What a difference a week makes dear readers. As some of you know I had a short staycation in Oban last week. Oban is a lovely place and also where I got married so holds fond memories for me. Not much has changed since my last visit. It’s still a striving bustling wee place full of nice shops and good restaurants. The Main Street was full of folks enjoying the late September sunshine and the restaurants and cafes were full of people enjoying the delicious locally sourced Scottish produce.

I thoroughly enjoyed my staycation but there were dark clouds looming on the horizon and not just from the unpredictable weather. I count myself as fortunate in that I’m retired with a local government pension however as I enjoyed myself on holiday, the plight of many families reliant on the £20 universal credit uplift which ended today could not be ignored. By withdrawing this lifeline at a time of increasing fuel costs and spiralling food prices, we see yet again the callousness of the Tory Government. Much has been said in the press about the coming Winter of Discontent. Well winter’s arrived for countless people whilst the Tories jet off to sunny climes.

No amount of the Non PM’s bluster about build back better will feed hungry children or heat the homes of the poorest in society. As a Bullingdon club member whose party trick was to burn £20 notes in front of homeless people, it’s obvious that these pampered menials know not an iota about the value of money or how the lack of it blights the lives of so many of our citizens.

As if this sorry state of affairs wasn’t bad enough, we see today the Supreme Court backing the UK Tory government’s right to basically squash the devolution powers of the Scottish Parliament.

The time for change is fast approaching and this brings me to the tale of the Three Islands.

I was due to take a trip to the islands of Mull, Staffa and Iona, however en route to our destination I received a call from a lovely lady who advised the tour was off. You’re joking I replied but yes the Scottish weather had struck and it wouldn’t be safe to approach Staffa the second island on our tour. Fortunately, the boatman would reassess the situation for the following day and, if a fair wind was blowing, we would proceed as planned on that date.

Whilst in 2014 we did not have that fair wind at our back, as crisis follows crisis in the DisUnited Kingdom, the fair wind blowing the good ship Independence can’t be far off.

The day of the trip dawned and it was all systems a go. The much maligned Caledonian McBrayne ferry was our starting point. I can only speak from personal experience, but the whole ferry experience ran like clockwork and everything on board was definitely ship shape. Compared to my nightmare journey back from London aboard LNER the majority of passengers were masked and considerate of their fellow travellers. It must be a Scottish attribute – respect for all. Just a shame the Tory hordes down South don’t abide by the same standards. To be fair there are many south of the border that do have consideration and concern for their fellow citizens and are obviously not Tory voters. Being in a country led by a giant Buffoon who doesn’t have a moral fibre in his body isn’t much of an example for anyone to follow and it seems that many lap up his behaviour. As the winter of discontent starts to bite, the Tory voters who saw Boris as a cute puppy will find he’s nothing but a malevolent hound and they also will feel the pain others are currently suffering due to the extreme right wing Tory ideology. I’m sure if the Non PM had been aboard The Calmac ferry and an emergency had occurred he and his cabal of unsavoury colleagues would have trampled the masses to get to the lifeboats with no regard for anyone else except for saving themselves.

Safely disembarked in Mull I listened to the sad facts about how this lovely island became depopulated due to the greed of landowners. Not much has changed over the decades although land reform and repopulating such areas are very much a Scottish Government priority. It didn’t take long to reach the jetty where the much smaller boat awaited to take us all to Staffa. Staffa has no people living on it but is worth a visit to see the magnificent Fingals cave. The journey was not for the faint hearted and the swells were enormous however safety was never in doubt as the skipper and his crew skipped about offering comfort and sick bags to those not accustomed to the squalls ever present on the open sea. As I sat there thoroughly enjoying the thrill and excitement of the bracing journey my thoughts suddenly turned to our independence struggle. We have in the First Minister a more than competent captain who is supported by a talented and able group of crew persons. Now is the time for us in Scotland to trust our Captain and our government to ensure our safe passage to our ultimate destination independence. The loveliness and tranquility of the Fingals cave at Staffa was how I envisaged the early days of an independent Scotland. But our three Islands tour had not yet ended. Onwards to Iona we headed next. This time the waters were calmer and the vessel we travelled onwards in was much bigger. Arriving on Iona we were advised how often the area was plundered. Similar to our entire country the natural resources and treasure were stolen and destroyed. This is a situation that can no longer be tolerated for us in Scotland .

We are a country rich in natural resources with a wealth of talented citizens and certainly not too wee, poor or stupid to manage our own country and her affairs without the interference of a foreign Government that we didn’t vote for.

When, not if Scotland sets sail for Independence, which is our sovereign right I for one will look back as the Tories stampede to their lifeboats. Scotland’s ship is sailing and it will be us that reach our destination whilst the Tories and their vile policies will be consigned to history and hopefully an uninhabited Staffa like island where they can do no further harm to society .

Liz Lowrey