The broken glass is gone. The rubbish is cleared away. The Square stands empty once more. Streets which for a while last night resembled battle-grounds have been restored to their former selves. The accident and emergency rooms are off high-alert.
Amidst today’s relative calm, the righteous fury of civic Scotland has been unleashed on the animals who wrecked such havoc. There are expressions of horror. There are expressions of anger. There are expressions of disgust and even some of shame.
Amazingly, there are also expressions of surprise.
As if this were some cosmic shock. As if it were some outrageous one-off outpouring of violence and loutish behaviour. As if this were not all predictable. As if, indeed, some of us didn’t spend all week warning of it.
None of it was a shock. None of it was even slightly surprising.
Because some of us, all of us, have seen it all before. And before. And before.
It was only weeks ago that similar scenes produced the last burst of outrage from Scotland’s chattering classes, appalled by the behaviour of the Peepul, but not quite so angered by it that they did anything to prevent it happening again.
No lesson was learned from that, which itself is hardly surprising as that wasn’t the first time these sort of scenes have been seen in this city either. Or elsewhere for that matter.
Scenes like this are common whenever the Peepul are on parade.
Frankly, I’m tired of Scotland’s political class and media decrying this stuff after the damage has been done.
I am tired of them repeating the same tired mantras over and over again.
Some of what’s been said today is right on the money.
Some of it is embarrassing.
Some of it is absolutely false and needs to be called out as such.
I am tired of the arguments which prevent us from moving on, the same depressing excuses for doing nothing and the justifications and the dishonest narratives that underpin so much of the debate, a debate nobody really wants to have anyway.
This is the right moment to tackle some of those arguments.
Which is exactly what I want this article to do.
Let’s start with the obvious one; the “minority” argument.