Friday, October 31, 2008


Readers of the Paisley Daily Express might have seen in today’s letters page, a letter from me under the bizarre headline “Terry: I don’t support murder” the fact that this headline appeared in a newspaper with no hint of satire or irony is cause for concern. It is a bizarre headline and suggests that the readers of the PDX are likely to take it seriously, that shows a lack of respect for the readers, I think the paper has judged it’s readers wrongly. I doubt any of them would think that I would condone murder so, why has it come to this ?

The Paisley Daily Express employs a journalist called Kenneth Speirs, this man regularly reads my blog and has fallen into the habit of lifting stories from it and trying to spin controversy around them, I suppose he has to make a living and in the past I have treated him with a degree of condescension which he probably found irritating, my attitude to him was designed to emphasize that I knew what he was up to and didn’t mind all that much as long as it didn’t get too serious, well, leading up to this latest headline it just did.

I wrote an article about the Royal Family which was designed to be critical and satirical, mainly about the cost of the Monarchy; the article can still be read in the back copies of my blog. During the article I speculated as follows “I wonder how many hospitals and schools etc. we could have built if we did what the Bolsheviks did all those years ago?” By the time Mr. Speirs had twisted it around for a while it came out as the following headline, “WE’D BE BETTER OFF IF HER MAJESTY WAS MURDERED” there are two main points which Mr. Speirs has deliberately twisted to get his spurious headline, he claims that I said that we would be better off, which I didn’t say and links it to me saying if she was murdered which once again I didn’t say, not a good day for the PDX.

I normally roll with the punches from minor journalists but this guy went too far, I was very disappointed that the PDX printed this and I felt that I had to complain, in defence of the paper I have to say that the editor immediately offered me a “right of reply” to put the record straight, I regard this as an acceptance from the paper that he was wrong. I have told Mr. Speirs not to contact me in future so I hope he will have to work a wee bit harder to find stories, or perhaps he will just make them up. As for the Royal Family, it’s business as usual.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


“White Ribbon Day” was named in honour of the 3 Mirabel Sisters, Patria, Maria Teresa and Minerva, who were assassinated by the Fascist Govt. of the Dominican Republic. They became the inspiration for the international day against violence against women which is Nov. 25 Th. 08 this year, this is now known as “White Ribbon Day”

Today at Renfrewshire Council we endorsed the organisation we agreed that hitting women was not OK, violence against women was not acceptable, no matter who you are. Men who were present at todays meeting were invited to have a photograph taken which will form a montage in support of the cause. These sisters became synonymous with the dignity, suffering and courage of women all over the world; they campaigned against fascism and paid with their lives.

This is a cause worth supporting by everyone, violence against women goes on right here in Scotland and often children are involved as mothers try to protect them. Violence in the home is a dreadful thing, in many cases the woman can’t escape because she has young children and nowhere to go, that’s where politics comes in. Politicians can and must address this situation, proper monitoring and adequate safe shelter is essential for the safety of many women, this should be put in place by councils and Govt. As a matter of urgency, It is simply unacceptable that this violence is going on against vulnerable women and children, Nov. 25 Th. 08 should be observed by everyone and every chance should be taken to highlight this terrible crime.
The more light we shine on it the better chance we have of defeating it; I hope everyone does their bit.

Monday, October 27, 2008


There are 4 days to go for the school primary meetings, and the SNP administration are now able to cower behind the mountain of mistakes and blunders they have made in the consultation to close South Primary School, this is indeed what the Marx Brothers would have made of it.

Catch this latest one, the council Web Site took down it’s item advertising the consultation a couple of days ago even although the consultation does not close for some time yet, they have now put it back up amid great embarrassment and derisive laughter, it’s not the parents from South Primary who are laughing however, this is serious for them it’s their children who are going to suffer because of the SNP administration and their savage cuts.

It’s no joke folks, this administration are incompetent fools and families will suffer because of them, this old saying is usually meant to be funny but, for these children it isn’t, as my ma would have said “they couldnae organise a turn o the wash hoose key”

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Who remembers Ronald Reagan saying when he thought his microphone was off “ we start bombing Moscow in one hour “ who took him seriously ? OK he was behind Bush academically but did he really mean what he said or, was it a joke ? I’m asking this as a serious question not because I believe that he was in a million years serious about bombing Moscow but because it’s a good way of assessing the credibility of some people who are involved in politics, the utter stupidity of some people continues to shock and that brings me to the SNP.

The other day in the Glenrothes By Election the PM’s wife Sarah Brown was canvassing and was besieged by press and photographers, at one point they were asked by the Labour Head of Communications Rami Okasha to stand clear on a patch of grass to give her room, he said to them something to the effect “if you don’t stand clear there are six or seven men with guns who might shoot you and then you will not be my problem” I’m surprised that some Journalist wag didn’t shout back “go ahead, that’ll be a great scoop” so, the question is dear reader would you take this seriously ?

