2007 - 2021


September 14, 2028, Elephant and Castle, London

I’m down at the new PBC (Peoples Broadcasting Centre) to cover the Plaid Cymru leader becoming newly appointed chair of the Council of the Isles.

It’s been nine years since the fire at Notre Dame and eight years since the Zuckenberg Trial. Looking back it all seemed to happen so fast. Brexit is hardly remembered by young people nowadays after what happened in Chicago in 2020 but what seemed to really kick it all off was when the Hong Kong protests spread to mainland China.

The protests had started around deportation and police brutality but quickly shifted to being more about facial recognition and surveillance technology. When this spread to the mainland the Chinese regime toppled after only three months as hacked internet access spread across the continent. But this new ‘Truthers’ movement had none of the zeal of western ‘liberation’ about it but a new hybrid global consciousness quickly making links with the dark-data movement in Europe and America.

After Facebook was broken up and taken into GCO (Global Commons Ownership) and Mark Zuckenberg was arrested the new information technology looked very different and the rapid changes happened simultaneously across the globe. When profitable disinformation ceased in the west and the Chinese people formed the world’s first democratic confederation, the changes that flowed from this had deep impact. Protests around police violence, surveillance technology and democracy quickly morphed and accelerated and when Renren and Weibo supplanted Twitter as more democratic forums and Instagram and Google was handed over to be run from Chiapas, the transformation that had started with taking Facebook into public ownership was complete.

In hindsight seizing the means of production of information was only one half of the equation. When access to indium and yttrium became impossible in the early 2020s new social configurations started emerging. Chancellor Mason in the first Lucas-Sturgeon government had ordered all former bank buildings to be handed over to the digital community groups that quickly emerged to create public spaces for learning. Information became freely available but also socialised and rationed. This had the effect that the torrent of information could be trusted but it could also be absorbed without isolation.

The bank takeover wasn’t the only physical change to British cities. After the three-day week had been introduced the government and the Church of England had taken up the initiative to disband and become centres of health and wellbeing. Churches, chapels, mosques and synagogues effectively merged into a free yoga network and abandoned doctrinal religion in the face of the climate crisis and the new economic system. At first competition between Hatha, Bikram, and Astanga approaches had threatened to replace the religious conflicts but differences were resolved by an intervention by the Quaker Mediation Unit.

None of this seemed possible when Trump was assassinated in Chicago and the emergency Mike Pompeo administration quickly run into trouble.

The attempt to resist an election and enforce martial law had led to widespread social disorder and rioting that could only be quelled by a combination of the National Guard and the people’s militia after it was discovered that the police force had been so contaminated by racism and the far-right it had to be disbanded.

The Pete Buttigieg v Mike Pompeo election campaign of 2021 was a watershed for America and would result in the first openly gay US president.

Buttigieg’s use of Dari would prove pivotal in resolving the Afghan crisis with his own personal intervention, whilst Vice President Elizabeth Warren and Secretary of Health Bernie Sanders initiated widespread social reforms as Buttigieg conducted his world tour of reconciliation and reconnection.

If the US has changed in the last decade or so, so too has the UK.

Soon after Priti Patel became the first Home Secretary to go to prison after the Johnson Trials exposed corruption in the deals which led to the 2020 Food Collapse, the Lucas-Sturgeon leadership of the New Party agreed a Section 30 Order with First Minister Riddoch. The newly established Scottish Republic had worked closely with its neighbours after the death of the Queen.

The cessation of global car production and air travel in 2021 had a dramatic impact on trade but a boom for Scottish whisky exports from the newly expanded ports of Leith, Dundee and Stranraer. The re-birth of sail led to a resurgence in traditional boat-building and the new shipyards were an unexpected release of innovation and training for the Scottish economy.

Other changes were even more unexpected. When global sports events were converted to gaming avatars rather than live events, Scotland unexpectedly won the first digital World Cup celebrated by the Tartan Army.

