Friday, December 28, 2012


Two days before Christmas I found myself driving slowly along the narrow road which takes you the final couple of hundred yards to the main gate of one of Glasgow's most famous institutions.

Sharing the top 3 places of fame are Celtic Park, Ibrox Park and here, Barlinnie Jail, The Bar L, The Big Hoose, where a great many of the former two teams supporters are guests of her majesty. At this time of year it shares with other similar establishments the title of the saddest place on earth. It is freezing and I am about to carry out my duty as a prison visitor, not quite the happiest task I've ever carried out. For anyone who has never been in a large prison it is difficult to describe. Over a hundred years old and it shows, with Victorian stone arches and walls and tiny cells, most now thankfully containing one prisoner where; when I first visited the place some 10 years ago it was common for a cell to hold 2 and often three with no sanitation, not very Christmassy eh? All cells now have personal sanitation thankfully, some say that is spoiling them, invariably people who have never seen the inside of a place like Barlinnie. After a while you tend to forget about the tough guy reputation of the inmates and indeed the warders as you notice that nowadays they get along quite well. Most prisoners are poor souls really and quite unable to survive without help on the outside, take away the help and back they come. When you talk to them they talk about their families, particularly at this time, are they due sympathy? Well sometimes it is not easy to sympathise with some of them but by and large the majority should not be there and it is difficult not to feel compassion, read on.

A couple of years ago a national newspaper "The Guardian" ran a series of major articles by people who are involved in the penal system. These experts stated unequivocally that approximately 80% of prisoners in the English and Welsh prison system suffered from 2 or more mental health conditions. I asked the then Governor of Barlinnie at a meeting of the Prison Visitors Committee if he was aware of the articles and whether their findings were consistent with the Scottish Prison System. He immediately said he was aware of the articles and no they were not consistent with Scottish prisons, he stated that the 80% figure was more in the region of 30% in Barlinnie, we agreed to pursue this further but never got round to it as my tenure as a visitor was ending shortly.

If 81 % illiteracy, 71% innumeracy and 80% of prisoners with two or more mental health problems is the norm and I have no reason to doubt that it is then, despite the courageous and unwavering efforts of the prison staff we have a major crisis on our hands and it has been on the increase for years.

If a prisoner is taken in to prison to start his/her sentence and is illiterate, innumerate and suffering from mental health problems or any one or combination of the 3 and that same prisoner is at the end of that sentence released still either illiterate, innumerate and suffering from mental health problems or one or a grouping of those 3 should we not at least be asking what is it that we want prisons to do, is this acceptable? If the present government proceeds with its plans over the next couple of years we will be facing a tsunami of crime and consequential prison admissions and; under the present regime that can only mean one thing, the situation will get worse and the Government will exploit the situation by acting tough to harvest votes. This has gone on too long, it's time society faced reality, prison does not work, but it might if we start to take rehabilitation seriously. At the moment and historically any suggestion of rehabilitation is disingenuous, dangerous nonsense as long as this scandalous situation continues. Investment is required now to provide gain in the long term, many chaotic lives have been made worse by the system and many lives have been ruined and families destroyed by short term expediency and cowardly decisions by politicians of every colour.

It's time to take on this problem and to make sure that politicians; properly advised by criminologists, educational experts and Mental Health professionals are forced to face up to it and made take the lead. The very last people who should have influence are red top journalists who will say and do anything to demonise prisoners and complain about how easy prisons are. These people should start the learning process about prisons by examining the numbers of suicides, attempted suicides and the incidence of self harm in the system before going away and hanging their heads in shame. Surely we no longer need to ask the question, should we be guided by penal experts or by reactionary politicians on the make and backed up by the likes of Rupert Murdoch?

Thursday, December 27, 2012


 The full council meeting of Thursday 20/12/12 started very well with a choir of primary school children from Erskine who were the best choir I have seen or heard from primary school kids ever,
they were brilliant and produced a level of sophistication rarely seen in kids so young. Their confidence, their timing and their mastery of two part medley were obvious proof of their talent and the ability of the 2 teachers who were with them and whose names I can't remember but well done to all of them.

Then it was on to the unnecessarily hard chore of the meeting, hard and unnecessary for reasons I will come to. Any attempt at seasonal good will was; in a premeditated way destroyed by the actions of the snp who set out to create as much bad feeling and ugly behaviour as they could come up with and believe me they are experts at that. This time though as I will explain, you dear readers the Renfrewshire Tax payers were included in the misery courtesy of the snp who decided to greatly extend the meeting with the cost being met by you, Merry Christmas then from the Renfrewshire snp group aided and abetted as always by our resident pantomime villain the one and only Libdem councillor Eileen McCartin. She, in her usual manner contributed to the length of the meeting by insisting on having her say on everything. Whether what she has to say makes any sense, helps anyone or contributes in any way to the proceedings is neither here nor there, it matters not when Eileen decides that we need some of her wisdom. The fact that the people of Renfrewshire at the recent council elections humiliated her and reduced the rump party she leads to 1 seat out of 40 and the lowest share of the popular vote does not deter her, she remains impervious to everything but blows. She is a high profile Christian is Eileen and she limbered up for the coming of the baby Jesus by giving us a sermon on the benefits of the Libdem/Tory Governmment and all their cuts, their bedroom tax and the Herod like brutality of the Atos inspectors sending dangerously sick people back to work. I wonder if her Libdem/Tory Government would have regarded that stable in Bethlehem as an extra bedroom and charged extra room tax for the child to be born. 

"We don't care whose son you say you are having young lady that will be 14% more" 

This snp mockery of a meeting lasted for six and a half hours, it normally takes less than 3 hours. The reason for this was the conduct of the snp who put down twelve motions, two or three is the norm. Approximately ten years ago I was given a figure of £800 an hour as the cost to run a full council meeting by the council's financial director, that cost would now be in excess of £1,000 an hour at least. This means the snp's self-indulgent stunt put up the additional and completely avoidable cost to you the tax payer by something in the region of £3,500 if we keep it at £1,000 an hour and it is probably more than that. We were treated to lectures on independence, building war ships, more statues for Renfrewshire (guess who pays?) and of course a robust defence of the Tory/Libdem Government and their cuts by the last of the Liberal Democrats, the neither liberal or democratic Cllr. Eileen McCartin and bear in mind dear reader you were paying for this. 

snp leader Cllr. Lawson complained about the Chair not calling a lunch break which would have put your extra payment up by another £500 and he had this to say. "If you think that running the meeting without a break will put us off doing this again you are wrong, because we will be back to do it again"  You the tax payers of Renfrewshire should note that he doesn't know what the motions to council will be but he knows that they (the snp) will dream up some just like this time and they (the snp) will be back to do the same thing again, he doesn't say how often they will do this and he clearly has no concern for the costs of this shameful snp behaviour, behaviour that you the tax payers of Renfrewshire will have to pay for. I wonder if voters might like to tell councillors what they think of this snp/Libdem behaviour, we are not difficult to find. The local press is also a good way of venting your spleen at such outrageous and costly behaviour. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

It's an snp mystery right enough, like Bruce’s Spider, the imaginary William Wallace and who stole oor Wullie’s bucket?.

Over the past couple of days, Friday/Saturday I have been arguing and trading insults with some rather unpleasant snp people who seem to have their base at the University of the West of Scotland.
are running a debate about independence and they thought it would be a good idea to start advertising the debate by insulting people who will be at the debate who do not agree with them, particularly Labour MSP Jackie Baillie. They also say they want to start a debating society at the Uni. although "come along to the UWS debating society and be intimidated and insulted by the snp students" does not seem like a good way of getting things started. The contributions of Mr. Andrew Ballantyne who seems to be a kind of hanger on with the students are particularly illuminating; he is rather like A Scottish "Bullingdon Boy" who claims to be the owner of two businesses despite being unable to string a sentence together.

Guess what? Today Sunday, I find that the correspondence has disappeared! vanished in the "Scotch. Mist" I have no idea why this has happened and who is responsible but I would not blame the snp mob if they wanted to prevent any more people from seeing what passes for discussion and debate between them. I would be delighted if whoever took it down though would explain why; or put it back, the people deserve to see this.

