Friday, 24 December 2010

Quel Damage!

Sorry to hear that the authorities have managed to do for Tommy Sheridan, where the News of the World failed. Such a shame that it has come to this, that the state is so willing to expend countless police hours and resource on behalf of the Murdoch empire. Let's not forget the News of the World were willing to pay the equivalent of the damages Sheridan was awarded, for a tawdry piece of uncorroborated 'video' which didn't even show Sheridan's face.

I've no doubt he'll be doing a considerable stint inside - whilst the News of the World won't even be printing an apology for the 'lies' that they printed in exaggerating Sheridan's antics. It's a funny old world right enough!

Still, I'll always remember Tommy Sheridan as the young, firebrand agitator who stood up against the indignities of the Warrant sales, executed as part of Thatcher's assault on the poor. He was the one who fought for what was right and he was the one whose actions saw the Scottish parliament abolishing that abominable and humiliating deed. If only a few more of our politicians could see there way to getting a bit of 3-way bedroom action, we might have a parliament worthy of the name.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Another 6 charges dropped...

The farce continues. The Crown prosecution service has taken to court umpteen charges against Tommy & Gayle Sheridan, dropping them willy nilly as they've been refuted or the witnesses discredited. Appraently the crown are allowed to continue dropping bits of the charges here there and everywhere as Tommy Sheridan has expended his efforts defending himself against them, but still the reamaing few are there for the jury to 'sharpen their focus'... I wonder what teh prosecution line will be?

"Come oan, there's nae smoke withoot fire. Look at aw thay charges we've dropped - he must surely have done something wrang"

I hope the jury see through it, stick with the verdict of the original trial and send a clear message to News international and the Crown Prosecution service.

Friday, 17 December 2010

1 down 1 to go

The Procurators, having embarrassed the Scottish Judicial system for long enough, have finally dropped the remaining charges against Gail Sheridan this morning. Terrific news! Hope she has Tommy home with her next week as a free man to enjoy a good family Christmas and allow them to get on with their life.

Friday, 10 December 2010

The American wheels of justice

It seems the anti-American agenda on the internet is ill founded. The Septics have every right to be concerned that people might find out what they're saying behind their backs - after all, how can you claim to be the world's moral authority if your opinions are revealed to be based on idle tittle-tattle or ill formed impressions of a foreign, sovereign, states's judicial system.

The concerns about Gary Mackinnon not getting a fair trial from these bams is just paranoia. Just because they come across as an nation of immature, gung-ho, rambo wannabes who simply can't handle getting a reddie from what they see as an inferior species shouldn't stop us extraditing a guy, who broke no laws in this country, over there to be made an example of.

I mean, how can we not love and respect a country that takes it upon itself to exonerate a dead rock star for flashing some 40 years ago.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

How do the people who drive snow ploughs get to work?

Way back in my childhood Billy Connolly was making something of a name for himself. We used to titter endlessly at his description of the wee guy biting his own willie to undo Russian behemoth, Ivan the Terrible, and his deadly full-pretzel hold. We listened on LPs and when the big yin was making an appearance on Parkinson, I was allowed to stay up to watch. Later when we got a video recorder, it was no-brainer Christmas present for the old man - one of the big yin's video classics.

One of the lines I remember most was his question about the people who drove snow ploughs and how they got to work. It's a cracker! So simple that I still can't work out why I find it funny. Is it that it was so obvious to me that the council (who ran the gritters and snow ploughs back in the day) would have known the bad weather was coming and would have had a plan in place to deal with it before the weather arrived, that it just makes it a stupid question to ask? Apparently not!

Still, I'm astonished to read lately that the guy responsible for sending out the snow ploughs is apparently Stewart Stephenson. Well, no wonder it all went tits up for us this week. He was probably at home over the weekend, not really bothering about the snow ploughs - surely someone else must cover him when's he's on holidays or something? Maybe not! Anyway, Stuarts at home chilling out with his wife or whatever it is he does of a Sunday and it's only when he gets into work on Monday and the snow has already started that he realises he'll need to call out the ploughs... alas and alack. Noone seems to have answered the heavy philosophical question posed by the big yin all those years ago... "How do the folk who drive the snow ploughs get to work?" The driver's cannae get to their big rigs with the plough on front and grit spreader on the back and we're all in the stew 'cos Stewie boy was chillaxing at home when he should have been on the blower to the drivers telling them to get intae work early on Monday.

