Writing Update

Writing Update

Sadly, I was unable to attend the March for Indy today in Glasgow, as I was taking care of mother and entertaining Twisty.  I hear seven thousand or so people attended, which is pleasing, and that everyone had a good time networking and hoping for a forthcoming yes result.


Wonders will never cease, I have actually started work on Lucifer Ogilvie.  I had vaguely decided on an inquisition into conservative policy in the form of a charming story.  Then I researched Boris a bit more attentively and found that I would have to make some serious decisions along this route.  So now I think we will cling a tad harder to the meandering world of Boris, with our inquisition taking a more entertaining second place.  I have come up with some policy solutions to the current predicament, but as this seems to be turning into an epic task, this will certainly not be immediate.


Best Adventure Ever will probably emerge shortly after this, although I am working on both.  Fool’s Mandala will be ready in around a month, going by current thoughtful progress.  It is the first actual carpet I have made for a long time, and since it is a Wolfe product, it will be the usual blaze of colour.


Going by the response to the music playlists (see below) I created on Youtube, Boris is around twenty times more popular than Wolfe.  I am not sure if there are hundreds of commuters building up their happiness bar before going to work, or whether it is just curiosity as to the tone of my work this time, but it is certainly educational.  I have no art visuals on Boris as yet, beyond the cover of Lucifer Ogilvie, but from the level of writing, I can say with some confidence that there will be significantly more finesse with Boris related work. My head is somewhat buzzing with the juicier writing project, balancing the needs of the muse with the narrative requirement etc.  My work, as always, targets one person, and entertains everybody else.  Time will tell what my hands tell me to do this time.


Hopefully I will have more news shortly. In the meantime – busy, busy, busy.



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Killing your Mojo

Killing your Mojo

So, we are about halfway through the Fool’s Mandala, I have Best Adventure Ever open on the lower tab, Lucifer Ogilvie is now hanging about the desktop, and I have acquired twelve or so history and philosophy of the Conservative Party books from the University Library, so I am all set.

 A lot of what you do as a creative person involves fantasy.  Making the transition from a life held down by  poor self image/fear of insanity/lack of encouragement for many people involves Dutch courage, a helpful friend, or a mammoth ego.  It was particularly difficult for me as an artist’s daughter, since he advised me at a very early age to do anything but art.

 His reasoning, as a former school truant who used to jump on the bin lorries, destined for Troon, to get to the harbour to draw the boats, was that if you wanted to make art your career you are better in a fine art situation, or some alternative means of actually expressing yourself.  He loved working, but much of his career was spent doing things he did not want to do (like hand drawn whisky labels and engineering drawings) rather than loosening up emotionally and artistically to do something more fun.  The grandson of a (quite literally) revolutionary communist, he had already rebelled by falling in love with a militarist Conservative. Hence, my father was constantly hiding, hiding his emotions, hiding his background, hiding from his horrible children.

 Lucifer Ogilvie is the best idea I have ever had.  At long last I have randomly selected a means of actually using my education.  Thank heavens for Wolfe, or I would not have the confidence or the ‘moxie’ to just go ahead and do it, and to hell with the consequences.

 Chatting with Twisty today, he again attempted to re-orientate me to the reality of being a nothing.  I don’t feel like being a nothing.  Nobody should decide to be a nothing, no matter how bleak one’s future looks.  “Man must strive” as my grandmother used to say, as she brought up two children as a single parent whilst feeding the poor people down the hall.  She worked day and night, as did my father, as did I, in the course of considering my mother and her charmed yet lazy life.

 Depending on your methodology, writing can be a bit like method acting.  The Boris experience project is very different from the Sheep in Wolf’s clothing project, because I understand the process far better this time.  Clearly, I like thinking about boys.  Preferably naughty, well developed characters.  I have no problem with this, although I am well aware that people of both genders, particularly those bound by the constraints of a ‘free’ life, will have.

 There are limitations to this curious method of working, however.  Good sketches take a long view, and it is important to omit as many details as you include for the purposes of your narrative. What you leave out or distort for your creative purposes is as important as what you choose to include.  Style has to be considered.  My American readers, for example, could not understand that my gentle and flattering satire on the life of Wolfe was not, in fact, a savage attack.

