Good Jül! Here a poyim ta shiv in your pipe



I caught Santa, nudging out onto Byres Road
near the height of the seasonal panic and topical
flim flammery.  Half a Pall Mall threatened to crumble
its ash south of the Clyde. ‘One false move,’
you could near hear it say ‘and the beard gets it!’

I’d tremble and quake behind the velvet reek it flung
nostrilward and eyeward. Big Claus though, if he noticed
it hardly showed as he flung the green Berlingo right
where even the whitest of Transits deem tippy tapping
and maximum peeping contingent to their creep.

What tunes turned on his ultimate audio?  When did his
ho-ho-ho go home, leave the bitch pointing up
the hill in first and call it a day?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Crazy Giveaway

For Black Friday, Buy Nothing Friday, I choose to give freely something of great value to me.  Roll up.

Crazy Giveaway

For this bright, spacious well adorned appartment
with parking underneath, we give the wildflower
meadow, the chicks hatching song into the rising
sun, the butterfly and bee finding nectar deep
inside withering petals.

For this well located retail space with world leading
brands served with enthusiasm and knowledge
we give the keepers of treasure troves, the standers
and talkers and the getters to knowers, the live
abovers, the handed downers, the warm inquiry
into Maisy’s hip in the winter.

For this latest, state of the art plasma screen TV
we give the library card, the morning with sketchbooks,
the rainy Saturday afternoons making papier maché
monsters with the kids, the taste of mountain dew
steaming from our loosened boots.

For these thirty pieces, we give the truth that all
we need can be found in the still belly that rests
between breaths, by the wild riverbank allowed
to run free, and in the warm embrace of those closest
to hand.  This offer must end soon.  Spaces are limited
to one precious soul per beating heart.  Avoid
disappointment.  Act now to secure the savings
of a lifetime.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

God is great, and resides within you

The events which played out in Paris on Friday 13th November, 2015, and their repercussions, will doubtless be talked, written and debated about for weeks, months, even years.  Already, less than a week after the attacks, vast tracts of writing have appeared in print and online, broadcast news outlets can squeeze little else into their already extended schedules and very real impacts are being felt across the middle-east and across Europe as governments rush to be seen to be in control.

There has been an outpouring of grief, of anger, of hatred, of recrimination and counter-recrimination, of accusation and counter-accusation.  Of despair, of horror, of anguish.  Peoples tempers are short, and as they process the hurt which they feel they hurt others and protect themselves from feeling the pain which lies underneath their anger.

It’s all incredibly depressing, and in many ways the reactions are more damaging than the events themselves.  In light of such suffering, such explosive feeling, such profound desire for this not to have happened, it would be easiest to conclude that many people of greater intellect will know what’s best, and that there’s more to be gained from maintaining a quietude around the situation than there is from adding to the throng of voices.

But if the attacks don’t deserve the dignity of a vocal response, some of the damaging ways in which they are being used simply cannot be ignored.  So here I am, and this piece has no intention of preaching, of reproaching of being holier than anyone.  My sole goal here is to understand, and if I can come close to anything so grand to communicate that.

The first thing to be seen is the suffering which was caused on Friday to the people of Paris, to the people from all over the world who were congregated in that iconic city, and most acutely to those whose lives were taken from them, and to their survivors.  Nothing we say or do can afford to forget, overlook or dishonour their deep, human suffering.  This should go without saying.  Sometimes the things which should go without saying need most to be said.

The second group of people whose suffering I’m relating to are the 1.6 billion human souls across this planet who practice Islam.  When it comes to questions of faith, we humans display our highest and our lowest functions.  At the high end, religion can inspire extraordinary acts of commitment, humanity and compassion, can lead to great lives being led in the service of others.  And yes, at the lowest end it can harden human hearts and bamboozle brains into perpetuating the most beastly sufferings and hardships against our fellow beings.

