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.
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.
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.
Nicola Sturgeon says tomorrow’s election is the most important Scotland has had in decades. While we expect hyperbole from politicians, especially close to an election, she is not exaggerating. It might be the most important Scottish election ever.
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:
“Peter Bell, Barrhead Boy, Robin McAlpine, James Kelly, Jeggit, Stuart Campbell, Iain Lawson, and me – I could go on with a dozen more – these were the writers to whom pro-Independence people turned in their hundreds of thousands to escape from the diet of unionist propaganda they were fed from the BBC and papers. These bloggers and independent journalists were, along with the All Under One Banner marches, the heartbeat of Independence.”
Oh, those were the days. And then he moves from pitiful to insane:
“I regard this election as just the start for Alba. I look forward to participating in democratic debate that shapes its policies.”
This is up there with his recent prediction that Joanna Cherry would replace Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister within a year. Or was it six months?