The Girl with the Edinburgh Tattoo

Enjoy yourself – it's later than you think!

From Maw Broon to Nippy Sweeties

Maw BroonApart from the obvious benefits of spending time with friends in Italy, it’s pretty good being away from the whole sorry farce that is the British general election. In particular the tartan spin part which is like the school wallflower who’s had a makeover and suddenly can exert an unholy influence over the cool-set who never looked at her twice in the past. Trouble is there’s those dodgy neds who want to do her bidding but they’re neds who want a punch-up and not political debate. She should tell them to bugger off but it’s difficult, eh?

I was on the Frascati to Rome train on Sunday night and what should have been a relaxing half hour journey after a blissful day with friends turned into something quite different. A hundred or so Germans boarded the train and proceeded to carouse, stamp and sing for every second of the journey. They spanned a large age range and there were women in their number but they were all fired up by being in a group, a lot of beer – of course – and being German? That’s a bit unkind – I like Germany, I like German people – but there was something slightly threatening about the whole mob mentality bound together by a national identity. They stopped short of singing ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ but the whole idea was the same. Funny then – but maybe not – when I heard the news from my homeland the very next day about nationalistic meat-heads storming a democratic meeting. The chill that ran down my spine was bigger than the one experienced on the train from Frascati.

Proud to be Scottish? Of course! Proud to be a Scottish woman? A thousand times yes. That didn’t start with Nicola Sturgeon though – from Annabel Goldie to wee Jimmie Krankie – we’re strong women who don’t take ourselves too seriously. Most importantly we’re tough and we know how to knock heads together. I’m sure Nicola knows how but it’s the when that’s a bit of an issue right now. Meat-heads have a vote – but for all their bluster they only have one vote each. Unless the marching and the singing and the shouting can convince good people to join their mob. I think – I hope – Scottish people, particularly women, are better than that…

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