I wasn’t going to post again today, but something has been weighing on my mind, and I felt the need to write it out in public. It’s on the question that will be posed to Scotland in the Autumn of 2014: “Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?” Now, the referendum is not for a long time yet, but articles on the matter seem to be sprouting like mushrooms all over the place – that is, like mushrooms, their roots are underground, and have been there a long time, and only are now popping up for air and to spore.
Part of the pressure I’m feeling on my poor brain is from the book I’m reading, And The Land Lay Still, by James Robertson. I think I’ve written that title and name out a half a dozen times today, and I apologise. This isn’t even a review of it yet. Just that it is all about independence, the movement for it, the arguments from recent history for an independent Scotland. Books have influence, and if ever a book wanted to influence, it’s this one, much the same way as Orwell wanted to get his message across (although Orwell was more convincingly literary, but I’ll get to that another day).
Further, in the last day I’ve been reading this post in the Guardian by comedian Stewart Lee. You can go and read it now, if you like. I’ll wait…yes, so, what did you think? Lee is a comedian, and satirist, which allows him to say all sorts of things in the guise of comedy. In the guise of old stereotypes – I know what he is doing is using hyperbolic language to undermine points made in newspapers against the idea that Scotland could ever be independent. But i also know, I think, when someone is using a joke to say, the first leader (prime minister) of Scotland associates with homophobics, is a coward, can’t be trusted, will lead to a collapse of the left wing support if Scotland is to leave the union. All of which, I believe is a nonsense. I could deconstruct every flaw with what I perceive his argument is, but we’d be here all day, and I don’t trust myself to know precisely where the satire ends and the truth begins. Perhaps the flaws in my sense of humour, perhaps in his.
To cut a long story short, the reason I wrote this post is to link to my tumblr, where I wrote a bit of a screed on the positive sides of the case for independence. It’s not meant to sway anyone, but just to have a more positive angle out there, one that is, I hope, rational rather than romantic. All of this could be considered background for my book review on Robertson’s epic, but equally it might just be all a fash to my international readers, a signal that there may be more to come, down the line – but I hope you might find it interesting at least on this occasion to read some of the politics coming out of a little corner of North Western Europe, and I know I would love to hear all of your opinions.