In my absence here I have been reading and researching. I have been engaging with social media and clicking on links to papers and documents, to videos and newsreels. I have been trying to find out more about what is making this world tick in the particular manner it is currently ticking. Like a timebomb.
One of the things I enjoyed about studying history when I was at school was when I realised that nothing happens in isolation. My older brother was the one who helped me see this.
The night before an important history exam he offered to help me prepare by quizzing me. I failed. Miserably. If I remember correctly he asked me how the First World War started. I can’t remember my answer now.
I do remember he said, ‘No. You’re looking at this all wrong. You have to look at what was going on elsewhere. One place wasn’t operating in a vacuum to another. Think about it. While you’re up here studying, the rest of the family are doing other things. Some of those things will be unimportant to you. But some of them could be rocking your boat. What if mum is arguing with dad? What if ….’
And on he went, describing what other people may or may not be doing that may or may not be impacting on my life.
I got it.
I finally got it.
He then went on to describe a series of events happening around the world at the time leading up to the outbreak of WW1. I was hooked. Every story he told, he would say, ‘Meanwhile….’
I’ve had ‘meanwhile’ in my mind a lot this while back.
The USA is bitterly divided on who to elect for president. Why? What’s on offer and what’s coming out of the closet around each candidate? And how much of what is revealed is true? How trustworthy is the established media? Whose corner are they fighting and why? How much of alternative media can be trusted? What is the source of information, do they have an axe to grind and what might that be?
Meanwhile, Britain has decided to leave the European Union. The Tory party seem intent on going for the so-called ‘hard’ option despite all evidence that suggests it’s the wrong option. No access to the free market if it means having to accept uncontrolled borders. Why is the Tory Party so intent in going for the most difficult option? Why would the Tory Party – capitalists of the first order – attempt to embrace the centre ground and sacrifice the pound in the name of immigration? Why is the rhetoric emanating from that quarter embracing xenophobic speech and helping, by their rhetoric, to cultivate antagonism towards the immigrant population? How many of the decisions made by UKgov are independent of that ‘special relationship’ with the US?
Meanwhile, in Syria, atrocities are being carried out against children. Why? In whose interests is it to control that area and why?
Meanwhile, in Israel and Palestine, what was done to one is being done to others. Why? Apart from history, is there psychology at play? Abused becoming abusers? Why are we so divided on seeing the connections?
Meanwhile, back in not so sunny Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has promised the possibility of a second independence referendum for Scotland. Why? Is she a power-hungry politician intent on breaking up the UK to the dissatisfaction of those who value its togetherness at all costs? Why are there still so many Scots still against it? It surely makes sense to support something which allows the Scottish people to determine their own course in the world. Why are some then still resistant to the independence that would allow their own voices to be heard by virtue of having a government that they actually voted for as opposed to always having the government that the rest of Britain votes for?
Meanwhile, 40million citizens in Russia are mobilized to prepare for nuclear war.
Meanwhile, Scotland is sitting on Trident. Rejected by Scotland. But housing it, nevertheless, because nowhere else on the British Isles is capable of accomodating it, apparently. And it would be too dangerous to house near a large city. Greater Glasgow (population just over 1million) is 39 miles from Faslane, the Trident nuclear base.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is doing everything it can to enhance renewable energy as the best way forward.
Meanwhile, oil, Syria.
Meanwhile, new sources of oil discovered off the west coast of Scotland.
Meanwhile, some still believe that Scotland’s last referendum on independence was rigged. You think for a minute you’re walking out of here? We need your tax receipts.
It goes on.
The one thing that I am sure of in this muddle of information is that we are being manipulated. All of us.
How is it possible that so much of mainstream media sings from the same hymn sheet while there is evidence to the contrary?
How is it possible that so much anti-immigrant speech is being allowed? Not only being allowed, but being poured forth, in some quarters, like an avalanche of putrid vomit.
How did Hitler rise to power? Why were so many susceptible to his particular brand of fascist rhetoric?
How did World War 2 begin? What was going on elsewhere around the world that culminated in yet another war to disprove that the first would be the war to end all wars?
What is all the fighting about?
Is it fear of ‘the other’? Is it notions of a Caliphate? Is it protectionism of borders? Is it humanitarian? Is it oil?
Is it, in fact, about who controls the means of providing their citizens with the sources of energy that allow us to switch on that TV? To run that car? To have the life that we deserve? At all costs?
