Monday, September 28, 2009


The raw recruit panics at first sight of the enemy; throws away his rifle and legs it in a panic. Up hill and down dale through swamp and river until collapsing with exhaustion; he later opens his eyes to see a pair of shiny army boots and he begins to blubber “I’m sorry sergeant I just panicked” The voice roars “I’m not a sergeant” “sorry Major” sobs the lad “I’m not a major roars the voice “I’m a full Colonel damn it” roars the voice “Christ” sobs the boy “have I run that far” Told to me by ex soldier Pvt. Terry Kelly 8Th. Army 2Nd.W.W.

The leading modern major generals continue to sound off about Govt. military failures. When I heard about the latest to leave the sinking ship Major General Andrew Mackay I wondered for a minute if he was resigning because he was just c**p at soldiering and a failure as a commander but no; the Govt. was guilty again said he. I wonder as well if any of these deserters would ever support Labour; somehow support for Labour would I think would be thin on the ground among the Colonel Gutbuckets and Field Marshall Drunkenslobs of Eton Cambridge and the Guards. We have anti Govt. propaganda saying our soldiers don’t have good enough army boots to wear when fighting the Afghanistan’s some of whom have no footwear at all.

I have held the opinion for a long time that talent and ability are not as important as background and connections when trying to progress a British military career and nothing I have heard or seen from these quitters has changed my mind; what are they doing to the morale of the soldiers they are supposed to lead. This is looking more and more like anti Labour manoeuvring by the Tories and the right wing media. Britain has been in many wars but it only seems to be this one where the Govt. are being blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong, I don’t remember Thatcher getting blamed for deaths in the Falklands which she actually caused.

There are not many things worse than young people being killed in conflict but; using their deaths for your own political reasons has got be one of them. The way Mrs. Rose Gentle was cynically used by the SSP and discarded was sickening and so is the way the Tories are exploiting the deaths of soldiers now. Major General Mackay attacks the Govt. and is cheered to the echo; had I been under his command when he allowed himself to be bullied into colluding with the dangerous and humiliating farce which saw the half wit Prince Harry pretend to serve at the front; complete with his own body guard of Ghurkhas; he would have lost my respect for ever and he probably lost the respect of many of his soldiers when he allowed it to happen. This wasn’t leadership it was obsequious fawning; he put his own soldiers in more danger than necessary by making them targets; he allowed himself and his men to be dragged in to a royal stunt to make the Prince look better, I find that contemptible.

He is a critic of the Govt. because he can’t fail; the Tory Press will see to that he blames lack of helicopters and rubbishes armoured vehicles ; his supporter ex SAS colonel Clive Fairweather disagrees he wants more armoured vehicles, left hand right hand eh? fills you with confidence right? lets hope these two are not typical. Best of all is the suggestion from shadow defence minister; armchair commando Tory MP Liam Fox who wants to introduce some innovative privatisation by employing Afghanistan Warlords as mercenaries to deal with their own people on our behalf. ‘the market will sort it out’ yes Liam of course it will; just think if the Tories win the next election this right wing reactionary zealot would become defence secretary; then you will see what cheap kit really is; it will be supplied by Del Boy Trotter from an industrial unit owned by Arthur Daly.

Instead of blaming every failure on the Govt. it’s time these inept so called military leaders stopped hiding from their responsibilities and stepped up to the plate; they complain about poor body armour while the enemy has no body armour, nor does he have any armoured vehicles or helicopters; he sometimes shares a rifle with his comrade while we have every conceivable weapon of killing people known to man. Who is really to blame for the inability of a modern state of the art army described by every sycophantic commentator as the greatest fighting force in the world to defeat an ill equipped ragged 3rd world force?

It’s time for a giant enema to be supplied to the army’s moribund talentless military leaders and people with talent and ability to be promoted whatever their background; time to catch up with the modern world and to tell the truth. As always the soldier on the ground has my sympathy; it’s not his/her fault that they are being led by hooray Henry’s who think that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Is the BBC really any better than the Sun or the News of the World? Not if this morning’s politics show is anything to go by; the obsequious reptilian journalist Andrew Marr asked prime minister Gordon Brown if his sight was deteriorating and followed it by asking him if there was any truth in the stories that he was taking copious pain killers.
Brown dismissed the question and the questioner with a rare look of absolute contempt but he; (Marr) got his 15 minutes of fame; he displayed rat like cunning and a willingness to swim in the gutter.

