An Alien within the Gates . . .

Two (and a bit) years ago, after much havering, we moved to Scotland. Once here we have lived quietly and observed and listened, and have been much encouraged by the assertions by Mrs Nicola Sturgeon and others that we incomers are truly welcome. We find people in the local shops, the surgery, the tradesmen, staff in pubs, cafes and so on to be helpful and cheery if sometimes difficult to understand. The common adjective is”wee”, as in, “I’ll gie ye a wee fon”, “take a wee seat”, “a fine wee hoose” and many other examples which taken with other things soon make you realise that what you knew as interesting fact, that Scotland was and is another country, it is so in day to day reality. A crime is committed or needs examining and it gets referred to the Procurator Fiscal, which I had read about in detective stories, but happens in real life too. The National Health Service is Scottish and we have a Scottish National Health Number which is called something else I haven’t learnt yet. If you buy a “hoose” or otherwise need to see a Solicitor (who is also the Estate Agent) you soon find that Scottish law exists and is different from English Law.

Holyrood

And when the overweening BBC News from London ends, we go over to BBC Scotland for the Scottish News and Westminster fades from the scene – and what a relief that is. We do alas get many news items repeated, but once we get political it is mainly Holyrood that counts and the great (literally) Brian Taylor takes us patiently and impartially through the doings of the SNPs and the Scottish Parliament. Then it really hits home that England is another place and pretty irrelevant except where it still holds the strings and messes up what Scotland is trying to do. As far as I can see the only political grouping within Scotland that cares about Scotland is the Scottish National Party, the rest have no concerns about Scotland per se, other than as a place to park nuclear submarines, whatsoever. Politics for them is Westminster, first last and always, and Scotland is parked far off somewhere north of Watford Gap.

Thus the current election coverage in the media is virtually irrelevant up here because it assumes that there are only two main parties. The Lib Dems (insignificant in Scotland) are mentioned from time to time as an amusing but largely irrelevant diversion, the Greens too sometimes, and the everlasting Farage and the Brexiteers get good coverage (Farage was at one time almost a staff member of the BBC) but don’t figure when it comes to government that matters such as the NHS, Defence, Foreign Affairs and so forth. They are treated like ISIS, you need to be aware of them and their doings but they are not really contenders at Westminster. Polls seldom give the SNP as an option to tick, and I have no doubt that Wales gets much the same treatment – or lack of it. The media are English cum Westminster organs, and the rest of us pass unnoticed.

About The Author

Born 9 December 1933. Former Royal Air Force person. Retired Church of England Clergyman. Father. Grandfather, and now, Great Grandfather. Citizen of Europe and Fervent Remainer. Thinks that Members of Parliament and especially Ministers of the Crown, who lie to Parliament should be brought before a public tribunal where the evidence can be heard, and examined, and suitable penalties awarded.
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