Today Monday and the snp chaps and chapesses who man the 'freedom for Scotland" barricades at the UWS still have not responded to my plea to have the correspondence put back and to resume hostilities with me, am I that scary? can they possibly be feart? where have they gone? They sounded so tough and bullish as well, are these the people who want to become independent? Who want to kick out the Engurlish from their Grannie's Heilan Hames, who want to liberate every But n Ben from the settlers and colonists (topical point there) The geeks who want to rewrite history and exclude Engurland's magnificent World Cup win? Replace Shakespeare with Burns, Olivier with Sean Connery and Bobby Charlton with Jim Baxter, tomorrow is another day and quite frankly I don't give a damn what they do. I will be waiting with my sturdy shield of honour and my trusty sword of fair play, I shall return to this and continue to do so until the bunch of wee heilan stoats dare to show themselves. Meanwhile spare a thought at this time for the beleaguered UWS it seems to be in need of an enema. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012



Despite swearing that he would never be back, our favourite tough guy Teuchter and snp enforcer 'wee Calum' is back on my comments section.
finding out about my age, and state of health seems to have emboldened him. He remains as eloquent and articulate as we have come to expect from your average snp/separatist/cybernat" So, once again for your edification and enjoyment I give you "Wee Calum Orr" And I can assure the couple of people who got in touch with me to doubt whether this is a real person or not that he is real; honestly. I wrote the following to someone on my comment section "if I had told him (Wee Calum) I was 64, Diabetic, overweight and a heart attack survivor, he would have tried his luck" He now says, in his own inimitable style and using the language of Shakespeare and Milton "If you had told me you were 30, a kick boxer and psychotic I might have believed you and given you an invitation. But the news that you are a sad, fat, no willpowered, near dead loudmouth is more than I could have hoped for. I salute the ground that is coming to you Terry. You will be no loss to anyone. I am responding to you in the only way you understand, the manner of the cretin and the worst of humanity which you represent. I mean that in all sincerity. You are a shite of a human. Bye"

What can I say? I am utterly crushed, to think someone could think so little of me as to say such things about me, and we Scots. famous for our friendliness as well, ochone, ochone Calum, ochone ochone. At least we know that under independence with people like wee Calum in charge eloquent language will be preserved.

Friday, December 14, 2012


A guy has written to me after my computer lost one of his posts. He sounds like one of the snp tough guys, he is a creepy character called Calum Orr, if that's his real name? That's all he tells me before he lets rip with the insults, nothing else about himself does he say. I have a message for you Calum (nice teuchter name eh?) a real braveheart aren't you. If I wanted to say anything like that to someone I would say it not write it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Due to computer problems several posts have been lost will anyone who has not had a post replied to in the last couple of days please repost and I will reply asap.

Monday, December 03, 2012


In the columns of the Herald there is a debate going on about independence, you can comment on articles and letters etc. on the NET. I urge you to do so.
If you do, prepare to be gobsmacked, you will have your eyes opened as you see firsthand what the snp/separatist/cybernats are really like. The passage reproduced below is an uncut comment sent to me by one of their leading lights at least that's how he sees himself, his name is Robert Dickson and he decided to write to me at my blog in terms which the Herald would have put a red line through. I will make no other comment than to say this is not a joke this really is one of the yes campaign's self appointed stars. He reminds me of a guy standing on a castle rampart shouting about "farting in the general direction of his enemy and shouting that his mother smelled of elderberries"

Robert Dickson said...

Just the most fleeting of visits to your atrocious, bile filled diatribe that passes for a blog, Terry. 
In order to point out that it has not gone completely unnoticed that you are so devoid of the ability to argue a case and are living in such fear of rebuttal that you have gotten into the habit of waiting a couple of days to post replies on various threads at the Herald after you think them dead.
This may make you feel better about yourself and may even allow you to believe that you are fooling anyone into thinking that you have won the argument by having 'the last word' but you are mistaken.
All it actually does is confirm that you are devoid of any capability to argue a case, a point or do anything other than post rather tediously unfunny jibes at posters or politicians.
In all your 'contributions' to date you have not made one, just one single substantive constructive point.
Your posts consist of nothing but one line repetitious guff.
I notice that the moderator seems to work overtime with your efforts......unsurprisingly.
I can actually feel the waves of frustration emanating from you at being required to act in anything resembling a civilised manner towards other individuals.

Why not move to the Scotsman forum?
The idiocy, aggression, and stupidity on display there would be far more in tune with your limited abilities.
You must be sick of having your daft comments torn to shreds at the Herald, either by the moderators or by posters (I don't presume to include myself) far more able than yourself to articulate logical arguments and rebut the nonsense you spout?

In closing Terence, I am a lifelong socialist and trade unionist, but you and people like you are the reason I left the labour party.
You talk a good game as do all of your type when it comes to socialist buzzwords and support of all the 'right' causes and having read all the 'right' books but it is all-front I am afraid.
The reading list on your bio could not be more faux if a committee had written it. 
I sincerely hope that real socialists can take back the labour party from 'ragged trousered' talking heads like you.....that talentless stairheed hairy Lamont and the Hampstead dinner party fake Milliband.

Rest assured that any reply to this comment will probably go unseen by myself as I would not wish to spend any more time on your hate filled, spluttering 'blog' and in your cybercompany' than is absolutely necessary.
If there is a plus point to this 'blog' it is that it allows you endless opportunities to become hoist by your own petard.
Oh....and since you own this 'blog' you get the last word!

Live long and prosper.

Friday, November 30, 2012 4:49:00 PM



Thursday, November 29, 2012


It cheers me no end to learn that in these tough times when the word on everyone's lips is austerity that some folk can still manage to enjoy themselves and spend some money while doing so.
I refer not to a pop star, or a film star or a rich footballer , not even a Tory cabinet member. "Can you guess who it is yet?" as Rolf Harris used to say, it is none other than our own dear leader Alex (the spiv) Salmond and that is 'dear' as in expensive not 'dear' as in loved.

Figures released today by the snp Government who could stall their release no longer show that the wee shyster ran up a bill for his junket to London for the Olympics of approx £500,000 and following that we can add after today's figures something very close to the same sum again for his junket to America to see the Golf tournament, a million pound bill for you and me and other tax payers to pay for. We can always boast that our first minister has more expensive tastes than other Government leaders can't we? do we want to though? How much more do we not know about! There is a trip to California still not counted and a junket to Wimbledon likewise, make no mistake folks when champagne and caviar are about wee Eck displays rat like cunning and also the speed of a rat going up a roan pipe chasing a mouse.

I suspect that the biggest and most dishonest of his con tricks is none of those mentioned, consider if you will the case of "Mr. Salmond's Flying Circus" otherwise known as the "Holyrood Travelling Cabinet" A clever ruse by Eck to get the tax payer to pay for extensive snp campaign costs by calling it an extension of democracy. How much does it cost to take the Scottish Cabinet on the road, how many are in the concert party, where do they stay when on the road, how much to feed them, (remember wee Eck can eat £800 worth of grub provided by his London allowance when Parliament is in recess) how much for travel, clerks, secretaries, security, advisers, etc. etc. etc. all to show people what they can see by reaching out their hand in the comfort of their own living room and switching on the TV set.

This particular 'shakedown' of his allows Salmond to babble on about bringing democracy to the people while maintaining a high profile for him and his concert party at the expense of tax payers most of whom are not even supporters of the snp, in other words it is a Scandal and should be investigated, the Scottish people deserve better than this duplicitous charlatan leading the Government.

Friday, November 23, 2012


'We can no longer term our military a Defense force.

"A defense force does not conquer lands of other people. A defense force does not assist in the building of settlements. Pointless occupation of millions of people only leads to radicalization of opinions, hatred and the escalation of violence. Violence is a cycle that feeds into itself. This cycle will not stop until someone stands up and refuses uncompromisingly to take part in it.

Maya Wind,

Israeli Conscientious Objector.






Sunday, November 18, 2012


Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools. apartment blocks, mosques and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defences, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armour, no command in control, no army....and calls it war, it is not a war, it's murder.


Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Corruption in American politics is endemic and legendary yet last night we saw again that the American people can still do the right thing. The mighty conglomerates and corporate Titanic's despite their wealth, power and willingness to deceive and lie, to use character assassination and foul tactics lost again to the ordinary people. The contrast could hardly be more stark a multi millionaire with a ruthless streak who once said " I like being able to sack people" a religious fundamentalist who would take women back a couple of hundred years without blinking while making life richer and easier for the wealthy while punishing the poor. Romney lost to a black man from Chicago's South Side called Obama, America has shown the way, again.

There are those who will say with some good reason that a Democratic White House and a Republican White House are not so different and if you look at the rich and powerful they will still be there but; oh how much worse it would be with Romney, this election showed up the different philosophies of left and right in America like no other in my memory. Right here in 20 12 I learned from US TV that in New York City before the storm there were 50,000 people homeless and before Obama there were 40 million Americans without health cover as well as 2.4 million people in prison, more than any country in the world, if this is the greatest country in the world what the hell are the others like? Yet America remains our great hope because it is still "new" still the great melting pot and there is still the chance that when it eventually stabilises in perhaps another hundred years or so it will be the beacon of democracy and equality which it has always promised to be. The re election of Obama and everything that means particularly the symbolism that inevitably attaches itself to that re election is massive and unavoidable. The more Americans see it and learn that in the greater scheme of things "it's a giant leap for mankind" the more hope for the future there will be.

The USA's own 'Captains and Kings', particularly Trump (he of the flamboyant "Irish Jig") is furious of course and demanding civil disobedience to get rid of Obama, despite all their great power and wealth he could not buy the American people. What a contrast that is with his effortless triumph when he dealt with Salmond and the snp Scottish Government over his Golf Course. "Jump said he and "how high" said a whimpering forelock tugging Salmond. Donald knows a spineless shyster when he sees one and Wee Eck dutifully rolled over like a friendly wee Scottish Terrier to have his tummy tickled by the great man. How Donald must be wishing that the Americans were as supine as the snp and their leaders who did everything but salute and curtsy when he graced them with his presence, oh and of course his great wealth, what a bunch of "Bengal Lancers"


Friday, October 19, 2012


I have just watched the snp debate on NATO and as expected the leadership managed to destroy another dearly held shibboleth for the true supporters of independence in the snp,
just as they did with the monarchy. Still at least they got a vote this time, people of my vintage who have been locked in combat with the snp for many years are as aghast as their own true members are that the snp would ever capitulate over NATO but they have.

The reason for this? Well; the reason was made pretty clear by the speakers who supported NATO membership. "NATO membership makes us more electable"! There in all its stark brutality is their reason for what they have done and in doing so they have destroyed the very souls of a lot of people who put them where they are today. I couldn't help but wonder what wee Jim Mitchell a seeker of independence to his fingertips would have made of this, or Bruce McFee or Bill McGuiness or Davy Mylet, loosely wrapped chancers every one of them but fiercely committed to the anti nuclear cause, the destruction of NATO and independence. They must have thought as they looked on at Derek Mackay MSP a young man who has risen without trace as he sat there with Salmond chairing the conference, he and his new younger watered down nationalists are now the keepers of the flame and things have "changed utterly" to paraphrase WB Yeats.

For snp people of my age "the game's a bogey, the ba's broke" what Salmond & Co. were saying today without any attempt to camouflage their meaning such is their grip now on the party was that everything is for sale and the currency is votes, no attempt was made to gloss over the new tacky populism, nothing; no matter how abhorrent or downright treacherous will be allowed to stand in the way of Alex Salmond's iron will, if he fails which he surely will, he will be happy to take everyone down with him.

The vote was very close, close enough in fact to stir talk of mutiny and schisms in most other parties but alas this is the snp and the truth is that the true nationalists; the genuine independence fighters have been dying the death of a thousand cuts for 10/15 years now. Today was their last hurrah, they will hang about for some time to come and we will hear the sporadic death rattle but nothing more.

Many old timers in the hall and sprinkled around the country will have had tears in their eyes as they stood looking at the triumphant platform and they could not miss surely that the platform was smirking at them.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


As the snp's bedraggled troops limp and stagger in to the fair City of Perth the Silvery Tay seems to be weeping for them. While led by a political shyster (Salmond) whose glitter is peeling and a deputy leader (Sturgeon) an over promoted nonentity who has been shunted out of the health brief to save lives. The bookies who are of course never wrong will give anyone brave enough to have a flutter 9/4 on an snp independence referendum victory, significantly enough my own friendly Turf Accountant reports no rush of swinging kilts coming through his doors. No surprise I hear you murmur considering the way the wind is blowing and the fact that they are after all Scots. Notorious for their parsimony.

Alas for the snp and their cannon fodder members that mighty newspaper known as "The Thunderer" The Times tells us that today has seen yet another Skean Dhu slide under their rib cages and pierce their hearts. The latest poll tells us that those against independence are disappearing over the horizon like a horse with it's arse on fire showing a lead which has now stretched to 28%. Those for independence 30% Those against 58%, it's looking like Culloden and Wembley 9 – 3 all over again.


The frowning members are downbeat and defeatist asking timorously "can it get any worse?" Being a decent sort of chap it grieves me to have to tell them that not only can it get worse it already has! The same newspaper tells us that in general political terms out with the referendum miss match Labour have risen 3% in the polls and the snp have gone down 5%. If it rains soup in Perth over the next couple of days the snp members will surely come running out carrying forks.


This organisation is rotten from the top down and proposals from the leadership to embrace NATO a nuclear weapons organisation while trying to con the Scottish people with their synthetic rage over Trident is an embarrassing sign of that, embracing the Queen is another. They simply can't be trusted and it looks like the people are beginning to rumble them. Will Salmond (the spiv) go down with the ship or will he as I predict be the rodent with the last life belt, mark my words he will find someone else to blame.

Monday, October 15, 2012


STV 6 O Clock news and the opportunity beckons for the snp/separatist/cybernats. 9/4 for their money, how can they resist it; the bookies have taken a collective break down Tonald! let's get intaerum. It will be interesting to see how many scattercash Scots. will rifle their sporrans to get a piece of this action No more boasting, no more swaggering no more sneering. Mr. Ladbroke, Mr. Hill and Mr. Paddy Power are calling you out, Scotland's honour is at stake, go get them bravehearts.

Now's the day and now's the hour

Place yer bets for seizing power

Don't be feart ya rotten shower

Let us do or dee.


9/4's the odds we've got

The bookies we are gonnae swot

English bastards the whole lot

We're gonnae do them in


The traitor No camp's 1/3

It makes me want tae hae a pee

Say a prayer oan bended knee

The bookie's always right.


Defeat fur us is guaranteed

The No campaign has a great big lead

Eck is a lying wee dirty weed

It's hame tae think again.



Friday, October 05, 2012


"The buck stops here" So said American President Harry S Truman. Does it really stop with the person in charge though?
In Japan some leaders have been known to end their own lives by the traditional sword method when something has gone badly wrong on their watch, others in posh circles retire to the rifle room with a bottle of brandy and a revolver rather than live with the shame of it all. All rather dramatic and some would say unnecessary although the boss should not shirk the blame or the responsibility when it all goes pear shaped while he/she is in charge.

When a very large and much loved institution is revealed to be undeserving of that love and respect because of behaviour reckoned to have amounted to one of the worst scandals in its recent history, should heads roll at the highest level? In this case and because of the institution concerned I think they should. I am speaking about the shameful scandal uncovered at NHS Lothian. This was not incompetence, nor was it neglect or botched treatment. Staff were found to have made 5,000 patients disappear from waiting lists in order to meet targets for treating them within 18 months, they were pressured to do this by management.

