Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category


July 27, 2018 1 comment

Somewhere along the line I got to like Ed Balls. It didn’t dawn on me until I saw him on Peston one Sunday, talking eminent sense about an issue of the day. I’m not sure when the conversion happened, but it may have begun with the grace and dignity with which he lost his parliamentary seat.

I heard him this morning on Chris Evans, plugging his new BBC2 series on Trump’s America. At the end of his segment Chris E tried to ask him if he would ever return to British politics. He fudged the answer, but he didn’t say no.

I would welcome him back, as would, I suspect, a few million lifelong Labour voters who are appalled by what has happened to their party. I might even vote for him.

Categories: General, Politics


Just a thought. Is The Donald’s age starting to show? (We’re pretty much contemporaries, and although I may have a higher IQ, I wouldn’t fancy running America.)

Categories: General, Politics

Mother Theresa

July 10, 2018 2 comments

My Labour friends have been insisting that the present government is our worst ever. I can’t agree with that; I still award that indistinction to the Callaghan administration. It’s close though.To me Theresa has the edge, because she has a policy and she’s defending it, whereas old Jim didn’t have much idea of what was going on around him. The problem I have with her is that she seems to have stood on the sidelines while quietly undermining her chief negotiator before coming up with a Brexit objective that resembles a comfortable seat on the fence, which is pretty much the position she took all the way through the referendum campaign. ‘Brexit means Brexit’, she cries, but in fact to her Brexit means what she says Brexit is.I don’t belong to a political party any longer, but if I was still a card carrying Conservative with a vote, then given any acceptable alternative, I would want her out, because I just don’t trust her.

Categories: Politics


June 25, 2018 1 comment

I know some good people in California and I’m afraid I upset them by posting stuff that’s critical of their President. They voted for lower taxes and a change in the Washington culture and that’s what they’re getting. They’re concerned about immigration too, and I can understand that. They point out that human trafficking is an issue and I have no trouble accepting that. However that makes the people being trafficked victims too, and their situation is not helped by having their families torn apart.

If the administration ever had need of a single clear calm voice, it is now. I am sharing the following because it demonstrates that need.

Some of the things that Trump is doing, he was voted in to do. But in his constant attacks on any sentient journalist who disagrees with him, and by the multiplicity of voices he is allowing to defend his policies, any way they like, he is creating one of the greatest communications fuck-ups of all time.

— Read on

Categories: Politics


As we stumble towards the Sortida from the European Union, an era-changing event which will take place under the supervision of a minority government that is itself significantly split on the issue and under attack from so-called democrats who choose to ignore or try to circumvent a clear majority vote, (among these I include the newly emboldened David Miliband, a man who lacked the guts to run against Gordon Brown, then pissed off to New York in a huff when his kid brother frustrated his own assumed succession) I am struck by a non-presence, a great awkward gas cloud floating around hoping that once the carnage is over it can coalesce and become a star once more.

How about that for bullshit? It’s appropriate though, for I am talking about David Cameron. Two years ago, when the electorate told him to his face that he isn’t nearly as clever as he thought, he dragged his serene and lovely wife out of Downing Street and ran the fuck away from the mess he had created, giving a very fair impression of a snivelling coward. And he’s barely been seen since. Okay, if you’re a regular attender on the grand a plate dinner circuit you may have seen him, but as far as the rest of us are concerned he has nicked Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility and slytherined back to wizarding school to resit his finals.

Seriously, where the hell is he? Having made the mess by his careless concession of a referendum why isn’t he front and centre in dealing with the aftermath rather than the hopeless, sorry, hapless David Davis, under the beady eye of Professor MacGonnagall herself, who is now recognised as the worst of a bad lot?

Thinking back two years, to the day it all came down and I woke to discover to my great surprise that for once in my life I had backed the winner, I believe something firmly now that took a while to dawn on me. David Cameron’s behaviour then, in fleeing from the consequences of his action, and his subsequent silence, makes Neville Chamberlain look like Genghis fucking Khan.

Categories: Politics

Long listed

Without debating this case, if the Review is correct in saying that the Crown Office is dodging its legal obligations for up to four years, to take the heat off the Scottish Justice Department, that’s scandalous. Queen Nicola needs to act.

Scottish Review: Kenneth Roy
— Read on

Categories: General, Politics


Categories: General, Politics, Videos

With friends like Rudy …

Categories: General, Politics

F******* nuts!

Categories: General, Politics


And so farewell, Mariano Rajoy. The Catalans will have to be released now, to make room for him.

Categories: General, Politics


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


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

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.

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

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


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