Meanwhile, here in Scotland, a nation of just over 5million, some of us have a dream. The dream is that when we gain independence – and we will, eventually – we will pursue policies that reject nuclear weapons wholesale, embrace renewable energy as the means of safeguarding our planet while still allowing us to function in the world. We reject xenophobia, reject homophobia, reject austerity that hurts the poorest in the country. The poorest whose voices are not heard and yet must pay the cost of failure of fiscal policies and the austerity needed to balance the books. Whose fiscal policies? Whose interests are they representing? Where did all that revenue go to? Who benefited?
We reject the sectarianism that is still rife in this country of ours. A sectarianism that divides the population into Catholics and Protestants. Into two colours of two football teams. Into ‘yoons’ and ‘cybernats’. We reject the idea, repeated by mainstream media and successive UK governments that we are ‘too stupid, too small, too poor’. Despite evidence to the contrary. Evidence deliberately hidden by successive UK governments.
Natural resources are gifted throughout this world of ours. There isn’t a place on this planet that could not be self-sufficient in safe energy if the will were there, by those who wield the power, to invest in research and production. Why is there no will? In whose short term interests is it to safeguard the status quo? Where there is the will there is a way. I believe that.
But the will is lacking. Why? That is the billion dollar question. The Rockefeller Foundation renounced fossil fuels in favour of pursuing renewables just prior to the Paris Climate Talks last year. From what I’ve read of the Rockefellers that sets alarm bells ringing. Has the agency, founded on snake oil, become so altruistic that its main concern now is to preserve the planet? Or just some of it?
Scotland has already shown that it is possible to produce energy through many different, safer means. Research and investment into wind, into tidal. Feckin’ kites for god’s sake! This country – rich in oil – wants another way. The research needs developing. But the finances available to further that aim have been cut by UKgov.
For yes, we receive pocket money from Westminster. Scotland may be an oil rich nation but the revenue from these many years of production has gone south. Privatised and misused. Successive UK governments – regardless of party politics – have used the revenue to give tax breaks to the rich or develop selected areas of England. All other countries can fend for themselves and then take the blame when what is allocated does not – cannot – counter policies made elsewhere for the benefit of some.
I recognise that large swathes of England have been neglected at the expense of a select few. I’m as heart sorry for them as I am for us. Wales. Northern Ireland. For Scotland.
I recognise that money rules the world.
I recognise that those whose sole pursuit is money and power don’t give a damn about anyone else but their own interests.
I recognise that people are considered collateral damage by those who wield power.
I recognise it. And I reject it.
I will fight for Scotland’s independence till the day I die. Not because we do actually contribute more to UK’s coffers than they advertise and we want to keep that to help our nation in the way we see fit. Valid though that reason is, it is, for me, not the main one.
It is because we are ignored.
It is because our values and aspirations are ignored and deemed unimportant.
It is because we are deemed expendable. It is because UKgov allows and encourages, advertises, an erroneous image of Scotland to sustain their power base.
It is because successive UK governments have allowed and promoted the notion that we are a nation of scroungers.
And they have not done that for no reason.
Double negatives aside, how does one conquer?
Divide countries in a union – any union – by the language and information you use. Manipulation.
Blame ‘the other’ for failings in economic policies. Manipulation.
Control the media. Manipulation.
Yes, this is my conspiracy theory.
But what is a conspiracy but what we are NOT told?
And we are not told plenty.
So I will continue to search. I shall continue to seek answers to why it is, apparently, imperative that wars are carried out in the name of one thing while ulterior motives are present.
I will continue to question why US and UK still sell weapons then cry foul when they are used. Why regimes are undermined then controlled. Why lives are unimportant in pursuit of something else. Anything else. Whether that be religion, oil, land or power for power’s sake.
Our world is a fucked up mess and we are all culpable. Every last one of us. We let our governments play by standards and rules that we are not privy to. We let them build the weapons of the future to maintain supremacy.
We let them.
Is Nicola different?
I don’t know.
I think she is.
I believe she is.
Her actions suggest she is.
But, no matter, it is not the SNP that drives the voice of independence.
I am not a member of the SNP.
I am not a member of any political party.
Been there, seen that, done it. Scottish Labour. The northern branch of Westminster. I did not leave them. They left me. They left all working class people in pursuit of something else. Something now indistinct from what the Tories stand for.
I abhor party politics.
They’ve proven time and again they do not work.
Except for themselves.
SNP? They, for me, are a vehicle that will give the people of Scotland the independence they need to change our corner of this globe and, hopefully, the wider world.
If I were to be a member of any political party I’d be Green.
It is the natural choice for someone who wants to protect our planet in oh, so many ways, from the worst excesses of ourselves.
Oh, one of the things that my brother and I disagreed on way back then.
