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 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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