Notes From the Northern Colony

Scotland in the End Times of the UK

The latest reminder that Scottish devolution is only symbolic:

LNER is a train company company owned by the UK government. It provides services in Scotland, and it has decided it can ignore Scottish law.

As of today, England has ended all restrictions that were in place to stop the spread of Covid, even though the plague numbers are so high the US is advising its citizens not to travel to the UK.

This is not the case in Scotland, which still requires mask-wearing and social distancing on trains. But LNER has decided Scottish law does not apply to it in Scotland, declaring, “We have made the decision to operate under English guidance, with regards to social distancing on cross border services, to provide consistency to customers.”

Yet again, Scotland gets what England votes for, to the extent that a transport company can decide to break the law.

#LNER #EnglishContemptForScotland #ScottishLaw #NominalScottishDevolution #ScottishIndependenceNow #Covid19 #PlagueDiary #ScottishBlogs #ScottishPolitics

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Gerry Cinnamon performing

Only in Glasgow does a love song rhapsodise, “She is a gangster with a hundred-mile stare.”

Watching Gerry Cinnamon perform his song “Belter” in front of thousands of people who sing along as they dance to its thumping beat, it is easy to overlook that the song is as much about fear as it is about love.

“No happy endings / unless fairytales come true / but she looks like a princess / and there’s not much else to do” (or, in less polite performances, “there’s fuck all I can do”). And, “I think I love her / She gets underneath my skin / but I’ve been stung a few times / so I don’t let no one in” (or, in the less polite version, “I don’t let no cunt in”)…

Mr Cinnamon has created an anthem that serves as a soundtrack for any stage of a romantic relationship.

#gerrycinnamon #belter #scottishmusic #scottishblogs

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Discarded face mask on the ground

Throughout the pandemic, it has been common to see disposable masks littering the streets of Glasgow, but in the last few weeks it has become almost as common to find reusable masks in the same state.

And, even though yesterday Scotland beat its all-time record for Covid infections, with more than 4000 new cases and six new deaths, Glasgow is in level 2, and in a few weeks the entire country will be in level 0, no longer required to wear masks or socially distance.

#covid19 #plaguediary #pandemic #lockdown #level2 #level0 #glasgow #scotland #scottishblogs

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GM Stevenson, seen from behind, walking on the docks in Reykjavik. Sea, cloudy sky, boatPhoto: daishin

June 17 is Icelandic National Day, commemorating the foundation of The Republic of Iceland in 1944. I observed it with reverence this week for a few reasons: because Scotland is also heading towards independence, because Scottish independence is urgent, and because, almost two years ago, I flew from Glasgow to Reykjavik to marry my American partner, because the British Home Office had refused to issue her a visa to marry me in my own country.

I had a window seat on the flight to Iceland, and, as we passed over mountains, cities and ocean, I was almost overwhelmed by the absurdity of human arrogance, the small meanness with which a few people in a few offices arbitrarily decide where a person is allowed to go. There are more than six million known (to us) species on land and in the air, and more than two million in water. Land, water and air are indifferent to any idea of ownership held by us tiny creatures, and so is love.

#iceland #icelandicnationalday #reykjavik #scottishindependence #englishcolonisation #homeoffice #immigration #hostileenvironment #scottishpolitics #scottishblogs

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Santa Muerte

When I wrote this in April, I hoped to be wrong. I was not.

#covid19 #plaguediary #pandemic #lockdown #level3 #scotland #scottishblogs

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Patrick Grady
Photo by Richard Townshend

In response to what I previously wrote about Glasgow Life’s plans to close Maryhill Library permanently, Patrick Grady, MP for Glasgow North, emailed me on June 1:

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Description: graffiti on the ground, with a quote from The Unbearable Lightness of Being, “Beauty is a world betrayed” followed with the response, “No it’s no!”

#glasgow #graffiti #milankundera #theunbearablelightnessofbeing

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As of yesterday, there can be no denying Scotland is an occupied country.

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I said in the previous post that the Scottish election result is a victory for compassion and respect. Today it was announced that the hate site Wings Over Scotland (whose author, Stuart Campbell, is based in England), a.k.a. The Daily McMail, is to stop blogging.

As usual, though, Mr Campbell’s word is not to be trusted. “Wings is over,” he says, and then adds he will reconsider his decision in November. Many of us are sceptical that Mr Campbell will be able to live without his narcissistic supply, but a break for six months will be a small mercy.

And, whatever his decision, he is correct: Wings is over. So is Alba. So is Alex Salmond. This is 2021, and Scotland has its most diverse parliament yet.

#wingsoverscotland #stuartcampbell #bigotry #hate #albaparty #alexsalmond

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Nothing suprising happened. The SNP got one vote short of a majority, and the Greens gained seats, so the Scottish government is still a pro-independence majority. Alex Salmond and Alba, with less than two percent of the vote, are dead and buried, and their hateful supporters have their cards marked. I found it comical when one of them, Kenny MacAskill, said the election had been “too soon” for Alba. Thirty years too late, more like.

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