Normal service will be resumed

We had thought that by this time the Scottish Parliament would have voted in favour of holding a second independence referendum, and the Scottish Government would be formally requesting a Section 30 Order from Westminster. Due to Wednesday’s tragic events in Westminster, that hasn’t happened yet. According to reports, the Holyrood debate is due to resume on Tuesday next week. By this time next week, the Scottish Parliament will have voted to give the people of Scotland a voice on our own future, a voice that Theresa May seeks to deny us.

Initially I wasn’t sure that it was a good idea to suspend the debate in Holyrood. My opinion had nothing to do with the importance of the debate or its subject matter. It had nothing to do with wanting to gain a majority in Holyrood for a referendum, because that’s nailed on and is going to happen anyway. It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of any sympathy or feeling for those who were bleeding and dying on the streets of London. It was simply because I felt, and continue to feel, that governments should strive to do all they can to ensure that the influence and effects of terrorist outrages should always be as limited and contained as possible. The greater the contagation into the rest of our democracy, the greater the impact and effect that an evil individual with evil intent can have. When institutions and organisations which were not directly targetted close down, it magnifies and spreads the ability of terrorism to disrupt our democracy and destroy the peace.

One of the greatest threats to our civil liberties isn’t terrorism, it’s the response that governments make to terrorism. When the effects of terrorism are magnified and spread to a greater extent than is necessary to ensure public safety and to deal with the immediate humanitarian crisis involving those directly affected, it increases the impact that terrorism has on everyone’s lives, and makes it easier for governments to introduce repressive and anti-democratic measures in response. Then we all lose. We become a society which is shaped, or more accurately deformed, by a terrorist threat, when there are other threats which we blithely ignore or shrug off which extract a far greater toll in terms of suffering and death.

Threats like, for example, air pollution, domestic violence and abuse, or road deaths, all of which kill many more people in the UK than terrorism does. They get far less attention, far less concern from those in the seats of power. We are blinded by the bloody spectacle of terrorism, leading us as a society to prioritise it over threats which in terms of the numbers of lives they destroy are far more lethal and have a far greater death toll. This is not to diminish or downplay the suffering of those caught up in Wednesday’s tragedy. Their pain is real. Their blood is real. Their deaths were real, and were tragic. We should all mourn for them. We should all offer our sympathy and compassion. But as a society we must be careful to avoid allowing the attention grabbing barbarity of a terrorist attack to define our democracy. Theresa May has plenty of authoritarian tendencies as it is, the last thing we need is to allow her excuses for any more.

However it’s only human that legislators in Holyrood were concerned and worried about their friends and colleagues in the other parliament. It’s only human that they’d find it difficult to concentrate on the topic at hand while people lay bleeding and broken on a London street, people who for all they knew could have been their friends and associates. So I don’t have a problem with the fact that the proceedings at Holyrood were suspended. Humanity and compassion should always trump any point of principle.

I did get angry on social media in the immediate aftermath of the attack. I got angry with people, both individuals and news organisations which really ought to have known better, publishing photos showing dead and dying people. Can you imagine the pain of discovering that a friend or relative had been killed in a terrorist attack because you happened to chance across a photo of their bloody end on Twitter. It treats death as spectacle and display. It reduces suffering to social media content. It’s the vampire search for clicks from the blood of the dying. If your immediate reaction on seeing a person bleeding and dying on a bridge is to reach for your camera and not to rush to give aid, your own humanity is bleeding and dying too.

I got angry with the conspiracy theorists who immediately began to speculate about false flags and how the tragic events might be an attempt by the “deep state” to disrupt the Scottish debate. Not everything is about Scotland you know and you do the cause of independence no favours by associating it with paranoia. The only thing deep about such comments is the depth to which the people making them, while others bled to death on a London bridge, are up their own arses. For those of us not directly involved the only appropriate response in the immediate aftermath of a violent attack is concern for those wounded, grief for the dead, and compassion for those caught up in the events.