This kind of thing does occasionally surface in our famously embarrassing gutter press but at least they have the excuse of being told what to do by the odious and repulsive Murdoch; what is Marr and the BBC’s excuse; a new depth has been reached in journalism and who would ever have thought that it would be plunged by our national broadcaster; another nail in Britain’s reputation; a sad day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Here is the full Ben Gurion quote - "If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?"

Speaking at the UN President Obama stated that Iran must play by the rules: they must obey UN resolutions; this was in reference to the latest American allegations about their attempts to create nuclear weapons or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s) as they like to label them. BTW when is a WMD not a WMD? The answer is when it is owned by us or our friends then it becomes a Nuclear Deterrent; when it is owned by someone whom we or more importantly America doesn’t like, that’s when it becomes a WMD. This of course means that our nuclear weapons are OK because we are the goodies and Iran or anyone else we don’t like are the baddies right? No it’s not right, the elephant in the room as always is the rogue apartheid state of Israel; All the drivel and weasel words about nuclear weapons and WMD’s as well as the sanctimonious c**p about the inviolability of United Nations Resolutions should have choked Obama; he and we are guilty of breathtaking hypocrisy.

The simple facts are that Israel has hundreds of illegal nuclear weapons and are also in breach of many UN resolutions; in fact they actively ignore these resolutions every day and America and it’s friends look the other way; in fact it’s worse than that they finance them. America and Britain where our armed forces torture people and murder them as well as locking them up for years without charge or trial tell Iran to play by the rules; what rules? one might ask why are there two sets for a start? why does Israel get to keep it’s illegal WMD’s and others do not? is it because Israel is a nice country and Iran isn’t? Remember Gaza? A UN commission into the events in the Gaza strip last January has reported back and it’s contents should make everyone who lives in countries which support Israel shudder.

Remember the results - 1387 Palestinians dead 773 of them civilians including hundreds of women and children; 13 Israeli lives lost 10 of whom were soldiers 5 by friendly fire; the report condemns Israel’s war crimes and the Israeli response is the old cry of Anti Semitism; they would be as well telling the UN and the rest of the world to F**k off because the Americans are on our side; we can do what we want. The knock out blow should have been the fact that the figures come from a brave Israel human rights group called B’Tselem whom they also ignore. Phosphorous bombs; human shields; the destruction of schools and hospitals; homes with people in them destroyed were witnessed by a world audience and still Israel denies the charges and defies the world.

The number of Jews who are horrified at Israel’s actions continue to grow and the suffering of the Palestinian people goes on; they are denied basic human rights by the Israeli occupiers and treated like animals; denied any dignity and goaded and insulted constantly. These crimes are being committed by a people who suffered unspeakable cruelty and genocide at the hands of the Nazis and they are now treating others with cruelty and barbarity; what is going on in their minds.

I started out with fierce criticism of Obama but he is still the best hope for the Palestinians to regain their country and their place in the world; which is the same place as you and me; a free and just homeland. Someone once said that when someone gains a country someone else loses one and Israel will never see peace until the exiled Arabs return from exile to a just and peaceful land perhaps Obama will seal his place in history and bring it about.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Sept. 18Th. 09 - 1pm; to Woodside Crematorium for the funeral of my close friend of 40 years Davie Speirs; Blues/Folk singer and accomplished Guitar and Banjo player, comedian and epic story teller and imbiber supreme, he never wasted a minute.

Having been asked to speak at the funeral service by his wife Myra my apprehension grew as the time drew nearer; as someone who is used to speaking in all sorts of situations you would not imagine that being asked to say a few words of farewell to a much loved friend would worry me but this kind of speech is different, I speculated that speaking in the bear pit of hostile political gatherings would be easier. I was quite convinced that I would not be able to get through it, but I did; only just as emotions welled up near the end. My last words were “I’m proud to have called him friend and comrade and whenever I think of him in future I will hear music and laughter” I only just got there but I don’t know how, now I’m glad and relieved that I did.

The people in attendance could have filled the crematorium twice and the humanist service was relayed outside on speakers, Davie’s wife and lifelong companion Myra had told mourners she did not want to see black attire and people should think about how Davie used to dress when choosing what to wear. Thinking of dressing like Davie (think George Melly) meant a glorious display of hats summer dresses slacks and outrageous ties it was a superb late summer day and in as much as it’s possible to enjoy a funeral everyone had a great time. I can’t remember seeing so many old friends and well kent faces; literally from all over the world; Davie and his family were well known and loved and this turn out showed it; I was delighted for Myra and his children Gary who made a fine speech and Seona; they would not have needed reassurance about the love and respect that people feel for Davie and them but it was satisfying to see so many there.

