Sunday, May 29, 2011


Champion's League Final - Barcelona 3 Manchester United 1

I remember a couple of nights ago watching Alex Ferguson saying at a press conference that this game could be the greatest Champions League final of the past decade and thinking to myself only if you get possession of the ball Alex,
how do you propose to do that?

Football is indeed the beautiful game but how cruel it can be. After the opening 10 mns. United's four man midfield of Valencia, Carrick, Giggs and Park Ji-Sung became rabbits caught in the headlights of the fabulously interchangeable Barcelona carousel as it came at them with lights, baubles, bells, and flamenco music blaring. The six man (midfield / forward) blend of Busquets: Iniesta: Pedro: Xavi and Villa all orchestrated by the maestro with the baton Lionel Messi took command. The diminutive Argentinean complete with pace courage skill and the rest of his sublime conjuring kit was transcendent. Barca. did nothing unusual they simply played the uplifting way they always do and that makes them very scary indeed because they don't try to surprise their opponents that's because they don't need to, it must be exasperating to know what your opponent is going to do and not be able to do anything about it. For me this was cruelly displayed in a little cameo played out between two players. Park Ji-Sung and Messi. Ji-Sung is a terrific player and a soldier, not glamorous but effective and a shining star for United this season. In the first quarter of the match he faced Messi one on one on 4 almost identical occasions with Messi approaching him with the ball at his feet not moving fast but enticing the little Korean to tackle him which he did, and on 4 identical occasions Messi left him for dead, this reflected what was happening all over the pitch and it must have been chilling for United and their fans.

Commentators in rugby are fond of telling us the comparative weights of opposing packs, had this been done here the game would have been called off such was the Manchester United players advantage. You half expected the field to tilt in United's direction as both teams moved to their separate ends prior to kick off. happily this was not rugby, this was the beautiful game where the Spanish matadors despite facing much more powerful opponents danced and stung in a mazy exhibition of elegance and speed bewildering their opponents before taking pity on them and inflicting the 'coup de grace' it's a sobering thought for United and any other challengers that the second most influential player here on the night after Messi did not play; the brilliant combative Barcelona Captain Puyol who got two or three minutes at the end due to injury. Make no mistake this was no show piece final; you need two teams of equal ability to produce that and this was a mismatch. How cruel is it that this Final might have brought an end to the careers of Van Der Sar Giggs and Scholes, great players getting the run around by even greater and of course younger players, careers ending as TS Elliot would have it "not with a bang but with a whimper"

We can look at the game and reflect on the gap between Barca. And United who are one of the world's biggest clubs and hope that football will try to follow the example of the great Catalans who "grow their own" players, is this the way forward? After all when United had one of their best ever teams a couple of years ago they had about 6/7 home grown players in it; Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles etc. and bear in mind Messi cost zilch, those last three words are mind boggling aren't they. After the match I reflected again for the umpteenth time on the great players I have been fortunate to see play in the flesh, Di Stefano: Puskas: Cruyff: Maradona: Pele: Best: Masopust: Charlton: Beckenbaur: Law: Baresi etc. etc. Once I got over fearing him as an opponent I have clung to the choice of Bobby Charlton as the greatest player I have ever seen until now. Messi is the man and still only 23 with pace, skill and courage, able to slalom past great defenders at speed and see a pass with eyesight like a "poorhouse rat" he takes kicks trips and elbows and gets back up right away, he never feigns injury and never waves an imaginary card and he scores sublime goals, what would he be like if he was two footed? I suppose one foot is plenty if its Lionel Messi's left one, they say he can open a can of peas with his left foot. Here is another thought to cheer up other teams he is as I said 23 and he is in competition with at least 2 other Barca players for the title of best player in the world and they are similar in age, despite what we seen last night they will get better.


Thursday 26/05/11 to the RAH Ophthalmic Dept. to have a procedure carried out on my left eye, having only ever spent a 2 day stay in hospital + the usual stitches and fractures in my 62 years I was a wee bit apprehensive. Reading in the daily paper about a woman who was awarded £6 Million compensation for a simple eye procedure which went wrong with tragic circumstances did not help my frame of mind.

In I went accompanied by my wife who was my scheduled driver for the day as I would not be able to drive after said procedure not that I needed her support for any other reason you understand. We were directed to a long corridor with doors and seats along each side, not that you got to sit for very long though. Voices calling out people's names sounded every couple of minutes and patients were constantly on the move, doors opened and closed constantly as patients; doctors and nurses weaved their way in and out of rooms like a Whitehall farce. Unlike a Whitehall farce though this was a model of efficiency and precision and all done with a smile on the staff members faces, dozens of people were dealt with in the space of a couple of hours, I watched as they gave reassurance and extra help to those who needed it, the 'Esprit de Corps' was very evident among this very impressive bunch of team players. .

