A Very British Identity Crisis

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I haven’t written much about the European Referendum, but I’m very happy to have a guest post about it on the blog today. This is from my brother Ewan Cameron. He doesn’t mind a wee bit of debate, so please feel free to leave a comment below. Image credit: Chris Lawton at Unsplash.

I am not a writer, and as a journalist once told me (so it must be true) I am not a ‘political animal.’ I most definitely felt until recently that I had no national identity whatsoever. However, when my head is positively spinning with thought I do sometimes write things down in an attempt to find order. As I live in Scotland many of these thoughts currently whizzing around are a result of politics and involve matters of national identity so here goes.

I have a Scottish father and an English mother, which at least means I must be British. Until the age of ten this made absolutely no difference to me at all, I knew my mother was from a town called Leek in Staffordshire, I had grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins there who we saw twice a year or so and they were/are nice people and I enjoyed seeing them and that was as far as it went. Continue reading

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The Living Wage

Today’s guest post is from Jax, who blogs at Making It Up and tweets as @liveotherwise. She describes herself as “a home educating mother of four, working from home around the children on wordpress websites for small businesses and spending far too much time blogging, and ranting on twitter about inequality.” 

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There’s been an awful lot written the last few days about benefit cuts and how it’s the only way to make work pay. On top of that there’s been some suggestion that the government is thinking of cutting the minimum wage. This seems to me bizarre – surely the best way to make work pay is to actually make it pay a decent amount. A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work or some such. Something like perhaps the living wage? Continue reading

US Elections: Why they matter to me

US Presidential Ballot

Twelve years ago my political sap had just started rising. I was still at school, and I wasn’t old enough to vote, but Scotland had just established its own Parliament and I was starting to pay attention to what was going on in the world, and starting to have opinions on that. I no longer referred to the debates as ‘boring talking programmes’. I had watched Bill Clinton lie through his teeth about Monica Lewinsky, but I still believed that he was one of the good guys. I didn’t stay up to watch the election results, but over the coming weeks my vocabulary expanded to include terms like hanging chads, Electoral College and Supreme Court.

Eight years ago I was still at university. I had marched against the Iraq War; carried a placard and sat down in the street to sing angry songs about Bush and Cheney. On November 2nd, the student union secured a late license, and I stayed up all night with my friends, watching the results come in. At some point, someone mistakenly announced that Kerry had won Ohio, and we all cheered and jumped up, spilling our pints on each other. When it became clear that Bush was going to be elected again, we all cried, and slunk off home to sleep.

Four years ago, I was pregnant with DorkySon. During the primaries, my computer screen at work had been plastered with post it notes, keeping tallies of super delegates and highlighting key dates. I bought a Scotland for Obama t-shirt, large enough to cover my bump, and sat up all night, snuggled under blankets on the sofa. When Obama won I didn’t stop smiling for days.

This year – tonight – I will go to bed before the polls have even closed. But I care more about the result than I ever have before. Continue reading

Bloggers and Charities

Edinburgh poster art

I have seen quite a bit of grumbling recently from bloggers about the volume of charity requests that are dropping into their inboxes. I can only imagine that in the run up to Christmas such requests will become even more frequent.

To be honest, I don’t mind emails from charities too much myself because I have a fairly strict system for dealing with them.

I give the majority of my support to two charities – one big one (Save the Children) and one small one (PiggyBankKids) – and they are the only ones I’ll write about in any detail on the blog.
Continue reading