Monday, December 31, 2007


He came from an ordinary working family background, the youngest of seven brothers and sisters and a life full of love but not a lot of luxuries, he made it to the top.

He was an outstanding player who was cursed by injuries, he struggled through all of them to overcome his bad luck and still survived in a profession which can by turns be glorious and cruel.
He was blessed with skill, a sweet left foot, lungs like Red Rum and the temperament and nerve of a 'river boat gambler' and now at the ridiculous age of 35 yrs. he is gone.

I've known others before who had great ability and talent only to have it all snatched away from them by cruel fate, Phil. had a good career but he and everyone else around him would gladly give that up to still have him with them, I don't ever remember him being sent off or being picked up off the pavement drunk or being involved in any scandals of any kind, a real pro. 'the first name on the team sheet'.

His loved ones are distraught as is all of football but life will go on and his family will survive, the pain and emptiness they feel now will gradually ease all though they won't believe that at the moment.
A time will come when they will remember with a smile and tell some good stories about a brief but worthwhile life and the happy memories will last for ever. If god's watching I hope he takes care of him and them.

Friday, December 28, 2007



I was once sent for the Christmas lights to decorate the canteen of a factory I worked in, they were kept in the store and the storeman old Alec. was known as the girning champion of the world. I approached and said "Alec, it's that time again and we need the Christmas lights", he looked at me, scowled and said 'Christmas is it ? I'm F------ sick of it, every F------ year's the same, as if I've no got enough tae dae.

I went back with the lights completely shocked, it took me some time to realize that old Alec was a born comedian who was great at playing the part of the greeting faced storeman, he helped me to look behind someone who is angry and horrible and count to ten before concluding that he was indeed a horrible old sod, that helps me to deal with most of the comments I get on this blog.

This year has as always been mixed, the biggest event by far for me personally were the elections in May which were of course a huge disappointment for me and Labour, it's not a lot of comfort to know that the minority Govt. and Council are showing signs of disintegration already but we will fight on.
I believe that Scotland will eventually feel the shame of having a govt. with Alex (the spiv) Salmond as leader and regain it's pride and self respect by booting him out, an executive position with Trump & Co. beckons.

When I was a teenager I became hooked on some great writers and entertainers and I will miss some who passed on this year.
The irrepressible, outrageous George Melly whom I saw many times and once by accident met in a Glasgow bar during the interval of his show which I was there to see, a hilarious 20 mns. ensued, he left the bar in an uproar.
Norman Mailer, America's own 'angry young man' another great talent with a taste for burning the candle at both ends, I wonder at how he found the time to produce so much work, a bundle of energy and brilliance.
Most recently the great Oscar Peterson, in those days I would be last to go to bed and I used to watch the Oscar Peterson Show late at night. I became fascinated by the style and talent of this jazz giant, I learned to like jazz then and it has been a constant in my life since, thank you to all of them.

I wonder if the lights are still in the factory storeroom?

Monday, December 24, 2007


The Scottish Govt. proposes to move children's specialist cancer services in Aberdeen to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Their reason for this is that the proposed new venues have greater expertise and more state of the art facilities, as well as more experienced medical professionals.

None of this is a slight on Aberdeen or the medical people who work there, they do a fine job and will continue to do so. There has been a predictable hostile reaction from some quarters, MP's and MSP's have been lining up to condemn services being taken away from 'their areas' I believe that this is too important to play politics with.

If, god forbid you have a child with cancer and you have a choice of having your son or daughter treated in a hospital with the highest level of experience and the best facilities, or the hospital in your own area what would you do ? it's a bloody stupid question isn't it ? are there parents out there who would not move heaven and earth to get the very best that is available, I don't think there are, and politicians should start looking at this from that angle not from concerns about votes.

By contrast the Govt. and in particular Nicola Sturgeon have got a similar situation wrong by doing the opposite to what they are proposing for Aberdeen, this is for Vale of Leven Hospital.
Medical professionals have come down on the side of A&E moving to Paisley for exactly the same reason as they are advocating moving children's cancer services from Aberdeen to the central belt only this time Ms. Sturgeon has been trapped by her own populist election promises.

She deliberately portrayed the SNP as the saviours of hospitals and stated that she would save anything under threat. She now has a situation at Vale of Leven where senior doctors are telling her that they will shortly not be prepared to take responsibility for A&E results at the hospital.

They advocate moving the unit to Paisley and she does not have the courage to do the right thing and take their advice. If she continues to hide on this and continues down the populist route she is not fit to be Health Minister. This is too important for populism it's time for her to remove the 'Janus face'.


It had to happen didn't it, the SNP have been strutting around for months accusing everyone and anyone of financial impropriety when a smell starts to emerge from their own wee But n Ben. A sum of almost £6,000 has just been declared by them as a gift from someone.

The problem is that it was donated several years ago and they didn't declare it, the reason for not declaring it ? someone ? yes someone forgot about it they forgot to declare almost £6,000 as Alex (the spiv) would say 'would you Adam n Eve it John ? " will Alex (FFM) accept as he urges others to that as leader he is responsible and the buck stops with him.
Can anyone think of a reason why the SNP should choose this time to declare it, what could have prompted them I wonder.

Look at it another way will he (the spiv) for once in his life do something right and tell the truth or will he 'trump' (I know, I make myself laugh sometimes) his last piece of chicanery and 'brass neck' this one to ?

Thursday, December 20, 2007


A Christmas approaches what do the following have in common,
St. Fergus's Nursery - Morton Nursery - The Apex Sports Centre - Elderly Residents of sheltered complexes and all Council Employees ?

ANSWER - they have all been badly let down by the SNP/Lib. Dem. Renfrewshire Council, they are closing the two nurseries, likewise the sports centre, the Elderly are having their Wardens cut and having costs imposed, their night Wardens will also be removed. Pensioners turned up in their numbers with placards etc. only to be treated with contempt by the SNP/Lib. Dems. who voted down a Labour motion to have the matter discussed, so much for free speech and democracy under the SNP.

The Council employees who have had a 27 yr. long guarantee of no compulsory redundancies under Labour had that guarantee removed by the SNP/Lib.Dems.
This was the fourth time that Council leader Derek Mackay SNP has been asked to honour Labour's pledge and shamefully, he has failed every time to do so, employees be warned !
A lovely Christmas greeting to all these people from the Council.

The day ended on a nice note despite the SNP/Lib. Dem. scrooges as we were treated to a carol concert by the pupils from Kersland School.
These youngsters are less fortunate than most of us and in their own way they show a great example of courage and determination, they are quite simply a great credit to their families, their teachers and their school.
I think that all those present felt as I did that my problems don't amount to a hill of beans, best wishes to all of them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


If anyone ever doubted the value and bravery of our police force they must now know that we should be proud of them.
Showing a complete disregard for their own safety they screeched at high speed like Starsky and Hutch to place their motor in the path of the highly dangerous Tommy Sheridan, such was their demeanour that even the unpredictable and dodgy Tommy Boy was obliged to go quietly, they apparently had a bar of soap with them for him to slip on. Scotland’s finest indeed.

At the same time as this selfless display of courage was taking place other Scottish Rozzers were showing courage above and beyond the call of duty by invading his Glasgow house despite knowing that his equally dangerous wife Gail was there at the time.
My Polis clype tells me that they sent out 6 cops for her, only to recall them and reinforce the squad by another three when they learned that the couples 2 Yr. old daughter was also there, you can’t be too careful can you ? Some 2Yr. olds are right wee besoms aren’t they.

This was a Scottish Police operation and not as some have cruelly suggested a ’Keystone Cops’ operation.

Cynical old sods like me predicted with certainty that the revolution would end in tears when we saw the usual suspects flocking to Tommy’s banner. I really don’t care about any of their private lives but I do resent the damage that they do to the Labour Movement, they are a laughing stock, both Solidarity and the SSP.
They consist mostly of egotists who prefer standing on the touchline to playing or better still preparing for the revolution ’as soon as this pub closes’ as Alex Glasgow used to sing.

As Tony Benn once said to me (name dropper) “there were at the last count 23 British left wing parties it would make you weep”

Sunday, December 16, 2007


The title is Glaswegian for the police or ‘polis’ what is going on ? Police wage disputes, what next ? The Govt. will not allow their settlement to break inflation guidelines, the same in fact as other workers so why the big stushie, should they be treated differently, should Firefighters, should Soldiers ?

How many others can you make a special case for, if you can make a special case for some to get more what about restricting what some others get, pop singers, footballers, actors, bosses in general, judges, lawyers etc. who is happy to see people like Cliff Richard, Elton John, Donald Finlay and the whole batch of useless royals enjoying wealth beyond the dreams of avarice while some people can‘t make ends meet ?

We all have our favourites though don’t we, if a loved one has been in hospital we want the Nurses to have better wages, likewise the Firefighters if they have run into your burning house and saved your budgie and last but not least ourselves, we can usually make a case for paying ourselves more can’t we.

