Local resident and SKAT supporter Alastair Scott has recently published a book after three years of hard work. Alastair is already a renowned travel writer, broadcaster and photographer but this is his first novel.
Change was never popular on the island of Muckle Flabbay, a bastion of tradition, but the death of the landowner heralds the end of the Old Order: In the novel we have radical land reform with community participation - but he will only inherit if he fulfils a whimsical set of conditions; his new neighbour turns out to be an Arab with a very different agenda. New Age Travellers roll in with equally divergent concepts of morals and fun to those Muckle Flabbians who adhere to the established Churches, which dissolve into bitter and violent schisms ... ... crofters find themselves threatened by the corncrake, and rally in defence of their island when - a shiorraidh! - politicians light on Muckle Flabbay for their flagship ‘Private Funding Initiative’ project, a bridge to the mainland with the highest tolls in Europe ... ... desperately trying to maintain Law and Order - and failing spectacularly - is Sergeant Cleghorn, in hot pursuit of a pornography ring while his lonely wife seeks love elsewhere ... Muckle Flabbay’s peace will not return until this destructive tour-de-force has run its course. Only then will life revert to its former tranquillity, its time-honoured domestic routines of bloodless back-stabbing, alcohol-idolatry, tourist-fleecing and grant-grabbing.
Part of the plot is based on the Skye Bridge PFI and the SKAT protest (but NOT based it on any real characters and the action is transferred to a fictitious island, but the parallels are blatant!).
Alastair says "I was particularly keen to highlight the injustices we suffered, and the arrogance and scheming of the politicians. The rest of the story is a Tom Sharpe-style farce of Highland life. I think (hope) that SKAT supporters might enjoy it."
The novel is called STUFFED LIVES by Alastair Scott, published by The Vital Spark, paperback £6.99. ISBN 1- 903238-25-0. You can order it from the publishers here or visit the Neil Wilson Publishing website and click on Vital Spark.
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Copyright © Ray Shields, 2004.
Most recent revision, 10 October 2004