The final time

So this weekend is my final trip to Glasgow to finish off the flat before the tenants move in on Monday. My last “free” weekend in my wee flat.

I know I am going to have mixed feelings. It has been upgraded to a nice standard, I do wonder why I didn’t do it for myself years ago.

It is also another last for me, a last trip to Scotland before the independence vote. Now that I am Yorkshire man I don’t get a vote; something I am mild disappointed in. However I have a greater fear for the post vote days, no matter which way it goes. This referendum has been polarising across Scotland, between family and friends and the morning after is not going to heal the hard words that have passed between some. Also, with a vote this close, and it will be close, there is not going to be a clear mandate either way. Yes there will be a legal victory, but if the losing side gets 40-49% of the vote, then whilst the matter will be settled, it will not be gone. There will still be a significant proportion of the Scottish electorate who thought the other way. This will benefit Yes, if it loses; there can be another referendum in 15 years time. There will never be a referendum to reunify…..

So I hope for a clear result; a +60% one way or the other, but I don’t think it will happen. On the 19th September, if it was a win either way by a few percentage points, then no one should be crowing, they should be working out how to reunify Scotland.

In the meantime, I will enjoy my criuse up the M6/M74 with, for the last time for at least a couple of years, the destination of St Vincent Street.

Wee Magic Stane

The Stone of Destiny movie is out now and I am really looking forward to seeing it. From my primary school years i can remember the below poem by John McEvoy.

Wee Magic Stane
O the Dean of Westminster wis a powerful man,
He held all the strings of State in his hand,
But with all this great business it flustered him nane,
Till some rogues ran away wi’ his wee magic stane.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Noo the Stane had great pow’rs that could dae such a thing
And withoot it, it seemed, we’d be wantin’ a King,
So he called in the Polis and gave this decree–
“Go an hunt oot the Stane and return it tae me.”
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

So the Polis went beetlin up tae the North,
They huntit the Clyde and they huntit the Forth,
But the wild folk up yonder just Kiddit them a’,
For they didnae believe it wis magic at a’,
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Noo the Provost o’ Glesga, Sir Victor by name,
Wis awfy pit oot when he heard o the Stane,
So he offered the statues that staun in the Square,
That the High Churches’ Masons might mak a few mair.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Whan the Dean o’ Westminster wi’ this wis acquaint,
He sent for Sir Victor and made him a Saint,
“Now it’s no use you sending your Statues down heah,”
Said the Dean, “But you’ve giv’n me a right good idea,”
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

So he quarried a Stane o’the very same stuff,
And he dressed it a’ up till it looked like enough,
Then he sent for the Press and announced that the Stane,
Had been found and returned to Westminster again.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Whan the reivers found oot what Westminster had done,
They went aboot diggin up Stanes by the ton,
And fur each wan they finished they entered a claim,
That this wis the true and original Stane.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Noo the cream o the joke still remains to be telt,
For the bloke that wis turnin them aff on the belt,
At the peak o production wis so sorely pressed,
That the real yin got bunged in alang wi the rest.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

So if ever you come on a Stane wi’ a ring,
Jist sit yersel doon and proclaim yersel King,
Fur there’s nane wud be able to challege yir claim,
That you’d croont yersel King on the Destiny Stane.
With a too ra li oor ra’ li oor a li ay.

Energy…. it is all looking pretty dim

I have hugely growing concerns on the subject of energy; the type of stuff that keeps our lights on, homes warm and business in action, and how the UK seems to be getting more and more screwed up position.

Over the past 18 months all the major utility companies (gas and electric) have hiked up their prices, some up to an amazing 24%, on the back of what they claim are higher costs to import fuel from the continent as North Sea gas supplies dwindle.

However, across the general populace there seems to be little outcry at these hikes or the precarious situation that we appear to be in. Fuel poverty is talked about, but little seems to be done (other than being told… change supplier but watch out for the penalty charges!)

So have we all become rather apothetic to this issue facing us all? Have we all become more energy hungry without being more energy conscious? Do you have energy saving light bulbs? Do you swtich off your TV or leave it on stand-by? How thick is the insulation in your roof (and how thick should it be)?

I think we are being more and more dumb to this and many more issues. All we seem to care about is whether we can afford that car, the new house, those shoes and that holiday……

The debate

Brown’s Britian Day

This must be one of the most blogged topics in the UK this weekend, Gordon Brown wanting to reclaim the Union Jack from the far right and wanting us all to celebrate Britishness.

I think I am in the group with most Scots, that say we are Scottish first and foremost, then British and European.

The Union flag is a strange thing that is spread across the world, and in someways British colonialism can be looked on as having left a legacy of blood, domination and destruction across the globe; indigenous poplutions and cultures were destroyed in the name of empire. However we can also say that the legacy of colonialism did spread a degree of ‘good things’ around the world; democracy, education and justice.

I don’t know which side of the colonial debate I am on, perhaps there was more bad than good, but all these things are associated with the Union flag; a British arrogance that we are superior. I think that we cannot wrestle back the Union flag from this as it is not only the British people but a fair slice of the rest of the world that think this.

In this age of devolution within the UK I think we have to celebrate the diversity that defines four unique nations that are an economic and political union. It would be far better that on St Andrew’s Day Scotland promotes itself (people, place and culture) to the rest of the union, and the same with the others.

The problem with this idea is, to a lesser degree in Scotland and Wales and a greater degree in England, that the sense of national identity is not there and so how can we celebrate contemporary Britian when we can not celebrate contemporary Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you do think you are British first and foremost, try The BBC British Test so see how British you are!