Little Scotland

The Celtic knot, a twin S.

Adorned Ravenscraig’s gate.

Long empty, the husk. Silent, brooding,

Still casts a shadow.


Where there was industry,

Let us bring job seekers’ allowance.

Where there was militancy,

Let us bring sad resignation.


Steel-town of rusted girders,

Work transplanted wholesale.

Puerile promise of prosperity,



Like the last dregs

In a once-proud steel can,

Our other national drink

Now lies crumpled


Beside  a torn up

Slip. A frustrated bet

On a winded nag which failed to

Deliver. A ballot


Thrown on the ground

To the skirl of pipes.

A cross beside “YES”,

A faded pencil saltire.


A broken outpost, aside from the battle

Where Sheridan tours,

Denounces the rule of capital

In stentorian tones.


Words echo around halls from

Alloa to Inverness.

They cannot carry

To far-off Northamptonshire.



Notes: Tens of thousands of workers from Scotland came to Corby, Northamptonshire in the 1930s and 1960s, on the promise of jobs in the steel industry. Thatcher destroyed much of the manufacturing industry in Britain, and British Steel was privatised – the jobs have long-gone. The town recently had a mock-referendum on Scottish Independence during the town’s Highland Gathering. Unlike the Yes campaign in Scotland, which is gathering momentum, the town voted No. Might this reflect a general mood of bitterness, anger and resignation to fate?


Tommy Sheridan on independence –





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