A WEE WORD FROM EVA

This is short guest post from my friend Eva Comrie. She is always worth a read.


WELCOME TO SCOTLAND

It’s not the done thing when you’re a middle aged lawyer, who has worked for fifty years, to wring your hands as you explain how you know what it feels like to be skint; for skint means many different things. Its impact depends on experiences and priorities.

I’m tending to the view that in the little parts of Scotland I know well many of my neighbours, friends, enemies and the folk who wrinkle an eyebrow and direct a squint torn face my way when our paths cross are thinking what I’m thinking – we’re wondering just how stuffed we are and whether there is an escape route.

I can pay all my bills, buy myself nice food, order a takeaway when I feel like it; the pandemic has seen me expand not contract. But I am not so sure how long that comfort and sense of relief might last. And quite honestly, neither are you.

We’ve learned that no amount of iPads and iPhones and Snapchat and Instagram and TikTok can hold back a tsunami of grief, illness, hurt, want. I think we all now instinctively duck daily as we anticipate a dunt on the back of the head as the latest disaster unfurls.

Not one of us has escaped the loss and pain of the last almost two years; folk who were our pals and neighbours we believed to be young, strong and brave have succumbed; I have never known so many tragic funerals in my home town as I have seen in these last months. We each have tales of our elders in care homes and hospitals who lost days and months and we all know losses which were unbearably early.

So my thoughts turn, as always, to what we might do to create a better world; I can’t escape the conclusion that were Scotland able to write her own rules, man her own border, manufacture her own priorities, we would succeed in the creation of a land of which we could be rightfully proud. One where health, wellbeing, hopes and potential become our goals; where everyone is fed and the hunger of the body and the spirit become consigned to the past. That’s the Scotland I seek and I don’t need labels or allegiances to guide me there, only hope and the belief that my fellow travellers agree and seek the same destination.

MY COMMENTS

My thanks to Eva as always. With furlough ending very soon a bad situation is likely to become much worse. Add on the cuts to Universal Credit and we might be reaching crisis point.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.

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37 thoughts on “A WEE WORD FROM EVA

  1. A timely post Eva. Thanks.
    Funnily enough, I’ve been up since 5am looking for jobs.
    I am closing the door on a 20 year career since the operation was ceased in Scotland. I could have continued it in London (centre of the world!) on a reduced salary and reduced Ts and Cs in what is a safety critical job (yes we know how it ends), but I chose not to.

    I’m not sure where this all ends. There is only so much people can take.

    Yes, Scotland could do so much better and I reckon the end of the union could spark a resurgence of the working class in England.

    The meek career politicians in holyrood are simply carving out an existence until retirement.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. Spot on. The SNP were supposed to deliver our hopes and dreams but instead their leaders eat their fill from their masters table, regardless of how their master puts the food on that table.

      Liked by 13 people

    2. Scott I empathise with you , many of us have suffered the indignity ,stress and sense of hopelessness that comes with unemployment , but please be assured that people do care about their fellow citizens

      I laud and applaud everything that Eva has said over her visits to your blog and her posts therein , we the citizens of Scotland are going to DEMAND that when yourself and the other ALBA representatives are elected to govern Scotland that your words are NOT the HOLLOW words of false fighters designed to gain admission to the comfy accoutrements of power like the current cabal of incompetents and wasters , but a direct assault and destruction of the blood sucking union that is instrumental with it’s collaborators in perpetuating the poverty and denigration of our country and citizens

      So be aware Eva with respect many Scots are sickened at being used as voting fodder for the New Liebour and New SNP lies , we are now more demanding

      Liked by 3 people

  2. https://robinmcalpine.org/why-does-nothing-ever-change/

    Some of you may like Robin Mcalpine’s new personal blog which I think is pure dead brilliant!
    Good post by Eva. I am similarly “comfortable” on modest pension but despair at the chaos and inequality of our society which will get worse in the short to medium term. Independence is part of the “solution” but we also need a more radicalized and urgent politics for climate/social justice for and from Scotland spreading outwards. Holyrood is mainly a rest place for career politicians including the “sell out” Greens!

    Liked by 17 people

    1. Another person telling me how the system doesn’t work is of little help! I had already figured that out. I don’t need someone to tell me I’m still falling. I need someone to supply a parachute.

      Even a good theory on how to break the circle doesn’t help! We need action by the leader of a political Party with the desire to change lives.

