Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CORRECTION _ “FACTS ARE CHIELS THAT WINNA DING” AS THE OLD AYRSHIRE PLAGIARIST ONCE PUT IT.

Thank you to my SNP readers who have pointed out that the SNP have been in power since 2008 not 2005 as I mistakenly said i.e. they have been in power for 8 years, this of course makes their record worse than what I first claimed, this is a statement of fact.

In the 8 years since 2007 the budget for Scottish GP’s has been slashed by £1 Billion, another statement of fact.

The NHS is a devolved matter and is the preserve of The Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, that is another statement of fact.


The SNP have let down, and are letting down, the people of Scotland in matters of the NHS. That is my opinion, just saying ken?.  

HERE IS AN ARTICLE FROM THE SNP'S FAVOURITE LABOUR BASHING PAPER. TELLING THE VICTIMS THAT THEY WERE WELL WARNED IS NOT ANY CONSOLATION. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13503782


During the referendum the SNP stitched Scotland’s future to the price of oil, anytime anyone cast doubt on the wisdom of this policy they were loudly shouted down by calls of ‘project fear’ and ‘talking down Scotland’ the SNP were lying, and oil went down the toilet right after the referendum and they still desperately say they were right. Now we see another 5,500 jobs being lost in the oil industry and companies closing, and still they try to lie to us. 
They then brazenly wrapped themselves again in the pathetic blue paint of braveheart making it look like ‘Fracking’ would only happen over their dead bodies. Now it turns out that they were lying again and they told the billionaire privateers that they, (the SNP) were not really against Fracking at all, these enormous lies have caught up with them as well as they continue to blatantly pile one lie on top of another, insulting the acumen of the people of Scotland as they do so.
Over the last couple of days we have been hearing how their claims to get rid of PFI and replace it with something which does not allow the private sector to rip off the people has also bounced like a rubber cheque. That turns out to be another massive lie as we find out now that the reported details of the ‘SFT’ the Scottish Futures Trust is set to actually cost the Scottish people more. This ‘SFT’ is the rebranded system of PFI which the SNP mendaciously claimed would stop the private sector from profiteering.


Along with many others I predicted that the “hill of beans” which the SNP were selling were lies and they would be found out, and it’s happening already and, it is picking up pace. Oil price lies, Fracking lies, PFI lies and no doubt there is much more to come. I am certain that the snp’s handling of the Scottish Health Service, The Scottish Fire Service, The Scottish Police Force, The Prison Service, Local Services and much more will haunt them as the people bit by painful bit realise that the SNP’s policy of telling massive lies is likely to fail. Salmond knew what he was doing when he got Sturgeon crowned when he did. Scotland now has plenty of time to repent at leisure as it painfully comes to terms with its political blunder.         

Saturday, July 25, 2015

STURGEON TAKING LIBERTIES WITH THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE.

“Sturgeon Demands To Know If GCHQ Is Spying On Scottish MPs”
The above headline is from this morning’s news, I have checked the date and it’s not April the 1st and it is presented with no trace of spoof or absurdity. Scotland’s First Minister; the SNP’S Nicola Sturgeon does not know if GCHQ, the UK “Government Communication Headquarters” is spying on Scottish MP’S!. Non Scottish MP’S as always don’t come in to it. Do bears s**t in the forest I hear you shout, is The Pope a Catholic?, will Lionel Messi develop in to a good football player?. I didn’t know she was a heavy drinker did you?.

When the laughter and ridicule fades, I hope the people of Scotland will consider the serious side of this because there is in fact a serious side. N.B. Spying on MP’s is OK as long as they are not Scottish it seems, just like unemployment, poor housing and serious crime are OK, as long as it’s not in Scotland.  This is what makes nationalism a disease. It beggars belief that someone like Ms. Sturgeon can be involved in politics for as long as she has and become leader of her party and not be aware of the activities of GCHQ. Is she an innocent abroad? an idiot? or is her outrage a synthetic stunt?.


Nicola Sturgeon and her minders are once again demonstrating their contempt for the Scottish people. She clearly thinks that we are dumb enough to believe her manufactured outrage, if she really doesn't know the answer to her own conniving mendacious question she should not be in the job she is is in, and that is where the seriousness comes in. There is no doubt that she knows all about GCHQ and its activities and she is arrogant enough to think that she can say anything she likes to get some publicity for herself, and her opinion of us is that we are too simple to see through what she is about. She abuses the Scottish people at her peril, when will the people catch on?.   

