Rule Britannia

I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be part of Great Britain.

I really can’t.

Everyday, I wake up and wonder what I ever did to deserve such bountiful benefactors. I thank god that he saw fit to bless me with the advantages I have in being ruled by Britannia.

When I think of how too wee, too poor and too stupid we are here in Scotland I despair at how we would ever have managed as an independent nation left to our own devices.

Can you just imagine what it would have been like to have to have lived under the privileged king or queen of Scotland? Imagine having had to support a royal family and kowtow to their hangers on! It doesn’t bear thinking about. Painting all that grass green because Queen Mary or one of her descendants was popping by for a visit. Maybe even having to learn French to impress her. Hell’s bells, quelle nightmare. And all that infighting that would have been going on until her favoured legions had settled into their hierarchy? Lord Muck of Clabber Castle jostling his way into position before Tam the Bam ousted him. That would have been too much.

And as for all that clan-bitching that would still be going on! Every Cameron, Blair and Broon squabbling with each other, over who owned what, what belonged to who and whose name mattered more than the other’s. Each one claiming that they had the best interests of the Scots at heart. Desperate stuff that would have been.

Then there would have been all that awful governance malarkey to contend with. Having to decide who in the country should get what, if anything, and whether certain bits of the nation deserved more than others. Whether to build a rail service between the Highlands and the Lowlands and wondering whether to bother with the islands at all, at all. Imagine having to decide how much tax to raise to make sure we didn’t just chuck our elders in the bins that would need emptied, or working out how much it would cost to run an efficient and humane social services. That would have meant sums. Better just leaving that to the number crunchers at Westminster. Wouldn’t want us to go carrying into the wrong column and you probably need to know your times tables for some of the really hard ones. And all that arguing about priorities and scratching your head about how much to lay aside for jollies to furrin parts.

Then we would have to have talked to other folk when we got there! Dear god in Govan, we couldn’t have done that. Trade ne…go..ti…a….Sorry, you’ve lost me there. I’m just a wee Jock wi’ nae knickers tae ma name. Hence the bare arse under the kilt, I suppose. Imagine the humiliation of our accent abroad! What a riddy it would have been to send an embarrassment of a foreign representative out into that big world beyond the Borders.

Close shave with that one.

We would have to have thought about defending ourselves too. Jesus wept. That’s lamentable. How on earth has any other country in the world ever managed that one? I suppose there’s the possibility that we could have come up with some sort of workable system that would have protected us should the marauding hordes from some far flung, or nearer, parts have descended, enmasse, to steal our cattle and ravage our women. Maybe we could have had an army or something. I’ve heard they work fairly well in some quarters.

But, thank god, we don’t need too many soldiers because Britannia has very kindly lent us an enormous penile extension to scare off the non-English speaking enemy. I don’t know all that much about it, what with me being too stupid and all that, but apparently, just saying we have it ought to be enough. Maybe flashing it once in a while to flaunt its enormity. ‘Check this out, pal! Come and get it if you’re brave enough.’ That should see us alright.

I daren’t think what would happen to us if we didn’t have the deterrent of something that might work. If we wanted it to.

And it’s worth it, isn’t it? I mean, it only costs a few bob, in the big scheme of things. We’re loaded, you see.

We saved up for it. We did, you know. Britannia thought about it long and hard. Got quite excited at being first among equals and decided tally-ho.

I’m eternally grateful. You’ve no idea.

To have such a magnificent specimen of manhood parked within 40 miles of Glasgow is a turn-on beyond my imaginings. And they let us have it. I mean, how generous is that? I guess it’s because we gave them all our oil. Only seems fair, doesn’t it? Probably by the time Trident’s been upgraded it’ll work out about evens.

And it’s even providing more than five hundred jobs! That’s a big number, isn’t it? I think. Maybe not as big as five million. But five million’s still quite a piddling amount, isn’t it? That’s only a city in some places. And you can’t park a nuclear weapon in a city. Everybody knows that. That would be dangerous. Maybe even contemptuous of the lives of those in that there city. So, we’re holding it for Britannia, at the moment. We’re like that, you see. Generous to a fault.