What forces were at play to provoke such desperate behaviour, to betray the nation's trust in the jewel in the crown of our beloved welfare state? Political ones of course, and the refusal to accept and admit that snp promises made would not be kept. The broken promises were therefore kept secret and bogus results were fed to a trusting public. The Chief Executive (the boss) was given early retirement with a lucrative deal in an attempt to make the matter go away or as it should be said 'cover it up' but it didn't work and resentment is now rising and questions are being asked, a step in the right direction I hear you murmur but, this 'boss' also had a 'boss' and in this case that boss was Nicola Sturgeon who was health minister at the time. She was not implicated in any way despite being in charge, result for Nicola then right? Great damage has been done to the standing of the NHS and huge damage done to staff morale by this issue. It remains ambiguous, an unsolved puzzle, she was replaced later and shunted under cover of obfuscation by her indulgent protector Salmond to another less demanding job . Does it fill you with confidence in her ability or her integrity? The issue of bullying which was widespread has also to be addressed. Ms. Sturgeon stated rather royally considering she was in charge " there is no place in the NHS for such behaviour and it will not be tolerated.

Labour's Jackie Baillie raised the unpleasant thought of the pressure from the snp Government on the NHS and their target driven culture exacerbated by their decimation of the work force. She also suggested that it is more than likely that Lothian are not alone and we could find that more Health Boards are suffering and have suffered the same fate.

Ms. Sturgeon survives by being moved out of the firing line and her lack incompetence is once again covered up, she was and has been for years out of her depth she should be removed from any responsible position before she does greater harm.

Friday, September 28, 2012



The full council meeting of 27/09/20 12 as I said in my previous post reminded me of the bad old days of snp opposition,
in case anyone thinks that their clowning around is funny I want to mention that in my previous article about the council meeting I forgot to mention the costs.

This meeting; had it been conducted in the appropriate manner would have been over in about two and a half hours, it took more than double that because of the conduct of the snp and this has a serious cost to the tax payer. About 10 years ago when the snp did this kind of thing constantly I asked the director of finance for the council to put a cost figure on these proceedings by the hour, he suggested between 6 and 7 hundred pounds. If it is reasonable to say that 6 or 7 hundred pounds was the hourly cost 10 years ago I think it is quite reasonable to say that that figure will have risen now to approx. £1,000 per hour or more by now.

Thursday's meeting cost approx. £5,500 pounds when it should have cost approx. £2,750 that additional cost of £2,750 or bill to the tax payer has been sent to you by Renfrewshire snp councillors. Over the years the snp have cost the people of Renfrewshire tens of thousands of pounds because of their outrageous behaviour. It now looks certain that the snp intend to behave like this for the next 4 and a half years again with you the people of Renfrewshire picking up the bill.

With approx. 9 or more full council meetings a year that makes 39 meetings before the next election and by my reckoning and based on Thursday's snp behaviour that would amount to an additional cost of around £107,250. If we take in to consideration the fact there are many many more council board meetings where the snp will have the opportunity to disrupt the meetings and waste costly time and tax payer's money it becomes nothing short of scandalous and an example if any more examples were needed of the contempt that the snp have for the people of Renfrewshire.

I urge members of the public who share the outrage of many at this snp waste of your money to write to the snp councillors involved as well as Cllr. McCartin and tell them to start doing their jobs properly and to stop squandering your money.


Thursday, September 27, 2012


To the council 09.30 am this morning for a full council meeting and it is now apparent that we are back to the offensive and expensive behaviour of the snp similar to the last time they were in opposition. Motion after motion mostly spurious and costing thousands and thousands per hour to run the meeting which lasted 5 hours, go figure. I reckon the meeting deserved no more than 3 hours max. But this is the snp at their worst and it's you dear tax payer who is paying for it.

Their behaviour as always was deplorable and held up the meeting constantly, they appear and behave like a drunken rabble and I wish the public could see them. They actually brought a complaint to full council about words spelt wrongly in reports and typographical errors, none of which caused anyone to misunderstand what the reports were saying, that is the kind of thing they are wasting thousands of pounds of your money on, they turned it in to a bear pit, just like old times and just as embarrassing.

For my part I prefer to swap blow for blow with these cretins and I did today. My philosophy is to never start one of these insult trading shouting matches and I am proud to say I never have but I admit that if the snp start this behaviour I will not turn the other cheek and I will retaliate. Experience has taught me that if you do not face up to these nationalist thugs they will stamp all over you with their tartan Jackboots.

I told them during one debate that 28% of snp voters did not support independence, only 30% of the general population supported independence, 75% of the teenagers that the snp were desperate to be allowed to vote in the referendum wanted to stay British and their grand march and rally in Edinburgh attracted only 5,000 adding all this to the last council election result where Labour took 22 seats and the snp took 15, you could tell by looking at them that they were not pleased. As that great English warrior corporal Jones said "they don't like it up em captain, they do not like it up em"

Monday, September 24, 2012


The snp have held it to be accurate for years that the young people of Scotland are pretty dim. Their lazy thought processes tell them (the snp) that because they (young Scots.) are young they are De facto rebellious, awkward and anti the status quo, they typically never researched this nor have they done any work themselves to back this up. This conceit by Salmond and Co. has led them in to another mess as they now find out from a large poll of 2,500 youngsters who could be eligible to vote in the independence referendum that 75% of them want to remain British while 25% do not. Mr. Salmond needs this result like he needs a plague of locusts descending on Bute House.

Hard on the heels of the mortification heaped on him by the mighty rally that didn't happen on Saturday he now sees another crutch kicked away by Scottish youngsters who are apparently smarter than he gave them credit for. It will be interesting to see the snp/separatist/cybernat spin on this one. If they claim that 5,000 at the great rally is a triumph what will they call this poll which contacted 2,500? I don't remember a larger poll than this so how will they go about discrediting it?

Meanwhile wee Eck (the spiv) continues to rub the noses of the Scottish people and his own party in the dirt. He is now in the USA, yes indeed he's as fast as a rat up a roan pipe, the reason? He personally wants to oversee the arrangements for the Ryder cup Golf Tournament to be held at Gleneagles in 20 14 honestly the way this guy puts himself out for us makes me feel quite humble. We can expect to see him checking the nets and the pitch markings at the world cup next.

Having spent some 30 years rubbishing England and everything English who do you think turned up in the VIP box at Wimbledon? him again, forever fighting Scotland's corner is wee Eck. Next in line were the Olympics, the ones he did as much as he could to rubbish because they were in London. Like the true patriot he is he overcame his personal feelings and went to London to take in the games, his heroism and love of Scotland saw him subjected to having to spend £500,000 on a 2 week stay doesn't your heart just go out to him?

Now it's America and the Ryder Cup, he leads a fact finding mission because he must make sure everything will be OK at Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup in 20 14, so much so that he once again takes on yet another arduous task and goes to supervise everything. Some of you might be thinking (rather harshly surely) that if Scotland needs help to put on a Golf Tournament after putting on Ryder Cups British Opens etc. on many, many occasions then they might need someone even more wonderful than wee Eck (the spiv) to sort things.

I'm sure he is doing all this stuff for the good of Scotland and her people, you only need look at his face to see the stress and strain he puts himself under with such tasks, anyone who suggests different is being churlish, aren't they?

Friday, September 07, 2012


06/09/2012 - 18.30pm to the Glynhill Hotel for a political meeting run by the Labour Party and the Unite Union, to be addressed by Jim Sheridan labour MP and Len McCluskie Gen. Sec. of Unite. Those harbingers of poor turn outs wind and rain were in evidence as I made my way to the venue where to my slight surprise I found a healthy crowd which swelled to standing room only as the meeting got underway. I reflected that such meetings were once commonplace and how gratifying it was to be attending here. The crowd was overwhelmingly Labour with enough members of other smaller parties in the hall eyeing each other suspiciously but it was genial enough. There was certainly a mood of common purpose in the room laced with anger; this anger was directed at the Tory/Libdem Govt. closely followed by anger and criticism of the Labour Party.

The theme of the meeting which developed as the speeches and questions went on was one of rebuilding the labour Party or as some chose to put it "reclaiming the labour party" a theme close to my heart as readers of this blog will know. Are you a worker, a union member, a socialist, do you want to change society, do you want to help those less fortunate than yourself, do you want to redistribute wealth in favour of the working class, do you want full employment etc. etc. if you do 'join the party' the party needs you and you need the party so why not.

Maybe its wishful thinking but this meeting gave me hope, there was a tangible feeling of anger, a feeling that things had gone so far against us that we have to unite and stand together. The Labour Party is the voice of the working class and the unions that's why we were formed and we can still play that role. The theory is simple you join and you attend meetings. At those meetings you get to vote on the issues and if you get a majority of the votes you win.