I know it’s a daft question but, you see quite a lot of people either did take it seriously or are thick enough to try to exploit it which of course would require people to be as gullible as themselves. These people either believed it or thought that others would, two equally brainless positions.

Who then am I talking about ? who has a light is on with nobody in ? who is a card short of a full deck ? who is the weakest link ? it is of course the SNP who else, come the hour come the man, no not the ‘wee spiv” this time, this time, he put up an intellectual giant, step forward the SNP MSP candidate for Dundee West Mr. Joe Fitzpatrick, America has “Joe the plumber” and Scotland has “Joe the Dumber” this guy (thank god he’s SNP) is demanding a full enquiry and disciplinary procedures against the Labour man who said this, what is the calibre of SNP candidates ? does a few verses of “stop yer tickling Jock” get you the nomination ?

The Scotsman newspaper knew exactly what it was doing when it ran this farce of a story, they know only too well what the calibre of the SNP candidates and their supporters is, and they knew that you could rely on the herd instinct of those they were targeting. The news meeting would have gone like this, “ OK it’s claptrap but that mob will go for it, let’s run it up the flag and see how many nationalist fools salute it” and they flew to the standard like true Scottish warriors, albeit ones who have taken too many head blows. The newspaper ran two stories about this and an incredible 340 comments came in on line overwhelmingly taking “Joe the Dumber’s" line. These people call themselves “Scotland’s Party” honest they do.

“President Raygun” I owe you an apology. In the SNP you would be an intellectual! mind you would anyone want the comparison ?

Saturday, October 25, 2008


To West Primary School on Thursday in the teeth of a biblical storm, to find that the same determined hardy souls from the under threat South Primary School are once again out in numbers, I’ve commented on most of the meeting but I have two more things to say which I have not yet reported, one of these things should ring alarm bells for everyone in Renfrewshire who is concerned about the damage being done to education by the SNP and particularly the primary Sector at the moment.

The first thing is my contention that the consultation is flawed. The reason I say this is because the organisers of the process claim that it is and has to be, open to everyone, and they have failed to do this. At the time of this meeting at West Primary School another consultation was taking place about changes to nursery provision at Springbank Nursery which is in the same council ward. I was therefore prevented from attending one of the consultation meetings because of the scheduling, other councillors were in the same boat and so might some others, despite all my talents I can't be in two places at once, that means it's a flawed consultation.

The second thing which is quite explosive takes me back to my earlier comments by the officers about school numbers and numbers of schools. Mr Rooney Education Director said “we have 51 schools and not enough children to fill them” when he was asked how many schools we needed he actually said and was noted as saying that we needed “40 schools” in the school I went to that means we have 11 too many ! Hence my warning to other primary parents, kids and staff not to be complacent don’t make the mistake of thinking that it won’t happen to your school. It might not be 11 closures but, we have already seen the completely callous nature of the SNP when it comes to cutting services. You all have to ask if you can ignore the plight of South Primary, if South Primary is picked off who will be next ?

If South Primary closes we will, according to the Director of Education Mr. Rooney still have 10 too many, Mr. Rooney is to be commended for his courage and honesty but for the primary sector the dark clouds are gathering, this is the time for solidarity between schools, time to stand together for the good of your children as well as the good of everyone else’s children, don’t let the SNP get away with this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I put a lot of detail into my last article (Oct. 21St. 08)about the South Primary School meeting the other night. There were a couple of other items which I wanted to mention which I thought were important but, I didn’t want to overload the piece. Anyway here are two main items which I deliberately left out to give them some space.

1/ An audience member stood up and asked what plans there were for the building if it closed and the panel said none. He then proceeded to say that Cllr. Marie MCGurk Lib. / Dem. had told him that Renfrewshire Council had plans to use the building to provide another facility for children with special needs such as autism, he said he was in possession of a letter from her to this effect. The three panel members sat staring like rabbits caught in the headlights of a car, completely baffled, stunned, you see Cllr. McGurk is one of them, she sits within the coalition which is making the cuts. The three panel members resolved to get to the bottom of this apparent contradiction, how can the administration have people within it who have completely different attitudes on something this important ? this would be funny if it wasn’t so serious for these families.

2/ The panel made the point that Renfrewshire had 51 primary schools and not enough children to fill them, a sharp young woman sitting behind me then asked a question which lit the blue touch paper. She said “if there are not enough children, how many schools do we need for the children that we have?” you just never know the minute that someone in a public meeting is going to ask an innocent question which leaves the panel looking like the Marx Brothers and this was it. Put another way, which the audience immediately spotted she was saying ‘how many more closures will there be?’ a killer question which spread fear among the panel, who wants to say none ? who wants to say we will look at it and see ? Mr. Naylor to his credit stood up to be counted and said words to the effect “ I will be very surprised if, in the new budget we do not find ourselves returning to this issue of school numbers” People of Renfrewshire, I leave you to interpret what this means, I would suggest that school closures will not stop with Paisley South.

