Nearly a Statistic


The rain passed over early and by 8 O’clock it was looking fine, clearing skies, the strengthening wind sending the clouds scurrying on their way into the North Sea. The low morning sun glistening off the wet roads was troublesome so my sunglasses were pressed into service. The wind was beginning to strengthen and I was starting to feel the lack of winter miles in my legs, however, cycling is as much about mental strength as physical, so I reminded myself how good this strong wind was, eating away at all those extra pounds that had accumulated over the winter, and how when I turned for home the wind that was proving to be my adversary would be a driving force for a speedy homeward bounder. And so it proved, bombing along at 25kph on effortless peddles, I’m working on the ‘new me’.

Feeling good, I toasted soda bread for breakfast and I already feel the need to be out and about may walk as far as the harbour, and if I carry an umbrella with me I can have a ‘pockey hat’ ice cream under its protection and in the relative safety from marauding, mugging gulls. “Walter Triumphs over Gulls” read the headlines.

Feeling in such a good mood that I don’t want to turn on the television today, more so the depressing news, what will it be today, a US spokesperson standing behind his podium and in front of old glory telling us how many billion dollars that the American taxpayer is donation to Americas proxy war in Ukraine. Of course, the Westminster government would love to show its solidarity, in line with our Americana friends by sending a few billion dollars too, but then we need all of our, boa bees to shore up our economy that is now in meltdown. Or how China is unfit to broker, a ceasefire or advocate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, seems China is not only biased but they have an atrocious human rights record,

(Tell me again about Abu Ghraib prison, and Guantanamo, and ………..)

Our world is on fire requiring all the nations of the world to come together to solve a catastrophe equal only to nuclear war, and we have the richest nations in the world, rather than setting a good example, barely on speaking terms. Decades on from the first climate change talks – we had the Paris agreement – then the Glasgow COP(out) – the North African COP(out). Still, be positive Hamilton they did talk about future talks, whilst all the time the fire grows and is proving ever more difficult to extinguish.

As for the British media well they have no time for such silliness as climate change, they have ‘Partygate’ and the Brexit – NI deal, and how to legally send back refugees to – well, anywhere.

They talk about how much it is costing for hotel accommodation, (the symptoms) rather than concentrate on why these people risk life and limb to come here in the first place, (a cure). Why do they come? Maybe life in refugee camps, some the size of small cities, broken economies indebted to the IMF, has become intolerable. The boat people do not come here for no reason, they come because of the unbearable conditions they are being forced to live in. their plight in the main lies at the door of the rich western country who have exploited their countries for generations (and continue to do so) by war, causing destruction and disease, leading to famine, Western companies corrupting their leaders, in bed with oil companies who pay royalties directly into their private US bank accounts rather than the countries exchequer. What is the real source of their suffering?  Might it not be interference by the greedy “Developed” nations, who exploit these “Third-World” nations of their natural resources, or the high-end cloth shops in Paris, London, and New York that pay sweatshop wages to girls in Taiwan to produce their goods?  And in the US and UK, Goldwin Sacs, Wells Fargo, City Bank …… the money men of Wall Street who have turned all natural resources into a commodity and use computer algorithms to buy and sell them at the speed of light. These buccaneers, of the brave new world, legally steal the wealth of nations (because they make the law through their paid for politicians) and force an ever-widening gap between the filthy rich, and the filthy bairns in their mud huts in Africa, Asia, and now the streets of Scotland.

Let us hear the truth from the BBC, ITV, and Sky News, about the inequalities in our world not what the stock market is skimming off the top today. Make it possible to travel the world to work and play on a visa, travel in perfect safety by plane, boat, train or bus (no people smugglers involved, no risky leaky rubber boat crossing involved) then the government would be under no obligation to feed or house anyone, they would have to come as a visitor on a short term visa, or to work in any country, (and if they wish, apply for citizenship) pay their way, or take up employment, obliging them to pay their taxes if the second option was their choice, (we do not ask why young Australians have come to this country – only which London pub they will be working in?) so no longer a burden on the British taxpayer but an asset. Then again, it is not like we need young talented workers to fill the gaping hole in hospitals and care home staff, in IT to expand our economy…….. Past time to rethink the Tory’s policy on refugees and economic migrants into the UK, stop building refugee camps and use such ‘manna from heaven’ to defuse Britain’s demographic time bomb, year on year we hear the statistics, how the death rate in Scotland now outstrips births (despite Sturgeons Baby Box incentive) and you have to wonder how many retirees are selling up in England and moving to Scotland to take advantage of free prescriptions – adding to the demographic time bomb.  Doesn’t it make you right-scunnered?

You disagree, just remember what it was like when we were part of the EU, did we not have dedicated care staff many coming from the Baltic States (new EU members) to work and take up residence in Scotland? Free travel areas were a blessing then, now we have a drawbridge mentality (taking back control) aye right? Were we then paying top dollar to agencies to supply workers (privatization by the back door) to fill the gaping holes in our NHS staff and care sector numbers? (And who will pick the berries now?) – ask the Scottish fishermen if they would still be so keen to vote for Brexit as they were conned into doing “Take back control”? Do the Tories care a shit about you industry now – or those of the lobster and crap fishermen?

Why did it change – Simply really, Wall Street and the City of London did not want the EU rules and courts the curb their money laundering and money-making systems, their market model, or make commodities (vital to us all) exempt from market forces.

Climbs down from his soapbox

 Met up with a neighbour on my way back home along Market Street, she was laden down with groceries so I carried one of her bags for her. She tells me that she has not been well, seems there is a lot of illness going around City Park at this time. Her husband came to the door – he is looking very old and not well himself, ho-hum.

It was a red letter (or should that not be a red parcel) day on my return to the flat, an inflating camping/travel pillow, from my brother, I assumed by the handwriting on the package (a man of few words). I wonder if it will outperform a rolled-up jumper. The pillow is already a seasoned traveller having come from China to England and now some 500 miles further to my home in Scotland. I hope that America never carries out its threat to sanction China, (for Britain will be forced to follow suit) Oh help ma boab, what would we do then? How would Amazon survive?

