Trigger warning: we are not an effing amusement park

Trigger warning: we are not an effing amusement park

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Thursday 23, July, 2020

THERE IS SOMETHING special about the British seaside, be it in Orkney or Skeggy. It's the only place you catch crabs and be thankful, because the UK has abundant fish stocks and seaside humour is allowed to be that wee bit cheekier. As photo ops go this has Team Ruth all over it. Yet Boris does not hale from the British seaside, nor from Scotland.

If Scottish cringe is uncomfortable, then Shortbread Scotland as portrayed by the media blob in London is insufferable. 

We are here for fish, oil, whisky and no photo-op however cheesy can be missed. But they can be missed. They should be. If this is London (and Scottish Tory HQ's) idea of promoting the union it's way wide of the mark. It may be that some of the Nats' cynicism is wearing off on me, but I've long held this view of a far away capital. 

In medical school I had many Malaysian friends. We were watching the news years back and there was a piece on Malaysia. There on the BBC sat a monkey on a post eating a piece of fruit. I've never seen such mild-mannered friends turn so quickly to rage,

"Is this it? Seriously? Malaysia equals monkeys to people in London? Where have they been for the past fifty years? Do we film a Pitbull if we film a piece on Manchester? Aren't there Pitbulls in Manchester? "

They went on,

"Seriously Jon, we have a car industry. I mean we actually own one. Does Britain? Do you have your own car company? Our government sponsors Formula 1. We sponsor your medical school that has a lab named after our state, we pump so much into you. We have (at that time) the tallest building in the world and you film a monkey on a pole. We're not an effing safari park Jon!"

OK, point taken I guess. It had struck a nerve and as the years go by I really get this. Scotland matters to us. We need to matter to the world. We are not an effing amusement park for touring journalists. Let's look at just a few industries which deserve promotion:

Glasgow built its 100th satellite last year, which was one of its very successful series of Low Earth Multi-use Receiver units. That's LEMUR for short but it's no monkey on a pole. These satellites are in high demand for tracking aircraft and shipping movements as well as weather patterns. 

In Aberdeen the oil and gas sector has spawned a sector devoted to high-end manufacture such as Master Flo, a valve engineering firm that means we now have something much more valuable then crabs and scampi on our seabed. We have one of the most advanced offshore economies that is supported by Scotland's oil capital.

In Dundee life science is breaking life into what was the world's first de-globalised city. Jute and jam and the Dandy no longer define the city globally yet there are still some who fail to see her true potential. DNA sequencing, including whole genomes, has been essential in our fight against Covid-19 and will be even more so as new viruses emerge to threaten our safety and wellbeing. It is Dundee's life scientists who will be on that frontline time and again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In 2014 the SNP had the audacity to write a book at our expense called Scotland's Future. It was no such thing and our future instead will lie in the hands of our innovators, our positive contribution to the world we can all very proud of and excited by. The crabs and whisky will always be with us. The oil probably not but we have the makings of a legacy here too. We have the light within us in Scotland to shine through. A leading light from Westminster would help us all the more.

But the current parties, including the SNP, in Westminster aren't part of Scotland's future. Our union exists because we choose it to and we are going to light our own way in it. Scotland's unionists and businesses are up for the challenge. 


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