Friday, October 26, 2018

Edinburgh March

26th October 2018

I like to put my money where my mouth is, so I bought a ticket to Scotland to walk in the march for independence earlier this month.

My unionist relatives asked me on the way out the door to the march if we were expecting 300 participants. Many more than that, I responded, but frankly I was a little nervous. I didn't know.  When I joined the marchers just below Edinburgh Castle, it was immediately apparent that this was a huge rally. Later that night, the police report stated that it had amounted to upwards of one hundred thousand marchers.  The BBC reported that same night it had been only twenty thousand. So, ye, who think the BBC is the epitome of good taste, and will sit for hours (like me) sighing in front of good programming like Planet Earth, just remember the political work the BBC does in the interest of the Westminster (London) government.  The British Broadcasting Corporation and The British Establishment go hand in glove. For the most part in your daily viewing habits, that doesn't matter. But it does matter when a respected TV station acts as a propaganda machine, which the BBC is all too willing to do.

And then there were the small number, maybe ten or fifteen, unionists along our march down the Royal Mile with a loudspeaker jarring what was otherwise a very peaceful and happy occasion. I told those I was marching with that tomorrow we could expect those few union jacks to be the cover picture on the newspapers. And sure enough.  Despite the tens of thousands of Scottish flags, the cover of the Daily Record showed equal representation.

Mainstream UK media in general has lost touch with the truth. It seems to be a growing trend in the West. Donald  Trump once quipped that it doesn't matter if you tell a lie, you just have to keep saying it and people will eventually take it as the truth. His whole platform looks like this. It's why he fits so neatly into the sinister agenda of  the GOP.
Of course, the British Empire has a whole history of lying, and that's how empires are built. You move among the natives of the New World, trying hard to pose as honest dealers, and then when they turn around to trade you their Wampum beads, you stab them in the back. You do that all over the world and you gain the biggest empire the world has ever seen.
So, nothing new here.
Scotland has but one newspaper that supports Scottish Independence. The National. A large portion of the other 164, and all the major Scottish newspapers, are published by companies based in London. Guess whose side they are on?  The media, has become, as Iain MacWhirter has said, more than a reporter of news and is in fact these days a cultural curator.
So before a referendum on Scottish Independence, it can easily whip up vulnerable sections of the Scottish public, like the old age pensioners who were informed that voting for independence would put their pensions in jeopardy. Now that independence has come to the fore again, they are up to the same tricks.  Fear is the biggest weapon  any dishonest government has in its arsenal.

But be not fearful, my fellow Scots. Don't be taken in. We have in Scotland always stumped for truth over pretension and lies. It is a national characteristic. Some will always be duped, and there are still many among us who are holding fast to the colonial lie that sticking close to the powers that be is our only path to survival. It has worked well in the past, but we have been bitten once too many times.   It is time to stand tall on our five million pairs of feet and realise we have a voice that neither the colonialists nor the media can silence. As Scots looking for a fairer and more supportive Scotland, we  are much much better than that.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Ladies, No Talking, Please!

There is of course a direct correlation between democracy and the status of women in any given society. So it should come as no surprise that in a country such as the USA that is, and has usually been, run by a minority group of older white men, women are not only badly represented, but are actually in danger. According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, America is the tenth most dangerous place in the world for women, with only places like Syria, Yemen and Somalia ahead of it. S, if your hormones run along a differential between oestrogen and progesterone instead of being defined by testosterone, America, according to the best statistics, is just a dangerous place for you to live.

This is the backdrop for the spectacle that has been dancing all around our living rooms for the last few weeks in the nomination and then investigation and then confirmation and then congratulatory slap on the back from the old guys for supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Despite evidence from several women and his former room-mates that this is not the kind of honourable person that is supposed to sit on the supreme court, the Republican senators chose to turn a blind eye and confirm him anyway.  Before the final act played out, I absconded to Scotland, where, much to my dismay, the same spectacle, courtesy of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was doing its dance all over my native country too.

Brett Kavanaugh and his dance with the white-haired men of America is not anything new. It is  simply the most recent iteration of a tedious two-step that is really a one-step in which women are consigned to seats along the wall and the dance continues without them.
Anita Hill sits there, as do any number of overlooked female personages of note. It is not for no reason that the term "wall flower" connotes the feminine sex. Now Dr. Blasey Ford sits there too, sipping her punch, which we hope has not been spiked, not talking, because that apparently is not allowed. We are silent wall flowers in this dance. We have been silenced.
But, Ladies, the good news is that these jokers and waltzers, these wizened emperors-with-no-clothes  perning in their gyre, are old. Their dance is wearing thin. We must bide our time. The passage of history is in our favour, and when it curves back towards us, we will dust ourselves off, clear out the dead bodies, and we will perne in our own gyre and be the singing masters of our own souls.