Do you like the Party leaders? If not you make sure your MP will support the candidates chosen by you and those who agree with you, you have a voice and it's time to use it. See what is being done to the poor the sick, the homeless, the disabled by this bunch of knuckle dragging bastards in Government who allow billions and billions to be spirited away from the country by their rich friends, time to hit back? We need unity not division we need to be heard in the Party and in the streets.

I once by a happy accident spent approx. 1 hour in the company of Tony Benn, just him, me, the late Labour Cllr. Ronnie Burns and my Labour colleague Tommy Williams a fabulous never to be forgotten hour and I remember his conviction and sadness as he told us that there were at that time 23 left wing parties in the UK and he speculated about how unity could rule the day and help bring about socialism. This is still the case today but I don't accept that it has to be like this, the fact is that we all want the same things and the only way we will get them is together in unity. There is room in the Labour Party for all of us and what we are about to face over the next few years demands action and loyalty to the cause we can't go on forever splitting hairs and arguing amongst ourselves. We can make the Labour Party a great Socialist Party and we can make it a mass party, it's time!

Thursday, September 06, 2012


Along with many others over quite a period of time I have been speculating about how Salmond (the wee spiv) would go about orchestrating the demise of Nicola Sturgeon, not an easy stab in the back to administer even for one as practiced in the black arts as him. Her willingness to lie and obfuscate marked her out early as a rising Salmond acolyte, she started well before they won power when years ago she campaigned to save The Vale of Leven Hospital in the face of professional advice from every corner because she, and the snp knew instinctively that clinical excellence and care for patients would always come a poor second to snp votes. Here we are now with Nicola being parachuted out and which Hospital is once again in the firing line? OK I'll tell you its The Vale of Leven Hospital, she won't get the flack though, and she has no shame has she?

The betrayal had to come; the question was when and how. She was never competent to do such a job and her public performances, TV appearances and blundering decisions were becoming more and more bizarre, when was the last time you saw her doing a live TV interview? Not only has she been given the poison chalice of steering the independence campaign to its inevitable humiliation but she will now take the opprobrium that Salmond (the wee spiv) was so anxious to avoid when the whole thing goes down the tubes, the wee rodent will have the last lifebelt hidden away somewhere in Bute House.

She was never anything other than out of her depth as Health Secretary, promoted well above her station. The very embodiment of the dearth of talent in the snp ranks; if it's any comfort to her; her successor Alex Neil is an even more desperate and incompetent choice who will add conceit and belligerence to the job as he sets about insulting and bullying everyone who crosses his path, a bit like Nicola in fact; with tackety boots on instead of slingbacks.

Meanwhile the Scottish people mull over every snp 'U' Turn from keeping the Queen through leaving financial control with England to trying to abandon their hostility to NATO. Not to mention their bitter antagonism to the London Olympics which mellowed in time for Salmond (the wee shyster) to spend almost £500,000 for a two week spree in London for the games with some of his fan club. It's looking pretty bad and there is now a growing body of opinion which thinks that the wee swindler Salmond will find a way of abandoning the referendum altogether. He could do this quite easily with the agreement of his flock of snp sheep who are the snp members, we have already witnessed this several times but, what would the Scottish People think?


Saturday, August 25, 2012


Latest reports just in reveal that George Galloway has once again edged ahead in the epic battle between him and Frankie Boyle in their race to the bottom. Has Boyle run out of bile and spleen or can he dip once more in to the seemingly bottomless pit of malevolent lurid anecdotes and personal experiences which have sustained him over the years?

Can George though keep up the pressure, will his alleged legendary ability to get down and dirty when the chips are down see him triumph? Following George's latest sojourn in to the world of rape and dodgy sexual behaviour, he seems to be favourite. One can't help but admire his apparent expertise and wonder about the women he has known. Speculation is rife about whether George will name names in relation to those ex partners who may or may not have been given a rude awakening by him. I suppose when all is said and done that Frankie and Georgie might agree that they are after all only women right?

Who will win, the smooth debonair Glaswegian or the rough n tumble Dundee corner boy, have I got that right? Perhaps I should just say which bampot will win?


As the dust settles after the Olympics I have been reflecting on how the snp played their hand and I have to say very badly. They spent 5 years rubbishing the games and their London location; they saw this location as a godsend for them to stir up anti English sentiment and Scottish resentment. Too late they concluded that the games were going to be very popular and they were going to look like whinging scrooges thus adding to Scotland's reputation for being Bible black and mean.

Salmond said do something to get us out of this hole or heads will roll; and in common with most hurried panic schemes we got a botched project which caused hilarity and embarrassment by turns for Scotland and its people. I was reminded of the saying "there are very few bad situations that the arrival of a crowd of Scots. (the snp) on the make can't make worse" Down to London charged Salmond and his entourage of placemen and women as well as his Praetorian Guard whose job it is to keep people away from him. Armed with their very own custom made Scottish cutlery sets and Saltire napkins they cut a menacing and unruly sight particularly when the whiff of food and drink reached their snouts. Observers described them in trembling tones as like a "pack of starving dugs in a black pudden factory"

This now infamous project or "junket" as some have unkindly called it; cost nearly £500,000 for 2 weeks. Just like a fortnight at the 'but n ben' in Rothesay. Unfortunately for wee Eck (the spiv) it became known that they had hired a building owned by the Army and Navy when they could have used the ex Scotttish Office residence "Dover House" which was a couple of minutes away for nothing. Anyway they spent approximately £35,000 a day on this adventure; it was as they say a "dirty dangerous job but someone had to do it" Oh! And did you know that these people are running Scotland and, they want you to vote for independence?

If that vote ever comes remember that this snp fiasco is a real example of what they really think about you, the people of Scotland.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Our neighbours and fellow compassionate Scots. local employers Balfour Beatty continue to employ people off the street when current workers are on their redundancy notice and they continue to break our national agreements. Balfour Beatty are also major blacklisters of construction workers and union activists recently named and shamed after the raid on the offices of the Consulting Association.

Join with the Scottish Rank and File and the Blacklist Support Group in demonstrating against this despicable outfit at Balfour Beatty HQ in Hillington, Glasgow next Friday 24th August at 11am.

Let's together send a clear message to Balfour Beatty and the other blacklisters and wretches that we will not go away until justice is done, blacklisted workers are in employment and national agreements are being adhered to.


Some people talk about such despicable anti union anti worker practices as if they were the bad old days, unfortunately they are not. These union busting corporate thugs are still with us and make no mistake about it their aim is to drive worker's wages and conditions to as low a level as they can. They quite literally couldn't care less if you are struggling to put food on the table or buy school clothes for your children. These employers are the enemy; there is no other suitable word for them, not just the enemy of the Balfour Beattie workers or union members everywhere but the enemy of civilisation itself, the rat race is for rats and they are no better than that. What do you do with the enemy? You fight them, and fight them we will.

My Comrade and fellow Labour Councillor Jim Harte is an active Trade Unionist and he is involved in trying to outlaw "blacklisting" the practice is illegal but the authorities are doing nothing to stop
it. Let's give them a reminder that we are not going to go away we will stand and fight and we can start by supporting the protest detailed above in this article. Being a big company and known worldwide makes no difference when you have the morals of a rat, when the great Nye Bevan famously compared the Tories with vermin he was talking about people like Balfour Beattie. Time to fight back.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

IAN DAVIDSON MP (LABOUR) 1 v the snp 0

Those still interested in the snp's pursuit of Ian Davidson who watched last night's Scottish news programmes would have been given a large hint about who is winning this spat. There sitting like a frightened rabbit caught in the headlights of an approaching juggernaut sat Linda Fabiani snp MSP. Like the previous night's act of cruelty in putting up the embarrassing Derek Mackay against Henry McLeish to tackle Gordon Brown's recent speech, this ALSO was an act bordering on cruelty. No Swinney, no Salmond, no Sturgeon, no Russell, no one in fact.

