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The Path Less Taken

..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Friday, May 08, 2015

'A most amazing result' is how one pundit has put it..
David Cameron and the Conservatives have been elected to form a majority government in Westminster. In the wake, Ed Milliband of Labour, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats and Nigel Farage of UKIP have all resigned as leaders of their respective Parties.
To make this particular election even more interesting, Scotland, almost all of Scotland, voted in the SNP. Fifty-six of fifty-nine seats followed the Nationalist banner, increasing their presence in London from 6 in the last government, to this staggering number.
While the Conservative majority is outright, it is slender, and with issues the likes of the European Referendum coming up, the backbenchers will take on a long awaited prominence. 
I cannot find it in me to envy the Conservative Whips in this Parliament. But I am comforted by the outright majority David Cameron has wrought..
Let's see what evolves.. if nothing else it should be.. interesting..

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Now it's not that I miss the feel of an old hat, but with our General Election a week away, it demands attention, if only to record current sentiment.
It was back in 1979 when the Labour government of Jim Callaghan was ousted in a vote of non-confidence.. Callaghan made one comment that is forever engraved in political bon mots, to the effect that 'it was the first time turkey's voted for an early Christmas'.. Never has that epithet been more apt as in this election, in particular in Scotland. 
The latest polls indicate the SNP could sweep the country, taking all 59 Scottish seats. Mind you, the leader of that Party will not be among those standing for a job in Westminster, she'll be too busy pulling the strings in the back rooms of both Hollyrood and the Palace in London. But what amazes me as one who considers himself British, is the weight a separatist group has gained. 
Sadly, it is a close parallel to the rise of the PQ in Quebec.
Point being, when all's said and done, is this rise of 'nationalism' we've seen of late throughout Scotland, is counter-productive, and the continued pursuit of independence by a major political force will only lead to years of unrest and division. And now to make it even more insulting to the rest of the UK, a block of Scots will now hold significant sway on issues which don't even concern them or their constituents.

This is a trend which cannot be allowed to develop into the status quo now in place in Canada, where it was agreed the entire country would be officially bilingual, with the exception of Quebec itself. Where the Quebec Assembly could pass a Bill 101, while the other provinces were bound by Federal Law.

Not here. Not in Scotland.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Not long now 'til the General Election, and this one's going to be hard to call.. It's expected David Cameron will maintain a plurality in the Commons, but an outright majority is a long shot. The one thing the Conservatives have going for them, is their economic long game. It's demonstrated results indicate a steady recovery, albeit a slow one, and this should be enough to give the Conservatives another kick at the can.
The problem looming, is the majority projected for the SNP here in Scotland. That Party could take as many as 60 seats, all in Scottish constituencies, representing a sizeable voting block in Westminster. They, under Nicola Sturgeon, will be led to oppose anything the Tories propose, and while they're nowhere near as influential now to cause any worries in the blue camp, the possibility of there being a marriage of convenience in future votes makes them a annoyance.
Nine days and we go to the polls.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A point worth considering.. it may well be one of the symptoms of ageing.. that the most profound thoughts on life, the past, the future, come just at the cusp of sleep.
I find, as my eyes are finally really losing focus, that my mind is gaining.. that the acuity of what could be called revelation is vastly heightened past the mundane levels of the day.

If I could but drag myself from the comfort of my bed, and make my bleary way to the computer to record these weighty thoughts, I could possibly found a religion.

In fact, having dragged that old saw out from it's dusty jacket, the concept of 'faith' is often one of the many flashes darting through my mind as in the dark I lay. I'm becoming more and more aware of my own mortality, as an actual entity.. Not quite the elephant in the room stage, but growing faster than a Labrador pup..
I have watched many of those who were close enough to me in age to be called contemporaries slip away this year. Many were prominent, too many familiar and known to me. Now the thought of leaving this shell does not give me pause whatsoever. I cannot believe the 'spark'.. both literary and literal.. which is in each of us, can be destroyed. It's analogous to a house being removed from the electrical grid. The power from that house merely returns to the flow, until there's another light to be lit.
Sounds more new-age than I'd like it to.. I suppose I'm as close to a follower of the Albigensian Heresy  as anything else.. Be that as it may, it is a 'faith'. It affords me peace, in that death does not frighten me. I have attended the funerals of enough of those close to me, to understand a basic fact; death comes for all. 
And if all those who have gone before can take that step with equanimity.. who would I be to do less.

And I'm not even in my bed yet..

Thursday, March 26, 2015

This day deserves marking before it comes to an end..
Today the second of my children left this island, and returned to Canada. My youngest son joins his slightly older sister in forging a life in what I still believe, even after 20 years, is a gentler place.
Canada is not paved with gold.. it is not a paradise.. it is however a country which allows you to make the best of yourself if you're willing to put the effort in. Ability is appreciated and rewarded, at least for the most part.
I wish my son all success. I am sure and safe in the firm belief all my children are prepared.
Sure. From this keyboard to God's printer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The oddest thoughts pass through the head, as the clock speeds it's way towards midnight..
I wonder, at the marvels of the quotidian day, reduced to fragments of memory which wisp-like float through the mind.. How many of the interactions we face remain exactly as they happened.. how many are redacted to excise the unpleasant.. how many are exaggerated to enhance the pleasure we felt..
The mind's our best line of defence against the constant barrage of nonsense taken in by eye and ear.. and the best defence when our mouth opens and tripe flows forth..
Amazing. No doubt it's what keep politicians sane.

Politics. How dry and dusty can a topic be.
But, we on this island go to the polls on the 2d of May, and the hustings are in full swing. There's no need to go through the various Party Manifesto's.. no need to examine every plank in their platforms.. They are essentially all the same, perhaps with minor variations on a theme..
It seems the Conservatives hold a very slight lead over Labour.. But fringe parties the likes of the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) and UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party), both jokes 18 months ago, could well be King Makers in this new Parliament. Under the leadership, such as it was, of Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats who have traditionally been the also rans, are about to disappear, eliminated in Scotland by the SNP and in England by UKIP.
Yet, while we're teetering on the brink of an horrendous coalition, the majority of Brits simply don't give a damn.

It's a statement in itself, that ennui can set in so strongly, when the man on the street has lost all belief in the system that governs him, and those elected to run that system. 
It's a bitter pill to swallow, this knowledge our personal situations will not really change regardless of who is in power.
Two months, a little less actually, to decide which Party is the least of all evils.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Upon reflection, I feel my stance on nature/nurture could be misunderstood. I am not suggesting our collective morality has imposed a situation upon those who become fringe hangers; I am suggesting a certain mentality can be swayed to extremism in reaction to the various stimuli provided by those the impressionable mind encounters. Be that ridicule, physical bullying, or simply being part of a suspect race, it all contributes.
But it says something about a cause whose dogma must be propagated behind the barrel of a gun. It says something about those who follow that cause that they are willing to pull the trigger. They have condemned themselves by their actions, and must be subject to the legal pro forma and then executed.
But, the followers who came from Britain must give we who remain , cause to examine our own devotion to our own cause and to what length we will go to preserve it.

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