In his argument for why Scotland should remain in the U.K., David Cameron sounds like a jilted boyfriend who insists that his ex-girlfriend should stay with him, regardless of her feelings for him:
The fight is now under way for something really precious: the future of our United Kingdom. I am 100% clear that I will fight with everything I have to keep our United Kingdom together.
To me, this is not some issue of policy or strategy or calculation - it matters head, heart and soul. Our shared home is under threat and everyone who cares about it needs to speak out.
Of course, there are arguments that can be made about the volatility of dependence on oil, or the problems of debt and a big banking system. But that’s not the point. The best case for the United Kingdom is entirely positive. We are better off together.
Time reports that 55 percent of doctors admit to lying to patients.
It doesn’t mention another kind of lying by doctors that used to be routine, and perhaps still is. I remember in the late 1980s, a woman I knew in Scotland had stomach cancer - and never knew about it. The doctor told her husband and other members of her family, who decided not to tell her, so the doctor lied to her and told her she had something minor. She underwent surgery for the cancer without knowing what it was.
I can think of several people who were terminally ill but were not told about it. Their families were told, and they made the decision to keep it from them. I wonder if this is still common, in the U.S. or in Scotland, and if it is legal.
In good times and bad, the people of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland have stuck together. The UK is the house that, together, we have built. It does not belong to one part of the country. It belongs to all of us. Our shared values and principles burn strong, and our shared history informs our future.
Barry Graham’s The Champion’s New Clothes is a wonderful novel set around the dark, dangerous and always intriguing world of professional boxing (the Scottish version)… a modern day verismo opera; relationships requiring the kinds of sacrifice it takes to be a champion without knowing what the belt might bring. A surprising, unsettling open ending that offers no fairytale of a future.Click here to read the rest.
I’ve been asked if I’ve written any poems in memory of Paul Reekie. I thought I would, but I haven’t. The poems haven’t come. Perhaps they will.
Having grown up in Bavaria, I have a deep respect for any culture that celebrates masculinity by donning fetish wear.
I also have a deep respect for transgressive writing that is free of anti-intellectual bias and full of bile when it comes to the antics of the intelligentsia. There’s a lot of that in Scotland. At its best, that kind of crime fiction is tempered by a self-deprecating sense of humour and tendered by a self-conscious sense of compassion. You tend to learn something about yourself while you’re having a good time with those books.
Barry Graham is a bit intimidating to sit down with.Maybe it’s the Scottish burr or the fierce intelligence which radiates from him or maybe it’s the long string of hard as nails characters he’s been writing about for the past 20 years?Who knows?