Saturday, 15 October 2011

Along Came a Spider

It is that time of year where spiders start migrating indoors, getting themselves stuck in the bath, climbing the wall or running across the bedroom ceiling. Do they creep you out or do you like them? They are one of nature's helpers fulfilling a valuable role in managing the population of common pests in the garden during the summer so lets not be too hard on them when the seek sanctuary.

Legend has it that a spider was the unlikely inspiration for Robert the Bruce seven centuries ago while hiding in a cave in exile.

The story goes that he felt his cause was lost and the superior strength and numbers of his foe would ensure their dominance. He watched the spider attempt to spin a web between two points in the cave but the fine silk thread broke. Again and again the spider tried and failed. As Robert felt, I often feel the futility of our quest to improve the world we live in. Things that seem obvious to improve our environment either meet outright hostility or worse are simply dismissed. The slick well funded marketing of big business is overwhelming. Whether it is banks resisting change because they claim it will damage the economy, oil interests with too much to lose, plastig bag manufacturers claiming that single use carrier bags are better for the environment than re-usable ones or shale gas prospectors playing on people's fears over energy costs, there is a deluge of stories giving people reasons to carry on regardless and avoid the real issues.  How can we compete with such dominance of the media and society by these organisations?

To continue the story, the spider eventually succeeded, thus inspiring Robert to continue on his quest for to overthrow the oppressor and gain freedom from tyranny (and the crown of an independent Scotland), which he eventually achieved in 1314.

I know that we are right to challenge the system and bring about the radical changes that society must make and I have to believe that we will succeed. I only hope that it is in time to avert the worst.

In the meantime, I will persevere. Not for anything as parochial as an independent Scotland but



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