I know you’ve probably heard about the mean and miserable Scot who created the Grand Canyon because he dropped a penny in it. But it’s not true.

How could it be? We give everything away. Even our freedom.

But, some of us are okay with that because we get to wave a special flag. It’s a lovely one. Better than a lot. Not as good as some. But it means so much to be able to drape our coffins in it.

I, for one, can’t tell you how grateful I am to be considered a special region of Britain.

I really can’t.

Hope Sings And Dances

Hope_1

(source)

Hope springs eternal in the fields where freedom grows

Gushes forth forever and, with liberty, it flows

It dances and it frolics while it buds and builds anew

Pleasures in the pastures where the words are strong and true

It glories in a garden that will always foster fair

Edifying, magnifying, everyone who’s there

It weaves and wanders wondrously, pervading every dream

Paves the way with petals that are always what they seem

It does not lie to have its way, though despairing may accuse

For it’s allied with the future and a world it won’t abuse

Hope springs and dances for the right to live again

In the hearts of all who seek it and feel its longing pain

Hope smiles and witnesses, will not abandon you

But dances still because of life and dreams it won’t eschew

Remember, in that garden, there is room for all who see

That winter cedes to spring that blooms each and every year

We nurture it and take it with us everywhere we go

And tag the dancers, one and all, so hope its seeds may sow

With hope that never dies a death, for eternally it springs

We build a world that starts, right here, where hope will dance and sing

Give hope a voice that reaches far and fills the hills and glens

A voice that touches one and all, transforms their lives and then

Let hope be in the notes of every song it can conceive

From island homes to city streets for, with hope, we may believe

So when hope asks for permission, for it never will impose

Let all who hear the voice of hope sing all the songs hope knows

S & M Games

I was taking a well-earned rest that extended a bit beyond what I intended. Thoroughly enjoying it too. Been to Spain and back again. Been over the border and back again. Trying desperately not to comment on the farce of British politics…I’ll say this and then I’m going back to R&R. I need it.  Sorry I’ve not been into anyone’s sites – never thought I’d be so long absent from blogland. I daresay once I’ve replenished my oomph I’ll be back. Just had to let you know that we’re not all arses.

Thigh-high boots, leather corset

Whip hand cracks and snaps near ear

Ricochets, reverberations

Dominate, try to measure fear

Public school boys, petted puppies

Petulance, moral poverty

Bankrupt conscience, fixed agendas

Ambitious failures shed no tears

Tricks and lies that colour pages

Carrots, sticks and donkey rides

Asinine with self-absorption

Peek-a-boo, expose then hide

Decisions based on fear and fortunes

Games they play, monopoly

Snakes with ladders, swings and sliders

Risk and run mid jeers and cheers

Children all, without exception

Raised with silver spoons in arse

Rhetoric undemocratic

Bully boys, elected farce

Run the countries like a brothel

Prostitute the populace

Whip to frenzy, S&M games

Governance of world disgrace

Rules we live by

They dismiss

Changed mid-game

Really take the piss

House of cards

With loaded dice

None virtuous

We’re held by vice

Tokens, tickets

Buy your pass

Swallow mouthfuls

While they laugh

Independence, vows they promised

All exposed as project fear

Truth lay shackled, cuffed, spreadeagled

Cats with nine tails cost us dear

Domination detrimental

Determination, never more

Sneering snobs, robotic gargoyles

Time to even up the score

Keep your mind games, carnival

The whole shebang, corrupt cabal

I’ll take freedom with vanilla

Straight talking Scots with evidence

Let the whorehouse knaves all tumble

While they scrap and flaunt and flounce

In disarray and deep division

Casting lots to ferment hate

Queuing up to take the whip hand

Welcome to Westminstergate

Masochists, sadistic pleasures

Name your game, they’re all for sale

Ignore the world that heaves in turmoil

Pimp your ride while people wail

What we’ve come to, what a mess

But, hey ho, folks, it’s all illusion

Games they play while they undress

 

The Ripple Club

There is a world fast awakening to political intrigue,

To the boys in the backroom, the power clubs of greed.