The wretched and visibly miserable Ms. Fabiani tried to land a blow by complaining that Mr. Davidson's Parliamentary Committee had no snp representative. Was anyone wondering if he might have been ready for that one? Not she apparently as he reminded her that they (the snp) did in fact have a representative on the committee but she was a serial truant. She of course being the snp nonentity who crashed and burned when the snp senior figures who fitted her up got 'offsky' and left her to face the music alone after trying to smear Ian Davidson, whatever happened to her? Then we had the Davidson/Findlaygate smear attempt, where did that go?

Anyway; anyone looking for the snarling, bullying, obnoxious Ian Davidson of snp mythology would have been wondering what all the fuss was about as he tolerantly allowed Ms. Fabiani to talk herself out as she demonstrated how bare her cupboard was. He gently and patiently explained to her how wrong and misinformed she was. Rather like a stern but fair school teacher trying to assist a struggling pupil.

Look out for the snp having another go at Davidson, he is their number one bogey man because he scares them and he has given them several 'doings' my guess is that having tried to smear him several times they will try again and we will if I am any judge see more 'doings' being dished out by this outstanding MP. A formidable opponent? Yes, but no ogre as the snp would have you believe, their attitude to Davidson is if you can't beat him smear him. He gives the impression though that he is able for them; that was an understatement BTW.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Virtuoso performance from Gordon Brown at the book festival, a half hour wide ranging speech without notes demonstrating his prowess as a statesman and political/intellectual heavyweight. His grasp of economics, international and national affairs remains as always; simply awesome.

The decision by BBC Scotland to have Henry McLeish in the studio to discuss brown's speech however only served to highlight the obvious gap in intelligence and charisma which exists between Brown and McLeish, Henry is not alone here though. Their other decision however to put the snp's MSP Derek Mackay in the same position as McLeish though could only be described as downright cruel.

Thursday, August 09, 2012



I received a comment from a rather loosely wrapped snp supporter, foaming at the mouth and chewing the carpet by the sound of him. Most of it is as you would expect unprintable as are a growing number of them as the yes campaign looks more and more like it is being run by the "Marx Brotherss" with Harpo as their spokesman. He finished with this little gem. "new Labour ie pink tory" champagne socialists are still predominant in your party" This made ME laugh and led me to put pen to paper as follows.

And what is the 'bevvy' of choice and indeed the colour of Mr. Salmond and his flunkies who are struggling manfully on behalf of poor old Scotland while spending a fortnight in London at a cost of £200,000 a week, rising according to today's reports to £35,000 a day.

He (Salmond) has been training for this it seems, he once in times past boasted the ability to be able to scoff £800 worth of London allowance grub when Parliament was in recess, a Herculean feat I'm sure you will agree. To raise his table performances from £800 a month then to £35,000 a day now must make him surely the greatest Scolympian of all time. Not for nothing in London is he referred to in hushed reverential tones by his hosts as the "starving Scottish dug in the black pudding factory"

Some say he is a devious wee b*****d who never goes anywhere without his personal knife and fork set in his pocket, some say he is a Scottish hero, perhaps you dear readers can be the judges of that for yourselves. Let's hope the Thames barrier is working in case he gets Brahms and List and falls in the river, I'm just saying, ken?

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Many Scots. agree with me that arguably the greatest artist who ever lived was Pablo Picasso. Among many other things he was an inveterate painter of women, hundreds of them, possibly thousands of them, short; tall; fat; thin and in almost every conceivable stage of dress and undress you could imagine. He could paint a beautiful woman and make it look like an expensive photograph, he could then paint the same woman and portray her with her nose, ears, mouth and eyes all jumbled around in different positions but you knew at a glance that it was the same beautiful woman, in fact Pablo was a right smart arse of a painter who didn't give much of a f**k about what people thought or indeed or even particularly; artistic convention. He divided opinion in his day to a fearsome degree and to a lesser extent still does today. My younger brother Shug once stood looking at a Picasso in the Glasgow Art Galleries, he stood back, he leant forward, looked from this side and that, I believe he actually stroked his chin meaningfully before offering his judgement which was "naw ah don't see it at aw, it's f****n s***e, oor Francis (younger again and a painter) could dae better" I am no expert and on this great debate Shug and me disagree ,but I consider him to be one of the most fascinating and gifted men (Pablo not Shug) who ever lived and so do a lot of other people, so, why am I talking about him in a Scottish context?

The Scottish Gallery of Modern Art is running an exhibition of the great man's work backed by a suitably expensive and dynamic campaign to make sure everyone knows about it "gaun yersell that Gallery" I hear you shout. What could go wrong with that, what indeed? Well as you disembark at Edinburgh Airport your walk through the terminal building takes you past some of the aforementioned attempts to persuade you to take in the Picasso exhibition. One of which is the stunning painting called'nude woman in a red armchair. Some people however were outraged and complained; rumour has it that some particularly diligent God botherers said that the image reeked of debauchery, the cowardly airport authorities to Scotland's undying shame covered it up. It's now back on display after protestors mad a fuss about the move but, that's not the point. Needless to say the airport is not short of images of semi naked women (and men) advertising all kinds of junk with impunity. Why a Picasso nude? I hear you plead, I wish I knew. One of my daughters once asked me what women's breasts were for and I thought about it wondering what the catch was and I eventually said babies and milk, she replied no they are not they are for selling bloody cars.

Nude Woman in a Red Armchair was covered up at the airport.

Picasso painted women as opposed to the impossible images which bombard us today of them, life is hard enough because of the lack of equality for females and it is made well nigh impossible by the parasites who blackmail them into having to look like catwalk models.

If the complainers were Scottish they should have been told to eff off and if they were from abroad they should have been politely advised that the flight they came in on was refuelling and they were welcome to reboard and go right back home. Scotland needs an enema.




Saturday, August 04, 2012


My late friend Davie Speirs used to love a joke and some were quite elaborate, a degree of patience was involved sometimes to hear it through though. Sometimes, some of his legendary stories could stretch over the length of 2 or 3 pubs. This referendum makes me think of one of these stories because it's become interminable and comical. Davie was a blues/Folk/Ragtime/Jazz guitar player and singer with a huge repertoire of songs, stories and tunes, he could also get you to laugh watching a burning orphanage. One night he was playing at a 'doo' among lots of political types including some noisy drunken snp supporters who engaged him in conversation. He had sung some Scottish ballads and they wrongly assumed he was "one of them"

He gathered them around him and told the story of the death of Bonnie Prince Charlie in reverential tones, a feat of disingenuous creativity as he usually referred to "peas n barley" due to his sexual reputation as 'wee yo yo breeks' Anyway he told them how he escaped the English Redcoats despite being wounded but they caught up and he sustained another wound. He was clearly dying and his braveheart companions carried him off again across the moors and heather and all that usual stuff you get in Scottish stories. Near death they laid him down in a field and gathered stones to place around him to keep the wind off him. Sadly he passed away and his men rather than let the dirty English swines find him gathered more stones and built a large structure around and over him. And then said Davie this is the origin of the song "Bonnie Chairlie 's noo a wah" (now a wall geddit?) well if looks could kill the drunken picts would have killed him, it was turning ugly and all Davie could do was laugh himself in to a black knot at their faces.

There is now a suggestion that the referendum may have to wait until 20 15. Approximately 5 years ago Wendy Alexander challenged Alex Salmond to "bring it on" He of course didn't "bring it on" for the same reason as he refuses to do so now, he fears impending humiliation and the end of his political career which is usually what happens to single issue politicians.

So by the time we get to the referendum if it actually happens and if it's 20 15 we will have been waiting 8 years since that challenge was made. Is there anyone still in any doubt who won the bragging rights in that famous exchange?

I wish Davie was here to comment on it, he would be scathing, hilarious and as always; hard left, I see him sitting playing the guitar with a glass beside him laughing his head off at the cybernats and Scots wha havers, he is much missed.

Friday, August 03, 2012


I am getting old or lazy or perhaps both. I was recently corrected on my Blog by one of my critics called (Byeck) it sounds a bit Emmerdaleish I know. He/She took great pleasure in reminding me that one of our countries greatest ever Olympians Princess Ann did not as I stated actually win an Olympic medal. Never having been one to let a blow remain unanswered I decided to write a bit about the Olympics as a kind of retaliation so if you like it; thank him/her and of course if you don't like it? Well you can blame him/her for that as well. I wrote to him as follows.

