punning on the word "Euro". Yes, it was funny, in a way, and I bet he just couldn't resist it, even after volubly expressing his opinion that Scotland should have its own way. But it grated.

Neither Douglas Alexander nor, more impressively, Nicola Sturgeon responded to this. Perhaps they thought it detracted from the real question. Perhaps it is better just to ignore buffoonery. But the casual assumption that it's always going to be all right to laugh - affectionately or not - at "the Jocks" (really) begins to grate. Apparently Michael Portillo, later in the evening, referred to the "infantilisation" of the Scots over the years, and he may well be right.

It's a fact that for a while people like me were lulled by the sounds of Scottish voices at the helm of the UK government. But now? We're not lulled any more, and Cameron is in danger of recreating the Thatcher effect.

Interesting times.


  1. This is serious stuff, Chris, and people lunging in before the whole thing is laid out for folk to decide is total insanity.

    Bring on George Osbourne! Salmonds dream opponent!

    But we need facts... Ecomomy, defence, oil, currency etc etc. it will take until 2004 to make all this clear to the Scottish Electora!

    A wee pumped up Etonian is never going to decide our future.

    We may vote 'no' but it will be with a heavy heart.

  2. This "serious stuff" can obviously lead to lost apostrophes, missing hyphens and the invention of the "Ecomomy" (presumably an American matriarch with a penchant for Ecover products and recycling).

    It should also be pointed out that we've had 2004 some years ago. Maybe part of all the current stramash is that too many people insist on dwelling in and on the past - Bannockburn and Braveheart and all that. Incidentally, do you think that Mel Gibson will play the lead in Devo Max?

    And insults will not persuade me to support Big Eck, whether they be directed at Etonians or denizens of Govan. I want rational arguments and facts as much as Fr Kenny does. Sadly, I doubt if they'll be heard above the skirl of the pipes and the thumping of tubs.

  3. Oh, well harrumphed, abf!

  4. My apologies abf. I'm still getting used to this iPad touch typing. I will do better in future!

  5. As only a visitor to Scotland, albeit regular and fairly prolonged, I'm not sure I should have an opinion of the matter, but will watch with great interest from the sidelines. What I do fervently hope is that whatever the final outcome, it will be for the good of the whole of Scotland and all its people.

  6. Christine, just a quick addendum to say that I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve chosen you as one of my five blogs for the Liebster Blog award. If you’d like to drop by and pick it up, you can copy the image direct from my post. I hope lots of people enjoy finding your blog.

  7. I came to your blog through Perpetua's recommendation and will be settling in happily to follow it.

  8. Dear Christine,
    What your last two postings have made me realize is that here in the United States we get so little world news on television or even in the newspaper. We seem to be such an insular people, interested only in what affects us immediately. I don't know if the United States has always been that way. Perhaps yes, because for many years of the 20th century isolationism was promoted by many politicians.

    Anyway, I hope that by following your blog I'll learn more about what's happening with Scotland. Thank you for capturing my interst.


  9. Perpetua - thank you! I'll do what it says on your blog when I get time - got a sermon to preach tomorrow.

    Fly - welcome! Hope you find stuff to interest you.

    Dee - I was interested in how little Great Britain featured on the news or in anyone's thoughts when I spent a month travelling in the States - let alone Scotland. Everyone seemed surprised to meet us; I suppose we were kinda off the beaten tourist track some of the time.