I will never know how it feels for my faith to be used against me, for the deaths of innocent people to be blamed on a system of belief with which I try to raise my soul above the mundane plane of transient and base existence.  I have plenty issues with Islam, but to suggest, as hurt and weary people have in recent days, that the despicable events of Friday the 13th in Paris are a result of Islam indicates not only a failure of the logical faculties but a brutality of spirit which is in itself part of the problem, far more so than Qu’ranic interpretation or cross-continental migration.

One of the immediate observations after these most recent attacks, and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January this year, is that the kind of abuse of life we so readily and correctly condemn when it happens in Gay Paris is sadly a part of everyday life in the Middle East.  This is a valid and important observation.  It isn’t about winning a grievance competition, but it’s crucial to gaining a true understanding of what has happened, to any attempt we may make (as we surely must) to learn and grow from what has happened.

If we do feel more for victims of the attacks in Paris than we do for the carriers of human suffering in Beirut, in Gaza, in Syria, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, then we will continue to see events such as those of last Friday.  In the past few days, I’ve seen people trying to explain why they may feel more solidarity with Paris than with these other places.  I have a real instinct to be less than gentle in my speech towards them, which I hope I’m managing to let go of.

The truth remains though that what the people of the middle east have been subjected to in the years following the Second World War and the World Trade Centre attacks really isn’t okay.  And western news media, by failing to cover stories of the devastating impact the actions of western military regimes have in these countries, need to take responsibility for the murders which took place in Paris.  The blind eye they have turned is fuel, and powerful fuel at that, for the radicalisers and proselytisers who would use the Qur’an to preach, teach and practice bloodshed.

There are defenses brought by people who want all of the responsibility to be ‘othered’ away.  They argue that because atrocities happen there more frequently, they will naturally receive less coverage.  Well, that’s a bit of a cop out.  President Barack Obama has told us what happened in Paris is ‘an attack on all humanity’.  And he’s absolutely correct.  But his statement fails to acknowledge or address the underlying truth, that every time a human being kills another human being this constitutes ‘an attack on all humanity’.  No-one is put on this earth to kill, far less so to be killed.  Yes, it’s wrong for someone to kill people in a country which I’ve visited, who have the same colour of skin that I do, whose language belongs to the same branch of languages that mine does – whatever, it’s just as wrong where these commonalities are not present.  We cannot allow hierarchies to be created in the sanctity of life.

The most uncomfortable truth which we in the west must face is that this has not been done to us.  We have done this to ourselves.  The British state, as the French state and the Federal Republic of the United States of America has profited enormously from the sale of weapons since far longer than any of our lifetimes.  So in consequence, however indirectly, my primary and secondary education, the part of my tertiary education which I didn’t have to personally pay for, all the healthcare I’ve received, including a week in a high dependency unit with machines reading me like a foreign correspondent’s news report – all of this was partly possible due to the sale of arms, not to mention the use of weaponry to prolong the profound global economic disequilibria which are perpetuated to our advantage.

And what killed the 129 Parisians on Friday the 13th?  It wasn’t Islam.  It certainly wasn’t refugees.  It wasn’t even the perverse ideology peddled by those who claimed responsibility for the attacks.  They were killed by guns.  As long as we allow people to make and sell guns, people will die.  As long as we profit from this, it will come back to haunt us.

In the car on Friday 13th before the attacks were committed, I caught a short news bulletin, which stated that the relatives of one of his victims had expressed a sense of relief that Jihadi John had been killed.  Now I’m in no position to stand in judgement over a grieving persons response to news directly related to their family.  I can’t say for certain that my response would be any different.

But broadcasting this as news is quite simply feeding a lust for blood and death.  The truth of the matter is that however uncomfortable we feel with the idea, there is no us and them.   There is only us.  As long as we feed our bloodlust, all that will come our way is blood.  Read the Scottish play if you’re in any doubt.

Francois Hollande labelled the attacks an act of war.  I would not like to be in his shoes today, but the last time I heard a western head of state use that term was in 2001 after the World Trade Centre attacks.  To lay the instability of the Middle East entirely at the door of western military action in the region since then would be simplistic.  But compare the Middle East of the turn of the century with the Middle East people are fleeing in their millions today.  Can we say repeated sorties into the region have brought stability?  Only if we have entirely taken leave of our senses.