The speeches were funny; which was unavoidable considering Davie’s personality; he was a one man hilarious riot who could have easily made a living out of comedy he did not need to work at it, some people work their socks off to be funny like Jimmy Tarbuck or Bruce Forsyth and some like Tommy Cooper and Eric Morecambe just have to glance at you and you are off; Davie was one of the latter kind; trouble was he could make you laugh wherever you were the more inappropriate the occasion the better he enjoyed doing it; at some other funeral for instance or at some solemn occasion, he would give you a glance and it was fatal to meet his gaze; he would keep looking at you and moving his body around to get you to look at him, this made some occasions an ordeal but completely hilarious. When both his legs were amputated below the knee he asked the prosthetic technician who was dealing with the job of making his artificial replacements if it was all the same to her could she make him 6Ft. as he always fancied being taller; he also asked for the artificial legs to be hairy because he sometimes wore a kilt and he was proud of his previous real hairy legs, he was simply irrepressible.

He was a fine musician and singer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of music art and literature along with geology films and the theatre and much more; he could hold his own in conversation with the most eminent people, beneath the ribald hilarity and outer picture of a Champagne Charlie lurked a brain like a gin trap and a gentle caring man; he was one of the cleverest people I ever met and deadly in argument; particularly when he argued with racists or right wing reactionaries; these were the times when his legendary good nature slipped as he would tear in to them without mercy; a bit like myself really with less brain power on my part.

When I am involved in decision making which affects others I rely on a system which helps me and it involves Davie; Myra; and the late Sam McAmley, another great friend and staunch socialist, I simply consider the reaction of people like these on hearing what decision I had chosen to make and if I can look such people in the eye and defend it then I reckon I won’t be far wrong. There are not many people that you meet in life whom you can turn to without hesitation for help; people that you trust implicitly and who will not judge but help you; that was Davie and Myra and we are lucky to have had such friends.

Our happiest times were when our families were young and we had access to a rambling old house in a place called Boat of Garten in the Spey Valley; we went there every year for 15 years and the house was full of music and laughter; various friends visited us there and the holidays were special; my oldest daughter was having a special 30 Th. birthday celebration and she chose to have it there with a group of friends; she had such happy memories of her time spent there. We tackled all the usual pursuits like swimming in lochs and rivers, hill walking; canoeing and my favourite which was bird watching which in this location included Golden Eagles; Ospreys and Peregrine Falcons etc. the children loved it and learned to appreciate the out doors and its wildlife. The days started early and finished with a crowd in the large living room around a wood fire; where a few drinks were taken and Davie and others played instruments while "songs were sung by old and young” and stories were told; some of which were even true. I can still see Davie sitting there with the kids spell bound listening to his tales and jokes, these are indeed precious memories and we did not know at the time just how much we would cherish these times as the years passed by.

The folk/blues scene in Scotland has suffered another blow; so have progressive political causes whom he worked for all his life; his family and his army of friends likewise but we all have the memories and we always will, we will mourn and carry on because we have to; if he has gone somewhere and I know he would laugh at that suggestion, I hope he has a guitar and some refreshments with him.

I think I can already hear the faint sound of music and laughter.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


To Cotton St. for the full council and what turned out to be another brazen display of brass necked duplicity by the SNP / Lib. Dem. administration. Another session of non answers and another show of contempt for the public when they turned down a request for a motion on St. Mirren’s new training ground despite the fact that a sizable number of residents from the training ground area were in attendance. This was similar to the underhand tactic that they used when their decision to cut schools music tuition in half was the subject of a Labour motion. Again the Gallery was full of concerned teachers and parents to hear the reasons for this cut and the SNP led administration moved straight to the vote denying the chance to debate their decision; this is democracy in action SNP style; the Lib. Dem. Cllrs. are no more than spineless bought puppets thinking about their money which is granted them by their SNP paymasters, they are a wretched bunch of chancers.