That’s why it’s important that everyone gets involved in stopping this educational vandalism by this administration. The SNP know the price of a school but not it’s value, and they don’t much care either.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


To South Primary School for the meeting of the parents and interested parties and the SNP Lib/Dem alliance who are going to shut the school.
Mr. Rooney and Mr. Naylor of the Education Dept. were also present to persuade the people that closing the school was a good thing. The meeting kicked off with a surprise, there in the chair was Cllr. Cameron of the SNP, the Convener of the Education Board, it really was her, puzzled members of the audience were asking who she was, she introduced herself to a sea of blank puzzled faces, this was a rare sighting indeed.

Over the past year there has been turmoil in the schools of Renfrewshire, children, parents and staff have been hammered by blow after blow by this SNP administration, cuts in the education budget have hit hard and the people involved have demanded answers and arranged public meetings to challenge the SNP who have avoided attending. Even the aforementioned Cllr. Cameron has trotted out excuses such as "I wasn’t invited" remember she is the Convener of the Education Board i.e. she is in charge, not a picture of someone who is entirely confident in her position I fear.

This was the quietest appearance I have ever heard Cllr. Cameron make, she displayed the body language of someone sitting in the dentist’s waiting room for a rather nasty procedure. The presentation by the officers was very predictable, reams of print outs, figures, charts and percentages were displayed and talked through rapidly which only served to annoy the parents. What did come across very strongly though was the panels concentration on money and how much the council could save by closing the school (£190,000 /Yr.) This is the same SNP council which gave senior officers a rise of £11, 500 a year , not an £11,500 a year salary an “11,500 a year rise ! this is the crowd who call themselves Scotland’s Party, they have no shame.

By contrast the parents facing the panel showed that their priority was what is best for the children, the panel at no time mentioned this, it was a glaring difference, they were clearly driven by money and not what is best for the children. The reason they got themselves into this position was the quality of the school which has just been given a great report by HMIe this report made it impossible to suggest that they would do better anywhere else and that in turn left them with the problem of the effect on the children of the closure of the school. None of them had the nerve to suggest that that, was not important, they were left saying that 'de facto' your children are going to suffer because we want to save money, not a comfortable place to be, it requires what we used to call a "brass neck" and the SNP certainly have that.

It’s possible that these children could go to a different school with an HMIe report which is as good as South Primary which would not be easy but, there is no doubt at all that dividing the children into three separate schools will be traumatic it will take them away from friends, cousins, familiar teachers and the environment which they love and feel safe in, the knock on effect will likely mean higher class sizes for the three schools involved, not lower as the SNP promised, a cruel betrayal which was not lost on the parents. They repeatedly threw the SNP manifesto promise of lower classes in their faces, much to the obvious anger of Cllr. Cameron and no doubt SNP Cllrs. Adam and Noon who were skulking around somewher at the back of the hall.

Make no mistake about this, this is an exercise in bean counting and the beans are pound notes, this is about money not what is best for the children, Mr. Rooney and Mr. Naylor’s comments confirmed this in a quite candid manner. The parents were angry and had channelled that anger into a disciplined campaign of opposition, they repeatedly wrong footed the officials with their questions and comments, had this been a fight the referee would have stopped it but, does it matter ? an impartial audience would have scored this debate 100 % to the parents and 0 % to the SNP administration with the SNP lucky to get 0 % but will it count ?

There is an element of cynicism about these procedures stoked up by statistics which show that the original proposals nearly always go through, consultations since the SNP came to power have been held on Warden Charges, Library Closures, Housing Area Office closures and many more, in each occasion the public wanted them kept but they closed anyway so will this be different ? I predict that all the people consulted will demand that South Primary stay open but it will close.

It’s a pity we did not get the chance to hear more from the uncharacteristically quite Cllr. Cameron because this, in the final analys is a political decision by the SNP. I wonder why she saw fit to remain silent ? maybe there is no defence, maybe her party and the officials have decided to follow the example of the American Republican Party and keep her, like Sarah Palin, out of it.

The fight isn’t over by a long way and the South School Parents proved themselves a formidable force, just in fact like any parent fighting for the well being of their children, there is nothing more important than that to a parent.

GOOD LUCK TO THEM, GIVE THEM YOUR SUPPORT ! write to the press, to your MP, to your MSP, your Euor MP, your councillor, to the Education Dept, to Cllr. Cameron etc. don't allow the SNP to get away with this.

