It just doesn’t feel a lot like Christmas

Warning this blog comes with a gloomy disposition.

No matter how hard I try I am really struggling to find my usual motivation for the Christmas holidays. Anyone who knows me knows that this tends to be my favourite time of the year, but this year, no matter how hard I try I just can’t find that festive joy, is it just me?

This time last year I had a feeling of optimism about the way ahead. I was hoping that enough people in Scotland would take the chance to try something different, to take the opportunity to change our country for the better. And while we didn’t get the result we wanted, we have seen a rise in political and community engagement and that has to be welcomed.

But this year, and in particular the last couple of months, I find myself feeling less optimistic, less hopeful for the future for people all across Scotland. Osborne and the smiling Liberals have painted a fiscal picture for the next six years that hardly bares thinking about. Everyday we hear about increasing use of food banks, of poverty levels never seem before in modern times, in sanctions against the very poorest and most vulnerable and a false economic recovery nowhere but the south east and London if at all.

Labour have no alternative vision other than the promise to finish the job they started in the first place, the Tories are delighting in keeping these attacks going, and that the majority in Westminster are determined to complete no matter the human cost to this country. Most people in this country are struggling and many are starving, they are portrayed as the causes of the economic decline in our country while the people who did cause this unprecedented decline get richer and more removed from the reality of life outside that tiny little corner in the bottom of England.

I suspect in many other countries this would result in riots, in large-scale demonstrations, sadly some violence and a lot of vandalism. However in this country, draconian laws and the use of the Police as the personal protection of the elite and the establishment has resulted in a broken people who fear demonstration, with an apathy for the ballot box. A million people still didn’t vote in the referendum.

I was out shopping with my son today and I looked at the people around me, I listened to some of the conversations and all I could find is a bleak acceptance of the times we are living in. Many people look and sound broken, maybe I am one of them because my optimism is not there anymore, I fear we are on the brink of a major collapse that will bring a lot worse to this country. Even if that does not happen we are not even 40% through the attacks on our way of life yet and the next six years are going to hurt more than we can even contemplate. The other side of the coin is that many just don’t care or don’t think, our old car was keyed last night outside my wife’s work. What is the point of that, where is the fun, what do people think they are doing? It makes you lose hope and faith in the people around you.

I can’t help but think that the constant blame of the ills of our country on the poorest and on foreigners by the people who are actually doing the damage is taking what little hope we have left. What is the agenda here? Is the agenda to take us back to the dark ages, are we allowing this country to be taken back in time to a period when we were peasants, there to be used and abused by a small elite, to be laughed at and ridiculed by the minority who see using people as a game to maintain their power and wealth. Are we so broken that at the time of year where we would hope to find a little optimism all I see around me are broken people and a bleak future.

I won’t apologize for the bleakness of this blog, it’s up there with the novel ‘ The Road ‘ the most depressing book I ever read. I don’t have any answers and I beginning to suspect it’s just me, is it just me? How do you feel? How do you think we should move forward? What are the answers?

What will it take for the people to rise, like him or loath him, is Russell Brand correct in calling for a revolution. Where does it end. But this Christmas, I’m sorry, I can find little joy in Dundee, little hope, little future. Something has to give, my fear is that what gives hurts the weakest even more.

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10 comments

  1. Sianna MacDonald

    I’m holding out for UDI, Grumpy. Much maligned even amongst Yes voters, but still imo, a plausible and valid route to independence, supported by Alex himself. Yes, it has issues with it, but other countries have gone down that path and it has worked, there is no real reason Scotland cannae do the same. Like yourself, a future under Westminster rule is just too awful to contemplate.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Sianna

      I don’t think it would ever happen personally. You would need at least 45 SNP MPs to make it interesting, you never know but I suspect that the Scottish people would never go for it. I agree though, the future certainly looks very bleak for most of us under the current Westminster Government and any future one for that matter.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. jimnarlene

    They are painting a very depressing future but, we’ve been here before. Post ’79 and the (spits) Thatcher years. The present mobsters are finishing her (spits again) vision, of making the great unwashed servile, doffing their caps to the masters.
    However there has been an energising of the Scots electorate, especially amongst the younger voters. Surely that gives hope for the future. There are one hell of a lot of reasons to feel downhearted but, that will just play into their game. So I say sod them, and find something no matter how small, to keep that fire in your belly burning.

    Sianna, I personally don’t see what the problem with UDI is. If the majority of Scots want independence and Westminster refuses to listen. Scotland is a modern peaceful country, with vast resources and strategically placed, all of which would mean we would not be pariahs, in my opinion, as some have said.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Jim

      They are painting a very bad picture, and I accept that a lot of that is down to Tory ideology but this is worse than the 80s. I was only 9 when Thatcher got in but I don’t know if even she would have dared do what the three tory parties are doing now in the name of austerity. I think we are on the brink of something bad, mostly due to the fact that no one at Westminster has any idea what they are doing and are more intersted in protecting the few. Are we becoming the North Korea of Europe for people going hungry.

      Thanks for commenting as always, I enjoy the discussion.

