Title picture: Cloudscapes, Stornoway, 1 February 2017

Monday, 20 February 2017

Monday 20 February

I am travelling to Holland today, to spend some time with family. I hope to be able to return to Stornoway in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Wednesday 8 February

A brilliantly sunny day, but a keen southeasterly wind made it feel cold in exposed areas. Went on a walk to Lews Castle, and had another look inside.

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Brexit and Scexit - 9 February

Parliament in Westminster is approving the legislation that will enable Prime Minister Theresa May to commence the process for the UK to leave the EU. I find the utterances of the Scottish Government on this issue totally irrelevant. Foreign Affairs and Trade are matters that are not devolved to Holyrood (the Scottish Government), and Brexit can therefore not be halted by the devolved administrations. I would expect them to be consulted, but a special deal for Scotland is simply not on the cards. Scotland is an integral part of the United Kingdom. The "threat" to organise another independence referendum is slightly hollow, as such a referendum has first to be sanctioned by (you guessed it) the UK government.

I just wished the Scottish Government devoted its considerable energies to addressing those problems in Scotland for which they have the powers to address. Banging on about independence is getting very, very tiring.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Trump - 6 February

Since President Trump came into office, just over two weeks ago, his decree on immigration has stirred up a storm of controversy. In my postings on Facebook, I have attempted to formulate a balanced opinion on this issue. That is proving to be difficult, particularly with the strong emotions at play, emotions which resound here in Europe. In a BBC report this morning regarding the on-going battle between the President and his judiciary, one line stood out.
Public opinion on this issue is sharply divided
When a controversial figure like Trump becomes popular and gets voted into office, the first question to be answered is WHY. It almost always signals that there is an issue in society which the previous administration has failed to deal with adequately, or that a large section of society feels is not being dealt with properly. Immigration has become such an issue, and not just in America, by the way.

The illegal immigration from Latin America is something that Trump thinks he can stop in its tracks by building a wall along the Mexican border. That, many people feel, would be a way of dealing with that problem. Legitimising the many 'latinos' in the USA is not held as acceptable, and there is a lot of irritation in the USA, as I understand it, about the multi-lingual options on government phonelines.

The second aspect of immigration is intermingled with the Muslim contingent of migrants or refugees (lumped together in one category by many). Since the 9/11 attacks on the WTC in New York, there has been a lot of hostility against Muslims in the USA - and this is what I mean by high emotions - and not just in the USA. Every time there is another terrorist attack, claimed by people who say (!) they're Muslims, the flames of hostility are fanned. Trump's edict against immigration from certain Muslim countries is designed to allay those fears.

The president feels that his loud protestations that he is acting in the best interests of national security justify all means and methods. The judiciary see fit to disagree.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Sunday 29 January

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Saturday 28 January

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Friday 27 January

I returned to Stornoway today, after a journey that went well. Apart from a bottleneck at the security section of Schiphol Airport, the trip proceeded according to schedule, and I was back at base by 8.30pm. As I was not sitting next to a window, I could not take many pictures, which I regretted for the section between Inverness and Ullapool. It was a beautiful winter's afternoon, which I would have loved to have captured. Never mind.

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