Hell mend him I say! No need to ask any questions of the board at Transport Scotland. I imagine it's probably just a hobby for them to be involved in keeping the transport system running. I mean, just because this group of people happen to make big claims about their vast experience and knowledge of transport matters and are maybe remunerated in some small way for helping guide us on these matters, why the hell should Stephenson get off the hook for no getting in early on Monday and organising the ploughs to be out there before we disappeared under the forecast blizzards.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Julian Assange overtakes Tommy in Intrique

Whilst I've been enjoying the socialist, class warrior's recent upturns in courtroom fortune - what with the Crown dropping bits of their story left right and centre, the former SSP self-impoloding all over again with their contradictions and poisonous bile, the drama has been on hold in the last few days to allow Julian Assange to overtake Tommy in my file of intrique.

The judge has apparently refused bail to Assange on the grounds that he's a flight risk... This coming after Assange was 'arrested by appointment at 09:30' - which suspiciously sounds like he handed himself in to me - now I'm no criminal mastermind, but people handing themselves into the authorities don't sound like folk looking to do a bunk.

Channel 4 news tonight had some absolute belters on with US senators claiming he should be executed or assinated asap - They didn't actually know which law had been broken. Indeed, one went so far as to claim if one hadn't been broken then the law needed changed so that they could execute him.

The strange thing is, it's not Julian Assange who has damaged the United States or any other country for that matter. It's the buffoon's who have been reporting on world matters / International diplomatic affairs in the manner that they have been which has actually caused the embarrasment. Surely the damage to the US Conservative tradition can only have been further sullied by the reactions of these prominent politicians and advisors.

Kicking myself...

Never mind Tyre kicking, I'm kicking myself. Last year I slid about on the ice like Bambi in our front wheel drive car, that supposedly proves German advancement through Technology.

Having lived amongst the sausage munchers for a cracking couple of years back in the 90's I'm more than familiar with their habit (now enshrined in their laws, I believe) of having 2 sets of wheels, one for summer and one for Winter on their cars. It makes perfect sense. If you're going to shell out a significant wedge for a car, then a coupe of hundred quid on keeping the damn thing roadworthy in rotten weather makes sense. Not doing it because we only really have a few days of freakishly bad weather is false economy!! Remeber that! It's a false economy - don't be swayed!

I looked into getting some Winter tyres last year and after various discussions with dealers I decided the best way forward was to procure some 2nd hand wheels and get them fitted with the Winter tyres. You don't need snazzy alloys in the snow - noone can see them anyway! Plus in realy bad conditions you're pretty likely to be hitting kerbs and pavements as you try to park in the snow.

The results is that we can say with some degree of confidence I'm a lazy fud with some good ideas and pretty poor finishing skills!

From this year onwards we are a 2 sets of wheels for the car family!!! I promise!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Every cloud...

It's long been a bone of contention between myself and any radio DJ that I deign to listen to on my route into work that they shouldn't bang on and on about the great stuff they're going to be playing in about half an hour, or just after 9.
Dominic Diamond when he was on in the mornings was a real sinner in that regard, but Billy Rankin can be a bit like it too. I'm sure they don't mean to annoy me, but I've got to get to work and I don't get the chance to impose my musical tastes on my colleagues once I'm there... which is why this Winter wonderland weather which has forced the school kids to stay at home and everyone else to drive at 10mph has been such a boon. I stoicly trooped into work this morning well after 9am with 'Bad to the Bone' still reverberating round my head... cracking stuff!!!... but it's not all good... It turns out that about 9am they start telling you what they're going to play at 9:30am... tossers!!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Barbarians team

What a disapointing Barbarians selection

Barbarians: James O'Connor (Aus), Joe Rococoko (NZ), Drew Mitchell (Aus), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Aus), Ma'a Nonu (NZ), Matt Giteau (Aus, capt), Will Genia (Aus), Salvatore Perugini (It), Stephen Moore (Aus), Neemia Tialata (NZ), Anton van Zyl (Stormers), Chris Jack (NZ), Rodney So'oialo (NZ), Martyn Williams (Wales), Colin Bourke (Chiefs). Replacements: Keven Mealamu (NZ), John Yapp (Wales), Quintin Geldenhuys (It), Daniel Braid (NZ), Andy Ellis (NZ), Stephen Donald (NZ), Seru Rabeni (Fij).

I'd have liked to have either seen more home Nations players - surely John Barclay was worthy of a shout - or to have seen the efforts of the travelling Samoans better rewarded with some Barbarian acknowledgment.

Why Mealamu should be rewarded with a Barbarian cap after his thuggish antics at Twickenham is beyond me.

