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Memories

Watching the tv adaptation of A Very English Scandal brought back to mind two slogans that a chum of mine devised but never as the nerve to use.

One was ‘I’ll be buggered if I’ll vote Liberal’ and the other was ‘Vote Liberal or we’ll shoot your dog.’

For younger readers who don’t get the latter, keep watching.

Categories: Politics

Duplicity

This is the same guy who’s persuaded Queen Nicola to ban two for one pizza deals. (Aye, right!) I don’t see any value for money offers on his website. But I do see loads of expensive pizzas. So what is his ‘healthy option’ campaign other than a bid to win custom for his own chain by undermining the competition.

I’ll take Gullane Superfry and the Main Course over this duplicitous twat eight days a week. Piss off, Jamie.

As for Herself, childhood obesity is a problem but it won’t be solved by association with cheap stunts.

Nor will it be solved by diktat. What’s next? Will John Swinney’s Named Person be given power to oversee the family menu? Don’t laugh: it’s conceivable.

Jamie’s Italian features fantastic, rustic dishes, using recipes that Jamie loves! Jamie’s Italian was inspired by Italy & its traditions & values
— Read on www.jamieoliver.com/italian/

Categories: General, Politics

Bloody awful

Will this weigh upon the conscience of The Donald, given that he is largely responsible? It might, if he had one.

www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/14/israel-tells-palestinians-they-are-risking-lives-in-us-embassy-protests

Categories: General, Politics

Go Jim.

Last night I finished my current read, ‘A Higher Loyalty: truth, lies and leadership’ by James Comey, who was three and a half years into a ten year appointment as director of the FBI, until President Trump fired him, without hint of warning.

The latter part of the book was not new to me; the matter (a word I chose carefully, as those who have read it will understand) was well documented when it all went down. The rest is an account of Comey’s early life and career. During that time he served three presidents; the fact that he was appointed by Trump’s hated predecessor may have been the underlying cause of his dismissal. Or it may simply that Comey refused to surrender the essential independence of his office to the president, a concept that Trump’s seriously disturbed mind did not allow him to understand or accept.

Of course there are two sides to every debate. It may be that Comey is the deluded liar. However given Trump’s general behaviour, and his self obsessed, utterly boorish manner, and Comey’s emphasis on the ethics of leadership, that is not the way I would bet.

Let’s assume that the allegations of Russian hookers urinating, in Trump’s presence, on a bed once used by the Obamas, are untrue. Jesus, I hope they are. Even so, the fact that many, possibly most, people consider them credible is evidence enough that the minority of the US electorate who put him in office have made a very serious mistake.

Categories: General, Politics

I wonder

I’ve just read a piece about Senator John McCain, and resolved to read his new book.

It planted a scenario in my mind that I will turn into a novel one day: be warned, copyright now applies. It begins with the birth of a black boy, the latter day Christ, in one of the flyover US States. He grows, performs a few miracles, the most spectacular involving turning all domestically held firearms and ammunition into soap, heals someone resembling John McCain, and his authenticity is beyond doubt.

How does it end? I have my vision but I will keep it to myself in advance of publication. Perhaps you have yours.

Categories: General, Politics

Enough is enough

April 20, 2018 2 comments

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

In any organisation as massive as our NHS there will be incidents of mistakes and mismanagement. It’s all too easy for ambitious politicians and profit seeking media to seize on these and highlight them for their own gain. I can only speak as a lifelong user of the service, and my experience may not be mirrored by others, but it has been excellent, beyond reproach and on a few occasions life-saving.

Eighteen years ago I collapsed, for no obvious reason, and was taken to hospital. There I had another incident; I was wired up at the time, and the cardiologists were left with a nice record of me flat-lining for a few seconds. Very quickly it was established that I had a condition called sick sinus syndrome. A pacemaker was fitted and I was able to resume my abnormal life.

More recently, my wife has had two Brushes with Death, to borrow from the title of my new book, (published yesterday and available in all good book stores). Each required major surgical intervention, the kind that has you holding your breath until you have the good news call from the team. Twice her life was as in serious danger, twice she survived, thanks to people who will forever be heroes to me.

I am in the fortunate position of being able to thank them publicly by dedications in books, (back to A Brush with Death, and Private Investigations) but mostly voices like mine are drowned out by the cacophony of negativity that dominates today’s society.

Yes, the NHS could be better, and it knows it. The day it stops striving to improve we will have cause for concern. But that mustn’t blind us to the truth that for the majority of us who shelter under its umbrella, it is already excellent.

If you agree, feel free to share this. If you don’t, all I can say is that I hope you never have cause to realise that I’m right.

The Herald Digital
— Read on theherald.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/iphone/showpage.aspx

Categories: General, Politics

Abuse of privilege

I don’t know what happened with the Sky cycle squad, nor do I care too much. But I do care that any body or anybody can be pilloried by a group of MPs without any obvious form of legal redress. Commons committees are meant to scrutinise Government, not to throw rocks at national heroes from a position of safety.

