The pompous pied piper

For the final two weeks of the campaign the referendum rages with relentless fury across Scotland, battering and bullying like a fierce winter storm. Politicians gust from media conference to meeting venue to walkabout, blowing in one direction then another, fear stories flying like guided missiles, rebuttals defiantly mouthed in the teeth of the howling gale.

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Dancing round a chain saw

The contrast between old and new, sedate and quirky, mellow and brash, strikes me this warm summer day, the last day of August and the last day of Edinburgh’s summer festivals. This evening a firework display from the castle and its environs will burst, exuberant with stars and waterfalls of colour, into the night sky, lighting up in a rainbow of sequinned colours the craggy bastion of rock with the castle perched on top like a hat from a costume drama.

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Aye, naw, dinae ken, whit?

This is not a political blog, and although my books have a political background I rarely mention the darker arts here.

But the proximity of the referendum for Scottish independence, and the way it is shaping thinking and lives prompts me to say something about it so others can gain some idea of the transformation taking place.

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Let the Games begin

Festival of cliché; kitsch; sobbin’ with embarrassment; butchered Scottish culture; dire; fantastic; passable; turned out OK in the end; highlight was the African lassie singing Freedom Come All Ye; an absolute joke of an opening ceremony; all in all, pretty good;


It’s June. It’s raining. So it must be book festival time in the Borders.

Read about Seven Books Seven Authors at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose.

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