Monday, 29 November 2010

A Gentleman's family

I'm not quite sure why it's called that, but late last Wed night, a beautiful, healthy, baby girl arrived to complete our home arrangements. The 3 year old boy is delighted to have a new baby in the house - even more so with the presents that she seems to have brought with her, although I suspect he's a little bit disappointed in her propensity to sleep all day and is quite unaware of how much energy mummy is expending in the night, trying to feed her.

Still, it's wonderful to have a new baby about the place.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Plus ca change...

I've been mulling over multiple topics for blogs lately and there's more than a few subjects that I'm interested in these days.

The joke trial of Tommy Sheridan & Gail on Perjury for example (Hope Tommy wins again, not because I don't think he's been a shagger, more for the fact that I believe the original jury understood exactly what they were doing and were well within their rights to come down on Tommy's side - What has followed is a shambles!)

Rooney... good grief! If ever there was a time to knuckle down and just play football it's now. Who advises this loon? I simply can't see him settling overseas.

Trams - was over in the beautiful city of Bordeaux recently. It's not so long ago that they transformed their city with the introduction of a tram system and a few terrific other developments. The surrounding roads are still gridlocked morning & night as people try to get to the places trams don't go...

French food... Simple food, well cooked, superb! but on talking to my host, he was most surprised to hear how terribly we treat the wonderful fresh ingredients we have on our doorstep... I'm not sure he even believed me when I explained about Youngs seafoods shipping langoustine to Thailand to be peeled, deep-fried and frozen for a return to our domestic market. I am happy to report though that Scottish Smoked Salmon is still revered in France as the king of fish.

In the end though, I find myself overwhelemed with how many great blogs there are out there and astonished at the arrogance of yon Andrew Marr gadgie, with his plookey, weans, living at home analagy for people who make a far better fist of his job (media commentator) for free... is it jealousy do you think?

In response to the Marr chappie, I recommend you visit the web site of Jonathon Mitchel which I fell upon when reading the recent offerings from the similarly excellent Lallands Peat Worrier and his link to the QC's musings on Compassionate Release.

Friday, 1 October 2010

The end of an era... and the start of something new...

It is with mixed emotions I hear that my good friend Finlay has decided to sell up his Guest house in Fife. The beautiful east Neuk village of Crail has become a real favourite of mine over the years and the hospitality at Caiplie House second to none.

He's a recently married man and it's time for a lifestyle change for him, so that's pretty exciting news and I look forward to seeing where he goes next.

If you're looking for a lifestyle change of your own, you could do worse than take a look here...

Thursday, 30 September 2010

The Sons of William march on...

Cracking result for the cream buns last night. They've certainly never been my cup of tea, as an institution or for their fan base, but you have to admire the manner in which Walter Smith has pulled them back from the Abyss, cajoled them into winning 2 Championships despite the crippling finances in the background and now a runner in the Champions league! An Away point at Old Trafford and a home Victory! Super stuff!

Hats of to Wattie!

Friday, 10 September 2010


I don't suppose there will be that many weary travellers who come by this way without having already visited or having the intention of reading the praiseworthy efforts of former (vile) blogger Montague Burton, but if you haven't already experienced the Universality of Cheese or are vaguely interested in the notions of truth and hypocrisy bustin', then go see Mark... here .

Monday, 6 September 2010

Footballers, hookers and the press

My world cup prediction for England was that their own press corp would find some way to publish a lurid story about one of the star players and cause tension in the camp. The internet is already rife with unsavoury rumours about the captain, but the team's performance was such that there was nothing the press could have done to make it any worse anyway. Anyone who is genuinely interested in how these overpaid loons spent their vast fortunes really needs to find something better to do with their time, but I really don't understand the mentality of people who continue to buy newspapers that so regularly set about undermining their National sporting ambitions.

Latterly it was thon lanky beanpole of a striker Peter Crouch who was in trouble for sleeping with a 'hooker', but now the main man Rooney is back in the news for also alledgedly using a prostitute. Many people often ask why these rich young superstars need to pay for sex, but the truth is they're not actually paying for the sex so much as paying for the girl to leave the next morning and for them to keep schtum... which is where my moral compass goes seriously awry! Part of me thinks it's a fairly grim business, but the other part of me thinks fair play to the girls who get to make a serious bit of moolah on the back of just doing what comes naturally. If the likes of the notorious belle de jour can carry it off and live with themselves, then who am I to tell them how to live their life.

