Personally I have never been in favour of Independence for Scotland even though it would mean no conservatives in charge ever again which I consider very much the only argument of worth in favour that I could come up with and it is an important argument.
I would very much like to be in a position where we are not lead by the rich who (with very few exceptions- though I admit that there are some) are very much out for themselves. So normally anything that would limit the power of the Tories over my future and the future of others would very much appeal to me. Independence however, is not the way to go. Had I any doubt about this then for the reason I gave before I would give it a chance, perhaps. However any doubts I had in my mind were sealed today with the comments of a European vice president quoted in the Scotsman today as having said; France and Spain “will surely not” accept an independent Scotland (into the European Union).
I was already worried, for obvious reasons about severing our ties with the United Kingdom.
Worried about defence, Jobs, spending, our huge social services bill, the balance of industry, trade partnerships that would be destroyed, our currency and the state of our banks.
To sever the same ties with our largest trading partner (by far- Europe) would be nothing other than financial suicide. I urge every thinking person not to just have a gut reaction but rather think of the possible consequences of a yes vote. The more I know the more I think a yes vote would cause hardship, instability, a dramatic reduction in trading increasing our national debt which would already be astronomical. Ceasing EEC trade with Europe could well sound a death knell to a fledgling democracy especially one whose fortunes are so deeply tied with Europe at the moment.
NB all but the last one have sold over a million copies.
1. Black Hills by Dan Simmons. In this case just becaus…e I always expect something startlingly good from him and this was the one time that he let me down. Please note that is an exception as Mr Simmons books are amongst the best that I have ever read.
2.Das Kapital by Karl Marx; not only mind numbingly boring but seriously flawed in my opinion.
3.Peter Camenzind. by Hermann Hesse; again rather dull and I do not mean to deride an excellent sense for description but three chapters in a row about the shape of a cloud. I do think Hermann had some pretty serious mental problems.
4.A Separate Reality by Carlos Castaneda; what can I say but hogwash hippy mysticism produced for the druggie flower power generation. Get stoned enough and you will believe anything
5.Johnathan Livingstone Seagull; A transforming experience the cover says. Well it transformed me from being a relatively happy individual into a bored individual that hated seagulls even more than I did beforehand.
6. Angela’s ashes; Frank McCourt; A dull dirge of drudgery and dismal direness in a dirty house in a dump in downtrodden and dark drizzly dun coloured Ireland. need I say more….
7.The Sword of Shannara; Terry Brooks; A sad and rather tired rewrite of the Lord of the Rings in my opinion, it is ok while reading it but even when you have read the first chapter you realise that you are wasting your time as you have read it all before.
8. Ubaid pottery shards. Sorry for including this one but nearly three thousand pages long on guess what? yes you guessed ubaid pottery shards. Took me months but I got the degree in the end. Never read unless you have to for an archaeology degree.
9. The unbearable lightness of being; Milan Kundera; Although well written (at least it was in the translated form that I have read) the main male character is so horrible and loathsome that all I could do was feel for his partner and she was not to be liked either. I could not relate to either of them at all. Perhaps Slovaks would I don’t know but not for me.
10. Cornelius by Raymond Walker; I bet not many people include one of their own books in the least liked novels but hey. It is a book of two halves(as they like to say in football) the first an ok historical fiction tale, the second a very dire fantasy. Badly written with little cohesion. do not buy it.
Oh I am just me, simple and complex, smart and stupid. I think of everything and all matters to me other than the things that do not.
I am fifty now. This comes as a surprise to me as I am shocked that I even reached my thirties. I went through my younger years smoking too much, drinking to much generally everything too much. Then my children came along and I calmed down somewhat, put all my energy into my work and earning money for my family. Later I started writing and that was I think not really a good thing for me. It took me back to my teens and thinking about things, wondering about things and analysing those same things. I fell in love with another woman, one I had talked to on the net and it sundered my marriage to my children’s mother, something I still feel sorry about but something that I suppose was inevitable in its own way.
I have two children, a boy and a girl(a gentleman’s family so they say)who are independent. My daughter works in the health service and my son is still at university doing politics.
I am an avid reader as well as a writer. I am a thinker and thoughtful. I have no main theme when I am writing , I just write.
It was very sad to hear of the passing of Ian Banks yesterday. I first came across his novels a number of years ago. I had no idea at the time that he was a Scottish author I simply picked up a copy of “Whit” whilst waiting in the lounge at Glasgow airport. I liked the sound of the blurb on the back and started reading. This was to be the first of many of his books that I devoured over the years. I went back and read “The Crow Road” then “Complicity” and “The Wasp Factory and many others. I am unsure wither I have read all his books but if not I have made a good stab at it and any that I have missed I will mop up when I get the chance.
As a youngster I loved science fiction novels with a passion and read so many that I really sickened myself with the genre and could not bring myself to read another one. This was a combination I think of overload as well as much of the science fiction being written in the eighties was just not as good as some of the material produced in the seventies. Alternatively perhaps I was reading the wrong books, no matter, I lost the taste for Science fiction completely (strangely I was reading more science fact than I ever had before) and I do not think I read another science fiction novel until I picked up “Excession” by Iain M Banks. I did not realise until I started reading it that Ian Banks and Iain M Banks were one and the same person. This was a long time ago now after all.
There was the same sly and slightly smutty sense of humour, the ballistic imagination, the twists and turns that I had grown to associate with Ian Banks. For a change I read the inside cover and the author bio and found them to be one and the same. It came as no big surprise but what did was that “Excession” was so good that it rekindled my love for Science fiction, especially imaginative Science fiction. I could not believe that any author could have taken two or three chapters of their book to explain another dimension in mathematical terms so complex that even the above average reader would not be able to follow it. Worse the audacity of the man, it was all put in for the sake of a punch line (a very funny punch line in my opinion). To me this was as important a sequence as I have ever read. Many other authors have done the same thing since then and I am sure it will be copied again and again. But no one had ever taken that chance before. Or perhaps I should say that no one before had taken that chance and succeeded.
Much the same applies later as after reading Mr Banks “Feersum Endjinn” I noticed his use of pigeon or semi-machine language has been used time after time by other writers.
Oh I could go on and on about bits of his books that I enjoyed, his novels or his dark humour, his insight and a dozen other things but I will not. Let me just say that he is one of my favourite writers ever (I think the fact that we are both Scots is coincidental). He has the singular honour of having encouraged me to like science fiction again and is an author whose lines and jokes and imaginative observances jump into my mind most days at some time or another.
A great writer who will be sorely missed by me. As well I am sure by many others.
I am not for scots independence and will vote no when the referendum comes. Well I will except for one thing. If there is a chance that we will leave the European union then I will go against my personal politics and vote for independence.
The united kingdom as a whole has voted for the EU. We have to imagine that a scots independent state and country realise that then we would then need Europe. Which we would. Should the UK withdraw from the European union then Scotland would need to remain a partner to live as a separatist country.