The Rozzers though, some of them want to strike even although it’s illegal, would we have Picketing Polis and other Polis scrambling around the country preventing them from being flying pickets like the coal dispute.
There’s word of a big demo, the mind boggles, thousands of Polis demonstrating and thousands of them Policing the demo, how would special branch know who to photograph from the rooftops ? How would the press decide who the agitators are, would the mounties just pretend to beat them with their sticks, would the cops at football matches carry collecting tins.

Most intriguing of all though how would the evening news explain the discrepancy in the numbers on the demo when the Police spokesman says there were 10,000 and the other Police spokesman says there were 5,000. Under Socialism and a command economy this would not happen, perhaps if sections of society want to embrace capitalism that much that they want more than others, they should advocate the privatisation of these services, I’ll wait for their answer.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Jesus knew a bit about being “banged up” and punished. Today in Britain we have record numbers of people in jail and we are intending to create facilities to jail 7.5 thousand more, if this is not a sign of a society heading in the wrong direction then I don’t know what is.

We continue to mirror America where there are more people locked up per head of the population than anywhere else in the world yet to Bush it’s the “home of the brave and the land of the free” this is what capitalism requires to survive, a large prison population.

That population is overwhelmingly taken from the poorer sections of society, the losers under this system, and those from minority groups are most likely to be in jail.
Look at America, grotesque politicians arguing with each other to prove who is the most devout Christian in a country that is fabulously wealthy but where you can’t walk the streets, these people and many of our own Christian nutters would have locked up Jesus and thrown away the key.

Having been in many prisons I can assure you that this is the worst time for anyone to be locked up, in the West people of all faiths and none enjoy Christmas because of it’s traditions and message. It’s a special time for children and family and for prisoners that makes it more miserable, imagine being in a cell on Christmas Eve if you have a partner and kids on the outside, it must be hellish.

How astonishing is it then that the Govt. now proposes to introduce a new system which will increase the “bang up” time and reduce the time spent on training and association for prisoners, lock up will now start on Friday lunch time and the time spent locked in a cell will be approx. 54 hrs. out of the 68 Hrs. which end on Monday morning, this is designed to save an annual £60 m. I reckon it will cost more than that in the long term with less rehabilitation and more mind numbing senseless punishment.

A recent survey revealed that 80% of prisoners have two or more mental health problems for which they are not being treated, what will this proposal do to them ?
Take a long term criminal with a history of violence and mental health problems, lock him up for 54 out of 68 Hrs. over the weekend and, then unlock his door on Monday and wish him a cheery good morning, how do you fancy that job ?

This is a scandal and successive Govt’s are guilty including my own, an absolute scandal. When the mental health in prison report came out I asked the Governor of Barlinnie to comment on the 80 % figure, he was not keen to talk about it but I pressed on and he eventually plucked a figure out of the air and said “in Barlinnie it would be about 30 % “ he would not speculate as to why Barlinnie was apparently so much better off, he simply wouldn’t dare, another Scandal.

Say what you like about prison, about those who are in prison, say what you like about our society but don’t try to say we are civilised, our prisons show that we are not.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


His ego would be the thing in the end, not that this is the end but Alex (FFM) is not the kind of spiv to stand on the sidelines when the big boys are around, he has to be there right at the centre, this is what drove him to hold a local surgery at a 5 star hotel with the American billionaires, he was there as an MSP right? ‘Would you Adam n Eve it my son’

Those who disagree with the decision to refuse planning for Trump’s playground are now frantically muddying the waters, Salmond (the spiv) among them, all we hear about are the benefits to the area and the jobs and tourists etc. All of these matters and more were discussed by the democratically appointed planning board who decided to refuse permission, there was no suggestion of wrong doing by the board but, after Salmond (FFM) met the Brigadoon Yanks the decision was ’called in’ by the Govt. ‘I knew nothing’ squealed Alex (FFM) ’absolutely nothing’ aye right ye are Alex (FFM) a classic example of his hubris.

When will people catch on to this Scottish ’del boy’ Shir Shean had him bought and sold and then that lovely chap who drives the buses ‘holy Souter’ wanted a piece of him which ’the spiv’ duly sold. Connery and Souter made him roll over with ease so what chance of resistance was there when McTrump dangled some real money ? We’ve been ‘bought and sold for yankee gold, what a parcel of rogues etc.’

Good morning fellow traders my name is Alex (FFM) Salmond and everything must go, knock down prices and it’s all legal, I declare that Scotland under my leadership is now for sale, the big chunk of the north east coast was a bargain. Now, how much am I offered for Edinburgh Castle, would make a lovely town house for the right person, Mr Trump ? Can you hear me Mr. Trump ’ye cannae go wrang’ it’s a real Scots Castle a cert to make a mint when you sell it on. The Trump people said with sarcasm, This area is not open for business now we know that it’s not only open for business but under the SNP auction hammer it’s up for sale, to hell with democracy, who said Scots were keen on money ?

Scotland has fallen off the back of an SNP lorry, Rodders, start the motor up.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


4.45 am Sunday our time, I set the bedside alarm and I’m waiting, the razzmatazz now stops and the serious business of a boxing bout is ready to start. Hatton no longer struts and Mayweather no longer postures, in place of that there is a grudging respect between them because they both know what they are about to do, they both understand and acknowledge this. This is their world, their private world despite an audience of millions.

No one puts on a show like the Americans and I hate the glitz, I find it demeaning when guys like these are about to put their wellbeing on the line but it’s now part of the ’show’ I spoke to a friend whom I bumped into on Sat. who was a handy amateur boxer and I asked his opinion, to my delight he agreed with me without prompting, it would be Mayweather but it would be a war. He went better than me and showed me his betting slip which said Floyd in the tenth so he will be a happy man.

With every opening round that ended with Floyd still standing Hatton’s chances receded, Floyd proved that he could rumble as well as box like a potent ghost, Ricky ran into several spots of trouble before the inevitable happened. His mighty heart drove him forward on to a thundering left hook which saw him stagger blindly into the corner pads and go down, inevitably he stood up for more but mercifully it soon stopped with him down again.

The camera mercilessly closed on him and the look in his eyes was pitiful, once again I decided that boxing should be banned but I’ve been here many times and it’s like a drug. The real Floyd emerged then as a true champion, full of praise for his brave opponent and talking sense at last without the hype which, unfortunately IMO degrades the sport.

A real genuine championship fight which did it’s bit to return boxing to it‘s former glory, unfortunately the down side was that earlier the Khan fight damaged it with an opponent who didn’t turn up, the punters should have got their money back.
Two complaints though, Ricky should not have said that Mayweather was guilty of cheating, I’m sure he’ll regret saying that. And lastly The hysterical partisan screeching from Jim Watt at ringside was a complete embarrassment, can’t they find someone with a bit more decorum ?

Thursday, December 06, 2007


They say that you are getting on when you are glad that the phone is not ringing for you, well that has already happened and suddenly, yesterday it was, I became 59. Another big 0 approaches and a third of my life is almost over, I continue to grow old disgracefully.

My oldest daughter is an incredible 32 yrs. Old, my wife bought me a book where she once bought me football boots and the kids bought me more books, that will be a surprise to some people who read this, I read a lot, the Tory press is a good source of fiction.

I remember the coronation where we were all given a brand new silver shilling at a street party I should really send that shilling back, they can’t buy me.
I remember telling my children that I couldn’t count the number of jobs that I have had and they were amazed, leaving school in 1963 meant plenty of work and the swinging sixties, we moved around and did seasonal work, that’s where a lot of the jobs were and we had a great time, I worked as a singing waiter in Blackpool, honestly I did, I was fearless then.
It was better pay than being an ordinary waiter and if you were smart like me you learned all the regional favourites, - maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner - I belong to Glasgow - Blaydon Races - Ilkley Moor Bataht etc. the free drinks and tips rolled in.

Cuba, Vietnam, South Africa, Chile and the descent in to barbarism under Thatcher politicised a lot of us and some of us have carried it on, can’t stop now can I ?

It’s been interesting so far and I hope to carry on for a long time yet I still think of old age as being someone who is 15 years older than me and I am reminded of a literary character created by James Joyce (based I think on his father) who greets a friend with the words “thank god we’ve lived so long and done so little harm” bring it on.


Mayweather quit boxing and came back to defeat Oscar De Lahoya not an easy way to make a living, even past his peak Oscar is a class act, he is now hanging around in the hope that Hatton will win and he can fight Ricky in Great Britain, that would be another big pay night for a great, if past his best fighter.

Can Hatton win ? Of course he can there are only two people fighting, him and Floyd Mayweather if you say it fast it’s not so bad is it ? Hatton is 29 and Floyd is 30 so there isn’t anything in it as far as age goes. We have to accept the accuracy of this despite the evidence of our eyes which tells us that Hatton is several years older than Mayweather and they haven’t been easy years either by the look of him.