Him: If I have to die I want everyone I know to go with me. I don’t want to think that everyone’s here while I’m not.
Me: Oh, God, no, when I die I want to think that there are people here I know and love keeping the story going.
I feel I should apologise for this post. Not the content, per se. But the hurried together, rather manic way in which it has been written. But, you know what, I’m not going to.
I will not apologise for being worried, for caring about people all over the planet, for wanting my children to have a future. For all children to have a future, no matter their race, creed or colour.
I also wanted to take the time to go back and insert references/links to what I have been finding. But, I’m not going to. I’m not going back. I’m going forward. The information is out there. The reasons are there. Find them. If there is one thing that the internet was surely invented for was to help save us from ourselves.
It’s Friday. I’m on holiday from school for a week. Thank heavens. What a week!
May your god or none go with you.
May you know peace wherever you are. May you know peace in your heart.
We’re just this tiny blue dot.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in space….
20 thoughts on “Meanwhile…In Not So Sunny Scotia”
It can seem as if the world has gone mad. Sometimes I wonder is it because we have it all at our fingertips now and bad news makes a bigger impact than good news, so there is a skew in the balance in reading.
That doesn’t change the fact that we over here are still shaking our heads in disbelief that Britain voted to leave the EU and we are also shaking our heads, like most of the rest of the world, wondering how a man with no political CV can apply for the job of president and come so close to being voted in.
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I would agree there’s definitely an imbalance in the news, Tric. Not only in that bad news spreads more quickly than good but also in that how news is gathered and reported has a lot to answer for.
The US election campaign has me shaking my head too, in disbelief and despair. How have we come to this?
As for Brexit, the rhetoric surrounding the process and principal reasons given for leaving are worrying on a much larger scale than I can bear to imagine.
All decisions are based on greed and fear by those we ‘trust’ in our governments Momus. And there is only one way to remove their brand of democracy, give it back to the people, instead of this ‘party based’ rubbish that only suits the upper echelon running the party.
It’s very simple really, someone to run on the idea of giving all decisions back to the people. We have the technology to have a vote, say every six months, on what is brought up in government. Then and only then would it be a true decision by us, for us. Any decision that doesn’t sit right, back it goes, rehash it, and then must come back to the people to vote on. They only ever make a dozen (and that’s pushing it), decisions all year, and all it will do to us is, spend 20 minutes on the computer somewhere to tick some boxes. 70% for a yes or no, or its back to the drawing board. And it doesn’t have to all be a vote on one day, it can be over a week or two, to allow time to digest whatever decisions need to be voted on.
But, could you imagine the screams to be heard if it got brought up, they would never be able to cheat, steal or anything else under the table with this in place. No one would bribe them because they no longer have control anymore. Those that want it, would now have to bribe us…and there’s a few too many of us to get away with it. Imagine the peace and quiet.
And in time, because there is no longer any way to make money or boost the ego, those type of thieving, cheating, ego driven idiots would no longer be attracted to these positions in the government. It would slowly attract those that actually want to run the country for the betterment of its citizens….you know, that thing that they are actually supposed to do 🙂
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I’m beginning to think that democracy is now only terminology used to pacify people, to allow us to think that we have any part of the process at all. We need to reclaim the word itself and the means by which it can operate. Your idea is an interesting one, Mark, but I fear even that could be subverted. I don’t know what the answer is. I have to believe and hope in the inherent good of the vast majority of people to embrace fairness. The signs are not good – self-interest, short term vision, a preoccupation with pleasure over participation, do not make for an engaged populace in those places where the status quo serves well enough or where escapism seems the preferable or only choice. ‘What can we do about it?’ becomes the mantra and an opt out clause.
I do think more and more people are becoming aware of the bigger problems that face the world as well as their own country and that desperation makes for more active participation. More active participation does not necessarily equate to justice, as we see from all corners of the globe, but, at least, people are attempting to have their voices and views heard. The dialogues that arise from that cause us all to reflect on our reasons and justifications, to argue positions, to persuade with facts and experiences. To participate.
Where we are heading I don’t know. I have fear of what lies ahead in so many areas but I have to believe in people. In goodness. In short, I still hope and have faith that we will find a way to coexist fairly. Not holding my breath. Probably not in my lifetime. But, one day. And it all starts from the power of one and many.
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Well said momus, it isn’t an easy journey regardless of the path. And as you said, it takes change within ourselves to create that change around us. A participation in what we believe, and in that, a hope that the world does have a sanity to release what no longer works and become a change in fairness to us all.
