Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I agree with Hurd’s statement above and the Tory Justice Sec. Ken Clarke on prison reform today and: I also agree with the Scottish Justice Minister the SNP’s Ken. McAskill’s decision on short sentencing; there’s a collector’s item for you but; I must explain.

The Tories are so anxious to cut costs that they will hold their noses and give Clarke who is an archetypal one nation Tory and a social liberal free reign to revamp the prison system; had money been washing around they would lock up even more people. Clarke sees his chance by dangling huge cuts in expenditure by saving on prisons – the big risk is that it will fail when massive service cuts and huge rises in unemployment cause rises in crime. The very same applies to the idiot McAskill and the SNP they hide behind a veil of liberal reform because they are desperate to save money; they are acting from expediency. The Scottish Tories are the only ones who can be trusted to tell the truth on this matter; they are the same horde of hangers and floggers as they always were and they don’t give a F**k who knows it. The Libdems as always don’t count; they will go with the biggest backhander.

That brings me to the Labour Party; my own Party, today in Westminster and Holyrood we swapped sides with the Tories and the SNP and became the reactionaries on this topic; Labour and the Scottish Tories chose to run with the hangers and floggers because they think it’s a vote winner despite knowing in our case at least that it is wrong; practically and morally. The English Tories and the SNP lied as well but; for different reasons namely money.

It costs more to keep someone in prison for a year £38,000 than it does to send a boy to Eton; the fact that Eton is a more Spartan regime is little comfort to the tax payer while a cursory glance at the Govt. front bench reveals the harm that Eton and other similar institutions can do to someone. Over the years I have despaired at the behaviour of the likes of Michael Howard; Edwina Curry and the shameful Ann Widdicombe as well as Jack Straw and various Labour home secretaries. All competing to be tougher than each other’s opponents; all dancing to the melody played by the editorials of rags like The Sun and The News of the World.

Prison numbers will rise to approx. 104,000 before the next General Election. 80% of these prisoners suffer from 2 or more mental conditions for which they are not being treated; reoffending rates among the 60,000 prisoners given short sentences has reached 60% and rising. The stats are horrendous and we still stick to the old discredited ways of retribution, giving a delinquent 6 months is only part of it; more often than not the prisoner loses his/her job; house and often their family “welcome to freedom” it’s a sick joke.

David Cameron today claimed it was all the responsibility of the last Labour Govt. a contemptible display of partisan evasion; the Labour Party is approx. 100 years old David; the youngest of the 3 main parties and the prison system is hundreds of years old most of those years ruled by the Tories; Whigs and Liberals; go read Oliver Twist or look at a Hogarth painting to see the society which they ran; that appalling society was changed by the Levellers; the Tolpuddle Martyrs; The Unions and The Labour Party.

I will finish on another massive scandal which is delicate to say the least but it nags incessantly at me. The largest homogeneous group in our prison system consists of ex Army and Navy personnel; by the next General Election they will number approx. 10,000. The reason for the delicacy? These prisoners do not it would seem fit the description of our brave soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan do they? I do not object to people praising any soldier who is injured or killed in the course of their duty but; I am sickened at the brazen duplicity of the establishment and the armed forces who calculatingly sweep this inexcusable situation under the carpet. I will not hold my breath waiting for the politician of any party to say “our personnel fighting abroad are the bravest of the brave; unlike the rabble of low degree from our armed forces who are in jail” they wouldn’t have the guts would they? It would not fit the propaganda machine. Nor will I lose sleep waiting for that politician or indeed the recruiting sergeant to say “Join up and serve your country, make everyone proud of you but remember, you might end up an alcoholic, a druggie; a rough sleeper, a vagrant or doing time in prison” Because that would be facing up to the horrid truth which is that your country, and the armed forces are not actually all that interested in you once they are finished with you.

After the first world war “the armless; the legless; the blind and insane” to borrow from Eric Bogle were left to beg on the streets and we haven’t made all that much progress since have we? How’s that for dishonour; think about it the next time you see one of those big jingoistic parades and think of the hypocrites who dine out on them. I told you this was delicate but; I feel a lot better for saying it; it’s a massive wrong which has to be sorted; stop the lies right? Having been in a few prisons I know what I am talking about; in jail they are not hard to spot they walk upright and they are neat and tidy as a rule with a pride in their appearance and demeanour but, damaged, badly badly damaged.

We can make a start on this by keeping tabs on the ones who leave the forces and by making sure they are coping or does that sound too much like a bleeding heart Socialist?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Years ago during the action being taken against the Apartheid Regime in South Africa sceptics would tell us that boycotting S.A. goods would have no effect; refusing to play sports against them would mean zilch; cutting diplomatic ties likewise. History now teaches us that the above activities and more played a massive part in destroying the evil and immoral white supremacist state of S.A. and confining Apartheid to the dustbin of history. Looking back I remember the great emotion of actually doing something to help the struggle however small, it is simply great for morale.

The same lame excuses for inaction have been trotted out over the past couple of years when people have suggested the same type of campaign should be encouraged to undermine Israel’s vile treatment of the Palestinians whose land they have continued to occupy against overwhelming world opinion for 43 years. Following recent Israeli atrocities the tide is beginning to turn in favour of decency and justice and against Israel. The Boycott is up and running and beginning to bite, appeals to boycott Israel have been made for years without a great deal of success but; a change is taking place and it’s down to a piece of chutzpah too far by the conceited Israeli occupiers.

Israeli occupiers in the West Bank recently came up with a swindle to cheat people worldwide; which is now backfiring on them. Having taken over Palestinian land; farms and houses they decided to start selling their produce labeled as “Product of the West Bank” which is of course Palestinian. A great many people who sympathise with the plight of the Palestinian people were quite happy to buy what they thought was Palestinian produce; doing their little bit to help as I explained earlier. Word of this Israeli dishonesty reached the ears of people outside the West bank mainly through international solidarity organisations and Trade Unions including here in
Scotland I’m proud to say. The hubris displayed by the occupiers turned out to be a bad gaffe.

What we have now is a campaign which is much easier to focus on and also lets us see results as they happen; people are encouraged to read the labels of the goods they buy and refuse to purchase goods which do not clearly state that they are Palestinian. “Produce of the West Bank” does not suffice it is an Israeli falsehood; not one of their bigger lies by comparison but a lie nevertheless and they have been caught out. Israeli factories based in settlements on the West Bank have been forced to cut back production as a growing Palestinian boycott movement begins to take effect. Israeli settlers have been stealing Palestinian farms and selling the produce of the stolen farms back to the Palestinians, that is being stopped.