The new training ground is throwing up problems as most new projects do once they are commissioned and the people of the area want these problems addressed; they have a right to be heard but the SNP denied them that right. Labour will continue to fight to let them be heard. No one in the council is hostile to St. Mirren and I personally was responsible for moving the motion through the planning meeting which gave them permission to sell Love St. I’m sure that they can come to an acceptable compromise if the SNP allow it to happen. At another part of the meeting Cllr. Mackay allowed his inexperience to get the better of him when he lost his temper at Cllr. Sharkey and declared that he had been expelled from another council. Cllr. Sharkey exploded with rage and called Cllr. Mackay a liar at the very top of his voice no less than 3 times; this language can get you expelled from the chamber and reported to the standard commission. SNP Cllr. Adam acting like the school clype asked for Cllr. Sharkey to be disciplined to which Cllr. Sharkey in a brazen act of defiance shouted at Cllr. Adam I called him a liar because he is a liar so that was 4 times. The more experienced among us knew immediately that Cllr. Sharkey would never have reacted like that if he wasn’t on strong ground, in my experience he can blow his top with the best of them but he is always in control.

The matter was resolved by the council leader Cllr. Mackay SNP debasing himself by withdrawing the remark he went eyeball to eyeball with Cllr. Sharkey and the old gunslinger humiliated him; not a good day for the aspiring young politician but in this instance he was playing with one of the big boys, call it a learning curve. I did something similar some time ago when I shouted at Cllr. Nicolson and called him a liar also 3 times I then shouted at him “I’m calling you a liar what are you going to do about it” making it 4 times. Cllr. Nicolson; as treacherous and nasty a politician as you could find; a man consumed with hatred for Labour, like Cllr. Mackay bottled it I never retracted my insult and nothing happened. Mackay? Coward, Nicolson? Coward; SNP? Cowards.

For the first 8 years of my time as a councillor I lost count of the times the SNP opposition complained about the lack of a bus station in Paisley; they brought motions to council and wrote letters and press releases to the local press about it. Today we(Labour) put forward a motion complaining about the lack of action on one of their flag ship policies; Step forward the sage of Hollyrood big Bruce McFee a fearsome bully if you are five or under. He provided the best laugh of the day when he condemned Labour for lack of action and said “in just 2 and a half years we have” when he was interrupted by a shout from Labour Cllrs. “built a bus shelter” was the cry which is what they built in Abercorn St. This brought the place to a shuddering stop as the chamber erupted in laughter McFee was humiliated and quite stunned; like most bullies he can’t abide people laughing at him and the whole chamber enjoyed his discomfort; including some from his own side who couldn’t quite stifle their laughter he has upset more than a few of them as well. Despite not winning a vote this was a good for day for us; we won the arguments but; more importantly the chamber was full of people who were non partisan and a discreet glance at their body language and the looks on their faces repeatedly revealed that they were not enamoured with the SNP their joy at McFee and Mackay’s humiliation was tangible. It was a pleasure to accommodate them and show them their council administration in action, for them though it was unfortunately illuminating and not a little worrying.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


There are not that many people in history who are instantly recognised by one name or one word this man had the luxury of two; “Ali” meant only one man around the world and the word “greatest” meant the same thing. Both words in every corner of the world conjured up the site of arguably the greatest sportsman ever, floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee; telling the assembled press in rhyme before the start of the fight which round his opponent would get beaten in; a truly outrageous and incredibly charismatic character and one off; we are not likely to see his like again in our life time; we were lucky to witness him.

Some boxers like Frazier would surely have been champions longer if they had not had the misfortune of being his contemporaries; Cooper was out of his depth but being beaten by him was the next best thing and it made Henry world famous, I remember my old man waking me and my brothers in the middle of the night to watch him live from America. His behaviour was such that America hated him with a vengeance at first because he was brash, confident brilliant and (whisper it) black; what they could not do which made them angrier was deny his greatness. His grace and power were awesome and he proved that not only could he dance and punch but he could take on the toughest customers toe to toe without flinching; tragically he demonstrated this courage sometimes when he didn’t really need to and it has resulted in heartbreak.

Last week he visited Ricky Hatton for a charity event in Manchester and the circus came to town with him; this time the press were not going to miss showing how the mighty had fallen their attention was merciless as they pounced on him arriving and it was painful. My last sighting of him was some time ago but here he was tragic, previously he could wave; strike a boxing pose and talk a little; not any more. His condition as he emerged from his vehicle brought gasps and made me look away he is now a shell of the “greatest” unable to walk unassisted and unable to use his hands or speak to the press, the ‘showboating’ was great at the time but he took many unnecessary punches and now he is paying the price.

He remains however a man of great dignity and is genuinely loved around the world; no one did more to earn the love and respect that he enjoys. This event reminded me that I am also getting on a bit but I am grateful for the memories he gave us my children have heard every story there is about him from me. He was a great champion; is a great human being and an inspiration to his race.