The second package came from South Africa (this would only be sent at the recipients risk, and I had to sign a declaration (agree) to say I would accept those terms) and talk about a get-out-of-jail-free card. Thankfully it arrived safe and well, I’m delighted to say, and well worth the long wait, for delivery. It was (another) CD (not available in the UK) of that brilliant singing prodigy, Amira Willighagen. Amira born to of Dutch father and South African mother (and where I’m sure her natural rhythm, and unique voice comes, her voice is unbelievable for one so young and a joy to listen to.

One of the numbers on this CD is that old standard Plaisir D’Amour (where did I put those paper hankies). I have copies of this song sung by Joan Baez (I actually heard her singing this live in a concert in Shipley West Yorkshire) also by Nana Mouskouri, who is fluent in French (along with half a dozen other languages) I love her singing in German, “Weisse Rosen aus Athen”. She sings in French with all that greeeeeee trilling in the voice that the French do, and last but by no means least, Edith Piaf who brought it onto the world stage. However, this young lass well, what does one say – she sings like an angel. It would be very difficult for me to pick a favourite from this truly brilliant recording, however, I was blown away by her performance of “How Great Thou Art” truly, truly – words fail me.

Pat was at the door – a wee job for me, she had ordered large pebbles, for her plant pots to sit on; alas they were delivered in bags that she could not move far less lift – time to call in yours truly, muggings. I jest I do not mind – be but for fortune go I. 

Made myself custard with the extra milk, just about to get stuck in, knock at the door, Pat once more, could I help a neighbour with her new wheelchair – seems it is temporary until she gets her electric one delivered. Simple enough to open and close but not if you can not stand without the support of a Zimmer. The chair is not one she can propel herself, so will be of little use to her unless she has a big strong man to propel it along. I think she has a son who pops in from time to time. “I never thought it would come to this – needing a wheelchair” she told me – none of us know what tomorrow will bring – I replied.  


The day blew in strong, gusting gale force, and the bike constantly buffeted off course keeping me off the main roads and on the cycle path as far as Guardbridge, a sare caw until I turned for home.

Very similar to sailing, you beat into the storm on an outward leg, always noisy, with the yacht, dipping headlong into a cross sea, waves crashing against the hull, canvas taut, bending the mast, the windward rigging strains against its pull, the lee standing rigging slackens, and begins to sing, its song of freedom – then the buoy coming up on your starboard quarter. You drop the headsail, quickly haul the line, pushing the spinnaker boom out its full three meters, and raise the Gennaker, a few minutes of well-rehearsed frantic activity, the yacht healing alarmingly as she broadsides the wind, near knockdown, however, she heels – starboard rail now deep in the water, the wind spills from the sail and she rites herself.  Then the run for home and the world goes unbelievably quiet, and although the speed had increased dramatically, planning-down the wind. The speed is always deceptive for now you seem to be reduced to a leisurely pace, by the reduced noise, level decks, and smoothness of the yacht’s progress, you are at 22 knots in a 25 ft carbon-fibre yacht, if you do not feel alive now, then you never will.

On my homeward journey, I call in at the riding school and asked if I could have a few bags of manure for the garden – “help yourself, take as much as you like” I was told. On my return, I parked the bike and fitted the M/C cover in the boot of the car as a tidy, a few bags and a snow shovel and a set off back to the riding school.

Oh, no! Help ma boab, there was a lad with a machine loading the manure into a large trailer, thankfully he left me sufficient for my needs, four bags should do the trick.

I have ordered Dalmation, Lupin, Lavender, and a packet of Giant Russian Sunflower seed, from DT Brown seeds, it will take a year or so for the plot to mature but that’s nature for you – plants grow at their own pace. “A time to reap a time to sow …. a time for every purpose under heaven” Turn, turn, turn


The high winds of yesterday had moderated, but still, a stiff breeze, forcing me to drop into a lower cog on the road to Pitscottie, the time was around 8 O’clock when I left home, I was feeling good and putting a bit of effort into my work. Turning down into Dura Den and into shelter and out of the wind, this section is also very much downhill as far as the Eden Bridge, and an exciting ride to boot. The climb up onto Knock Hill was surprisingly easy today, aided by any wind that was coming up out of the valley. Then the long downhill, through Strathkinness and on into St Andrews, never dropping below 30kph, after cresting the summit of Knock Hill, a supppppppppperb, morning ride and a fast one too arriving home at twenty-five minutes past nine.

Perfect – well not really I had almost been added to the statistics of cyclists killed on our roads every year.

I was on the B939 out of St Andrews, almost level with the road end to the Burnside farm, on my right. I saw the red pickup truck coming up the driveway from the farm, a track that rises as it approaches the main road, so the driver would be high enough behind the wheel to see up and down the B939 being pretty straight at this point – no cars, or lorries to be seen, so without hesitation he, drove out onto the road and straight into the side of a cyclist – me. As he turned towards Strathkinness crossroads, I was first hit a glancing blow by the front near side wing then the wing mirror clouted me in the upper arm. The wing mirror hit the door with such a bang that he must have realized he had hit something but drove on. I was forced to go grass tracking into the high grass kerb the bike stopped trapped I didn’t and ended up in the ditch. I feel fortunate that no serious damage was done to me or the bike, badly shaken but not stirred.

I will report this incident to the police, not that anything can be done, but drivers need to be made aware of their responsibility to cyclists – the problem is that the last time most car drivers in this country were on a bike it had stabilisers, if you are not looking for cyclists – you will not see them – even when they are right under their nose.


I awoke this morning stiff as washing left out on a frosty night, however like being thrown from a horse always best to get right back on. The wind although light was cold enough to sting at my face, as I peddled life back into my legs. I chose the back road that climb slowly from home up to the 90 meters contour at Strathkinness. I then turned right at the crossroad for Guardbridge 2.5 miles from here, the view, as ever spectacular, all the way down across the Eden estuary. The tide was low spring and full out all the way to the sand bar, the wet sand shining like quicksilver. The road drops all the way back down to sea level from here, a 50 kph fast ride, the road newly laid and wide so no breaking necessary just take a racing line, out to the crown of the road and a sweeping curve back to the banking once more, epic. The wind carried me home from here along the cycle path, short and sweet, home 50 minutes after I had left and feeling good after the exercise.