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SCOTLAND'S SHAME - THE SNP IN BED WITH THE ROYALS BACK THEN AS WELL.

For all of you Scottish nationalists who can't bring themselves to face the truth, the cybernats, those in denial, the ones with their fingers in their ears, the Nazi sympathisers, the anti English racists and the downright violent nutters, here is something you should see.   


Sunday, July 19, 2015

THE "JANUS FACE" OF THE SNP ON DISPLAY AGAIN.


The revelations about the snp just keep on coming. The latest two are 1/ snp lies about Fracking and 2/ Rank hypocricy over Alex Salmond’s business contacts. The boss of Ineos whom salmond colluded with to undermine the Scottish Trade Unionists during the Grangemouth dispute Mr. Jim Ratcliffe states unequivocally that “the SNP Government is not opposed to fracking” and he further states that “the shale gas industry could be up and running on a commercial scale by 2018”. Is it just me or is that not the impression given by the snp before the election?, should they be in the dock with Mr. Carmichael?. The snp heid yins know of course that there are not many bad situations that the intervention of Winnie Ewing’s boay Fergie can’t make worse and here he is proving it again as he says ‘there will be a moratorium on fracking’ closely followed by the hapless John Swinney who declared that he wanted The Scottish Government to get the revenue from onshore fracking. Do they ever meet? speak? email? Carrier pigeon would be an improvement on this rabble. Labour’s stance on this is by contrast unambiguous and cogent.     

“ would introduce a triple-lock system to halt any onshore fracking taking place in Scotland until environmental and health safeguards are in place, including a local referendum before final planning approval is given” Shadow Energy Minister Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald.

The snp have again been caught hiding the truth, they have some explaining to do.

Qatar is “a far off place of which we know very little” to probably misquote Neville Chamberlain. Not so in the case of Alex (del boy) Salmond, his experience and intimate knowledge of the place and it’s medieval rulers is, almost encyclopaedic according to papers released under Freedom of Information the other day at the request of Labour MSP Neil Findlay. Salmond and his bag carrier Humza Yousaf  snp MSP spent a jolly good time meeting with the unelected ministers of the Gulf state, home and away, our money it seems was no object as salmond propositioned business men, grey robed Qatar officials and the obligatory military types to venues like Edinburgh Castle, the Ryder cup golf at Gleneagles and the military tattoo.      

Qatar unfortunately for “Del boy” Salmond is an absolute Monarchy with an appalling record in human rights and allegations of human rights abuses ‘including worker’s deaths in the run-up to the 2022 football World Cup. In a gut wrenching touch of Irony Salmond now finds himself the snp’s foreign affairs spokesman

The minister’s ‘batman’ Yousaf apparently went missing on a 3 day trip to this country where “some” people enjoy “wealth beyond the dreams of avarice” while others are kept as slaves, he still hasn’t explained his disarearance, perhaps he is a secret agent?. Despite international concern from such as Amnesty International Mr. Salmond and Mr. Yousaf did not see fit to mention the issue of human rights to their fabulously wealthy hosts when they were in their desert kingdom?.
Qatar is a medieval place where life is cheap if you are poor. Homosexuality is punishable by death, as is adultery (for women of course), public flogging and stoning for drinking alcohol and for women who dress inappropriately and many other horrors are the norm.

I have visited Auschwitz twice; it is a small picturesque Polish village where the people are lovely and welcoming, it is a short stroll from the more famous Auschwitz, I couldn’t help asking myself did the villagers know?, I visited Berlin, one of the world’s great and most sophisticated cities and asked myself the same question, did the ordinary Germans know?. Is it possible that politicians who deal with Qatar don’t actually know about it?.   

Friday, July 17, 2015

"PATRIOTISM IS THE LAST REFUGE OF THE SCOUNDREL" SAMUEL JOHNSON.

An interesting article, fit to drive the flag waving bigots daft or even dafter. 

