“Generally, people do not know what is happening. And they do not know that they do not know.”
Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics, philosopher, and political agitator.
This is a personal essay site on Scotland present, past, and future.
The opinion, observations, polemic, satire, and topics chosen are those of a social democrat, and something of an anarchist, although essays are not always hard politics. Essays not a diary blog give space to develop ideas. They assume readers are intelligent.
An extensive experience in the arts in Scotland, England, and abroad, particularly the USA, has given me a perspective of Scotland’s political and social deficiencies. Back home, forced to deal head-on with the inadequacies of an essentially subservient nation, I am too often frustrated in ambition to bring work, wealth, and kudos to my homeland these days.
With theatre production, television and film to my credit, books published – most recently for the Royal Academy of Arts in London – and articles on film and drama, those pursuits raised finance for arts projects in Scotland, millions more when it came to making films.
Chronologically my vocation has moved from student of theatre, (and philosophy) to teacher and lecturer of drama, broadcaster for BBC and commercial radio, to founder-artistic director of a national theatre still flourishing, and a few years an unhappy BBC television executive, but most recently producer-writer-director of filmed drama, winning international awards. I also write for various US magazines on the automobile industry (a hobby) and iScot in Scotland In between times I had a couple of fine daughters. Since Scotland lost its sovereignty a second time I curse a lot, and don’t suffer fools gladly.
In one sense, it doesn’t matter who I am so long as what I write has honesty and truth as its guide. Most can spot integrity. Telling people you have status has a way of adding false weight to an opinion. ‘Grouse Beater,’ as much sobriquet as pseudonym, protects family each known publically, independent thinkers that they are who often disagree with me.
These essays remain an expression of determined resistance against those denying constitutional reform to the people of Scotland, the very same who say they admire us yet do all they can to block progressive democracy and individual happiness.
Talks and visits
I accept invitations to give a talk, or a question and answer session. You can contact me by posting on ‘Grouse Beater Talks’, or drop me a line using Direct Mail on Twitter.
My house rules: The site is open to comments and exchanging ideas. Opposing arguments are welcome but not disputes. No trolling, slander or libel. I allow access to those who I adjudge genuine. That said, remember it’s my website, so play nice.
As a professional author, essays are copyrighted. I don’t reprise other people’s articles though I may draw attention to those relevant to a topic. Borrow passages or quotations, but don’t reprint entire essays for commercial gain without my expressed permission.
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