Monday, October 20, 2008


You're worse than Hitler - at least Adolf could re... You're worse than Hitler - at least Adolf could read and write
Publish Reject

This is an example of the people who write to me, not all of them but, if I told you about this guy would you believe me ? So here it is, I even get worse than this, honest I do. This comment is printed under the post about "Palin and McCain"

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Who has gone through the following tortuous political route in the past few days.
First the financial crisis was world wide, all countries were effected by this whether large or small, then it wasn’t world wide anymore, it was Gordon Brown’s fault. This same guy in April 07 said there was too much regulation in the financial sector and he now says that there is not enough?
He was asked on TV this afternoon several times to tell us an occasion over the last year when he complained about not enough regulation or when he warned that there was trouble ahead and couldn’t answer the question, in the same interview he was asked how an independent Scotland could have handled the crisis better as he claimed, when he couldn’t even tell us what currency Scotland would be using under independence? In the same interview he described "Stagecoach" as a world class company, money can buy you anything right. Wee holy Brian Souter thinks Alex (the spiv) is a cert for heaven now.

Who has spent the past couple of years suggesting that we should aspire to be like Iceland, Ireland and Norway and now can’t tolerate a question about them as they are now pawning everything? You’ve got it in one, step forward the shyster in chief, the Arthur Daly of Scottish politics Alex (the spiv) Salmond, he says Scotland would be better under independence in such a crisis, even though he can’t say where the money would come from to bale us out, could it possibly be Ireland, Iceland, Norway or, horror of horrors could it be despised “Engurland” in that situation would the “wee spiv” choose to borrow from a more expensive lender than the hated “Engurlish” just to preserve his reputation among the bearded tartan hordes, I think we should be told.

I think we should also be told if there is anyone in the SNP who dares to disagree with what “the spiv” says, or is this yet another issue where he has got it 100% right? and the rest of the world has got it wrong as the Scotswoman said to her man at the passing out parade of her soldier son, “ just look at that everyone of them is out of step bar our Jock” I wonder how long an SNP meeting lasts, 10 minutes? 15? Do they sing hail to the chief while saluting his portrait and then go back to the pub?

Make no mistake about it Alex (the spiv) Salmond as Scotland’s first minister, has humiliated himself and Scots. everywhere with another embarrassing and risible display of parochialism.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Ian "Beefy" Botham is what you would call a real character, a great cricketer and a leader on the sports field.
He is also one of those famous guys whom controversy seems to follow around everywhere, that is not so prevalent now though as when he was destroying batsmen and bowlers at the highest level. He was also able to play professional football making him the real all rounder; these achievements are similar to those of the great Denis Compton of Middlesex and England, a stylish cavalier batsman whom the crowds flocked to see. He was also the Great Denis Compton of Arsenal and England on the football field. This kind of sportsman comes along rarely and nowadays is almost unheard of so IMO Botham justifies his reputation as a great cricketer and a pro. footballer.

Years ago Botham visited a children’s hospital where he met some youngsters who were suffering form Leukaemia, the effect on him was profound, he has spoken often of how he had never appreciated how blessed him and his family had been and he resolved to do something to help. He continued to visit these kids and at the same time came up with a plan to raise money for Leukaemia Charities; he reckoned that he was famous enough to make it impossible for anyone to ignore his campaigns, he was right, and then some.

His chosen method of raising money was well publicised marathon walks, his team recruited celebrities to join in parts of the route as well as collecting cash as they went, they also secured sponsorship from large companies and individuals who were delighted to be associated with Botham’s name and charitable giving.

One of the regrets that I have always had is that I was never famous enough to use any celebrity I might have gained to do similar things, what an opportunity famous sportsmen and women as well as famous entertainers have to do some good by helping good causes. What a disappointment it is to see so many who do nothing except take the fame and the wealth and ignore the plight of those less fortunate than themselves.

Botham is back on the road for the fight against Leukaemia and he and the doctors and the scientists are winning, even though it is still the biggest killer disease of children in the UK the survival rates are improving constantly. I urge everyone to contribute and I urge the famous sports and entertainment stars to get involved.

Here is something I would normally avoid saying about someone who is a self declared Tory but, Ian Botham is a big man in the true sense of the word, thanks and best wishes to him and everyone involved.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I wonder how many, if any Scottish Nationalists are pausing to think about the financial crisis.

“facts are chiels that winna ding” so said the old second rate Ayrshire plagiarist and he was right. The fact is that Salmond (the spiv) and the lumpen mob who hang on his every lie have been telling us that we should aspire to have economies like Ireland and Iceland, readers of this blog will recall, that I wrote about Ireland on returning from a holiday there in July and one of the things I mentioned, was the state of the economy and the fear which was palpable among the people you spoke to, fear for jobs houses and pensions. Ireland is in recession and Iceland is bankrupt I have been waiting to hear something from the (spiv) to explain why we would want to be like these countries, events have shown us that they are small, independent and vulnerable, exactly what Scotland would be without the union, alas I have heard nothing.