Unwinding to the CD of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, when you know the opera this well you really do not have to sit and watch it, for the action will unfolds in you head as the music plays on, so allowing you to carry on working around the house whilst still enjoying the opera, both at the same time.

So breakfast now and then what will I do with the rest of my day? Decisions, decisions – Oh, almost forgot – its Friday – dinning in night – fish and chip suppers (bring your own wine).

Keep save


“The Law is an Ass”


Rain first thing this morning but cleared by 9 am so was able to put a few miles in – out to Guardbridge and back by Strathkinness. As the day brightened I had thought about taking the pod out onto the grass, but aired on the side of caution, still too cold for epoxy and fibreglass.

And although the weather is warming the forecast is for a weeklong worth of rain, I beg your pardon, for I never promised you a rose garden……..

Pat, was at the door, wanting me to put up a fly screen at her back door, she lead me through to see what she wanted to be done. The curtain was already up but, it was a mess, I hate fixing someone else’s work.

Charles came in and I mention Pat and her curtain – I don’t know who put it up but they hadn’t a clue – it was me, he said. Now Charles is not daft, I think this is his way of not being asked again.

So, that was the start of yet one more “ordinary” weekend, in the life of an old-age-pensionerby  at City Park, St Andrews.   

Sunday, the rain had passed early – Pat had offered me the strip of garden, (only the three flats on that side of our corridor have a garden outside their door). Pat had tried to do something with it buying all sorts of plants but I think she has given up on establishing a garden. So I put on my gardening hat and did a bit of tiding up around the place. I will simply plant Perennials – Sweet William, Lupin, Dalmation, maybe Lavender along the border, an old cottage border garden. It will take a wee while for it to establish itself but should make a nice show for all to enjoy once they come to maturity

“Who will Guard the Guards”

Is the International Criminal Court (ICC) now being used by western governments in their propaganda wars?

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for the Russian President – his crime he abducting children from Ukraine, and moving them to Russia.

What hypocrisy is this?

During the Second World War (1939 – 1945) children were taken from every orphanage in Britain (regardless of their location) and shipped off to Australia and Canada, (read the book The Singing Ship). No one cried War Crime, or asked for anyone in the British establishment to be served with an arrest warrant for abducting children and sending them from their homes to some land foreign to them. Why would they, they were only protecting the children from the possibility of being killed by enemy bombers, aye right.?

Many of those children when they grow into adulthood still angry at their treatment, having been sent to Australia and Canada, many to become cheap labour on some outback farm, the girls, domestic servants, or worse. However when they tried to bring this to light, they were told, that was a different time and a different set of circumstances. It was done with the children’s welfare in mind.

“We must not judge by our law as it stands now, but by the law, as it stood at the time” is that our get-out-of-jail-free card?

So not to empty all the orphanages in the UK where they were costing money to keep, best ship them off to foreign lands (better for them – better for us) to become….. what? And after the war, sorry, it was always going to be a one-waywa ticket and no guarantee. Where was the International Criminal Court then?

Despite calls from Aljazeera, to the International Criminal Court to investigate the shooting at point-blank range one of their correspondents (armed only with a sharp pencil, a sharp mind and sharp tong, enabled to report human rights abuses by Israel of the Palestinian people) the International Criminal Court has stayed deaf to their request – not that any investigation leading to an arrest warrant being issued would force the Israeli government to even admit that their soldier was responsible far less allow any one of them to be arrested, and with the might of the US behind them the,y will never be asked to do so.

Just as the American soldiers will never be asked to answer for their war crimes in Iraq, the inhumane treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and 75 other sites in Iraq – photographs evidence of rape and torture, human atrocities, so horrific it defies description, and not seen since the death camps of the Second World War, yet it did hhahappenas it will happen in future war ,unless the ICC acts against the perpetrators – but will never be allowed to do so. Afghanistan…….. And on and on, or what about the US government will they be taken to task for their illegal war in Iraq? Or the treatment of rendition peoples in Guantanamo, different times different rules different law. What worth the International Criminal Court?

Despite the television footage bebeamingamed around the world of aalalaws Israeli soldier firing from the safety of the Israeli side of the fence (border) into Palestinian territory (the Gaza Strip) shooting dozens of innocent and unarmed children in their legs – where was the International Criminal Court?

A young 15-year-old, British girl (born in Britain) ran away from home to join the war in Iraq, and although that war is over and all who fought in that war and survived, have been allowed to returned return home. She the only one of the three teenagers to survive the horrors of that war has been denied that right to return home, her citizenship revoked and she has now been forced to languish in a refugee camp. Where for her the International Criminal Court, or International Court of Human Rights, or UN, all these expensive paper tigers?

How many young men (and girls) ran off to fight in the Peninsular Wars, First World War………. boys and girls, like these three young innocent children, heads full of ideology, off to aid their soldiers that would fight the good fight, where they stripped of their citizenship? Will those that have left Britain to fight in Ukraine, or girls that go to Ukraine as nurses and aid workers (misguided or not) be expelled from this country, stripped of their citizenship? 

Hypocritical Rule OK – and always a solution to Britain’s “people problem” be they children born here, the Windrush generation, or those refugees arriving in rubber boats, escaping the carnage reaped upon their lands by war, (mostly by, or instigated by, the US and the UK and certainly fuelled by arms supplied by both) – what will the UK do, invite them in with open arms (as they have the refugees of Ukraine) or pay foreign governments (France) to detain them in Europe, or if they do make it to safety on English shores, what safety will they find there? – Shipped off to some foreign land, in a deal brokered with some poor nation with a corrupt president in Southern Africa to take them in – e away the one-way ticket and no guarantee, where is the International Criminal Court, International Court of Human Rights or UN? If the UK is rreally concerned about the plight of these boat people – offer them a visa to come into the country legally by train, plane or by bus. I found it easier to travel across countries in Europe without being asked for any form of ID until I tried to return to the UK, drawbridge England.