      “The Gordian Knot is a legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem (untying an impossibly tangled knot) solved easily by finding an approach to the problem that renders the perceived constraints of the problem moot (“cutting the Gordian knot”):”

      We don’t need more descriptions of the knot. We need someone to pull a sword and cut through it!

      Liked by 8 people

      1. I hope that the sword is being sharpened and the moment for action is not far away – I’d guess that timing is all. Delay and we are lost. Move too soon and the soft NO will run for what they still believe to be the certainty offered by union. Perhaps the moment is seen to be this winter when the incompetence and arrogance of Johnsons Brexit will take the shine off union. Sturgeon had an opportunity to make the move without Scotland going off this cliff but she did not do it so now I suspect we are waiting for the winter cliff?

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Clootie

        I agree with what your saying. I’m tired of hearing ever more descriptions of the generalised injustice that Scotland is suffering at the hands of an English government. The verdict is in. The verdict is that the union is guilty. Increasing critical analysis doesn’t help. New tactics required.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. brilliant, absolutely brilliant, When Margaret Thatcher closed down Scotlads industry, I was in my fifties and if you were fifty-five years old and looking for a job, no one wanted to know your name, no one gave you a start. once the wages have gone, then the savings, then the washing machine goes on the blink and you can not afford to replace it or have it fixed, the reality kicks in, You no longer have control over your life. Poverty is not always about money and a job is more than a wage at the end of the week. We in Scotland, have lost control, and the way out is to take back control of our country 100 per cent correct.

    Liked by 19 people

  4. Thank you Eva. The Scotland you want is the Scotland I want. We need to stop calling it “The Dream.” We must call it “Scotland’s Future.” You speak for me and I thank you.

    Liked by 16 people

  5. For me it’s simple, we educate our young people and look after our auld and infirm. Everybody pays their taxes, nae exceptions. The law and health is for everybody, not just the rich. Simples.

    Liked by 9 people

  6. The Scotland I seek as an individual is not important except as one input of many. The collective right of the people who live here is. A Scotland in which the people who live here shape it together.

    A land of happy, healthy, educated children would be a good start and a solid foundation. The UK reality at present is very different..

    “Bairns not Bombs” sums it up!.

    To the Empress Sturgeon – turn your head away from the cult and listen to the voices of people like Eva, to the people like us. The reality is that the next generation of children who live and grow up in poverty will be due to the dithering of Sturgeon. She could have saved them, or at least given them a better chance, instead of fixating on the statue she hopes will be erected in her honour. Perhaps I underestimate her ambition and her dream is for a temple and a new religion.

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Sturgeon’s Ark is being filled 2 x 2 of spineless visionless bureaucrats, visionless pension fund fuds, visionless half wits, visionless fence sitters and arse sucking connoisseur’s. All selected in her own image.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m sure most of us are scunnered at the how the SNP has been turned into private club for science denying authoritarians, but it’s not the end of the game. Westminster and Holyrood may have set their faces against international law and order, but neither institution owns the law. Neither institution can extinguish the human need for ontological security, and there are too many folk living in Scotland who will not accept a state of totalitarianism. Which never last anyway, as human nature tends to seek liberty, as well as security. So though things may appear dark, it’s not the end of our hopes, which no amount of woo woo or middle-class bigotry can erase.

    Returning to the roots of ontological security: insights from the existentialist anxiety literature
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1354066120927073

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Cameron
      Your online reference to this very intense academic article and RD Laing etc has blown my mind! Ian (anxious neurotic aka normal neurotic! 😂).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s the thing about post-colonial theory and practice, it combines political theory and science with the cognitive sciences, linguistic theory, critical race theory, clinical psychiatry, and most of the ologies. So it’s got a lot more going for it than is acknowledged by the voice of old-skool IR theory.

        Identity politics revisited: On Audre Lorde, intersectionality, and mobilizing writing styles
        https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1350506817702410

        Like

  8. Thank you Eva , I share your vision but am saddened that we seem further from it than we were in 2013/14.

    I see a destructive power laying waste to the beautiful land and the folk – stomping on ambition , integrity , common sense and fair play – and to my horror I have realised that that destructive force is the Scottish National Party and its cohorts.

    Where I go from here I know not , I want the wee glimmer of hope that is ALBA to burst into a beacon leading the way to my vision of Scotland but it is stymied by the media and ‘friends ‘ of the SNP.

