What is there not to love about Lisbon? The maturing grand colonnades and facades of a colonial past gradually morphing into a modern culture and embracing a multitude of visitors from the four corners of the Earth. You feel a friend as soon as you step foot on the Portuguese shores and make your way through the myriad of winding streets and alleys that cling to the hillside that is Lisbon.
One can’t help contrasting Portugal with the United Kingdom, itself a once colonial power but one who fears to let go of its dark past and still seeks to emulate the deeds of the past. There is no welcome now on the shores of a once Great Britain, only the grudging acceptance that if you can in some way pass immigration controls and convince the officers at the desk that your colour poses no threat to the establishment then you can pass on, but think always, that they can be watching you.
This is the legacy of a mad period in UK history when a small party called UKIP seemed to pose a threat to the established Tory party because they were even more right wing, racist and xenophobic. This being expressed in their dislike of the European Union with its free access for worker’s policy.
So, the tory party under David Cameron decided to offer the people a referendum to keep them quiet. In doing so he opened the Pandora’s box of hatred and racism for long fermenting in the bowls of little England. The result of the referendum showed that the United Kingdom was no longer united, with Scotland and Northern Ireland coming out on the side of tolerance and sensibility and England slipping into the mire of xenophobia, intolerance and illogicality.
We told you this during the independence referendum campaign. We told you that there was more chance of leaving the EU by remaining part of the UK , but you chose not to believe it. We were right you were wrong.
The Scottish Government, through their elected representatives have committed to having a second independence referendum during the Autumn of 2018 and the Spring of 2019 and the country holds its breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. Just like it did in the run up to the Westminster election in 2015 and the Scottish parliament election in 2016. There will be another tit bit thrown in our direction before the local elections on the 4th May but do not expect an actual plan of action or god forgive, any addressing of the issues that remain to be resolved since the last referendum. No that is not going to happen.
So, in the mean time we will be kept busy and distracted by the world circus led by the clown in chief, Donald Trump ably supported by God assisted, Theresa May. I still cannot get that vomit inducing image out of my mind, of Trump and May walking hand in hand in the White House Rose garden.
Whatever happens in the next few weeks, and that could include us being at war (however brief) with North Korea. We must get on with preparing for getting Scotland out of the morass that is the UK. I would like to think the SNP have a credible plan and I am sure they would like us to think they do have a plan, but I somehow doubt it.
In the meantime, the grass roots organisations will continue on the road to independence.