 This rather touching difference in communication, divided by a common language, may well suppress the growth of my American market, but my British readers complained that I had not been savage enough!  Poor Wolfe has slaved away for all these years without considering that communication is vastly different between our nations.  He probably wonders to this day why I laughingly compared him to Liberace.

 So, then, if you are friends with a writer, an actor, an artist or even someone with a keen sense of whimsy who has not discovered their particular spark, do not discourage them.  Eventually a bud will peep forth, followed by a flower.  It’s all good.



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The Cyber and Media War against Scotland

Yet more evidence of the cyber and media war being waged against the Yes movement.


A few months ago, a contact in alternative health warned me that posting about alternative health was likely to attract trolls.  Paid trolls, who in the case of alternative health are paid per tweet to dispute anything you say.


I doubted this very much.  Pharmaceutical companies make an awful lot more money than alternative health practitioners, I reasoned, and there is little reason for them to be spending money on banks of people to dispute you if you happen to enjoy a bit of acupuncture or whatever.  I was wrong.


One afternoon, in particular, I spent several hours chatting (not even about health) with a person with such a superficial knowledge of health that I could not understand why he was continuing to even talk about it.  Fortunately, my American friend messaged me to say that he was a known paid troll, being paid by the tweet.  I just changed the subject and earned him a few dollars, since apart from his insistence on commercial medicine, he seemed reasonably pleasant.


Since we have an open admission of this practice being employed by rUK, I would caution my enthusiastic friends in the SNP and Yes movement to avoid lengthy conversations with planted individuals, obvious trolls.  I got one at the referendum with no content whatsoever, who bored on about nothing for an entire day, and one more recently who wanted to exploit my apparent ‘confusion’ with the announcement of the ‘Boris Experience’ project.


To digress slightly from today’s topic – the ‘Boris Experience’ project is nothing to do with my views on Scottish independence.  I saw an unhappy person being exploited, and I didn’t like it, any more than I like seeing Scotland being exploited.  Boris may, in may respects, be a natural enemy, but it does not mean I cannot show a bit of kindness when someone has taken advantage of him.


I am sure many in the Yes movement will recognise this.  We do not hate the English, we do not necessarily hate the UK establishment, we hate the exploitation and misinformation. Crushing it out of us just won’t work.  We are well aware that Scotland would clearly benefit from removal from the UK.  What concerns me at this point, having had a brief flush of sympathy for a kindred observant spirit, is that the UK cannot afford to lose Scotland, and they will continue with paranoid and frankly ridiculous attacks, designed to appeal to people’s feelings of anxiety, complacency, or more general lack of confidence.


If you happen to be English and reading this.  Scottish people are not stupid.  We have had a steep learning curve, and we are not likely to respond well to yet more misinformation and poor treatment.


If Westminster is desperate to keep us, they really need to come up with a better strategy.  Even the English are starting to complain about the quality of BBC reporting, for example.  Personally, if I was the SNP, I would be seriously considering putting MPs forward in England, but then, like Boris, I have big visions.


I am preparing a piece of work designed to present a potential solution, in the form of the usual cute series of riddles concealed within a deceptively simple story.  It will take a little while.


In the meantime, try not to engage with trolls, and think about ways of reaching the No voters that do not involve argument.  We got this.



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The Joy of Responsibility

The Joy of Responsibility
The people’s representatives will reach their destination, invested with the highest confidence and unlimited power. They will show great character. They must consider that great responsibility follows inseparably from great power. To their energy, to their courage, and above all to their prudence, they shall owe their success and their glory.
May 8, 1793 in a collection of the decrees made by the French National Convention.