There’s a world beyond Scotland who know and who care

That what’s done in their name is right, just and fair.

There’s a world that I’ve read of in the pages of here,

Shared by citizens of lands and nations held dear.


I’ve read of Canadian, a mayor of shame,

Of senate and congress, American in name.

I’ve read from the pages of patriots wide,

From countries all over, heads hung where once pride.

I’ve read and imbibed all with wonder and awe

That so many are seeing what lies in the raw.


I’ve speculated reasons for going it alone,

The fears and the hopes in this land of my own.

I’ve reflected on words long held dear in my heart,

‘I was not born for one corner of this globe ,

The whole world is my native land’

And realised we, the people, need a fresh start


From those who decree how our story is told,

Inked, printed, pressed, as all stories of old,

Repeated interminably, rehashed as the new,

Emperor’s apparel hailed as if true,

Till child, though small and dismissed as naïve,

Shouts, ‘Naked! Look! Visible! See and believe!’


Far bigger this picture, from nation to world,

I see a new flag, unveiled and unfurled.

Carried by people, the grassroots with aim,

Acting with courage, no longer the lame,

Beginning at home, as all we must try,

Passed one to another, a relay or die


At what passes for policy, legislation corrupt,

It’s the voice of the masses, disgusted, fed up.

Membership of these ‘riot clubs‘, however manifest,

Cannot serve the populace, how could they know what’s best

If blinded by self-interest and lost to cause and reason?

When held to account by Everyman, let no one say, ‘it’s treason’.


It’s the ripples in the waters from the stone that’s cast therein

That make the biggest differences in a world of sink or swim.

I want to be a ripple with the pebble I’ll soon cast,

A vote that makes a difference for a future built to last,

A willingness to face what’s wrong, to look with hope not gloom,

To be the change in stagnant ponds that will let our desert bloom.

When will we see your like again?

Any educator worth their salt knows that the battle is won when students are engaged in the learning process. How to do that becomes of paramount importance if successful learning is to occur. I won’t go into the myriad methods teachers use and try out in their efforts to capture and retain the attention of minds too often full of alternatives vying for their consideration. But the list is pretty much endless. Making lessons fun is one. Kinaesthetic learning another. Meaningful lessons a must.

Whatever else may be said about the campaign for Scottish Independence, one of its chief successes has to be the level of engagement abounding within the populace as a whole. For the first time in generations, adults and youth alike are enthusiastic and vocal in the political arena where previously they have felt disengaged. Mainly due to feeling disenfranchised by the whole political process and the parties representing what has been seen to be too much of the same old, same old.

What is the point in voting? has been a question on the lips of so many for years and this has been reflected in the turnout at elections. To have reached a point in governance where it seems pointless to participate at all is a woeful reflection on how politics operates in the UK and in many other countries. To believe in democratic process one must feel that they have a stake in the result.

Meaningful participation.

That has been lacking so badly.

Across Scotland, right now, all ages are enthused by what is occurring in their lifetime. When my seven year old states early in the morning, ‘Only two weeks to go now, Mum’, I know that the talk abounding has permeated minds that would have previously not understood what a referendum was let alone could discuss what the possibilities of a yes or no mean.

It is not permissible for me to discuss the campaign in school in the interests of neutrality. But the children themselves are discussing it in the playground! Primary school children who are listening to their parents talk and feeling the vibe are opening up avenues of discussion.

Manufacturing enthusiasm is a difficult job. Ask any teacher. Meaningful enthusiasm is worth its weight in gold. And votes.

Imagine a political arena where the participants are the people themselves. Not the face of a party leader. Not the voice of one man or woman spouting agendas that feel separate from the populace. Not suits, dressed to impress, with flat voices guaranteed to turn the most intelligent student into a zombie. Not a separate entity from the reality of the commoner.