Whatever we do and don’t know for sure about the genesis, training and financing of the organisation which committed these atrocities, responding with hatred, with violence and with anger will only help to perpetuate the cycle of violence.  So however futile it might seem, I’d humbly suggest that we all take time to see the situation for what it really is – and find whatever ways we can to respond with love, with peace and with understanding.  Only in this way can we truly honour the lives which are being lost and turned upside down on a day to day basis.  Only in this way can we bring about the kind of real, lasting change we need to see.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Time for ploughshares

Today, protesters from across the British Isles converge on our shame.  I would, were it not for family commitments.  I was lucky enough last weekend to join thousands of protesters in George Square calling for an end to nuclear weapons.

Apart from the black stain they leave on all our souls, apart from the fact that were they ever to be used the world would be plunged into a living hell for any lucky/unlucky few survivors, apart from the fact that they part of the United States of America’s imperial defences and that same’s military command and control structure, apart from all that, we simply cannot afford this any longer.

While the political classes cue up to tell us we can’t afford schools, hospitals, fair wages, fair rents, immigration – the political parties which have controlled the United Kingdom are ready to blow £100bn+ on keeping weapons of mass destruction half an hour away from her third largest city.  And they wonder why the Scottish Labour vote is imploding.

Here’s a poem I wrote last week after the rally, as an act of virtual solidarity with my comrades in Argyll today.  Gaun yersels.

Continuous at sea defence

At sea aaryt – but whit
defence kin dir be?

If du hed da power
at dy fingirtips ta melt

da brains o a billion bairns
or tae turn tae dem

at see profit in plunderin
da medicine fund fur gun deals

at wid takk whit wis rendered
unto Caesar fur dir triple hedged

affshore pension pots, wid du no
flick da switch? Wid du no

scatter da thieves an murderers
fae da lobbies an committee rooms

wid du no ploo da rich field
o peace on earth, wid du no

lat da röts run as deep
as a Mark II nuclear submarine sails?

Wid du no pit a end, eence
an fur aa tae da threat

o eence an fur aa?

Chirstie Williamson 2015

One of the arguments against Scottish independence in last years debate was that we would lose global influence.  Like it or not – global influence is long gone for the United Kingdom.  There are two main centres of power in the world today, the USA and the People’s Republic of China.  Of course we have to find a way to fit into that landscape.  We don’t need to blow a ton of cash we don’t have subsidising the pentagon’s ambitions.freedoo

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

First days

Scotland, 2014. What a place. These weeks have been the most intense, exciting, difficult and optimistic times of my life. Pretty damn close to interesting. I believed, always have believed and always will believe that Scotland should be an independent country. We came so close.

I’d like to addresss three groups of people. Firstly, no voters. Dear, dear no voters. I cannot congratulate you on your victory. The institutional media and the established political leaders who led you to your vote will never get back on my Christmas card list, but you are my friends, my family and my neighbours. We have to move forward together, and are hopefully united on nuclear disarmament, social justice and public services. After six weeks of being the most overdrawn answerbank in town, I don’t think I’m alone amongst Yessers in asking can you please, now we’re here, tell us exactly why you did that? Because I never heard enough plausible benefits of continuing our relationship with the british state – if it really was the jam you voted for it better show this time. And you know the chances of that.

The second group of people I’d like to address is the people of England. In the run up to the referendum campaign, a lot of you didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I hope that some of you understand us a bit better. A lot of the rallies you’ve put on suggest there’s still a long way to go, but the #goforitscotland solidarity from English friends have been so welcome. The please stay stuff is touching too, but was never going to do it for me.

On a serious note though, one of the most compelling reasons for becoming independent was the imperviousness of influence the UK government in Westminster shows us. And I know she shows too many of you exactly the same thing. Don’t put up with it. Join us in the next stage and demand answers, campaign for change and live like in the early days of your own better nation. We have seen a true reignition of democracy in these isles – feel the heat and start fighting for whatever you believe to be right.

