Monthly Archives: May 2015

Friday Fictioneers – Final Approval

ff270515Silence filled the square. Even the normally blusterous rooftop pigeons appeared hushed into reverence.

The Great Leader was known to be in failing health, yet to those bowing and curtseying he was still a great, immortal God – the one true father of his nation.

At the podium, a supported, trembling arm reached out to pull the cord. The velvet cover slid to the ground. All eyes now focussed on their Leader.

A weak smile; a gentle nod of the head.

Restrained applause rippled through the invited crowd, while, somewhere unseen, a sculptor wiped the sheen of sweat from a relieved brow.


These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. 

Friday Fictioneers – Return Journey

ff200515Station Master McPherson watched from his office doorway as I stepped from the train.

‘Evening, Harry’ he said, as I approached – the casualness of his greeting masking that it was nearly six years since we’d last met.

Outside the station I paused to breathe; to think. Overhead, dark clouds rumbled and lightning flashed as the heavens ripped apart. The familiar, pungent smells of the gas works were everywhere, even in the raindrops.

Across the street, the lace curtains of an upstairs window twitched before falling still.

Could I expect to find forgiveness in this place?

Did I deserve to?


These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. 

Friday Fictioneers – The Political Divide

ff130515From his office window, Mathias could clearly make out the red-tiled roof of his mother’s apartment block. She lived barely two miles from her only son and his family, yet they hadn’t been together for over ten years – not since the border was closed. In the tower, guards smoked their cigarettes and laughed. Between them and him lay nothing – only death to those who tried to cross. Mathias didn’t know anyone who’d tried.

His mother’s last letter had said she was ill. The thought of never seeing her again was hard to accept. In the distance a dog barked as gunshot echoed.


These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge. 

General Election Footnotes

New Political Map of Scotland

With the votes counted, the ballot boxes packed away and the tears of both winners and losers all but dried it’s time to put a wrap on the General Election of 2015.  A campaign which for so long seemed to be leading towards a hung parliament, and ensuing minority government, instead ended in a clear cut victory for the incumbent Conservatives. The Exit polls which beamed out of our televisions at 10:00pm on Thursday were initially met with scoffs and collective shaking of heads from most politicians. Sadly for them, and happily for the Exit pollsters, and David Cameron, the figures were all but bang on.

In my own constituency of Falkirk I spent several afternoons and evenings leafleting for the SNP candidate, John McNally. As it turned out I could probably have saved on shoe leather as he romped home with an incredible majority of nearly 20,000. However, I wanted to be part of the process, and even if just one person was persuaded to vote SNP because of a leaflet I delivered then I’m more than happy. In Scotland as a whole the SNP captured 56 out of the 59 seats. In years to come the names of Emma Harper, Neil Hay and Danus Skene will probably be an answer in pub quizzes. The question of course being which three SNP candidates failed to get elected at GE2015! However, let’s not dwell on negatives. Prior to the election, the SNP had six MPs; their record was 11. These unprecedented numbers make it clear what a momentous result this was for the inspirational Nicola Sturgeon and her party.

However, the net result of it all is that David Cameron and the Tories are back for another five years. Some had hoped that the SNP might align with UK Labour to prop up a minority government with Ed Miliband as PM. For that to happen Labour had to make ground in England. Having failed to do that the results in Scotland meant nothing to the overall picture. Even if they had won all 59 seats in Scotland, David Cameron would still have been back inside No 10. Downing Street. The reality is of course that Labour could never actually win all the seats in Scotland. Unlike the SNP they aren’t able to take on LibDem and Tory candidates in rural areas.

So what now?

For the 56 SNP MPs there is the task of standing up to a Tory Government undoubtedly cock-a-hoop at getting re-elected. However, the scale of the SNP vote surely makes it implausible, if not impossible, that David Cameron won’t realise that the Scottish people have spoken for change. We therefore wait to see what emerges over the next few days, weeks and months. Let’s not also forget that as the 3rd largest party the SNP will now get unprecedented access to the mythical “corridors of power” i.e. on more committees, even chairing committees, plus two questions at PMQs etc. It’s up to the SNP to make best use of this advantage. Under Nicola’s stewardship I’m sure they will

As for Scottish Labour, well,  it’s a case of asking where it all went wrong – a process which might take a lot of soul searching and uncomfortable truths. Bottom line is their capitulation on election night has been a long time in the making. They have been out of government in Scotland since 2007 and their alliance with the Tories as part of Better Together sealed their fate. The hapless LibDems were also all but wiped out in both Scotland and the UK. For Nick Clegg it was a clear thanks, but no thanks from the voters for their decision to go into coalition with the Tories.  As for the Tories themselves, they’ll keep on doing what they’ve always done. Govern for their own self interest and interests of those who back them. Some things just never change.

Thanks for reading.

Friday Fictioneers – Living The Dream

ff060515Another mid-winter sun had all but slipped behind the smouldering stacks of the Mulligan Brewery. Out in the street, neighbourhood children played in the fresh snow.

In descending gloom, the flickering monitor showed a single sentence – as it had done since before breakfast. My once boundless inspiration was now reduced to fleeting, elusive drips.

The front door clicked shut. A familiar, comforting hand was placed on my knotted shoulder. ‘Hi, honey. How’s it going?’ she said.

‘Great. Nearly done,’ I lied, closing the lid of my notebook.

I’d given up my job for this. Perhaps tomorrow would be a better day.



These words form my entry into Friday Fictioneers photo prompt challenge.