He, (the spiv) did rant about the ’spivs’ and 'con men' in the system while trying to exempt Scottish banks, as he would, but it turns out that some Scots. are (spivs and shysters” with the best of them, arise Sir Fred Goodwin from Feegie Park, I despair at the damage this man has done to the reputation of the Ferguslie Park Estate, I overhead one wag cruelly say about “Fred the Shred” that “you can take the boy out of ‘Feegie’ but you can’t take Feegie out of the boy” a cruel jibe against the decent people of the area.

Some clung to the hope that our own “king of spivs” wee Alex, as an ex bank economist would save the day but, we will never know as he disappeared off the radar after a day or two trying to blame the “Engurlish” for the crisis. It painfully dawned on him that he was not a player, the big boys got on with it and left him out. To add insult to injury for Wee Alex (the spiv) another cornerstone of his economic case for independence (oil) has been behaving in a way that would be devastating for anyone who made the mistake of relying on it’s price. It has been going up and down, mainly down, exactly the danger that his opponents have pointed out many times.

In stark contrast to wee Alex (the spiv) Gordon Brown has been dominating the news all around the world, Government leaders from America to Germany to Italy have sought his council and he has led from the front, people are saying “didn’t he used to be Gordon Brown” this is the statesman, the man of great ability and integrity, if times are going to be tough this is the man to take us through them. “It ain’t over until it’s over” as they say on Wall St. but I certainly feel better as part of Britain with Brown leading.

I want to see an end to Capitalism but not a collapse of Capitalism, I want to see it dismantled in a way that would avoid the depression that would ensue in a collapse which would hit the poor hardest, I want to see a socialist system in it’s place, where people come first, not profits. The past two weeks should have surely shown to the SNP the weakness of a small independent Scotland but my bet is they will slip further into denial.

To round things off for wee Alex, I found this irresistible, think of what the SNP and (the spiv) would be doing and saying if this was being said about (the spiv) Salmond :-
American professor of economics Paul Krugman wrote that Gordon Brown’s actions might have saved the world.
That’s the same Paul Kruger who a couple of hours after making this statement was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. A congratulatory telegram is no doubt on it’s way to Mr. Krugman from Bute House as we speak.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


With the USA Presidential Election underway and the great Satan Capitalism staggering on the ropes.
We can easily forget that the rest of the world’s events go on regardless. A couple of days ago we were reminded of this when one of these events turned up at Holyrood. The hypocrisy of America is constantly on show as we witness evidence of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Prison, Holyrood has just been reminded of another shameful episode in recent American history relating to their paranoid hatred of Cuba and it’s people.

The wives of two Cubans in prison in America visited to seek support for their campaign to free their husbands and initially to allow them to visit them in prison, these women have not only seen their husbands imprisoned but they have been denied visiting rights to see them for years. Is this the way a world super power should behave ? Is this how the “home of the brave and the land of the free” should behave against it’s tiny Cuban neighbour ?

Their husbands are two of the “Miami Five” who were sentenced for monitoring an extremist group responsible for terrorist attacks on Cuba, the USA refuses to grant them visas to visit. When these men reported the activities of the anti Cuban group’s terrorist intentions they, not the anti Cuban group were arrested and are now in prison. These events were described by Amnesty International and the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention as “ spiteful and highly dubious “ with regard to how they were tried and convicted. The USA continues to punish Cuba for having the audacity to stand up to them and clear them and their gangsters and corrupt politicians out of their Island. America sees the wives and children of these men as suitable targets for punishment as well, “the home of the brave” indeed.

With actions like these America continues to shame itself before the whole world, they must know by now that they can’t intimidate Cuba and that Cuba has fantastic world wide support, until they start behaving in a fair way, and stop being the world bully they will never be respected. They might be the world’s super power but, they will continue to be despised because of incidents such as this. I urge people to protest and support these brave women by writing to your MP’s and MSP’s telling them to take up the issue with our foreign office.

We must not give up hope, America can and must be dragged into the human race some day.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


The presidential race, like all of American politics is a deeply ugly business.
If you are not prepared to be ruthless then you are a liability, democrats come out slightly better in this aspect of politics than republicans. The fact that we have had presidents like Ford, Reagan and Bush has been in part responsible for this, this is because of their lack of ability and their tendency to be manipulated by corporate business thugs, unlike Nixon who manipulated the thugs rather than them manipulating him, he was a man who could lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.

It’s rather strange to say that the democrats are more honest or more compassionate but they are, despite Kennedy who came from a family of crooks and Clinton who is vilified by the right wing as the great liberal Satan, so liberal in fact that he interrupted his first run for the presidency to return to Arkansas to sign the death warrant on a brain damaged prisoner, (he had been accused of being soft on crime) as I said “ruthless”

Bush still thinks that he is a great man and a great “war time” president, something is badly wrong when people like these become the most powerful in the world.