The end of car production and the new yoga networks had a dramatic impact on people’s mental and physical health in Scotland, as did the initiation of the urban agriculture ‘Organopónicos’ programme by the Permaculture Council. Food production was concentrated in the cities and surrounding areas as large swathes of what was formerly known as ‘Grouselands’ were now given over to extensive re-wilding and reforestation.

Language was now diverse and, despite some jokes about English road signs the Scots-Gaelic revival was accelerating beyond the earliest targets.

Rule from Westminster seems an other-worldly dystopia from the ancient past.


Comments (25)

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  1. Jean Martin says:

    Fascinating, what happened in Ireland?

    1. Part 2 covers the newly United Ireland

  2. ian cowan says:

    if only it will be – make it so captain

  3. Alex says:

    All good but the digital World Cup sounds absolutely dire. Can teams not sail to wherever it is?

    1. It does – doesn’t it? Sailing sounds a good idea!

      1. J Galt says:

        Volunteers for going aloft in foul weather?

  4. indyman says:

    Thanks for planting this seed in the collective consciousness. May a thousand flowers bloom.

  5. Michael says:

    Brilliant. We need this kind of inspiration to free us up to have a national conversation about what we want our future to hold and how (in practical terms, given that we are where we are) we get there… NB Scottish Government, this is called inspiring, planning and strategising. It’s how you get things done!

    I’m looking forward to finding out what happened to Trident 🙂

    1. Thanks Michael – was supposed to be part utopia, part comedy, part programme …

    2. Wul says:

      “I’m looking forward to finding out what happened to Trident”

      The base was gradually dismantled in tandem with the creation of a new hydro scheme in the hills around the base. Any useful resources were kept aside for the construction work. Massive local employment led to great prosperity around the Cowal peninsula area. The nuclear motors from the subs were re-purposed as power sources for the construction work until they were spent, then safely decommissioned and returned to their original owners in Westminster/Washington for safe keeping.

      1. Malcolm Fraser says:

        The legislation is in place already – a Community Right To Buy is perfect for this.

  6. Douglas Scott says:

    After I stopped laughing,I then realised.
    This is bloody good thinking
    Roll on part two

  7. Derek Cameron says:

    The ideal antidote to the depressing and cardboard interpretation of Sunset Song I watched on Cooncil Telly last night. Thanks Mike.

  8. Wul says:

    Thanks for this Mike.

    OK, it’s tongue-in-check a bit, but it makes you realise the type of things that could be possible if we just put our common wellbeing as top priority rather than “growth”, “the economy”, “big business”, “our global standing” etc.

    We could actually create a better world, and have some fun doing it. Inspirational & much needed.

    ( I begin to wonder if it could be demonstrated that “big business capitalism” has been a net drain on global human prosperity & health, rather than the mighty force which has “lifted millions out of poverty” as has oft been claimed?)

    1. Mark Palmer says:

      I am sure that if Karl Marx came back from the dead he would quickly realise that big business capitalism had succesfully evolved to bring economic benefits to the masses which is infinitely preferable to the mass murder, tyranny and economic chaos associated with the regimes which attempted to implement his theories.

  9. Mark Palmer says:

    Contrary to popular Straw Man arguments, not many Scots are fundamentally opposed to independence.

    If you want to reach out to No voters then you should ditch the anti Westminster and anti free market attitudes.

    Articles like this one coupled with the behaviour of the Cybernats and the AUOB marchers will only reinforce YES as a toxic brand across large swathes of Middle Scotland.

    1. Hi Mark – if this popular belief in the free market was such a big winner why arent the Tories a huge electoral success in Scotland? Surely by your logic Free Market Ruth should be FM?

      1. Mark Palmer says:

        Have seen nothing to suggest that Ruth Davidson advocates the free market. Other than supporting Scotland remaining in the UK, I don’t really know what she believes in.