Floyd by contrast looks nothing like a boxer so, for someone with his record you need to start wondering why, he could pass for a cabaret singer or male model, the reason is of course that old phrase invented for ‘Sugar Ray Robinson’. He’s the best ‘pound for pound’ fighter in the world. Floyd also comes from a background which offers few ways out, crime, sports or a communist revolution are the best bets, he knows what he is fighting for, nothing less than the survival of his whole extended family is at stake as he sees it and that is a good motivation.

Mayweather came back for Oscar because he knew he could take him and the same goes here but Hatton is no De Lahoya and he will unfortunately find that out, Floyd is the real deal and Hatton is fearless and durable he hit’s very hard as well but you have to catch Floyd to hit him and while you are trying to do that he will be hitting Ricky so much that he will think he is surrounded, Hatton’s main chance is complacency by a fighter who has been toying with retirement at the age of 30 good luck son, you will need it.


A Labour party employee loses his job for abusive language to Alex (FFM) Salmond, so what I hear you ask, politics is rough, you might be right as well, I’m sure Salmond (FFM) can take it because he can certainly dish it out can’t he.

Salmond (FFM) recently described Tony Blair’s family as ‘revolting’ is this the same thing as political knock about ? I think not. I have been involved in politics for approx. 40 + years and I have never abused or insulted anyone’s family nor have my political opponents insulted or abused mine as far as I recall, it just isn’t done.

Salmond has disgraced himself and Scotland and not for the first time, when he decided to have ‘Alex Salmond For First Minister’ put on the ballot paper he marked himself out as a political spiv and was rightly accused of ‘sharp practice’ by the commissioners for it after the election.

With this attack on Blair’s family he shows himself up for the strutting bully that he is, we have possibly 4 yrs. of Salmond (FFM) sneering his way through Scottish politics and dragging the image of Scots. In to the gutter with him, ordinary decent Scots. deserve better.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Some pathetic and inadequate characters write comments to me, one such is ‘Edgar’. He accuses me of getting one of my Daughters to write for me saying that he can tell by the better grammar and spelling. He also points out that she has made a grammatical mistake, she did in fact write up a piece which I dictated when I was away.

Wouldn’t it be ironic then if he had also made, etc. Yes you’ve guessed it. My daughter’s piece below rather humiliates him, she retaliates where I don’t bother. I’m quite happy to ignore the mistakes which abound in what is written to me as long as I can understand what the writer means. ‘Edgar’ however is so bereft of argument that he is reduced to looking for spelling mistakes - perhaps he thinks that spotting a mistake in grammar or spelling means he has somehow won an argument.

I have asked the daughter who wrote the piece to check for me if she really did get an ’A’ for Higher English and an Honours Degree in English from Glasgow University, just in case she has been lying to me for the past ten years. She is inconsolable at her blunder. She has read past comments from ’Edgar’ and is humiliated at someone like him finding she made a mistake.


In response to ‘edgar’ who is factually correct in his post of November 26th outlining my grammatical errors whilst typing up an article for my father’s blog.
I am suitably embarrassed by my mistake and, as you will see, have asked my father to rectify this.
Thank you for bringing these inaccuracies to my attention.

I can only say in my defence that I did not take the time to proof read my typing carefully enough before submitting it. I put this down to lack of experience on my part - I do not ‘blog’ nor do I post comments on the blogs of others and as such was unaware of the scrutiny it would be subjected to.

That said, I was surprised to find that as such a harsh critic of my syntax, several of the previous comments you have posted in response to articles on my father’s blog contained both spelling and grammatical errors. You who I can only conclude from your past contributions to my father’s website have far more practice in this field of expertise than myself.

On Thursday the 13th November you wrote “3. The facilities in Feguslie’ and ‘Why is the Apex centre need when you can have’. I presume you meant ‘Ferguslie’ and ‘needed’?
In addition the first sentence in your post of Thursday 8th November is bereft of a question mark. I could go on but feel I have made my point - people in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones.

Perhaps in future your purpose would be better served by sticking to debating the political differences you have with my father, or indeed my sister, with regards to the content of their articles rather than attempting to make petty and personal attacks on the linguistic form and style of their writing?

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Alex Salmond (for first minister) has come up with a wheeze for making us feel good. There will be a kind of festival thingy which will run from St. Andrew’s Day to Burns Night, during which all kind of things Scottish will take place.

Culture will be the thing. Poetry, singing, dancing, sports etc, etc. He has ordered thousands of flags and joy will be unconfined but, yes another but, I have been asking people when these two great nights in the cultural calendar take place and a clear majority don’t know. Not a good start I fear.

St. Andrew is a rather shady character with a past that is not very clear. He was of course according to the bible an apostle, not to be confused with the Paisley street gang of recent years (they would have gubbed the Romans). He is claimed by many people from Russia to Scotland. There is a beautiful statue reputed to be him inside the stunning Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Church in Venice (worth a visit), as well as ties to Russia and Greece - maybe he was a travel agent. I suppose he fits the bill as well as anyone else if you must have a patron saint.

Burns is a different chap altogether. Revered by his followers and a figure of fun to those who don’t rate him. I regard him as a curate’s egg, soaring to the heights of ‘A man’s a man’ to the awful doggerel of ’My heart’s in the highlands’, still if he makes some people happy I’m all for that.

Let the games begin then. Dancing with swords with wee daggers down the socks, singing in impenetrable Gaelic, girning and street brawling all culminating in a national game of ‘fleece the tourist’. Alex Salmond (for first minister) will love it - pass the ‘Buckie’………………………….

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Today at lunch time it was a meeting with young parents whose nursery is under threat of closure by the SNP/Lib. Dem. Cabal who now run Renfrewshire Council.
The council have decided that they can save a little money by closing St. Fergus Nursery, the parents are at a loss to understand why when pre school education is so vital, this is one of the poorest areas there is and the council are about to make them suffer more.
Children from poor backgrounds need more help and encouragement to achieve not less, but they are the most vulnerable so the SNP/Lib. Dems. target them, they are shameless.

Tonight I will chair a meeting attended by another group of vulnerable people who are being targeted by this shower who are now in power, this time it’s the elderly.
If it’s not vulnerable infants it’s their great grand parents who are being treated like second class citizens by Renfrewshire’s SNP/Lib. Dem. Leaders.

Those who stay in sheltered accommodation are having their warden service cut, this time it’s a fete accompli there will be no consultation, what would you expect from this bunch of cowards. There will be frightened, vulnerable people there tonight who will be asking what is going to happen to them.
If you had an elderly relative in sheltered accommodation how would you feel if the council decided to remove the overnight warden and replace her/him with an alarm ? That’s what is going to happen, vulnerable possibly distressed elderly people will be in danger of having to work an alarm if they are in trouble during the night rather than call the warden.

The people responsible for this decision, (the council administration) are actually saying that while there will be no night warden and the number of wardens will be cut as well as the elderly having now to pay for this, the service will improve ! You decide, is this credible ? Are those in charge completely without any decency ?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


The advent of Winter brings many changes. Some for the worse such as cold wet weather traffic chaos and, more importantly, abandoned football matches. But, and this time it is a good but, some for the better because this is the time of year where sky gazing is at its most rewarding. On a clear night the stars and planets put on a dazzling display which mankind cannot match and it’s all for free. All you need do is glance up at the sky. Better still if you can find a place that doesn’t suffer from light pollution or blot out the lights by raising your hand to the side of your eye as this causes a dramatic difference - try it and see.

Two weeks ago I was reading about a visiting comet which was visible to the naked eye in the north eastern sky. Despite travelling at thousands of miles per minute this comet remained visible for several weeks and never seemed to move, thus emphasising its size and distance from Earth.

Incredibly this comet up until recently was only visible through a powerful telescope. The theory is that something catastrophic happened such as a mighty collision or an explosion which suddenly made it visible to the naked eye -fascinating stuff.

Anyway the bad news is that the world famous Oakshaw Observatory could be being run down. Its traditional access from Oakshaw street has been closed and visitors have to find their way to the main door of the museum and request a visit to the Observatory. They are given no assistance or instruction on how to do this. Worried Buddies are concerned that this is the thin end of the wedge and the latest underhand cut back by the SNP/ Lib Dem administration. This is an act of cultural vandalism and they ought to be ashamed.

I visited the Observatory before and used the telescope when it was trained on Saturn. What I saw was breathtaking. There were the famous ‘rings of Saturn’ as clear as a bell. Exactly the same as they were in my “Dan Dare” comic all those years ago. An unforgettable experience - would the SNP dare close it?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Even the weather gods seemed to favour the home team, by the time Scotland and Italy took the field at Hampden it had been 'raining stair rods' for hours in Glasgow.
The Scots are much more used to these conditions, they make it easier for players who are not so good (Scots) to stop players who are (Italians) that staple of the Scottish game the 'sliding tackle' comes to the fore on these occasions and it did here.

The weather along with a ferocious determination to compete by Scotland produced a fantastic match, despite losing a goal in the first two minutes the Scots. kept the game alive right to the end, some achievement when you are facing the world champions who significantly had everything to play for, this was a tremendous performance and one that can be built on.