I got angry with those who sought to score political points on the back of the dying. People who rushed to condemn the Scottish Parliament for not suspending proceedings immediately and trying to put the blame at the door of the SNP. It’s not up to the SNP to suspend proceedings in Holyrood. That’s a decision for the Presiding Officer, who happens to be a Labour MSP. It was not a party political decision. But that didn’t stop some people from finger pointing and trying to use Wednesday’s tragedy as a stick which which to beat up the Scottish independence movement. The desperate straw clutching game plan of Better Together Mark II will be that Scotland is too wee, too poor, too stupid, too racist, and too sympathetic to terrorism.

Normal service will be resumed. On Tuesday next week the Scottish parliament will return to its debate. Democracy will continue. The Scottish people will have their voice. Our democratic process will heal and will go on. But we should always remember with compassion and concern that the wounds of those injured will take longer to heal, and that the broken hearts of the friends and relatives of those killed will never be put back together. For them, normal service will never be resumed.

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0 thoughts on “Normal service will be resumed

  1. Pingback: Normal service will be resumed | dondeeflugs

  2. 273 Iraqis killed in an American led bombing raid.
    During the first Iraq war and bunker buster bomb burrowed into and underground shelter filled with civilians, 400 murdered. It was a mistake said the military.

    • I’m wondering how come a crazy man with a knife or two came to be gunned down and murdered by the police. All they had to do was keep their distance and at worst disable him, just like a drunk or a druggie gone out of control. Surely they’re trained for this as part of the normal day job?
      Does the Scottish Government employ trigger-happy goons to intimidate ordinary folks? This is one aspect of the state I find repellent TBH. Why support an Indy Scotland if it’s just going to be another manifestation of State Power through violence?

        • Just having a touch of hopelessness realising that ultimately any state bigger than a few dozen like-minded people has to be a power structure where the few rule the many, feather their own beds and maintain the status quo by force or at least the threat of force. Armed cops are not there to deter ‘terrorists’ they’re there to stop you and me getting ideas above our station. I’ve never been intimidated by a terrorist but I have been intimidated by the police now and again, nothing at all serious but the menace is always lurking somewhere in the background, or am I just getting paranoid in my old age? I want to believe Scotland could be better than all that, but the image of police with guns, or indeed even with the quasi-lethal gear that seems to be standard nowadays, I really wonder who interests they are protecting. I don’t recall that they layed into the BritNat thugs in George Square after IndyRef1, but then they didn’t back them up either as they would have done in Northern Ireland. Dunno, confused, who isn’t?

          • I understand mate and I get it now. Thanks for the reply.

            Like you I want to believe in a Scotland better than that. Remember that you are not alone. We can gather support from each other on here.
            However, we can be damn sure that the present situation within the Union is the hopeless one. We need out.

            You and I and all the others can hope in a better Scotland with Independence. It offers us the best possibility. With our own Independent country and Government, we can call them to account much more easily if our hopes are dashed. I do not believe they will be dashed, however. The Indy movement is a wide church which not only has SNP, Green and Socialist voters, but includes some who naturally would be Conservative or Labour voters who wish Independence.

            I’m now convinced the Ireland will once again be first and lead the way. The bricks in the evil edifice of the Union are beginning to fall. It started with the greed of the self-serving rich and is ending with the greed of the self-serving rich.

            Don’t succumb. I’m sure you will be your old self again tomorrow and thanks for enlightening me.

  3. normal service

    HeraldScotland‏ @heraldscotland
    Sturgeon gives her backing to unapologetic terror row minister

    two smears – one headline

    • Me also.



      I’d quite like to see you elected. For you certainly speak for most of us.Have you ever considered it?

        • But it would give us Scots another opportunity to really ‘hate’ the Daily Mail.

          “Fuck, fuck, fuckety fuck.”

          Is that really sufficient to keep someone as good as you out of politics when the Daily fucking Mail supported fascists before WW2?

          I, personally, find an auspicious use of a swear word sometimes the only way to call your enemies to account.

          So, I’ll say it again:

          the Daily fucking Mail.

          You are a damn site better than you think you are. Indeed, causing the Daily Mail to go into a fit of apoplexy could be a reasonably sound election strategy.

          Anyway, you do great work, here and on the National.


          • “I have a manifesto commitment and to say Fuck the Daily Mail. The voters of Scotland gave me a mandate to roll it up and ram it sideways up the arses of Piers Morgan and Katie Hopkins” Yeah – now you mention it saying that on the Politics Show does sound quite appealling.