The Palestinian Authority are positive with support at 85% they said they were pleased with the level of support for the boycott, put in a recent survey at around 85%. "People feel national pride that they can participate in this campaign," a spokesman said; as I said earlier it makes you feel better. Europe is catching on and the E.U. guidelines urge traders to display labels clearly differentiating between Palestinian, Israeli and Settlement goods.
This is not an easy option for Palestinians as the Settlers will punish them in any way possible and jobs are at stake but; so is pride and the Palestinians deserve our full support.



As the hullabaloo rages about England’s goal that never was and the desirability of goal line technology I think it is time to bring my immense experience and knowledge of the ‘Beautiful Game’ to the debate. The first thing to say is; had I been in Lampard’s place there would have been no controversy as I would have hit the back of the net cleanly instead of faffing about with the woodwork. While I mention Lampard would it not be a better tactic when Lampard lines up to smash another free kick against the defensive wall to leave more players back to cope with the counter attack?

Anyway I am against the introduction of goal line technology and a word for the English commentators here; causing a huge ‘rammy’ about technology immediately after your team is denied a goal is not the right time to have the discussion; it smacks of expediency and poor sportsmanship; very un-British in fact.

Those who call for goal line technology are kidding themselves on if they think it would be possible to confine it to just that area; I believe that a very recent and just as blatant example backs me up. If we had this technology does anyone think that it should have been applied to the Theirry Henry double hand ball which led to Ireland going out of the tournament? It would inevitably spread to every area of the pitch and the beautiful game would cease to flow and would not entertain as it does now. Football is a flowing game unlike others where play stops and starts continually and technology is used such as cricket; tennis and Rugby which is meant to flow but rarely does.

The answer is obvious; I saw a brilliant ariel picture from above the German goalie as he dived back toward the Lampard shot which beat him he is shown clearly staring at the ball from his mid air horizontal position and the ball has crossed the line; the ball bounces and spins back out into to his hands and he realizes that a goal has not been given and he speeds on with play.

Had the incident been reversed the English goalie big David (calamity) James would have paused and like a typical stiff upper lipped Corinthian British sportsman he would have thrown the ball into the English net and preserved his nation’s honour. What we need is for the rest of the world to emulate the British “sword of truth and trusty shield of fair play” the traditions forged at Eton and Harrow, nothing less can save the “Beautiful Game” now. So; come on chaps ‘Play up; play up and play the game’

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Just watched the England V Germany game; in an earlier blog post I said England would definitely not win the trophy but; I confess that I did not expect such a capitulation. I made no secret of the fact that I wanted England to do well but my good wishes withered as I heard their fans booing the German anthem, crass behavior. This German team was young and different looking as they had a couple of black guys and a Turkish/German playing; his name is Ozil and at the age of 21 he looks the complete player already. In the aforementioned blog I mentioned that big tournaments like the World Cup have a history of throwing up stars who were relatively unknown before the tournament (Pele) this guy fits the bill perfectly.

After 20 mns. Germany took the lead through Klose with the kind of goal which, had it been scored by Rooney would have earned high praise for speed; power; strength and great finishing. Unfortunately the churlish commentators concentrated on what they saw as poor defending; ominously for England the Germans had spurned 2 good chances before this one and they scored again soon after this, England pulled one back and were denied a legal goal before the break; by which time the Germans should have had the game wrapped up. We finished up with the completely risible assertion by the TV panel of Hansen, Shearer and co. that all 4 German goals were the result of terrible defending; absolute rot, the Germans won easy and played brilliantly.

The match commentator speculated about how many English players could walk into the German team and he reckoned a couple; he is wrong; there is only one; Rooney when he is on song and in this tournament just like his team mates he stank the place out. England need a good clean out, they need an enema and not many of this bunch will survive; starting with the most overrated one of all Lampard. He stays famous because he scores a spectacular goal every 5 or 6 games with Chelsea where he is surrounded by quality players. The commentators keep telling us that these are top quality premeir league players without mentioning that they are playing alongside guys like Drogba; Deco; Ballack; Torres; Vidic and Fletcher (OK the last one is a bit cheeky) The last goal should be watched over and over to see what I mean about Lampard; he gives the ball away on the German 18 yard line and then starts running back to try to stop the swift counter attack and he keeps watching the ball as if hypnotized while a German player goes past behind him and receives the ball unchallenged and smashes it home; he is out of his depth here.
The bad news for the rest of the world is that this is the youngest German team for decades and they can and will get better, at times in this tournament they have been awesome; with players like Muller; Klose; Podolski and Ozil they will be hard to beat, Ozil in particular is a delight to watch unassuming; fast; strong; brave; great skill and an old head on 21 year old shoulders, remember the name, 'Ozil'

It would be a good time as well for the TV companies to have a similar clean out; Hansen; Shearer and most of the rest of them have got it wrong so often and repeated the same rubbish for so long that the commentary couch is crying out for fresh talent; these guys are an embarrassment.


Ochone! Ochone! Ochone! “Independence is no longer the fulcrum of Scottish politics” So said (the spiv) Salmond; something he could have said years ago but didn’t have the bottle; he reckons that he has softened up and patronised the fundamentalists enough to get away with what a couple of years ago would have got the wee butter knife in his sock and his tartan frock removed in dishonour. He reckons that they lost the stomach for the fight a long time ago; the Renfrewshire Bravehearts like McFee, Mitchel, B Lawson, Nicolson etc. have long since decided to shut up and take the money. The Noons, Mackays, Camerons and Adams of the “Planet Brigadoon” were never more than a pale imitation of their masters in Holyrood like Sturgeon, Swinney, Russell and the “king of the spivs” Salmond. They have never had the courage to even wish for independence that is why the word has become extinct from their vocabulary; they even sit now alongside people like McCartin a woman that they can barely conceal their scorn for but; money talks doesn’t it.

