It was awful nice of the RAF to fly over my back garden this morning to mark the day, according to calculations, that I was conceived. Some say they were on their way to Edinburgh Castle for another bit of business, but I know better.
Thanks to the founders of the welfare state and the NHS, health care and education were thrown at me, and I have lived a lifetime of opportunity in a land of unprecedented peace and prosperity. If I have paid more into the pot than I have or ever will take out of it, I’m the lucky one.
Which, let’s face it, has led to complacency. The hard edge of unemployment was blunted, the economic tides and the power of the market-place became rather distant. And we have been politically mis-managed, led by short-termists and “you’ve never had it so good” opportunists. We have forgotten why we really were “all in this together” – Nazism, money-laundering, food supplies, ambitions for a more equable world community, and the truly shocking “war on drugs”, all need international collective action and solidarity.
And we in the West have lost touch with nature. No longer can we fly around the world so casually, or genetically modify animals and plants for easy use, stuffing them with growth hormones and compromising their immune systems. I have been a beneficiary of all this – but it has to stop.
And there you have me – bang to rights. That’s me pulling up the ladder to the good life behind me. I’m left saying to the next generations: sorry we landed you with an almighty mess to clear up, but if you do it properly and live more honestly than we have, I think you will find life more limited and perhaps more precarious – but I hope a lot more fun in the end. Stop nationalism wherever you find it, and that includes Scotland, and vote for leaders who have real vision and integrity.