    Liked by 10 people

  9. The thing about the British constitution, is that it is only remains valid while Westminster conducts its’ business in accordance with the rule-of-law. The thing about the rule-of-law is that it does not work in isolation from international law, nor scientific theory. So perhaps the SNP are simply trying to bring anarchy and chaos to Scotland, in the hope that might kick us up the arse? Unlikely I know, but the alternative is truly frightening.

    Love, Ethics, and Emancipation
    The Implications of Conceptions of Human Being and Freedom
    in Heidegger and Hegel
    for Critical International Theory
    https://pure.aber.ac.uk/portal/files/10554761/thame_c(dot)pdf

    Like

  10. There will be many Eva who share your grave concerns on the injustices wrought upon our fellow Scots since 2014 by the successive buck passing SNP led Governments at Holyrood, which were elected on mandates to advance and deliver Independence for Scotland and her people.

    You wonder is there an escape route? Quite clearly there is but unfortunately it has been sabotaged by the charlatans within the SNP, elected on our behalf, to deliver us from the shackles of our colonising neighbour, England.

    Not satisfied with that a barrier has been erected to protect the biology denying protagonists supporting this present administration from within. Independence and women’s rights are being sacrificed on an altar built to the specification of the Arch Feminist Nicola Sturgeon in her parallel role as the High Priestess of Woke under the sponsorship of Stonewall and confederates.

    No reliance can be depended upon from the Queer Theorists currently masquerading at Holyrood to prosecute our case for an Independent Scotland. We must rise and take to the streets campaigning, naming and shaming those within the Scottish Government who are actively denying Scotland’s children their birthright free from poverty and oppression.

    ALBA offers us that opportunity, let us take it or forever be in denial of the oppression visited upon us!

    Liked by 10 people

  11. P.S. It is pretty clear that neither Westminster or Holyrood, nor the voice of old-skool IR Theory, are willing to accept the post-colonial turn in legal practice. Which suggests they all think it possible to support sustainable open democracy if your constitutional order is grounded in pre-Darwinian cosmology, and the political science of the 17th century. Spoiler: it isn’t.

    Securing ourselves from ourselves? The paradox
    of “entanglement” in the Anthropocene
    https://d-nb.info/1141341816/34

    Liked by 2 people

  12. It all comes back to having been colonized down the many years by our “partners-in-union”, ably assisted by our bought-and-sold, proselytizing middle-class establishment with their comfy existences and rounded-vowel sounds. If there was ever a collective ‘golden-age’ for the working class in Scotland, this 100% working-class laddie, for one, disnae remember it!

    It is my contention that had Scots become completely aware of their true position as a colonized people in the so-called Union, they would’ve unapologetically and without hesitation asserted their independence many years ago. It follows, if we can neither acknowledge nor even name the problem that’s ailing us i.e.colonization, our chances of making a full and healthy recovery into the future as an independent nation are very slim, indeed.

    Liked by 7 people

  13. I appreciate I might appear to be splitting hairs, but it wouldn’t be particularly honest to suggest Scotland is a colony. Though our culture has certainly been internally colonised through the “methodological nationalism” employed by the British state since the mid-19th century. Which is simply incompatible with the legal needs of modern democracy, and is actively harmful to Scotland’s social psychology and the potential for good public health in Scotland.

    Teaching and Learning Health Justice: Best Practices and
    Recommendations for Innovation
    https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1125093(dot)pdf

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nor is it particularly dishonest to suggest that Scotland is a colony of England, not unless you insist on being presented with an absolute case, which is precluded, of course, by the union-of-parliaments. If the evidence of “methodological nationalism” is observable alongside that of the colonizer’s economic exploitation of the colonised, I believe, for lack of a better term, we have little choice but to use the C-word to characterize the relationship between Scotland and England, as it currently stands. Insidious colonization, is to my mind colonisation, nonetheless.

      Liked by 4 people

  14. They’ll be a hell of a lot more crisis points in Scotland before Sturgeon holds an indyref, which I and many other doubt very much will be on the cards, SNP MSP Michelle Thomson said very recently that there will not be an indyref before 2024, and that there shouldn’t be, is that an insight to Sturgeon’s thinking, if it is and there’s no suggestion that it isn’t, then we’re in for a long bumpy ride.

    Even if Sturgeon does name a date for an indyref, she’s adamant that we require a S30 from Johnson and that we’ll go to the highest English court in the land if he doesn’t agree to it. Even then I’m not sure we could trust Sturgeon to run a winning indyref. Meanwhile the balance of power for Scots wanting independence wanes every single day as more and more incomers from South of the border tip the scales in favour of no winning a half-hearted Sturgeon organised indyref, by the time we do hold an indyref, I fear we will be outnumbered by incomers who side with the no voters.

