Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Women Musicians

KT Tunstall is performing in a new song We Rise Up -  a song for women’s rights. 

There are many high quality outstanding women musicians coming out today with their first albums – 

Valerie June, Phoebe Bridges. While few women headline festivals. But here's a big shout out to women who have headlined at Glastonbury - Beyonce, Dolly Parton, Kylie. And women who are lead singers with renowned bands - Stevie Nicks, Pretenders. 


KT Tunstall
Martha Wainwright
Stevie Nicks

I have photos of several top women musicians who have performed here in Glasgow venues – Laura Marling with the RSNO, KT Tunstall, Emeli Sande, Imelda May, Warpaint, Hiam. 

 

Scots singers - Iona Fyfe, Rachel Sermanni, Siobham Miller, Cara Dillon, 

Gaelic singers - Julie Fowlis, Kathleen, MacInnes, 

 

Women provide often thought-provoking new voices from a different perspective.

 

Laura Marling
Cara Dillon
Julie Fowlis
Nicola Benedetti


Warpaint

Scots Makar Jackie Kay

 

Excellent chat with Jackie Kay with Janice Forsyth about her 5 years as the Scots Makar on BBC Scotland’s afternoon show -  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/jackiekay

POEMS

Poem for new babies - Lullaby welcome wee one

Poem for the Queensbury crossing - The long view

Poem for the Homeless, 

Scottish Parliament 2020 – Farewell for Hogmanay

plus the baton from poem to song.

  

Jackie chose singers – Celeste Lean on Me, Nina Simone, Peggy Seeger, 

 

BOOK - Elif Shakaf, How to Stay Sane in a world of Divisions 

 

“Its been a joyous , interesting ride to have been to every major city and to have been to so much of the highlands an disbands, rural part of Scotland. And incredible journey..

 

Nicola Sturgeon, “Jackie Kay made an enduring and positive impact –and has widened the  appeal of poetry.”

 


Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Thatcher’s Deregulations and the dangerous cladding


Thatcher stopped independent "Building safety" and "Material certification" as she believed in a reckless free for all capitalism for businesses. This de-regulation left a harmful legacy. A recent horror has been the disaster of Grenfell tower, when 72 people lost their lives. So who is to blame?

 

The main flaw was cladding that created a fire trap around the tower block. It now turns out that 11m people are trapped and unable to sell in modern buildings that are surrounded with this cladding. The construction firms of this cladding were left to do their own inspections – rather than an independent inspection firm. So who is liable and who should pay to remove all this cladding?

 

On Newsnight they spoke of the tax payer footing the bill, just as the tax payer had to pay for the banking collapse of 2008 – rather than the banks. The Tories plan is even further de-regulation. 

The Tories unregulated capitalism means we all pay a price.

 

First Lockdown anniversary Day of Reflection


We are alone with our thoughts and also not alone. We are all in this together.  The world has closed in on us.  Its been hard to comprehend the scale of this deadly virus, or where it all will lead us.  

Its been an opportunity too, to reassess what really matters in our lives. The daily walks have helped a great deal and reconnecting and appreciating nature in a new way, as we never did before. There’s been the pain of missing family and the distance between us, and wondering when we can meet again. If there will be a day we can hug again.

 

There’s been the zoom chats to keep contact alive. There’s been anger at the stupidity and incompetence of leaders, who pretend they are following the science.

And we are not alone we know the entire world is suffering and fighting this virus too. We must figure it together.



Richard Holloway speech to Scottish Parliament

He quoted Albert Camus -There are more things to admire than despair over. He expressed his gratitude for all the healers – the Doctors and nurses and scientists and care workers, who refused to bow to Covid. Gratitude for those who have guided us through the darkest days.

Another virus is political authoritarianism, which is spreading across the world and has killed the life of freedom (Isaac Berlin) Disagreements are vital – they are rival versions of good, allowing disagreements to keep us free. Democracy is hard, he said and he expressed gratitude to the Scottish parliament for allowing disagreements to flourish. 

 

 

There are many people we need to thank – Nicola Sturgeon and her hard work and consistent messaging that kept us going every day. The health adviser, particularly Jason Leith and Linda Bauld

Those who kept vital services going, particularly the health workers who were often stretched beyond their very limits. 

The scientists who strove so hard to develop safe vaccines. And particularly the children and young people who’ve had their lives disrupted. 



Empty Princes street Edinburgh

Some of us have suffered more than others. And we must remember all who have lost loved ones and not be numb to the dreadful death totals – with the UK the highest number.

 

We have become numb to certain feelings, not in a good way: because we must learn lessons for the future. At times we may feel in a time loop! We must understand its now essential to reduce pollution, reduce dairy and meat intake, reduce unnecessary travel, and buy local. And understand economic growth is not all its made up to be. There are other routes to leading productive and healthy lives. We must be prepared for any future pandemic (and there will be one) – and next time take swift action which protect lives and economies - and shut borders. 


People put rainbows and other messages in their front windows. 

One of the best memories from the first Lockdown last year was the wonderful clear air, the quiet skies, less noise pollution and the perfect blossom. I thought, this was what the world was like once, before all the pollution, the unnecessary air travel, the dirty chemicals and pesticides spewed into our rivers, the fumes that kill in our air. Instead we were able to hear the enriching bird song.