          • Glad to be of service. Yours’ is not a a light that should be hid under a bushel, whatever a bushel might be.

          • Oh the look on the face of a Brewer or a Neil… 😀

            Though, wait now. You might not consider yourself MP material (personally I think that’s our loss), but folk could do a lot worse than see you on the board of the next YES campaign.

            On the pro side of that: You wouldn’t be representing any political party. You’d be representing a movement.

            On the con side: You may have to sit next to a Magrit or a Ruth on a pundit sofa. Mind you, silver linings and all that. You could say fuck as often as you like and with style too on such an off chance. 🙂

          • I would support that whole heartedly, but I would say that any board would have to be making the bullets NOT constantly reacting and getting stuck on the back foot all the time.

  4. Paul

    Excellent item as always. I thought it was right to halt proceedings at Holyrood out of respect for those killed and injured in London but also because at that stage nobody knew if other attacks were planned. These could conceivably have involved Holyrood. Better safe than sorry.

    The Westminster attacks resonated with me as I used to work just around the corner and until last year I passed those gates and walked along that side of Westminster Bridge every evening. I always thought the gates were a soft target and no doubt security measures will now be tightened.

    Thankfully, none of my ex-colleagues were caught up in these events. I’ll be meeting a few of them tomorrow evening for a few jars and will get more details on how they were affected by events.

    I’m also hoping to pop along and see you next month when you are in London.

  5. Good piece, Paul. I really struggled to put any useful and coherent thought together about this yesterday and today is little better seeing the smirks and smears of the unionists who have already resumed normal service.
    Right now, I feel like I should take a step back from politics; the constant barrage of shite from these idiots is turning me into a pressure cooker of frustration and into someone I don’t recognise or particularly like at times. Some days I think it would be nice just to wake up in two years when it’s all done and dusted.
    Why does it have to feckin be like this?

    • because it was never going to be easy, nothing good ever came easy

      it’s strange because this is not a battle where both sides knock lumps out each other

      but is truly is a test of US and a test that has not found us wanting

      For I know when we win, we can hold our heads high and say, for all we suffered (and yes you are right, it’s frustrating, it’s hurtful, the goading that goes on, the smears, the double standards are difficult to take)

      but when I walked into work last week I was astounded to learn that a guy who was SO against independance 2 years ago, not a tory, but definitely didn’t agree with us – who sits next to another devoted YESER, had just joined the SNP, that is when you truly know that all the pain we take is worth it.

      You see our balanced, non aggressive, patience persona’s attract people to talk to us

      I am the go to person for people to ask how voting systems work, what does this policy mean, why should a government spend out of recession, what is a fiscal multiplier and why should government pay attention to them etc etc (do have to say sometimes I don’t know the answer, as I don’t, and would rather be honest, than to try bull…..)

      In the end they know I am non judgmental no matter what they voted in the referendum

      that is OUR POWER, and it is one that is more powerful than every newspaper and every unionist rant

      that is why we will win, and when we do, actually manage to be understanding and inclusive of those who lost, their fears, their needs, their views will still matter and be of concern to us to be alleviated, improved or fixed

      YOU can do this, and you can do it for the next 2 years or 10 years, just remember your calmness and moral high ground wins you a hundred chances to be listened to by those whose fear may have caught them in the moment

  6. And of course this awful attack in London brings home the terrible tragedies happening every day, in the war torn M.East, in starving africa, environmental activists being murdered by their hundreds in S.American countries etc.

    You are right about the governments and how they react to terrorism, and how the fact that so many are killed as a direct or indirect result of the effects of what we do to our environment and indeed home grown violence and abuse, is too often ignored.

    Total sympathy for those affected by yesterdays attacks, disgust at anyone making it into a spectacle.

  7. The msm is seriously responsible for hyping up the ‘terrorism’ meme through fear mongering after tragic events like yesterday. Just saw this gif on rev’s twitter feed, we live in far less ‘danger of terrorism’ now than we have ever done since the seventies.

    It’s important to maintain perspective after such events, something which media outlets refuse to do over and over again.

  8. I don’t claim that the events were orchestrated, I just claim that the media was looking for any excuse to disrupt things yesterday, and they found one.