Still, I can't help but think that 21 year old Jennifer Thompson who apparently charges £1200 per night hasn't gone and shot herself in the foot. Who's going to be paying for an escort who doesn't understand discretion? How's she going to return to a 'normal' life when she's exposed her 'secret' life so overtly? I hope the News of the World have compensated her well enough.

Who are the winners here?
News of the World gets a brief increase in circulation.
Rooney gets himself in big trouble at home and probably in his workplace too, unlikely to favour future interviews with the News of the World. His continued selection for England causes tension and distraction in the camp.
Jennifer Thompson gets reputation as a prostitute who doesn't understand the value of discretion.
The great English public, get to support that Australian/American press tycoon once more undermining their National football team in the name of tittle tattle.

My heart goes out to Coleen for having her life trashed in such a humiliating and public manner. I wonder which levels of hell will be reserved for the Journalists, the gobby hooker and the thicko footballer. Is it possible to put them in order of most offensive and if I did would it be too deep an insight into my character?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Blair pushed a disaster upon us

No, not the Iraq and Afghanistan debacle, but apparently Tony knew Gordon would be a disaster and so it proved... So why did he allow it to happen, he was the man the public trusted to run the show?

Top leadership skills! or a classic See You Next Tuesday?

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Scottish football - warped sport

With the moral arbiters wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth at the possibility that some Pakistani players might have allowed bookmakers to lose vast sums of money - Quel Damage! - I note that the Scottish back pages have quickly forgotten Celtic's woeful European performance - what with that magnificent late penalty at Motherwell, who wouldn't think the corner had been turned! - and are celebrating the elevation of Anthony stokes to the Old Firm... What a joke!

With the war criminal still in charge of them, despite forking out a fortune for the worst manager in their history then replacing him with an untested and utterly inexperienced manager with a history of confrontation, particularly with their arch antagonists on the other side of the city... I am disgusted today that 3 games into the season they've signed the Hibs striker.

Having opened a new stand and with their history of boardroom parsimony I suppose it's only to be expected that Hibs would allow it to go through, but how disappointing for the Hibs fans to find that once again their club is treated as nothing more than a nursery for the Old Firm. No doubt time will pass and the the knuckle draggers will be bemoaning the lack of domestic competition which prevents them competing beyond... err August!!!! in Europe...

What sane competitive league would allow a team from the same league to sign a key first team player from one of it's rivals just after the start of the season, i.e. after pre-season training is complete and the manager has bedded in his first team? I understand that the manager should need to have contingencies for losing a player to injury, but to lose a top player who has been an integral part of your strategy and planning for the season must be utterly gauling. To lose him to a rival giving them both your player and an insight into your plans for the season... it's beyond belief!

Scottish Football? A cruel Glasgow-centric joke played on the rest of us!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The eternal and unchanging word of the Lord...

I received this email from a mate. It's pretty funny, but as I'm a sad engineer I thought I'd check its veracity. It turns out that Dr. Laura Schlesinger does indeed exist and did use some poorly chosen words in a debate about homosexuality.

The version of the letter I received was attributed to James M. Kauffman, however that bit turns out not to be true - which is a shame, such great work shouldn't go nameless... maybe the original author feared a backlash of Levitican proportions. I've added links to the biblical references for your viewing pleasure...

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Joined up thinking

So, the Edinburgh festival kicked off at the weekend, and I had a fantastic Sunday through in the capital. Took in a few shows, enjoyed the ambience in the High Street, the beauty of our ancient capital and the joy of great company.

I wasn't the only one though. There were thousands of people there on Sunday, and so there should have been for it was the day of the festival cavalcade.

So, bearing in mind that Edinburgh in August is one of the world's great jamboree's, where artists and entertainers from all genres gather to celebrate their vocation, you might think that the powers that be, who we trust to run our country might manage to think about how people will be getting over to enjoy this extravaganza.

The obvious way to get from Glasgow to Edinburgh is to jump on the train at Queen street, where the service typically takes around 50 minutes as it rattles through Croy, Falkirk and Linlithgow.

On a Sunday, there is one train an hour from Queen street up until 12:30. After that, the service doubles to 2 trains per hour. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the 11:30am train on Sunday morning resembled a high speed sardine can when it left Queen street. The level of discomfort then endured by people paying £10.80 for a return journey as our fellow passengers at the subsequent stations joined us, is indicative of the contempt in which Scotrail holds us. Is it really too much to ask that the people responsible for our transport infra-structure remove their heads from their arses and have a think about where people are likely to want to go and when. Big events require integrated thinking. We never get it!

Friday, 6 August 2010

What's good for the goose...