Sure, there are posturers seeking to score points in the age-old method guaranteed to inflame ire among the plain speakers and force the bored into submissive apathy.

But it’s not working! Rather than turning people off, the posturing becomes one more thing to fight against. It already was when the campaign began. Now, it’s seen as the smoke screen it has always been used for. No more mincing words in negativity and scaremongering. No more listening to the lies.

Oh yes, we hear them and pay attention to what is being said but the tissue is crumpling into pieces.

When will we see your like again?

 

High Noon

They’re struttin’ in the media,

A swagger to their hips,

Totin’ power like marshall law,

Twistin’ lies and lips.

They’re chewin’ gum imagin’ry,

Pretendin’ to be cool,

Wouldn’t hold a candle to

Most kids we’ve met in school.

Except, p’rhaps, like teenagers,

They’re mostly bluff and bumph,

I’ve sympathy for evolvin’ youth

But the others get my humph.

Agreements tacit – purposed point –

Parties merge for aim,

Shoot the outlaws, hang ’em high,

Scupper cowboy game.

I’d rather be the native

Or the bountied head – no liar –

Than opportune for photo pose

Captioned, ‘Guns for Hire’.

No slickness here, no brylcremed wave,

No texture to their smooth,

Slippy, slidy, greasy-poled,

Slinkng, cannot prove

A single point, so just pretend,

Repeat prophetic rote,

Fingers crossed behind their backs,

Prepare the new scapegoat.

Run it into wilderness

To carry off their sins,

Load it high with guilt complex.

We’d better bloody win!

 

‘No’ to Arrested Development

See how she sits in her high chair,

Obedient child to the last,

See how she sups up her porridge,

Flavoured with history past.

 

See how she spits out the spoonful,

Proferred by patronage hand,

See how she picks up her own now,

Infancy making a stand.

 

See how she learns from endeavour,

As natural an act as can be,

See how she grows to an adult,

Independent, self-nourished and free.

 

See how some children, retarded

By parents who will not let go,

Develop arrested behaviours,

Damaged by some who don’t know

 

That nothing is worth being stuck there,

Harnessed in chair like a child.

It breaks under pressure from fairy tales,

Sometimes we’re born to be wild.

 

Wild as the woad on our faces

When history wrote out our path,

But timing is now, and with courage,

Freedom not given, we grasp

 

The spoon from the parent who knows not

A whit of development’s way.

Our children are free as a nation, come

September 18th, ‘Yes!’, Independence Day.

May Music, Day 15 – Yes! Perfectly Caledonian – with some Dignity

I’m one of these annoying buggers that sing along to a lot of songs. Sometimes even just the ones in my head.

But, singing along and singing along can mean quite different things depending on the occasion.

For this one, think party, people, alcohol imbibed in sufficient quantity to be somewhat reckless in demeanour (pished), end of the night, dj with a smart sense of how to wrap up an evening. Everybody loves everybody else. Oh, yes, everybody loves everybody else. (Except for that wee shite over there that’s asking for a belt in the mush.) Arms around shoulders, linking one to another. Think, swaying in time with stupid grins plastered. Think, starting slowly and then trying to keep up, arms and legs flailing while singing (shouting) along. Timing becomes nothing. Participation is all. Ach, you’d have to be there. And we have, Runrig with ‘Loch Lomond’.

Quieten down for a more melancholy sort of pished and we have, Dougie MacLean with ‘Caledonia’.

Speaking of pished. Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) and we have, Eddi Reader with ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

And I can’t include Eddi Reader here without including one of my favourites of hers from when she sang with Fairground Attraction. And it’s a different sort of pishing down here. ‘Perfect’.

I had no idea when I began Twindaddy’s 25 days of music challenge how difficult it would prove to be. For a number of reasons. Nor that it would create a monster. I am currently incapable of choosing one song only. But, if you all only listen to one, listen to Dougie MacLean singing ‘Caledonia’. It’s perfect. Yes, for home.

And maybe some ‘Dignity’. Because the two of them kinda go hand in hand.

There’s more to Scotland than all portrayals. Including mine.