If the International Criminal Court were interested in serving arrest warrants for war crimes start with Bush and Bair dragging them to The Hague. No war crime warrant for Blair, he gets the job as “Peace Envoy” to the Middle East (arms dealer) and thousands of pounds per hour on the lecture circuit – Oh, and to add insult to injury – Britain’s highest civil award, International Criminal Court justice, Aye right. 

And not only internationally

In Scotland we had the ‘Show’ trial of Alex Salmond – Salmond was a threat to the British establishment, therefore his credibility had to be taken away (who would vote for a convicted sex offender ever again?) The trial when it came was a farce; the defence crumbled, and one of the witnesses, who had accused Salmon of rape – wasn’t even there on the night of the alleged crime. Not guilty on all accounts said the jury, why even the Judge said it should never have come to court. But that did not stop the English controlled media from telling the world that there was no smoke without fire. Did English-controlled leleleadtheEnglish-controlled thBC, that bastion of truth and light, quickly put out a documentary on prime time television – the facts of the case and ended by suggesting to the listener Salmon was guilty as charged? It would seem that our courts failed us, the judge and the jury got it wrong, a miscarriage of justice, or did Salmon get off on a technicality? Hanging is too good for Salmon they cried. Guilty as Charged said the BBC.  

Yet a journalist (Jigsaw Man) was sent to prison for saying something (that was already in the public domain, published in a “Scottish” newspaper) however, the judge decided that pieces of his article could have led to the identification of one or more of the witnesses (who had immunity against prosecution even for perjury) Smacks of Julian Assange, a journalist who dared to tell the truth about war crimes perpetrated by American forces, still locked up without trial, his liberty taken from him and his careers in taters, this is the power of money in the hands of powerful men, who control our media, and it would seem they have now corrupted even our justice system.

The biggest threat to all our liberties is “Lobbyists” bankrolled by powerful men that turn nature into a supermarket and buy corrupt politicians tempting them with easy money.   

The whole thing stunk to the high heavens, corruption at the highest levels of government (north and south of the border) – involving governments, Scotland’s Advocate, Civil Service, Police Scotland, and the Procurator Fiscals office, all now tainted by corruption – for they went along with the deception, for it came from the top “Westminster” the order had gone out “Get Salmon” stop any move towards Scotland ever taking control of its natural resources and taking control of its affairs – in short, becoming a “Normal” independent nation once more.  

The problem in our modern world is that there is no head to cut off the world is run by a conglomerate (the 1% the super rich) that has control of the money and the markets and the markets control the decisions that our politicians “have” to make, government polices that in turn affect everything in our lives, foreign policy (that favours the 1%) defence, poor housing with high rents from the buy to rent sector, the food we eat, (or can’t afford to eat – leading to food banks, a growth industry) the healthcare provided, (ever lengthening waiting times – unless you can afford to go private) our water and its quality (a human right for ever person on earth – under the UN charter – but only if it is ratified and enforced and already America, Britain and Australia refuse to sign up, so like the League of Nations – the UN – the Court of Human Rights, now the ICC, with its arrest warrants, not worth the paper they are written on (Putin will visit South Africa in the Summer – lets see if he is arrested there – dream on) this court has allowed itself to be used, and now abused, and turned into just another expensive hot air debating chamber – one more paper tigers.  

Conglomerates control us – and we have been conditioned to be subservient to them, by allowing all natures natural resources (once under the control, of the people’s parliament) to be turned into commodities to be bought and sold on the open market. These are the 1o buy back their own shares to keep the stock market prices high and do not allow the financiers (banks) to go belly up by using taxpayers’ money to bail them out. There seems no escape, for we have witnessed how any country (almost every country in South America) that will not bend to their rules, will quickly be taken over, under the disguise of a “Popular” coup (orchestrated by the American CIA). We have seen (at Westminster) how prime ministers that try to buck the system, (their masters) are treated, blood on the carpet in the Commons.

However, small nations are much better at the government for the people, more flexible in their economies, so able to make better choices (more local) and have greater control over their neural resources – more self-sufficient, and one more reason to be a small independent country, than be part of a system that is just one big black hole (London) that sucks all the wealth unto itself, and is controlled by the City of London, – controlled by Wall Street, – controlled by the 1%.

We talked about the jute workers in Dundee, forced to live in squalor, and work in unhealthy jute mills – many died before ever reaching puberty and those that survived into their teens barely made it out of their teens. That was 150 years ago, the people had little choice – to accept these conditions or those of the workhouse or – starve. The rich mill owners set the terms, money poured into their façade, of town halls, townhouses, office buildings and bank buildings, all of these buildings we admire in every city across Europe today, all built during the 1800s. This was the start of a divided people, separated by wealth. And at the industrial revolution sped on, the inequality gap only widened. The changes in the past 50 years have been astonishing, however, are we to return to the good old days of “work old horse and you will get corn” although modern robotics will take on the roll of the labourer – the heavy lifting – it will also widen the gap of inequality.

The money accumulated from the new technical advances will only flow one way and not be shared equally – unless we revolt and force change – for all should share in the prosperity of this country’s wealth – we see it happening in the Far East, and with the coming together of Russia and China it will take root in Russia too. It is not enough for a nation to move forward, it must take its people with them.

When I add up all the cococosts

What we have gained,

What we have lost,

I can’t help thinking,

We have been taken for a ride.

Stay safe.


“Nature’s Supermarket”


I received my delivery of plywood before I was due to go to Probus so off I went to hear Dr Gordon shepherd, his talk was called “Heckling” and of course was not so much about shouting at a speaker than about where the word originated from – the jute industry in Dundee.

The good doctor himself was an interesting lad, he played rugby, for Scotland, in his day – and we found out later that both his two sons followed dads footsteps into medicine and yes, they both played rugby for Scotland, quite a family.