    Also, what makes these specific murders in the middle of London worth the attention, over a similar murder in Birmingham, or Glasgow?

    People get killed every day of the week. Why are we singling this particular set of deaths out for special treatment?

  9. All terrorist attacks are loathsome and to be rightfully pilloried but wait a minute do we include our”terrorist” efforts in Afghanistan/Yemen/Iraq/Libya or don,t they count?.

    • No we don’t, because “we’re the good guys” – someone wrote a book denouncing that stupidity. What sickens me is the outpouring of hypocrisy. We, the UK, USA et al have been acting as terrorist states for decades, first by way of colonialism and then by way of “spreading democracy” to the unenlightened barbarous nations, stopping at nothing to “control” the world. Much of today’s “terrorism” is directly attributable to the past and present terrorism of the US and UK. When will politicians wake up to that reality. Probably never, as there’s too much loot involved.

  10. This is a particularly outstanding blog in a whole series of excellent blogs, Paul. It covers all the necessary bases, for which many thanks.

    (I wish though that those BTL who just couldn’t help getting in their own oar of special pleading would have read it more carefully. It’s morally repugnant to make cheap political capital out of any horrific event, as if one has to be relativistically “balanced” somehow by an example of suffering from somewhere else. It’s all innocent people getting hurt, FGS, mostly through no fault of their own.)

  11. Brilliant as per, Paul.
    I know of no one who does not roundly condemn this senseless slaughter.
    The young man who perpetrated it has obviously been brainwashed into acting this way.
    There are very real grievances in the Middle East, as details of today’s US ‘collateral damage’ attests.
    Religious fanaticism doesn’t help either. I do not remotely claim to have the answer.
    The world is a deadly place, and there are no signs that things will change any day soon.
    Yet, England played Germany, and Scotland played Canada, and the BBC ran a standup Comedy show ‘live’ from the Apollo Hammersmith at 10.00 pm.
    Life has to go on.

    Not many people know who Soryia Siddique is. She is a college lecturer, a member of EIS FELA, a member of the Labour Party, and Glasgow City Councillor for Govanhill.
    I found out all of this from her profile online.

    A bonny lookin’ lass( I’m allowed, I’m 69), she is wearing a head scarf, smiling broadly out at us, and is clearly your ‘good’ Muslim archetype as portrayed by the MSM.
    The Evening Times continues to consider the ‘Missing’ Poster taped to Govanhill lamp posts with our First Minister’s face on it and a web page belonging to a far right Holocaust denier as hilarious.
    Well done, ET. Any one who backs the Brit Union is a friend of the Herald Group. Even Loon Yoon Nazis.
    The reason I bring up Ms Siddique ?
    Imagine if the Holocaust denier pasted ‘Missing’ posters of Ms Siddique all over the constituency, with a link to his quite insane web site? Would the ET consider that to be ‘tongue in cheek’?
    There would be an outrage. But Sturgeon is fair game because the MSM are nothing more than Unionist Better Together propaganda mouthpieces now?

    Some info about progress in Govanhill.

    “Ambitious new plans to tackle the slum housing crisis in Govanhill have been revealed.
    They include £6.4 million for 350 NEW homes for the south side community.
    This follows on from a council and Scottish Government pledge of £34m to extend the Acquisition and Repairs Programme and bring 350 more homes into the ownership of Govanhill Housing Association.
    Glasgow City Council will this afternoon release a report detailing a scheme it claims is a “bold statement of intent” for Govanhill.

    As part of a wider strategy to improve housing conditions in the south side community, the new housing plan will:
    – introduce a widening of the Enhanced Enforcement Area so housing officers will have additional powers to tackle poor landlord practice across 18 Govanhill tenement blocks.
    – use compulsory purchase powers where ever necessary.”
    24/02/17 Catriona Stewart ET

    This is a joint Scottish Government/GCC venture with funding from parliament.

    Yet the same paper runs this ‘Missing’ nonsense.

    “One of the most famous faces on the political stage is ‘missing’ and she’s desperately being sought to ‘return to her day job’, posters around Glasgow are proclaiming.
    As Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon continues to battle with Westminster to secure a second independence referendum, the people in her Glasgow Southside constituency are less-than-pleased.
    Now, images of the tongue-in-cheek posters have taken social media by storm having been snapped around the Govanhill area.