But, there is always a but isn't there, the positives from the game have IMO been undermined by the hysterical whinging reaction of the Scottish press who went right over the top 'we wuz robbed' 'the linesman was a crook' etc. absolute garbage which makes Scotland look ridiculous, had this linesman got everything right the score would still have been Scotland 0 Italy 2 as he wrongly disallowed an Italian goal and wrongly awarded the Scottish goal.

Everyone associated with the team deserve praise and they behaved with dignity, is it too much to ask our press to do the same ?

At least England are still in it and I'm looking forward to seeing them go through tonight, they are persecuted by an even worse press than Scotland and it would be nice to see the team and their beleaguered manager triumph, I believe that if England go through they will immediately become a 'dark horse' to win it, I'm sure you will join me in wishing them the best of luck.

Friday, November 16, 2007


The SNP want to promote Gaelic while at the same time destroying English.
When is a thousand not a thousand ? when Salmond says 'a thousand policemen' that's when, when is a promise to reduce class sizes not a promise to reduce class sizes ? when Salmond says it, that's when, when is a promise to wipe out student debt not a promise to wipe out student debt ? when Salmond says it, that's when, when is a promise of £2,000 to new home buyers not a promise of £2,000 to new home buyers ? when it is said by Salmond, that's when.

What is two + two Mr. Salmond ? answer, 'weeellll it depends on how you look at it doesn't it' This man is a charlatan, he is the Arthur Daly of politics and we are stuck with him.

We would be better without any Govt. rather than this but, wow ! 'soft, what light from yonder is this' he rides to the rescue, with one bound he is free and glory of glories so are we, this time it's, wait for it, it's the year 2017, independence, it's official Salmond (for first minister) said it therefore it must be true, what do you mean 'this is the third time he's said it' no one remembers that, do they ?

Following Swinney's budget can we now put to rest this nonsense about the left of centre SNP, those kilted warriors for socialist independence, where are they ? where is the dissent ? not a word, where are the Bravehearts ?

Are we to believe that all members of the SNP are on board with this Tory budget, how do they keep all the sheep in line, did they get rid of the last radical when they done in Margo ? now is the time for the real SNP to re- emerge if they ever existed that is, my guess is they didn't.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Who remembers the above catch phrase ? it was an advert for Bernard Mathews turkey products, everyone was saying it and it was the owner of the firm Bernard himself who did the advert, quite a long time ago. He came across as a good natured hayseed farmer, a real salt of the earth type of man.

Some years after that advert he was in the news again as a ruthless union busting boss who sacked and intimidated his workforce and scared them off from forming a union, I relate this now because today's turkey cull reminded me of him and also why not one of his products has been seen in our house since, we boycotted him, he wasn't alone and still isn't, we have our own blacklist and my memory is very good, this is some of them.

Tunnocks Uddingston - anti union, Yuill N Dodds - coal dispute scabs, compaq computers - anti union, Silent Night Beds - anti union, Nestle - exploiters of 3Rd. world nursing mothers, British Airways Heathrow - exploiting workers in catering - you can make your own list.

Among the bigger players were South Africa under Apartheid, Pinochet's Chile and today we have Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, add in Mothercare, Gap, Matalan and H&M who have all been named as companies who have an appalling record of exploiting 3Rd. world workers, pregnant women small children it's all there in our wonderful Capitalist Casino Society.

The more people who join in the more impact it will have, even if the impact is minor you will feel better - read every label do your homework find out who you are dealing with, do your little bit to help and stop the abuse and exploitation, that cheap shirt is costing someone less well off than us plenty.

Friday, November 09, 2007


The SNP are still dissembling and struggling to admit that they are unable to recruit 1,000 new police officers, Alex Salmond clearly thinks if the Scottish electorate is dense enough to fall for "Alex Salmond for first Minister" there's nae chance of them spotting this wheeze is there ?

Last week, in response to a Parliamentary Question, erstwhile drunken football casual, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "The Scottish Government has not set a numerical target for the number of police officers that forces should employ." technically correct but, hold on Kenny boy sober up there, the SNP did before the election, remember ? Yesterday, ex friend of the 'king over the water' Jim Sillars, SNP MSP Alex Neil said officers who did not retire after 30 years could now be counted as 'new' officers, (don't panic Pikey, don't panic)

This comes despite the fact the SNP will soon have a budget of £30 billion to spend, more than double what Donald Dewar had available. The SNP made cynical promises before the election they knew they could not keep, remember the 'Alex for first minister' carry on, they have complete contempt for the Scottish people.

The SNP fail over their pledges, Their broken promises continue to be exposed, meanwhile we can look forward to the following, --- emergency caller, ---" we need the police" --- police reception ---"why" ---"a disturbance" ---"how big" --- "what" --- "can we send PC's Sandy n Andy they are retreads but in reasonable nick, Andy's got all his own teeth and Sandy has just had a new pace maker fitted, now now sir there's no need for bad language"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Say what you like about our Royals but they are fearless in the face of wee feathered creatures, particularly when armed with a rifle ( Prince Harry that is not the Birds )

Harry just like his fearless family likes nothing better than slaughtering beautiful wild creatures for fun, I wrote before about how his wretched grandfather Phil. bravely shot a tiger which had been caught and tethered, Harry is making the old duffer proud.

Two rare protected birds of prey (hen harriers) were being watched by bird lovers as they flew over part of the royal estate when two shots rang out and the birds fell to the ground the observers immediately reported the crime to the authorities who carried out an investigation, no dead birds were found but two bird brained humans were, one was our noble Prince Harry who was interviewed and claimed innocence, the 'old bill' believed him, honestly.

It transpired that Harry boy was out in that area shooting birds at that time with a chum, it was established that there was no one else in the area, but he denied responsibility, ( 'Final', 'Extra', 'two rare birds commit suicide on royal estate' ) the Rozzers said the investigation is over but they are not looking for anyone else, Rozzerspeak for he's as guilty as hell but, he is a prince.

If one isn't falling in and out of taxis drunk as a skunk and dressed as a Nazi what else is there for one to do, I blame the family, how do you expect a lad to turn out with a family like that, no parenting skills whatsoever, would an ASBO be in order ? after all it's likely to be the only qualification he will ever get.

Have the police been warned off ? is it Harry's famous charm and pleasant nature which won them over ? To paraphrase Tom Stoppard,

"This is a British murder inquiry and some degree of justice must be seen to be more or less done".

Monday, November 05, 2007


War is hell, it provides the stage for heroism and barbarism. Today we see something unprecedented going on in Britain, that is the political exploitation of soldiers in the field. Politicians have always used the military to show off when they are on a victory parade, think Bush, Thatcher, also at events like poppy day etc. but I'm thinking of something different.

Today we see the Govt. being attacked for letting down our soldiers because of poor housing and bad or lack of equipment. Families urged on by politicians are attacking the Govt. because loved ones have been killed or injured, I don't remember this happening before, any death is a tragedy and exploiting that death is worse, the most obvious case is Mrs. Rose Gentle cynically exploited by the SSP who seem to have vanished.

Meanwhile our military leaders are caught out living high on the hog while all this goes on, a figure jumps out £9.6 million over the last two years, what have they spent it on ? better equipment ? no, better housing ? no, better training ? no.

This sum is the cost of entertainment for the military top brass, Sir Richard Dannatt 'chief of staff' when not criticising the Govt. is spending over £20,00 / yr. on dining bills, his predecessor Sir (yes they are all Sirs) Mike Jackson £22,000 a year others with their snouts in the trough are Sir Freddie Viggers and Sir Redmond Watt.

This obscenity is taking place against a backdrop of war and constant complaints from these very people about poor equipment and lack of respect for our soldiers, yes you read that right these chinless clowns are complaining about lack of respect while they guzzle their way through millions, they have the cheek to attack the Govt. for not providing enough, what parasites.

I've said it before and once again I say the British armed forces at the highest level needs to be gutted and replaced by talent, the old military families and royal officers are not up to the job they should make way for real soldiers, the British Army needs an enema.

Meanwhile down at the officers club in Whitehall it's pass the brandy and cigars Algernon old chap and switch off that awful news from Iraq, are you up for the polo tomorrow ?

Friday, November 02, 2007


Israel bombed a site in Syria recently and no one complained, this sends out a message from Israel and America that they can do anything they like in the Middle East, this is designed to pave the way for an attack on Iran, we have been here before haven't we.

Israel will act to prevent any other nation from getting a nuclear weapon which begs the rather obvious question, should other states have the right to do the same to Israel ? or indeed America ? Does the right to break the UN charter over nuclear weapons only apply to Israel and America ? if this is the case then why ? is it any wonder that the Middle East is the favourite spot for nuclear war to happen.

Israel has a massive nuclear arsenal and they will not negotiate with anyone and they get away with it because of the USA, they even kidnapped and jailed an Israeli citizen who told the world about their WMD's meanwhile they keep expanding.

