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

Update

News for Bob’s followers: Skinner 28, officially titled ‘State Secrets’, with thanks to Marion Donaldson, my brilliant editor, is scheduled for publication on October 19. Meanwhile the paperback edition of Game Over is due in bookshops on September 7.
 
For those who can’t wait and like ebooks, there’s also the reincarnation of Oz Blackstone, in two short stories on Amazon, Born to be Wild, and The Last Chickenpig, to be followed next Thursday, by a third, The Quasimodo Trunk.
Categories: General

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

Oz and son, on the trail

The promise will be kept: the third Oz Blackstone short, The Quasimodo Trunk, will be published on Amazon in ebook format next Thursday, June 15, and will be available for pre-order worldwide very soon. If you need to catch up, its predecessors, Born to be Wild, and The Last Chickenpig, are live and available in the same place.

Categories: General

Stifling a yawn, . . . 

Since the programme for Bloody Scotland was published a few days ago, I’ve been asked by a few people why I won’t be there.

The short answer is, I don’t really know. I was available, as I have been for every year of Bloody Scotland’s blessed existence save one when my wife was recuperating from illness, but the feedback one of my supporters was given by the Director, my good friend Big Bob, was that this year the committee had decided to ‘rest me’.

Well this is how it plays. I’ve been active, and moderately successful, in Scottish crime fiction since some of the emerging talent, for whom, make no mistake, I have great admiration and respect, were in primary school, or maybe even being toilet trained. Given that, maybe ‘the committee’ can be forgiven for believing that I’m tired! For the record, I’m not. I was out tonight and bumped into a Welsh mate of mine. He and I are kindred spirits of the same age and temperament, and he was there with his two year-old.

For the last two years I’ve been working my nuts off adding four more Skinner books to the Scottish crime catalogue, which, I believe, promotes us all. Between those I’m presently working on a short story that I’m loving and which I hope will nudge the envelope still further. Maybe I will tire soon, but at my age all you can do is keep going until you hit the buffers, like Thomas the Tank Engine in my grandson’s favourite story book.

Is QJ annoyed by missing Bloody Scotland this year? He’s so fucking annoyed that he’s starting to refer to himself in the Third person, and trust me, that’s always a bad sign. (Doesn’t prevent him from wishing everyone involved success and a weekend of packed events, though.)

Got to go now. It’s a holiday where I am and I’m off out clubbing.

Categories: General

Teatime

Categories: Uncategorized

Alves: Barca still in my blood

Read this and share, please. Inspirational.

http://www.skysports.com/share/10900477

Categories: Sport

A living legend

My dear wife is from England. We were discussing telly and stuff tonight when I mentioned a name unfamiliar to her. Any Scot of a certain age will remember her, though, the lady who blazed the trail for Jackie Bird, Hazel Irvine and many others. I had the joy of meeting her once: she was as regal and downright nice off screen as on. I offer you the legend,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Marquis

Categories: General

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

Lest we forget

Categories: Uncategorized

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

Summed up

Categories: General

Concern

An odd thing to say on WordPress, but I am coming to fear that if our society falls to pieces it won’t be because of Isis or Al Qaeda. 

It will be the fault of social media and its facility for people to express their prejudices, their intolerance and their downright hatred for those with whom they disagree, in the most vicious and provocative of language.

I’m on Facebook and the like for two reasons: business, because that’s how publishers do most of their marketing these days, and to engage amiably with genuine friends and those who show genuine friendship towards me. I’m not there to be exposed to fundamentalism in any way, but make no mistake, it takes many forms, it is alive and well and at the heart of ‘our’ society. 

The boy Zuckerberg has a vision of bringing the world together. Sadly it’s more likely that he’s playing a central role in breaking it apart. 

IMHO, as we say in the chat rooms.

Categories: General

Twin Peaks 

Such utter nonsense.

Categories: General

Manchester 

The world’s a hateful place. How do we explain that to our grandchildren.

Categories: General

Invidious

https://www.europeantour.com/en/whistle-blowing/

Read what’s on this link and tell me if you’re as disturbed as I am that a professional body that oversees as much wealth as the European Tour should operate a system that appears to give free rein to any nutter with a grudge.

Categories: Sport

Hello

I heard a guy say on radio this morning, ‘Adele is worth £125 million.’

So am I, mate. I don’t have £125 million, but that’s by the by.

Categories: General

Wisdom

Categories: Uncategorized