      Bruce

      • jimnarlene

        I enjoy the discussion too. I was ten and a bit when Thatcher (spitspit) came to power. I can remember what that woman did,
        I come from Ayr. It used to be a fishing, heavy manufacturing, mining and textile town, now there is sod all. The local MP at the time was George “disappointed” Younger, he was given that nickname because, every time he appeared in the news, normally about a factory or some such shutting, all he would ever say is “I’m disappointed”. He did nothing to prevent it of course.
        I also remember winning an election in my primary school, around the time of the devolution vote, I was the SNP candidate. So, I have always believed in Scotland’s independence. I don’t know where I get it from, as my parents were hard core Labour voters and used the ” tartan Tory” tag, I must have seen through all that schtick, I did read a hell of a lot, factual stuff and history, so maybe that was an influence.

        • Anonymous

          Jim

          I never really understood what was happening at the time but when I reflect now I remember things like my Dad being on the dole for years and going walking all the time, coats on the bed in winter, cupboards empty all the time. I guess I try not to remember too much as I get as angry as I am now, I always thought my kids would never see that level of poverty but they are and will see worse while a certain elite will move on as they always do. What will it take for a revolution in this country, we are so desperately in need of change, I don’t understand how a slim majority can’t see it.

          Thanks

          Bruce

  3. yesguy

    Grumpy,

    Xmas even in the good days was always a tough sell. with little fun. More of a duty. It feels a waste nowadays as kids get most things throughout the year. Such is modern life.

    But give yourself a wee break. You deserve one. The referendum is over but the fight goes on. memberships of pro indi parties has gone through the roof. Many are preparing for the spring offensive and the drive and commitment is still there.

    I felt like you did last month, even struggling to read the odd blog as there was so much doom and gloom about but there are wee chinks of light out there. And your still here as are the many many voices of resistance .

    I snapped out of it by looking at the opposition. Mainly the Labour party. One i voted for loyally for decades but no more. Murphy and his ilk falling over themselves to appease the voters with more lies and spin. Curren rambling on that even Nichola Sturgeon would vote labour to keep the torys out. I know , unbelievable . And the “race for their leadership” turning out to be a squabble about who can offer the most policies. SNP policies.

    Suddenly it looks a little brighter.

    It’s cold and the nights are long. A time for staying in and keeping warm. You’ve done cracking job voicing your hopes and fears letting folk like me feel at least somebody else out there feels as i do. And there are SO many Grumpy honest.

    Things are bleak. Things will get worse. But we are not going to stand idly by watching. No more . We’re preparing for more and more voices to be heard.

    You enjoy your Xmas . Rest these tired fingers a bit . We are going to need you soon but for now sit back and enjoy the comedy of errors that is the Labour party. (tory and lib/dems don’t matter a jot) Watch all the repeats on telly knowing that in the spring we will be triumphant . Check the polls, they are truly astonishing .

    Hope over fear my friend , you are not alone.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Yesguy

      Thanks for the possitivity. I know you are right, esp about the Liebour Party. They are melt down and long may that continue. I think for myself it’s the undertsanding that a lot of what is being done is ideological in nature and Miliband not having an alternative vision as he is not capable of having one and has the most useless team behind him ever. A large SNP presence at Westminster is maybe our last big hope. I also get really angry about all the stories of sanctions, of food banks in Dundee. What do the politicians think they are doing? Where are the jobs? I’m a CLD Worker and looking at the cuts to come I might not have my job that much longer and where does a soon to be 46 year get a job in Dundee. I am trying to keep the spirits up but I guess really pissed off and angry.

      Thanks for commenting and the encourgement and it is good to know that I am not the only grumpy old sod out there.

      Bruce

  4. pa_broon74

    Hi Bruce.

    On Friday there, I was hit by a similar mood. I was walking through the Winter Market thing in Princes Street Gardens and glanced up (more probably rolling my eyes at the immense choice of tat for sale) to see the Union Flag in its usual place on the Mound.

    Later, I was walking up to St Andrew’s Square and over the tram lines I saw a police van parked out side the job centre: a police officer was ‘guarding’ a guy and the staff were all looking towards the back of the office with what to me looked like nervous concern – my immediate thought was; some poor bugger has just been sanctioned and they’re not happy.

    I hate christmas passionately so I’m already biased, but given all the forced cheer of the market, that fucking flag on the Mound then seeing the bother at the Job Centre… Well, it sort of typified the time of year.

    Earlier, I was getting some cash at a machine and nearby, a beggar was sitting droning out the machine-like mantra; “anysparechange?OKthankshaveaniceevening.” I was in the queue for a few minutes and it went on and on. I gave the girl what I had in my pocket (the princely sum of £1.50) and as I walked away – a council worker pushing a hand-held gritter showered the poor woman in grit.

    Its a dystopian nightmare rolled in glitter.

    And people wonder why I’m (even more) miserable (than usual) at this time of year.

    Good blog post.

    Cheers

    Paul.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Paul

      I applaud yesguys optimism but I am really struggling to find any this year overall. Took my 8 year old out for his gifts after swimming on Saturday in Dundee and found little to cheer. A lot of people out shopping, a lot of credit cards getting used, and a lot of people not smiling. I can’t even grasp why anyone would do Christmas on a credit card, I would rather have little than have debt, but I do understand the pressure that some people feel, esp with young children. I also hate the fact that the flag of hate flies at the City Chambers in Dundee, if there is a flag not to fly anywhere in the world it’s the disgusting union jack. A flag that has brought more misery to the world than any other.

      I will try to have a good time this Christmas, really just try and relax and put this year behind me. If I can chill out I suppose that will be something.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

      PS

      Did you see the Windsors charging $50,000 for a plate at a meal with the future unelected head of state, talk about wasting your money. Disgusting.

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