We still have no proof of Iran having WMD's while America and Israel has them by the thousands, how can this be justified ? who are the real aggressors here, could it be America led by a cretin who thinks god is looking after him, or Israel perhaps who continue to steal land from the Palestinians and persecute them, now cutting off water and electricity to Gazza, they will be to blame when the balloon goes up.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


A couple of weeks ago I attended the opening of the new Glencoats Primary School in my ward, the usual suspects were present at the familiar ceremony which was very nice, the children performed well and their teachers and parents were justifiably proud.

I remember about 6 yrs. ago fronting a meeting with education officer Stephen McKenzie where I talked about the bright future of education in Ferguslie where two old schools with declining rolls would be replaced by a brand new state of the art primary costing approx. £7. million. Incredibly enough I was met with hostility, due in no small measure to the presence of the SNP who had done their utmost to spread rumours designed to turn the local people against the school.

Here we were 7 yrs. later and who was making the speeches and cutting the ribbon but the same SNP who had opposed the Labour plans for schools, smiling and praising the school to the highest, a great conversion eh ? More utter Hypocrisy from the SNP.

READ THE PAISLEY DAILY EXPRESS Oct. 31 - 07 ( Green light for £210 m airport link plan ) The SNP Convener of Planning Cllr. Nicolson chaired the meeting where this 'green light' came on, he was fulsome in his praise of the Rail Link saying it "would be a great benefit to the economy in Renfrewshire" so what ? I hear you ask, well, this is the same Cllr. Nicolson who along with his SNP group campaigned against the Rail Link, they even ran a pathetic petition against it on their web which attracted about fifty names over about 3 yrs.

There's more folks ! at the election in May many people in Houston would have voted for the SNP one of the reasons they did so was a local campaign to prevent the sale by the council of open ground at Manse Crs. Houston.
The local people were supported in this by the SNP and in particular Cllrs. Noon and Nicolson who helped their campaign.

Fast forward to a planning meeting with the SNP in power and their friend and fellow campaigner Cllr. Nicolson in the chair, need I go on ? yes it's sold folks, to the highest bidder and they 'the local people' sold also, straight down the river by the SNP - we may hear more about this as my old friends from the Standards Commission are now sniffing around, I will return to it. Meanwhile these are the people who asked the voters to trust them.

Monday, October 29, 2007


They are back, in fact, they have never been away, the Tory backwoodsmen the 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' have been hiding under rocks and now they are resurfacing.

I know that most people won't be shocked to hear that I don't like the Tory party, strangely as I get older I have mellowed toward individual Tories and I find myself talking to some of them and, in fact getting along OK with some of them, I won't name them to protect their reputations.

The 'Cameron bounce' of the last month is fading and the dinosaurs are back, predictably it's Europe and the 'Johnny Foreigner' who is stealing our sovereignty and our traditions and, also that old favourite from the nasty party, 'the race card' yes there we were this morning listening to some shadow cabinet nonentity telling us that the Tories will be making immigration an issue all the way to the election, if it looks like a rat and smells like a rat it's probably a rat as Nye Bevan might have said.

If this doesn't do the trick we can expect a 'bring back hanging' campaign and if this doesn't do the trick, what about 'National Service' that will sort out the cheeky young pups eh ? Is it not time for the decent people in the 'nasty party' to stand up and be counted ?


The row rumbles on - They must provide a level playing field but the white Afrikaner will never give ground in rugby to black S.A.s they see rugby as part of white supremacist culture and they will never change willingly, they will have to be forced.

Opinion is demanding a change to produce more black internationals, to banish for ever the Springbok emblem, a remnant of the evil Apartheid days, the team doctor of Soweto rugby club Qasim Bhorat who cheered on the Springboks when they last won the World Cup said "this time I'll be cheering for England" that sounds nothing like 'the rainbow nation' does it ?

1996 Henry Tromp is capped after killing a black man, 2003 Springbok hero George Cronje refused to share a room with a black team mate, team rep. mark Keohane resigned saying " it's a matter of conscience, I'm disgusted with the racism within rugby, morally I can't be in a squad where racial prejudice is tolerated and excused.

It's got to stop and people here in Scotland and England should be ashamed for turning a blind eye to this poison.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I'm receiving comments from all over Britain about my views on rugby, dozens of people have written, I've lost count, mostly hostile, only one or two sensible, some predictably unprintable, no prizes for guessing Henry Crun's in there.

Poor Henry, he writes as if he's back in the Townships wearing his SADF uniform where his word is law, I've been thinking about this surge of comments, does this mean that rugby players/fans in England are my readers ? all the comments are similar, coincidence ? none of them, that's right not one of them identifies themselves ? Rugby players are brave eh. Is it possible that all those rugby people all wrote in at the same time with the same sentiments and all ANONYMOUS ? what do you think ?

I think I detect the dead hand and thick head of 'Right for Scotland' here, he's done this type of thing before and even admitted it by gloating about how he kept me so busy by colluding with others, poor guy, you can't accuse him of subtlety can you ? I think he should start wearing a helmet when playing.

Here's a surprise, the rugby bosses are on my side, they have decided that the game is dire and in need of a revamp so they are looking at rule changes, I have a few suggestions, 1/ play with a ball. 2/ ban anyone who is over 25 stones. 3/ stop kicking into the crowd. 4/ force teams to run the ball 5/ introduce mixed sex teams, it needs toughening up. 6/ force the Springboks to 'black up' before the game. 7/ get the teams to gorge on beer before the game, or do they already do that ? 8/ play night games without flood lights 9/ make the players cover themselves in oil before starting 10/ ban the racist S.A. Springboks until they join the human race !

I'm not even asking for payment for these ideas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


They should never mix should they ? well that has been the mantra for ages of the privileged elite who can afford to exclude others on grounds of race, creed, class or colour, it still goes on in 2007 - I remember watching a documentary on this subject years ago and found out to my shock that the home of fair play and British values 'the All England Tennis and Croquet Association' known to us mortals as 'Wimbledon' were guiltyas hell.

From their creation the club had a tradition of awarding life time honorary membership to anyone who won a Wimbledon title, singles, doubles, mixed doubles etc. the documentary makers found out that one person in all that time had been refused this honorary membership, she was a Dutch woman who happened to be Jewish.
She did not want to comment and the upstanding elite Wimbledon people refused to discuss the matter, I don't know if this garbage still goes on but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

The rugby world cup showed the games ugly face of racism and elitism, England were misrepresented by a majority of toffs and white South Africa's ruling rugby elite showed that they were still entrenched in the Afrikaner mire.
Black and white S.A.s suspended hostilities for a short time until the old Springbok arrogance once again saw them strutting. The team of 15 had 13 whites 2 mixed race and no S.A. blacks this is in a country where S.A. blacks number 19 million 87% of the population, and whites 4.5 million.

S.A. is heading for a situation where players will be picked on colour rather than merit which is wrong but, make no mistake about it, the blame lies with the white Afrikaners who dominate rugby they will not cooperate, they refuse to do the right thing, white opposition politician Helen Zille said " if racism still exists in rugby it must be stopped" note the word 'if'

These are the people who will complain about politics mixing in sport, the Springboks, the white S.A. elite, the answer ? think back to the seventies 'stop the tour' that's the language that the Afrikaner racist understands, that's the language that should be meted out to them again by all rugby playing countries and all rugby people everywhere, it's time for a level playing field in S.A. and here.

Friday, October 19, 2007


First some confessions - I want to see England win the rugby world cup for two reasons because I'm British and because I read about the S.A. players, some of whom are still tainted with racism.

I will not however be jumping around celebrating all that much and, here comes the controversy, only 4 of the England squad of 22 do not come from a privileged background of wealth, private schools and famous universities.
I don't believe that that, is a coincidence, any more than it is in Scotland, the reason that rugby is a non event in Scotland is because it is elitist, it might not be the fault of individual players who would no doubt be happy to play with and against anyone.

The fact remains though that the overwhelming majority of Scottish kids have never played and never will, reason ? more controversy here, millions could be spent on facilities and coaches etc. but the outcome would never justify the expenditure because the game is just not good enough, not skillful enough, too contrived, sorry rugger lads but that is M.O.

Fitba - Scotland were brought back down with a bump against Georgia, they have had a glorious run but it looks exactly as all the experts said (me included) that France and Italy will go to the next stage, I hope I'm wrong.

You might accuse me of raining on Scotland's parade but, the other night Scotland, how can I put it ? were humiliated.
Let's stop kidding ourselves, Scotland, needing every point faced Georgia who had nothing to play for, Georgia were missing their Captain and vice Captain, they played a sixteen year old and two seventeen year old's, one of whom was their goalkeeper who had never played a first team game for his club, he never had a save to make.

This was as bad a result and performance as anything we have seen, we can't play as bad as this against Italy, problem is of course we can play a hell of a lot better and still lose to the Italians who are world champions and don't often lose when the chips are down, still it's 90 mns. and eleven against eleven so ! roll the dice.


