Today should be interesting - all eyes point north. It occurred to me late yesterday afternoon that my attitude towards the Scottish Referendum had been somewhat askew: I still support a no vote as I favour unity, and still think having a Scottish influence in the UK helps us all. Yet a yes vote has it's definite advantages, as it will stir up the status quo sending shockwaves through the establishment. People will demand more control over the regions. One thing is certain: a Yes vote means CaMoron will have to go. Win! Thus either way things stand to become very interesting indeed. Time, then, to turn on the news, perhaps get a few beers in for later, and wait for the results.
I'm in two minds about this. NASA has announced it's intention to resume manned spaceflght. That is surely something to be welcomed, and presumably it will be designing a replacement for the shuttle somewhere down the line. What I'm not so sure about is it' intention to use private firms to help it do so. Of course, talent and expertise can crop up in any sector, but everyone knows that private industry cuts corners for profit, and the idea that competition leads to excellence is a myth. So while this is promising news from NASA, I just hope their new space ships aren't going to be laden with McDonald's logos, and turn out to be as flimsy as their burgers.
I went up to stratford this afternoon, wanting to take my mind off politics for a while and wanting too to start buying gifts for certain upcoming midwinter festivals. It was a spur of the moment decision. Stratford strikes me as an amazing place: not so very long ago it was a building site. Yet it is also a place I associate with amazing things: just a few weeks ago, Lyn played a set there; and before that it was the site of the awesomeness of the olympics and paralympics, where 007 met the queen, and where the paraorchestra played, and where so much incredible stuff happened. Moreover, to get there, I have to pass the o2 arena, where just a few weeks ago we saw Python play, something so special to me that I can't put into words how lucky I feel to have been there.
It occurs to me that these two amazing places are now semi-sacred for me. In a way they have taken on a form of secular hallowdness: they are places in which events took place which are so special, so unique that I count them as highlights of my life. I'll thus probably always relish going back to both. Reflecting on this, though, I wondered if there are other places like that for me - maybe the old campus at Alsager could be one. Does everyone have places of such intense, happy memories I wonder.
I know I said a couple of entries ago that I thought it best to stay clear of the debate in Scotland, but I find myself becoming more and more agitated by it. The 'Yes' campaign is, if I'm honest, really starting to piss me off. I better just come out with it: for all their talk of fairness and equality, I have never seen a more oppressive, selfish group. They claim to be of the left, but the last time I checked, leftism was about unity and caring for all: they just propose to build their own state, leaving the rest of us to suffer. That's not socialism but fascism. But when you put this obvious truth to any of them, they act all offended and deny their campaign has anything to do with nationalism. Bull; Salmond et al are motivated by the same nationalistic forces as Farage. If that wasn't the case, if they truly cared about fairness and equality for all, they'd be working to change the government at westminster. The problems faced in scotland are problems faced here too. Thus this has nothing to do with creating a fairer society: what is fair about dividing a country? What is fair about abandoning the british to the tories - for that is what they are doing. What is fair or democratic about imposing your will on others? About only caring about the scots? And, to add insult to injury, Salmond cries foul when the bbc point out his shortcomings. He accuses CaMoron of paying businesses to support better together, as if they aren't allowed their own opinions. One of their supporters had the cheek to invoke Mandella, as if the british were oppressing them, as if they were fighting for freedom and not division. I find such conduct unfair and inappropriate, even hurtful, but if you put any of this to any of them, you are made to feel like you're the oppressive nationalist, supporting the tory stance. I don't want to force views on anyone or make anyone do anything they didn't want to; I just want to remain one unified, democratic people. Salmond just wants to divide us, building his own state for the scottish people while leaving the rest of us to rot. The disingenuousness of this megalomaniac sickens me.
It's obvious what I'm supposed to write on here today. I'm supposed to utterly condemn the murder of David Haines, and write about barbaric those who murdered him are. That would be the topic any blogger would be expected to choose on a day like this. Yet - an this is pure speculation - that obviousness makes me reflect on how convenient such a news story is for a prime minister in dire straights. CaMoron is on the ropes, down in the polls; on thursday he faces the prospect of presiding over the break-up of the union. How convenient that he can now stand in Downing Street looking Prime Ministerial and leaderly, and point towards a 'brutal enemy' capable of utter savagery, who threaten us blah blah blah. Pure speculation I know, and the two events are probably totally unlinked; yet the timing must raise my cynical eyebrow. After all, such a crisis serves the Tories, currently so troubled, perfectly. Is the dog being wagged?
[Edited 14/09/2014 at 13:42:22 - speling]