In the doldrums
What is it with me and holidays ? I had a wonderful time on Mull. The cottage I rented was delightful, the location beautiful and the weather idyllic. The island looked its best. The sun shone every day and I enjoyed every minute. I arrived home suntanned, relaxed and pleased to see my house and neighbours again. Then what did I do ? I fell into a coma on the sofa. Yes I unpacked. I washed clothes. Put everything away. Fed the birds. Shopped. Did a bit of walking. But by mid week I was firmly ensconced on the sofa eating quantities of cranberry and pumpkin seed loaf, downloading books onto my Kindle and opening yet another bottle of wine. A voice in my head was giving me a telling off, reminding me of all the things I needed and wanted to do, but the rest of me was remaining stubbornly inert. It wasn't even as if I was enjoying myself that much. "Why aren't you out in the garden ? The sun is shining. You would like it. " I knew but I wasn't moving. "What about your Tay project ? You're falling behind. " I looked at maps. Made plans to explore a stretch of river the next day then didn't go. "You're going to put on weight. You need exercise." I went up Falkland hill and my knee took a minor huff. Not enough to warrant lying on the sofa but that's what I did. Bored with books and wine and even getting bored with bread. Definitely in the doldrums.
Which is where I've been with the referendum. Like a good few Scots I'm feeling it's all too difficult. How do I decide what's best to do. One lot are trying to frighten the wits out of me. The other lot are all jam tomorrow. And nobody can foretell the future. So I'm still on the sofa downloading books onto my Kindle but I've begun to educate myself. Yes I knew about William Wallace and the Darien scheme and the Scottish enlightenment. I knew about the Red Clydesiders and Jimmy Reid but I didn't know that Tom Johnston who had been a Red Clydesider was appointed by Churchill as Secretary of State for Scotland during the Second World War. He was responsible for pushing through large hydro electric schemes. A forward thinking man. Called the King of Scotland in his day. Of course I knew about the Highland Clearances but somehow I didn't grasp that they were possible because about one thousand people owned about ninety per cent of the land. And that statistic hasn't changed much. You can still walk coast to coast without leaving one estate. Will a referendum make a difference? Somehow I don't think so. Reading up the economics was no help. If we stay this might happen. If we go that. None of it was cheering. The Scandanavian model ? Yes, it sounds appealing. But. In Norway there are over 300 local authorities with a lot of power devolved to them. They collect the bulk of tax. You have to earn over £35,000 before you begin paying tax to central government. How many local authorities has Scotland ? Thirty two. And Central government who collect the tax and have the power is a long way away. Down in the city state of London. That for me is a problem. It's not about England and Scotland. My feelings of unity are with the North. Northumberland, Cumbria, Lancashire. And I don't want a consumer society on the American model. In the middle of my ruminations someone knocked on the door. The candidate who will replace Min Campbell at the next General Election. Wanting to know how I will vote in the referendum. He seemed a nice man but I didn't tell him. I've still got a lot of reading to do. Instead I told him I was a rational anarchist and he didn't blink an eye. Probably took his day door to door canvassing out of the doldrums.


Jean said:

The majority are still likely to vote "No." so I wouldn't worry too much. The interesting thing to me is why Cameron wants us to stay. If we went the Tories would be much more likely to win Westminster elections. So there is something else in it for him and I reckon it's oil revenues which although diminishing will continue for twenty to forty years. And shale gas. There are large deposits in Central Scotland. I don't think Alec Salmond really wants us to go now either. His landslide victory more or less pushed him into the referendum. It would suit him better if we had more devolved powers first. His good point for me is that although he's the SNP leader he is probably the most radical socialist politician the UK has at the moment. Not that I have much time for any politicians.
9 years ago

Rabbitroundtheworld said:

A thoughtful article which rings many bells with me, Jean.

I have friends on both sides with their minds firmly made up and deeply-felt, persuasive arguments. I'm on the fence. i keep thinking that as the date nears, my head and heart will decide what they want, but as yet I'm no nearer to a decision.
9 years ago

Jean replied to Rabbitroundtheworld:

I'm a bit like you. In the undecided camp. There's a mischievous and irresponsible bit of me that wants to vote "Yes" just so that if they won I could enjoy all the stooshie it would create. But I've got that firmly under lock and key. It's too important to be frivolous !
9 years ago

J.Garcia said:

I loved reading your article, Jean
9 years ago