The Challenge and The Weal

It started off as a fairly ordinary sort of day, then got a tad weird.

There I was in the office,putting off the moment when I had to attack the backlog of filing when, just as the 8am news started I heard some familiar tones on the wirelss.  ‘Twas I, and suspecting I on the airwaves I most certainly was not, especially at 8.00 on a Sunday, at which hour I usually let the radio cool down before Derek Bateman entertains us an hour later.

And there it was, a story being told with the waves rippling on a beach on Iona in the background.  I have often decried the absence of the humanist view in the regular thought-for-the-day slots on the Beeb, so here it was, revenge, the full tale of pagan symbols on the nunnery wall.  But I’d heard it all before and off it went.

Strange didn’t end there however, for who should be at the sports centre as Boy Urchin went off to his footie class, was none other than the Queen of Hearts; and she had her knave with her too.  Their littlest apostle was also away to practice his passing, so they took the opportunity, as fit young things do, to run round The Crags for an hour.  Like a sloth I headed for the car, a mug of fresh brewed and a good read.

Actually it was instant, and I’d left the current work on the bedside table, deliberately, and instead broken my vow and bought a paper.  For I wanted to read McWhirter and Bell in the Sunday Herald which is slowly clawing its way back from the brink, unshackled as it is from the editorial corpse that destroys the daily edition.  And I was not disappointed, for they talked sense.

But I was grabbed by another article, a Blueprint for an Independent Scotland.  And the QofH had laid down a challenge:  List 10 things in favour of Indy, demanded she, and 10 in favour of the status quo.  Now the first is easy, but I do have a word limit on these musings, albeit a flexible one.  So I’d start with the latter list.

I thought of Westminster, and expenses and unelected Lords; and I dwelt on Iraq; and on our state-funded broadcaster, or remain in the EU.  Blimey this isn’t going to be easy thought I, as I changed the heading on the list from Union to Independent.  Anyway as you may know the Positive Case for the Union remains a mythical beast, unsighted, unconfirmed, muttered about in dark corners.

So back to that blueprint.  It is a publication from the Reid Foundation, the work of academics and economists, a vision for a richer and fairer society and, just a s importantly, nothing to do with any political party or campaign body.  The Common Weal will be based on rectifying taxes and inequality; revisiting the welfare state; founded upon a national investment bank and ownership and diversification.  And it will be grounded with democracy and governance.  It is a paper fit to start a serious debate, hard thinking and head scratching.  Go on, dip in.  I like it, the Nordic Approach.

And there won’t be a naked green goblin with mouthful of piss in sight.  Or a smart-ass on twitter.  And as I can’t resist it, get up to date with the current spoiling.  All the usual sources, doing what the media can’t wont do.

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Filed under Broadcast & Written Press, Farrago, Scotland's Future

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