Oh, boy! Hang on a minute, talk about setting oneself up for a lynching! Obviously, an exclamation riddled with sexism, at the very least. Gender specific, specific being the problem. Said figure of speech fails to encompass the burgeoning ‘genders‘ of this unfathomable climate, at once, revealing the festering wounds of society whilst ensuring utter confusion; a confusion which, apparently, may only be challenged at one’s peril. The Tyranny of Tolerance in all its glory … and I have no idea why I launched into that! Isn’t it amazing how the lunacy surrounding one just seems to penetrate until the point of expulsion – or explosion? No, I know it’s not just me.
It has been a bad week, not least thanks to heavy snow. Often stranded in Edinburgh – in years gone by – the roads untouched by a council too busy counting the coffers accrued from the proletariat for doing … what, exactly? Emptying bins, fortnightly, sometimes? I don’t know. Suffice to say, the snow only serves to lay bare the cracks and, here, in the sticks – within breathing distance of St Andrews, I might add – it is no different. With all but the bus route untouched, there has been little movement for days. Thankfully, my innate penchant for ‘storing’ has proved invaluable and that pizza drawer in the freezer, that ‘extra’ bottle of Tanqueray and the mocked mounds of Andrex have, successfully, silenced the critics!
I have felt, increasingly, angry of late. Building for a while, I have reached the limit of my endurance. Imprisoned for a year, one’s every move dictated, the appetite for Government control sees no sign of abating as the political jostling seems to afford some kind of sadistic glee. Question Time, last night? Bad decision. Who was to know this particular programme was coming from Edinburgh? Not me. Did it make me proud to be Scottish? Rhetorical … of course.
My roots are embedded in Scotland; an integral part of me which ensures, when far from home, a longing to return. I lived in London, for a short time, and missed my homeland with every bone in my body, still one of the happiest days of my life being that when we packed up that van and drove back to Edinburgh, singing all the way! The unforgettable Tennents’ Lager ‘Caledonia’ advert of 2007 is nothing short of pure genius as it captures that intensity of feeling, the patriotism, pulling at every heart string. Wow! Even, now – sorry, in the days before captivity – when we would travel down to London by train, the marked change in the landscape never escaped me as the lush greenery of the Scottish countryside, the hills, morphed into the vista of the industrial south. Single? No, definitely a Return!
So, Scottish through and through, I, positively, cringe at our image in the media, today, with every justification. From Nicola and her white stilettos, to Alex Salmond – graduates of the same school of misplaced arrogance – to, let’s face it, most on BBC Scotland! There are regional accents and there are regional accents. Why, now, is it, seemingly, a prerequisite of employment by said organisation that one emphasises the colloquial and subscribes to the ‘finishing’ school of Lorraine Kelly? Thank God for the mute button, my only regret being that I no longer have Sky which enabled me to tune in to BBC London!
No apologies. I have had enough. Scotland is worthy of so much more – and last night’s Question Time was testament to that! Two words: Angela Haggerty. Why? Is that the best we can do? Utterly embarrassing! Of course, she and Jeane Freeman MSP endeavoured to hijack the hour – in the midst of a pandemic, for goodness sake – in a childlike demand for Scottish independence but, in their defence, neither seems to have grasped the meaning of democracy. Michael Forsyth, former Secretary of State for Scotland, did his best but recognised the limitations, so to speak. I only hope he took his ear plugs out long enough to hear Angela Haggerty’s enlightening response to the suggestion that the SNP was a splintered party in disarray. What if Nicola Sturgeon is, indeed, found to have broken the Ministerial Code?
‘I don’t actually think that there is public appetite out there for the removal of Nicola Sturgeon from office.’
The acutely embarrassing words of Angela Haggerty, Journalist and Broadcaster extraordinaire, who believes that the First Minister’s popularity ‘is at quite incredible levels right now’, thus ensuring her legal immunity … Seriously?! That sub-intelligent statement even roused the mild-mannered Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of OVO Energy, who felt obliged to confirm just exactly what had been said: Nicola Sturgeon is above the Ministerial Code! For a moment, there, I thought we were in trouble …
Yes, Angela Haggerty and Jeane Freeman … make one proud to be Scottish, don’t they?! Actually, it would seem there was a bias at work throughout the whole programme. Angela Haggerty was afforded – although, did not benefit from – more than her fair share of air time, as was Jeane Freeman, not to mention those, hand-picked, from the virtual audience. One voiced her allegiance to the Union, early on, and her raised hand was, subsequently, ignored for the rest of the programme. Doesn’t seem ‘woke’ to me!
On waking, the news on the radio – and throughout the day – has included Home Secretary, Priti Patel’s comments apropos Black Lives Matter. Stating that she did not agree with the gesture of taking the knee, she described the protests, which swept the UK last year, as ‘dreadful’. I was interested, therefore, on noticing Charlene White was presenting the lunchtime ITV News, to see how she would cope with the subject matter? Omitted. No mention. The personal touch?
In need of a semblance of equilibrium, something good in a climate coveting negativity, one need only look to Darcey Bussell’s Wild Coasts of Scotland, a new series on More4. Magical. Retracing the footsteps of her grandfather, Darcey visits his homeland and the islands he held so dear – and of which he spoke so vividly when she was a little girl. The scenery, of course, is breath-taking but, more than that, the elegance of this lady, the love for her grandfather and her respect and empathy for Scotland, the land of his birth … It is truly uplifting and a fitting tribute to a country which, so often in this modern world, is deserving of so much more.
‘Oh, we’re no awa’ tae bide awa’
We’re no’ awa’ tae le’e ye
We’re no awa’ tae bide awa’
We’ll aye come back an’ see ye.’
Andy Stewart, We’re No Awa’ Tae Bide Awa’.
As a little girl, I used to watch The White Heather Club with Pop, who loved it. We would sing this song together. I have never forgotten it. My heritage …
This is Trish, signing off.