Happy New Year 2015! I try not to write about myself too much, but this seems a perfect excuse.
2014 got off to the worst start imaginable. I broke with my lovely girlfriend, Crissy José, in a stupid disagreement that was entirely my fault. (I mentioned this in an earlier post). I had very little money and I was totally depressed. My world shrank and I turned inwards. I was emotionally gutted and actually in a very vulnerable condition.
It’s been two months since the Independence Referendum in Scotland, and the results are now becoming clear. The initial analysis, that the SNP ‘lost’, is no longer sustainable.
While the result was a majority in favour of staying within the disUnion, at least for the present, this has not constituted a defeat for the SNP. To understand this, we need to look at the campaign in a broader context.
In the first place, it was never, and will never be ‘one referendum will settle it for good’. The September referendum was one event in a long sequence, all of which, for over a hundred years, have loosened the ties of the disUnion over Scotland. The September vote should be seen in the context of this ongoing journey; it was just another stage in a process and one which shows support for independence to be far higher already than the Westminster political class were suggesting twelve months ago. Like the odious George Robertson’s claim that ‘a Scottish parliament would kill the SNP’, those statements, of how the referendum would put an end to Scotland’s journey to nationhood now look very hollow. Perhaps it is no surprise that the English media and their subsidiaries in Scotland are glossing over those words now, just as they gloss over Robertson’s
Devolution is a process, not an event, and the end-point of that process is independence. The real question the most recent referendum set was not ‘will Scotland be Independent’ but ‘will Scotland be Independent now’. Continue reading “Tell me again how the SNP ‘lost’…”
Well, what a fascinating weekend we just had in the Scottish Independence campaign. After weeks slowly getting redder and uglier, the boil of the ‘No’ camp – often known as ‘Project Fear’ – burst and showered its surroundings in a thick layer of pus.
What happened was that an allegedly senior but unnamed Tory Minister admitted the truth: George Osborne’s assertion that there would never be a Currency Union between England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWNI) and an Independent Scotland, was a lie. It was just another filibustering bluff, the latest in a long series of such from the bottom-feeders who slither along the corridors of Whitehall.
This admission, that the second most senior member of the ‘British’ Gummint, had been barefacedly telling porkies, was made to The Guardian newspaper, which ran big with it, and yesterday’s Sunday papers, well, the Scottish editions, followed suit. The Mondays are full of it.
The Goddess is a big deal in the Philippines and goddesses are out in strength there this week. The occasion is the closing rounds of the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament, held at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Teams with names like De La Salle Lady Spikers and Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles, the Tigresses, the Lady Warriors and the Lady Bulldogs battle it out in front of huge, enthusiastic and thoroughly partisan crowds. And these girls aren’t kidding; this is serious stuff.
The audience is mainly young – but everywhere in the Phils is mainly young. That’s only to be expected in a country where the population has increased by a factor of ten in fifty years. And there are as many men here as women. Filipinos are as passionate about volleyball as Scots are about football.
Scientists all over the world are turning their attention to Scotland in the wake of a shock discovery that ‘archaic’ humans may be alive and well and living there.
The discovery came when one of them was filmed saying that they ‘were not evolved to make political decisions’.
Professor of Anthropology Farquhar Mc Farquharson of the University of Aberdeen explained: ‘All modern humans – Homo sapiens – have evolved highly sophisticated social behaviour including the ability to arrive at complex decisions within a formal political framework. The discovery of a population that lacks this ability, apparently living alongside more developed hominids, is very exciting.’ Continue reading “Archaic Humans Discovered in Scotland”
Just to let you know that after a tricky week, the main rodfleming.com blog has now been migrated to a new host. Actual downtime was minimal, but there are still many little things to fix. Hopefully load times should be much faster.
After quite a few years with GoDaddy I had to draw a line under it. The hosting server had become ridiculously slow – indeed last week died altogether for several days – and instead of just fixing it, and giving me what I had paid for, they wanted me to buy a new ‘plan’ which they assured me would make everything all right – but with no guarantee and I would have been locked into another year at least with them. No thanks. That’s not what I call customer service.
I’ll do a more in-depth post soon, but for the moment, I would have to advise that no-one with a WordPress-based blog or site should even consider hosting with GoDaddy. There are far better options out there.
A fell cauld wind wis sauchin ower the muir as the bonny wumman gart her wey tae tryst her jo. For the necht wis Februar the fowerteen, an aabody kens at’s the necht for luve.
She wis winsome eneuch, tho the first blush o youth, it maun be said, was left ahent her a lang while syne. A body mecht hae speirit at himsel how comes a lass o sic natral attractions hidnae been wad this mony a lang year.
At last she reached the spot ablow an auld aik whaur she an her jo hiv met this necht mony mair years nor either of them wad care tae hink on. Her jo wis aaready there, a puckle fashit, ye mecht hink, wi the wye he wis stridin up an doon, his een flashin faniver he luikit up.
Eight years after Scotland voted ‘Yes’ to Devolution, but had seen this victory snatched away by Westminster, things were very different.
The most hated Prime Minister in recent history – possibly all history as far as the Scots are concerned – Margaret Thatcher, had focussed minds on the fight against her all over the UK. Scottish Labour rode high on this wave of anti-Tory sentiment, and lost no time in asserting that it was the only way to be sure to get rid of the Tories. A vote, they claimed, for any other party, was a ‘vote for the Tories’.
But it was a gamble. Thatcher’s popularity in England had increased radically since she first had been elected. In England, though far less in Scotland, her resolve in fighting and defeating the Argentinean invasion of the Falkland Isles, had played well for her. She called an election in 1983 and found her majority increased.
During the 1980s, Scotland’s political scene was polarised by a cathartic and visceral detestation of the UK Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This, for perhaps the last time, caused a genuinely British response, in that many Scottish opponents of Conservatism, badly discouraged by the calculating and dishonest way which the Home Rule that Scots had voted for had been snatched away by a self-interested Westminster, fell back to old loyalties, and threw their weight behind the familiar Labour Party, in an effort to rid themselves of the hated Tories. Continue reading “The Empty Palace: Roads to Referendum 2”
Those avid readers who live in Scotland will be able to see yours truly’s geggy mutt plastered all over the pages of The Courier newspaper today. Support those who support me, I say, so get out and buy a copy! You can download the full page image HERE.
It’s publicising my hilarious collection of memoirs on life in France called French Onion Soup!, which you can download FOR FREE from Amazon today and tomorrow, as part of the promotion.
Please, please, though, if you like it, please leave a review on Amazon.