Aw for fox sake! Just when I thought that stirring controversy from fuck all hee haw, was the sole preserve of the Labour MSP, Alex Neil steps up to the plate to demand the resignation of Karen Whitefield... her crime? She's written letters of congratulations to Primary school children heading off to the big school after summer...

If there was some controversy over how Ms. Whitefield had obtained the addresses, maybe a quiet word in someone's ear over the aye's and naw's of database access. The dangers to children however are not from someone in public office sending them a letter of congratulations. To pretend that this is somehow an issue of child protection rather than some reprehensible and petty party political point scoring is insulting to us all.

Alex Neil MSP - "Seems to have little grasp of perspective! Must do better next term - perhaps paradoxically, should consider not trying quite so hard!"

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pathetic Peacock prefers pointless party political protest to personal pride

Sad to see yet another Labour MSP stoop to the depths normally occupied by Richard Baker in order to get some press time. How pathetic is Peter Peacock? In, what I can only hope is faux, indignation he 'slams' Alex Salmond for a quip made to the excellent Scottish golfing magazine, Bunkered.

Mr Salmond told the current edition of Bunkered magazine, in an interview before last week's meeting in Dornoch, that ministers would be promoting the local hotel and good causes in the Highlands.

He added: "Having said all that, the fact that I've never played Royal Dornoch crept into the equation. As someone who has played hundreds of Scottish courses, I feel bereft that I`ve never played Royal Dornoch, but I`ll be putting that right soon."

Peackock's reaction:
"This is an extraordinary admission from Mr Salmond and an abuse of public money," the former education minister said.

Sometimes I think that the Unionist parties have taken it upon themselves to convince that electorate that we are too wee, petty and stupid to be responsible for our own affairs. If that's the case, good on Peacock and Baker for their willingness to take one for the team paying the price of their own dignity. Personally, I'd rather have Alex Salmond talking us up than have these stooges talking us down. I'd rather have the likes of the first minister giving rural communities the sort of boost that his quip could have been, without some big mouthed dummy spoiling the potential in order to score a worthless party political point - but hey! that's just me!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

When I was 11...

Astonished to read this story about 11 year old girls being on the pill.

When I was 11, the summer holidays were amazing. The weather was generally pretty good. Mum & dad both worked, but I had a Raleigh Grifter and some great pals and grew up in the sort of town where a lot of you probably went on your holidays anyway, so life was safe and fun.

At the start of the summer holidays during Wimbledon and for a few weeks beyond, Brent and I would head off to the tennis courts straight after breakfast and try to emulate the amazing Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors. McEnroe won Wimbledon that year, but I don't think either of us really took to him in the way that we did to the long haired swede or the enigmatic Connors. I can remember preferring Chris Evert-Loyd to Martina Navratilova, but was never really sure why.

If I wasn't playing tennis or riding my bike, then I was over at Kenny's really long back garden where we dreamt of being like Ian Botham. 1981 was the year of the Botham ashes, but it's not like beating Australia was such a great feat when we all knew that the West Indies would wipe the floor with either of them anyway. Still, it was lots of fun. I still maintain he was something of a 'chucker' with ball in hand.

If I wasn't riding my bike, playing tennis with Brent or taking part in an 'electric wickets' game of cricket over at Kenny's then I was almost certainly in Alastair's back garden, where his mothers washing line and poles were about perfect for a goal. The neighbours fence at the back prevented most of our headies and crosses going out of bounds. The only problem with playing football at Alastairs was that he was a mad Rangers fan and left footed, so he always got to be Davie Cooper and I had to be Dundee United... very tiresome for a tim, you know!

One thing that I absolutely know that I was not doing was shagging. I enjoyed at least another 7 blissful summers before all that yucky stuff starting getting in the way of my childhood fun. How worry I am for the daughters of today.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

One More Chance!!

Driving home from our visit to Granny Mac's today, the Janice Forsyth show (Radio Scotland) has a wee thing going on (can't remember what radio shows actually call it when they have wee things going on!). Anyway, this wee thing was called 'Covered Love' or something like that. Todays song of choice was Big Country - Tracks of my Tears; The way they finished every show (and that was quite a few!) that I saw them do.

I can't believe that it's close to 9 years since Stuart Adamson died. He was a massive hero and inspiration to me. The tracks of my tears today would have been for the big man. Big Country at the Barrowlands (many times) is where it was for me in my late teens and early twenties. I don't listen to the music that much these days, but I was delighted to hear it live on the radio this morning. Janice said that it was the B-Side (wonder if the kids today know what that means?) to Chance.