The first stage in the jute manufacturing process is to grab a bundle of jute stems and pull them through a block covered in spikes – a bit like a comb. This teases out the seed pods from the end of the bundle before they were turned into something resembling yarn for weaving.

At that time the workers had debating chambers where union meetings were held and the speaker on stage would have questions called to him from the floor of the hall, ‘teasing’ out the answers hence the name “Heckling”

The good doctor had researched the jute industry at length and gave a remarkable insight to the jute industry in Dundee where there were more than 300 mills at the height of the industry.

He also went into the poor housing, sanitation and overcrowding that caused much of the deceases like cholera, rickets and TB…..

I love social history and have visited the jute mill museum in Dundee (which is actually one of the old mills) a more enlightened trip than you will receive from going to the overrated V&A.

 I have a rather macabre interest in cemeteries – on visiting the one in Pittenweem you will find that those buried there, at the turn of the century, lived to a ripe old age, even by modern standards. Then again, they had a healthy diet of fish and open air living, along with carting great creels of fish up that hill, all good for a long healthy lifestyle.

Dundee on the other hand – go to the little graveyard in the centre of Dundee and you will find that many never made it into their 30s never mind old age.

Burns wrote about how industry had damaged his health, so from the 1700s they knew of industrial diseases, such as silicosis, and lung diseases from coal dust, stone dust, fibres, from cotton, linen and jute mills. Now I can understand the mill, pit or quarry owners not being overly concerted about the health of their workers, when they were queuing outside the factory gates to get in, but you would have thought that if for no other reason than self preservation alone workers would have tried to protect them selves by wearing some form of mask of bandana (like cowboys when driving cattle to keep the dust out of their mouths.)

Then again people today still smoke even although they know the consequences. I was passing workmen the other day digging up a roadway to do a repair, one was using a Sthil saw, and dust was flying up in his face however he was not wearing a mask or goggles. It seems to be an idiosyncrasy of man, to self-destruct even knowing the risks. When you are young you believe you are indestructible (it will not happen to me) it is only when you grow into old age that you start looking after your health – for by then you realise how precious our health is – too little too late of course by then.          

Although cold, the day was a good one weather-wises, home and after a pot of tea I could not wait to start on the sheet of plywood – would it do the job, I wondered.

I brought it into the living room, the only place I would be able to measure and cut it to size, I’m getting better it fitted AOK. However over time the outer bulkheads had warped making it difficult to sew the two parts together so I cut some glue blocks and glued them in place, now I have to wait until the glue is dry before I can fix it – but all in all it will work.

I am pleased I chose 8mm now for it has a bit of strength to it. The whole body is starting to feel strong and ridged now and once the epoxy and fibreglass ribbon is in place it will be able to withstand an artillery shell from one of those German tank, they are sending to Ukraine. However, like all these things you learn as you go along and if I were to make another it would be different, and easier next time around.

Now that we are moving into April, I would hope to get it back out onto the grass and finish the sanding and epoxy and fibreglass ribbon along the seams – there should be enough epoxy to at least coat the roof keeping it watertight and able to withstand some abuse. Then will come the solar panels on the roof (you get them flexible now) I had one on my boat (trickle charging the starter battery) and two on my campervan run through an inverter (from 12V to 240V) so I could charge my laptop and run my TV/DVD player (getting away from it all, by taking it all with me) therefore I know what works and how to put it together, and of course they are so much cheaper than when I first started dabbling with this sort of technology.

The trout fishing season is now open and I though I would try Cameron Reservoir first since it is just up the road – close enough to get there on my bike. It is not the cheapest at £20 for a two hour permit but you do get a boat, or fishing off the shore. But the bumf they put out said they had restocked and there are some big trout to be had. Pike you must return to the reservoir (unharmed). I never understood that, surly, being cannibal fish, Pike will be as partial to a nice bit of trout as we are.   

There are around 12 places to fish in Fife (other than rivers) including Lomond Hill Fisheries, at half the cost and again free boats. But the one I would like to fish is Loch Leven.  Maybe that could be my next challenge to fish all the lochs and reservoirs in Fife.


10am today Charles and I took off on the bus for Dundee it was cold but we were both dressed well against the weather. It was, as ever, slow progress, stopping for a wee sit down and a fag then a pull at his inhaler to get us to the next stop or charity shop (and yes, breakfast at Wetherspoons) – in one I bought another Lee Child book – I read the first few pages and the story did not leap out at me – however that is no guarantee that I have not read it before. Charles bought, yet another walking stick, and two more watches, he has a fetish for watches, and he never renews the batteries when they stop, yet continues to wear them, so it makes no sense, a watch that is only right twice a day is of little use to anyone.

It was after 2 O’clock in the afternoon before we arrived home, I was beat, he wears me out with his constant rhetorical questions – repeated over and over until you acknowledge, even if it is only with a grunt, he always reminds me of the poem Boy in the Train by Margaret C Smith, the wee boy constantly chattering.

There were pickets out at the Caird Hall, not the junior doctors, but general workers – if the government does not get real they will have a genera strike on their hands – mind you I have not seen the budget yet – that nice Chancellor of the Exchequer may have solved all our pressing financial problems by spreading money around like confetti – oh, I forgot he is a Tory chancellor – dream on, bailing out the failed banks in America (for anything that affects the American financial market effects the City of London, and Europe, and they must be bailed out) then we will have had, pandering to the arms trade lobby, so far this year, £25 million plus 2% GDP now what has he added to our bill? But I’m sure he will have sweetened the pill by scattering sweeties around for local authorities.

So Scotland’s pocket money will have to be trimmed once more to pay for more nuclear, submarines and more American aircraft for the two white elephants the Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. 

President Bush in 1/29/2003 came in front of the cameras and he lied, and he lied and he lied – bare face lies about biological and chemical weapons held by Iraq and we all saw all the little drawing of trucks and rail cars carrying what was supposed to be chemical weapon factories. They had to be drawings of course for invisible factories, and invisible lorries, and rail cars can not be photographed – if they don’t exist they don’t exist, hence the drawings. As for Iraq’s mighty air force – we were told they were buried in the desert sands ready to spring into action, and aluminium pipes, were not aluminium pipes, but centrifuges for the manufacture of nuclear weapons – and the BBC and Channel 4 were quick to show this on our televisions – no questions asked – this is the American President so it must be true.

