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     Scottish CND     magazine

Away from it all

(By David MacKenzie, Stirling CND. Inspired by MP Chris Smith, who in the summer of 1996 wrote in New Statesman of the delights of walking on the Scottish hills.) .

He is on a boulder
high above Gleann Mor,
where the sky grassy mounds huddling
round the trickling burn and the
industry disguished in lazybeds are all
the clearances have left of this village,
beyond a hidden absence. This

politician breathes in relaxation
and the relief of fresh long carried
wellbeing on the breeze -
away from it all.

He is on the ridge
above Strath Finnan
and before him the wide compliant moor
veils its forest of wasted stumps,
cattle roads in invisible ink, idiot lines
of ownership and its
deep disorder, giving him only
the romantic space. This

politician feels himself
restored, the petty squabbles
falling nicely into
proportion.

Now, on
Cruach a Chaise
he admires the long
bottle-green finger of
Loch Long between the Brack and
Tulloch hill, while lurking in the
corner of his eye,
to the South and East is Coulport and
the disembowelling gash from Carraig Mhaol
to Port an Lochain where they hide
unspeakable things. This

politician is glad to be
away from it all, away
from Westminster
and politics.

Scottish CND      magazine