There is quite a variety of sources for that particular quote, but I am rolling with this one because it makes me sound suitably artsy.
The Fool’s Mandala is going very nicely indeed, and Lucifer Ogilvie, the hero of the Boris Experience, was born today.
Responsibility is the reason that your seemingly mediocre manager gets more money than you do.  Responsibility is often weighty, but the fun thing about responsibility is that you get a lot of power as a sort of side order. Sometimes it takes people a day or two to catch up with all these new toys.
Your perceived ability to handle responsibility is as much about your ability to handle stress as your ability to apply pressure when needed to hit whatever deadline you are set.  It is yet another feature of your life that depends upon your level of confidence.
Confidence in yourself, confidence in your ability to prioritise, confidence in your ability to lead.  I previously went into confidence and class in a previous post or two Confrontation, Confidence and Class and The British Class system is unemployed.
I have wondered of late, whether the Great British machine will ever work properly again.  I am hoping to be able to shed some light on this in the course of the Boris experience. I appreciate that many of my more serious readers will wonder why I am blessing Boris with all this attention, but I suspect that the answer will become clearer in the course of the adventures of Lucifer Ogilvie.
It is an interesting paradox, that someone who makes life look so easy that he appears to be playing at it, also attracts other people’s confidence to the extent that we do not doubt our belief that he will ultimately be the individual that finally does the right thing, and understands his capabilities to the point that he can ‘play’ with them.
Having skipped through many different lives, I can verify that it is only those at the very bottom and the very top that are capable of truly understanding how society works.  Everyone else is lost in the race to ‘get theirs.’  One of the most knowledgeable interviewees I encountered was a hopeless junkie who had to be tucked into bed by his mother every night. Confused by this, I asked my comparatively easy-life brother (he poses no challenge to anyone, whereas I appear to challenge everyone without doing anything at all) why this would be so?  Similarly, the beggars that lined the streets in Bath advised me not to give them any more money as they had far more than I did when I lived there.  ‘We can tell because you give us so much.’
My brother’s response, fascinating from someone who has had every advantage from his mediocre existence, was that better paid people were not ‘stupid, but thoughtless.’  Millions of people, then, reject information that they do not want to hear in favour of an extra half percent on their savings rates.  Lalala I can’t hear you, in case it costs me any money.
As someone who has seen times of horrific poverty and times of relative plenty, there does not seem to me to be an excuse for feigned ignorance of the facts when it comes to whether your nation actually works or not.  Can you really enjoy a fifty pound bottle of wine as you read about people starving to death?  Does it make the wine taste any better?  Apparently, to some people, including some within my own family who should know better, it does. My father would spin in his grave, if only he were surprised.
What implications does this culture of selfishness have, apart from for the broken base of the pyramid?
It affects voting habits, it affects the response to the hate campaigns we have seen over the last decade or two – hate the smoker, hate the fat, hate the immigrants, hate the disabled etc etc, it affects policing, it certainly destroyed Cameron’s plans for ‘Big Society.’  Ultimately, it affects the way we are seen by the rest of the world.  Just as we express dismay at the events in Kabul and the USA, we should express dismay that we allowed things to get so bad that we stocked food banks and advised people to buy cup a soup to save people the electricity money.
I put it to you that patriotism, cooperation and national pride begins with the premise that you are going to make things better, not worse.  Empires do not emerge from slums, they emerge from a sense of being able to do things better than anyone else.  It is not all that difficult to come up with ways of mending the foundations on the British pyramid, that will not significantly erode the savings of the wine drinkers.  It is imperative, however, that you reseed the garden whilst you trim the trees, or there will be no harvest to look forward to.
(I could have made a list and saved myself all that prose, but that is no fun at all.)

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Daft enough for Politics?

Scrolling through the news and comments over the last couple of days, it strikes me that you need to have the hide of a rhino, the steely determination of a fearsome entrepreneur, and a leadership skillset that may or may not eventually come in handy to tolerate the day to day rough and tumble in politics.  It is not something I would personally take on lightly.


According to several cheap papers, Nicola Sturgeon is an ego tripping power maniac, even when she is bending over backwards and sideways to accommodate the varying will of the Scottish people.  The rest of the party are considered a rabble of whingers by a large proportion of journalists and are not heard at all.


Meanwhile at Westminster, varying sources are struggling to find something wrong with Theresa May, who is valiantly clinging to the tiller, whilst a lot of really horrible memes are going around about Boris, not only from minor journalists but from the public. I am sorry to say I also caught out some dude from an NGO trying to use a quote from fourteen years ago as being from our foreign secretary.


I am not sure how many people actually take the time to consider the effects of this.  For the first time today, I turned to Twisty and said “You know what?  If I was in politics, I would quickly stop caring about the media and the public.  That isn’t very good is it?”


Both sides of our current coin are doing the best they can.  There is nothing further to discuss until they have a chance to get on with it.  The UK situation is relatively stable so far.


