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Not pie in the Skye…

It seems that The Economist (the magazine that, like many others, refers to itself as the definite article) managed to upset Alex Salmond last week.  Now, upsetting Alex Salmond, or at least making him play ‘upset’, isn’t that difficult so it is hardly a badge of honour.  Like many other politicians he’s rather good at it, more convincing than wavy Davy down south, who does the puffed up, over-earnest, slightly quivering upper lip, beetroot-faced mock indignation in such a way as to suggest an impending cerebrovascular accident.

What upset him was an article on the economics of Scottish independence, and more especially a cartoon map on the cover, entitled ‘Skintland’.  Various towns, cities and areas are retitled to suggest impending debt in a way that the average sixth-former would be proud of.  Well, that’s about my level, so it raised a wry smile.  I particularly like ‘Edinborrow (twinned with Athens)’, which works on multiple levels, as enlightenment Edinburgh was referred to as the Athens of the north.



According to Mr S, references to the various part of the country “insults every single community in Scotland.”  Whatever.  Which would probably have been a more useful response.  If something is intended to wind you up either just dismiss it as something of little consequence and move on, or enter into the joke and show that you’re big enough to take it.  Otherwise humour can be corrosive influence, easily undermining authority.  Which is why we all use it.

As you can see, we were dismissed as ‘(pie in the) Skye’ – like I said, the lower sixth must have been the creative force that week.  For a moment, let’s take this personally.  We have left London, and in my own case a (reasonably) secure job, and thrown it all up to take more control of our own destinies, free ourselves from the shackles of splintering health sector (thanks to Andy in La-La land…) and try to do what we want to, rather than what others would have us do, even though we will be shorter of resources than we would have been had we stayed.  We’re big boys and girls now, so we can take our own decisions, and sink or swim by them, thank you.  Which may well be pie in the sky(e) – time will tell – but it does seem to parallel the Scottish Nationalist dream.  Is it the dream of a sufficient proportion of the populace to become reality?  Again, time has the answer, but you can be sure that progress towards that answer will become increasingly rancorous.

Unless, of course, the old Scottish enlightenment value of effecting  change for the better in society, guided only by reason, is allowed to prevail on all sides.  A reasoned discourse on what would be of most benefit to the most people on both sides of the border, and an acceptance by all of the final conclusion.

Now that really is pie in the sky…

Currently listening to: Helplessness Blues – Fleet Foxes


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One thought on “Not pie in the Skye…

  1. John Manos on said:

    Well Neil,
    Thanks for drawing the funny map to your subscribers’ attention.
    Twinning Edinborrow with Athens is not so far-fetched: it’s got some nice neo-classical buildings, much cleaner air and if Salmond gets his way perhaps Scotland could join the eurozone and we’ll have to bail you out one way or another in the end, as old-Athens has demonstrated. Which currency will you be using, by the way?
    Seriously, I personally look forward to your running commentary on the devolution debate in the coming months/years (will take it that the cat stories will just be the fillers between weightier posts).
    Best wishes
    PS Why stop at an independent Scotland, why not an independent Skye?

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