Should I be scared ? I have been known to say things about President Bush which could be interpreted as unfriendly, some might even say insulting, I believe that, strange as it may seem there are some people out there who resent me saying these things and, I have had to reluctantly concluded that there are also people out there who have decided that they just don't like me.

They have never met me but, it seems because we hold different opinions and because I won't allow them to use bad language I'm a bad guy.
I also beat them up in arguments but hey ! isn't that what arguing is about, admittedly they are right wing reactionaries which makes my job easier but, I wish they wouldn't be so nasty, it upsets me.

This brings me back to Bush I am reliably informed that someone out there (nameless of course) thinks that I should not be allowed to say nasty things about George, they have, wait for it, complained about me to the American Embassy in London for calling George a 'draft dodging coward' wow ! what to do ? will they draw back from Iraq and come for me ? or is the money the American White House gangsters are making from the war too much to give up.
Maybe this will save me.

Anyway, I'm in the mood for martyrdom so, George Bush you are not a nice man, so there and, furthermore I offer to meet you anywhere and at any time with a view to you and me engaging in unarmed combat. We will then see whether you are a coward, or whether you really are the great John Wayne lookalike who appeared swaggering on the aircraft carrier wearing the flying leathers and declaring "Yurp, my fellow murkins the war is over, we've won."
An insult to military combatants everywhere.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


A statue of Oliver Tambo went up in London yesterday, this makes at least two statues that I know of which are 'worth the candle' Mandela's and his.

These men were prepared to die in their fight against the evil Apartheid regime, a regime which some people still try make excuses for, even today, people who exploited the black population and benefited from it, these racists are beaten and broken.

Those who went there to exploit and those who tried to undermine the ANC are now disgraced, like Neil Hamilton ex Tory MP and others who wore 't' shirts with the legend 'hang Mandela' at Young Conservative Rallies, a bunch of right wing morons.

The 'boycott' the 'demo's' the 'sporting protests' 'world opinion' stirred up constantly by activists, even insignificant ones like me all played their part, a great cause triumphed and evil was defeated.

Unfortunately the evils of S.A. are still with us wherever people are exploited and the struggle will go on. There is a 'Nelson Mandela Square' in Glasgow and that makes me proud I'm also proud to have been there when he spoke at a packed George Square, anything's possible with right on your side.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Apologies to T.S. Elliot for the title, was there ever a more useless political life than this man's. Question - What do you think Ming ? answer - 'First, what do Brown and Cameron think'

His decision to become a Liberal is painted by him as a rebellion when he was in fact at Glasgow Uni. with Donald Dewar, John Smith, James Gordon, D Alexander Snr. and other labour big hitters that's what made him a Liberal, he knew he would have sunk without trace among these guys.
That and a display of rat like cunning that told him there would always be a place for a politician who wasn't Labour or Tory.

He is defined by what he is not, not by what he is, how can anyone tell what he is, he has gone through his political life bearing the impression of the last person who sat on him.
He has survived and lived very well on a philosophy which was never anything more than 'a plague on both your houses' a cringing venal appeal to be liked because the big two were always quarreling and we / me the Liberals are nice people, a shell of a man.

Check this, Hyde Park Anti Iraq War Rally, Charlie Kennedy said he was "not yet persuaded" of the case for war, not opposed ? where was Ming ? no answer no comment ! Kennedy said " a U.N. endorsement would persuade him, the U.N. did not endorse the war, the Lib Dems. backed the war when it started, Kennedy saying in the commons that the 'prime minister can be confident of the genuine support of the Lib. Dem. Party, where was Ming ? no answer no comment !

Ming with that famous 'rat like cunning' followed his instincts, he waited to see if the war would be popular or unpopular, once he saw the way it was going he re-invented himself as the principled anti war champion, a charlatan if ever there was one.
He hid until it was safe to further his own career.
Forget about dead soldiers or civilians that's what motivated him, shameful.

His one attribute was that he had a very catchy nickname 'Ming' at least we in Scotland know what 'ming' means don't we.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


The squalid low life character behind the symbol (C4') writes to me regularly, some times I have to reject what he has written because of the language he uses which is sometimes unprintable.

He has written to me again and despite the vile nature of what he has written I have decided to print it, I'm doing this to let people see what this guy is like and what he is capable of.

He has decided in his frustration at not being able to land a blow on me that the missing child Madeline McCann is a suitable subject to make fun of while trying to damage me, some people might think me wrong for printing it and I apologise to them if they do but, I think people ought to know the kind of right wing vermin who are out there.


Monday, October 08, 2007


France 0 Scotland ! Lyon 0 Rangers 3 Celtic 2 AC Milan 1 what is going on ? unfortunately the biggest talking point generated by these astonishing results was the fan who ran on to the pitch and hit the Milan keeper with a baseball bat.

Fantastic results and you can say that Lyon were lucky they didn't have to face Hibs and Milan lucky no to have to face Gretna, I was lucky to catch a TV post match interview with Milan's Clarence Seedorf, a genuinely great player who has won 17 medals and 83 international caps 4 of those medals are European Champions winners, with 3 different clubs, Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan a footballing giant who also showed us how to lose with good grace.

Seedorf praised Celtic and congratulated them and their fans without a hint of rancour, still sweating from his exertions he was the image of dignity and fair play a true Corinthian.

Davie Provan writes appropriately enough for 'The News of the World' he had a right go at the Milan keeper for feigning injury and I was cast back in time to a game between Celtic and Hearts.

Playing on the left wing for Hearts that night was the 38 yr. old (ex Rangers) Willie Johnstone he went to take a throw in and a Celtic player stood in front of him to make the throw awkward, they were nose to nose, Johnstone took the throw and they 'brushed foreheads' down went the Celtic player ' shot by an elephant gun' off went Johnstone who retired from the game that night, the Cheating Celtic player ? yep, none other than the sanctimonious critic of the Milan keeper, Davie Provan, a fine player and a 100 % hypocrite. His main concern when he stepped on to the field of play was not to get hurt, thank god for players like Seedorf !

Friday, October 05, 2007


The above title is only three letters but there is not a corner of the world where they need an explanation, what is the most famous / popular image of the twentieth century ? Hitler, Marilyn, the Queen, JFK, Lenin, Stalin, Ali, or is it this guy ? he certainly has a claim and now 40 yrs. since the pictures of the open eyed corpse were put on show in Vallegrande Bolivia the town has been turned into a place of religious pilgrimage.

Local Bolivians ( devout catholics) pray to 'Saint Ernesto' and claim that he has interceded with 'the chief' to bring them comfort and help, he is right up there with Jesus, Mary, the Pope and the latest thorn in America's side Evo Morales ( power to him )
In Seville at the university some years ago I saw a student carrying a book with a large picture of Che on the cover and I said to her "ah ! Che Guevara" and I was made welcome by the students immediately, not a bad legacy, one of the greats of history.

Fast forward 40 yrs. and, Cubans are back in Bolivia as guests, they are doctors who are working with the Bolivian poor, one of the operations which is commonplace is the restoration of sight by removing cataracts. One old man had this operation and spoke of his delight at being able to see the mountains and flowers again along with his grandchildren.

40 Yrs. ago that old man was a young army sergeant trained by the CIA when he was about to execute a man the victim said to him "calm down and point well you are about to kill a man" the speaker was Che Guevara and the young sergeant was Mario Teran who was the old man who had his sight restored by Cuban doctors.

A victory for Che, for Cuba and, for Socialism.


Under the title of 'redundancies by the SNP" I have been attacked by another 'Anonymous' who asked me this question "do you believe that everyone you argue with is wrong, I answered yes, otherwise I would be agreeing with them and not arguing with them"

He the wrote back accusing me of arrogance ( read it for yourself ) wow ! ! I now have a picture of this person arguing with people that he agrees with and agreeing with people he argues with, is this real ? you bet, why me ? what have I done to deserve these people writing to me.

Guess what ? you've guessed it he/she won't identify themselves, would you ?


SHOTGUN _ as some of you may know is a regular contributor to this blog - inarticulate and irate, he holds odious right wing opinions and usually just manages to stay on the side of what is printable but, he has recently slipped into some kind of frenzy, his last couple of posts sent to my article 'REDUNDANCIES AND THE SNP" have been quite worrying.

He has adopted a threatening stance toward me because, I think he is probably now punch drunk, his last post, again unprintable, uses the chilling old fascist phrase " we (n.b. not I) know where you live, so dear readers if I disappear you might conclude that he has finally gone over the edge, or should that be 'further over the edge' ?

I have to say though at the risk of antagonising him, ( them ) further that if he, ( them ) can fight like he, (they) can talk then I better put my affairs in order.

Maybe we could persuade him (them) to go to Iraq and finish the war in a couple of days for us.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Jena Louisiana, population 3,000 - black population 450 - the old school has a spreading tree in it's yard which affords shade to pupils when it's hot, white pupils that is, yes, this is the USA in the year 2007 - black kids can't share the shade of a tree with white kids.

