Indyref2: A Resident’s Perspective

So, I don’t usually write about conventional political stuff like elections for a number of reasons, the most compelling being that I don’t know very much about such things and I don’t want to sound stupid. In recent years catastrophic national and global events like the failure of the Scottish Independence campaign, the failure to campaign of the U.K’s Remain in the E.U. campaign, and the mind-blowing headf***  that resulted in Donald Trump becoming president of the United States have made me somewhat less hesitant to voice my opinions. If I say something dumb, who might notice?

If the mainstream media are to be believed there are two major losers of this election, namely Theresa May and Scotland’s chances of holding a second referendum on Independence.  The immediate and constant conflating of these two separate issues serves to make all put the most ardent ‘Yes’ supporter (of which there are many) head for the Brexit highway and accept their fate. You could be forgiven for thinking the impending independence referendum had already been held and resoundingly lost.

As someone living in Scotland it’s left me feeling a bit confused. On the one hand, the mainstream media are selling Scottish Independence as dead. On the other hand, I speak to activists on the ground and they laugh at the arrogant suggestion that the fate of Scotland has been decided by a Westminster government.

They have a point. Whilst the SNP sustained losses, including the formidable Alex Salmond, they are unquestionably still in the game. Whilst a Tory revival is never a happy event, it is the predictable consolidation of the ‘No to independence’ vote behind the party least likely to ever lose a square mile of the once great, but now simply British, empire.

The message of these activists appears to be ‘Game On.’

So who to believe?

Is it possible that they could both be telling a truth?

‘Independence is Dead’ shouts the mainstream media and these very cries inflict blows on the cause.

‘Independence is Alive’ responds the ‘Yes’ movement of Scotland, and you have to believe them, because their actions breathe life into their campaign.

I wish I cared.

I did care. Last time around. The 2014 drive for Scottish Independence was so vibrant and infused with promise, expectation and possibility (much like the Corbyn movement) that I caught the bug and became one of those people that believed change was possible. I put a ‘Yes’ poster in my living room window, and pinned a ‘Yes’ badge on my handbag, and reveled in the comradeship on the street. Once awkward silences in the supermarket queue had morphed into animated conversations about our future autonomy and all the fun we would have and all the social justice we would create. I have since read a number of articles from ‘No’ supporters who campaigned under the now hallow ‘Better Together’ slogan portraying a time of deep division and bitter conflict, and I don’t recognise their descriptions. It was actually a blast to be living in Scotland in the run up to the last referendum.  There was as much hope as you will ever find in a people not noted for their cheery disposition.

Then we lost. It was a dark day. All those prospects of a bright future eclipsed by the power of the status quo. I was very sad. Many people were very sad.

But not the core activists. Strangely enough, they claimed their loss as a victory. Much like Corbyn’s team are doing right now. And the subsequent elections every year since have, more or less, validated their position. The S.N.P. are the biggest party in Hollyrood. The S.N.P. are the biggest Scottish party in Westminster. However you spin it, enough people in Scotland continue to support them to make the possibility of another referendum on Independence a valid option.

This may seem like a political broadcast on behalf of Scottish Nationalism but it isn’t. It’s an observation of how things actually are in Scottish politics, at this point in time. I’m not even sure how I’ll vote, when or if there is another vote on Independence. I do know that there are far greater threats to global security, and even British security, than the Scots flying solo.

My debut novel Nailing Jess is being released by Cranachan Publishing on June 26th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patriarchal Rumours

I’ve decided to splash out on some professional photos to aid with my metamorphosis from unknown writer to global brand.  I got them done yesterday, it only took about half an hour. That was the camera stuff, obviously. The pre shoot hair and make up took an awful lot longer. It’s not, I must say because I’m in particularly bad nick for my age. In fact given that I’ve never been a mistress of what theses days we call ‘clean living’, I reckon time’s been quite kind to me. It’s just I do look my age and that in our youth and image obsessed times is utterly unforgivable because I’m a woman. If I was a man, it would be absolutely fine because everybody knows men age.

Given that I’ve written a book where feminism is a major theme, then my look becomes even more important. Yes, I do hear the irony but with the rise of ironic sexism, feminism needs to catch up. Of course eventually we will reach a point where everything is ironic and the word irony shall cease to have meaning but people say we’re not there yet.

As a writer I spend a lot of my time in comfortable clothes, face bare, hair in scunchy, chipped nails pressing keys on a computer and I have to say, it’s a good look. Without getting too biblical it’s how God intended me to be, and given we have so little common ground, I want to give him this one. It’s not even that I’m a natural slob, it’s just that life is short and netflix is vast and there feels like so many more meaningful ways to spend my time than in front of a mirror painting out hard earned living. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m low maintenance, itself a sexist phrase but only when not used in an ironic context.

I worry that my attitude to my image will prove a barrier to global domination, but I can’t see me changing much at this stage in life. See, I know they say women can have it all only I’ve never been convinced. I’m not even sure who they are and where they came by their definition of ‘it all’.  It obviously wasn’t in a dictionary. Because of the elusive nature of ‘it all’ and in the interests of only producing, quality, researched blog material I typed ‘what does the ‘it all’ in the phrase ‘women can have it all’ mean?’into google and I have to say I didn’t find a lot of consensus. The general theme for ‘it all’ seems to be striking some kind of harmonious balance between professional and family life, and I feel compelled to point out that as a definition of ‘it all’, it falls far short of even a very broad one.  There are many more things in life that belong under the umbrella term of ‘it all’. What about stella artois? What about scented candles? What about pirated copies of the award winning ABC network show ‘How to get away with murder?’ What about the search for existentialist truth and the core connectivity of all living things and all inanimate matter?