Possibly the ugliest one of them all, truly deeply ugly and, also the most telegenic is now in our midst, Sarah Palin, is she stupid ? pretty much, corrupt ? damn tootin, ruthless ? you betcha, bigoted ? yesiree and, likely to serve as president if McCain wins. Why is she there ? because she ticks two big boxes for the GOP, she is a mother of 5 kids, vehemently anti abortion and a genuine bible bashing right wing Christian, "man and Dinosaurs roamed earth together 6,000 years ago, that's how old the planet is" (Sarah Palin) scientists from Darwin through to Einstein ? "shoot y'all what do they know"

McCain and Palin are where they deserve to be which is well behind in the race, this has concentrated the minds of the political thugs who run their party and is now showing us the ruthless and brutal side of the American Republican Party when it smells fear, their answer ? get down and dirty. They are calling Obama a terrorist, anything goes obviously with the GOP, Palin is the lipsticked mouthpiece for this crass behaviour, she is also now playing the race card saying things like “he (Obama) is not like us, he sees America differently from us” this when interpreted says "he is Black, do you really want a Black President ?" She and McCain will play this card from now on and it is set to get worse.

Fox News are pushing this line hard and they will wind it up in weeks to come, this is the most revolting news show on the planet, you can't help laughing out loud at these so called journalists, the smile is wiped off your face when you realize that they are serious, if you want to know what passes for journalists in the USA watch Fox News and tremble. They along with McCain/ Palin however are now doing something much worse. By using this rhetoric they are putting Obama’s life at risk, as I said “ruthless” is the first prerequisite for the GOP - Shouts of “kill him” (Obama) are now being heard at GOP rallies which are beginning to morph into something which would not look out of place in Nuremberg.

McCarthyism is not dead it is only sleeping and it is beginning to stir, McCain believes that he is entitled to be president he sees himself as an American hero, a gung ho maverick and a patriot, how can Americans not vote for him ? If as I hope they do not vote for him it will be because he is a delusional liar and a threat to peace all over the world, because they will have decided that it’s time that America dumped “John Wayne” and stopped sending their young people to die in unwinnable conflicts, just as we should, there is still hope for decent Americans and for us. The capitalist collapse is an opportunity to create a more decent society, a victory for Obama will help in that struggle. When I see people like McCain and Palin, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeldt etc. I recall these words on the defeat of Hitler.

"Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again"
(Bertolt Brecht)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The late ex footballer Stuart Imlach registered with me, but only just.
I discussed him with a friend who was a relative of his, I vaguely remembered the name and when I saw his picture I remembered seeing him play on early televised matches. I saw the picture in a fascinating book written by his son the sports journalist Gary Imlach the book is called “MY FATHER AND OTHER WORKING CLASS FOOTBALL HEROES” not the snappiest of titles but, don’t let that put you off if you get the chance to get hold of a copy. This is one of the best books about sport I’ve ever read, certainly the best about football, it succeeds where others fail because it is not written by the ex player but by a very talented sports journalist who lived his young life as a very close observer of what it meant to be a footballer in the fifties and early sixties, at the time just before the football world went mad, Stuart Imlach was one of the players who unfortunately just missed out on the madness.

That madness was of course money, following Johnny Haines becoming the first £100 a week footballer there was no going back and footballers were shortly being paid like film stars. Guys like Imlach were paid similar to what they could make as a skilled tradesman a joiner (which he was) or a bricklayer, like many others he worked at his trade to supplement his income from football, this went on at a time when football became incredibly popular so, the money was there, the players just didn’t see any of it, he relates the incredible story of a club chairman opening his door to a tradesman who had come to fix the plumbing and found himself talking to the great Tom Finney, regarded as one of the outstanding players in the world at the time.

The book takes you from his youth in the fishing village of Lossiemouth to the heights of the world cup in Sweden where he represented Scotland. The story is tinged with sadness because of the treatment that these players received, they had no say over whether they were transferred and sometimes literally woke up to find this had been done while they slept, they lived in club houses which were used to keep them in step “behave or you are out of a home” and this happening against a backdrop of massive crowds, someone did well out of it.

This story captures what it was like for these players who were no better than slaves with the proviso that they were doing something they loved and would have played at the local playing fields had they not been professionals. The central character who was “man of the match” for Notts. Forrest when they won the FA cup in 1959 against Luton Town comes across as an honest, decent and tough working class guy who was also a very talented player, he also comes across as a man with strong principals and having read about him I wish I could have met him.

Today’s players should read this book and realize how fortunate they are, Stuart Imlach, after bouncing up and down divisions and spells in management and coaching eventually went back to working 9 to 5 in an ordinary job, without him and players like him the game would not be as rich as it is today.

