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Bookshelf Travelling for Insane Times – Alasdair Gray

This week’s books for Judith’s meme now overseen by Katrina are on my shelf of Scottish books.

Books by Alasdair Gray

This illustrates my idiosyncratic filing system. Within an author’s books, first come novels in order of publication,* then collections of short stories,** then anthologies edited (if any: in this case none,) then collaborations, finally non-fiction. But here we have two books of plays – one a verse comedy – before the non-fiction Independence.

Two further books, A Short Survey of Classic Scottish Writing and A Life in Pictures are of odd sizes and housed elsewhere as is the as-yet unread by me Old Negatives 4 verse sequences and The Book of Prefaces.

*See here for my review of Old Men in Love.

**I reviewed one of these here.

Scottish Independence?

So in 2014 the people living in Scotland will at last be allowed to vote on their continuing presence in the UK.

I used the formulation “at last” because it will be the first time. When Scotland and England with Wales merged in 1707 the only Scots who had a vote on the proposal were members of the then Scottish Parliament. There was widespread discontent in the general public at the time.

Still, over three hundred years we have had time to accustom ourselves to it.

The likley outcome in 2014?

No to independence.

There will be a lot of scaremongering about how Scotland cannot afford to go it alone though other countries of similar size do alright (Denmark anyone?) and newly independent ones (Slovakia?) don’t seem in a rush to remerge.

The status quo will seem a safer option but that too is a leap in the dark – especially if the little Englanders in the UK were to force withdrawal from the EU. Scottish fisheries might be better off in that circumstance but I doubt anything else will be.

But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Short of FIFA removing Scotland’s right to separate representation* in the World Cup and European Championships the majority of Scots won’t vote for independence.

(*Given the national team’s current efforts maybe not even then.)

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