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As If In The Early Days

We are already in the early days of a better nation.

Sunday, February 4, 2024
3 mins

Muckin' Oot the Byre

In an interview with Fraser Nelson last week, Alex Salmond spoke of his ambition to 'muck out the byre' (see link at foot).

Various interpretations of that phrase are possible and none of them evoke pleasant imagery. But the intent is clear enough. Many Scots remain distrustful of Alex Salmond and the Alba project generally, but few would deny that a cleansing process is required urgently.

Much hinges on the findings of Operation Branchform but many moons have already passed awaiting release of its findings and there is no obvious reason to suppose that they will appear anytime soon. In the meantime, we are not the only ones who have become nauseated beyond endurance by the glacial grinding of justice's wheels. Our attentions are best focussed elsewhere for now, so we're undertaking a project which we believe conforms with Alasdair Gray's advice that we work 'as if we were in the early days of a better nation'.

To that end we are currently working on Scots translations of popular classics, to be published as e-books and available for purchase. (Free copies will be offered to those who have been kind enough to make donations to OTS over past months.) Our intention is to make these 'books' available for approximately £5.

OTS relies heavily on AI. We never use it to write editorial copy but most of our imagery is AI-generated. Everyone is aware of the dire predictions concerning AI but we are where we are and the tools available are too good not to use.

Our first e-book will be 'Aesop's Fables'. Our recent blogpost Off-Topic Scotland | The Lion and the Wee Moose (offtopicscotland.com) was well-received and has encouraged us to attempt a full translation of the original work. There are hundreds - almost 300 - stories in the Vernon Jones 1912 translation we are using as the main source, so, precisely when this initial offering will be made available is uncertain. And that's why we will no longer be wasting time giving attention to the cast of sordid characters who have sorely shamed this country. Plenty of other independence-supporting blogs have been doing their level best to 'muck out the byre' for years and we salute them all. We will, of course, be highlighting their efforts via our regular 'Not Hitting The Wall' feature.

Other titles earmarked for similar treatment are the 'I-Ching', 'The Meditations' by Aurelius and Plato's 'Republic'. If readers have suggestions for other suitably thought-provoking works we would love to hear them.

How Sturgeon broke devolution – Alex Salmond vs Fraser Nelson | SpectatorTV (youtube.com)

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