Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin (Orion Books 2011)

‘Any other names?’ Fox asked.

‘One or two are probably still a bit cracked – living as hermits in the Western Isles and writing anarchist blogs. Most of them probably found that as they got older, they became the sort of person they’d previously despised.’

‘The establishment, in other words?’

‘These were bright people, in the main.’

‘Even the ones scooping up handfuls of anthrax from Gruinard?’

‘Even them,’ Professor Martin said, sounding sleepy from all the wine. ‘It’s all changed now, though, hasn’t it? Nationalism has entered the mainstream. If you ask me, they’ll sweep the next election. A few years from now, we could be living in an independent European democracy. No Queen, no Westminster, no nuclear deterrent. That would have been impossible to predict a scant few years back, never mind quarter of a century.’

‘Pretty much what the SNLA and all the others were fighting for,’ Fox concurred.

‘Pretty much.’

‘Is there anyone I could try talking to about all of this, other than psychiatric patients and hermits?’

‘Do you know John Elliot?’

‘I don’t think so.’

‘He’s on TV all the time. News and current affairs.’

‘Never heard of him.’

‘He merits a mention in my book.’

‘What about Alice Watts?’

‘Who?’

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