    The posters have emerged as Ms Sturgeon’s constituents accuse the Scottish First Minister for putting the topic of independence first and failing to deal with the “ghetto” in the area.
    “It’s a slum, it’s a ghetto,” one constituent told ITV News, as another added: “If she can’t get her own constituency in order, what chance have we got of running the country?”
    The posters have gone down a storm with Twitter users.
    One user wrote: “As I am very familiar with the dump that is Govanhill, this poster is quite apt. Truth hurts eh?” while another said: “Bang job just been totally abandoned.”
    This new initiative follows on from a£32 million cash injection three years ago.

    A lot is happening to improve Govanhill’s lot, both at National an Local level. Ms Siddique appears to be doing a bang up job, made more challenging by Holocaust Deniers following the latest ISIS inspired atrocity yesterday.

    The truth about Govanhill initiatives? Not a lot happening, if you read this nonsense in the ET; ‘one constituent’, ‘one user’. SNP BAD, FM even BADDER.
    Dear God Almighty..

    • Posters by far right holocaust denier found to be funny by Yoon twitter culture.

      A group who live in a lie, who perpetuate their belief system through fear and intimidation, get their kicks by laughing at poisonous remarks and defamations aimed those who have done them no harm.

      That about sums them up really.

    • Sturgeons day job in this instance would be to rip the local council a new one so they get their finger out and do what the council tax they collect is meant to pay for. If there’s really a joint effort between Glasgow council and Holyrood then it’s a fair bet she’s actually done her day job or delegated it to those who’s job it is to carry out. Once Labour are thrown out of office it’ll be interesting to find out whether the lack of any progress in Govanhill was deliberate politically motivated neglect for propaganda purposes or simple incompetence.

      • Orri, there’s a great Glasgow expression (although it may be more wide ranging) ‘Fat Fuck’.
        Just saying,like.
        We are about to enter the LA election campaign, and here in Glasgow I’ll be examining every aspect of Frank McAveety’s (and his disgraced predecessors’) possible role in the Tammany Hall half century of corruption and theft of my local taxes.
        Govanhill has been deliberately neglected to embarrass the FM.
        Sofas and mattresses languishing on the pavements, wheelie bins overflowing, private landlords allowed to get away with murder.
        And the YOON Press and the BBC are always on hand to film it and get the SNP BAD quote. Nicola Sturgeon is a Bastur..Aye, right,
        It’s time we kicked the Fat Fucks out, and Frank the Pieman, with the morals of a St Trinian’s perv out on their necks.

        • Spot on Jack. You have called it exactly for what it is. Deliberate neglect by the local council in order to try to embarrass the FM. Shame on the poster mob who have reacted rather than thought about it and on the council. Utterly shameful.

  12. It is a sad state of affairs with what has happened in London. I am reminded that blood has been spilled in London when Jo Cox was murdered, leaving her children motherless and her husband widowed.
    Not long before this event, there was the 7/07 bombings in London. And before that there was the Iraq invasion. And more blood was spilled on the streets for all to see.

    I am then reminded of that big hoose on the Thames, responsible for policies, by politicians safe in their little chamber to, vote for suffering, punishment, class based ridicule, and last but certainly not least, voting to spill the blood of other peoples in other countries with joyous laughter, cheers and clapping and applauding with self righteous glee as they did it. They, naturally, did not care of the consequences of their actions. They couldn’t wait for that vote to get through parliament. They, the politicians (excluding the SNP, Plaid Cymru and a few others) along with the MSM are very much partly responsible for these events of the past and present by fostering hate, the othering of peoples, and murder.

    And again blood has spilled on London’s streets.

  13. I agree with you, Paul, that terrorists should not be allowed to disrupt normal activity, but the business which was suspended yesterday was not any old insignificant business. It was a move by the Scottish Parliament towards striking at the very heart of the British State, at a time when most people saw a need for a united front in dealing with the dreadful attack in London. You are right that it was not a party political decision to suspend business, but it was, nonetheless, a political decision, as to have continued with that particular business at that time would have raised fury across Britain and beyond, and would have shown the whole of Scotland in a very poor light.

