Fiona Rintoul – writer, journalist, translator

Tag: independence

Bothy and soul: coming to terms with the indyref

Posted on October 14th, by admin in Thoughts on things, Travels from Tinseltown. No Comments

Last weekend, Dougie the Dug took my husband, Peter, and I to An Cladach bothy on the Sound of Islay for a couple of nights away from it all. “Away from what?” I hear you cry, you pair of feckless freelancers, you. Well, Dougie had discerned a certain flagging in our spirits, a doon-heidedness, a pall of despond.

Dougie the Dug stands guard at the bothy

The blues started on the morning of 19 September and would not lift. In truth, they affected me more than Peter, for I am afflicted with being Scottish, whereas Peter is originally from Brighton. As everyone knows, it’s sunny in Brighton and it’s shite being Scottish.

Metabolising the result of the referendum on Scottish independence was, for me, a bit like dealing with a bereavement. There were grief and tears. There was anger. With the Labour Party. With John Lewis and RBS. With the Daily Record and the BBC. With no voters – the hardest part, as some of them were, gulp, quite good friends of mine.

What there wasn’t – what just wouldn’t come – was acceptance.

Instead, I began to wish I were not Scottish. For it’s not just shite being Scottish. It’s hard and … Read More »

What is this United Kingdom of which you speak?

Posted on July 22nd, by admin in Thoughts on things. 1 Comment

Dougal has yet to decide which way he’s voting in the independence referendum; he’s still on the hilltop

Whichever side of the Scottish independence hilltop you’re on, it’s hard not to despair of the way the debate is being conducted. Quite a lot is being missed out, glossed over and not grasped – purposely or otherwise.

There has always been some confusion outside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland about the difference between British and English. Now there also seems to be confusion – rampant confusion – about what the United Kingdom is.

Recent discussions about Faslane are a case in point. Forget for a moment the absurdity of suggesting that Faslane could be not part of Scotland in an independent Scotland, with a sort of non-Scottish corridor in the Firth of Clyde (a bit like the old corridor road between West Berlin and West Germany perhaps) down which nuclear submarines could happily chug, bound for the defence of Rump Great Britain (we’ll think of a better name in due course).

Forget that. And all the other scaremongering. Marvel instead at the idiocy of writing or talking  – as many journalists, politicians and commentators on both sides of the border continue to do … Read More »