Will anyone of them from “Planet Brigadoon” say anything about this latest and most embarrassing proclamation from the (great spiv) Salmond. He has gone very public in showing his disdain for them; he now very publicly shows his all powerful position and his condescension for the tartan clowns in his party and as usual the Bravehearts” say nothing as they cower before him. Bruce; Jim; Brian; Ian, how are you going to free bonnie Scotland from the hated Engurlish if you can’t find the courage to say something, say anything?

When he (the spiv) dropped the word independence from the last manifesto you did nothing; when he said that Engurlish soldiers would be welcome to keep their Scottish bases under independence you did nothing; when he said there would be no border controls between Scotland and the Engurlish you did nothing; (horror oh the horror) when he said the Queen of Engurland would rule in perpetuity over Bonnie Scotland you shamefully did nothing. The Queen, a woman and an institution you claim to revile and deny legitimacy to; you once refused to stand for or sing her National Anthem or salute her flag which you called “the butcher’s apron” what will you do now? How much more humiliation can you take as “Bonnie Scotland” lies bleeding are you men or “wee sleekit cowering beasties”?

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
Renfrewshire Nats. will run an cower
Independence cannae be,

Let us turn an flee.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Now that we have had a look at the Torydem budget this might be a good time to remind people in Renfrewshire that the SNPdem cabal who run the council are preparing to cut 700 jobs and cut back on essential services everywhere. Osbournes nasty budget which BTW is supported by the Libdems in Renfrewshire and opposed by the Gnats; oh dear “when thieves fall out” will destroy jobs and penalize the poor. We are entitled to ask how the fetid Renfrewshire co-alition will go about their business when one side the Libdems support Osbourne and the other side the SNP oppose him (at least they say they do)
I think they will brazen it out because there is not a single one of them with a degree of honesty or integrity. Remember all this pain and misery will fall on us and the hatchet will be wielded by the SNPdem cabal who granted the senior officers of the council rises of 22% over 2 years; meaning that some officers received more in a single year’s wage rise than some council workers get for an annual salary. This is the SNP looking after the people of Scotland; this is “Scotlands Party” as they like to call themselves in action, while the obsequious self abasing Libdems grovel around doing their bidding as they deliver for the money bribe given them by the Gnats.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Thanks and well done to everyone who helped in whatever way possible; the whale campaign was successful.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


24 06 10 - 09:25 A.M. The Full council is about to start and I am abruptly confronted by the object of my last post Cllr. Eileen McCartin leader of the Libdems on the council. She hands me a photo copy of my post about her with a scribbled comment paraphrased from Hamlet; presumably to impress me with her education; she is far too late with that I can assure you. She then later on started to speak about the post in a most uneasy way; uncomfortable because she; yes Eileen McCartin of all people was actually trying to look for sympathy, accusing me of libel; telling lies and abuse; none of which had anything to do with the issue being discussed, a clear exploitation of the meeting and so very typical of her. She even accused me of disparaging her dead parents! There is no way I could know that her parents were dead so I can only conclude that she thinks so much of them that she is quite happy to exploit the fact that they are deceased to get at me; not something I would do nor most of you I’ll wager but I suppose it takes all kinds; it rather vindicates my picture of her in my last post, later in the meeting she made a rather pompous contribution where she mentioned 'Libdem principles' honestly; I couldn't help remembering the great great quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson about a fraudulent dinner guest,which I now paraphrase "The louder she talked of her dignity, the faster we counted our spoons"

Cllr. Mackay not for the first time tried to charge us with misogyny in relation to McCartin and called on the Labour Group to be better behaved; to anyone who has witnessed the conduct of the SNP over the years this goes well beyond chutzpah. Asking for sympathy for McCartin is like saying Mrs. Thatcher was really quite nice you just didn’t look hard enough for her gentle side; Mackay and the SNP were famous for having to be removed by the Police; something that has never happened to any Labour Cllr. In my memory.

We moved a motion to scrap parking charges at the RAH and despite the SNP candidate at the Last General Election Ms. McLaren promising to campaign for their abolition and Nicola Sturgeon saying the SNP would scrap them they voted us down and supported an amendment to let the NHS deal with it on their own; they washed their hands of it. Then came the charade over the alleged Privatisation of Council houses; the SNP /Libdem position here was that despite agreeing to ballot for a transfer in Ferguslie Park and the SNP decision to transfer to a Social Landlord in West Dumbartonshire they were not privatising council Housing but if Labour did it we were Privatising Council Houses. Housing Convener Brian Lawson who should know better said that the Ferguslie Park proposed Transfer did not count because it was only 500 houses truthfully that was his position.

I asked how the Libdems could defend the Libdem/Tory budget and Eilenn McCartin came in and spoke unintelligible gobbledygook without actually trying to defend it at all. No one in the administration was able to explain how the Libdems could be in coalition with the Tories in Westminster and with the SNP here when the SNP were opposed to Osborne’s Budget; strange bedfellows indeed. At one point the young Tory Cllr. For Linwood Cllr. Clews objected to being called a Tory; he insisted on being called the “Conservative and Unionist Party” and claiming that they have not been the Tories since Disraeli’s time; I could not get back in but; I was itching to tell him that the great “One Nation Tory” Disraeli would not touch today’s C.U.P. or Tory Party whichever you prefer with a barge pole.

The meeting ended in high farce when we once again discussed school busses with parents present; the item was kept to the last intentionally to sicken them and get them to leave but they stayed; the angry parents were subjected to a pretentious diatribe from Council Leader Mackay who caused a sharp intake of breath by again telling them that getting a child to school was the responsibility of parents and not the council something which dates back to horses and carts and not fast cars and lorries; a display of self-importance and disdain.

And finally back to big Chief McCartin and if she thought that she had been harshly treated on my blog there was a parent there who rapidly corrected that suggestion. This woman rose after being told to keep quiet and started to leave; changed her mind and marched back and let McCartin have it with both barrels. She was magnificent in her wrath and she called Eileen McCartin all sorts she made the wounding allegation against devout Catholic McCartin that she was making it harder for her to provide her child with a catholic education because of the bus cuts. Provost Lawson shouted that she would have her thrown out and the woman looked at her with cold fury and said “go ahead” Council Bouncers Drew and John approached the woman tentatively and she said to them “what are you going to do manhandle me; are you going to throw me out” John and Drew wisely backed off and everyone said “well what now”? we said “Gaun yersell missus” or words to that effect and she left triumphantly still directing her anger at the abject McCartin and Mackay. She reminded me of a line from an old folk song where an angry mother remonstrates with the army over her injured son “were you deaf or were you blind when you harmed a hair of a child of mine”

The Tories or the C.U.P. have now sided with Labour on the school busses; I thought you would like to know that, I tell you these busses will be running along the road to Damascus.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The above meeting produced an unexpected gem from serial blunderer; the hapless and completely off the wall Cllr. Irene McCartin Libdem Collaborator with the SNP; the Tories and anyone else who will offer her money and a position that she can swank about in; in this case a convenership.

