Country and Wasted

I am proud of Scotland. Proud of the fact that we are an experimental human repository for the study of cancer and heart and liver disease. Proud that our largest city harbours a festering internecine hatred nurtured by the segregation of our children in an education system dominated by religion. Proud of our illustrious history of merrily sending young flesh to be maimed and slaughtered in grubby little occupations sought by the British Empire to further its nefarious aims. Proud that triage surgeons have been sent here to train in our ritual orgy of Saturday night stabbings. Proud that we can’t get a tram to run down our capital’s high street, but successfully demolished our great 19th century housing stock to barrack the working class in dormitory sink estates awash with chronic addiction and preventable disease. Proud of our financial institutions, bastions of Presbyterian prudence, who followed the flood of speculators into the insane fever of deregulated profit chasing that led to their de facto nationalisation.
Our great cities cower on the fringes of one of Europe’s last wildernesses. A spectacular and unique landscape of endless moors, a million surging burns, grand, sweeping glens crowned by heroic ridges. Go to the top of one of these mountains and look down into the lowlands. See if you can discern a vision for Scotland. Where are those leaders who might offer a promised land of justice and equality for all your children? All the counters are crowded into a tiny corner of the checkerboard. No one talks of the re-nationalisation of our utilities, a maximum wage or the completion of the great hydroelectric project. A republic is off the agenda. The social chaos caused by the prohibition of drugs is not to be mentioned. Where is the argument for a radical and radically fair Scotland? I can’t see it, and I’m not proud to admit, that in the absence of that vision I am forced to remain committed to the current arrangement. All these years a punk and now I find myself forced into being a fan of the status quo. And they didn’t even WRITE Rockin’ All Over The World. Oh, the pity, the pity.