Thank you for correcting me, she competed but did not win a medal, she did however win the BBC's Sports personality of the Year award which put all those footballers, boxers, athletes and swimmers in their place. They were all overawed when confronted by such a giant of the sporting world in their midst.

I wonder if you noticed that Zara owns a horse box. 'De Rigueur' I suppose for one who rides horses at such expert levels. At a price of £500,000 I was comforted to know that this particular horse box ensured that this royal parasite was well looked after. 

Capable of carrying 6 horses and 6 humans with sleeping, dining, toilet and leisure facilities it is no less I'm sure you will agree than she deserves, the humans BTW on this magnificent vehicle are the ones without tails. 

The much lauded success of the GB Horse riding team was however slightly punctured by one of their number who made a mistake and cost them the gold medal, can you guess who that was?

This bit did not go to him/her.

Readers of this Blog will have heard me complain about sports which should not be classed a s Olympic competitions including anything to do with horses. If you want to know why consider the case of the Royal parasites Ann and Zara. The things I have watched most so far are boxing and swimming and I have no hesitation in saying the TV coverage has been bloody awful for both. Once the swimming race starts it is impossible to tell where each swimmer is, if the commentator says the American and the Korean are neck and neck in lanes 5&6 by the time you start counting lanes to find them the camera has switched angles and they wear caps which are mostly similar so you are lost. They used to superimpose the swimmers national flag behind him/her in the lane which made it easier and more enjoyable. Also they have inexplicably removed the information strap line in the corner of the screen telling you what the race is e.g. the stage , final, semi final etc. and the distance and stroke etc. The coverage has gone backwards. every swimmer who shows up ready to compete should be identifiable, swimmers who show up with shaved heads should be compelled to have their heads painted in their country's colours.

The boxing is the same once the fight is on if you missed the start there is no information on the screen to tell you who they are and what stage of the competition they are at or which weight they are fighting at. By far the worst part of the coverage was the removal of the constant score card at the corner of the screen which lit up a red or blue light when a boxer scored a point, a brilliant innovation when introduced and now abandoned. My theory is that the judges did not like the idea of millions of fans watching and shouting at their TV's "where the f**k did that red/blue light come from he never touched him or, why the f**K did no light come on there he belted the guy etc. Some of the decisions have been inexplicable as well, I predict a shakeup in how Olympic boxing is conducted in future.

The incredibly laid back and effortlessly charming Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympic swimmer ever but if you call him the greatest Olympian ever you might find yourself having to call someone else in the future the greatest Olympian ever because that person has won more medals than anyone else and it could be for christ's sake a horse rider. Oh for christ's sake it could be a roya----- I can't say it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


It took me about 20 minutes to stop comparing the opening ceremony unfavourably with the Chinese but I grew in to it and turned out to be fantastic. Completely different from others but excellent. They did however miss out some great events like Lisbon 67 but what the hell, you can't have everything.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Friday evening July 27 2012 and the greatest show on earth is about to start. My earliest memories of the Olympics go back to Melbourne where we kept up with the news on the radio following the fortunes of 2 great Scottish boxers Dick McTaggart (Gold) and John (Cowboy) McCormack bronze, I was 8 at the time and I remember being aware that something big was going on. Rome we saw on TV in 1960 in black and white. In 1968 in Mexico City we watched American Bob Beamon almost jump out of the stadium in the long jump like his 'bahookie' was on fire and the world looked on and held its breath as black Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos gave the Black Power salute from the Olympic winner's podium. Munich we remember for the political violence which overshadowed the games. Moscow in 19 80 was rather predictably boycotted by America and still produced a magnificent show, Beijing China I will remember for the quite stunning spectacle of the games and their presentation as well as the equally stunning spectacle of Usain Bolt's spectacular sprinting as he re-wrote the record books.

Meanwhile along the way we had Jesse Owens, Mohamad (Cassius Clay) Ali (who he?) The mighty Cuban Teofilo Stevenson (pity they never met) Dick Fosbery who made every high jump coach in the athletics world redundant with the 'Fosbery Flop' Mark Spitz who needs help to carry his medals around. The great Czeck Emil Zatopek who ate other distance runners for breakfast. Native American Jim Thorpe (look him up). The beautiful American sprinter Wilma Rudolph. The little Russian Pixie who lit up the world of Gymnastics Olga Korbut. Chris Hoy etc. etc. Not forgetting Princess Ann, did you know her daughter Zara is also in the Olympics, quality always comes to the top right?

I love the sports but I hate the capitalist casino that it has become. I would get rid of most of the sports we watch now in the Olympics and only include what I call proper Olympic sports. Boxing, running, swimming, rowing, jumping, cycling, wrestling, field events, that kind of thing. Ban team sports and ban weapons except the Javelin, ban competitors from representing a country, they should all compete as individuals just as the Greeks did all those years ago. There should be no such thing as a free ticket for anyone and I mean anyone and no guarantee of a ticket either. If one person goes in to a ticket ballot then everyone goes in. Except those who are financially disadvantaged for whatever reason; be it unemployment, poverty or disability.

Everyone is now ready including the vast amount of experts in drugs and medicines who will heroically lock horns as they do every 4 years for this great event. One side will move heaven and earth to cheat and the other side will do the same to catch the cheats, this has become more and more necessary as the capitalist influence has grown over the years. The ticket touts, the petty and large criminals and those who provide 'special services' to visitors have reached a peak of readiness, they have prepared no less diligently than the athletes. The commentators and TV experts have also prepared and they are all ready; each with their rag bag of superlatives and chauvinist insults, it is rumoured that some of them have been coached in the latter discipline by no less a person than his Royal Highness Prince Philip, so let's get on with it. 100.000 condoms have been made available to athletes (true!) so it will be 'bloody good fun! One way or another. I intend to comment further as the games go on, I'm saying that at the moment anyway.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Gather round its Honest Alex (Del Boy) Salmond here; the bargain trader with my lovely assistant Nicola.

Here's a shiny unused Nuclear Warhead with nothing on the clock + Edinburgh Castle, quick now before Trump buys it! for The Statue of Liberty now I can't say fairer than that can I? How about 2 Neuks + The Finnieston Crane, worth a fortune in scrap value alone, for the Eiffel Tower. Try this you lucky people, 1 Neuk ready to fire and 1 second hand with full service record and MOT only needing primed + Glasgow City Chambers. For The Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Roll up there, everything must go, Ers a Nuclear Sub with a few miles on the clock + the last remaining pair of Bonnie Prince Charlie's slightly soiled Hielan Breeks for the Brandenburg Gate.

It's all legal now that we are independent and we are all in NATO.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I wonder if Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien is familiar with the story of how Thomas Becket later to become Saint Thomas Becket met his grisly end following this plea by King Henry the 4th. It wasn't pretty and there was blood and snotters all over the altar where he was slain, like today's cardinal he chose to follow his faith and conscience, still I digress.

The issue of gay marriage never seems to be far away from the headlines, it seems also to be impossible to discuss or write about the subject here in Scotland without Cardinal Keith O'Brien being involved. The Cardinal must feel like just staying in bed some days but of course he doesn't, he lives his life with his head always above the parapet, a "turbulent Priest" if ever there was one. He does not need nor I suspect would he take advice from me so I won't bother to offer it but, there is always a 'but' isn't there? What I am about to say might shock some people particularly those who know me well and also know my views on this subject, Cardinal O'Brien is getting a raw deal in the media and from commentators both professional and amateur here in Scotland.

Those who know me well will not be surprised however when I suggest why in my opinion he is getting such a raw deal here, the reason is what Jack McConnell once eloquently and devastatingly called "Scotland's secret shame" meaning of course 'Sectarianism' one half of Scotland's twin shames sectarianism and racism. He is not under such vicious personal attack because he is man of God he is under such attack because he is a high ranking high profile Catholic. There can be no doubt that religions of every stripe in Scotland have no shortage of members and indeed leaders who agree with Cardinal O'Brien and the stance of the Catholic Church, they however seem to be able to avoid the opprobrium visited on the Cardinal and the RC Church, have you ever wondered why? The answer is sectarianism.