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Is there a more repulsive specimen on the planet than the American Republican voter/member; they have been behaving like foaming at the mouth thugs because the President wants to introduce health care for all. He has been called a communist, an anti American, a white hating racist and republican supporters were heard shouting at their rallies “kill the nigger” These people complain about other countries and criticise their political systems but see nothing wrong with this behaviour; they think it’s acceptable to turn up at an anti Obama rally with a gun strapped to their leg sporting a tee shirt with the legend “it’s time to water the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots” which paraphrases ex president Thomas Jefferson; a bunch of evil crazy bug eyed B******s who of course elected Bush 1 & 2 plus Reagan and Nixon, it's the biggest asylum in the world.

The latest outbreak of republican deviousness is breaking out with parents of schoolchildren complaining about the President visiting their children in school without their permission; I watched one glazy eyed red neck hayseed woman saying on TV that everyone had to be vetted to go in to a school so the president should too. He spoke to the children had some pictures taken and gave a little speech advising them to study hard and stay on at school and go to college; he is clearly a dangerous man in fact it’s worse that that; these people accuse him of the worst crime there is ‘un-Americanism’ I am not aware of any precedent here or in America or anywhere else where a President or politician was met with such drivel. In common with other politicians I have been invited to many school functions and always enjoyed them, can you imagine Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue or Paulo Nutini being told that they can't visit a school because the parents have to give permission would the American parents say "No way Queen Elizabeth you aint going in without our permission"

While watching this nonsense I could only think of one question; do these extras from the movie ‘Deliverance’ I could hear the banjos in the background; actually think that anyone buys this, do they think that the rest of the world is as dumb and vicious as they are? Are they now expecting VIP visitors to schools to have to seek the permission of every parent, can you imagine the right wing reaction if this had been Bush? America in many areas is a dark; sinister; backward place it is down right scary.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Wolves are fantastic creatures; they are capable of outrunning most other creatures and their highly developed sense of community as pack dwellers means they have very few natural enemies as they are almost always “team handed” as we say here when trouble is about to kick off. Since way back in the mists of time they have been held in awe, they are the stuff of legends and the subject of books such as White Fang and movies like Dances with Wolves; we also have the “wolf Cubs” and Kipling’s tales.

The “She Wolf” is reputedly the no. 1 Mother on the planet and that includes humans, she will face down any creature including bears to protect her cubs, all in all they are number 1 good guys; notwithstanding the fact that you would not want to stumble in to a team of them on your own; they are the business.

Our American cousins have just passed a law allowing some states to lift their 80 year ban on hunting wolves, as I said very few natural enemies but; that does not include us, man is the only creature which can blush did you know that? Do Americans?

Having said some nice things about Americans lately I am back to regarding the USA as the A******e of the world, a she wolf can see off a Grizzly bear but is no match for a high powered hunting rifle being aimed at it from a hiding place by a knuckle dragging American frontiersman who just loves to kill for fun – morons.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009



It might be some time before the SNP faint hearts find the courage to march or appear in Elderslie or Johnstone. They are busy exacting revenge on the people of Johnstone and Elderslie for supporting Labour by closing their two community pools while at the same time rewarding the people of Renfrew by keeping the pool in SNP council leader Derek Mackay’s area open.

This is the politics of spite by some very mean spirited SNP troglodytes, the best attended of the 3 is Johnstone the second best attended is Elderslie and worst attended of the three is Renfrew. The lowest subsidy per swimmer is Johnstone the second lowest subsidy per swimmer is Elderslie and the highest subsidy per swimmer is Renfrew. The Victory Baths in Renfrew are 88 years old and the Johnston and Elderslie pools are approx 35 years old.

Hapless SNP Cllr. Brian Lawson in the PDE states people in Elderslie and Johnstone are not bothered about pool closures because there didn’t seem to be many at public meetings; the night before this letter was printed over 200 angry locals packed in to Johnstone public hall to ridicule that; my old man used to say "when it's raining soup, that's when people like Cllr. Lawson come running out with a fork" The SNP/Lib. Dem. council got slaughtered; meetings of this size were common during the dark Thatcher years now they are back courtesy of the wretched SNP / Lib. Dem. maladministration. Meetings protesting about SNP/Lib. Dem. cuts on Elderly Wardens – Education cuts – and now pool closures have all been packed; the level of public disgust at the administration is growing by the day.

