I awakened to the radio news of the Christchurch New Zealand earthquake - terrifying sound of the screams of those trapped, injured and dying in the ruined buildings. The television reports, awful as they were, seemed to have edited out such chilling sounds.
And then the calm voice of sanity among it all, Bob Parker, the mayor of Christchurch - a hugely impressive man. No platitudes - no notes - no false assurances - just a steady, calming voice, telling his people how things were, what was being done, the limitations of what could be done, and what they must do to survive this terrible tragedy. This is how politicians should be, how we want them to be, and how they almost never are. The man is measured in a moment, and the moment makes the man.
But this man, fully formed, chosen by his city, is there when they need him most, and they are fortunate to have him, on this showing.
Meanwhile, the UK Prime Minister, the bland, privileged rich boy who is busily destroying our public service infrastructure at home, tours the Middle East accompanied by his merchants of death, promoting the guns, gas grenades, electric cattle prods, etc. that constitute the brutal hardware of repression for dictators everywhere.
The Gadaffi regime collapses around the Colonel in bloodshed and death, with the rats jumping ship in all directions, and some brave pilots defecting rather than murder their own people. But, like Mubarak, he will have his billions salted away in the Swiss banks and elsewhere, and if he can find a safe haven - not easy - can console himself in some luxurious redoubt, surrounded by bodyguards.
Perhaps his old pal, the Peace Envoy, Tony Blair, will pay him a surreptitious visit, and tell him that in time, he can convert to Christianity, join the Blair Foundation and travel the world’s lecture circuits at $100,000 plus a gig, telling American fundamentalist Christians how he found God and redemption.
What a world! The sublime and the awful. Scotland doesn’t have to be a part of the dark side, if it can shake off the corrupt grasp of the United Kingdom. And neither does England, once it abandons its ludicrous nostalgia and imperial dreams, rediscovers itself as a proud independent nation, and embraces the Zeitgeist - freedom!
This is the big moment for the oppressed peoples of the world. Scotland’s little, but highly significant moment is on May 5th. Make the right choice, Scots - choose your ain folk - choose the Scottish National Party.