2015 Thursday 16TH posted by Morning Star
Of all the things to be proud of in life, an accident of birth isn’t one of them, muses JON TAYLOR
Across Europe the tide of nationalism is on its way back in after a low period, and it seems to have picked up the traditional flotsam of jingoism, xenophobia and casual racism from an outflow pipe en route. But, unpleasant though these are, what’s really confusing is that somehow a default position has developed whereby we’re all supposed to be proud of our nationality.
Why on earth would you be proud of being British? I don’t mean that being British is a bad thing — clearly it’s fantastic, in a relative global sense. Most of us aren’t ever going to risk starvation, drowning in a typhoon, having our tongue lopped off for criticising the head of state or being eaten by a bear. We live in a developed country, with some public services that are almost up to scratch — though subject to change during the next five years of Tory rule.
But to be proud of a nationality acquired through accident of birth? Really? How little must you have to be proud of in your own life that the act of being born in a particular place is a source of pride to you? I’m British. I’m also 5'10" tall. It would clearly be ridiculous to be proud of my height, but I had about as much control over my height as I did over my nationality. To put this into perspective, I gained my nationality before I gained control over my bowels.
You can be grateful you were lucky enough to be born British. You may well feel you have a lot of shared ground with other Brits. You might even support one of our uninspiring national sports teams, but surely you should save your pride for something you’ve achieved yourself, something you’ve fought for, or at least something to which you’ve contributed more than carbon dioxide and other bodily waste products.
If you’re proud to be British, would you have to feel ashamed if you lived somewhere less fortunate? If you hold a Syrian passport, should you have to accept some sort of blame for the fact that the country now resembles a piece of Swiss cheese dropped on the beach at Fukushima (by which I mean it’s sandy, full of holes and probably lethal to humans within 20 minutes)? Of course you wouldn’t feel ashamed, unless you’d in some way contributed to the bloodbath.
In fact, if you accept that pride should be reserved for achievements over which you should have some control, you’re left with this conclusion: the only people with any right to national pride are immigrants.
It makes perfect sense. Only an immigrant has taken a conscious decision to earn or claim nationality. In many cases they have taken great risks to come here, leaving family and friends behind them to be faced with outright hostility on arrival, with newspapers printing front-page headlines like: “NOW IMMIGRANTS ARE MAKING OUR CURRY.” In fact, the costly and bureaucratic tangle involved in the citizenship application process alone means that anyone who gains British nationality today really has to have earned it.
The irony is that those people with the most extreme sense of national pride are those most opposed to anyone else earning the right to share it with them. And, in most cases, they are people who earned their citizenship with no more conscious effort than I did, by arriving landing on a bit of ground that happened to be governed by the British Crown.
In fact, I’d like to see some kind of legal ruling that national pride may only be publicly expressed by those who’ve gained their nationality through their own actions, if for no other reason than that pathetic right wing newspaper editors like Paul Dacre, Richard Desmond and David Dinsmore would have to print the headline: “NOW IMMIGRANTS HAVE STOLEN OUR PATRIOTISM,” and then dissolve into a puddle of waxy sploodge from pure rage, like the bad guys at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to base my own feelings of pride purely on the achievements or failures of people who are the same height as me. It seems to make as much sense as the nationalist approach, and would give me an exciting new choice of people with whom to associate.

Jon Taylor is a freelance journalist, writer and comedian, visible to the world at jonnalism.co.uk.

Friday, July 03, 2015

WILL THE SNP HAVE THEIR MP PHILIPPINA WHITFORD CHARGED FOR LYING TO THE ELECTORATE AS THEY DID WITH ALISTAIR CARMICHAEL?.

You wait and wait for a bus to come and two come along at the same time right?. One Libdem Alistair Carmichael MP and Lawyer and two Ms. Whitford snp MP and Consultant NHS Doctor. Mr Carmichael we know about as he is now in the dock having sworn to tell the truth, he is charged with lying to the electorate. The other Ms. Whitford finds herself the subject of an article by Mark Ward of “Scotland’s big Voice” which is a social media site accusing her of telling industrial lies about the NHS to the voters, very similar accusations. Will Doctor Whitford however find herself in the dock?, will  those upstanding public spirited snp followers who insisted on Mr. Carmichael facing the courts insist on Ms. Whitford meeting the same fate?. For some reason I suspect they won’t. The following is the social media article concerned NB  - The authors and the site are a matter of public record which rather begs the obvious question, will she in fact demand her day in court to defend her reputation which will be in tatters surely if she does not.    

Up pops this scion of honesty, truth and virtue; the MP who made her Oath in Scots Wahey Brigadoon dialect, has tweeted, "Scotland's Police and Fire services are ONLY ones in UK that pay full VAT. Costs £33 million / year! Tories determined to keep it that way" says she.