Categories: Politics, Sport

Anomaly

November 7, 2017 1 comment

The Paradise Papers are great fun, and they’re a welcome break from lunging, almost deniable knee-touching and elected representatives knifing each other. However the tabloids, with one notable exception, seem to be ‘avoiding’ an inconvenient truth. Tax avoidance isn’t illegal. In fact it’s an industry that could as easily be described as Tax Management. The system under which it thrives is put in place by governments, and can be changed at their instigation. So don’t blame Lewis, HM, or the people from Mrs Brown’s Boys. Blame Philip Hammond, George Osborne, Alastair Darling, Gordon Brown and all the Chancellors before them, who developed the tax framework and have been content to live with it.

That exception I mentioned? The Daily Mail, which seems entirely disinterested in everyone else’s story of the day. Could it be that the editor has been warned off by the proprietors? If so, why?

Categories: General, Politics

Amber Rudd

November 6, 2017 Leave a comment

The current and deeply unpleasant Home Secretary is the worst sort of politician in my book. It’s a long time since I have seen anything as disgusting as the eagerness and speed with which she threw Michael Fallon under the bus yesterday on Sky News, or the appetite with which she swallowed the words that were thrust into her mouth by the anchor, knowing that they would become the headline of the day.

There’s an ironic old saw about there being no greater love than that which lays down the life of your best friend to save your own.

Categories: Politics

Jeremy Corbyn calls for unity in Glastonbury speech

June 24, 2017 1 comment

How many more times? He lost. He f*cking lost.

Categories: Politics

The Queen’s (hidden) Message

June 17, 2017 5 comments

HM got it right again. There is a sombre national mood, after the Westminster Bridge attack,  Manchester, London Bridge, and now the Grenfell Tower fire. Tragedies, all of them, occurring against the background of the most divisive und ultimately pointless General Election campaign in living memory.

At a time when we should be drawing together as a nation, we are being driven apart by the continuing political shambles and the petty point scoring that goes with it. That’s why this morning I find myself contemplating the unthinkable.

Nobody wants another election right now. Very few really want to see the Conservative Party doing a cheap deal with the fundamentalist wing of Northern Irish politics to retain a Commons majority. Therefore, given everything that has gone on recently and given what is to come in the near future, I wonder if the time has come to seek stability through a government of national unity, with the Tories and Labour declaring a truce and burying their differences for the period of a five year parliament, tackling the Brexit negotiations as a nation rather than a faction, and pursuing an agenda for all the people not simply for those on whatever side of the political divide comes out on top.

I don’t imagine that Mrs May would head such a government. She’s a busted flush. Neither could Jeremy Corbyn because he didn’t win the seats. But I could see him as deputy Prime Minister, behind a sensible, strong and acceptable Tory leader, for example, Michael Fallon. McDonnell as Chancellor, no. Vince Cable? Maybe. Home Secretary? Boris? Why not?

In five years normal hostilities would resume, but one would hope with the various parties showing more respect for each other than we have seen in the last two months.

Off the wall thinking, I know, but has its time come?

Categories: General, Politics

Update

June 12, 2017 2 comments

IMG_0142

This needs updating; delete ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’, insert ‘Tory’ and ‘Labour’. This year the principle should be the  same.

Categories: General, Pics, Politics

Bye

June 11, 2017 3 comments

I’ve just deleted Facebook from my phone. The thing has become toxic. When you waken up on a Sunday and find a bloke who took the Daily Express shilling for years banging on about pro-Corbyn polls, it’s time to go.

Categories: General, Politics

From the jaws . . .

It’s pretty obvious to those who did not know that neither David Cameron nor Theresa May were lawyers. Had they been, they would have been aware of the first law of cross-examination: Never ask a question unless you know the answer.

First Dave with his EU Referendum, which he thought he’d win handily. Now Theresa with the snap election that all the polls told her she would walk. The lesson? Unless you have it written in blood, take noting for granted.

It’s okay for Dave; he ran away from the mess he’d made, to trouser ridiculous sums of money on the high-level speaking circuit. Not so easy for Theresa; while she didn’t win the election she didn’t exactly lose it either. The Conservatives lost their absolute majority, nevertheless they won almost sixty seats more than the second largest party, and with the support of the DUP in Northern Ireland, and the continuing abstention of the Sinn Fein members, they seem virtually certain to form the next Government. Theresa could nail it down by sticking Vince Cable into the Treasury, a job he’d take for sure, as the LibDems have always been for sale to the highest bidder.

There were supposedly clever people on telly this morning, supposed experts, who declared that we have returned to the two-party state. They are idiots, because when no party can command a majority without the support or acquiescence of others, then manifestly that cannot be the case.

No question, Jeremy Corbyn fronted an excellent campaign . . . okay, he was helped by the political vacuum that the Tories presented . . . and he thumbed his nose at most of the tabloid media, but he didn’t win. There are people today who are trumpeting the result as the biggest upset since Clay beat Liston, but it isn’t because he came nowhere near to walking away with the title. This morning I heard the staff at Labour HQ singing ‘One Jeremy Corbyn, there’s only one Jeremy Corbyn’, but the majority of us are still thinking ‘Thank Christ for that!’ As for that smug smile that he’s been wearing for the last forty-eight hours or so, I prefer the sour-faced bastard that he really is.