During an argument about empowering people I called the administration’s boasts about bringing power and democracy to the people in the shape of the Local Area committees a fraud and a charade. What happens at these farcical meetings is the public attend as delegates from varied community organisations; a good idea surely? In essence yes but; what happens here is the members of the public come along have their say and that’s it; that’s their lot I’m afraid; all decisions are taken by councillors who are the only ones allowed to vote. No matter how just your cause; how eloquent your argument; how much support your fellow delegates give you, the elected councillors can and do vote against you and you are completely impotent; despite being invited by these charlatans to come along and join in the democratic process. It gets even shoddier; we recently discovered from Council Leader Mackay SNP that the SNP Libdem Cllrs. meet beforehand to decide which items they will ram through, the recently enfranchised and empowered members of the public needless to say don’t get to attend this meeting let alone vote; this is a cynical SNP / Libdem farce. I asked in as pointed a way as I could if one of them could give me any other example of democracy (their word) where people are not allowed to vote but; answer came there none, their attitude to the general public is one of utter disdain.

But; back to big chief McCartin; she launched into an attack on me composed of what she chose to call my lack of understanding of how Democracy works; according to her I “did not understand democracy” I had had my say on this debate and could not come back in but; I can’t let the insult go. Cllr. McCartin comes into the category of someone whom you would never allow to get the better of you; the ignominy would be too much to take so here is my answer.

I find it preposterous and not a little disingenuous to be accused of not understanding how democracy works by someone who’s version of democracy allows her to sit as a member of a ruling administration when her Party won 4 out of 40 seats; her Party came 3 rd. out of 4 and they had the lowest share of the popular vote. She is perfectly cosy shaping the lives of the people of Renfrewshire and taking the money despite her and her Party being absolutely rejected and humiliated at the council election. Her National Party Libdem colleagues are doing exactly the same at Westminster supported by her; more somersaults were done in Westminster today by the Libdem liars than you would see at the Olympic Gymnastics Tournament.

Trotting out the same old excuse as some of her detractors do that she is too dense to grasp politics and is ignorant and arrogant to a huge degree does not cut it; she is an affront to politics and a toe curling embarrassment; if ever anyone deserved a hammering from the voters it is her and her squalid colleagues and; I think it is coming to them; first at Holyrood then at the Local elections; bring it on! Do yourselves a favour; go along to a full Council meeting and see her for yourself; don’t take my word for it; I’m happy for you to make up your own minds or; you could try asking the parents of the children who have lost their school buses or those who are losing their swimming pools; they too have had the experience of dealing with her; suffice to say the money her parents spent on the Swiss Finishing School was a waste.


In one week, the International Whaling Commission will hold its final vote on a proposal to legalize commercial whale hunting for the first time in a generation.

Europe and Latin America, could abstain... or even support the proposal. The vote could go either way.Citizen pressure is our best hope -- and it's working. The whaling lobby expected to win easily, but thanks to actions like ours, champions of the ban are standing strong. It was an explosive worldwide social movement in the 1980s that led to the commercial whaling ban we're now protecting.

Now civil society access to the talks is being limited, so this powerful petition campaign is a vital channel of worldwide pressure in the final 72 hours of negotiations. Let's deliver 1 million signatures inside the talks before it's too late! -- sign now and spread the word:
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Thursday, June 17, 2010


Chairman Frank McAveety calls a recess and stretches back in his chair; he casually remarks to the guy next to him; “that girl in the audience is nice; very attractive; she has that Filipino look; like a woman from a Gaugin painting” alas like others before him he was still ‘live’ and his remarks were overheard. It's bizarre I have been in Frank's company before and he is a lively quick witted guy who would not cause offence to anyone he is great company and I'm sure those who know him will be utterly bewildered by this unnecessary resignation.

So let’s suspend common sense and join in with the circus for a while. What would the woman have said to him had she heard his comments; would she have been insulted; would she have reported him; what would she have reported him for; who would she have reported him to; how would she have described his transgression. Conceivably she would have gathered her nerve and; through trembling lips she would have said “the swine called me nice; he even called me attractive, the insensitive brute that he is, I’m now seeing my doctor because I’m distressed by all this; women are just not safe with such men around. Gaugin you say? he painted some beautiful women didn’t he? Still he has no right saying such things”

At the tender age of 15 years I arrived at ‘Brown and Polson’s’ factory to start work; I was given a white uniform and a ridiculous wee white hat; the fact that everyone in the place wore one did not help; I felt daft. I was given directions to go and report to the ‘Cube’ building where surprise surprise they made Knorr stock cubes. I strode through the large double doors as purposely as I could and stopped dead as I was confronted by approx. 50 women and one man who; along with me did the heavy lifting in the ‘Cube Hall’ When I read about Frank McAveety today I thought about that first day at work and I can say that if it was right for Frank to resign those women should have been detained. They teased me pitilessly and my face was permanently red for days, I simply could not repeat some of the things and describe some of the mischief they played on me; honestly in a family blog I couldn’t. It was sink or swim and like most of course I learned to swim and the teasing stopped within a couple of days; I became so immune to them that I actually went out with a couple of them. Frank’s resignation is a charade and makes the Parliament look stupid; the ghost of John Knox is around I think; the buttoned up Jeremiahs who are attacking him ought to get a life. If McAveety is wrong to compare this woman to a Gaugin painting would these clowns also ban Gaugin’s paintings altogether? How about this one, “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate; Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, etc. (Oi! You! Wassname, Shakespeare, enough of that you sleazy sod)

I have done a small straw poll among several women to see how they would react to his remarks if McVaveety said those things about them and the answers were predictable; here are some.
Girl1/ I would love to look like that. Girl 2/ He’s cheeky but nice. Girl 3/ His place or mine. Girl 4/ These complainers have never been to the dancing in Paisley have they? Girl 4/ Most women would say he was a charmer. Girl 5/ Who is this Gaugin guy then?
I couldn’t get any one of them to condemn him in any way; this has to be as daft a resignation as we have seen and those who called for it and supported it are a laughing stock as is Parliament.