The last group of people I’d like to address are the people of Yes Scotland. Yessers, you are the best bunch of pals a human being will ever have. I’ve known many of you all my life – most of you I have never met. Throughout this campaign you have given, given and given. You who have so little and do so much. You have behaved with dignity, maturity and responsibility. You have been an explosion of creativity, positivity and progress which I genuinely believe is without parallel in recent history. You came so damn close. So, so, so damn close.

I always said I’d play to the whistle, and there I was on Sunday morning – reading, debating, liking and sharing, following, connecting, engaging, disagreeing, favouriting retweeting and replying like the vote was still to come.

Only it didn’t go our way. I have never felt as bad as I did on Friday morning, as beaten, as hopeless, as ashamed. I’d always assured myself that I wouldn’t get up on Friday morning and wish I’d done more. I don’t see how I possibly could have. What I hadn’t prepared myself for that not being enough.

How could what we did together, and how we did it, possibly not be enough? I know so many of you who gave more than I did, who turned up day in day out to keep the stalls open, get the information out there, to listen and respond enthusiastically.

The Glasgow I walked through on Thursday lunchtime, waiting to fulfill my democratic obligation on the way home, wasn’t a Glasgow who gave absolute sovereign power back. And we didn’t. We won Glasgow. Dundee – you fucking beauty. And North Lanarkshire, and West Dunbartonshire – but all over Scotland people had the Yes smile – you know, the big cheesy one people get when they realise it makes sense to be in control of their own decisions – surely it’s not just Yessers who’re going to miss Yes.

Except Yes isn’t going anywhere. We can’t unlearn this behaviour of connecting, can’t unmeet the likeminded people, can’t unread the essays and articles and reports and can’t unsing the songs.

Our strength as a movement is and was our diversity. The passions and competencies which made us unassailable ambassadors of Scottish independence for the last six weeks are still there, and they still need us. We are desperate to keep the momentum but we need to recover ourselves. There’s no pressure. When were you last able to say that.

And all the people who’ve been out every Saturday, who you were going to dance and sing and play and laugh and cry and love with after we all won together – they’re going to be back in town. I genuinely believe there is no way back for unionism.

In May 2015 we have a Westminster election, in 2016 we have Holyrood. Both these votes are opportunities to send a vote of no confidence in the British state. And also to progress on the issues which unite us. YES parties and Scottish CND continue the work they were doing before this cat leapt out of the bag. They gave a lot. They deserve a little back.

I always wrote the winner in all this would be democracy. I really didn’t see us bottling it, but we have. We can still continue to redefine democracy though – and still work as in the first days of a better nation. The political system has failed to have any relevance to everyday human beings for too long. We can, should and must stay all over them. We can still do this. We can still win.

Posted in Scottish Independence, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Be not afraid

At the very beginning of this whole thing (no, not two years ago when we starting preparing ourselves – six weeks ago) the debate was framed around the Salmond Darling debate. Every yesser I knew (and there were a whole lot less yes back then there is now believe me) was confident about the big debate. You felt sorry for him going in, the Darling delighted.

Before the First Minister allowed himself to be bullied about the pound (astonishingly, still a leading argument on the no side), the framing of the party political debate (not the Yes campaign of course) was this.

On the question of should Scotland be an independent country, Alistair Darling suggested that the answer to that question lay in the ability of the First Minister to answer hypothetical questions which no politician already in charge of any country could sensibly answer.

In the debate that everybody told us he lost, Darling’s challenge was this – why do they call it ‘Project Fear’.

It wasn’t because of anything Alistair Darling’s had to offer. No, two weeks before the most important exercises in democracy in British history the UK government has used all its official and unofficial influence, thrown its economic might against the idea of Scottish independence.

Not one effort has been made to present a positive case for remaining in the union. The response from the opposing leaders has been instead to undermine and intimidate, to spread confusion and threats.

The No campaign is conspicuous by its absence. Strategists from the No side are reluctant to discuss the positive case for independence, as they know that the more people hear what can be acheived in an independent Scotland, the further their voting intention moves from No to Yes.

