Welcome to the Scots Ee, a Scotland-based news site for everybody, wherever you happen to stay. Come in, sit down and make yourself comfortable. We'll not talk about where you've been till now; it's just good to have you here at last.
The subject that continues to take up a lot of space on the News page is Covid-19. A lot of folk already seem to have forgotten all those health workers who died, at far too young and age, of the virus in April and May, The last thing the NHS needs is for all that to happen again. Unfortunately, the current prospects aren't good at all. If anything, the situation re hospital admissions seems to be worse now than it was back in April and May. The new strain of the virus has nipped optimism in the bud just when we were celebrating the arrival of a promising vaccine.
Spiked! and the Daily Mail claimed in December that, in England, only 337 people under 65 and without underlying conditions had died with Covid-19, a claim seized upon by thousands of dissidents and conspiracy theorists. Not only is this figure obviously wildly inaccurate but the tone of the reporting implied that it didn't really matter if people over 65 or with pre-existing medical conditions should have died. Given the ideological leanings of both Spiked! and the Mail, I'm tempted to believe that they rate people's right to life according to their economic status. For whatever reason, leaving the 337 aside, that 70,000 English people died early is, so it appears, acceptable to some if it means the country can still keep its pubs and airports open.
I've had a test, myself. I had to exaggerate in order to get one, aye. I had a sore throat but it was really more ear than throat, and I always have a sore ear. I claimed to have lost my sense of smell, which is largely true but something that's been happening for the last decade, because of ENT issues. The reason I wanted the test was because I have important caring duties, but I'm not a professional key worker so I had to stretch the truth a bit on order to get one. I also had to go to Prestwick (aka Joe Biden International) Airport to get it done. That's a round trip of over 100 miles, and if someone has Covid-19 symptoms that's quite a predicament to be in. How do you self-isolate and drive all that way at the same time? When I got a message the next day to say the test was inconclusive and I'd have to take it again I almost became grumpy.
The prominence given by the SE to the General Election in the United States decreased as it became clearer that Donald Trump would not be able to fix the result. Before Election Day my friends in the USA were urging people they know to vote for Joe Biden even if they didn't particularly like him, and it's hard to argue against that. Utilitarianism demands that if neither choice in a competition with only two contenders really appeals then the best thing you can do is to vote for the one less likely to bring on Armageddon. Trump's behaviour after losing both the popular vote and the Electoral College result was entirely as expected, which indicates how much we came to regard this most dangerous of administrations as normal over the last 4 years. From now on we'll be waking up in the post-Trump era, and that thought should cheer us up and help keep us warm on these cold winter nights.
And we are going to.....live. Thankfully, Trump didn't spend his last day starting a war somewhere just to make life difficult for everybody, out of spite. What he did do, though, after 3 November, was bring forward executions, spin and share ever more ludicrous conspiracy theories and incite a violent rebellion in Washington.
Back on Planet Earth, what we wish for and what we get are rarely the same thing but what I'd like is for folk to read this site and to treat it as an alternative to other news outlets, even though the news that gets uploaded here is borrowed from sites around the world. Much of what appears out on the news stands is gash, frankly. I don't need to spell out in what way it's gash because it's obvious and I'd rather not insult your intelligence. All I'll say is that the Scots' Ee gives you a no-gash guarantee; if you don't like it then you're 100% free to not read it ever again.
News from Scotland and from around the world is updated during the day unless I'm away from home or unexpectedly busy with something else. My opinions are more likely to be found in the Clatter section and on the Scots Jots page. It'll probably not take you long to know where I'm coming from, but if you don't want to know, that's fine. I understand how you feel; other people's opinions get on my nerves as well. Besides, what's there to say that's not already been said a million times?
As well as being anti-war and in favour of measures to combat climate change the Scots' Ee says Aye to Scottish Independence. Aye, and Visca Catalunya Lliure too, but that doesn't mean I'll start abusing and insulting you if you feel differently. The internet is full of that sort of stuff, and it's really boring. I'm sure the pioneers of the net didn't go to all that trouble just so attention-seekers could make idle threats to one another on Twitter. If they had anticipated to what use millions of people would put the technology, the gurus would probably have decided to destroy their brilliant invention at birth.
News, especially World News, tends to be depressing. The events that make it so are sometimes caused by bad luck but, more frequently, are a consequence of decisions taken by men wearing suits or robes, and of actions taken by men with weapons. I'll keep looking for stories that buck the trend, just to stop everyone from going away and looking at cats on You Tube instead. Not that there's anything wrong with cats on You Tube, obviously. Far from it.
There'll be no gossip or rumours. You'll not find out who it was that went to the cludgie in Johnny Depp's bed here. And if I think a story is propaganda or lies it doesn't get onto the page, although it's always possible that one or two exaggerations will slither their way in. You can let me know if you spot any.
In the digital age the media is so desperate to fill space that they publish stories about events that haven't even happened, but might do so. We'll be told that 2 million people could be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the month, that Lionel Messi could play for Dumbarton or that eating celery could be a cure for scarlet fever, but unless and until these things actually take place they're not news, are they?
When I stayed in Sheffield it was reported that a pub on the outskirts might be converted into a mosque. It never happened, but the fact that it had even been mentioned was enough to attract busloads of drunken EDL supporters to the city, cost the Council over £1 million in police overtime and meant all the shops in the city centre had to close for an entire Saturday afternoon. The Ee's position is that if an event has not actually occurred it's not going to appear on the News page.
If you like what you see please tell your friends. If you can, I recommend reading it using a laptop or PC rather than a phone, but that's just a bit of advice and not an instruction; it all looks a bit wordy on a mobile phone in my opinion, and sometimes the pictures obscure some of the words.
This site was originally written in Lowland Scots, for which I am an enthusiast. Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the Scots language community, just like everybody else, tends to be riven with dissenting voices. Whether the leid should be standardised or not is the main bone of contention, and while most people can discuss this issue in a reasonable fashion there are enough fundamentalists around to make the atmosphere unpleasant. Scots isn't my first language so I make mistakes. The vast majority would forgive me, but some would not, so I might as well write in English after all just to keep myself from being burned at the stake.
But never mind all that. Please carry on having a keek at this space, be kind and supportive to each other, don't get too close to the sea in stormy weather, and Haste Ye Back.