In the document (Renfrewshire Leisure Annual Report & accounts 2007/08) we find the following under FACILITY PERFORMANCE PG. 9 :- 7 facilities are listed with the level of subsidy per visitor; they are as follows The Lagoon £3.72 – Linwood sports centre £3.18 – Johnstone Pool £2.04 – Elderslie Pool £2.71 – Renfrew baths £5.35 – Renfrew Leisure Centre £0.89 – Erskine Pool £3.64 – Erskine Sports Centre ££4.07 – McMaster sports Centre £3.44.

The oldest facility is (guess) Renfrew Baths at 88 years old; that’s 51 years older than the next oldest Johnstone Pool; of the 7 the highest subsidy at £5.35 a head is (guess) also Renfrew Baths while Johnstone Baths are second lowest subsidy per head at £2.04 and Elderslie Pool is the third lowest subsidy per head at £2.71.

Elderslie and Johnstone Pools which are in Labour Wards are to close and Renfrew Pool which is in the ward of (guess) SNP council leader Derek MacKay is to stay open and be repaired yet again. Labour MSP Hugh Henry correctly raised this in his PDE column using the phrase “political spite” is this really the behaviour that people who voted SNP or Liberal Democrat expect and do they actually agree with it? If Renfrew Baths can survive and I agree that they should then surely Johnstone and Elderslie can too. We know that nationalism is a parochial and narrow minded philosophy and here we see where it leads. A good friend of mine Peter Ross wrote a song years ago on the folk scene called “Home Rule for Govan” it finishes with the line “why should we stop at Govan; home rule for Copeland Road” these SNP fools have the same stupid backward opinions, lets hear the shout now Hamish ! more jobs for Scotland as long as those Edinburgh b******s don’t get them.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


The annual cringe festival that is Wallace day took place a week last Saturday; once again it was inflicted on the completely innocent people in the village of Elderslie, this is grossly unfair when you consider that no one actually knows a/ whether he was a real person and b/ where he came from; Elderslie people despite having little or no interest in it still have it thrust upon them. I have now witnessed 3 of them and it gets no less painful and embarrassing to visit and observe it, it actually gets worse and that’s saying something; that was my last one.

There is of course a surreal and pythonesque quality to it all which brings laughter and incredulity by turns; the costumes; the swords and shields; the pipes; the obligatory yapping dugs demented with the noise; the jeering weans; the oh so serious speakers; the sinister guys in black with black flags with strange Neo Nazi crests on, which have everyone saying “what kind of flag is that & who are they; some kind of storm troopers; yes but can they fight”? They are probably quite harmless I suppose but some of them are clearly p****d off about something, they reminded me of P.G. Wodehouse’s famous observation; I paraphrase; “it’s easy to spot the difference between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine”

This load of nonsense is of course harmless and indeed provides an event and a cause for some rather poor souls who see it as some kind of highlight of their year; it takes all kinds I suppose but my concern is with the image which it projects of Scotland and it’s citizens. There were people there who were to all intents and purposes serious; they were trying to look as fierce as possible and some were brandishing swords and daggers not unlike County Square on a Friday night in fact but honestly they need to get a life.

Would it not be better to turn it into a happy celebration similar to what happens elsewhere; St. Patrick’s Day and St. George’s Day are great fun but no one actually believes that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland or that St. George actually slew a dragon, Nottingham would be a poorer place without the Robin Hood legend but he is the same as Paddy and George a legend, in the German town of Hamlin they celebrate the legend of the Pied Piper who cleared the town of rats; these are all great excuses for a knees up and why not? The Wallace charade takes itself too seriously; the site of a wee guy with a guitar quivering with emotion while slaughtering Scots Wha Hae and a bizarrely dressed bearded old man wearing a white tent giving a very solemn speech were enough to move you to tears; whether they were tears of doom or laughter is debateable.

I noticed that even the SNP have abandoned it such is its comedic effect; the SNP have been out growled by these even more fierce patriots and they have bigger beards as well; now that’s real patriotism for you. Perhaps the SNP have at last succumbed to the obviously untenable and down right stupid position of claiming Wallace for Elderslie while the SNP in Kilmarnock claim him for their own town. Yes of course it’s quite funny; just like the 29 (at the last count) caves where locals claim Bruce met the spider; and they have the tea towels for sale to prove it.

What is not funny is that these people are serious and that makes Scotland look funny but not funny ha ha more funny peculiar. Time for a rethink surely; what about an “oor Wullie day” or a “see who can last the longest without spending any money day” or; "a fleecing the tourist day" we have plenty of alternatives which might be more fun right?