I would suggest to the SNP that some PR training and possibly media consultancy is in order.  Loftily ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away.  Nobody is listening to the point, because they do not think they have to as long as the media keep banging out the same ill-informed nonsense to the public.  Some knowledge of basic linguistics is also useful, as I keep hearing jarring points being dismissed far too readily at Westminster.  A few small tweaks, and you could avoid being ignored.


I am surprised to note that a few muted yet positive noises are coming from the Conservatives at this point.  By the time the rebel Labour MPs decide what they are going to do, they are likely to be largely irrelevant.  I look forward with great interest to what happens next.


It would be nice to see a lull in hostilities to see what Scotland and England do in the next month or two.  Progress is clearly ongoing, and mutual attacks can always be resumed after our post-Brexit direction is clearer.


In the meantime, both have deployed their weapons of choice in the form of Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson.  You may not agree that either are good choices, but for my money, you could not be in better, higher profile or less ego-bound hands. It is nice to see fish swimming in the right water, for once.



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Scotland versus Trident

Ahh, the Trident vote.  Always a time of great unity in the UK.  I have witnessed one or two of these now, and the same things come up every time.  Oddly enough, nobody wants to discuss the kill zone, which will become relevant when the UK finally annoys another country enough for them to want to knock out our nuclear deterrent, or when we have an accident causing it to go off, and disturb the variety of detritus left by our crappy English boyfriend that just won’t go away.




He keeps saying that he will change, but we know he won’t.  He hates the homeless, he hates the disabled, he thinks pensions are a waste of money better spent on more weapons.  We disagree on so many things.  Sigh.


Meanwhile, he thinks it is perfectly OK to use our stuff, and that we will not mind living on a ramshackle island, not talking to anyone and that we see no problem in living with his collection of guns and explosives.


All we want to do is a bit of travelling, maybe learn a language, chat to our neighbours but no.  We are supposed to sit in a grim flat, where we live with people we apparently have nothing in common with and put up with never being mentioned unless he is complaining about us.  This relationship SUCKS. It is time we discovered our self-worth and went out and found somebody better.


Seriously, my great grandparents were extremely radical on right and left, my grandparents lives were ruined by WW1, as a result my father was a very serious ideological pacifist.


I am, unfortunately a bit of a rebel and he took great care in ensuring that my priority was free thinking.  I can see the Conservative reasoning, particularly at this delicate time.

It is a message to the rest of the world that Britain is a strong and successful country, confident enough to vote for this expense when we have just voted for Brexit.
If we are foolish enough to run around with the USA, we need to protect ourselves in the event of a country or countries wishing to take out America’s foremost ally.
It is a bit like paying tribute to ensure America’s continued good wishes.
It ensures that we are still considered a world power. Very important considering our future trading partners, provided my conservative readers are sufficiently plugged in to understand what I and others have said re the Brexit trading opportunities.
In the event that America actually go right ahead and start actually using swastikas, we need to be able to protect ourselves from them.
Those precious little workers on Tyneside need a living. One of them just suggested to me on Twitter that pensions were a waste of money in comparison with gigantic weapons.  I presume that he is very young.
Who gives a shit about 80 percent of the Scottish population anyway?

No amount of entreaties or arguments would have changed the vote.  The indoctrination continues as I write, with Kevin McGuire and Harriet whatever-her-name-is-tory ranting about anything but Scotland on Sky.  So, you can take it from this that even Murdoch has jumped on the Scotland crushing bandwagon.  It is now imperative to learn how to out-move the media, and learn extremely fast.


We in Scotland are more interested in ground warfare than big threats.  We are notable worldwide for sending unusually clever soldiers who avoid wasting bullets when we can find other ways of doing things, and we produce exceptionally brave warriors. There is no reason why we cannot apply our spirit, our confidence, and our cunning to this increasingly nasty cultural warfare.


As for Theresa May saying she would press the button.  Yes, of course she would.  As Lord West said this afternoon, do you prefer dying knowing that someone out there is killing people, or that a ‘bastard like him’ is stopping them in their tracks? Japan, in particular has great respect for the UK as a small and extremely scary nation.  If you consider Trident from this perspective, then it looks pretty sensible.


If you consider the priorities of the UK however, this is not a nice country.  I used to be proud of Britain, as a fearless trader and high achiever.  Now I wonder.  It makes no sense to say you have no money for the elderly, the disabled, the people that we do not wish to employ, and then have plenty of money for killing people in other countries.  It makes no sense to irritate Scotland to the point of leaving.  It makes no sense to attempt to proclaim dominion over people who do not wish to wear an increasingly tarnished badge of honour.