Today these players even the ordinary ones would have made enough to secure their financial future and this guy was not one of the ordinary ones. A fascinating book well worth the effort to find a copy for any football follower.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Regularly referred to as the greatest living Scotsman, Sean Connery would have calculated that his book about who else but himself would make him lots of money. Being who he is he probably thought that people would be lining up to buy it after all he has done the world a favour by writing it, or rather getting a guy called Murray Grigor to write it for him. It turns out that he was wrong, his book is a turkey and is now running the risk of being pulped, it’s price has already been reduced to try to shift copies

To add insult to injury for the oh so serious Connery, he is set to be outsold by the far less serious Roger Moore, a far more urbane friendly and entertaining man, who would you rather meet in the pub ? Connery is said to be quite sanguine about this which is difficult to believe from such a crabbit old whinger. He has so much money and fame that he no longer has a grip on reality he actually believes that he is a great man, he demands respect. An insight can be gained into just how delusional he has become by watching his interview with an American female TV presenter, this can be found by accessing “You Tube”

He is as famous for his vile opinions on violence against women as he is for anything else, when the story broke about assaulting his former wife he famously justified his violence, and predictably he came under heavy criticism and he was persuaded to let the issue drop in the hope that it would go away, it didn’t work of course and we can see him with the interviewer recalling the issue. It is mind boggling to see how arrogant he is about it, he recalls it, admits it and defiantly says he would do it again, he is incapable of admitting to wrong doing he enjoys the position of not having to care what anyone thinks, you have to see it, it is stomach churning.

Roger Moore’s book is apparently a good read about show business with lots of gossip and hilarious anecdotes from a long time in the business, exactly what people want from a famous film star. This kind of thing though is beneath the “greatest living Scot” he has over the years bought his way into SNP political circles and their fawning attitude to him has encouraged him to think of himself as a serious person instead of a film star, not even the same thing as being an actor, he would run a mile from a live stage, he brought the same gravitas to "Derby O' Gill & the Little People" as he did to "James Bond" The subjects covered in his book are Scottish culture, Scottish politics, sport and the “the Gothic aspects of Scots. literature” that’s not a joke, I didn’t make that up, he’s clearly a very serious man indeed.

He also goes into the origins of the “Scottish Cringe” honestly, he’s not being ironic, still he should be able to understand that by looking in the mirror. It makes me happy to think that this arrogant misogynist is such a big hit with the SNP they deserve each other. Are Scots. really proud of this man ?

To paraphrase Dennis Healey talking about David Owen “the good fairy made him tall handsome and rich and the bad fairy came along and made him a s**t.

Monday, October 06, 2008


The reforming firebrand John Knox remains a controversial figure but no one would argue with his "school in every parish" wish. Well the Renfrewshire SNP seem to have missed this part of his roll in Scottish history.
The Parents and children of South Primary School are fighters.
Their campaign to save their school is gathering momentum and support is growing. People are not daft, despite what the SNP / Lib. Dem. Administration in Renfrewshire obviously think, they are perfectly capable of looking at the situation which exists in Renfrewshire Education and deciding for themselves whether the SNP/Lib. Dems. are guilty of obvious inexperience and incompetence. That decision is a growing yes, they are guilty. Councillors are being emailed by anxious families who are desperate to keep their school open, it is an excellent school and they are happy there but, the administration are deaf to their pleas. They are also deaf to requests to attend meetings to meet the parents, they have insulted these families by avoiding contact, in the council chamber they are a bullish mob but are afraid to meet these parents outside the chamber.

The administration are so afraid and petulant that they had a banner supporting the school removed from the school fence, this is the Braveheart SNP who call themselves Scotland’s Party, such Bravehearts that they can’t face people to back up their own decisions., they are cowards and they have betrayed the people of South Primary. There are places where these pathetic administration councillors however can’t hide, they still have to attend meetings at the council and they still have to do surgeries, I urge the campaigners to seek them out at these locations and then put them on the spot, hold them to account.

I have received a comment from a South School Campaigner who has a theory that the school stands on ground which would be attractive to developers and that is why the school is being targeted despite it’s good reputation, it’s officially recognised high standards, and the fact that it is a relatively new building. One of the questions which the parents rightly seek an answer to is, if it is closing because they say it costs too much compared with other schools to educate children there, why are other schools in Renfrewshire which are more expensive to educate children being kept open ? The silence from the SNP Education Convener Cllr. Cameron and the administration is deafening.

This seems like a glaring contradiction and answers are required, would the ground bring a tidy sum ? could that be part of the equation ? the parents, teachers and children deserve to know the answers. I would like everyone who is concerned by this proposed closure to contact their councillors MP’s and MSP’s and demand its retention, there is nothing more important than the future of our children and that is what’s at stake here, you get one chance at school and the SNP/Lib. Dems. must not be allowed to get away with damaging that chance for these children.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Winco Willie and Hooray Harry have done us proud again. They have been awarded honorary RAF titles, they have done us proud by accepting them, not by actually doing anything like fighting or flying airplanes. Ordinary airmen and women do that kind of thing and when they have done something exceptionally brave or served for a long time with distinction they get these awards. So how did the “chuckle brothers” become Honorary Air Commandants ?

