The good weather has been replaced by typical Scottish spring weather: big black clouds, thunderplumps and brief periods of sunshine. And at the same time there have been two seismic shifts in the world: the death of Osama bin Laden and the newly elected Scottish National Party government in the Scottish Parliament. They might not sound like similar events, but in my head they are.
Terrorism has been a major theme in my lifetime: in places like Aden, Israel, Northern Ireland and here in the UK as the results of political protests work themselves out in wanton acts of violence. There seems to be little in the way of progress; even in the Irish situation there is a resurgence of yet another “new” IRA. And the fear of Islamic extremism is going to be with us for many years to come. I just don’t get the mindset, despite trying to read up on the background of those who perpetrate acts of terrorism, and reading novels which seek to explain ideas of a new state or order as being more important than the individual.
To say that the SNP success in Scotland is of a similar order is tantamount to claiming that there is a coming revolution in the “world” I inhabit. The drive away from other mainline political parties towards a party that by its very existence purports to favour self-government for Scotland, as well as the very real possibility of promoting separatism from the UK feels like a passive revolution. The Prime Minister of Britain is tight-lipped in his assertion that such a break-up must not happen, and it left me wondering why he is so passionate about the status quo.
In truth, I tend towards federalism for the whole of the United Kingdom – with each major region having the same degree of control, and a common policy for issues such as defence and justice. But maybe that would simply cost more and spawn ever-increasing layers of government.
There now – I have been thinking a lot over my few days’ absence. People who read blogs fall into two main categories in my experience: 1) those who want a change from the diet of daily gloom and doom that tends to assault the airwaves from the media; and 2) those who are looking for a change from it.
What has surprised me so much these past few days as I have pondered a blog post, is that my head is so full of what the media wants to fill it with. So, instead of blogging the bright green velvet of spring trees and early moss, I find myself needing to splatt out my scrambled view of world events. That way, at least I get space in my head for some more pleasant thoughts.
Has anyone else ever had a week like that? And what do you think of the way our heads get filled up with stuff over which we have little or no control?
PS – Misty says I’ve to get over myself!