Well, Ms Whitford. Where to start? In 2012, UNISON and the FBU both raised this with the Scottish "government", arguing that these services could have retained their exemption status by not centralising them, as the SNP then decided to do, in the face of this evidence.
In fact, George McIrvine (UNISON Police Staff Scotland Branch) categorically stated that it would have "strengthened greater local democratic accountability, now sadly lacking in the new Police service", while seconding an FBU motion.
He tellingly continued, "But of course that would have meant less direct ministerial influence and control over Scottish Police. At the time in 2012, some of the Scottish Government’s explanations raised suspicions that they knew about this issue of VAT exemption before the Police and Fire Reform Bill was published".
UNISON then submitted a Freedom of Information request for the correspondence in relation to the Police and fire VAT.
“Surprise, surprise Congress, the Scottish Government refused this on the 'catch all' grounds that this was only advice to ministers. They even refused to confirm that such papers even existed".
However, UNISON got the documents on appeal, said George, and the key point was that HMRC had made it crystal clear that a National Force would not qualify for VAT exemption.
Damagingly, Mr McIrvine observed, "This was never included in the consultation, and consultees were not given the full picture of the consequences of the centralisation of police and fire.
“Not the standard of openness we are entitled to expect from any government. More a case of burying bad headline news that doesn’t support the Scottish Governments centralisation agenda.
“The Scottish taxpayer, and indeed police and fire support staff, are now paying the hefty price".

Not quite the picture you're painting, Ms Whitford, is it? Evidence which is minuted in parliament which proves unequivocally that you are in fact lying. No surprises there, eh. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"HE AINT HEAVY HE'S MY BROTHER"

The above title will be remembered by my age group as a song sung by pop band the Hollies, long ago when hair was long and time was short. It’s actually a line lifted from a famous movie called “Boystown” Starring Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney and the Bowery Boys. The boys are in an American style borstal run by a priest called Father Flanagan. Father Flanagan watches the gang of boys crossing the borstal yard and he notices that one of the boys seems to carried everywhere by another boy, the priest says to the carrier “I notice you carry him everywhere that must be tough and quite a weight” and the carrier says, and this my attempt at a New York accent “ he aint heavy fadda he’s my brudda”.  

Once again we are witnessing the Tory Government and their gutter press allies foaming at the mouth as they embark on one of their now regular displays of synthetic rage, this time we are back to immigration. The population is being diverted by a show of sabre rattling from the Tories who are desperate to be seen as tough on immigrants and once again many of the UK citizens display their lack of awareness and judgement by falling for it.

Firstly the evidence does not show that the UK makes itself attractive to illegal immigrants by being a soft touch, quite the contrary in fact, that is a Rupert Murdoch style myth. The UK is in fact shirking its duty to the EU by reneging on agreements with Europe on quotas. There are Illegal Immigrants and asylum seekers scattered over many European countries and the UK is no different.

The whole issue of immigration and asylum has in fact become an inadvertent test of what kind of people we are. Do we want to behave like rats or humans?, do we want to be the kind of people who will stop an overcrowded leaking unseaworthy boat full of wretched people including the sick, pregnant, frail elderly and children and send them back across hundreds of miles of open sea to where God only knows what awaits them?.  Who would like to volunteer to take this new born baby from its mother's arms and throw it in to the sea? No one eh? But, when you stick your head in the sand and say it’s nothing to do with me, that is effectively what you are doing. Look at the hungry child and see a hungry child, look at a pregnant mother and see a pregnant mother not an illegal immigrant not an asylum seeker, a hungry child and a pregnant mother, first and always,  that is what you need to see, the rest is extraneous. 

My grandparents were immigrants; many members of my family have immigrated to various countries. How could I deny these desperate people a chance of a better life? I think it is normal that a human being when seeing another human being in trouble should intervene in whatever way they can to help them. I find people who can ignore others who are in a desperate situation very disturbing.
There is hardly a problem that is not associated with them by people who thrive on hatred and our appalling media but the facts do not support the accusations. I look at desperate young men risking their lives to escape tyranny and I look at families of elderly grandparents pregnant women and tiny children living in squalor without food, water or medicine and it is not in the least bit complicated for me. We live in the 6th richest country in the world, they are our fellow members of the 'family of man' I repeat, it's not in the least complicated.