Guess what I found on you tube?

Chance - Live.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I always have.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Political Compass Revisisted

Saw this on one of Subrosa's 'Other things you might like' widgets today and thought I'd revisit the old political compass. Surely now that I'm a middle-aged parent with responsibilities I'll have moved towards the Authoritarian Right...


Admin error

Like all those busy MP's and MSPs who seem to have forgotten the rules about expenses or whether or not they'd finished paying their mortgages I occasionally have wee administrative blips myself.

Cutting to the chase, I find that although I've been a constant lurker on the excellent Lallands Peat Warrior site for quite some time, I've never added him to my roll of honour on the right. I'd assume that most folk who find themselves here for whatever reason might then easily meander towards the 'cogitations from a cranachan cairn', but if you haven't I'd definitely recommend it, if only to enhance your vocabulary... you may need this though!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

It's the bare necessities

I thought I'd share a picture of the boay eating a cone with you all. We went to the park, we played on the swings, he asked if he could have an ice cream and I had the pennies in my pocket to get him one. Fulfillment for me and him. He gets the joy of the cone and I get the pleasure of buying it for him. It made me think a wee bit about life's rich tapestry and how the simplest of things can bring the greatest of happiness. What more does man really need than the opportunity to provide for his family?

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Who thinks we should go?

I'm doubtful about the guilt of Megrahi. I fully supported Kenny MacAskill's decision to send him home to die. I don't doubt the carthartic effects of being back in his homeland amongst his kith & kin has extended his life beyond the 3 month prognosis - which was not considered to be a certainty, but rather a "reasonable estimate"... actually if you want all the words MacAskill used, you can find them here.

I'm not quite sure why the US Senate commitee can't just look up the details on google as I have just done, but that's for them to worry about. After all, they're the legislature of a foreign country and who on earth am I to tell them how to go about their business? Then again, that's exactly why I am 100% behind Kenny MacAskill and Jack Straw declining their 'invitations' to attend a senate hearing. All the information available to the Scottish government and the reasoning behind MacASkill's decision have been made clear and is easily available. The difficulty might be if you expect a balanced media to have reported what MacAskill actually said, rather than the slimey words of Richard Baker or Douglas Alexander's slant on what he sort of said, then you'd struggle I suppose.

So, on that point, I've managed to find a host of bloggers who both agreed and strongly disagreed with the original decision to release Megrahi, now singing in unison that we should not be kowtowing to the US senate, having to explain ourselves. The only people who think we should are Richard Baker, Councillor Terry Kelly (who seems to think Alex Salmond should go for some reason) and the editorial team of the Scotsman. All fine, balanced, analytical minds I'm sure you'll agree, but I find them out of kilter with general opinion in the country - maybe that's just the section of society I find myself in. If you think otherwise, I'd love to hear why. Leave a comment - maybe even a link to your own blog.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A Day Out and a wee saunter down memory lane.

Was up at Loch Lomond yesterday for a spot of golf. Played the Carrick... well I say, I played the Carrick, really I wasn't very good. Came joint last in the day's play - so just remember that when you read that I wouldn't actually recommend the Carrick as a golf course for a tourist. It's certainly not a 'resort' style course playable for fun. The greens were incredibly slow and there were just far too many hazards all over the course for my taste. There are a lot more fun and historic courses around Scotland without having to pay the sort of Green fees that are called for up there.

The clubhouse / changing rooms were fantastic though... but then so were the bar prices! So fantastic indeed that we headed up to the Inverbeg Inn for a few beers before heading back to Houston for a meal at the Fox and Hounds, which was superb as always.

I worked as a waiter in the Inverbeg Inn back in 1987 and had an absolute ball that summer. I just can't believe it was 23 years ago now! but what changes have taken place up there. The place just looks superb now. A really good refurbishment if ever I saw one. I'll definitely stop in there for a spot of food sometime soon. The end of summer up there, just as Autumn's colours start to appear with an evening sun is how I always picture Ben Lomond.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Labour and the Tories want to give up British sovereignty

Never mind that they want to be run from London, Labour and the Tories now believe we should be beholden to the USA.

Richard Baker, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, said: “It is quite extraordinary Kenny MacAskill has ruled out appearing before the US Senate inquiry. He and Salmond are the men responsible for the decision and they are now running scared.”

Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Tory leader, said: “The SNP would be the first to complain if anybody refused to co-operate with them so they must comply with this request from the US Senate.

