View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Tuesday 3 May

Daylight is fading slowly as I type this just after 9.45pm. It has been another brilliantly sunny day, but cooler than yesterday. The mercury did not make it above the mid 50s Fahrenheit, 13C. Nonetheless, the sun compensated in no mean fashion. The continuing sunny weather is provoking wildfires in various parts of the UK, the smoke of which affected Lewis yesterday. Rain will be spreading in from the Atlantic later in the week, hopefully alleviating the drought conditions that arose in April.

The repercussions of the death of Osama bin Laden continue to be felt. The US administration is cogitating whether to release pictures of the body, saying they are gruesome and could be inflammatory. Al-Jazeera says Bin Laden was not armed when his compound was raided late on Sunday (local time). His corpse was buried at sea, in order to prevent a burial site on land becoming a shrine. I reiterate what I said yesterday: the reasons for the advent of Al Qa'eda have not gone away, and although this particular group may well fade away, others could take its place.

Tomorrow is the last day of campaigning in the Scottish Parliament elections on Thursday. The latest polls suggest that the Scottish National Party could do better than in 2007, giving them a stronger grip on power. Over the past four years, the SNP have governed a minority administration, requiring other parties' consent for enacting legislation. The SNP's main policy aim is full independence for Scotland; the country became part of the United Kingdom in 1707. In my opinion, an independent Scotland is not a good idea, for economic and political reasons. The economic powerbase of Scotland is too narrow, and the SNP's approach to Westminster can be classified as confrontational. Furthermore, the banking collapse of 2008 would have bankrupted Scotland. We have all seen what happened to the countries of the Arc of Prosperity, Iceland and Ireland. I am in favour of further devolved powers being afforded to Holyrood - breaking up the United Kingdom carries more risks than benefits.

3,519 days later

Osama bin Laden was killed 3,519 days after 2,996 people were lost in the 9/11 attacks in the USA. This reminder came from Dale C. Roe, who is in charge of Project 2996, where the victims of 9/11 are remembered. To quote Martin Luther King Jr: I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.

Each year, on 11 September, I remember Norberto Hernandez and Jeffrey Dwayne Collman on this blog. With Dale C. Roe, I hope that their relatives' pain will have been lessened a little now.