I had one of my best discussions on Friday evening – there was a heady yes mood all over Glasgow. All around me as people learnt about the issues they were coming to Yes

The torygraph had gone with ‘Salmond’s economic case in tatters’.

‘Ye couldna write it,’ I observed to a co-glancer. ‘Actually, I don’t think there is an economic case.’ He replied. We began to have a reasoned, articulate and polite discussion around whether or not there was a business case for Scotland.

We probably began to agree to disagree, and I started to discuss historic underrepresentation of Scottish communities which have been gravely failed by Westminster.

‘But that’s politics, we’re not talking about politics.’

I took that one on the chin as well. And left him to his Absolut.

He didn’t dare talk about the politics.

So why, when Scotland had been so happy on Friday, have we been edging about, ducking for the shadows all day. Believe the reports and Yes Scotland are pseudo paramilitary fascist hit squads – sinister agents creating division and destroying value.

We are bullies, we are agressive thugs, we are nationalists, separatists and secessionists.

Only trouble is, that’s not what you see if you spend time amongst people who think Scotland should be an independent country. We’re told this is a divisive debate, but where does that come from?

Until two weeks ago, Better Together and the rest of the forces opposed hadn’t even bothered trying. Now, we’ve been promised the sky will fall on our heads if we become an independent country.

That’s their answer to the question, should Scotland be an independent country – you can’t.

Well we can. When the SNP gained its majority government in 2011, instead of a referendum with Devo max on the ballott, we were offered a Yes No Independence vote, on two assumptions – that the Scottish government wouldn’t be up for it, and that the Scottish people wouldn’t have the bottle for it.

Nobody has even attempted to mount an argument that we shouldn’t, only that we can’t. In this whole saga, the contempt shown by the political elite for the people of Scotland has only been matched by their contempt for democratic process.

They think we’re too wee, but we’ve got a highly skilled and well educated population. They think we’re too poor, but we have substantial natural resources. They think we’re so stupid, that it wasn’t even worth spending six weeks trying to have a debate, when you can just threaten to pull the arse out of the world for two weeks and undo the spontaneous burgeoning of ideas, connections, creativity and commitment amongst disparate and talented people with a common cause.

On Thursday the 18th of September 2014, at 7 am the political, media and financial elits will no longer be in charge. The people of Scotland will be in charge. And we’ll stay in charge on Friday morning. And it will be a great victory, not just for the people of Scotland, but for the people of Britain, and for the exercise of our highest expression – democracy.

Posted in Mindfulness, Scottish Independence | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Noches exhuberanti

In Glasgow you get two kinds of audiences. Tough and tougher. Tucked snugly off the right side of Sauchiehall Street the Glasgow Film Theatre is used with showing the best of world cinema, to engaged and engaging audiences.

So I was excited to saunter across Blythswood Square after work that sudden May Tuesday after the sweet first Monday. Eirene Houston’s film, the Day of the Flowers, was on, with a Question & Eirene session afterwards, led by actor turned director Libby McArtthur.

Alongside time served Glaswegians, doyens of screen and trade had come all the way from Edinburgh to be dipped in the caribbean heat, high ideals and good Scottish heart that is ‘Day of the Flowers’.

After the last dance, McArthur – a seasoned cubanera – led a valuable public discussion with charm and finesse.

The film explores Cuba, and families through music, story and photograph candy.

Discussions from the film include the future of Cuba – the changes which are happening in Cuba and which will.

Communism works as long as it works in Cuba. And Cuba continues to show us a communism which succeeds. Which provides despite the economic and political hostility of her largest neighbour.

As economic power is loosened by the centre, small business owners and home owners pool resources at a community level. Imagine an economic liberalism, where freedom is the freedom to help people around you – the freedom to love your neighbour.

Cuba’s trade position has always been deliberately undermined by the USA, but even when the USSR – Cuba’s big trading partner – folded up the gazebo and admitted the rain would never stop, Cuba remained communist, and continued to survive the isolation which the twisted Adam Smith raping excuse for economics exhibited by politicians from the ‘West’ forced upon her.