The USA has no authority to 'summon' anyone, never mind the leaders of a sovereign Ally, to account for actions taken within their own juristiction. I'm getting heartily sick of seeing this moron Richard Baker's name appear everywhere. Given the old adage of infinite monkeys with infinite typewriters one day producing a Shakespearian play, perhaps one day he'll say something sensible, but I doubt it'll be anytime soon. What the devil does Ian Gray see in him? Well, apart from the £520 campaign contribution.

Agents of the State II

Ian Tomlinson undoubtedly died as the result of an unprovoked attack by a Riot Squad policeman, but because the first police employed pathologist didn't do a very good job, neither the policeman nor the family will get day in court to exercise the evidence.

The authorities have once again let us down badly in what appears to be little more than a poorly contrived cover up.

The Met Police are out of control. The Authorities have little idea what it is that we expect of them. They're willing to extradite a computer nerd to a foreign state to face charges for a crime that didn't exist when he 'committed' it. They've dragged us into foreign wars under false pretences and now try to claim it was a good idea for other reasons - all I know is that we're a bigger terrorist target than we ever were before. They tell us that they are not complicit in the use of torture when interrogating terror suspects, when all the evidence suggests otherwise.

I don't believe them and I don't believe in them!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Agents of the State

I hate it when we descend into the classic Scottish "Aye, but whit aboot" type of discussion.

So, for no particular reason, I've been musing on the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes. Innocent Brazilian electrician going about his business when brutally slain by the Metroplitan Police force, quickly followed by an orchestrated media campaign to distort the story, including a classic smear campaign against De Menezes good name (rape allegation!).

In the end, after 2 seperate police enquiries, the first of which absolved everyone of any blame, the 2nd of which slammed the police command structure. The crown prosecution service couldn't bring itself to bring charges against anyone, but a corporate action under the Health & Safaty at work act was successfully brought against the police, who were then fined... presumably, we the tax payer would eventually be ok with giving a public service vast sums of money in order to fine it back of them after paying out other vast sums to lawyers...

In the final wash out, the Metropolitan Police paid undisclosed compensation plus legal costs to the family in order for them to drop their ongoing litigation against the force. No member of the Metropolitan Police force faced prosecution. No member of the Police has been dragged off to die in a foreign jail. The payment of compensation has been deemed enough to satisfy the Brazilians demands for justice.

I wonder how we'd react if things were the other way about?

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The bile is rising...

I've been getting increasingly hacked off with the reporting of how naughty we Scots have been and how we're in big trouble of the big boays fur no doing what they think we should do.

1. How's Capt. William C. Rogers III enjoying his dotage - that's the former American Naval officer who shot down an Iranian airliner in Iranian airspace, whilst he was fannying about in Iranian waters, just in case you we wondering - the Yanks awarded him their legion of honour at the end of his stint on that particular ship.

2. The Libyans and the Yanks and everyone else agreed to have Megrahi tried under Scots law. He's been convicted under Scots Law and was serving his sentence under Scots juristiction. If the world didn't trust us to do the right thing, there would have been no trial or conviction in the first place! On that particular point though, I do wonder whether we didn't make ourselves stooges in the first place, given the doubts I have (shared by Dr. Jim Swire) over the validity of the conviction.

3. I've no doubt that had he spent another 3 months in Greenock prison, he would have died. The carthartic effect of him being returned to his homeland and family can not be underestimated. So fuck up with the criticism of the medical reports which quite clearly stated it was an estimate in the first place!

4. I'll enjoy the praise from the likes of Nelson Mandela and the potential peace that our compassionate treatment of a dying man could bring about over the criticism of any war mongering c*nts in Westminister or Washinton.

I know I'm not alone. Munguin says it here and James Kelly says it in many great posts, but Dark Lochnagar covers the anger I'm starting to feel best. I'm delighted to be in such fine company.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Open season... Dreaming of Fife...

I had thought the summer's sports events were all over as news of the football pre-season was starting to dominate the back pages of the papers, but had almost entirely forgotten that the British Open was in St. Andrews.

It was terrific to see the Old Grey toon on the box all weekend though. St. Andrews and the North East of Fife must be one of my favourite parts of the world. The weather is better through on the East coast, I love the pubs and there are some great restaurants - BTW have you ever heard of the Fife Diet? A cracking idea that appeals to me in so many ways.

