Notes From the Northern Colony

Greum Maol Stevenson, Scottish Writer and Activist

by Greum Maol Stevenson

This advertisement from a predatory lender is being posted through letterboxes in the Wyndford housing scheme in Glasgow.

#glasgow #scotland #loansharks #predatoryloans #aablepersonalcredit #wyndford #maryhill #poverty #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

Last year, I remarked to a friend that he has what I consider a sexist habit of referring to female politicians by their first names, but uses last names for their male counterparts. He refers to the Scottish First Minister as “Nicola,” but never referred to her predecessor as “Alex.” I told him I thought this showed he took women less seriously than men, seeing them as closer to children than adults.

He replied he always referred to Boris Johnson by his first name, but admitted he didn't do that with any other male politicians. I suggested this supported my point, because Johnson's clownish persona made my friend see him as an overgrown child, giving him the same status he gave women.

And it is a persona; in private life, he's not called Boris. His friends and family call him Al, his actual first name (his name is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson). In a similar way to the US cult of “Bernie” — Sanders's friends and family call him Bernard — Johnson is selling performance, not policy. But, unlike Sanders, he's dangerous.

In this ungrammatical column in The National, Lesley Riddoch does a good job of normalising him by referring to him with chummy, faux-familiarity.

It is of urgent importance not to trivialise this catastrophe with cute nicknames. Call him what he is: the Prime Minister. And in calling him that, consider the ultra-right-wing populist who now holds that office, and see where we are.

#borisjohnson #nicolasturgeon #populism #lesleyriddoch #thenational #scotland #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

There are activists, and journalists, and people who are both, who have blind spots about the dangers of surveillance technology even when writing about it.

In this article, Mike Small, editor of Bella Caledonia, begins: “I ‘sign-in’ to my phone with my fingerprint.”

No journalist or activist should use fingerprint (or face) recognition on their phone. While seductively convenient, it's dangerous. Police aren’t allowed to force you to give them your password so they can get into your phone, but they’re allowed to force you to open it with your fingerprint. This exposes not only the owner of the phone, but everyone they communicate with. A strong password, entered every time you check your phone, is surely worth the inconvenience.

Also published on The Harbourmaster's Loug

#mikesmall #bellacaledonia #surveillancecapitalism #privacy #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

Manifesto found near the River Kelvin, Maryhill.

#maryhill #glasgow #scotland #scottishindependence #scottishnotbritish #endlondonrule #graffiti #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

This quote from Primo Levi was spotted by the poet Babs Nicgriogair at St. George's Cross.

#antifascism #antifa #subvertising #culturejamming #cityascommons #babsnicgriogair #greummaolstevenson #glasgow #scotland #radicalsignage #primolevi

by Greum Maol Stevenson

Craig Murray reports that his trial for contempt of court, which could end with him being imprisoned for two years, will be without a jury. The evidence he presents that the judge will not be impartial is convincing — and chilling.

The hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh is on June 10. Murray writes:

TWO WAYS YOU CAN HELP

The hearing on 10 June is supposed to be public, but it will be virtual because of coronavirus. While it is a case management hearing, I shall nevertheless be grateful if you are able to “attend” virtually, as I am very keen indeed that I am not stitched up out of the public eye. Please send an email requesting access to the virtual hearing on 10 June to judicialcomms@scotcourts.gov.uk. I am very keen as many people do this as possible. Journalists please in addition copy in communications@scotcourts.gov.uk for accreditation.

Secondly, many people come to this blog through social media and I am currently suffering a very high level of suppression, on Facebook and especially on Twitter. Rather than just retweet and share any soical media post that brought you here, (which may appear on the face to have worked but the dissemination will be suppressed), I would be very grateful if you could also write your own new posting and put a link. If you have your own blog or access to one, a commendation of this post with a link would be very welcome, even if it is not your normal policy. And finally of course, the entire post is free as always to copy, republish and translate as you wish.

Also published on The Harbourmaster's Loug

#craigmurray #alexsalmond #scotland #snp #markhirst #lordturnbull #alexprentice #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

Neil Gaiman's ability to make up stories has brought him wealth and fame. But his creative powers seem to be failing him when he's challenged about how he thinks his wealth entitles him to ignore the law and put people's lives at risk.

Gaiman is English but based in America. He was recently in New Zealand with his family. He had a quarrel with his wife, and the couple decided they needed some space from each other. Instead of getting himself a rental in New Zealand, which is under lockdown, he flew to America, where he caught a connecting flight to London, where he borrowed a car and drove to Scotland, to a house he owns on Skye, even though Scotland is also under lockdown, and even before the lockdown people were told not to bring COVID-19 to the Highlands and Islands by trying to escape from the cities.

