Dribbler is the author of the recently published and highly acclaimed underground novel, Harry’s Kebabs. He was one of the 4 DJs at the world famous, 90s Edinburgh club night, Pure and then tour DJ for techno pioneers, Orbital.
you don't know
how lucky you are
Every year, for decades since the first world war, the “top boy” from our school was sent on a boat to New Zealand. The Otaki Shield they called it and they awarded it automatically to the top dog. It was an all boy’s school at the time, which has since modernised its ideals to include other sexes, but only did so on the year I left.
We were told about this boat and how it took a ridiculously long time to sail there. Aberdeen to New Zealand was 6 months and you would get your bollocks shaved and attacked with boot polish, as well as your head, when you crossed the equator. It sounded rubbish to me. Bit of a one-horse trick and too much horizon. Waiting for the bollock-blackening and hair shave half the way, then living it down for the rest.
That wouldn’t bother many Scots looking to flee what’s going on today. Six months on a boat seems like gracious relief and having your testicles blackened with boot polish is way preferable to having them vice gripped and spanked by restrictions to your freedom.
In Scotland; things were going great, numbers controlled, there was resilience and diligence and maturity shown over our southern neighbours who were out protesting, led by muppets, who let them.
But now there is no music in bars, none. And I hear about Kiwis complaining?
In Scotland, they have banned music. Yes, that’s right, Scotland has banned music. No music, no punters, no business. That’s going to take a lot of time to bounce back from. Time is fast becoming the most important asset on earth. Time is what we have to face with Covid. Time elapsed since normality and time before we all get back to work.
This music ban has been implemented now for the last 3 days (it's October 2nd 2020,) and has caused a massive ruckus amongst all concerned.
For the majority of the his epidemic, the Scottish govt has acted with purpose and care. It’s fair to say that the numbers were down (sometimes to zero daily infections) and the people’s compliance and adherence to what was required with lockdown was a vital factor.
Where we have seen weaker govts not acting, like in England, we have seen the cases soar. There are many similarities between Scotland and New Zealand. There are strong connections. The population of Scotland is only half a million more than NZ, and both first ministers are female. Cities are populated, rural areas are not and almost to the same proportions.
In Scotland you can’t play music in bars.
Looking at the big picture, this may work for Scotland and get the infection rates down to the levels where we can open up again, but at the moment, the initial sense of doom is rife. No music means nobody in the bars or restaurants. They’re boring places to be. This is causing outrage and fear and rightly so. Forget the big picture - there is panic. It’s a panic move and a panic reaction.
The overall aim here is to get rid of the virus and not the nightlife. Yet we have to take things one at a time, accept it and move on. That’s what New Zealand and now Scotland have both done and said.
In New Zealand, as it could be anywhere, the lockdown was adhered to. The festival season looks like it’s going ahead in and at the time of writing there are no restrictions required whatsoever. That’s right, no restrictions - whatsoever. And still I hear there are Kiwis complaining.
The NZ approach was not some experimental roll of the dice like Sweden’s carefree gamble that cost hundreds of lives. This was a measured approach by a government to control and stop the virus which has led to the country reopening to all intents and purposes, having been able to stage sporting events and now go ahead with their summer festivals. Twice in the year, opening up as well as containing and maintaining their lockdowns.
All that revenue, all that normality – for the simple cost of paying attention and following scientific recommendations to ensure the safety of the population for a few months.
My friend is driving round New Zealand right now in a Coddiwomple van. That’s the ideal way to be in most countries of the world right now. Just her and her husband, touring the country’s most ideallic and accessible spots. The cities around the world are emptying, facing lockdowns when they don’t. The people are not being tested and managed like they are in NZ. That van can roll up to a bar or café and have lunch with music playing. It can park up for the night and go to bars and clubs. It can book its ticket for the festivals this season and look forward to seeing its favourite bands.
If they roll up outside Glasgow’s Sub Club or at the Transmit Festival on Glasgow Green with 100,000 usually in attendance, the Riverside or Edinburgh’s Fly or New Year, they’d be met with closure, silence and the grass growing.
The control shown is the example to follow. The facts are there to see. The festivals will go ahead (at the moment) this summer in New Zealand because the rules were followed. The things that most concern everyone, the big money events and sports, the issues with crowd factors, banned in most countries, are going ahead in New Zealand.
When you break it down, and hopefully their Coddiwomple van does not - in New Zealand, under Covid, you never had it so good.
Scotland aka the rest of the world