I say to the media and the racists among us who say “why are we sending aid to these countries when the people are leaving in droves?”  The tradition and system of better off countries providing 3rd world aid is something to be proud of, it's one of the reasons that most of us are proud to call ourselves human beings. Sometimes I can’t help thinking that judging by many of the cruel comments we hear that there are a lot of people who are clearly unhappy with the outcome of World War 2. I have never met an immigrant who did not want to work. I worked for many years with Polish immigrants to this country and I have never met harder working or more generous people in my life. None of the European Countries including the UK make it easy for them and they are not the cause of any of our problems. To those who blame and scapegoat immigrants I say, Immigrants are not your enemy, the Capitalist Society which we all live in is your enemy. David Cameron and his government are not illegal immigrants, they are the ones who make the rules not the immigrants. Many of the countries that they flee from were in times gone by exploited and their forefathers persecuted by us in fact.  

It is inconceivable that illegal immigrants or Asylum Seekers would choose the UK because it is more attractive and somehow more welcoming, it is anything but. It's not difficult to work out that Calais becomes their last stop in Europe when they have been hounded out of so many countries; Calais to Dover becomes the obvious geographical last chance. The Tory press distort immigration and Asylum figures shamefully. E.G. Britain took in more immigrants last year than 17 other EU countries combined they say, this is technically true but they don’t tell us that Britain took in less 32,00 than 5 other EU countries namely Germany with 202,000, Sweden 81,000, Italy 65,000. France also 65,000 and Hungary 43,000. Nor did they tell us that the 17 other countries were all comparatively small. Asylum seeker numbers are similar where Britain were 7th with 14,000 and again Germany 1st. with 48,000. Sweden 35,000, Italy 21,000, France 21,000, Switzerland 17,ooo, and the Netherland 15,ooo. Surely it’s time to stop reading the Murdoch version and read the official version and try to get the figures in to context.   

I watch and listen to the people concerned, they are at the end of their tether, not getting to Dover/UK means they have to go back the way; after everything they have been through. The truth is that they would jump at the chance of settling in any of the EU countries, if France would take them or Germany or Italy etc. they would not be trying to cling on to the backs of moving lorries to come here, to suggest otherwise is risible. Imagine walking in their shoes for a while, swapping you house for their tent for a week or two, remember, we are all human beings right?.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

LABOUR MSP MARY FEE'S BILL "SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN OF PRISONERS".

Prison should have two key purposes, punishment and rehabilitation, regrettably we fail miserably to rehabilitate. Our aim should be to reintroduce a prisoner to society as a properly functioning component of that society which means them being similar as much as is possible to other members of society for our efforts to be successful. It is normal and desirable for parents to have close and caring relationships with their children, prison makes this aim exceedingly difficult with the father/mother being absent from the home, this absence alone makes for a complex situation for all; but above all for the innocent children.

It is imperative therefore that society makes suitable provision for these children to lead as normal a life as it is possible to have. This; as any parent will tell you can provide hurdles for the parent to surmount, not least of which relates to their capacity to ensure that the child does not suffer unduly by not having the wherewithal to be part of their peer group; this is more often than not the norm when a parent is incarcerated. To help a prisoner re-enter society and rebuild ties with his/her family, backing is required, in particular relation to those children. For these reasons I strongly support the morality and principles behind the private members bill in the name of Labour MSP Mary Fee entitled, “Support for Children of Prisoners”.

This bill is a step in the direction of improving the results provided by our prison system which are, despite the best efforts of many dedicated workers quite candidly appalling. The rates of recidivism are massive. This creates what has become known as “the prison revolving door scandal”, this describes the prisoner returning to prison to serve repeat sentences for repeat crimes which often causes the prisoner to be lost to society through becoming institutionalised. In many many cases that cycle is contributed to by the prisoners not being able to re-establish close caring relationships with their children thus resulting in damage to the prisoner and his/her family. I am convinced and so are the majority of penal experts that while proper rehabilitation is a long and expensive business, in the long term it would provide a net gain to society in terms of finance and a generally more civilised and happy environment.


I urge those of you who share this view to write to your MSP’S and ask them to support MSP Mary Fee’s bill “SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN OF PRISONERS”.   

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A MESSAGE FROM PROSPECTIVE LABOUR LEADER JEREMY CORBYN.


"Our timeless task in the Labour Party is to stand up against injustice wherever we find it. That notion has driven me throughout my political life – and it’s what drove me to
stand for Parliament in the first place."
Jeremy Corbyn.