I'm not sure that I'd ever be that bothered about actually going along to a golf event though. For one thing the TV coverage is superb! I really enjoy Peter Allis's work - and I know he's not eveyone's cup of tea. The coverage and the camera work though is superb. I can even enjoy the golf on the radio, although the 5-Live limerick competition did become a bit of a distraction on Sunday afternoon. I've got no aspirations to play on the old course or to follow someone about the place watching them do what I can only dream of. I'd much rather go when the place is a bit quieter. Did you know the Old course is public and you can just walk across it on a Sunday? There's a beautiful seafood restaurant just over the road from the back of the R&A clubhouse too. A walk across the historical old Course, down by the beach and a walk in spot at a tip-top restaurant - that's my idea of a decent Sunday afternoon, far from the madding crowds! As for golf courses, well you could hardly beat Balcomie Links in Crail for scenery, history and a challenge. Leave the old course to the pros and the tourists.

On other matters golf, my far too generous in-laws offered to replace my recently broken 3 wood as a 40th birthday present. The result is that I'm now the proud owner of a Yonex nanospeed i. I'd never dream of spending that sort of money on a club for myself, but the gift was given for that exact purpose and what a club it is! I hit a hundred ball on Saturday and I could easily have stayed at the range and hit a hundred more. I cannae wait to get this wee beauty out on a course... I feel a trip to Fife coming on!

If you've not been to N.E. Fife, you should go. It's braw! If you ask nicely, Finlay might even do you a deal too ;-)

Monday, 12 July 2010

Is that a kayak in your pocket...

So, for my 40th birthday weekend we got together with a few old pals and headed North. Quite often the wee group of weegie snowboarders and general outdoor enthusiasts that I belong to head towards Aviemore, but don't really love Aviemore itself. Normally we get a cottage or something in Boat of Garten, Carrbridge, Nethybridge... smaller places near to Aviemore.

This time I wanted something bigger than those wee villages but definitely not Aviemore. Fortunately for me a mate had heard of the Craggan's outdoor centre in Grantown on Spey. I'd been through Grantown a few times and liked the look of it, so called them up. Big Keith couldn't have been more helpful as I hummed and hawed about numbers and activities.

We went up on Friday night. With my wife by now pregnant, we stayed in the An Cala guesthouse in Grantown, where Val and Keith have deservedly earned their 5 stars from the Scottish Tourist board. With most of the gang having headed up on Friday, we had a cracking meal at the Garth hotel on a beautiful summers evening.

On Saturday, we hired some bikes from the outdoor centre and set off on a wee ride down to Boat of Garten. Unfortunately, Nicola managed to turn what should have been a tricky wee manouvere through a stream into a full blown plummet into a ravine... Always wear your helmet's kids! Nasty cut to the face and a couple of black eyes, meant she had to trek out to Aviemore for a clean up and tetanus check... But you don't knock a Glasgow girl so easily and she was back in the afternoon for glass or two of celebratory fizz!

The rest of us then spent Saturday afternoon larking about on the pond, learning the basics of kayaking and playing some great games in the pond, before finally learning how to enter the water from the slide.

Saturday night was mainly spent up at the Bothy. Just a few kms into the hills from the outdoor centre, the bothy is right beside a bigger bunkhouse, where a stag party of 27 guys were supposed to be staying. The guys were in terrific humour, but they headed out into the wilds of Grantown whilst we built a bonfire and sat about enjoying the simple pleasure of good craic with old friends and enough beer to float a battleship.

On Sunday, Finlay and I headed down to Carrbridge for 9 terrible holes of golf on a cracking wee course, whilst the rest of the gang drank coffee and read papers in the glorious June sunshine of the Scottish Highlands - what a waste of a morning!

No Mora Blogger?

Thanks to everyone who has dropped by for doing so. Especially thanks to everyone who bothered to comment.

I tried my hand at blogging because I thought journalism looked easy and I wanted to prove the point... well other than proving that people are equally capable of typing out dull, repeitive, copied ideas, I'm not really sure I proved anything.

At the previous elections I had some pretty strong SNP sympathies, but I felt pretty strongly that the stereotype of the Nationalist sympathiser was unfair. I wanted to express what I felt were my own reasonable reasons for supporting the SNP and try to disprove the notion that the SNP are some crackpot band of Anti-English rednecks. I'm a left wing, libertarian at heart, but I think of Scotland as a Nation with a history and an identity. I think of it as a resource rich land worthy of protection and I don't feel that London rule has always put Scotland's interests first - why should it and how could it?.

I'm utterly scunnered with politics though but even more so with what passes for our politicians - with the odd exception. Instead of regurguitating other people's political analysis, this is now the blog of a 40 year old (just 2 weeks ago, cheers!), left wing, libertarian who is going to do his damnest to enjoy life and leave a positive imprint.

Take it easy!