Latest update 19;00 One of the past members of McAveety's petitions committee Sandra White SNP says that as the committee had dealt with Lap Dancing and Trafficking; Frank McAveety is not fit to chair this committee. Sandra White is a perfect example of the lack of ability and talent in the SNP. The SNP go to inordinate lenghths to keep her locked away, her and Christine Grahame are like two crazy old bats in the attack in a Hammer movie but occasionaly they escape and embarrass the party and themselves; in White's case she also embarrasses women everywhere, they both have "mouths like a clown's pocket" She compares Frank McAveety to Sex Traffickers because he said that a young woman was attractive; Ms. White; that, is the sound of white coats flapping that you can hear.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


In 18 68 when Gladstone was asked to form a Govt. he accepted and said “My mission is to pacify Ireland” less than 50 years later there was what has become famous as ‘The Easter Rising’ renowned in songs and stories etc. and also the single most successful recruiting agent for Irish Independence and the IRA ever seen; the reason? Britain did what was quite common in such circumstances they reacted with wrath and unspeakable cruelty and the Irish remember it well. Britain was of course reacting to a rebellion against the Crown and they did not mess about; the prevailing wisdom was that the victors had to make an example of the losers and they did. Not much later they did the same with Germany after the first world war and both of these conflicts were to come back and bite them later; Germany of course in a far more serious way.

Further back when Henry “orator” Hunt the famous radical dissenter addressed the mighty crowd at St. Peter’s Field Manchester in the cause of parliamentary reform in 18 19 the meeting was attacked by cavalry and 15 were killed and as many as 700 injured; the reformers called it the ‘Peterloo Massacre’ to link it with Waterloo which was 4 years earlier when many who fought there that day had been hailed as heroes; that was the time right there to get your money on Parliamentary reform it became a stick on because; time had marched on and people easily heard about Peterloo and they, like the Irish later would remember.

An English character in the great novel “Ulysses” by James Joyce remarks rather grandly in a Dublin pub conversation “We English have treated you Irish rather harshly, it seems history is to blame” well; today I remembered this and more as I heard the conclusions from the “Bloody Sunday Report” many people waiting 38 years for this would be unaware that this was in fact “Bloody Sunday mark 2” in 19 20 not long after the Easter Rising the Royal Irish Constabulary and the British Army fired into a crowd at a football match at Croke Park Dublin and killed 12 and injured many more; it was a Sunday and hence became “Blood Sunday Mark1” You see since the ‘Rising’ Ireland had been looked after by a courageous band of well spoken well behaved chaps who became affectionately known as the “Black and Tans” whose idea of a good night out was to raid a pub get drunk then murder torture and burn down houses; their favourite game was removing finger nails with pliers and you should have seen what they did to the men; yes indeed there is “previous” here.

In any case “why is he writing all this” I hear you mumble well; it’s because it ties in with what I have been saying about the Israeli Defence Force and the Gaza Boat Raid this is what can happen when young men wearing uniforms are allowed to run wild with no control over them and; today’s report tells us what we all unquestionably knew by now; the British Army; not for the first time; from Ireland to Iraq and many points in between are as guilty as hell. The report and the details are very disturbing indeed and it cannot be allowed to end here; just like the boat raid these were murders and you can’t have a murder without a murderer and in this case the murderer’s commanders who are the ones who sit where the buck stops or at least where it should stop, but will it?

There will be a predictable outcry about dead soldiers and civilians throughout Ireland’s troubled past which is entirely understandable but; if you (the Govt.) want to go down the road of indiscriminately shooting people who are demonstrating in favour of what you see as the enemy then you should be aware that this kind of reaction is not without precedent. In the Second World War it was common for the Nazis to react to the killing of one of their soldiers by Italian Partisans for instance by murdering hundreds of non combatant Italian villagers and burning down their homes and farms (Israel?) It’s not the answer is it?

As human beings we must think of those people who fought the deceitful and scheming British State for all these years to prove their loved ones innocent; we must think of all those who suffered because this incident made matters worse. More died and were blown up because of the entrenchment caused by these actions and the lies of the British State and; last but not least we must think of the Soldiers who did the killing and this is the hardest thing of all for the victims who lost loved ones. These Soldiers were not much older than some of their young victims and they have now been living with the fact that they gunned down unarmed innocent civilians for 38 years; unless of course you take the line that is being taken for the apologists of Israel’s war crimes and say that they were armed with deadly stones and bottles. I would not like to carry such guilt around with me for life and I admit I do not know whether I would be able draw a line under it and forgive but I know that if I could not forgive then I would at least blame the real guilty ones, that is the British Army Commanders in charge of the whole bloody fiasco but; we have been here before have we not; will we ever learn?

Friday, June 11, 2010


Some people would have us believe that boycotting Israel in a similar way to the legendary Anti Apartheid Boycotts and demonstrations which helped to bring down the White Supremacist State of South Africa would not work. On its own they are possibly right but I believe that it would be an invaluable way of keeping the focus on the Apartheid State of Israel as well as hurting their economy and what’s more vital it would serve to remind them of their pariah status in the rest of the civilized world. It would also help boost the morale of those who are opposed to Israel and its crimes; the feeling that involvement in a good cause brings; however small cannot be easily dismissed and I’m sure that many respectable anti racist anti apartheid people would benefit from such action. People who are horrified at the deeds of Israel would be able to do something to help and believe me that is a great feeling; as the great poet Shelley memorably said “remember ye are many they are few” the South African Boycott spread to reach every corner of the world and so can this; read those labels and go for it!

One of the places where a boycott would undeniably have an effect is the unlawful Israel settlements of the occupied territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) recently launched a leaflet calling on people to boycott goods from these settlements; the leaflet was called appropriately enough; “Would You Buy Stolen Goods?” the Israeli settlers have in a totally devious and corrupt scam been labelling their goods “Product of the West Bank” in the hope that people would think they were Palestinian produce. For those of you who might still be a bit unconvinced about the power of a boycott of this kind I would recommend that you surf the internet and see how it is gathering momentum and if you want to see proof of its potential seek out Israeli supporter’s blogs and articles. Their wrath and discomfort at these developments is growing rapidly, they are raving and ranting their defiance and spitting feathers about this because they know no matter how they try to conceal it that this has the potential to damage Israel badly and it is a great cause. Read every label and don’t touch anything that has been tainted by the State of Israel; help the Palestinians in your own small way; I guarantee it will make you feel good.