My only hope currently, is that what is left of the UK see sense and draw up a trading agreement which does not allow CETA or TTIP, to reject fracking, since we are all aware of the massive oil strike off our coast that the UK chooses to not tell anyone about, and to be aware, that once the inevitable happens and the GMO experiments turn into chemical disasters, that we would be far better, as an island, to take some advice and revive what was once the greatest agronomy in the world, instead of blowing our money on submarines that we do not actually use.



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Fluffety fluff fluff

Fluffety fluff fluff

So, after our uncharacteristic booze discussion in St Andrews, Twisty Headed Man, my uncollaborative artist chum, and I have chewed over a few things and are now recovering from some very complicated cocktails with strawberries and ice-cream.


I have been asked for a post specifically on Scotland and Brexit, so you may get a bonus one  shortly, although I think I have covered my initial responses to the problems popping up in the news so far.  Those who want a nice concise thousand words or so may wish to tune in later.


The first email asking whether poor Boris is my new muse has arrived.  Twisty and I, since we were sitting in a restaurant which had papered its walls with Boris pics, surrounded by English visitors to St Andrews who all appeared to be big fans of his, tentatively discussed this last night.


My objections to this obvious and worthy development are as follows:

Do not mess with the foreign secretary.  The Secret Service can be really quite annoying. (long story)
Boris is very married, and my methods can be a bit intrusive should the recipient choose to allow it.
Boris does not particularly require dissecting.
The balance is not right in terms of benefitting both parties.
There are far more relevant artists out there doing much the same thing.

In my case, the process is quite holistic and emotional, and so I do not think this would be a good idea. Whilst I can see that the ‘strange hair, sane head’ thing fits with my modus operandi, I do not think that copious public speaking and quirkiness is necessarily the entry requirements, although from an intrinsic self-acceptance perspective, this could work out really well for me.


I do not do my thing entirely for me, however.  Somebody else can explain that one to poor old Wolfe.


Anyway, there is at least a year before I have to make a decision.  In the meantime, I think we are looking at someone who does a lot of talking, by the looks of things.


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What fresh English Bullshit is this?

So, today Theresa May traversed the not-particularly perilous Georgian pavements of Edinburgh (they were built like that for the coaches and horses) and went for tea (but no scone, it’s Edinburgh) with Nicola Sturgeon.


I have a generic email from the SNP indicating that Scotland is to be included as they ‘explore the options’ for Brexit together. Nicola assures us that she is ‘exploring all options’ for Scotland to remain in the EU and, despite media rumours to the contrary, Europe is quite enthusiastic to have Scotland help pay the bailouts for Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal.


Theresa May was a remain supporter.  Scotland digging its heels in would make it far easier to scapegoat Scotland for not giving our charming English friends what they want. You can look forward to thousands, if not millions of English trolls, chavs and generally quite stupid people ranting about the whinging jocks getting their own way if Theresa decides to use the option of gifting Scotland the blame for not bothering to Brexit at all. Win-win, since the conservatives can then claim that it is not their fault that they cannot carry out the wishes of England and Wales.


It would be a lot better for Scotland if a deal can be cut to allow the UK to exit, in exchange for us going on our merry way, complete with our recovered resources.  This gives them the best of both, since the situation of our goods being shipped from England and showing up as English trade can simply be reversed.   The enormous munitions dump to the west of our coast could be cleared at the expense of the MOD, and I am sure they can enjoy the scrap value of a couple of centuries of rusting metal. We would like our sea back too, thank you very much.


English journalists such as Faisal Islam are already preparing articles suggesting that we are ‘further complicating’ Brexit.  At no point does anyone plan to admit that the UK cannot afford Brexit without the benefit of Scotland. Lie upon lie, as per usual.


I do not agree with every policy the SNP goes with.  The current strategy has gone very well. At this point it is important to be extremely careful with the immediate future.  Whilst a great many English remainers and Brexiteers will be catching on to the depth of deception in the media, you have to take decades, if not centuries of bigotry into account.  They don’t like thinking.  They like hating.  Likewise the selfish and complacent Scotland hating no-voters will do anything, and invent anything to prove their rightness, even when the truth is staring them in the face.


