Tuesday 29 November 2016

Alan Bisset ‘Vote Britain’

Alan Bisset ‘Vote Britain’
Take a listen!
Professor Alan Riach writes of how brilliantly many of our Scots poets and writers use both satire and extreme scorn to consider very serious issues, and he mentioned Alan Bisset’s Vote Britain - in his recent article in the National, ‘A Flyting philosophy distilled from books’ : Alan Riach
Vote Britain” begins: “People of Scotland, vote with your heart. / Vote with your love for the Queen who nurtured you, cradle to grave, / Who protects you and cares for you, her most darling subjects, to whom you gave the glens she adores to roam freely through, the stags her children so dearly enjoy killing. / First into battle, loyal and true. The enemy’s scared of you.”
“It moves through very serious issues indeed and uses extreme scorn and satire and ferocious comedy to prompt us to consider them. That combination of humour and seriousness is a literary skill, an approach or technique that runs back through MacDiarmid to Burns and Fergusson all the way to Dunbar, and is another example of the democratic strain that characterises Scottish literature.” 

“I have no use for any measure of devolution. I want complete independence and the complete disjunction of Scotland from England. The Westminster Government can never give us independence. Independence is not given but taken.”

This time we will be prepared for a new vote – far far more than back in 2013. We’ve now had 5 years to gather arguments and to look at both sides.  And for us to consider what the union has meant and to question if it is really a “union” at all?  We must be more radical too – after all why have independence at all if its not for something new?

It’s too soon right now for the IndyRef 2 vote – but we need to be ready. Brexit appears to be leading us all off a cliff edge by those in Westminster who appear to not know what they are doing. It’s quite scary. What are they doing? 

We need to focus on invigorating debates, open hearts and minds, investigate what democracy really means, examine creatively, listen and read widely,


 *A Flyting philosophy distilled from books : Alan Riach
He writes about how important it is for all of us to read – and to read a variety of materials. And how that will effect change to a more democratic Scotland. Flyting is when poets get together and try to out do each other in words!

“If folk are to be open to the big questions and have some fun talking about them, the discussion needs to be snappy and sharp, and the whole world is the location in which the debate needs to take place, in popular culture and also in the entertainment world as much as in the most serious, esoteric or difficult arenas. Politics has for so long normally been the provenance of slippery, sneaky, snaky evaders of direct questions, the organised and impenetrable self-congratulators or the unapproachably smug and affluent. Radical thinking makes a different politics, informed by irreverence, imagination, honesty and respect for what matters. It gets us to the fundamental things. This is what close reading helps us to do. Or close listening.
When we open the maps to find the destination of a different Scotland, more democratic and less institutionally dominated, we know that even if the cartography is mistaken today, at least the maps show that the land is there. Whatever actually happens, or can be made to happen, change starts happening in the way you think about what might happen.” 

Extract from A Flyting philosophy distilled from books : Alan Raich -  http://www.thenational.scot/culture/14927143.Alan_Riach__A_flyting_philosophy_distilled_from_Scottish_literature/

We need to focus on invigorating debates, open hearts and minds, investigate what democracy really means, examine creatively, listen and read widely,