I know you will all be anxious to hear the result which was positive and I am fine. A couple of injections in the upper and lower eye lids and some minor work and that was it although I now have a swollen keeker, a smell of burning and a wee bit of pain. It was reassuring to see the NHS at its best albeit at a relatively low level clinic, I went in at 2 pm and was out before 3 pm and it left me reflecting on what we have with the NHS and needless to say strengthened my resolve to protect it from the Tory vultures who are once again circling over it, my thanks go to all of the staff involved and my plea goes to all of you to defend this great institution.



Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Watching the Obama's glide through the UK can be quite seductive: young gifted and black as the song said. As they strolled regally through Buckingham Palace with the Queen and her consort one can't help but reflect on the mind set which still sees black people as inferior: it would be easy to mistake Barack and Michelle as Royalty and Elizabeth and Philip as dutiful retainers, colour notwithstanding of course. Being able to eavesdrop on their conversation would no doubt highlight the gap in intelligence between them as well; you decide who wins that one.

I wonder though if Mr. And Mrs. Obama really know who they are dealing with, recent events should give them a clue. King Hamad al- Kahlifa of Bahrain is a tyrant and a despot who was invited to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, when he and they were rumbled he was quickly shown the door and of course no one asked why they had invited such an appalling character unfortunately for the 'Firm' he refuses to go away.

The Queens horse Carlton House is favourite to win the Derby. The first Royal owned winner for over a hundred years if it pulls it off, how proud she must be. The horse is a bit of a swindle in that it was not bred by the Royal stables but given to her majesty as a present by, wait for it, Sheikh Mohammed; ruler and defence minister of Dubai as well as being Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Think now of Saudi Arabia where women are beheaded for adultery (men are OK) and thieves have hands and feet amputated. The UAE have sent troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia to protect the medieval Royal criminals who have polluted the place for too long against the people who are demanding justice and democracy.

Some people insist that the Royal Family should be looked up to, an example to us all if you will, will her majesty send the horse back considering that just about everyone is now frowning on the Arab dictators who send her presents like potential Derby winners, should we look up to them? Well? As Philip would no doubt say to her wonderfulness "OK old girl these Arabs are a rum lot but at least they are not Catholics, and there's no denying they are filthy rich and generous to a fault when it comes to dealing with their fellow Royals like us"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I can't remember supporting opposition parties very often but sometimes there is an issue which I cannot bring myself to oppose, the release of Mr. Megrahi was one such case notwithstanding the SNP Justice Secretary McKaskill's hapless handling of it, this educated fool described Scotland as a "compassionate nation" while allowing him to go back to Libya, release yes return no; he should never have done the latter. It did not occur to McKaskill that there are approx. 8,000 people in Scottish prisons some of whom I can assure you are not in the least compassionate and far more uncaught villains as well, how about people like Brian Souter; David Murray; compassionate? what about the vicious mob of bigots who went to war with Wendy Alexander over clause 28, compassionate my 'Jim Royle' Some are compassionate and some not; some good and some bad; exactly the same as other nations absolutely no different. Having said that I personally support shorter sentencing and more use of community orders, which is SNP policy or at least it was last week. There also remains a big doubt about the SNP's reasoning on this. Is it philosophical and driven by penal reform or is it to save money, I shouldn't have to ask that question but it is the SNP we are dealing with.

Carrying on in this confessional mode I want to say that I support the line being taken by the Tory Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke who wants to jail fewer people, there is a question however about Clarke's ability to carry his party with him on this issue. The natural home for many Tories is still Jurassic Park and their philosophy is still 'hang em and flog em' if you add Clarke's desperation to save money, a fact which lets him indulge in his One Nation Toryism you see that his position is weak. Proposals to introduce training, education and drug treatment in prisons were immediately attacked as tax payers paying for "parties in prison" by the Hitler supporting stalwart Tory Daily Mail.

