How I Voted…


It’s the orthogonal thoughts that caught my eye, so to speak.

The trees still stand. I mean, the town still stands – apart from one tent in the very middle of the pedestrian area, I saw no more campaigning.


Yes & No placards reside side by side, as do their representatives, chatting together outside the polling station.


The Church is open for business, contemplation, prayer, stillness.


Now to sit back and wait patiently. Quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere.

Now, who’s going to clean up all the litter?

How I’ll be Voting

indyref-poll-cardIndividually. I hold the idea of nationality very loosely: it sometimes applies but does not define.  I rate people trying to live their lives far higher than the games of politicians playing nations.

Thoughtfully. Manifestos have been read; factors – economic, political, constitutional, cultural, socially – considered, their importances determined;  a decision has been reached.

Carefully. The way things are looking,  half the population is likely to be upset whatever happens. There will be a need to restore peace.

Independently. The presentation of the campaigns as a bickering of two opposing factions has not been attractive. First the reasoning and decision, then the labelling with political ideology (or preferably not at all).

Proudly. It has not been an easy summer, and getting to the stage of holding this poll-card in my hands has taken considerably more organization than intended.

Humbly. I am glad to have a voice in the running of the land I call home.

A Democracy

For the past month or so, my Facebook and Twitter streams have been fairly awash with politics – several positions represented from `at least do something’ to more specific suggestions. And so one’s braincell has been suitably spinning with big ideas of economy and nation-states, social equality, whether proportional representation is the right model for governance, whether one can apply `reduce,reuse,recycle’ to politicians, and all sorts of things.

What you actually get is the local defence budget blown on no fewer than 8 A4 printed direction signs guiding you 20yd into the village hall, finishing with “Queue Here” taped down a table-leg.

A Democracy

A Democracy

“I’m being a queue.”

Ten seconds later the two elderly ladies gave up personning the stall and came out to talk to Dog instead.

An Invasion of Silver Boxes

An Invasion of Silver Boxes

It’s a bright sunny bank-holiday weekend, which means only one thing.

Of five approaching cars at which I waved, only one young yet surprisingly dour-looking passenger waved back.

Visiting vehicles are easily identified by how caravans clog-up the roads, how cars perform 3-point turns in the mouths of T-junctions.

Avoiding eye-contact becomes the norm, as does the body-language of shying-away from Dog when passing on the pavement. Instead, out come the silver insulated food bags that bring their suburban life to us, their chilled packet contents probably bought from the perceived safety of a generic supermarket en route rather than in one of the local shops.

It speaks of an indifference to the existing social networks within the village being invaded, a separation of us versus the self-centred them.

I do not see merit in the argument that tourism is good for the local economy. It might seem to be, in a short-sighted fashion; but when all visitors see is each other and perceive landscape as pretty, its shallowness does not compare to the depth and quality of soul that comes from involving oneself in committing one’s life and work to a place.

Social Failures

This afternoon in Stranraer I stumbled across a protest in the town centre, a group of maybe 30-40 folks setting out their stalls (literally) to protest against the `Bedroom Tax’ and other social injustices.


Kudos to them for getting off their backsides to object.

But please, in the interests of being taken seriously:

  1. learn some vocabulary. The greater majority of political objections I’ve seen north of the Border centre on the simplistic phrase `[Scotland] says no to’ (be it a local proposed windfarm or tax scheme); how stupid does on have to presume one’s listeners to be that `opposes’  or `rejects’ are too complicated?
  2. learn, or better, write, some protest songs. And learn to sing. Screeching an ungrammatical Louis Jordan song from 1944 into a microphone, accompanied by electric guitar, rather detracts from the message.

Hardly surprising that I had the Dire Straits song Industrial Disease going through my head all afternoon – `there’s a protest singer, singing a protest song’…