Consider the point that in every corner of the world there are paedophiles and child molesters every religion has them, as do children's youth clubs, sports clubs, schools etc. they are devious and dangerous. Most of them are of course within those loving straight families which religious people so want to preserve. It is only in recent years that we have become aware of the scale of the problem hence we are becoming rightly more vigilant. Scotland however manages to give the impression that only the Catholic Church has this problem, there is nowhere else where such a feeding frenzy like this takes place targeted at one church, , why is that? It's sectarianism.

The coverage in the media is outrageously biased and the amateur commentators in press letters and internet sites in Scotland are as ugly and viciously sectarian as anything we have seen in the past, it means that Scotland is incapable of moving on and is still stuck with its dark ages reputation, sullen, pinch faced and bedevilled by Bible black proponents of the God of Wrath. "Thou shalt not whistle or be merry or travel on a ferry, that'll get ye hung on Scotland's Sabbath day" (Hamish Imlach)

I will now cut away the line of attack which I know is coming from some of the people I have just been criticising. If any religion were to claim me I suppose it would be the Catholic Church, perhaps with reservations though on their part. I believe that Gay people should be treated fairly and equally in all matters including marriage, I would make it a crime for anyone to treat any gay person unfairly or unequally; including churches of whatever brand. Having said that I do not believe that Cardinal O'Brien is as he has been described by many a 'bigot' on the issue of gay marriage I believe him to be 100% wrong but; I also believe that he is 100% sincere, this I suspect applies to all those who have so far managed to keep their heads below that parapet which the Cardinal looks out from with his head above it. He is driven by his faith not by hatred of anyone gay or not. The day will come when the Catholic Church along with the other churches and religions will follow the true meaning of their creeds which are all relentlessly good and kind, those who mistreat Gays and indeed others they disagree with will someday do the right thing. If you don't believe me check out Galileo who got an apology from the Pope last year approximately 370 years after the Church persecuted him for claiming the Sun was the centre of the Universe, the Church reckoned the Earth was the centre of the Universe. They now agree with Galileo or at least most of them do.

Saturday, July 07, 2012


In a Braveheart attempt to save the Hall's Meat Plant in Broxburn Alex Salmond has announced that the SNP Scottish Government is to run a campaign to encourage Scots. to eat more Sausages, Haggis and Black Pudding. Mr. Salmond stated that he will go the extra mile to save the plant and he intends to lead from the front by consuming great quantities of these products himself. Today alone in a heroic start to his campaign the first minister in a selfless display of courage and sacrifice displayed his determination to fight for this famous Scottish firm by devouring several plates of sausages and several strings of Black Pudding as well as countless plates of Haggis, all washed down by a family sized bottle of Diet Irn Bru.

He says that he does not expect everyone to match his determination but pleads for effort from all true Scots. This could be his tilt at greatness you never know, it is a fact that he has; even if inadvertently been in training for just such an emergency for several years. Rumours are already circulating to the effect that the Big City Shysters are snapping up shares in the company, such is the First Ministers fame as a man who can make grub disappear as we say here in Scotland "like snaw aff a dyke"

The SNP Scottish Government will be issuing button badges bearing the logos "I'm a Scottish Haggis Hero" " I'm a Scottish Black Pudding Patriot"" and of course "Sausages Are the boys" Mr. Salmond hinted between belches that he could be ready soon to guarantee that these jobs will be safe. It goes without saying that all true patriotic Scots. will be coerced (sorry I meant to say encouraged) to boycott all English meat products.

Remember the cry for Scotland and Halls Meat Factory. "They may take our lives but they will never take oor Scottish Sausages"

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Prince William. Affectionately known as "Winko Willie" because he is a flying ace to rival Biggles and Budgie the Helicopter has been made a Knight of the Thistle. His ma. Queen Elizabeth of Scotland was so proud of him. It came as a pleasant surprise said his Granda Phil the Greek who is always on the ball, one of yer Royal Greeks remember not one of yer restaurant Greeks. Following the Jubilee and the awarding of more money to the Royals the wee wumman in the corner shop told me "ahm fair bursting wi pride so ah um" she buys her bread now in single slices not loaves but Royal Pride is special right? The Queen's granddaughter Zara Philips has managed just like her ma Princess Ann to battle her way against all the odds to gain an Olympic place in team GB. Talent, breeding and sheer quality will always come to the top.

I can hardly wait to watch the Olympics, wee white sail boats bumping in to each other, folk firing bow na narras, pistol shooting, shove halfpenny, horse jumping, throwing the jodhpurs, guess the illegal drug, Judo with 2 guys locked together for 5 minutes rolling around so you don't know who is who until some wee Chinese guy's heid pops oot the bottom of the other guy's trooser leg, fleecing the tourists and my favourite; the weight lifting; I love it when some big guy lifts a huge weight and tries to push it above his head with straight arms. The bit where his legs wobble and he starts to do the exit waltz, this can last a while as he looks like he's going to manage it and then swings left and right and in and out like a demented jakey doing the highland sword dance, he inevitably has to dive clear like the arse of his costume has caught fire along with his belt which is the same width as a stair carpet and by this time I'm watching from behind the couch. Then everyone on the platform and in the front row of the hall starts wrestling and punching each other to get tae f**k out the road of the massive out of control barbell, that can get me to laugh myself in to a black knot. Bring it on, the weans in my ward of Ferguslie just love the dressage with the big horses doing the military two step with some old wealthy wrinkled granny in the saddle dressed like Buffalo Bill. The wrestling can resemble the County Square Taxi Rank on a Sat. Night which is course the safest place in Paisley to avoid getting the Jail. Remember it's not the winning that counts it's the taking part which reminds me of the American skater called Tanya Thingmy who got her boy friend to break her gold medal rival Nancy Kerrigan's leg. Is she a winner or what? Americans play to win OK?

Friday, June 29, 2012



Thursday, June 21, 2012


20/06/2012 - 7 pm. Accompanied by the boss to the beautiful church of St. Fergus for a celebratory Mass for this term's school leavers followed by a prize giving ceremony over the road in the school. Beaming children in lovely school gowns and mortar board hats were the stars of the show as they participated in the service and at the presentations. I watched these 12 year olds speak with such confidence and authority to the congregation in church and to the assembly in the school and, not for the first time I reflected that when I was that age no amount of coaxing or threats could get me to stand up and speak to such a crowd. What a pity I'm not still like that I hear some of you murmur.

I was delighted to hear and join in with some of the hymns which I have got to learn over recent years, always referred to by me as "new hymns" At the age of 63 years I doubt if any of these "new hymns" lovely as they are will ever take the place of those that I learned and grew to love as a boy, I still only have to hear the opening bars of 'Hail Queen of Heaven' or 'Sweet Heart of Jesus' and I am completely unmanned. It is by the way worth your while to attend Mass at St. Fergus's Church to sing hymns along with Father Oliver who can croon along like Bing Crosby.

One of the things which has always impressed me about St. Fergus's School is the intense loyalty on show from teachers who have dedicated the major part of their careers to teaching the children of Ferguslie Park, they are an impressive bunch of professionals and two of them who have served 71 years between them at the school were at their last leavers 'do' last night. Big bouquets of flowers were presented and a few eyes glistened while the love and affection between these ladies, their fellow staff members and above all their pupils was palpable. Not everyone gets to have such a long career doing something they love and come out the other end of it able to say "I made a difference, I did my best, I'm glad I became a teacher" these two retiring teachers are entitled to say this. They looked happy, a wee bit sad as well as contented and proud and so they should be. So should everyone at the school, I wish them a long happy retirement and best wishes to the latest batch of students to move on to "the big school" Best wishes also to the 2 ridiculously young looking teachers who will be replacing the retirees. Also a big thanks and congratulations to acting head Maureen and all her staff.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Jimmy Carr the comedian has been keeping his money in what is described as "an aggressive tax scheme to avoid paying his dues. Tory Prime Minister David Cameron has described this as "morally wrong"


I'm not often stuck for words and I can't think of anything funny to say about this, can you?