But like all change, there will be bumpy bits, but that gives an appreciated to what, in the end, will be created from that belief in what we want to become 🙂
This one really hits home (U.S.). I really don’t know what to say other than it certainly sounds like we are both, the U.S. and Scotland, being manipulated by the same devils…corrupt politicians, capitalists and entertainment based media outlets who only focus on their ratings. You are right, we are being manipulated, abused and minimized by the leader choices we are presented by the parties. I too hate party politics and didn’t get my candidate for President on the ticket, but this will not dissuade me from voting even though I don’t find either candidate particularly palpable. I just wanted to know that I too hope your country gets the independence that it so deserves and that I really enjoyed this piece. Yes, there are a multitude of questions in the your piece, but they were all good and valid questions. Good luck to you in your search for understanding and please share what you find. Thanks my friend.
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In answer to you, Dom, could I leave you with this. It’s nearly an hour long, I know, but it comes from the heart of a leader who, I believe, cares about more than only Scotland but knows she has to start from there.
I pray for the US, for Scotland, for the rest of the UK, for wartorn areas of the world but believe that prayer needs action. Nicola Sturgeon personifies, for me and many, the outlook of a nation that wants to make the world a better, fairer place.
I have long since supported the Scots in their quest for independence. From the outside looking in; from lessons of history I can see their plight …yet now I support it even more, albeit for a selfish reason, namely that it would put a spanner in the works of The Accidental PM and her henchmen in Brexit negotations. By the way, the lovely Nicola is one of very few politicians who actually answers questions put to her.
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Thanks, Mike. It makes me glad to know that there are people who see the bigger picture. She comes in for so much abuse from certain quarters that fail to listen to her arguments and only see ‘someone who wants to break up the glorious union’.
The union doesn’t work for the vast majority of the UK. When a marriage doesn’t work and the relationship is abusive it’s time to go. What amazes me about those who are pro-Brexit is that that particular union actually does work for the vast majority. Once Article 50 is invoked and the fallout really begins that will become more evident.
I doubt, however, that it will be invoked. I’m tempted to think that it is more likely a ‘no confidence in this government’ vote will be the reality, with a general election called and the ball being up on the slates. I hope the people of rUK vote for Corbyn and begin to redress the real causes of the pro-Brexit vote. He should be looking how to make that a possibility and I think he needs to look to Scotland for that. Labour are a lost cause here. More or less dead in the water. The Tories? Forget them. Ruth Davidson and are cohorts cards are marked. Corbyn should be the man who acknowledges Scotland’s true contribution and proportionate share of the debt to the UK. I think though that too many in England have so long perceived Scotland as a liability and it will be too late. We can’t make the decisions we want to while we receive pocket money.
Scotland is going, Mike, sooner or later, we’re going. We know now that it is not possible for us to take Scotland in the direction we want to travel while we are harnessed to the UK. We’re going green, Mike and that, I believe, is the way we save not only our country but do our bit to save the world from itself.
I’m glad we have your support.
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Well you certainly have my support…my long held views on Scottish Independence have upset many a Little Englander over the years (my EU flag lapel badge has annoyed to the point of threats of violence also). If ‘England’ had truly wanted a union of equals then rather than ignore (for the large part, both now and historically), those who for the sake of ease in explanation I shall name non-Normans (i.e. Scots and Welsh) then it might have helped if the ‘UK’ Parliament was based, say, in Edinburgh. The English pay you lip service, nothing more.
For my part I guess I’d call myself a European nationalist…which right now makes me almost ‘stateless’ and, to the day I die, somewhat bitter.
Corbyn has as much chance as a snowball in Hell of winning an election. Anti-Semite, a control freak out of his depth in a party riddled with Trotskyites (endeavouring to de-select some long standing, fine local constituent MP’s. His Labour Party (I am a devout socialist, by the way) will never win the shires over, and with Scotland lost to Labour for eternity Labour, presently is carrion flesh waiting for the magpies to turn up.
Let’s hear it for Nicola and the tartan masses!
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I had high hopes for a Labour recovery for England, Mike, the outlook otherwise bleak beyond compare. I wouldn’t wish a perpetual Tory government on anyone. Or a UKIP one. Thatcher’s legacy lives long and forever in my memory – the fabric of a nation’s infrastructure decimated. The ‘loadsamoney’, ‘get on your bike’ callousness of those days are only equalled by today’s. Today’s, in fact, being worse in many ways.
From an ‘English European’ perspective how do you see this panning out?