    • Such are tactics and strategy in what is a de facto war of national survival for both sides.If they win, we face extinction. If we win, they (as the British State) do. Let no one underestimate what is at stake here; this is why we need to wake as many Scots as we can. In a sense we face what the USSR faced in 1941. Motivate yourself by realising that the extirpation of the British State would have a direct and positive effect on the destabilising wars that are currently scarring the face of the world.

  14. The death of any woman.. or man… diminishes me. So why didn’t our government suspend business when news of any of the multiple murders occurring in Iraq/Libya/Somalia/Yemen and on ad nauseam was broadcast? Was it because the victims weren’t “british”? Or living in the locale (i.e. “britain”)? I think I may have reached my point of no return. What does anything matter now?

    Nothing lasts forever, perhaps we should just let nature take its’ course and resign ourselves to extinction. I know Westminster would be very happy if we did.

    Angry? Moi? Disillusioned? Moi? I don’t know if I can be bothered with any of it now. Really.

  15. It seems strange that the msm here are not giving space to cover the threats fo Europeans (that includes us all here) to the “terrorist threats” from a Nato member state.
    The President of Turkey is issuing threats saying that Europeans ate now no longer safe in the world. He is primarily referring to matters in Germany and the Netherlands.
    However, these comments seem to have been largely overlooked here, probably due to the fact that Brexit means we are immune, it is just those Europeans across the North Sea who will be affected.
    So is Erdogan directing terror against fellow Nato members? Read his comments if you can in the continental press.

  16. The President of Turkey is a dictator, just read his path to power. He is moving a lovely country which has been open to all religions to one where the Moslem faith is going to be part of the State structures and not just a religion within it. Having said this it is also true that the Roman Catholic faith is part of the Austrian state and not just within it.

  17. Paul you said :

    “I got angry with those who sought to score political points on the back of the dying. People who rushed to condemn the Scottish Parliament for not suspending proceedings immediately and trying to put the blame at the door of the SNP”

    And I agree Paul 100%.

    Below is something I posted on another website on day of London Bombings and I was inspired to write this when I saw an inappropriate tweet by Monica Lennon who tactlessly tried to make some political capital instead of reacting like a human being first instead of an opportunist politician.

    I was also sickened by reading tweets from unionists in a similar vain to Monica’s where humanity and compassion for those involved in tragedy was secondary to political point scoring against SNP.

    This is what I posted in anger and despair :

    “To any politician or individual who is twisting today’s events at WM into an attack on SNP , re Holyrood parliament NOT being suspended immediately , then I say it is more THEIR shame that they should, at a time where people have been injured and killed, seek to politicise this tragic event.

    For any decent person , politically engaged or otherwise, I would imagine will find this discourse distasteful and unworthy of consideration. The question is ‘Is the death of innocents an appropriate time to score political points’ ?

    Is this what we have become ? Where Trolls on twitter can abuse tragic events to try and score a political unionist point . If any politician or journalist endorses and reiterates the sickening abuse that is being perpetrated by those who are trying to distort what happened in London and the subsequent reaction at Holyrood into a SNPBAD agenda then THEY truly are the real problem within our society and let it be to their eternal shame for promoting hate over humanity.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to those people and their families who were tragically affected by today’s events….for I am a HUMAN first and foremost and thus react accordingly to such news as occurred today. To the people of London I say be strong and my thoughts are with you all at a time where you must be so very afraid and in shock . Please be safe and I and others reach out to you all at this awful time”.

  18. “Below is something I posted on another website on day of London Bombings”

    Correction re my above post…so upset by this” NOT London bombings” but stabbing of policeman and killing of those innocent people by car .

    If anyone offended my apologies.

  19. Sturgeon and co miss a trick inmo,they should ask Davidson/Duglugs to face the cameras not the house and tell the people of Scotland why we are too poor/small and can,t do anything for ourselves to the extent that we need a bunch of English tories to keep us upright,why after all these years of Westminster interference is our economy stagnant our life expectancy one of the lowest in Europe our health issues one of the worst,just ask them to be up front.

  20. Never a more poignant post Paul.
    “But we should always remember with compassion and concern that the wounds of those injured will take longer to heal, and that the broken hearts of the friends and relatives of those killed will never be put back together. For them, normal service will never be resumed.”

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