The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get at the phrase ‘women can have it all’. Bet I know where it comes from to, it’ll be one of those patriarchal rumours. Think about it – The sum of a woman’s desires reduced to working,nurturing and fucking, it’s got to be the patriarchy. For those unfamiliar with the term ‘patriarchal rumour’ – It’s a rumour, spread by the patriarchy, that is completely at odds with all scientific data and known information about the same subject. Other well worn examples include ‘Hell hath no fury greater than a woman scorned’ or ‘The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.’ Even the scantest amount of thought employed very quickly reaches the conclusion that the above statements like the aforementioned ‘have it all’ theory have no basis in fact whatsoever. Put simply, they are all utter bollox. I must say I’ve had it up to here with misinformation spawned by the patriarchy passing as truth. In fact, I think I’m going to drop them a line and tell them just that. If anyone is inspired by my bold move and wishes to follow suit then I shall provide an address for the patriarchy at the end of the post.

Dear Patriarchy,

Re: ‘Women can have it all’ rumour.

I don’t believe you and furthermore I, and I’m willing to wager, many women don’t want ‘it all’. In fact, were there to exist greater awareness that the sum of ‘it all’ equates to not very much at all, then I’m willing to further wager, even more women wouldn’t want it. Can you please desist from clogging up consciousness with ill conceived  gender generalizations and perhaps instead spend your time redressing the gender imbalance within the hierarchical structure of the workplace and the institutionalized misogyny in the legal system that leaves us struggling to get our hands on close to half of it. In layman’s terms – Stop stealing all the good stuff and most of the all right stuff and leaving us with all the shit stuff, when you leave us anything at all, and then maybe you wouldn’t have to make it up to us with empty promises and past their sell by date roses from a twenty four hour Tesco garage.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Triona Scully

Address for the patriarchy : The Patriarchy, F***ing Everywhere.

My debut novel Nailing Jess is released by Cranachan Publishing on June 26th.

Marketing to marijuana smokers.

I spent yesterday at the magic meadows festival and had the chance to hand out some flyers advertising my debut novel Nailing Jess, being released by Cranachan publishing on June 26th. It was fun but ultimately fraught, as I spent much of my time trying to size up who among the festival crowd was most likely to smoke marijuana. For two reasons.

Firstly, I like to tell tokers about my book, coz my main protagonist D.I. Jane Wayne is partial to a joint or seven. Secondly, I wanted to make sure as few of them as possible take home my flyers. It is a sad truth that no matter how much enthusiasm a smoker may appear to have about your artistic idea your flyer will be taken home and placed by a window sill or on the kitchen table, where at some future point it will be torn into strips and used as roachs for cannabis spliffs. Of course, this is the long term fate of all Edinburgh flyers that don’t wind up in re-cycling bins, but if you are actively handing your publicity material to known or suspected weed smokers, then it is likely you will accelerate this process considerably.

It’s not an easy task to weed out the smokers in any crowd of people. In fact, it’s almost impossible. The young and those with a point to prove may blow it in your face, but in general most people who partake of illegal substances don’t advertise it. They don’t want to get in trouble.

It’s bewildering why dope remains illegal in a time when you can inject your own ass into your face. A 2011 call for a review of the U.K. drugs legislation by The Global Commission on Drugs Policy was rejected by the then prime minister, David Cameron. “We have no intention of liberalising our drugs laws. Drugs (sic) are illegal because they are harmful — they destroy lives and cause untold misery to families and communities.” It’s an interesting viewpoint, but doesn’t actually answer the question – Why is marijuana illegal?  Especially when you couple it with the knowledge that alcohol is legal in the U.K.

The Oxford dictionary definition of drug is as follows: Drug – Noun – ‘A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.’ Re-read this definition, if you will, and recognise that this statement applies to most of what we eat or drink.

But, there will no serious talk of criminalising pie eating any time soon. Or introducing some kind of fine system for caffeine abuse, modeled perhaps on parking tickets, with the requirement that all coffee users be subject to random piss tests.

And as for prohibiting the sale of alcohol…

I’ve never got my head round the hypocrisy of a society that pretends alcohol is safer than weed. It’s such a mind numbingly ill informed opinion, and is completely unsupported by any evidence based or anecdotal data.  Think about it, how often is exclusive marijuana use a mitigating factor in a crime?  How many football hooligans tear up the centre of foreign cities, after having a few tokes at the back of the stands? How many rounds of a bong, before a group of stoners turn native and kick f*** out of each other?

The phenomena of drexting is a wonderful example of the universally held truth – that people do really stupid things when they consume alcohol to excess. Drexting, as defined by techopedia – ‘Texting friends, family, coworkers and significant others while intoxicated.’ I would add texting exs, people you hate, and people you cyber stalk to the endless list of individuals that may find themselves a victim of a drexter’s ill advised 4 a.m. rant.  The word stexting does not exist in Techopedia. That’s because stoned people don’t lose inhibition and reason to the the point where contacting someone that they haven’t seen since 2006 seems like a good idea.

All this talk of the idiocy of our drug laws has distracted me from the purpose of this piece. How to minimise the number of Nailing Jess postcards that will wind up in badly rolled 4 a.m. joints. The absolute truth is I can’t. And, thinking it over, I’m not sure it matters. Yeah, sure, they’re postcards of my book and I think they’re a work of art, a collectors item even. But many smokers turn joint rolling into an art form, so it’s actually a form of up-cycling. All I ask is that you put Nailing Jess to the back of the pile and smoke all the Vote Tory stuff first.