Clarke is astute enough to know that this could be a double win, penal reform and money saved, 70% of short term prisoners reoffend within a year while prisoners who do community sentences are far more successful it takes education and support to do it but the long term savings far outweigh the costs of reoffending, it all makes sense but the red top press don't do sense and they will present a formidable barrier to reform, can Cameron stand the heat? my guess is no he can't but, good luck to Clarke anyway. Since I'm on a roll I will now see eye to eye with Winston Churchill who said apparently in a moment of rare sobriety round about mid morning usually just before the world started to slip out of focus "A humane prison system is an unfailing test of the civilisation of any country"

What I am about to say is what I believe and it is not because I enjoy being inundated with reactionary moronic comments. I'm not the most religious man but there are those who do claim to be very religious Christians who are happy in their hatred to ignore Jesus who said "visit the prisoner" he was of course a prisoner himself and could be said to have died in custody.

The Prison Reform Trust is campaigning to give prisoners the vote, enfranchising prisoners will be a huge step in making them more responsible it is the right thing to do and is enshrined in European Law, it is an idea whose time has come. We take prisoners who are illiterate and innumerate and put them in jail then several years later we release them still illiterate and innumerate, if there is anything more downright stupid and counterproductive than that then I have still to discover it, the British prison system needs an enema.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


In connection with my last Blog entitled "The people have spoken the bastards" I have been attacked by an SNP supporter in a way which I think the public should see it shows what passes for debate in that party and those who support them. I said I thought that Scotland had a problem with sectarianism and racism, this caused my SNP attacker to describe me as "bitter and twisted" in reply I used a famous quote by Albert Einstein who said "nationalism is the measles of the planet earth" and asked him "was Einstein also bitter and twisted" His reply was priceless and it's why I am letting anyone who wants to read it do so. In defence of his position he described Einstein as a "dead German physicist" who according to him had no relevance, OK he does have the handicap of not being Scottish but we are talking about thee Albert Einstein here, poor Einstein arguably the greatest mind in history is demoted in SNP terms as a "dead German Physicist" his influence does not count in Scotland under the SNP. Should we be wondering and worrying about what an independent Scotland would be like with such attitudes?

He clearly did not see the position which his view of Einstein had put him in and went on to compare the cause of Scottish nationalism with causes led by Ghandi, Jomo Kenyatta, and Michael Collins. Only a knuckle dragging Scottish nationalist could compare the SNP and Alex Salmond with the struggles of India and Ghandi, Kenya and Jomo Kenyatta and Ireland and Michael Collins. This Tartan fool tarnishes these people's memories with his insular parochial and quite ridiculous claptrap and he also embarrasses Scotland.

In their own way these comments provide a little insight into the Brigadoon world that these fools live in, comments from SNP supporters like these actually tell you more about what they are like than I ever could. So, Einstein, Collins, Kenyatta and Ghandi history might be well aware of you but you are not Scottish and there is nothing you can do about it, your achievements pale to insignificance when compared to being born Scottish, sometimes I can do nothing other than despair.


Saturday, May 07, 2011


That headline above is one of my favourite political quotes ever, said with tongue in cheek of course. Scotland has elected the SNP in a way that no one saw coming not even the victors, no doubt every spin doctor in every party will be analysing the result, every party except perhaps the Liberal Democrats that is: for obvious reasons, the dogs in the street know what happened to them and why. I am delighted at their demise but disappointed at where their votes went, you can all ponder why the Libdem's who are in coalition with David Cameron's Tory Government votes went to the SNP rather than Labour and why it was an open secret that the Tories wanted an SNP victory.

It was a huge turn around in Scottish politics and a stunning victory for the SNP who despite the victory and a working majority still won't call a referendum on independence: I can only conclude that those in charge are terrified of losing or even afraid of winning? perhaps they know and fear the real consequences of breaking up the UK, I know that the SNP have never actually spelt out in detail the down side of independence. I suspect they will find ways of putting it off and try to remain the party who are going to bring independence to Scotland but just not right now.

"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" said Mark Twain and so are ours, Labour of course will come back: our death has been predicted on many occasions but we are still standing and we are still the best hope this country has of bringing about a fairer society: a socialist society. We seem to be slowly drifting towards a presidential system where personalities take precedence over policies: that manifests itself in the case of Salmond (the spiv) who turns everything into a TV talent show aided and abetted by 5 out 6 of our national newspapers and right wing business people, think Trump, Souter etc. this allows him to get away with hardly mentioning independence which is of course the very reason for his party's existence.

A nationalist government debases Scotland it makes us look introverted, parochial and hidebound. I would rather burnish what reputation we have as an outgoing and Internationalist country not as an introverted insular people who refuse to have an expansive, enquiring nature. The SNP now have as Margo McDonald put it no excuse for failure, no one else to blame for getting it wrong. They have made promises and asked for a majority to carry them out and they knew what financial resources were available when they made those promises, they can no longer blame other parties or put failure down to being a minority administration. From now on the buck stops with the (wee spiv) Salmond so it should be an interesting time in Scottish politics.

