The Trow ran came down to the burrow this morning and screamed in my window. I was not bright eyed and bushy tailed – Look, he said, ‘look now we have you nationalist scum on the run’ – I looked up blearily from my freshly pressed carrot juice. ‘What did you say?’ ‘Jim Murphy has now committed to us a fairer society’, he said, ‘give up now, you have lost.’ ‘Oh Chings,’ I replied, ‘ Have you taken your medication? Vote Labour in Orkney and you will get the coalition back – maybe with UKIP. That will help your Socialist ideals’ I snorted, closed the window and snuggled down on my nice bed of grass.
An Orkney Vole is not the smartest beast so the Mole using material from Mr. Lyon tried to tell me all about the Scottish Question, EVEL and how come the people who won the Referendum look so upset.
It now seems a very long time since David Cameron stood at a lectern in Downing Street, declared the Independence Referendum as done and dusted, and in the same speech turned the focus on English votes for English laws.
But now the victors now look like the defeated. The Tories continue to be haunted by Europe and harried by UKIP down south. A directionless Labour are falling apart under a gaff-prone leader, and a disastrous rejection by the Scottish people. The Liberals have lost all credibility since they swapped principles for power and joined a government that punished the poor for the greed of City gamblers. At the same time the SNP have trebled their membership to become the UK’s third biggest party, and the Scottish Greens have increased their numbers by several thousand.
At this time a year ago, my father died and Christmas was a time of closing the door on the world. But the support of family and friends was of huge comfort to me, and as we approach again this normally festive season, I wonder about those who don’t have such support here in Orkney, or are so worried about money that it certainly won’t be a time of celebration. This is the second Christmas we will have had a Food Bank: doesn’t this seem appalling in such a supposedly well-off, caring community as ours, one that according to a poll published earlier in the year is rated as the happiest and most satisfied? There is a long and proud record of Orkney giving to all sorts of charities at home and abroad, yet under our noses there is child poverty, fuel poverty, a rise in enquiries to CAB on debt; we need social workers, foster carers, mental health carers, drug and alcohol councillors; there is the weekly “walk of shame” in the Orcadian.