In the vast grounds of the Scottish National Party headquarters, a large modern building in the middle of a forest in Perthshire, a group of MSPs had gathered to unveil a statue of Mike Russell, who lost his seat at the last election. As the covers came off the statue, I saw that it was already green with verdigris, suggesting that it had been prepared long in advance of today. Had Russell planned all this, including losing his seat? Was it all part of some greater scheme of his?
Mike Russell was talking to Winnie Ewing, who retired at the last election. Bruce McFee, a new MSP who resembles Fungus the Bogeyman, crossed over to them and told them that someone hadn't come. "He's a Marxist," he said. "I just don't trust Marxists."
The green of the statue against the orange and black of the autumn trees was beautiful but I found that I felt quite sad. How much of this scene would still be here in a hundred years' time? All the people would be dead, doubtless the grounds and the forest would have been sold for development, the headquarters building would have been demolished to make way for houses and the statue would be covered in dustsheets in a basement somewhere, the person it was meant to commemorate long forgotten.
Notes for Freudian Analysis
Before going to bed, I watched Visconti's The Leopard, which is about the end of the aristocratic era in Italy. Burt Lancaster plays a Sicilian prince who spends the film being sorrowfully aware of the passing of his age and the beginning of a new one that will be dominated by crass bourgeois types. Alain Delon plays his nephew, a shallow harbinger of the new world who fights alongside Garibaldi's red shirts before becoming ever more respectable and finally ending the film as a politician.
Plotwise, there are only a few links to the dream, but the wistful acknowledgement that, in time, all glories fade is straight out of the film. I am, of course, disappointed and somewhat mystified by my subconscious's decision to find in Mike Russell some kind of parallel for Burt Lancaster, but there's not much I can do about that.