I have been proud to be a trade union rep, a trade union official, a local councillor and a Labour MP for the last 32 years. My purpose in every role has been to share that power, providing a platform to the voiceless, at home and abroad, and to stand up with them.
I am now asking for your support to become Labour leader. I want that role for the same reason – to work with you to right the many wrongs we see around us.
Our party must become a social movement again. It was founded to stand up to injustice, and too often we have lost our way, ignored our supporters or been cowed by powerful commercial interests and the press.
Austerity policies are harming people’s life chances and taking away opportunities. We must reject the notion that the journey to prosperity tramples over people – and become an anti-austerity movement. You can’t build a fair economy by casting people aside.
No leader has a monopoly on wisdom, so we need to organise like a social movement too, building on our party’s unique base: our trade union link to millions of working people, our quarter of a million members, and our growing band of registered supporters.
The more we exclude them, the weaker we are. The more we involve them, the stronger we will be. So to win, our party must draw on its greatest strength: the people.
Ours is a movement to give people hope – the hope of a better world, with less injustice and more equality, peace and solidarity. Together we need to agree policies that will achieve those goals and then campaign for them, winning more people over to these principles – and giving them hope.
If that vision inspires you like it inspires me, then join us to deliver it together.

Contact

email info@jeremyforlabour.com or call 0333 444 1945.
Jeremy's campaign team are on Twitter at @Corbyn4Leader whilst Jeremy himself is @JeremyCorbyn,

You can also join the campaign on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"THANK GOD WE HAVE LIVED SO LONG AND DONE SO LITTLE HARM" - JAMES JOYCE - PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN.

I gave politics a rest yesterday as it was the day when international tributes are paid to my favourite writer and I have been re reading chunks of his work.  June 16Th. Is a special day in Ireland and particularly in Dublin where it is referred to as “Bloomsday” in honour of one of literature’s greatest ever literary comic creations, the Jewish Irish everyman Leopold Bloom, hero of the great novel “Ulysses” based on Homer’s Ulysses which would have been familiar to a young student taught Greek classics by the Jesuits. Here it was that one of the greatest writers who ever lived was born, some say thee greatest, the Jesuit educated James Joyce 02/02/1832 – 13/01/1941. 

He revolutionised the novel and perplexed great English scholars with his writing and he continues to do so today. Evidently I am not an ‘English scholar’ I am simply an ordinary guy who developed a great love of reading when I was a child and sixty years on I am still keen on reading although my eye sight is not as good as it once was. In relation to Joyce I can say that in 60 years of reading I have never come across anything quite like him, his output was not massive but it was astonishing. He was famously proscribed in Ireland by ‘mother church’ and, fancying myself as a young rebellious type I resolved to find a copy of his most famous work the aforementioned “Ulysess” as soon as I could; and even then it took a few years to lay hands on a copy, I often wonder how many copies of this great masterpiece there were lying hidden under beds and in attics during Joyce’s period in the wilderness. The book scandalised Ireland and other societies as well because alongside the hero Leopold Bloom was his wife Molly who was his equal and soul mate, she was based on Joyce’s wife Nora Barnacle, a Galway girl and the inspiration for Molly in the book, it is not hyperbole to say that even today Nora/Molly’s antics and her delightful candour would have been regarded by some as scandalous, gloriously, wonderfully scandalous. She is a literary heroine to rank with any of them and the answer to every youthful schoolboy’s imaginings.

His other great works like ‘A portrait of the artist as a young man’ and ‘Dubliners’ a collection of short stories are dazzling and it’s quite impossible to find a comma or full stop out of place in any of them. Joyce however left a single blight on my life and it is called “Finnegan’s Wake”, a book I have been reading on and off for approximately 40 years, such is its complexity that I resolved many years ago to read it in irate chunks. He writes this in what has become known as a “stream of consciousness” style, it is by turns hugely rewarding and hugely frustrating, I confess that I resorted to deception by reading other great writers books about ‘Finnegans Wake’ to no avail, I have given up hope of ever finishing it.


Unfortunately, like it seems so many great artistes, Joyce led large parts of his life in penury, he suffered terrible trouble with his failing eye sight and was also beleaguered with family problems but, despite constant advice to write less controversial books and take the easy road to fame and fortune which was his for the asking he never compromised. He was not only a great writer but also an inspiring man. I am off to read some more of his work and leave politics for tomorrow.