However, by the time I was the age he was when he first met me I had gotten over the hope of ever hearing from him again. Then out of nowhere he drops me a line on Facebook describing how he ‘missed his boys’ and how he was sorry he had ‘nothing to show for his life.’ Over a week in June 2012 we chatted back and forth. After all the ‘dad’ and ‘son’ stuff I decided to lay down some ground rules: I got that maybe this wasn’t all of his making — sure, I don’t know — but I have a dad. My dad, who I have never known as a ‘stepdad,’ raised me.
We can’t defend the indefensible. The Church in Ireland and all around the world failed children and vulnerable people. There was – and to a great extent remains – a culture of abuse within the structures of the Church. The sexual, physical, and psychological abuse of children in the care of Church authorities was a terrible wrong, but the scandal was far worse; it was the abuse of power on the part of an ecclesiastical hierarchy that protected abusers and covered up their abuse – often shielding them, by the use of canon law among other things, from civil justice.
Scottishness is not about the blood in my veins. There is nothing genetic about being Scottish. No matter how soggy the turf, no matter how refreshing the water, or glorious the scenery, there is nothing in Scotland’s fields and brooks that makes us Scots. Scotland is a beautiful relationship; a long and intimate conversation with the people we love most and count as our own. It is a friendship that continues to be new and alive no matter how long the parting or wide the distance between us. My Scotland is home – where I started and where I am going.
Yesterday morning the Scottish Tory list MSP for mid-Scotland and Fife, Murdo Fraser, shared on Twitter an image of an email he had received the previous evening purporting to be from me. “A measured addition to my inbox this morning,” he wrote,” from Jason Michael McCann aka Jeggit…” He went on to ask: “did he write it, or Uncle Rab?” There is no doubt this nasty and abusive email cased Murdo some distress. It certainly caused me some distress. I neither wrote it nor sent it.
Elderly people were terrorised by the British regime into compliance with the wishes of the rich and powerful London élite. Scotland was bullied and harassed into submission, and this was achieved by targeting the old.
A huv bin spennin’ some time hinkin’ ae whit it means to bei a Scot an’ tawk oor ain leid in oor ain plot ae urth. We kin blame ithers fur the pair state ae Scotland, an’ much ae that micht bei true. Bit we hae a pairt tae play in aw this annaw.
This is real terrorism, and it is being used by Ruth Davidson and her élitist London friends every day against someone on your street – against your mother, and until we can come up with effective anti-terrorism measures we can’t tell Westminster’s Tories that Scotland’s no longer their slave.
Love is our bliss, a scent of the warmth and welcome of eternity captured in a look or a glance. Love is seeing the other as the perfection they are and knowing that all the world was made for them, and that every colour would lose its brightness without them.