    They have already infiltrated every walk of life in Scotland ‘s institutions, and Sturgeon or whoever replaces her as FM from the SNP will almost certainly want to give non-indigenous Scots a vote in a plebiscite, in the distant future.

    As time goes by year after year, our odds of winning an indyref shrink as more and more incomers tip the balance, and unionist ran councils do everything humanly possible to sabotage any indyref that appears on the scene. I’m all for going down the route that Craig Murray and Alex Salmond have mentioned that we call back our MPs from Westminster, hold a vote to declare independence at Holyrood, if yes wins declare independence there and then, next negotiate with Westminster to secede this union.

    Everyone who votes in Scotland will have been represented because their MPs, MSPs, will have voted on their behalves MPs, MSPs they elected. Secondly we would bypass the unionist councils who might try to knobble or refuse to participate in a indyref.

    I personally don’t think we have years and years, or even a decade to wait for an indyref before our chances of winning one becomes very slim indeed, some may disagree with me. Alba needs to rise quickly.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. We could hold an advisory vote and recall our MPs in the event of YES over the coming months. Independence would take years to wrestle from Westminster I suspect but we would be one our way – demanding the trade concessions and freedom of movement that would save jobs and lives here in Scotland today. This is not an act of rebellion or even unconstitutional – it is entirely Sturgeons choice to hold Scotlands feet to this fire, hiding behind her s30 order. Salmond demanded an indyref based on his democratic mandate – Westminster ran around and dug out their s30 order process. There is the difference between a true leader and a waste of time.

      Liked by 5 people

  15. Balancing the legal rights of individuals with the cultural rights of society, is not a dark art. It’s just a rare visitor to these shores. I might be wrong, but I think Westminster requires five years of residency in the UK, to warrant a vote on constitutional matters.

    Sovereignty, Human Rights, and
    Self-Determination: The Meaning of
    International Law
    ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1770&context=ilj

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Hello,

    Many contributors agree with Eva in that there is huge agreement of what the problem is and even how we got here.

    It reminds me very much of general management, as taught in business schools. I attended one and later taught courses based on my learning and experience. I.e.:

    Mountains of analysis is instructed, leading to “paralysis by analysis” but little attention to planning a practical change – although there might be broad agreement on idealistic “values” and the like. Many a plan founders on the self- interests of the individuals charged with making it happen such as ego, power, being in a comfort zone etc. Look at what’s happened to the SNP,.now in seductive power.

    Within the residential voting Scottish population, I fear that we have passed the tipping point. Unless there is a big change in the outlook of the electorate (including incomers), we are well on the way to complete absorption into the British state. We lost our chance in the 1970s and later in 2014 going for a referendum. Now the majority of our changed demographic is more interested in known quantities and certainly not visions, however attractive the possibilities might be.

    Sad times. The SNP is corrupt and comfortable in its own devolution. The only hope is ALBA sticking to its Independence Cause and not being diverted into other issues like the SNP succumbed to.

    Liked by 9 people

  17. I work in the tourism industry. The future is uncertain. Winter is coming. I am one wage away from homelessness and poverty. This is the Scotland created by Sturgeons gutless refusal to act on any of the several mandates giving her and her charlatans the peoples authority to call a referendum or end the treaty of union. Her pathetic four nations approach to Scotlands management and future is treachery. Many Scots have died under her watch and many more will suffer as a result of her unionist tendencies, her mismanagement and failure fulfil promises to the electorate. She has become Scotlands Thatcher. Who’d have imagined that in 2014? Bought and sold. Anyway, every man and his dog, except for the NBNP (New British National Party (Scottish Branch), knows “Power is never given…it must be taken!” Tick Tock, its either the SNP or an independent Scotland it can’t be both!

    Liked by 7 people

  18. So Scotland’s political and legal Establishment have come to an accommodation with Westminster? Well that flies in the face of our human right to internal sovereignty, which is the most widely respected principle of international law. So it looks like we’ll need to protect our legal rights from Holyrood as well as Westminster. Which might sound daunting but the necessary political and legal science is readily available.

    The Normative Status of
    Self-Determination in
    International Law: A Formula
    for Uncertainty in the Scope
    and Content of the Right?
    https://www.corteidh.or.cr/tablas/r27634(dot)pdf

    Like

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