A black kid dared to stand under the tree and take shade, the next day three nooses were on display from the tree's branches - remember this is the poisonous red neck state of Louisiana where, between the years of 1882 and 1968, 335 black people were lynched, yes you read that right 19 68 was not an error, those who put up the nooses got suspended for 3 days.

Tension - a white kid pulled a gun a black kid got hit over the head with bottles - later a white youth was kicked unconscious by 6 black youths, the white youth with the gun and the white youths with the bottle attack were not charged while the 6 black youths were charged with attempted murder and are looking at up to 80yrs. their victim attended a school disco that same night.

Black demonstrators are now supporting the 'Jena 6' - at a protest rally, a blast from the past the Rev. Al Sharpton from the Selma and Alabama days with doctor King said " in the 20 Th. century we fought to sit on the bus, now we fight not to sit in court, we have gone from being slaves to being prisoners" one tee shirt proclaimed ' we are here to cut down the white tree of white supremacy' they are still marching and singing "we shall overcome" does anyone doubt them ?

This is the same America which, as I write is busy all over the world exporting American values, from the barrel of a gun, this is the USA 2007.


Lib.Dem./SNP cabal continue to hit the most vulnerable in Renfrewshire - since coming to power 5 months ago they have done the following.

price rises for after school care in the poorest areas.
Price rises for Council halls, these apply to disabled and pensioner groups etc. as well.
Reduction in hours for Educational Session workers, they have admitted that it was either this or the closure of adult learning centres.
Get this - the removal of free tea and coffee for those who drop into the homeless unit - honestly !
This sits beside the announced cuts of £2. 3 which they refuse to give details of.
In addition they campaigned in opposition to save Millarston Playing Fields and the land at Manse Crs. Houston. They quickly reneged on promises not to sell these pieces of land.
Perhaps though, the most worrying thing yet over this shameful 5 months, particularly if you are a council employee was Council leader the SNP's Derek Mackay's refusal to honour labour's guarantee which has stood for 27 yrs. of no compulsory redundancies, 3 times he was asked in public, twice by me and once by Labour Councillor Tom Williams.

The cock crowed and the treacherous SNP denied the council employees 3 times - people of Renfrewshire, you were warned - the Glib. Dem/Gnat conspiracy can't be trusted.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


We are decent hard working people here in our town. Our population has halved from a million to half a million over 60 yrs. and in the first half of this year 13,600 homes have been repossessed, 10 yrs. ago that figure was 3,400 and last year it was 7,000 so it's worsening, and it's scary we don't understand what's happening, we need help.

Companies going bust are up 71% since last year, during August 245,000 lost their homes country wide, fast talking salesmen have conned people into massive debts, many immigrants came here fleeing poverty and now they are worse off, dying without a home after a lifetime of hard work.

60 families a day lose their homes, this is not regarded as an emergency, not regarded as unacceptable, nobody is organising protests, it doesn't make the headlines - where is this ? is it some banana republic run by a bloodthirsty military dictator, no it's not.

Because this is the city of Cleveland in the mid west of the world's self appointed greatest country America, this is now Sept. 2007 - this is a society which is rotten to it's capitalist core.

These poor people still sing 'god bless America' and stick the 'stars n bars' in their yard if they are lucky enough to still have one, the power of propaganda is such that they are terrified to admit that ' The American Dream ' is a cruel scam which exploits them, they are scared stiff of being labeled un-American or un-patriotic, they should try singing 'God Help America' and learning to fight back - in the words of the great American Union man who was murdered by the state Joe Hill " don't mourn, organise"

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I saw this in a paper and thought it worth sharing.

"We have a big council house in our street - the large extended family is overseen by a grumpy old woman who keeps fierce dogs. Their car isn't taxed or insured , but the police do nothing about it. Her bad tempered old husband is always upsetting everyone with racist remarks. A local shopkeeper has blamed him for ordering the contract murder of his son and his son's girlfriend but nothing has yet been proved. All the kids have broken marriages except the youngest.

They have two grandsons who are out of control, they are supposed to be in the Army but are always in and out of clubs and pubs. Their outrageous behaviour is always getting reported in the press, they are completely beyond the pale. really who in their right mind would live near Windsor Castle ?"


4 years ago a young American peace activist named Rachel Corrie was killed by a Catterpillar Bulldozer. On Sept. 18 Th. 07 an Illinois court refused her family permission to sue the Caterpillar Co. They sell these machines to the Israel Defence Force who use them as an efficient means of destroying palestinian homes, whether they are inhabited at the time or not.

The families claimed that Caterpillar sold these machines to Israel knowing that they would use them to demolish homes in violation of international law, the family described it as a war crime, the USA Govt. gave evidence on behalf of Catterpillar, shock horror !

In 2002 in the West Bank while the Omar al-Shu'bi family slept in their Nablus home, an Israeli bulldozer destroyed their house without warning - 4 men 3 women (1 pregnant) and 3 children aged 4, 7 & 9 were killed - a good nights work for the Israelis, this is war Israeli style, be fair now, the 4, 7 & 9 year olds could have been very dangerous.

The Church of England following this voted to disinvest from companies making profit from the occupation, then like the good Christians that they are they voted to keep their shares in Catterpillar !

Yesterday a 16 Yr. old Palestinian boy was killed by the Israeli Defence Force using a Catterpillar Bulldozer. Israel and America must be proud of themselves, surely ?


Meeting of Renfrewshire Full Council Sept. 13 Th. 07 --- The scene is the council chamber, the GNAT/GLIB. DEM. cabal have announced price rises for after school care for paisley's two poorest wards, they have also announced price rises for hall hires, this includes users less fortunate than most of us such as Pensioners and groups with learning difficulties.

Both of the above price hikes could cost jobs with halls closing and people who rely on after school care being unable to afford it--- then another announcement--- a budget cut of £2.3 Million - that could mean jobs as well.

The following exchange then took place, Cllr. Kelly ( for it was I ) to Council leader Mackay SNP " labour gave our workforce a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, we honoured this guarantee for the 27 Yrs. we were in office, will you Cllr. Mackay give the same guarantee" Cllr. Mackay - no answer - the question was put again on three other occasions, Cllr. Mckay - no answer - he stared into the middle distance like a rabbit in the headlights of a car.

What does it mean ? well to our approx. 9,000 employees it means that the Labour guarantee of no compulsory redundancies which has protected you for 27 yrs. has been ditched by the new Glib/Dem. Gnat alliance, after 27 Yrs. it has taken 4 months for them to sell their work force down the river and this is them just starting - you were warned !

Monday, September 17, 2007


I predicted that France would beat Scotland home and away, which tells you that even experts like me can get it wrong. I would wager though that the French would love to play the game again tonight, that doesn't take away the enormity of the two results and I am happy to see the emergence of some good players at this level for Scotland, very well done to them and especially to McFadden two spectacular goals in succession, if we overlook the French goalie waving at the ball.

Young McFadden only has to keep doing this on a regular basis to be called a great player, Bobby Charlton did this with monotonous regularity so why can't young James ?

I am not the world's greatest cricket fan but, I watched India play Pakistan in a twenty over game from South Africa. Being only twenty overs and between the Celtic and Rangers of cricket it was incredible, these guys were smashing the ball out of the park regularly and heroics were being performed in the field by men throwing themselves at the ball in a very dangerous way.

We all remember the great snooker final between Davis and Taylor where it incredibly came down to the last black ball out of 35 frames well, this came down to Pakistan needing one run from the last ball to win, unbelievable but true the batsman predictably lashed out and started running and was run out, the game was tied and they went to a 'bowl out' no I've never heard of it either, five bowls each from five different players at an unguarded wicket.

Just like a penalty shoot out, Pakistan missed four out of five, victory to India, exciting or what ? I must watch more of this. 'A bumping pitch and a blinding light, an hour to play and the last man' this is a bit different, but still brilliant.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Henry Crun is the name that this person hides behind, he talks tough but does so from a position of anonymity, that's another way of describing a coward.

He doesn't like what I write about Nelson Mandela so, from his hiding place he sends me comments which are repulsive and nothing but foul mouthed rants, he sounds in fact like a white South African apartheid supporter, a real storm trooper, remember the words of the song ? 'I've never met a nice South African'

Write again Henry Crun and if you try to resemble a human being, I will, as I do with everyone else answer you, I may need to wash afterwards but I will answer you.

Monday, September 03, 2007


A recent poll for the first time ever has come up with a majority who agree with something that I have been saying for years, that is that prison as we know it does not work, this large poll follows two recent smaller polls which produced similar results 51% say prison doesn't work, a truly incredible result.

Incredible ? yes because there is no other issue which compares with crime and punishment when it comes to the rule of the mob orchestrated by the gutter red top press, no subject is used more ruthlessly to sell papers than this, non stop lurid savage headlines has been the currency used by these evil rags and yet, at last people are starting to listen to reason.
The truth is that a 25 yr sentence does not stop someone who is determined to get hold of a gun and murder someone else.

