By Thomas Clark
Wha kent whit, an whan did they ken it? E’er syne they catcht auld Dick Nixon wi his lug tae the Watergate waw, our politícians hae makkit a guid haundlin out o the doctrine o plausible deniability, itherwise kent as the virtue o unexpectit ignorance. Knawledge, tae our current crop o baby-kissers, is a volatile thing, ayeweys apt tae blaw up in yer face; an in fact is juist like Schrödinger’s box — naebody kens for shuir whit’s in there, but it’s fifty-fifty ye’ll be left wi a deid cat tae explain. Onygates, it leukt as if the Donald haed takken yon trend tae its logical conclusion whan he wis electit high heid ane o the free warld on the basis o kennin absolutely naething about absolutely onything — weel, until this week, that is, whan his auld sparrin pairtner, Mister Salmond o Lithgae, admítit in a student paper that, afore 2015, he haed niver actually rade a beuk.
Haud on readin . . . “The First Mínister’s Readin Challenge”
By Alistair Heather
Puir infrastructure is a belt aboot Scotland’s thrapple. Oor roads are pithailed anachronisms. Boats tae the isles are auld an dear. Fleein tae ony airt ither than London gars ye traivel tae the ane o the central belt aeroports, doublin the cost an time o ilka journey. Scotrail is a mixter-maxter o the sorry an the sublime. On ae haund there’s a braw new electric service breengin atween Embra an Glesca. On the ither haund ye hae twa-cairiage vintage trains rattlin aroon an aboot the hielands, gangin nae place fast. No anely is infrastructure puir, but infrastructure inequality is severe an growin worse ilka year. Gin ye want tae gang onywhaur in Scotland north o the Forth, by car, sea or rail, it’ll be slaw an it’ll be dear.
The effects o this are extreme. Hale sections o Scotland are economically uninhabitable.
Ane o the worst effectit airts is the Buchan. The Broch. Peterheid. Buckie. MacDuff. Big touns thrang wi cultur, business an potential, cut aff fae mercats an ceeties by an infrastructure that’s oot o date by decades.
Haud on readin . . . “Trains approachin?”
By James McDonald
We can read this Thursday in The National that Scotland coud be the place for the rapplin space industry by the wey o Tom Walkinshaw o technology firm, Alba Orbital. We can read an aw that space technology firms fae Scotland is developpin new technology, wi Alba Orbital developpin the lichtest, cheapest, an peeriest sattelite aroon. Anither newins tae dae wi the Scots space industry, the possibílity o a spaceport, wis proponed an aw, bi Commonspace. This idea wis descreived as ‘science fiction’ bi Adam Tomkins, Tory MSP. But this is in maugre o the first spaceport bein biggit in Kazakhstan in 1957 (on lease tae Roushie syne Kazakhstan’s wanthirldom in 1991) an twa new anes biggit juist last year, in Roushie an China. Sae it’s mair tae be science fact. An Scotland awready haes its ain space industry, becomin sonsier an sonsier, as Commonspace pynts oot.
An Scotland investin in its space industry wad be a braw idea, in ma view, for a hantle raisons. The investment wad forder a industry that, forrit an ayont, coud be crucial for the hale o Jock Tamson’s bairns. It wad create jobs that fowk coud actually be greeshochie anent an aw. An, on tap o that, it wad pit Scotland at the forebreist o innovation, as it’s afttimes been.
But whit can be daen for tae forder this industry?
Haud on readin . . . “Pit astronomy heich up in the Scots education sýstem”