        Am sure you would agree that, whatever the imperfections of the free market, when the socialist alternative has been implemented (USSR, Mao’s China, Cambodia, Venezuela, Greece, Zimbabwe, North Korea) it has invariably resulted in tyranny and economic chaos.

        Whatever the challenges facing Britain in the Brexit era, they pale in comparison to the Gulags or the Killing Fields or the Cultural Revolution.

        The Scottish electorate are in a very lucky position in that they can vote for separatists politicians, while continuing to enjoy the benefits of fiscal transfers from London, which is considerably richer than other parts of the UK. In the event of independence, Scottish politicians would immediately be faced with the challenge of either balancing the books or else convincing the money markets to fund the deficit which had previously been funded by fiscal transfers within the UK. NB the EU does not facilitate fiscal transfers between members and insists that member states deficits do not exceed 3% of GDP. Scotland currently runs a deficit of 7% and even the ultra optimistic SNP Growth Commission only factors in a reduction of 1.5% resulting from reduced defence spending and withdrawal from UK wide programmes.

        1. Wul says:

          Does it have to be one or the other Mark? The Free Market or the Marxist Dictatorship? I’d kind of hoped for a middle ground; market economy with controls to prevent wild imbalances of wealth & power. I agree that rule by ideology (whether Marxist or Milton Friedman-ism) usually ends in oppression.

          And yes, of course you are right; Scotland (with a similar GDP and population to Finland) is uniquely, in the whole world, the one country that could never be successfully independent, Rotten luck that. Thank God for London.

          I always thought London was wealthy because that’s where we all send our money. Turns out it’s because Londoners ( well, the ones in The City) are cleverer than everyone else in the UK. Who knew?

          1. Mark Palmer says:

            Have you been sending money to London ?

            Public spending in Scotland £1,607 per person higher than the UK average in spite of the fact that tax income is £361 lower.

            There are fiscal transfers from London and South East England to all other parts if the UK.

            Not sure who is claiming that Londoners are cleverer than the rest of UK so I won’t humour your straw man argument.

            Approx 250,000 people born in Scotland live in London and the South East – it is hardly a foreign country.

        2. Millsy says:

          ‘ Mark P’ – I name you Alistair Darling and claim my £10 from the Daily Wail !

        3. Wul says:

          Mark Palmer 25th August 2019 at 11:22 pm

          “Have you been sending money to London ? ”
          Yes, every month of my working life for decades; in VAT, Income Tax, Fuel Duty, Excise Duty, NI Contributions.

          “Public spending in Scotland £1,607 per person higher than the UK average in spite of the fact that tax income is £361 lower.”
          That’s good. What’s wrong with that? Scotland is more sparsely populated, and it costs more to deliver public services here, so what? And yes, our public services are better that England’s. Different priorities up here. GDP per head also higher in Scotland than rUK. However, it’s not a competition.
          You fail to answer why Scotland, uniquely, could not be a successful independent country?

          “There are fiscal transfers from London and South East England to all other parts if the UK.”
          Of course there are; that’s where we send our tax payments. To London. Your argument is essentially that the guy in the pub holding the kitty is more productive, benevolent and wealthier that his mates who all chipped in their £20.
          ( As an aside; the UK is well known for it’s selfless benevolent support of poorer countries, receiving nothing in return, eh? )

          “Not sure who is claiming that Londoners are cleverer than the rest of UK so I won’t humour your straw man argument.”
          There is an accepted (false) trope that wealthy regions are working “smarter” than their poorer neighbours. Boris Johnston wants to make all UK regions “as productive as London”. Recent research has shown London to be a net drain on the rest of the UK. ( tried to include a link but moderators/algo wont allow it)

          “Approx 250,000 people born in Scotland live in London and the South East – it is hardly a foreign country.”
          ? No idea what point you are trying to make here. Agreed. England is part of the UK, as is Scotland.

          Anyway, the main point is Scotland could be a successful, prosperous independent country. We have everything we need. No unionist argument has ever proven otherwise.

        4. To be honest mark shed doesn’t know what she believes in either

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