The reason given was to mark the monarchy’s strong links with the RAF, not for flying x amount of dangerous sorties, not for bringing back a fighter plane badly damaged in a dog fight with the enemy, none of that stuff, that’s for ordinary people, Willie and Harry get honoured because they are born into a family who have “strong links with the service” that’s the official reason.

The RAF have had many people in their ranks who can justifiably be called heroes, we are all familiar with the phrase “the few” risks and impossible odds have been faced by these people, the ultimate sacrifice was made by many of them, at the height of the Battle of Britain the odds of surviving were not good, it was reckoned that 1 in 3 among fighter pilots would die. People who read this blog know that I am not sycophantic to the military but the people who did these things were brave and selfless, reading some of their stories is humbling.

With unerring repetition the military establishment have again besmirched the memory of past RAF pilots, gunner crews etc. by handing out honours to these two hapless stooges, once again the brothers have my sympathy, they have once again been “fitted up” unfortunately they don’t seem to have the savvy to say “enough is enough, we have done nothing to deserve these honours”

My uncle's brother was one of the pilots who made the ultimate sacrifice in the battle to save the “George Cross Island” Malta. I remember seeing his picture in uniform on the wall of the house. How many families are there with similar old sepia photographs of loved ones who paid with their lives, how must they feel ? Do their families not have strong links with the RAF ? Stronger surely than the Royal Family‘s links. In their position I would regard this is an insult.

This act of arrogance is another example of how the military behave, it’s not just the RAF. Every time there is a big ceremony we witness the Royals dripping in medals and ribbons which they didn’t earn, before Willie and Harry are much older they will have to wheel them out to ceremonies, they will not be able to walk for the weight of their “honours”

What does this sycophantic grovelling do for military morale ? Not to the morale of “Lord Holdmeback of the Dry Retching Under Lime Fusiliers” but, to the morale of those who actually fight ? Shameful.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


The news last night told us that it was snowing on Mars, a computer enhanced picture showed the weather there.

We are so used to such things now that we have mainly lost our sense of wonder at mankind’s achievements. Incredible as it may seem we know less about the ocean here on earth than we do about space, we can chart the ocean on maps and sail across it with ease, we can photograph it in fact from space but a couple of miles of deep water is far more impenetrable than millions of miles of space despite our longer attempts to explore the oceans.

This seeming contradiction is not alone when it comes to scientific achievement, and that sentence takes me into troubled waters (pardon the pun). Man reached space in the late fifties when Gagarin circumnavigated the planet in about 40 odd minutes and the wonder of space travel and the stars and planets were suddenly a wee bit less awesome. Armstrong’s “giant step” took them down a further peg. They remain of course the great mystery and delight of the human race and have been since the dawn of time. That's either hundreds of millions of years ago if you believe Steven Hawking or six thousand years ago if you believe Sarah Palin, sorry I couldn’t resist that.

The trouble that this takes me into is this. Every time I see, or hear, or read about scientific achievement such as space walks, and machines which can recreate the big bang I am firstly impressed and secondly, forced to think about priorities. I can’t help it, I am certainly not anti science and some/most of my heroes are scientists, Galileo, Einstein, Mari Curie, Steven Hawking etc. but, there is always a but right ? Well it’s just that every time I see a rocket launch and think of the billions of pounds it takes to do this I get an image in my mind of a starving third world child, when I see a multi million pound war plane or a nuclear bomb this image is magnified a thousand fold.

I know that you can’t stop science from advancing and that is as it should be, scientists and inventors have advanced mankind more than any other group and continue to do so, they are the true visionaries. The question is this, if we can send an explosive device the size of a washing machine hundreds of millions of miles into space at 28,000 mph that's (Glasgow to London Approx. 70 secs.) to rendezvous with a small comet travelling at a similar speed and hit it smack on and smash it as an experiment, why do children still die of preventable diseases and hunger here on Earth ? Approx. 50 years after Gagarin flew in space and we still haven’t conquered Earth, something has gone wrong and it’s not the fault of science it's the fault of politics.

Travel from here to Australia in 40 minutes ? this is going to happen, it’s unstoppable and in theory not difficult, ten minutes takes you clear of Earth’s atmosphere 20 minutes takes you to Ozz without friction and 10 minutes takes you back to Earth (give or take) If you were a scientist given the choice of curing malaria or achieving this incredible journey which would you choose ? I don’t suppose the 3Rd. World child clinging to life would get a vote right ?

I would choose both and that’s not a cop out, like other decisions of this kind I would prioritise, the sick child comes first and then the fast route to Ozz, all of this needs some loose ends tidied up but I’m sure you understand where I’m coming from.