IS IT bizarre to be so far away from Westminster and yet be so riveted by its doings?

Sitting here, doors and windows open, to get a breath of fresh air in the still nowhere near full heat of the south of France, I have been glued all day to the Cummings’ testimony.

Even more bizarre, perhaps, I believe in what he’s saying. Or do we believe in somebody because they are saying things we already believe?

Even after 15 years, I find myself always looking back to decisions taken in the Palace of Westminster rather than evaluating those taken in the Elysees Palace.

Yet, I know people who have resolutely turned their back away from ‘home’ and look only to France.

I thought I would be one of them but it is impossible to deny whole chunks of one’s culture. And, I would suggest, it is snobbery and even arrogance to do so.

We are what our countries have made us, however hard we try to adopt a new persona. Better to accept that and work within it with all the faults that come with that.

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I get no pleasure nor take a personal pride when France’s handling of many things seems immeasurably better than the UK’s.

To a degree I do when it’s the EU, proving over and over again that there is strength in numbers and in well-educated, thoughtful politicians.

I feel quite sick on watching spectacles such as the Rangers fans rampaging through George Square leaving behind the detritus of their squalid lives. And I can become quite emotional watching French ceremonial parades and the display of pride and optimism in the country, translated into the rousing yet sombre Marsellaise.

But let’s not pretend I’m French or will ever fully understand them. Unless one has been steeped in a culture or language since birth it is simply not possible – it is all opinion based on observations that are always one-sided.

That’s why I find it quite amusing and irritating when comments ‘below the line’ tell me what’s going on in Scotland or England is none of my business as I’ve chosen to live in another country.

Does one drop out of society because one is no longer a mainstream part of it? A naive stance to take.

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Is one not entitled to comment unless one is welded to a place or country regardless of birth or years lived in that other country?

There are, as I’ve said many times, limitations to one’s knowledge of the old country.

Technology can be the driver of information but nothing beats living it, getting the feel of the streets or the public places.

What is said for public consumption is very different from private consumption. And distance makes it very hard to separate truth from lies or plain old deflection.

Hence my fascination with the Cummings’ testimony. Was this Government laid bare? Was this the smashing of certain figures in pursuit of truth?

Or was it an exercise in the pursuit of revenge?

I am sure it was a combination of all, but I come down on the side of the pursuit of truth.

It was appalling to listen to and even worse to fully understand what Boris Johnson and his crooked crew were – allegedly – capable of.

We knew it, or at least the more sage of us knew it. After we heard his lie after lie swallowed whole by the majority of the population. Yes, not in Scotland – I know – so do something about it and soon.

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It was both embarrassing and saddening to think that the public had become so gullible that they fell again for a tawdry salesman of used ideas and low morals.

The great statesmen of the past would have been turning in their graves at the easy words and lies dropping from his cynical mouth with every utterance.

Disgusting also to watch from a Europe forged out of determination to ensure no more fascism, Priti Patel’s rhetoric of spite and hatred against the weak and defenceless.

Like a black-shirted stormtrooper, she appears in photo opportunities of shameless provenance, mouth twisted in a rictus of righteousness.

For some of us it’s even more chilling and disgraceful when seen from afar.

And, yes, we do have a right to comment. We are all inter-connected, regardless of any tie cutting.

We are all each other’s keeper and must never ever stay silent when evil is done.

So, well done Dominic Cummings, no matter whether the reason is honourable or base.

The truth is what does set us free, but we have to be prepared to listen.

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