- Would You Buy Stolen Goods? is available at and the briefing for trade union officers is available at
- For more information on the TUC policy on the Middle East go to

Thursday, June 10, 2010


At the foot of my post titled “there aren’t any good causes left” etc. you can see the picture of the little guy sitting serenely with his wee homemade cardboard placard stating “Gazans need coriander” with the plant itself stapled to the board it was a non dangerous limb of the plant he assured everyone. . It was a simple and quite devastating example of how to humiliate a bully even a bully as big as Israel, he peacefully and coolly made Israel look irrational and petty by highlighting the fact that coriander was banned from entering the Gaza Strip. It’s bizarre is it not that Israel as well as committing war crimes and callously inflicting collective punishment on a whole population should be so bloody gross and stupid as to do such things. I doubt if there was much chance of the thugs and goons who govern Israeli actually seeing this fellow’s eloquent and stinging protest but today Israel loosened its barbaric blockade on Gaza and one of the perilous and security threatening items allowed back in was guess what? Coriander of course; you could not make this up; you just couldn’t, Israel is not only reviled for it’s cruelty but now it’s ridiculed for it’s idiocy.

So today the Israeli State wants us to see that Israel is a good law abiding member of the international community. A decent; nay; exemplary society, generous and peaceful right? After 3 years of a siege on Gaza they have made the magnificent gesture of allowing Gazans to buy Corianda, as discussed; hazardous Boiled sweets, security threatening potato chips, mistrustful looking cookies, threatening spices and Soda yes honestly they are even taking the risk of Soda being allowed in as well as shaving cream. Soda and shaving cream! how volatile could that prove to be, momentous decisions right enough the foundations of the Israeli State must be trembling.

Perhaps we are being allowed by accident to have a glimpse at the mindset of the rulers of Israel and how vindictive and petty they really are perhaps they think that this will in some way lessen the revulsion that the world experienced when they assassinated those people on the Gaza Boat; I reckon that they are now so out of touch with reality that such thoughts might seem rational to them. What they will do though is continue the blockade and they will continue to persecute and humiliate the Palestinians of Gaza and the violence that they seek will erupt again and they can then portray the people of the Gaza Strip as thugs and terrorists. The civilized world knows this but they still let them away with it; surely it’s time to put a stop to it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


I have had some people write about my post on the Israeli Psycho Commando who boasted about killing 6 innocent people on the Gaza boat and some of them seem a bit confused; I will try to simplify it for them again.

Following this blatant example of state sponsored mass murder the lunatic Israeli State had two choices; they could either do the right thing and lock up this clearly out of control disturbed storm trooper for as long as it takes to render him suitable again to be around his fellow human beings or, they could make him a hero and give him a medal and just like in “Catch 22” they did the latter.

It is not unknown for people involved in military actions to act outwith the rules of engagement and commit war crimes; it can be and is argued that on occassions the circumstances are such that reason goes out the window and those responsible are in certain situations not entirely reslponsible; panic, fear and frenzy can sometimes have a terrible effect on someone in the midst of chaos. It is however very unusual to say the least for the state employing the soldier to treat it as acceptable.

Whether this is a valid possibility is in this case irrelevant it is made irrelevant because of one difference with other such cases; this was an Israeli soldier that is the one difference. There is no doubt at all that if this had been British, American, Russian, French troops etc. this guy would now be being held in a rubber room and having his head read. There is copious evidence to suggest that only in Israel would this guy be immediately made a hero and allowed to carry on as normal. Israel is now well outside civilized society; when a soldier guns down 6 people even if they are carrying sticks and iron rods to attack him he needs to be investigated; other countries have sent members of their armed forces to prison for a lot less, this is Israel showing it's contempt for the world and ignoring another potential war crime and even rewarding it.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Fifty years ago, in the aftermath of World War Two, a group of pacifists opened Housmans radical bookshop at its current address at 5 Caledonian Road, in London’s Kings’ Cross. Ever since, Housmans has worked hard to continue its mission of promoting ideas of peace, human rights and a more equitable economy by which future wars, and all their inherent suffering, might be avoided. At a time when independent bookshops are closing down left, right and centre, it is reassuring that Housmans is still holding its corner.The biggest threat to independent bookshops has been the rise to dominance of the online bookseller Amazon has achieved an unrivalled supremacy over the marketplace, but this near-monopoly wasn’t achieved without the usual unethical practices that are so common to the world’s biggest corporations.What is wrong with using Amazon?

In 2001 the Guardian first reported on the poor working conditions in Amazon's warehouses, and nothing much has changed since. In December 2008, a Sunday Times reporter went undercover to their Marston Gate warehouse near Milton Keynes and discovered that staff were required to work seven days a week and were punished for taking sick leave, even if they had a note from their doctor. According to Unite the Union, Amazon continues to see trade union representation as illegitimate. But it’s not just Amazon workers who suffer at the hands of the multi-national corporation. Publishers are also squeezed for every penny, as Amazon forces them to supply them at rates so low that it leaves authors and publishers out of pocket – particularly damaging smaller publishing houses. Amazon’s dominance of the market means that publishers have little choice but to comply with their demands. Aside from the ethical considerations, this affects readers in reduced output from small presses, and diminished availability of radical titles. Providing an ethical alternative and so into this arena steps Housmans Bookshop. Housmans, in conjunction with Gardners Books, has just launched its own online bookshop to rival Amazon. Although still prioritising their stock of radical interest and progressive politics, the site is also able to provide around half a million general titles. “Many of our most politically conscious colleagues use Amazon, and when asked why, it’s because they know of no alternative. But now, wherever they live, people will be able to support independent and progressive bookselling from the comfort of their own home.