Now, she is no longer alone. Latin America has awakened to possibilities beyond pleasing the cash power rich elite. Cuba’s neighbours were able to embrace collectivism once outside influences’ positions were made clear.

We could embrace an collectivism in Scotland, the exact shape of which no-one can predict correctly this side of 18/09/2014. As subjects of Westminster, this will never be allowed to anyone either side of the Pennines, or even the Forest of Dean. The City of London and its otherworldly representatives are so self insphinctriated we needn’t really exist.

Well we do, and we might as well be free. And we can take that chance this septeber.

As well as the political parties, there were a good crowd of filmmakers – actors, writers, producers. Stick a load of these in a room together and you know what you’ll get. A fair few of them picking up where they left off at some point. A new dawn of connections to explore for years.

And the one word that was said by more people, more often and in more ways than any other was distribution. It’s The Big Question. Like most Big Questions, The Answer is do what you can. ‘Day of the Flowers’ was taken into the CineWorld universe – a rich resource but a playngfield dominated by heavily capitalised American Star Vehicles.

We’re lucky to have venues which accommodate quality .

Screenings like the one I scampered merrily home from are good for everyone. They bring people together. Supportive, independent venues and local, talented filmmakers (the odd poet) – a sanctuary.

An da next day sumeen scampered merrily hom fae da sam thing at MacRobert (an associated hellery), aniddir treed spun aroond seein an believin.

Posted in Film, Scottish Independence, Theatre, Uncategorized, Urban Regeneration | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lies, damn lies and global finance in the independence debate

The past few weeks in the Scottish independence debate has been dominated by pronouncements from the helms of multinational concerns which have been faithfully misinterpreted and misreported in mainstream media.  Par for the course – despite their duty to inform, even the most public service of broadcasters has one primary goal.  To entertain.

With ever shrinking attention spans, it’s case of blink and you miss it if your station, paper or site should go in for anything as dreary as informed analysis. So we’re (or I am at any rate) used with digging a bit beyond the BBC and the broadloids in search of something close to the truth.

A bit of condensation is a career necessity for journalists – it’s what they do.  And why not.  But let’s take Standard Life and try to unpick what’s going on (if I can do it, I guarantee you can follow it).  As part of the group’s annual reporting, the Chief Exec stated that directors and managers had “started work to establish additional registered companies to operate outside Scotland, into which we could transfer parts of our operations if necessary”.

Now I work in finance.  The firm who pays my wages (and for whom I do not speak here) has operations in 140 countries.  Some of them have greater political and stability than Scotland does on the cusp of the independence vote, but not many.  Plenty of them suffer from systemic economic issues, political corruption, poor education and failing infrastructure.

And on a day to day basis, executives at and or near the top of these organisations make calculations around how safe and profitable it is to do business in every one of them, and how safe and profitable it is to do business in potential alternatives.  That is part of their (very lucrative) job.

I haven’t read Standard Life groups annual report from cover to cover, but the headline their statement was reported under was “Standard Life could quit Scotland”.  Making contingencies doesn’t infer an intention to quit.  Many years ago when I was more able I would often purchase (significant) quantities of alcohol on a Thursday evening.  Were someone to report the next day that I’d decided against going out, they would be very wrong, and very corrected.

Now I’m not surprised these firms have made the pronouncements they have.  I’m not surprised that media institutions with a vested interest in the future of the British state misreport them.  I’m not even surprised that when I turn up to work in the morning some of the subtleties of the situation have been wasted on certain interested observers.

Nor am I at all convinced that Scotland will become a less attractive playground for business in general, and for finance in particular – for these reasons.

  • Geography’s history – plenty nations have seceded from the British Empire.  Within these British isles the Republic of Ireland is home to plenty of succesful and profitable businesses in and around the financial services sector.  Yes, they were much more stable in the era of the centuries old sterling based currency union than under the volatility of the eurozone, but count the list of so called evacuees from an independent Scotland and I’d be surprised if you find many that can’t navigate a bit of jurisdictional diversity in Dublin.  Ditto the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey – all magnets for money management more because than in spite of their difference from London.
  • It’s the economy stupid – I’ll leave off the fact that we invented modern political economy in the 18th century.  Businesses are interested in markets.  They’re interested in commercial markets for their products, and interested in labour markets to provide them to their clients and customers profitably and efficiently.  Wealthy people live in Scotland, and they will continue to live in Scotland after September 19th 2014.  There is a large pool of highly talented, well educated Scots, a good infrastructure and all for a fraction of the cost McNish and Co will be shelling out if they run off to Canary Wharf.

