In the early morning mist I keep a lookout for cyclists. The light turns green, and to my right a mother on a bike transporter, with her child on board, accelerates. A younger sporty guy on a mountain bike is in a hurry, and a teenage pedestrian slowly crosses staring at her phone.
Taking a right turn in Denmark usually involves crossing both a cycle path and zebra crossing – and pedestrians, and cyclists always have right of way. But I’m in no rush. A dental appointment awaits. A twenty-year-old crown is the issue.
This is ‘Nærum Torv’. Outwardly, little has changed here over the years. I’m not sure if it is the time of day, a trick of the light, or the grey mist, but I suddenly realise that none of the people around me were even born the first time I came here. I suppose getting old does that to you.
As dentists go, Michael is the best I’ve ever had. The early trauma of a black rubber mask, gas, and a nightmarish dream at Parkhead Cross had put me off dentists at a young age. I’ve no idea what the gas was, but the horrible dream was vivid. I howled all the way home on the Corporation bus. There’s a faint recollection of a wave of sympathy from passengers. A child’s tears is one of the most heart-rending sounds known. I could feel coins being pressed into my hand. Ma da kept telling me how much money I had. It didn’t stop me crying, though.
Back home in Duke Street I was still inconsolable as the family were counting my winnings – over six shillings in sympathy donations. It still didn’t make up for the experience of the gas-induced trauma.
By contrast, my current dentist, Michael, is a prince among men. I’ve never completely conquered my dental phobia but I do turn up faithfully every six months at his small clinic. He’s the only reason I still have some gnashers left, I suppose.
As he discusses which replacement crown to use, he suddenly exclaims, “I don’t like the Chinese anymore.” It’s his usual manner – half thinking out loud, half communicating with his assistant. It’s issues with time and distance, apparently, rather than the quality of the crowns they deliver. “And all those balloons,” he says half-jokingly.
Funnily enough, I’d just glanced a Washington Post article stating that it was, after all, weather balloons blown off course. Most rational thinking people already assumed this to be the case. But The Washington Post is not known for rational op-eds these days. The oligarch-owned publication is well to the right of Ginghis Khan, as the saying goes.
“They’re now claiming it was just weather balloons,” I inform him.
“I actually thought so too, but why did they tell us different for the past weeks?” ha asks.
“A distraction from Nordstream?” I suggest. “That’s what some people are saying.”
I mention Seymour Hersh and his history of rock-solid exposés from My Lai to Abu Ghraib.
“But they’re saying he’s an old crazy guy now,” Michael responds.
“Yes, they are.”
Observing the Scandinavian press these past weeks has been a discouraging experience. As is often the case with foreign affairs, the current coverage seems to be a stenographic reproduction of the latest talking points dreamed up in either Washington or London. There are usually references to Nuland, Blinken and Biden – all characters up to their necks in the 2014 regime-change coup (in Ukraine).
More worrying, is the willingness of Danish journalists to entirely dismiss the claims of Hersh, based on perceived ‘inconsistencies’. A repetition of the same inconsistencies originating across the pond in an attempt to debunk Hersh’s exposé.
Heaven forbid independent Scotland ever becomes entangled in NATO. Switching English vassal status to that of US vassal would be catastrophic – as European allies are discovering to their cost. The US needs real friends to serve up some home truths, not obsequious international sycophants.
The most disappointing newspaper in Denmark has been Information.dk. Set up during WWII as a courageous underground publication, it’s known for its considered in-depth pieces and its niche following.
Anyway, it carried an op-ed by Bo Elkjær, dissing Hersh. Anyone doing this does so at their peril. Hersh’s revelations about domestic spying on Americans led to a mini US glasnost in the 1970s, including the Church Committee, and eventually the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
The latter was, predictably, infiltrated by the very US security state the committee was investigating. At the same time, key witnesses such as mobsters Sam Giancana, Johnny Roselli, and Oswald handler, George de Mohrenschildt, were turning up dead. They all died violently. These deaths occurred days, and sometimes mere hours, before investigators were to interview them. In fact, there was a sharp increase in witness ‘fatalities’, about 12 in all, as the HSCA began its work.
In spite of this, the now famous acoustic evidence, from an overlooked police audio dictabelt, provided the scientific basis for asserting that between 5-7 shots were fired in Dallas – and to the conclusion that the US essentially suffered a regime-change coup d’etat, in November 1963.
Michael’s next client hasn’t turned up so our small talk continues. I mention how this shopping centre looks exactly the way it did four decades ago. “Yes, it’s listed, you can’t change a thing. It’s an example of the architectural style of the era.” That era was the 1950s.
While leaving, I mention my senior moment, realising that all these young cycling Danes weren’t even born when I first visited Nærum Torv. “Yes, you have been a Dane longer than most of the Danes around you,” he replies. “But you know, I’m still who I was born, citizenship hasn’t really changed anything,” I tell him.
His response to this was quite illuminating. In the world according to Michael, the foundation of identity is laid down in the formative years. “It’s completely natural that you still identify as Scottish.” That’s his considered opinion on the matter.
I try not to make an issue of my ethnicity. I’ve been able to pass myself off as a local ever since my language skills improved. But M’s clearly thought about this stuff.
On the way home, I catch up with the latest from Col. Douglas Macgregor. A fascinating ex-military man who has an insight and understanding of global politics we could all learn from.
If you’ve seen him on YouTube, you’ll have noticed a tartan shield with what looks like a sgian dubh on it. It’s on the wall behind him. Once a Macgregor, always a Macgregor.
What a diaspora we Scots have. Once we reclaim our national independence, I have a feeling that we’ll see more of our kith and kin identify with their Scottish roots, much as we see with those of Irish descent.
“Scattered we were, when the long night was breaking, but in bright morning, converse again.”
This retired colonel should have become US Ambassador to Germany but was blocked. Four years of the now discredited Russiagate hysteria had made it difficult for any Trump appointees. Now you can criticise Trump for many things but Russiagate is not one of them. It has been debunked as the elaborate hoax it always was, with Brit spy Christopher Steele as chief architect. This same Steele, by the way, is the character whose every utterance is accepted as gospel truth by SNP neocons, not least the hapless Stewart McDonald.
The early mist has cleared as I head home. Driving into the carport there’s a text pling from my son. It’s a report that ‘Scotland’s First Minister is to resign’. Euphoria and relief. An old quotation embedded in my memory surfaces:
“The night is nearly over, the day has drawn near.”
As with Kennedy, ‘it’s the cover-up, not the crime’, that gets them in the end.