But such rules are for peasants, not Gaiman.

He was so unashamed, he described the trip on his blog. But, in response to criticism, his story has been so inconsistent, it would never make it into any of his novels. Perhaps he needs an editor in real life.

“I'm currently a UK taxpayer and on the Scottish voting rolls,” Gaiman said. “I went home.” But, when his wife posted online that she was “heartbroken” at his leaving, he wrote, “Yes, I've seen the newsfeed headlines saying I've moved to the UK, and even that we're divorcing. No, I haven't moved the UK.” A few days later, he wrote that he has lived in the UK since 2017.

So... Neil Gaiman has lived in the UK since 2017. He just went home. But he doesn't live in the UK, and hasn't moved here...

Gaiman might want to think about moving to his country of origin, England. With his clumsy lying, narcissism, and belief that his position entitles him to do whatever he wants, he'll fit in with his country's government.

Also published on The Harbourmaster's Loug

#neilgaiman #covid19 #coronavirus #scotland #lockdown #uk #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

The Dockyard Press Harbourmaster's Loug has Bart Lessard's story “Gang Aft Agley and Deek Brodie's story “Company” — two very different tales, both set in Maryhill, Glasgow.

Also on the Loug is “If Is Cave wis in Glasgow” a Zen Buddhist poem by dubh.

The Shetland poet and novelist Robert Alan Jamieson is recovering from suspected coronavirus, and has been writing a sequence of poems during the process, which are being published on Bella Caledonia.

The new issue of Northwords Now has a Gaelic section, with Zen poetry by Caoimhin MacNeill, and poems by Babs Nicgriogair, Aonghas Phadraig Caimbeul, Meg Bateman and others. In the English-language part of the magazine, there are seven haiku by Barry Graham, though on the online edition they're bunched together like one poem. The excellent prose includes this story by Maggie Wallis and this essay by Chris Arthur.

Babs Nicgriogair's poem “Because the night belongs to us” was first published in both Gaelic and English on The Harbourmaster's Loug.

#scottishwriting #scottishpoetry #gaelicpoetry #babsnicgriogair #bartlessardauthor #barrygrahamauthor #robertalanjamieson #maggiewallis #deekbrodie #dubhauthor #chrisarthur #aonghasphadraigcaimbeul #megbateman #caoimhinmacneill #northwordsnow #dockyardpress #bellacaledonia #zenpoetry #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

Looking west from Maryhill, Glasgow, these days is like seeing the view for the first time. Or like seeing a high-resolution image instead of a faded photograph. You can see farther, and in more detail, and there are colours that were previously invisible.

It only took a couple weeks of reduced pollution because of the lockdown for us to be able to see — and breathe — so clearly. Of course, the polluters are receiving billions in financial bailouts. When the pandemic ends — which will not be soon, according to a professor of the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease at Harvard — a more common sickness will likely return. Our view of the distance, near and far, will fade, and we will once again be breathing in the chemicals that blur our vision.

If we saw as clearly with our hearts and minds as we now get to see with our eyes, we would ban all private cars from our cities.

Also published on The Harbourmaster's Loug

#glasgow #scotland #cities #pollution #covid19 #coronavirus #lockdown #pandemic #environment #greummaolstevenson

by Greum Maol Stevenson

As discussed here previously, Scottish mainstream media made no mention of Craig Murray's being removed by police from the High Court in Edinburgh during Alex Salmond's trial. Since then, Murray has published a J'accuse that, in forensic detail, makes a compelling case that there is a conspiracy against Salmond.

And apparently not just Salmond.

Paul Hutcheon, political editor at the Daily Record, has investigated Murray's home and his personal finances and published a misleading article, without addressing any of his concerns. The paper also published a photo of Murray's home.

In his article in response, Murray writes:

The key point is not one mainstream media journalist has even attempted to refute the facts of my article J’accuse. It is packed with facts. Might not the political editor of the Daily Record better spend his time researching the conspiracy against Alex Salmond, rather than threatening an independent journalist for the crime of doing journalism? ...What I am now waiting for is all these people to step in and condemn the publishing of my home and the subsequent risk to the security of my wife and family, with as much vigour as they today defended the privacy of the Edinburgh third house of the Head of MI6.

Also published on The Harbourmaster's Loug

#craigmurray #alexsalmond #paulhutcheon #dailyrecord #scotland #alexsalmondtrial #alexsalmondconspiracy #snp #mediaharassment #bullying #greummaolstevenson

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