These lies were repeated almost nightly on the news by Powell and Romfeld, this was updated to not only chemical and biological but nuclear and the Brits were brought in for support – Bush again, the British government tells us that Iraq had purchased uranium from South Africa. Do we wait until we see the nuclear cloud before acting – he asked? Nightly the war drums beat.

If that was not bad enough here in Westminster Bushes’ mouthpiece in the Commons stood before the house in the Kings New Clothes, but only Alex Salmond (SNP) and Clair Short (Labour) called out – look at the king, look at the king, the king is in the altogether the altogether as naked as the day he was born.

Is there anyone who can truthfully believe any politician anymore, they lie for a living? 

Now I’m not saying that Russia would not down the US Rapier drone if it came to close to the sensitive area around the Crimea.

What I am saying however and because of what we know about the US – I do not believe or trust a word they tell me – and they may well have brought down their own drone (with too many miles on the clock) to cause an international incident, Russia took out one of our drone in international air space. Or if it were a mechanical fault, or bad driving by the US operator, thousands of miles away at the time, as the Russians said, the drone went into a tight manoeuvre that caused the incident. But why would the US waste a good propaganda opportunity with the truth. And so long as the propaganda war persists then I will believe neither side, without evidence.  

There is little doubt in my mind that the lies told in 2003 was all propaganda – to give credence to an illegal war that Bush wished to wage against Iraq, added and abetted by the Westminster government under the leadership of Tony Blair.

There is little doubt now that the US blow up the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, (according to the Swedish Government’s investigation) but no one will even chastise America for it, and that is the problem. America is allowed to run around the world causing mayhem, fighting wars – real or by proxy – millions killed and millions displaced and not a word of recrimination will be waged against them. 

If you do not believe Ukraine is just one more American proxy war then you are simply not listening – you are simply not looking.

P.S – Strange as soon as the truth came to light (a video) showing that it was the drone that changed course rapidly and collided with the Russian aircraft, that all the western media went quite. No more media frenzy, no more US military types calling out the Russians, funny that.


This time last year I was in Paris heading for Strasburg, is it really a year?

I woke with a stinking head cold, stuffed up nose and really hingie, I piled on the cloths and took off on my bike, peddling like fury until I was soaked in sweat and the snorts were running free. Home and a shower then spend the rest of the morning in a big heavy sweater and doped up with two Paracetamol, which gave me the chance to finish my latest Lee Child purchase, and yes, I had read it before – possible one of his earliest books. The first Lee Child books are so much better than his newest and I wonder how much impute his son Andrew, has in the writing those books.

Friday, last year – on a train from Strasburg arriving in the Black Forest in Germany, on April Fools Day, and with the rain, sleet and high winds maybe it was a good definition.

I hot footed it (cycled) up the Aldi – not because I was desperately out of food, but Charles wanted bits and bobs – I think he hoped I would take him up there in they car, but I am not starting that, he is good at asking but I am not going to become his personal taxi service and I am very careful not to become his constant companion, what life I have left, be that long or short, I want to make the most of it in my own way.

It was so good to be out on the bike once more, (in normal clothing) there was a bit of wind but the air was warm. So much so – that on my return I headed straight out again, for an hour, feeling good, ‘it’s beginning to feel a lot like ………’ (Spring)

The heating engineer is coming to clean and check all the valves on all of the radiators in all of the flats, so the word on the grape vine is he will be with me soon. We have been complaining about the valves not working properly (the radiators are either hot or cold) for over a year, now when the summer is on the way and we will not need them they are coming to sort them out, I wonder how many meeting it took to get us to the point?

Watched a brilliant programme on Aljazeera, about water, global warming, growing world population, has put immense pressure on the world’s water resources. When Thatcher privatised (sold off) the English public water industry, there was a big campaign in Scotland “Its Scotland’s Water” and to a greater of lesser degree it is still in Scotland’s hands. A Canadian politician took her case to the UN asking them to rule on water as a basic human right of every person on earth – a public commodity. She won overwhelm the countries attending the UN voted for water being a human right and not a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market. The ones that abstained (since there was little hope of doing otherwise) were the US, Britain and Australia. Many countries around the world have already ratified the decision of the UN (other than the above) they preferring that nature should be a supermarket – open to the market.

We have won the battle but not the war, large private companies with large purses are lobbing hard, mostly amongst poor countries – or corrupt governments to allow privatisation of their water, (I’m sure great incentives to do so are on offer, like Thatcher telling us that private money was the only way to fix the leaks in the English water supply). One more reason for Scotland to be able to make its own choices – an independent Scotland would be able to keep our water safely in the hands of the people of Scotland, not as the money men would like all our worlds natural resources in a “Nature supermarket”.

Stay safe.


Hope for the People of Yemen

Another beautiful day here in St Andrews, the sky is Robin egg blue with wisps of cloud (the witches have been sweeping the skies) it is still cold, but the hours of sunshine make you feel better about life, the dark winter days are over. I am still walking much more than cycling these days, it can be very cold on the bike. And as I walk I start to think about future adventures.

An interesting piece appeared on Aljazeera news this morning. After 8 years, Saudi Arabia and Iran have agreed to renew diplomatic relations and re-establish their embassies. The thing that intrigued me was that this was brokered, not by the US – who have always had close relations with Saudi Arabia over that time (selling them lots of weapons and servicing their aeroplanes and technical support) but it was brokered by China. There is a global shift of power from west to east and I fear (as I have always thought) that Europe will lose out with its almost blinkered support for the US.

I hope that this new relationship with Saudi Arabia, stops the war in Yemen and we can see some end to the people of Yemen’s misery, “Bairns not bombs”.    

