Notes From the Northern Colony

scotland

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

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If you are a virus in Scotland, things have been tough since the start of this year, with lockdown making it harder for you to kill people. But tomorrow your life will get easier. Lockdown is ending, Scotland is moving to Level 3. Here are all the ways you can find victims starting tomorrow:

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Prince Philip has died. The only remarkable thing about him is that he lived to the age of 99, which is less remarkable when his pampered lifestyle is considered. An unremarkable racist born into the Greek royal family, we have only heard of him because of whom he married, an equally unremarkable person born into another family institution that should have been abolished long ago.

As he never did anything anyone would have noticed had it not been for his title, it seems odd that Scotland’s political parties have taken a break from election campaigning because of his death — and bizarre that the SNP is making such a gesture for a prince of a nation it intends to leave.

#princephilip #britishmonarchy #scotland #snp #scottishpolitics #scottishblogs

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“You want it to be one way, but it’s the other way.”—Marlo Stanfield, The Wire

The stay-at-home rule was lifted yesterday. Since then, Covid cases in Scotland have risen by 414, and Scotland has the highest infection rate in the UK. Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland's national clinical director, says this should be “a warning to us not to go too fast.”

But we are going fast, heading towards a further lifting of restrictions on April 5, and bars and restaurants starting a phased reopening on April 26.

Yesterday and today, the weather has been sunny and warm in Glasgow, so parks have been crowded, with few people wearing masks.

I had my first dose of the AstraZenica vaccine on February 21, but my behaviour will not be changing with the rules. I will continue to go outside as seldom as possible, always masked. If the ending of lockdown is not cancelled, it means Scotland is in life-threatening denial. There is what we want, and there is how it is, and how it is always wins.

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.”—Philip K. Dick

#covid19 #coronavirus #scotland #pandemic #lockdown #plaguediary #scottishblogs

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I remember my naive bemusement back in 1992, when, with a general election impending, Alasdair Gray published his book Why Scots Should Rule Scotland. I wrote a review of the book in which I said that even though it presented a succinct cultural history of Scotland, it never even mentioned, let alone answered, the question in its title. It took a shamefully long time for me to realise that his vivid description of Scotland was all the answer to the question that was needed.

#alasdairgray #scotland #scottishindependence #scottishpolitics #scottishblogs

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In the Holyrood inquiry as to whether Nicola Sturgeon misled parliament, the vote was along party lines, with four SNP members finding that she did not, and the other five — two Tories, one Labour, one Lib Dem and one independent — finding that she did.

Now an independent report by James Hamilton, former director of public prosecutions in the Republic of Ireland, has found that she is not in breach of the ministerial code. This will disappoint her opponents, who have been excitedly demanding that she resign if Mr Hamilton’s report had found against her.

Prior to the report’s publication, more than 15,000 people, myself included, signed a petition in support of Ms Sturgeon.

#nicolasturgeon #jameshamilton #alexsalmond #snp #scotland #scottishpolitics #scottishblogs

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“Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name”—Burns

Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister of England, and, if you believe in democracy, it is right and fitting that he should be. In England his popularity, and that of his party, is six points ahead of the party led by Keir Starmer that no longer has any connection to its name.

There can be no democratic argument that Johnson does not represent England. The majority of English voters want him, and they have him.

The majority of Scottish voters do not want him, and we have him. And, as he continues to treat Scotland with contempt, he is proving that, until Scotland is independent, our votes do not matter. In May, Scottish people will overwhelmingly vote for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP — and we will continue to get what England votes for. Anyone in Scotland who opposes independence opposes their own right to vote.

#borisjohnson #scotland #nicolasturgeon #snp #scottishindependence #scottishpolitics #scottishblogs

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Despite the denial, it's hard to be unaware of death if you pay attention when you walk around Glasgow. On fences and bridges, there are so many memorials to people who have died. They usually include football scarves or jerseys. Some shrines are new, and may only be there for a short while, others have been there for years.

And you can hear the reminders too. On a stretch of the Kelvin Walkway, dense with unmasked people, someone says: “She was feeling better. She was starting to eat again...”

#death #mementomori #glasgow #scotland #scottishblogs #impermanence #mononoaware #plaguediary

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