Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Lowlights of an otherwise lovely weekend...

It wouldn't have been much after 4pm on Saturday afternoon with my 3 year old, that we sadly watched the shell-suited, burberry becapped, teenagers excitedly locate the best spot between some bushes and high on the hill of Queens park overlooking Pollokshaws road, for them to imbibe the far too many 2 litre plastic bottles of strong cider that they'd somehow managed to procure, despite most of them looking under 16, never mind 18.

I did wonder which of them would end the night over the hill in the Victoria's casualty department...

I did also think back to the New Year's eve I was inadvisedly carrying a bottle of beer on the streets of Byron Bay, where the Police officer, blessed with common sense, simply took the bottle from me, poured it down the drain, put the bottle in the bin and invited me to wisen up and enjoy my evening...

It's such a shame that these gangs of teenagers are so devious in their efforts to get drunk in public that they manage to do so so far from the watchful gaze of our constabulary, who seem to prefer spending Monday mornings in teams of 3 setting nefarious speed traps in places where motorists are likely to be accelerating away from town towards that National speed limit sign... (don't worry, I was travelling in the other direction!)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Children's exercise - FFS!

I've been annoyed with this children's PE debate since the last election. I just don't understand what the problem is in delivering 4 hours of PE a week for Primary school children.

Now, admittedly I went to a school with rather low numbers but I suspect the problem here is not the supervision, but what actually constitutes PE / exercise and how it could be undertaken.

In Primary school my teacher regularly took the entire class to the gym hall where we played wee games for 45 minutes. You didn't need to get into shorts and t-shirt for it.

We played rounders, tig, crab football (where you could easily tell who was in the cubs and who wasn't) and learned to skip.

Sometimes we had an old guy who could play the piano a wee bit. He came along and we had a mini-choir session, then we did some dancing - which as far as I'm concerned is about the best exercise their is... don't believe me? Check out the professionals on Strictly and ask any of the celebrities who make it through the first few weeks.
You could have a dance in your classroom if you just shoved some of the desks and chairs to the side for a wee bit...

So who is it that's not able to deliver some exercise to the children as part of a fun filled daily education?

Is the problem defining what constitues exercise? or is it teacher's inability to think outside the box or is it that the inner city kids are crammed into some shoebox where swinging low, never mind a cat is impossible.

What's the bloody problem?

My Scottish Political Compass

Hat tip to James Kelly for the link to the Scottish Vote Compass. It poses some interesting questions which helps to focus the mind, after all - as James pints out - Labour and the Lib Dems have pretty much copied the SNP manifesto and Stuart Winton quite rightly parodies Salmond's latest wheeze of increasing the now popular council tax freeze to 5 years - I hate it when politicians indulge in this playground game of who can piss the highest. Labour annoyed me last week with their 2 week cancer scam (pick a number and half it!). Salmond had no need to play top trumps in this petty way!

Anyway, onto my political alignment and it doesn't really surprise me to find that the party I am most aligned with is the Greens. They generally talk sense as far as I can see, even if they can get a wee bit dogmatic at times... Not as half as dogmatic as the old school Labour boys who despise themselves for actually having a National identity I suppose...

That doesn't change much though, as this particular election is much more about the battle between Labour and SNP than any other election in my lifetime. I'll be voting SNP & SNP. If they win, I'll be haranguing them from the rooftops about Green issues - then again... they've actually not got that bad a record on that front either... Hope Patrick Harvey gets back in though!

PS I realise that image is probably a bit small, but if you do the compass youself you'll get the gist of where I stand - slightly left wing social liberal... seems a reasonable place to be...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Tribute to Giggsy - a true legend of the game!

Modest, unassuming, Legend, role model, boys-own fantasy hero, superstar of the global game... There's only one Ryan Giggs!

There are few footballers that I'll point out for my son if he takes an interest in the game. Sometimes they release their career highlights. There's space on our shelf for a Henrik Larsson DVD. There's space for a Brian Laudrup DVD. Dad will still have his old Jimmy Johnston and Lubo Moravcik videos - assuming we still have a video player, but there will need to be a new shelf built for the Welsh Wing Wizard who has been enthralling me for over 20 years now.

Pleasing to note that as a youth he also played a bit of rugby - what's the chances that it was having the opportunity to play both codes that helped him to develop into the all round, ball playing, team minded, maestro that he became? I like to think so.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Selling of Debt... WTF???

I meant to write about this when I heard it on the radio the other day, but then I convinced myself I must have been dreaming that people were seriously using this kind of patter. Tavish on newsnight reminded me to look it up though.

The Lib Dems want to sell Scottish Water's debt on the money markets then use that money to invest in the economy...

That sounds smashing - can I sell me debt too? How does that work anyway? You give me money, then you pay off my credit card bills, no?

Ah wait, you give me money to pay off my credit card bills, but I owe you that money back, presumably over a certain amount of time with perhaps some wee stipend to you for your troubles - it's very decent of you to go out of your way like this for me. In any other circumstances I would probably have had to borrow the money... which is kind of like what this is, isn't it? Ah, no in this instance I'm borrowing against my assets - it's a kind of secured loan then is it? No, No, No it's nothing like that, I'm just signing over my assets to you kindly International bankers for safekeeping whilst I pay you back the money, plus stipend, that you've loaned me purchased my debt with. Very good

Selling off debt - LMFAO!

Tavish Scott on newsnight...

Just watched Tavish Scott on Newsnight... oh dear!

On the lib dem MPs that broke their promise (written pledges no less!) on tuition fees...
Well, they're not up for re-election just now, but if they were I'm sure they could explain it to you...

On Labour U-turns
Terrible hypocrisy on their part, they've just copied the SNP

On Council tax freeze
After 4 years of SNP government, we see that was a great policy...

On closing A&E's
Terrible that we were going to do that - thank goodness the SNP got in and showed us how to behave properly.

On Prescription charges
Well, I wouldn't have done it, but now that it's been done (by the SNP), you'd be crazy to undo it...

On Coalition
We'll need to see what Labour tell us to do... after all we're the Scottish Lib Dems and we need to differentiate ourselves from the London Lib Dems - who are being pushed about by the Tories. People in Scotland would never accept that.

On Independence
I'm totally against that... even though we're totally different from the London Lib-Dems and I think we need more Scottish solutions for Scottish problems, well apart from having fully independent Scottish solutions, obviously!

On other stuff...
Well, yes we've sold the jerseys for a sniff of power down South, but I've prepared a cracking answer for you about the single Scottish police force - why don't you ask me about that?

On Scottish Water
You'll just need to ask the other parties why they don't want £1.5 billion for the Scottish economy... Go on ask the other parties! Why are you asking me all these questions that aren't about the police anyway?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Andy 'Lock em Up' Kerr

Andy '1 hospital for the price of 2' Kerr, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, was on Radio Scotland this morning, not only pushing the Labour line of mandatory sentences (6 months apparently) for people caught in possession of a knife, but absolutely resolute in his determination that a Labour government would find the money to fund this policy.

So, there you go. Not only are they still pursuing a policy opposed by senior police officers and highly qualified candidates, such as former president of the Law Society of Scotland, Ian Smart, but in these austere times, they're going to make finding the money to lock up everyone carrying a knife a priority. It seems the Labour lunacy on this is not restricted to Richard Baker.

Iain Gray, Andy Kerr, Richard Baker, Jackie Baillie - those are the candidates Labour think appropriate for running this country. Don't let them do this to us!