I think it’s essential that we are able to provide an alternative to help dent Amazon’s monopoly,” explains co-manager Nik Gorecki. “It’s up to sympathetic book buyers to do the right thing, and buy their books elsewhere.” “This year Housmans celebrates fifty years of trading from our Caledonian Road address, but in order for us to be here another fifty years we have to stand up for ourselves, and trust in ethically-minded book-buyers to support independents. The staff at Housmans has fought many battles over the years for causes we believe in, and this is one battle we can’t afford to lose. Please support the shop that supports your campaigns! Housmans Bookshop 5 Caledonian Road King's Cross London N1 9DX Tel: 020 7837 4473

Monday, June 07, 2010


The above lines are spoken in this seminal drama by the original “angry young man” Jimmy Porter played by Richard Burton; who if he were a current character IMO would have found his cause in Palestine.

June 5th. 20 10 1.30 pm. And my first born child Clare and I step down from a bus outside the National Gallery in Princes Street Edinburgh in splendid sunshine. The square beside the N.G. is beginning to fill with the most colourful crowd of vibrant people I have seen for a long time. These people who are arriving in small groups are clearly an exotic bunch as they come from some far flung places such as Greece; Pakistan; Spain; Turkey and places from as far west as Glasgow; Paisley and Greenock. Lots are from Edinburgh of course as well as a large delegation from Leith who are as always ready to explain to you in a comradely fashion of course that that is Leith and not Edinburgh, ken eh?

As is always the case where large crowds gather the obligatory nomadic circus arrives as if by magic with them; buskers; newspaper sellers; ice cream vendors and fast food purveyors are everywhere adding to the growing genial ambience. What binds us collectively is that today we are all honorary Palestinians, people from different political parties; traditional antagonists eye each other cagily as we metaphorically rub shoulders together. One guy whom I had almost come to blows with at a recent election in Paisley Town Centre greeted me silently with a clenched fist salute and what was almost a smile playing on his lips, I of course reciprocated. Friendly Police on beautiful big playful horses with feet like big soup plates keep order as we prepare for the serious business of why we are here albeit in a friendly tone, which is to protest the Israeli slaughter of unarmed civilians who were trying to deliver aid to the besieged residents of the Gaza Strip.

I would not advocate violence against Israel; not because I’m a pacifist or because I am committed to non violence although I respect both positions; but because Israel is one the most heavily armed countries in the world and is on a constant war footing. Backed as it is by the biggest and most powerful military machine in history that of America, Israel is well nigh unbeatable in military terms. The very real fears about what Israel is capable of if facing defeat with its present blood soaked lunatic rulers with their finger on the nuclear trigger are horrifying but they can still be beaten.I have heard people say in the past that there is nothing that can be done against such odds, and I say that those who take that line were not in Edinburgh on Saturday. To be there in support of a just cause in the midst of such fantastic people was an inspiring experience; the strength one takes and the solidarity one feels is intoxicating and yes; it does give you strength to carry on the fight and that; among many other things is what such a demonstration sets out to do and this one did it and then some. I always think of these lines from Wordsworth on the French Revolution when I think of demonstrations and protests being made by ordinary people in their thousands “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven” unfortunately I aint young and I have health issues which mean I am now “cream crackered” but I shall return. I have been at this protesting lark for some time and I know a bit about it even if I do say so myself; to those who say we can’t win let me mention the following.

“Armies cannot stand against an idea whose time has come” (Leon Trotsky) having been a supporter of Palestinian rights and an enemy of Israel’s murderous and vicious Apartheid regime since the 19 60’s I can say that the pressure is building on Israel and it is at a level now that I have never seen before, now therefore is the time to step it up; the “idea whose time has come” is arriving at Israel’s door soon. The following are campaigns which I have been involved in, in my own humble way; they all had one thing in common, we were told in respect of each one that our cause was just but our goal unachievable.

Civil Rights in America – we won; Civil Rights in Ireland – we won; Vietnam – we won; Apartheid in South Africa – we won; Release Mandela – we won; The Poll Tax – we won and we can win freedom for Palestine as well; we can also put a stop to the rogue state of Israel and force it to behave like the rest of the civilized world and we must.

The answer is political pressure and a massive boycott of Israel and everything to do with that country. No more Israeli goods in Britain, no more sporting contact of any kind, no more trade, no more contact in education and science. It’s a long difficult journey but it can be done; you the decent people of the world; you who abhor racism; Apartheid and War crimes can do it; it’s time to play your part.
For those Zionists who claim to speak for the Jewish people and for all Israeli citizens I would like to relate the following delightful encounter. On boarding the train home I spotted 3 guys who had been at the rally one of whom had made a powerful speech and I sat with them. They were from an organisation called "Scottish Jews for a Just Peace" Jewish guys who are opposed to Israel's action and sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians it was a priviledge to meet and talk with them. You could not meet nicer people; they are hated by the Zionist organisations and are called things like 'self hating Jews' and worse but; these guys had a quite honest strength about them and believe me because I've taken on these Zionist characters they need it; my pleasure guys stick with it; you can hold your heads high.

This clourful looking wee guy wins the most original placard award for highlighting the stupidity of the blockade. The plant and the coloured word at the bottom is coriander which is banned from Gaza; honest it is.

The square at the National Gallery starts to fill up; can't you feel the excitement.

Young fit daughter Clare manages to leave the march dodge the Police officers; the Police horses and cars to take this from a vantage point across from the route; then make her way back to the crowd.

Friday, June 04, 2010


Today I read that 6 of the people murdered on the Gaza Flotilla were killed by the same lunatic Israeli soldier, one man kills 6 people who were described by the Israeli liars as armed terrorists who were trying to kill them; well what can you say about this guy; does he wear his underpants outside his trousers or what? The dead were described in various lurid terms as fanatics who were out to kill Israeli soldiers and they were carrying weapons; the most charitable thing one can say is they were not very proficient killers were they? Israel with no apparent sense of incongruity are considering this soldier for a bravery medal; honestly. I have also been wondering about the Israeli version of events and come to the conclusion that they are calculatingly insulting the rest of the civilized world; they are going to some lengths to say “see what we are capable of; don’t mess with us; we are blood soaked kill crazy lunatics”

Anyway as far as the medal for this cold blooded killer is concerned I have to spoil their sick joke by telling them that the great Jewish writer Joseph Heller got there before them. In the comic novel masterpiece ‘Catch 22’ The American Air Force in Italy in WW11 are sent out to bomb a target and the aircrews can’t spot any enemy threat in fact it’s a small fishing village. The aircrews know that they can’t return with their bombs intact so they bomb the bay next to the village and the villagers are delighted at the dead fish which wash up.