So, my thought for the day is – do not be conned by offers of short term gain.  There is only one way out of this.  Agreeing to complex soft soaped negotiations is a waste of time.  Conservatives, like most young greedy bucks, are only after one thing.  Be prudent, Nicola, and do not get suckered in to taking the blame for Cameron’s fatal error.


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Dear David Cameron

Dear David Cameron

As an SNP member, I would just like to say a few words on behalf of Angus Robertson, who, in the heat of the moment, rated ongoing argument above the traditional and somewhat theatrical values of British Parliament.  I, for one, would like to thank you for your term in office, not only because of your support of Scotland, but because you have achieved so much on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised of the UK.


I am sure it is a huge relief for you to be out of office, and a sad day for us in Scotland, since we have no way of knowing whether your successor will be able to push the envelope for Scottish independence as far as you have done.  We must express our gratitude for your ongoing assistance in this matter.


The case for Scottish independence ought now to be clear to even the most moronic and thoughtless Scot. The Scottish referendum, and attitudes of the BBC, Labour and Conservatives throughout, enlightened Scots from all walks of life on issues such as the general attitude of English dominion, contempt for our nationhood, desperation to hang on to our many resources, and cutthroat kneejerk responses to every problem presented.


The declaration of airstrikes on Syria the day after the independence referendum, the announcement of the intention to sell our land for fracking, at the risk of our whisky industry, the lack of help for the oil industry, when you had just announced that we could not manage such a big resource by ourselves.  All of these have made Scotland aware of Westminster’s contempt for our country and values. EVEL, a critical error for Westminster, was the icing on the cake.


On a personal basis, I always used to be a strong supporter of the BBC.  I have you to thank for letting me know that the independent media we all pay for is not at all independent.  It has been a real education.


Never has there been as strong support for the SNP.  You have opened hearts and minds in Scotland to the prospect of managing our own destiny, and we will, as a nation work harder than ever to achieve that goal as a result.  We are all now aware of Blair’s underhand theft of our coastal waters, our resources, our input into the British economy.  Without you, none of this would have been possible.


Several generations of Scots are now aware and considerably more astute as a result of your period of tenure.  We are inclined to more generosity, in the form of donating to food banks, more open-mindedness, in the form of seeing that there is a way of restoring and investing in our industrial future, and that in the future there will be no need for entire towns to empty as a result of poor planning and grasping from Westminster in the place of conscious investment for the purpose of sustaining populations across Scotland, whether rural, semi-rural or inner city.


As we will have to renegotiate our relationship with the EU, there is now hope for our coastal populations and shipbuilding industry, decimated by your predecessors.  It is, alas Blair’s doing that we have lost the Scottish regiments that we, and indeed your own family, were so proud of. Again, we in Scotland would like to extend our thanks for making all of this clear to us. Between you and the sterling political genius of Alex Salmond, we are all developing a strong, confident political consciousness that Joann Lamont of the Labour Party would not have thought possible due to our inferior Scottish DNA.


As you leave office, we look forward to welcoming you, as a fellow Scot, to your forthcoming estate in Scotland.  It is increasingly likely that we will, of course, be leaving the UK, and so we look forward to your joining us as we rebuild our country and restore our economy, recovering from the ravages from decades of being bled dry and told that we are too weak to manage on our own.  I am sure that the good people of Aberdeenshire, many of them keen Conservatives, will value your input as we create our new political landscape. You have done us a great favour.


Let us hear it for David Cameron.  A leader who brought us all to the understanding of Scotland, and its place in the UK.  Thank you for years of education and backhanded support for our cause.  We wish you well for your future.


Lots of love,






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Effective, bold communication

This morning, before I wrote the Dear David Cameron post, I witnessed the following exchange between Angus Robertson and David Cameron.  My fellow Scots will note that the BBC did not include the good wishes (which the Independent included) immediately preceding the comment. The BBC video is here:


Angus Robertson and David Cameron at PMQs


This scene was approved of by several Scottish National Party members, and my response was appreciated by approximately three of the seventy or so who read my alternative to Angus’s response.