We have the highest prison population ever, approx 90,000 for the whole of Britain, people are asking why and what's the point, 80 % of them have two or more mental health problems that's approx. 72,000 prisoners that is not, repeat not, a misprint.

Should we lock up young women for a fine default and then chain them to a bed during childbirth ? I say no, also the treatment of male prisoners is shocking, locked up for long spells because of overcrowding, how would you like to open the cell door of a violent prisoner with mental health problems who has been locked up for 23 hrs staring at the wall ?
How much could be saved by a more enlightened sentencing policy which keeps people out of prison and still punishes them ? probably billions of pounds.

Much more space in prison, much more time for prison staff, more training more programmes better results, we take prisoners in just now and after 4,5,6 years they are released worse than when they came in, just think about it a prisoner goes in innumerate and illiterate and comes out 6 yrs later still innumerate and illiterate, this is madness is it not ? do we want to solve the problem of crime or are we doomed to repeat past failures.

Perhaps the public are at last beginning to see through the posturing of right wing politicians like Tory 'druggy Dave Cameron' and Kenny 'gies a drink ya Engurlish B-----d' McCaskill SNP Justice minister, it's never too late to see sense and it's long overdue.

75% of young male prisoners re offend ------------------ FACT
This can be cut by 22% using community sentencing- FACT
37% Illiterate that's 29,600--------------------------------FACT
50% addicts of one kind or another---------------------- FACT
Only 10% of addicts get treatment------------------------FACT

There are many more reasons to change but these are some of them.

Conclusion ? when a politician tells you that prison works, particularly against a backdrop of some terrible crime like right now on Merseyside he/she is lying.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Nelson Mandela has been honoured by a big statue in Parliament Square, alongside Abraham Lincoln, Jan Smutts and Churchill, a president who freed the slaves, a S.A. Prime Minister who championed slavery and a British Prime Minister who would have embraced Apartheid given the chance.

Mandela recalled a visit to Parliament Square as a young man with his great comrade Oliver Tambo when they laughingly joked that it would be wonderful to have a statue in Parliament Square some day of a black person, now it's come true and it's him.
From the dock as a young man before sentencing he said he was prepared to die for his beliefs, what followed was long years of brutal imprisonment which he of course survived and triumphed over.
He was instrumental in overthrowing the evil of Apartheid and he also inspired people all over the world to fight injustice.

For years we attended marches and demo's as well as boycotting S.A. goods, we wore little blue badges with the simple message 'Free Nelson Mandela' everywhere you went people would see others wearing these badges and exchange a greeting or sometimes just a nod or a smile, it was like some kind of international brotherhood a world wide movement for a great man against a great evil.

I remember that at the time of his imprisonment the Young Conservatives dressed up in 'T' shirts which bore the legend 'Hang Nelson Mandela' some of these braying morons became quite prominent and some still are.
I hope the great man, like me, was thinking about them today.

One of them was the awful Ian Hamilton Tory MP who had a crime named after him, a financial bribe contained in a brown envelope became known as a 'Hamilton' very fitting for the party inspired by Arthur Daly.
Mandela will now always be a part of Britain with this statue, I took my oldest daughter Clare to see him and hear him speak on a wet Glasgow day I held her on my shoulders in the large crowd, and now I'm so proud that I did, some day she might tell her Grandchildren that her father took her to see and hear one of the greatest men of the 20 Th. century.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Here's a little snippet which shows what it's like to be a Palestinian living under the Israeli occupation. An England V Palestine football match was suggested and as a result a three week tour of a Palestinian under 19 team was arranged, they were preparing to come to the UK when the British Consulate in Jerusalem refused their passport applications, This is how the Palestinians are treated by us currying favour with Israel and America, shameful.

The consulate say they were afraid that they might abscond, Britain colluded with the brutal Israel state in creating their conditions which are desperate and now we prevent them from taking part in sport.

Can't you see the cruel shadow created by the USA and Israel over these people's lives, and we here lie down to them, kids playing football for god's sake, I'm ashamed to be British.

As for Israel, they are not concerned by young footballers, this is a state consumed by guilt.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Who else but Bush, someone once said that 'no-one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the average American' ( PT Barnum ? ) I thought about this the other night when Dubya was speaking on TV his insult to Americans this time was not Iraq or illegal torture or even the highest number in the world of people in jail, no this was an insult to savor he spoke about Americas failures in Vietnam. Some 50,000 American lives lost and he chose to use the Vietnam war to bolster his stance on Iraq.

So why is this so bad ? well many of you will be well ahead of me by now, yes that's right the President of the USA George W Bush is a draft dodging coward this dishonourable pathetic excuse of a president used his family's wealth and connections to avoid the war, he now gets away with criticism of how the war was prosecuted, how low can this man get ? how does he get away with it ? are the American people really that stupid ? it would seem so.

The Republican right attacked Clinton for missing Vietnam and elected Bush, conveniently avoiding a slight difference between them which was that Clinton opposed the war, the coward Bush was happy to support it with the proviso that someone else would do the fighting, he was all for fighting those pesky commies as long as he didn't have to get shot at, 'let the little people get shot at' as the late truly awful American Billionaire Leona Helmsley would have said

I truly despair at what this great nation has become, This dreadful President Bush makes Nixon look cuddly, he's a coward, a liar and a crook - all together now join in "God help America, my home sweet home"

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Something to be truly proud of, three recent events. On TV - 'The Amazon Heartbeat' told the story of people carrying through a project to take medical aid to some of the poorest people in the world in the Amazon basin. The site of poor disease ridden children being treated with what are sometimes quite simple remedies to us was quite moving and also served to remind me of why I'm in politics and, why I hold the beliefs that are so important to me.

This project was achieved against great odds and the programme resonates with Scottish voices, try to watch the next episode, well done to all of them.

'From the Congo to Motherwell' was another uplifting programme, refugees from that tragic country are being resettled and made welcome by the people of Motherwell who have taken them to their hearts.
These people have fled hunger, poverty and violence and are now making a new life here in Scotland, if you must have something that makes you proud of your country then you should start right here.

The Paisley Daily Express carries the story of two courageous Paisley women who travelled to the Middle East to give medical help and other assistance to one of the most tragic and dangerous places on the planet, 'The Gaza Strip' sometimes referred to as the world's biggest prison.

Palestinians packed into a small cramped area surrounded by hunger and disease, also surrounded by their oppressors the state of Israel who treat them with appalling disregard for the sanctity of human life.

These two women reported their terror at coming under fire from the Israeli military who also used gas to attack them and the Palestinians that they were trying to help, gassing women and children ! that's what the Israelis are now doing, who would have thought that possible ? again if you are looking for a source of pride you have it right there.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Watched Aberdeen V Celtic on TV, good match, goal scored by a 40 yr. old, Craig Brewster' 'well done that man' Nakamura smashed a 30yrd. free kick off the bar, bad by his standards.

4 goals and plenty of football incidents but theee ! incident was a confrontation between the Celtic dug out and the Aberdeen fans behind them, one steward was seen to run down stairs to confront Gordon Strachan in a very angry way, I can't wait to hear what that guy has to say,

This type of thing is far too common and seems to be getting worse.

I would like to suggest a solution - a cop stationed behind each dug out to monitor what is being shouted and if there is vile and poisonous personal abuse as suggested by the Celtic management team then, arrest and charge the culprits. Is that too simple ?

Friday, August 17, 2007


Wendy Alexander will be the new leader of Scottish Labour. Yesterday at the Wynd Centre in Paisley Wendy announced she would stand and along with others, some of them big hitters, I was, as her agent delighted to share the moment with her and other comrades, along with the gaggle of press people who, probably for the last time felt obliged to be nice to her.

I doubt if I could be civil to journalists who vilified me the way they did her over clause 28 but she was. The press of course have been trying for years to find some way of damaging her to no avail and they are now stirring up rubbish about a no contest being a bad thing for a leader.

If you want a real stinker of a leadership story look at Salmond's career, how many defeats (and Sturgeon) how many walk outs and still leader and deputy leader, where are the rest of them ? the truth is that there has never been any Nat. with the courage to face up to the bully Salmond, remember the paper tiger Mike Russell, one of their big names being dragged before the angry boss ? " make the following changes to your new book or you will not be a candidate for Holyrood" said Alex "yes boss" said Mike "three bags full boss" It's Alex's party and no mistake he can come and go as he pleases and lose as many times as he has and he still rules the fainthearts of the SNP - where are the 'fundies' what's happened to them ?

Jack McConnell has fought hard for the cause and been a constant source of strength to members and I congratulate him and thank him, this however isn't the SNP one man band and I know Jack would not have it any other way.

It's time for a change and Wendy will provide that, she brings a commitment second to none as well as a fierce intellect and the stamina of a long distance athlete, I think she will be a force to reckon with and a great asset to Labour and to Scotland when she becomes first minister.