Writer’s Block

I’ve had writer’s block or, as it’s otherwise known, lack of talent. There’s been no end of possible material to blab about, I just couldn’t generate the energy to do it, as if I was getting on in years and wasn’t up to it or something (?!) There are times when current affairs is so nakedly banal that I despise it and would rather sit it out. You have to learn that you can’t read everything, can’t have a view on each and every aspect and can’t afford the time and effort of chasing shadows.

(I’ve also been painting window shutters, dealing with school shoes chewed up by foxes, entertaining a Tory friend to dinner – avoiding pork – and planning where I can watch World Cup rugby in Limousin).

All last week I was put off by the incessant drip-drip of casual propaganda that passes for journalism, borrowed from the school of contrived outrage that is the hallmark of today’s Labour Party. In place of thinking, Labour does dissembling on a scale that takes it way outside normal politics. The hysterical characterisation of the SNP by ‘the new radical Labour Party’ at their conference isn’t just breath-taking, it’s comical…and counter-productive. To make extravagant and easily contradicted claims against the Nats – including the Brian Wilson con of privatising CalMac – was a failed policy since 2007 yet the Neanderthals are still dragging their knuckles and repeating it. Instead of outrage, better to shake your head in dismay and let them get on with it. They will, as ever, only fool the gullible.

Other irritants included the aforementioned Wilson, writing in the same week as the UK underwrote another £2b of the massive cost of the UK’s nuclear building project, about his delight at the fall in the oil price. How much do you have to hate your country to thrill at thousands of your countrymen becoming unemployed? There were so many biased points in his Scotsman sewer outflow pipe of a column that I began to understand why the paper is failing so badly. But one thought did strike me – if oil falls, doesn’t that affect the rest of the energy market? Doesn’t it mean that the cost of other sources might become unsustainable if oil is more desirable? And, indeed, a quick search provides, in different publications, the following…

One project in particular would look like a bad deal for the taxpayer in a $60 (a barrel oil price) world: the first nuclear reactor constructed in Britain for a quarter of a century. The government is backing a guaranteed payment of £96.90 a MWh for EDF’s new atomic plant at Hinkley in Somerset, which would look like an even worse deal for the UK if the oil price slumped further.

New nuclear power in the UK would be more expensive than in any other country, according to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).

Electricite de France SA’s sale of atomic power to competitors for the second half of the year has sunk to a fraction of what it was in 2014, signaling nuclear energy may be losing competitiveness.

Wilson is a passionate advocate of nuclear and earns part of his burgeoning living from it. Funny he didn’t connect the falling oil price to the impact on nuclear, don’t you think? Or is that what you expect from a partisan chiseler who epitomises the moral vacuum at the heart of Labour’s catastrophic failure. I laughed at a reference in Joe Pike’s book on Better Together describing Darling’s rehearsal for the TV debates. There in the corner was the Poison Dwarf of Propaganda battering away at his lap top hamming up Darling’s opening and closing words. Nearly 30 years after Dewar described him as a propagandist, he’s still at it. Hasn’t he done Labour proud? All those words, all those lost votes.

The thing to remember about Brian Wilson, whatever he writes or says, is this: If he’d had his way there would be no Scottish Parliament today…No democratic forum, no legislature, no control, no participation, no political awakening – just Westminster in total control under Tories and Labour – and our nation represented by a tribe of Ian Davidsons.

The ubiquitous David Torrance played a Unionist blinder too. He went to see The Cheviot, the Stag and Black Black Oil and found in it the only line that can be twisted to please a Britnat mentality – nationalism isn’t enough. Putting aside the fact I know of no Nationalist who ever made that statement, this is a work that opened Scottish eyes in the seventies and gave a yowl-inducing slap over the backside of the nascent child that would become the modern independence movement. Imagine if your role in life was to tweezer out the only four words that could be turned against the thrust of the entire work?

See what I mean? It gets you down…

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