The American Air Force using a shared logic which is now used by Israel decide to make up a heroic story and give all the men on the raid a medal; rather than admit to a blunder; the scene where the medals are handed out by a General Dreedle played by Orson Wells will stay in my memory for ever, the narrator Captain Yossarian can’t have his medal pinned on because he turns up at the parade stark naked. I reckon that this is not unlike the IDF right now; completely out of control or as Norman Finkelstein the radical left wing American scholar and Palestinian supporter said the other day “Israel is now a Lunatic State” Catch 22 though was hilarious black comedy; Gaza is anything but.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


You have to be the product of years of living in a fantasy world; a world where reality does not encroach; your understanding of the world has to be that of a rather whimsical child. Either that or you have to be a hard faced huckster with a thick brass neck to emulate Our Majesty the Queen’s latest rip-off. She has asked for a rise in the money she gets from me and you the taxpayers of Britain; timing is everything eh? Unfortunately this is not a joke she really has asked for more money.

As the Royal wasters sit around the breakfast table attended by hot and cold running chambermaids they will no doubt lament their fate as they are reduced to their last couple of hundred million pounds and their last dozen or so castles and stately homes; fabulous cars; decorative coaches; immense collections of art and gifts from every toadying crawler in the world. Big Phil. will no doubt become all nostalgic for the good old days when they could take Ian Davidson Republican Labour M.P. out and “have the bugger shot” Davidson has requested that the Royal Family show the country the books before any such request for more money is considered; clearly a left wing Bolshevik bounder; what!

Will the Govt. agree with Mr. Davidson and ask to see the books; will they find a way of agreeing to the request which will hoodwink the public? It will be the latter probably. £6 Billion of cuts this year, that’s over the next 7 months; ouch! Rising unemployment ouch! Public services cuts ouch! Etc. ouch; etc. ouch; etc. Do they need more money I hear you bellow? well; I am not in a position to properly analyse their actual wealth which I believe to be vast but I can offer a hint as to the amount they are worth without trying to put a figure on it. Consider this; several years ago when Hooray Harry the halfwit prince was in the news for some loutish behaviour or other, a newspaper mentioned that his personal wealth was £8Million; this was a couple of years ago and will be a fair bit more now. Let’s be generous and not go into what he does if anything or how he got such a sum, I could go on all night about how the whole Ruratarian charade is an expensive affront to the nation’s intelligence but, I will content myself with asking you to mull over what they might be worth If this Royal Fool is worth this much. Then consider in turn whether you would award them a rise; you will no doubt be taken aback to learn that I would not give them a wooden nickel.

As I get older I find myself mellowing; honestly I do, if you don’t agree I’ll punch your f*****g heid in right! I would not want to cause undue distress to the ageing monarch and her old Greek retainer Phil. I would propose therefore that they carry on as normal with the proviso that they are to be the last. No more of the Royal extravaganza at our expense; no more cringing with humiliation when they appear on the balcony which creaks with the weight of medals and toy swords being worn by them. It’s now 20 10 and when their time comes it will surely be the moment to issue Charles and Camilla and all the other dim brass necked non producers with directions to the nearest job centre. That would be a good time to start dragging our country into the present and start to make some advancement.

No more Kings; Queens; Princes; Princesses; Lords; Ladies ; flunkies and forelock tuggers; it will not be easy. Ukip; the BNP; The Tories and Libdems and here in Scotland her loyal subjects in the SNP led by the crawling loyal monarchist Alex (the spiv) Salmond will defend her and the good old British Monarchy to the bitter end. No more privileged class; no more, just Citizens! Bring it on.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


May 31st. 20 10 approx. 4am Middle East time and a small flotilla of boats carrying aid for Gaza is attacked by Israeli storm troopers and 10 at the last count are now dead and hundreds wounded. The shipment? Medicine; powdered milk; baby’s nappies; building materials and wheel chairs etc. dangerous objects obviously to the brutal and out of control state of Israel who continue to behave like rabid dogs; there appears to be no end to their immorality. Why are they allowed to get away with it? America that’s why; midday yesterday the American Vice President Joe Biden was asked to comment on what took place as he was getting into his car and he said he didn’t know anything about it; if you ever wondered how powerful the Jewish lobby is in America there is an example for you right there.

The Israeli propaganda machine which Joseph Goebbels would have been proud of is now working at full speed and some gems are spewing forth to pollute the circumstances. Stuff that only an arrogant uncontrollable bunch of cold blooded killers would have the nerve to come out with; such as “there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza” “those on the ships were armed” “they; (the humanitarian activists) caused the violence” “Israel supplies Gaza with all the aid it needs” “those so called humanitarian activists were militants and they wanted trouble and they got it” and best of all; the ‘chutzpah prize’ goes to “Israel regrets the loss of any life” Liars; murderers; torturers; racists; war criminals; illegal occupiers, the charges against the rogue State of Israel could hardly be graver but the developed western world looks the other way; they are without any shame or pity. When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought about western civilization? He replied “I think it would be a good idea” oh how accurate he was and; all these years later Israel continues to prove that we the western world are not entitled to call ourselves civilized and we will never be civilized as long as the State of Israel is allowed to continue killing torturing and imprisoning innocent people.

One of the quotes from Israel was to the effect “they were asking for trouble and they got it” Such is Israel’s conceit that they want us to give some kind of credence to the following scenario. We are humanitarian activists and we are on board the aid vessel; we are aware of the impending Israeli attack and our leader addresses the people on the deck and says something like this. “We are about to be attacked by an elite squad of highly trained and well equipped commandos from one of the biggest and most modern military powers in the world they are aboard gun boats and helicopters and are all fully trained experts at hand to hand fighting. They will be using tear gas and carrying weapons such as knives; sub machine guns and side arms. I want you all to get sticks; pieces of metal piping and go to the kitchens and find knives and get ready for them because we are spoiling for trouble and we are going to beat the c**p out of them” That is the official Israeli line honest to God it is; they are saying “it was them (the boat people) who caused the violence; they wanted trouble” it’s beyond parody; Monty Python would regard such a sketch as too stupid for words but Israel couldn’t care less.