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Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games: Madness & the Gay Pride Tartan!

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games: Madness & the Gay Pride Tartan!
July 24
17:27 2014

Perthshire, Scotland

(MJ Blair has been reporting on Scotland’s campaign for independence: see his early works here, here, and here)

This is a big year for Scotland. Apart from the independence referendum, Glasgow is hosting the Commonwealth Games, the weaker, less attractive cousin of the Olympics.

This is obviously a great boost for Scotland and its image. The Games will be seen by countless millions of people around the world.
So, an opportunity for politicians of all stripes to parade and wallow in national pride. Not that they need much coaxing to grab publicity, any publicity, at the drop of a hat, or baton in this case.

We have heard Mr Alex Salmond tell anyone who will listen, that this isn’t a time for political point scoring. Oh really? What he means is no one but him should be scoring political points! All others should stand aside and allow him, the great leader, grab all the plaudits going around.

If his Scottish flag waving behaviour while standing behind David Cameron at Wimbledon last year when Andy Murray won, is anything to go by, he will be in his usual self promoting element.

Commonwealth_Games_ScotlandGlasgow has been turned upside down to accommodate this sporting fiesta. Streets blocked off, people evicted so their buildings could be demolished, drug addicts swept up and hidden in case people think they are typical of the rest of Scotland. Security will be tighter than a mole’s arse on a frosty morning, as dead eyed armed police patrol the city looking for an excuse to shoot someone for urinating up a side street.

The security for people getting into the Games venues is of unprecedented severity. I heard a spokesperson or mindless zombie, telling some television reporter that people should be ready with their pockets empty and their shoes off, for security searches. This is draconianism of the very worst kind. Why don’t the authorities just make everyone attend the Games naked? This would eliminate some humiliation and replace it with total humiliation!

There is, I think, an argument to do away with live spectators and just have dummies filling the seats and transmit recorded cheering. This would make security redundant and people could just watch all sports on television.

Back at planet Salmond, the latest ploy in campaigning is to say that the referendum isn’t about the SNP (Scottish National Party) but about Scotland. Or, it’s not about Alex Salmond, it’s about Scotland. Now, this is strange. The main clue is in the name of Mr Salmond’s party. This political party has been campaigning for Scottish independence for many decades. Now suddenly it isn’t?

It is the only major political party in Scotland which is wanting independence, so I would imagine it is sincere in this belief, but no, apparently this isn’t so!

How can anyone else benefit politically out of a Yes vote if they are implacably against independence? Labour doesn’t want it. The Conservatives are completely anti. The Liberal Democrats will say whatever they want people to hear and at the moment it’s against independence. This leaves the Green Party to squeak for the Yes campaign.

So, SNP and Greens are for independence but it’s not about them and the majority of other parties are against. Hmmm, this makes Mr Salmond’s assertion of “It’s not about Alex Salmond or the SNP but about Scotland” sound like desperate horseshit!

He can’t suddenly divorce himself and his party from a policy he has worked for all his political life, just weeks from the vote and expect people to say…..”Oh well I’ll vote yes now because it isn’t about the glorification of the Great Leader, it’s about Scotland”!

Who will be standing bathed in glory if the result of the vote is a yes for Scottish independence? Yes, Alex Salmond!  He won’t be hiding in a back room thinking this is a great day for Scotland. He will be on a balcony accepting the adulation of his loyal but shortsighted band of followers.

The Commonwealth Games will raise Scotland’s profile massively around the world but as I already said, very  heavy handed security will not be something the world will appreciate.

We now have police officers armed as a matter of course. This is not a sensible or responsible approach to policing in a mainly rural country. Since the SNP government did away with police regions and brought in Police Scotland, without much fuss or fanfare, telling us that this would be good for Scotland, things have changed for the worst. Any time a politician says something is good for us, we know that it will be the opposite!

Many local police stations or offices, as they are now called, have closed to the public, making the gulf between police and public even wider. This has been a deliberate ploy to keep the public away from the police and not be able to talk face to face with an officer. Thus denying us the opportunity to look an officer in the eye and tell when they’re lying!

Now if you or I want to make a complaint, we have to contact a central call centre and maybe just maybe be put through to speak to an officer. But mainly the call is handled by an operator and then an officer may visit and tell you that no offence has been committed and you have basically wasted their valuable time. Not everyone wants a police officer at their door for fear of retribution or ridicule. This policy is flawed and wrong.

The arming of officers is extremely alarming as British policing has always been proud of is unarmed approach. There is obviously a need for guns to be used but this is a tiny percentage of the time. Armed police make people very nervous about the police of the near future. Scotland has a proud history of leading the way in justice and police work, but I have an uneasy feeling about this policy.

Let’s say there is a yes vote in the referendum. Mr Salmond and future SNP governments, they could conceivably govern for years, having absolute power, take these policies to their natural conclusions.

There would be nothing to stop them doing anything. No opposition to hold them to account. Look at what has happened already! A single police force which is less accountable and arming itself without making parliament aware of the change.

The SNP government knew of this policy change and didn’t raise any concerns or even worse, didn’t tell parliament or the public! Maybe they thought no one would notice! Or if they did, it would be the usual shoulder shrugging acceptance.

There should be bloody outrage at this erosion of our civil liberties but there is a deafening silence from Mr Salmond’s supporters. And if by some miracle, another party gets into power in Scotland, you and I know from history that laws which keep the population under control will not be repealed.

Meanwhile back at the Commonwealth Games headquarters, there was the unveiling of the official Scottish uniform/outfit to be worn at the opening ceremony by Scotland’s athletes! This consisted of a completely artificial “tartan” of mainly powder blue with mauves and pinks and powder blue blouses which look like they were made from crimplene and bought from a 99 pence shop.

Photo: SNS

Photo: SNS

The women’s outfit was even worse. It has a ankle length skirt of the same “tartan” as the men’s with a similar blouse but accessorised by shawls which made the look appear to be from the 18 th century.

If this is Scotland looking forward, then I’m Alice peering down a rabbit burrow!

This fashion disaster was met by both public and media with horror. Headlines such as “This is an outrage”! or “Oh my god, mauve and blue”? were typical if not imaginative.  The outfit looked as if it had been designed to be in a West Hollywood gay pride march!

The designer said she was thrilled with the reaction. In fact she said it showed how good it was by the completely negative response.
Only in a world of insanity could that be taken as praise. It was in fact, insanity gone mad!

There was the usual online petition to show public disgust and call for someone to be flayed in public for allowing such an abomination to be worn by our athletes. Of course nothing changed and the furor died a death. Which is typical of modern outrage.

The Games opening ceremony is only a few hours away and looks as if it could break records for tedium. Apparently it will run for over three long hours.

I really hope the Games are a great success for the sake of Scotland but also hope it isn’t hijacked for political purposes. It will be a distraction from the even more tedious referendum campaign, so not all bad news!


Doomed or Idyllic: Scottish independence debate caught between rabid utterings from opposite camps

State spying in the name of terrorism

Surveillance society: one nation under CCTV

Michael J Blair contributes to DDA from time to time, and he can be reached at: His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

[Hampden Stadium photo from Matanya; Glasgow 2014 sign photo from Gordon Brown]

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1 Comment

  1. Lolamarina (@1Lolamarina)
    Lolamarina (@1Lolamarina) August 04, 15:28

    I cannot imagine what an independent Scotland will look like if those pastel uniforms worn by the Scottish delegation to the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games become the all the rage. We should all be very careful how we vote as the future of Scotland’s national identity may be in question.

    Reply to this comment

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