I hope to survive this Government although I'm getting on a bit and my health is not great but my faculties are still intact (honest they are) and I will continue to pursue the political agenda I have always believed in which in a nutshell is a proper redistribution of wealth and the advent of Socialism. I joined the Labour Party in 19 72 during the coal dispute and I have been through bad and good times (Thatcher) so I have probably seen most things. I managed to survive Maggie and I will survive Salmond (the spiv) who stated of course that the Scottish People, he was speaking for you and me "did not mind Thatcher's economic policies so much" well the man who said that is now in charge with a majority, so it's good luck Scotland we are going to need it.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011


15:30 pm May 4 – 2011 tomorrow is voting day for Holyrood and I think we can safely say that SNP candidate Derek Mackay is not going to try to defend his position of defending Tory/Libdem Government cuts, the cuts he described as "about right" perhaps he has not seen my challenge to him on this Blog where I have specified ruthless cut after cut and asked him to defend what he said. I know however that he and those of his fellow SNP members the one or two who are literate also read it so there is only one conclusion to be drawn, he has bottled it, he has no defence and he has cut and run. He is a coward or as the SNP would put it he's a feartie.

The choice is between jobs and posturing our way toward a referendum on independence which the nationalists hardly ever mention, if the SNP win by their own admission they will have been the Scottish Government for 9 years before they call that referendum, that sounds a bit lame to me as if they were afraid of the people's voice. The Tories continue to wander in the wilderness and the Libdems face well deserved slaughter, the couple of kid on revolutionary groups will again lose their deposits. The choice is between Labour who will create jobs and safeguard the lives of working people or a one man band with a band leader who s political spiv with a level of sincerity and honesty that makes the late Bob Monkhouse look like a Quaker.

If you want to take on the Tory/Libdem Westminster Government who are preparing for bigger and more vicious cuts you should vote Labour.

Monday, May 02, 2011


Is this how the grand people of history behave, the Queens and Emperors: The Sirs and the Nobles: The Lords and Ladies: The Captains and the Kings? Does it make sense to defer to and respect someone who is shallow and disingenuous, should we really put the Royal Family on a pedestal, and do they deserve esteem: do they deserve to be looked up to? Their latest arrogant insult to millions of British citizens screams no they don't. I refer of course to the guest list for the big Royal Circus last Friday, there were dodgy Greek Royals despite Greece being a Republic (Philip's influence perhaps) also a royal Middle Eastern tyrant who was quickly disinvited (a new word?) as his regime is exposed as being involved in torture and murder, they claim not to have known that, aye right. They were not the worst gaffs though, the Royals have always presented themselves as apolitical: without political bias and the guest list makes them out quite simply to be bending the truth. There is no other way of explaining why two previous remaining Tory Prime Ministers Major and Thatcher were invited and the two previous remaining Labour Prime Ministers Blair and Brown were not. This would have been known to all the big players: the Queen: Prince Philip: Charles: William: Kate: Harry etc. etc. We can only conclude that they agreed to this, some of the younger ones might not have known the full significance of this but the Queen and Charles and Prince Philip etc. would so where does that leave us?

Her Majesty has just coldly and with intent told millions of people whom she chooses to call her subjects that the political representatives they chose (Labour) are not welcome at the Royal Wedding while at the same time demonstrating that the politicians that they oppose (Tory) are more to her taste and are welcome at the Royal Wedding. I hope all the Labour voters will like me take the attitude "I know when I'm not wanted" and I will in future treat those who so demonstrably told me I'm not wanted in the appropriate way, they deserve to be reminded and condemned for this high and mighty insult at every opportunity.

I have always been opposed to unelected power and I have never heard an argument in my life which justifies it hence my Republicanism and intense dislike of Monarchies everywhere including here. You can take it as read that I accept that there are good decent people in the Royal Family as there are in most families but this incident has reduced the number of those in that category, you can choose for yourselves which of them you suspect might agree with snubbing Blair and Brown and those who don't. This rubbish about the Queen being Monarch of all the British people and having the same regard for them all has been exposed as tosh it's a load of bilge; their mask has slipped again and we see the privileged snobs behind it. I suspect that many people like me will never look at the Queen and the members of the Royal family the same way again; we now know what they really think of us. This is as I keep telling everyone why I call myself a Citizen not a Subject.