Our world is interlinked more than it has ever been in the past, and with global trade vital across the world it is this that is driving the shift. Oh, the sabre rattling will continue but the sophistication and cost of weapons have outstripped their usefulness, “Jaw, jaw not War, war”.

In the UK this coming Wednesday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will stand in the House of Commons and read out his budget, in that speech he will tell us how the world is such an unstable place (the war in Ukraine) that he is giving another £10 billion to the Ministry of Defence, the UK already having the biggest military budget in Europe, exceeding even Russia.  

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is pandering to the weapons manufacturing lobby in the UK (funded by the American arms industry) – if I am right in my prediction, I believe the Chancellor is not only wrong but wrong-headed in his choices.

The Westminster PM talked about the UK’s future in robotics to grow the economy, and whilst the PM talks about the future, China is building it – have you looked at some of those new factories in China, that are already fully automated, miles and miles of conveyors and robots and not a human in sight. They have container ports covering areas the size of a small country – whilst we have trucks queuing up at Dover to board a ferry, and UK businesses trying to sell to an ever-decreasing market in Europe, every day now we further isolated ourselves from the markets of the world by Brexit and being controlled by Wall Street, we manufacture nothing that the rest of the world wishes to buy from us anymore – so what is the PM’s robots going to make? Are we ever to live off the financial market – skimming off the top, rows of computers with sophisticated algorithms, trading at the speed of light, is this the PM’s vision of the UK’s future?    

Margaret Thatcher started the ball rolling and this has continued with every Tory and Labour government since, handing over control not to the people of the UK but to the market, (bankers, skives, charlatans). Nothing is built or run in the countries that make up the UK now without the approval and money from the market and no money is returned to the UK treasury from any profits made by those companies, (other than taxes) but with so many tax loopholes precious little in taxes is returned.   

Scotland needs to divorce itself from Westminster as quickly as it can and join the real world – we have never needed independence more than we do now.

Stay safe.  


I’m Scunnered


In September 2014 – Houthi forces captured the capital city Sanaa which followed a rapid Houthi takeover of the government.

On 21 March 2015 – general mobilization to overthrow the then-president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi

By the 25th of March Lahii fell to the Houthies they had now reached the outskirts of Aden, the seat of power for Hadi’s government – Hadi fled the country the same day

End of story, a coup d’état – well no, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched a military operation – strikes into Yemen to restore the former Yemeni Government – although there was no direct intervention by Iran (who support the Houthies) the conflict is now a proxy war with America and Britain pouring armaments, and boots on the ground along with intelligence into the war on the side of Saudi Arabia, a western proxy war against Iran.  

According to the UN, over 150,000 people have been killed in Yemen – as well as more than 2227,000 dead as a result of an ongoing famine and lack of healthcare facilities due to the war. In 2018 the UN warned that 13 million Yemeni civilians face starvation – the worst famine in the world in the past 100 years


When you think of Buddhists you think peace-loving – for decades Rohingya, an ethnic Muslim minority group, in Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, have faced institutionalized discrimination, such as exclusionary citizenship laws.

The Myanmar government launched a military campaign in 2017 that forced seven hundred thousand Rohingya to flee. Most have crossed by land into Bangladesh, while others have taken to the sea to reach Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, to escape rape, murder and arson by Myanmar security forces, genocide by any other name against Rohingya.

These people are now stateless in Bangladesh living in the biggest refugee camp in the world – living in atrocious conditions. Now, the UN is saying it will have to cut their food rations to $10 per month since there has been little international support.

(I wonder how much that $10 a month reaches the refugee camp.)


In 1947 the UN adopted Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan, which sought to divide the British Mandate of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. On May 14h 1948, the State of Israel was created, sparking the first Arab-Israeli War. In 1949 an Israeli victory displaced 750,000 Palestinians and the territory was divided into 3 parts: the State of Israel – the West Bank (of the Jordan River) and the Gaza Strip.

Despite many Peace accords such as the Camp David Accords, a peace treaty that ended the thirty-year conflict between Egypt and Israel the plight of the Palestinian people (self-determination and self-governance remained unresolved) hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza strip rose against the Israeli government (the first intifada). This was followed by the 1993 Oslo 1 Accords – in 1995 the Oslo 11 accord mandated the complete withdrawal of Israel from 6 cities and 450 towns in the West Bank. But so long as the US is supporting the Israeli government (there is a strong Israeli lobby in America) the Palestinians will never be released from their open prison, given self-determination and self-governance, and like the Rohingya will eventually become a displaced people, stateless and at the mercy of hand-outs form the UN food programs.

All of this is going on around us but switch on your television and listen to the BBC, Sky News, or Channel 4, and all you will hear is Partygate, the NI deal, and how to stop desperate people from crossing the Channel into Britain in blow up rubber boats – by paying the French government to patrol its beaches or paying some poor African country a retainer to accept them. Now on Europe’s doorstep another civil war, turned into a proxy war by the West pouring fuel on an already out-of-control fire in Ukraine.

Our world is on fire – wars, famine, pollution, and global warming to name but a few, yet our Westminster government is made up of career MPs – a retirement home for ex-MPs (the Lords), and opportunists (controlled by lobbyists, thieves, and corruption) who play their political games of lies and deceit to stay in power, MPs entrusted to speak on behalf of the people now only there to serve their own ends – whilst we the people are left struggling to pay our rent, feed children and heat homes – in a land of plenty – the 6th riches in the world and still we suffer food banks, fuel poverty, and homelessness, a parcel of roughs in a nation, right enough.

Solve global warming and wars – not whilst there is money to be made from oil

Solve wars and famine – not whilst there is money to be made from armaments and jobs for the boys in NATO

Solve the problems of borders not whilst there are Brexateers in Westminster telling us it is all about “Taking back control”

Solve the problem of refugees and refugee camps – not whilst there is money to be made from war and money flowing into relief funds that create bigger problems than they solve   

Oh, soldier, soldier, you frighten me,

In all your blind brutality,

For behind the soldiers mask I see,

A man – just like me.   

Sadly they do all of this – in our name.

