I wear two hats when I write this blog of mine. First and foremost, I manage a small charity in a small Scottish town called Dumfries. Ours is a front door that opens onto the darker corners of the crumbling world that is Britain 2015. We hand out 5000 emergency food parcels a year in a town that is home to 50,000 souls. Then, as you can see from all of the book covers above, I am also a thriller writer. If you enjoy the blog, you might just enjoy the books. The link below takes you to the whole library in the Kindle store. They can be had for a couple of quid each.

Monday, September 6, 2021



Last year a vast crisis was headed our way and the Government in London chose to more or less completely ignore it.

Night after night we tuned into scenes of horror being played out in the hospitals of northern Italy.

Horrified. Fascinated. Aghast.

But of course it couldn't happen to us.

Because we are British when all is said and done. We used to rule the world. We wheel out the Spitfires and Lancaster Bombers for special occasions.

And so it was I and 53,000 others were told it was absolutely OK to turn up at Anfield to watch Liverpool play Athletico Madrid in the Champions League Quarter Final whilst almost every other game in Europe was played behind closed doors.

And more of us died than died at Hillsborough.

We will never know how many.

In Liverpool. In Madrid. In a hundred other villages and towns.

But hey Ho.

I guess it's all part and parcel of being a Liverpool fan. You get killed by the actions and decisions of Tory Governments and then everyone pretends there's nothing to see here.

Except this time the price wasn't paid by 96 Liverpool fans.

This time the price has been paid by over 130,000 and the number rises every day.

Everyone saw the crisis headed our way.

And Johnson and Co chose to bury their heads in the sand.

Old news.

Catastrophically familiar.

Well it seems we now have another crisis headed our way and once again we can all see it. Once again it is very much a crisis in plain sight.

Crystal clear. HD.

It's on the tele every night.

It's in the press every morning.

It's talked about on talk shows.

And in pubs and corner shops.

Empty shelves.

Day to day items no longer on sale.

Yesterday I entered Tesco with the aspiration to buy a packet of frozen garden peas.

No chance.

There wasn't much chance of buying frozen anything.

With every passing week the gaps on the shelves are growing and spreading and getting harder to disguise.

It isn't so very hard to find the reasons behind our shops suddenly looking like shops in the old East Germany.

Every day the people who know about this stuff explain exactly why this is happening.

Every answer is right there in plain sight. Just like the people gasping their last on trolleys in the corridors of the hospitals of Lombardy.

We hear the reasons from the people in charge of haulage firms and farms and abattoirs and food processors and warehousing and retailing.

No drivers. No packers. No stackers.

No people.

When two million young and skilled workers leave a workforce of thirty million, it leaves a gaping hole.

Especially when those two million people do all the jobs the rest of us don't want to do.

And of course Johnson and Co will frantically try to blame it on the pandemic.

And of course The Daily Mail and the Daily Express and the Daily Telegraph and GB news will frantically try to blame it all on the pandemic.

And of course a large number of the people who voted for Brexit with such deluded zeal will frantically try to blame it on the pandemic.

And you know what? In Stoke and Burnley and Hartlepool and Basildon they might even get away with.

But not here.

Not in Scotland.

Because we didn't vote for any of this shit.

We had none of it.

And we couldn't have been any clearer.

We were 62% to 38% clear.

As in crystal. HD.

Surely it is high time to find away to shout about this from the rooftops. Because even though we never voted for this shit, we are still going to have to live with it.

So surely the time has arrived for our rooftop shouter in chief to get out there onto the rooftop and shout.


And yes I'm talking about you here Nicola.

It's time to get onto the front foot and stop making nice.

It's time to get right into their faces.

How? How do do get their attention? Get right up their noses? Drive them half insane with rage? Make them squirm?

Well, here's an idea.

From what I can gather, the one part of the UK where the supermarket shelves are pretty much as normal is Northern Ireland. The supply chain has re-jigged itself and now the shelves of Ulster are stocked from The Irish Republic and the Irish Republic's warehouses are stocked from the countries of the Single Market.

From where I sit, this looks pretty much right. There are certainly many less wagons headed west along the A75 to Stranraer. Britain doesn't supply Northern Ireland any more. Europe does. The Single Market does.

Northern Ireland is in exactly the place Scotland asked to be.

We pointed out the fact we voted 62 to 38 to stay in Europe.

Surely this should have given us the right to stay in the Single Market?

Just like Northern Ireland?

And they said no.

Of course they said no.

And now our supermarket shelves are emptying out whilst the supermarket shelves of Northern Ireland are filling up.

This could have been our story.

This should have been our story.

Except London said no.

So Nicola.

Here's a thought.

Catch yourself a ferry over to Belfast and call a Press Conference in a Northern Irish supermarket.

Stand in front of one of those full shelves.

Point to all of those full shelves.

Adopt a look of pure rage.

And make the point.

This could have been us.

This should have been us.

But they said no.

Even though we voted 62 to 38.

They still said no.

Just imagine how much Johnson and Co would hate it. Rage at it.

But what are they going to say?

Because we DID vote 62 to 38 and they DID say no.

And of course the Mail and the Express and GB News will call you every name under the sun but who gives a damn really.

The message will hardly be subtle. Why should it be?

The message will ensure when Scots walk around all those empty shelves they will know where the blame lies.

They will know it could have been different had London said yes instead of no.

And they will be angry.

And more and more will come to the conclusion enough is enough.

300 hundred years is long enough.

Stop the world.

Scotland wants to get on.

The time for making nice has passed.

Front foot Nicola.

Front foot.