Yes, there is uncertainty.  No, that’s not a comfortable position for the Fred Goodwins of this world.  Certainly, the economy of an independent Scotland could well go through a period of rebalancing, and by 2024 it could well be a much more diverse place with other sectors benefiting from space created by the winds of global capital wheeching some of the fluff off the top of a sector bloated on bail outs and pussy footers.

But I’d be offering pretty long odds on no-one coming along to handle the portfolios of the oil rich households of the north-east, on no-one being interested in structuring our AAA rated bond issues and on on no-one taking advantage of the opportunities we can’t even yet imagine offered by an independent Scotland.

And I’ll bet the house on this – a government elected by the people of Scotland for the people of Scotland has far greater interest in the people of Scotland than the boardroom population of the early 21st century.  The rich will always be with us, but the chance to bring people, businesses and government into closer co-existence, co-operation and interdependence lies in a box marked Yes on September 18th.

Posted in Scottish Independence | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shaetlan an compoonds a da richt

Dis a response o mine tae a excellent piece on Bella –

By Angus MacLeod

first published at

‘Confronted with a minority language the folk in question suddenly fall back on the “Ah, but all my forebears and those of the surrounding community were Scots speakers, you see.” You can also insert Pictish, Brythonic or Norse too, if you please.’

Or Shaetlan fur dat mettir. If I was to say I’d nivvir med doon sic a gaet myself I’d be tellin nae mair truth tae mesel as ta ony iddir een. It seems dat bit mair convoluted here i da Wast o Scotland whaar some eens is happier a pliss-nem belang ta some theoretical an lang awa or iddirwise population fae whaarivvir iddir i da Celtic tide as ta accept at Gaelic spaekkirs as med dis country, an da toons an da traivils athin hit, whit hit is.

A’m prood o Gaelic, fuivvir tenuous a connection I micht hae tae hit. Mi ain wye a spaekin’s fine by me an mair an aa, an ony iddir body’s. Da mair da merrier. Whit unites wis isna at wir aa da sam – it’s at wi aa hay different cairds ta takk tae da sam table.

Dir gems wi can aa win, an da graet gift o Scotland da New o 2014 is ta gie wis da spaes ta focus on whit wir good at, whit wi hae in wir favour, an whit wi can offer. Nuts an bolts mettir, but ta hae wan speereet an mony tongues is da aaldist new trick i da book. Scotland didna stop dat in 1707, or in 1603. An hit winna.

Sing aa wis, ay fur Alba den – fur aa at keep her sailin on. Dis da best chance wir hed tae be World Champions since 1967.

Allez-Bleu! Allez-Rouge! Allez-Vert!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Slainte Bard

Slainte Bard

Slainte Bard

Scraep aff da char,
da crust an hay onythin
eb nac tih , tfel
as  brunt as du laeks
but hit’s nae

Lift aff da lid an fin ess,
dry as Derby
i da deep dark
ma 3 o dlaac
an dir nae turnin back.

by nem an naettir,
da nicht’s da nicht
da witches shaest
eidduc sselliat ad
ower da stream

an say dey keen
whit we can be,
syne we darena
eert riddi ad aa eerf eb
hunder an sixty fower days
o da year at turnt
tree hunder an seevin year
o lang dark nichts

intae a brand new day
fur aabody, eddir side
naard rivvi redrob yrivvi o
sooth o perfect.

On den,
Cutty Sark
krap ad i kkaw sid o riam rid
as a blue plaque, tae a Chancellor
wi a checquered past. Gie

tae da exciseman his due.
Takk da rest fur aa.

25 January 2014, mcw

Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment