Celtic Isles

originalLaurie Fraser’s weekly diary.

On this historic / tragic day, I give you Dubliner Graham O’Malley’s unique 12 Point Plan to fix everything …

  1. We save up all our pocket money and buy a giant scissors. Like one at least 2km long.
  2. We take our scissors on the ferry over to Scotland as a gift for Nicola Sturgeon.
  3. Nicola, on the sly, starts severing the English/Scottish border with the scissors.
  4. If the English notice and start kicking up a fuss we send in some craic squads of Irish football fans to distract them with cans and a sing-song.
  5. We attach the now free-floating Scotland to Paul O’Connell, who has been patiently waiting off the west coast of Scotland.
  6. Paul tows Scotland to the top of our island and we swap it with the North (remember: we still have the scissors).
  7. We glue Scotland to the top of Ireland while Paul tows the North up past Buncrana towards Sligo, where we use more glue to attach it there.
  8. We *maybe* repeat the whole process with Wales, still on the fence about this one, might have to take a vote.
  9. Our newly formed country ‘The Celtic Isles’ remains in the EU.
  10. We win all the football forever and probably all the other sportsball too I guess.
  11. England has a big cry cos now it’s basically that kid no one invites to the party cos he’s kind of a d**k.
  12. The Isle of Man is like ‘Guys what’s going on lol’ but no one answers because seriously, f**k the Isle of Man, state of it.

Scrolling Junkies

In perhaps more considered tone over at Constitution Street, Jemma Neville lays out the changing world from a local street-level perspective:

“I’ve been reflecting on the particular spatial and temporal qualities of ‘in between’ times – the best of times and the worst of times. Anxiety and excitement are two sides of the same coin after all. The dystopian reality of current global politics – Brexit, Trump, Europe’s utterly inept response to the biggest mass migration of people since the second world war, the era of fake news – combined with the over-stimulation, self-saturation and cult of instant gratification stoked by social media, has rendered us scrolling junkies jittery for a deeper connection fix. It can be comforting then, detoxifying even, to look up from small screens and grasp big, everyday acts of kindness where we can still find them. The hyper-local world view- the view of the neighbourhood, the street, or tenement stair- brings into focus that empathy and love are not finite resources that can be mined by short-term greed and narcissism. ”

Follow her Constitution Street project here.

Empire 2.0

In an era which attempts to cough-up a new version of Empire, Adam Ramsay offers up an extensive reading list for anyone who wants to avoid the mythology that the British Empire wasn’t about: ‘cheerful engineers, kindly building railways for people in far off lands’. Here’s his list:

The Opium wars; The Carnatic wars; The Anglo-Cherokee war; Pontiac’s rebellion; The Anglo Mysore wars; The Anglo Maratha wars; The American Revolutionary war; The Irish RebellionThe Kandyan wars; The Anglo-Turkishwar; The Xhosa wars; The Ga-Fante war; The war of 1812; The Anglo-Ashantiwars; The Anglo-Burmese wars; Canada’s Rebellions of 1837; The first, second and third Afghan wars; The Anglo Sikh wars; The Flagstaff war in New Zealand – and in fact the New Zealand wars in general; The Anglo-Persian war; The Black war; The Indian Rebellion; The First Taranaki war; The invasion of WaikatoThe Bhutan war; The Klang warTitokowaru’s War; The 1868 ‘Expedition’ to Abyssinia; The Red River Rebellion; The Anglo-Zulu War; The Sikkim Expedition; The Anglo-Zanzibar War; The Boer Wars; The Anglo-Aro War; The British expedition to Tibet; The Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War; the Irish War of Independence; The 1920 conflict between British forces and the Dervish State; the Great Arab Revolt in Palestine; The British–Zionist conflict; the Korean War; the Mau Mau Uprising; the Cyprus emergency; the Suez Crisis; the Border Campaign against the IRA; the Falklands War. (Just a few, then.)

If politics is giving you the boke, let art soothe your furrowed brow. On Instagram Michael Marten marks Trigger day by posting photos “from the northern European city of #Schwerin, where #trade#religion and #art from all across northern #Europe has characterised the city and the people.” Check them here. 

And if calm is war you’re after – you might like the new video ‘Drift’ from Andrew Waslyk (of Hazey Janes fame),  from the album, “Themes For Buildings And Spaces”. Released April 28th on limited cassette, digi-pack CD and digital through Tape Club Records.



Comments (5)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. 3Rensho says:

    The No2 campaign would like nothing better than for the floodgates of pent-up anti Englishness to burst open, and it seems the first manifestations are eased along by the simple tropes of “Celtic-ness”. Overlooking the Irish state’s many glaring flaws because of the largely ahistorical idea of shared resistance to UK empire. Of course reality is nothing like that, but what follows on from it’s an irresistable fashion statement. The vast majority lack the self awareness to avoid falling into the error, if the leaders don’t carefully correct it. How do English people living in Scotland feel seeing their country being “cut off with a pair of scissors”? Are we not keeping carefully to the euphemism “Westminster” any more? We should.

    1. I think you might need to get a sense of humour?

    2. tickle says:

      The Englishman in me says who cares leave if you want we’ll be fine anyway. We always are.

      The Irishman says tiocfaidh ar la.

      The Scotsman says take a fucking joke pal.

  2. john young says:

    One of our biggest problems inmo is our link with the good ole USofA,a nation bereft of one iota of morality/ethics,of any understanding of the rest of the world,of others customs/culture/rights,they trample over everything/everybody grinding into dust all before them and we follow blindly.

  3. john young says:

    tickle if you are an Englishman living in Scotland on a permanent basis you should be rooting for independence,we badly need a bit of English “chutzpah” as we have far too many fearties.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.