I then took Twisty for coffee, during which he indicated that he thoroughly approved of Angus Robertson’s tone, and that we should not pander to the frivolity of the English politicians, left or right.  I vehemently disagreed with this, as my feeling is that one should play the game as it is served to you, so to speak. To the Etonian brain, this is the communication of a barbarous spanked child, not a national statesman.


We returned from this outing, followed by a lengthy drive in which we took in Irvine, Ardrossan, and Lochwinnoch, to find Theresa May standing outside Downing Street declaring war on any notion of Scottish independence.


In the last few hours, the cabinet reshuffle has amused and entertained a dismayed public with Theresa’s appointments.  I will say before I start on the issue I plan to address in this post, that I think her choices are inspired and, I am happy to say, bold. I also appreciated much of what she had to say about several foreign companies enjoying tax concessions that we simply cannot afford, although I cannot understand how Starbuck’s alleged 18m tax contribution has been overlooked, or why she would be announcing a crackdown on three companies involved in her husband’s hedge fund.


If this statement is intended to give her integrity, then great, however if it is in error, I suggest an entire department devoted to tax avoidance generally is a better idea than hammering individuals, benefit claimants and the disabled in the manner we have come to expect. Personally, I would introduce a tax concession scheme based on partnering such companies with British nationals who are capable of growing new businesses, and fund a growth of British business without government interference using this method.


To get to the point, tonight’s burning topic is communication.  From a Westminster perspective, Angus Robertson’s point, whilst highly relevant, is made at the wrong time, in an over-serious, blaming tone, and has been taken as an attack by the comparatively restrained, and to us, over-polite English.  We are significantly different nations, and we communicate in a vastly different way.  Hence my demonstration of the rhetorical method of saying the same thing in the form of my last post.


Many years ago, I was interviewed by a government department devoted to gathering numerical and very precise statistics.  They came to Glasgow to recruit.  After a couple of hours of testing, a roomful of individuals from all over the world were reduced to three.  Me, a drunk man who had spend the night on a bench before coming for interview, and a hippy.  We were, according to the tests, the most intelligent people in the room.  All the passive candidates left.


Six weeks later, I called the department to find out who had got the job, since it evidently was not me.  I was told that the department had decided to recruit nobody and would be using English staff.


“You aren’t in England.”  I said “People probably look a bit different up here.”


“Ahem.” the uncomfortable English rose who had managed to get three expenses paid days in Glasgow was evidently shifting uncomfortably in her seat. She was unused to direct communication.


“I hope that you enjoyed your free holiday.”  I said nastily, and promptly gave up on the job.


Likewise, I have just been weeded out of a job for failing to have demonstrated that I have dealt with people at all levels.  I would have thought that this was obvious by the fact that I have worked my way up through two sectors, from dishwasher to Stately home caterer with my own business, and then from general office worker to Senior manager in a major bank, but apparently this is too much of a stretch for your average, dull-witted Human Resources department and they simply cannot be bothered to read or interpret my CV.  In short, despite my communication skills, I am screwed by the fact that I cannot understand how people can be this stupid, so am unable to figure out how to compensate for it by spelling out information that I would regard as blisteringly obvious.


Hopefully by now you can see a pattern emerging.  If you and your respondent are talking two different languages, you are unlikely to reach consensus.  To those trained to play the Westminster game, direct Scottish communication comes across as over-serious and savage stabbing in place of elegant swordplay.


In a game of rhetoric, you pack as many layers into the same short speech as you want, in as few, preferably soothing words as possible.  What you never do, is communicate directly.  In this way, you can present a fairly savage attack as a string of compliments and gracious thanks.  (see previous post for an example)


This, they understand. This is exactly what they are trained to do at those expensive institutions, and this is what they respond well to. It is calculated to make them difficult to relate to, and to make it difficult for them to relate to you.  We train cold fish, capable of endless debate, in order to crush opposition.


My point is, Scotland, that in order to win the game, we need to play the game on their pitch.  Our direct and honest methods are cutting no ice.  Some refinement is in order, otherwise nobody will listen, and if nobody listens, our blunt instruments will fail against a well aimed rapier every time. Yes, we can do it, but we need to listen and learn how to win.


In the meantime, my congratulations to Boris.  I think he is a good and bold choice.  The UK should not set out to be apologetic at this point.    Once you have secured the safety of the UK, perhaps you will reconsider your historically poor attitude to my country. If not, I guess I will pick a fight later.



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