For the last few months I’ve found it almost impossible to keep current events from my mind for very long. There’s a morbid fascination in the catastrophe that is British politics. Each time I think it couldn’t get any worse, it does. I find myself constantly turning to the news to see what else has happened since I last checked. Even in the middle of the night it’s where my thoughts immediately go.
Yet horrifying though it is, I’m also aware of viewing it all with a strange sense of detachment. This is partly, and I know selfishly, because I have yet to feel the effects of the decisions now being taken. We haven’t gone over the cliff—yet. There aren’t food shortages—yet. The pound hasn’t entirely collapsed—yet. Faced with disaster, it’s human nature to suspend belief for as long as possible.
But there’s another reason for the feeling of detachment: Scotland holds a get-out-of-jail card and it’s my fervent hope that we use it soon. This will come as no surprise to regular readers of A Few Kind Words. I made my support for independence known during the 2014 referendum and I don’t intend to repeat those views here. This blog will remain a politics-free zone.
However, earlier on this year I was granted funding from Creative Scotland to write about my great-great uncle, RB Cunninghame Graham, whom I’ve mentioned here perhaps too often in the past. Suffice to say that towards the end of a remarkable life in which, among many other things, he co-founded the Scottish Labour Party with Keir Hardie, he accepted an invitation to become the founding president of the Scottish National Party.
As a way of developing possible material for the book, I’ve started another blog: Don Roberto and Me. One of the reasons for writing about him is to explore where his life intersects with mine and to understand more fully the connection I feel with him. At present that seems most evident in the way I respond to current events—about which, it’s increasingly apparent, he also has a great deal to say. He was far ahead of his time on almost every issue to which he turned his attention.
I have already posted a number of articles and plan to post regularly over the coming months. So if an independence-leaning blog featuring comment on current events together with reflections on the life of an extraordinary and significant figure in 20th century Scottish political and cultural life appeals, I’d be pleased to welcome you at: www.donrobertoandme.com
If you would like to receive regular alerts you can either sign up via the site itself, or email me here (just put Don Roberto in the subject line) and I’ll add you to my mailing list.