When Labour come face to face with reality they will realise, that even though they captured and mobilised the youth vote, and rode on the crest of a wave, they are a stonking sixty-five seats short of an absolute Commons majority, and won one hundred and fifty seven seats fewer than did Labour under Tony Blair in 1997.

FACT: Labour under Corbyn is still not electable, not by a long way.

Yesterday, I said to a friend who is an elder statesman of the Labour movement, and who campaigned hard in what he always knew would be a losing cause, that I hoped to see his party rediscovering itself in the wake of this defeat. I still do, but I could say the same to my Tory and SNP friends. (I don’t have any Lib Dem friends.)

Theresa’s going to see the Queen in two hours. I’d love to be a fly on that wall.

 

Categories: Politics

Shock tactics

If I was Lynton Crosby, or whoever is pouring honey into Theresa May’s ear, around three hours ago, I’d have said to her, ‘Okay this is what you do. You change into a severe dark trouser suit and fuck me shoes, you get your ass up to Cambridge as quietly as is possible, and at the very last minute you walk on stage, look Corbyn in the eye, say “Be careful what you wish for,” then do to him what you do every week in the Commons.

‘Then when he accuses you of being the Lady who’s for Turning, you smile and say, “No, Jeremy, I’m your flexible friend.” That will be enough; you can leave the debate to the rest of them .’

But it ain’t going to happen,

Categories: Politics

Really?

Earlier today I posted a blog about my decision not to vote SNP this time and I explained why. My blog shares automatically on Facebook. I’m not surprised by a few of the comments it attracted.

Not surprised, but saddened. Come on, folks; you’re better than that.

Categories: Politics

Goodbye to a dream

For the last twenty years, I have supported the Scottish National Party, for one reason alone; its commitment to  Scottish Independence, and the real prospect that it might be achieved.

I was disappointed by the outcome of the referendum. I believed at the time and still do, that the game was rigged by Westminster and its unlikely allies, the mainstream media, but 55% to 45%% is a pretty convincing margin.

I was disappointed when Alex Salmond chucked it; I thought he had more staying power. Nevertheless I went with his successor, given her declared determination to keep fighting for the Scottish passport that I crave, even if her policies are rather too left-wing for my centrist taste.

Until today, when I woke to read, in big headline type, that she is prepared, if the numbers stack up, to do a deal that will put Labour in power.

I may be Scottish first, but I’m British second. Therefore I cannot give my vote to anyone who is prepared to instal the untrustworthy Corbyn as Prime Minister, the unpleasant Marxist McDonnell as Chancellor, and the frankly laughable Abbott as Home Secretary. That trio of Orwellian clowns? No thank you very much, Nicola!

To prevent that calamity I’m prepared to give up on my lifelong ambition. On June 8 I will be doing something I never thought I’d do again.

Categories: Politics

Shambles 

March 22, 2017 1 comment

I went to Edinburgh today. I had two meetings, so I took my car, to see if it was as bad as I had heard.

It wasn’t. It was much, much worse. 

I can only hope that they let the lunatics take over the asylum, for they have to do a better job than the councillors.

Categories: General, Politics

Cleft stick

March 14, 2017 2 comments

Here’s the way it is.

In the Independence Referendum, I voted Yes, because I’m passionately Scottish, and I believe that my nation can not only survive but be a force in the modern world.

In the EU Referendum I voted Leave, because I do not wish my grandson to be a citizen of the monstrous, ungovernable, riven Federal European State that I believe is  inevitable. There’s already talk of the French ceding control of its nuclear deterrent to Europe.

Now Nicola wants me to vote again. She’s asking me to choose between remaining British or remaining European. The dozy mare is asking me to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Sorry lass, my grandson will always win.

 

Categories: General, Politics

Fall of the dinosaurs

Time to stick my head above the parapet, re Muirfield.
First, I’m pleased the HCEG has reached the decision it has, for its own sake. It’s the people who know least who have had the most to say about the issue. Ignorance is never a good a starting point for a debate, but much of what’s been written on social media has been mere abuse. Even in the wake of a positive vote that hasn’t changed.
I don’t know the whole story but I know some of it, having lived more or less next door to the place for 46 years. In that time I’ve played the course twice, but I know several Muirfield members and none of them are dinosaurs. Today is the second occasion on which theyve voted to admit lady members, having been hangstrung by their constitution first time around.
Golf is a competitive game played largely by men against men and women against women, so it’s not unnatural that separate men’s and ladies’ clubs have evolved over the years. They were what they were but some were more exclusive than others. In the case of Muirfield, when the first lady member tees off she will not be the first lady to have played the course, not by a long chalk. There’s a legend of another club where ladies were not permitted to walk in front of the clubhouse windows.
As for the Open, Muirfield doesn’t need it financially, and I’m told that many within the club would prefer if it remained off the Championship rota. But it will be returned, and every twelve years or so Muirfield’s members will continue to enable the substantial contribution to the Scottish economy that it brings.
Categories: General, Politics, Sport