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A massive question! I know how I would like it to turn out…for me the less lines on maps the better for the human race. A European nation would be my preference. “We don’t want to be ruled by Brussels” the English idiots say, yet look at me blank when I reply, “Does the average Texan mind that the capital is in Washington DC?”. I believe though that with the latest survey revealing that more people who voted Brexit now wish they had voted Remain, we should have a re-run. Were there a re-run then it seems that the number who have changed their minds now outweighs the Brexit majority at the ‘referendum’.
Plainly I cannot get my hopes up. In all probability there are a sufficient number (within and outside of Parliament) of those closet racists, in-denial racists and full on racists (I’ve yet to speak with a Brexit voter who hasn’t put contempt for immigrants as the top of his/her list of reasons to ‘leave’), most of whom wouldn’t know a refugee from an economic migrant, who want rid of the EU at all costs, that that is what will happen. Back in the day the populous used to moan on and on about the government of the day, then along came the EU so they started to moan about that, soon it’ll be back to before on the moaning front, except this time the economy will be in ruins; no cheap (nor easy) package holidays; back to two butt ends and half a bottle of lager duty free goods; and much more importantly an unemployed under-class (Thatcher’s phrase not mine obviously) devoid of hope and hard currency…in the wake of which more broken families.
Add to that the rise of the far right here, there and everywhere, the UK’s exit may trigger the break-up of the EU. For 75 years no fighting between the big nations of Western Europe, when previously every 10-15 years, since such nations were formed, they have been at war! May the God I don’t believe in help us.
That’s a desperate picture, Mike. I don’t know what the chances of a rerun would be. For all those citing misinformation as a reason for a rerun there would be those who want out, despite the cost, crying ‘fix’.
It reminds me so much of the first Indyref campaign. Project fear and misinformation. How low must their opinion of the general population be that it cannot be trusted with the truth? Such manipulation.
However the road ahead pans out I hope people remember how they were lied to. I fear though that we never really learn and fall again for the same tricks and machinations. Which kind of answers my own question above, some might say.
I hope there is some way to reverse this fiasco. Maybe during the period between invoking article 50 and actually leaving? Hellish the damage that will be done in that time though. I still can’t believe how arrogant and controlling this government is being in attempting to dictate to parliament. Democracy? Huh!
Anyone who wonders why so many of us here in Scotland want out of UKgovPLC might consider this debacle for starters.
Anyway, Mike, it’s all ahead. Hold tight to the mast.
Hereditary head of state; unelected second chamber; ‘first past the post’ House of Commons…not sure that’s a good democracy to start with! Stuff them all.
Bloody Hell, Anne-Marie, can you take the Black Country with you? We have our own flag!! I’m with you here totally and no apologies necessary, your points are powerfully made. Try to enjoy your week – it’s not easy but it is, at times, necessary to block out the outside world and focus on what matters most; those wr love. Take care. Chris.
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You’d be more than welcome, Chris. And so would your flag. Inclusion is the name of the game here. I was saying to Mike, above, that Scotland needs independence to be able to do what we want to do, to be who we want to be. I believe that with all my heart. The UK does not work for us, it does not work for the good of all parts and people. Its death will be the fault of those who neglected, vilified and hurt the people it was meant to serve.
I don’t know if independence will be achieved sooner or later but it has to come to redress the balance of power and allow us all to thrive. I pray it’s sooner before any more damage is done.
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Fingers crossed for you.
Bravo for all this A-M. I’ll need some time to let it all sink in before I can discuss adequately, but, per usual, you and I are solidly on the same page. We are permitting ourselves to be manipulated- and those of us who are fortunate enough to command any level of privilege are stagnating in a false and damaging complacency. I’ve been doing my own ‘meanwhile-ing’- and trying to marry thoughts and actions as best I can. Your words, as always, will help me in this process. xo
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It’s the thoughts and actions that are key, Cole. A nation awakened can never go back to sleep or does so at its own peril. Scotland is awake and is brushing the sleep from its eyes. Whether independence will be achieved now or later is almost irrelevant. Recent events have helped to clarify that Scotland’s direction lies in a different one than the UKgov would have us go. Not only with regard to Brexit but, more importantly, in my eyes with regard to their outlook on green energy and their unwillingness to pursue it seriously. Scotland has taken leaps and bounds in this area and wants to go much further. That is being inhibited by the fact that our ‘pocket money’ from UKgov restricts our actions. There’s a lot of talk – some true, some outright lies – on Scotland’s economy. The point is that while we are harnessed to the UK we are limited in our abilities to pursue our course.
The ‘meanwhiles’ are very important to me when I think of the direction Scotland must take. The ‘meanwhiles’ are the bigger picture.
Much love, my friend, in analysing and marrying thought with action. Doing very much the same here.x
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