Stay safe



It isn’t half cold out, but no real wind chill factor coming into play, the air is still as a whisper. Yesterday was a good day, washed and polished Charles and I went off to the National Theatre Live, the performance of Othello. Seen in much the way we see Met Opera beamed around the world and although not on the same scale as Met Opera with its very wealthy patrons it is growing in stature with over 11.5 million people in their audience.

It works well for you are right up there, on stage, with the players, the best seat in the house. I suppose this is the future of cinema, theatre, and opera, beamed into an auditorium or theatre, even into our own homes, for (movies) rehearse and perform live theatre and opera are so expensive to produce, that ticket prices would be out of the reach of many.

We saw glimpses of the audience in the theatre where the live performance would take place, and it gladdens me to see that they, unlike the St Andrews audience, were of a much younger generation.

It takes longer to train an opera singer than a doctor – longer to train a bandsman than a fighter pilot…… once upon a time St Andrews University had a music degree course, alas no more, they do have great facilities for, people to perform, be taught, and a state of the art theatre and recording studio – possibly one of the best in Europe, and although the students are encouraged to use such facilities I fear the numbers will diminish just as the younger audiences have diminished.

Our culture and music have become a poor relation of education (if it is even taught in school these days) – remember when kids carried their recorders in their school bags and put on musicals for an adoring audience of mums and dads? Now no works bands, town bands, or SA bands and a declining military band section, along with the demise of live music in pubs and clubs, I fear we are losing something very precious.

But to our tale, Othello (by William Shakespeare) boy those Shakespearian actors don’t half get worked up, I think Othello, the Moor (played by Giles Terera) forgot to take his medication before coming on stage, boy did he give it his all. You could see the red mist coming over his eyes (behind the sofa stuff) as in a jealous rage snapped the neck of his beautiful wife, Desdemona.

Desdemona (oh how I wish I was fifty years younger, I would have been head over heels in love again) and such a sweet singing voice as she sang, Willow, Willow, Willow. Strange as soon as she started to sing those repeated lines, I immediately thought of John Wayne, if memory serves, playing Rooster Cogburn, where he is in a drunken state and sang something similar, about willows.   

I believe Charles was gasping for a fag by the interval and shot out of the theatre I went to the bar for a quick coffee.

By the time we had four slain bodies piled up on stage, it was all over bar the applause, and off we trotted to Macron, fish and chip shop for a sit-in tea. It had been a while since I enjoyed a sit-in tea at a fish and chip shop, fresh from the fryer, real chips, and freshly cooked cod – almost too hot to handle. Home and on with the kettle, the menu on the television dragged up nothing I would wish to watch so my DVD collection was scoured and I came up with The Wingless Bird, Catherine Cookson (one of her best) just to round off the night. Yes, another good day, contented with little – happy with more.

Stay safe. 


Why Scotland needs to get well shot of England.

If you take our territorial waters into consideration then Scotland is the larges country in Europe, yet thanks to being part of the Westminster system of government has become one of the poorest. With all the resources at our disposal of oil, gas on tap, and the abundance of rivers to harness hydro power all of this along with millions of Scottish taxpayer’s money pored of wind, tide and wave technology, Scotland still, has the highest fuel bills anywhere in Europe.

And thanks to “Drawbridge England” Our hospitals and healthcare sectors are buckling at the seams from lack of staff and money, yet England “Taking back control” has left us unable to source young skilled people from Europe to work and live in Scotland, forcing the NHS and care sectors in Scotland to pay the high price to private companies for temporary staff (now becoming permanent high priced staff) to stop our demographic time bomb imploding both of these sectors.

A report popped into my in-box that explains what I have been saying since 2014 but there are none as blind as those that do not wish to see – or deaf as those that do not wish to hear.

There are more wind farms across British (and Scottish) waters than anywhere else in the world, but local businesses and workers have yet to reap the rewards. 

That is a huge policy mistake.

When turbine blades began spinning last August at Hornsea 2 — the world’s biggest offshore wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire — it was a symbolic victory for the UK in its attempts to reclaim its position as the leading nation in the offshore wind market. 

The country famously holds the largest share of offshore wind capacity in the world, followed by China and Germany.

However, promises that offshore wind would spark a new industrial revolution for Britain (and Scotland) have been blown off course, as the country is yet to enjoy a manufacturing and jobs boom. 

UK (or Scotland) still does not have its own national wind-based energy giant. That is because most offshore wind developers are foreign-owned. 

Of all current and pending British (that includes Scotland) offshore wind capacity, 82.2% is owned by companies located overseas, according to the Common Wealth think tank.

On top of that, more than two-thirds of offshore wind firms operating in the UK have their base elsewhere in Europe.

The businesses that make up the supply chain — the makers of blades, foundations and high-voltage cables — often come from abroad, too. 

The UK (pulling Scotland into the same boat) is alone among the ten main countries leading the energy transition in lacking a national champion.

Of the four companies that accounted for 55% of new orders globally of turbine manufacturing in 2019, not a single one was British (or Scottish).

Although the (Westminster and Holyrood) government has handed out generous subsidies during the past decade to incentives the development of new offshore wind farms, and capacity has grown twentyfold, the UK is alone among the ten main countries leading the energy transition in lacking a national champion.

As a result, it is European energy giants such as Denmark’s Ørsted and Norway’s state-owned Equinor who are investing in building wind farms and taking in subsidy payments in return. 

Scotland is being left behind in global renewable race simply by being part of the Westminster system of government.

Moreover, a study by Common Wealth found that almost half of Britain’s offshore wind capacity is owned by foreign public companies, which effectively means that UK (and Scottish) taxpayers are paying for hospitals in Denmark or Norway. 

The study found that last year people in Britain sent £2.56 billion (€2.89bn) in payments to state-owned foreign offshore wind generators.

In the global renewable race, there is still a lot to be done by domestic policymakers to ensure that local companies are able to capture a bigger share of the overall spending on offshore wind developments.

But not if you are a pocket money economy (Westminster holding the purse strings) and dependent on a foreign country England to run your affairs, you now become the poor relation.

For local businesses to reap the rewards of the offshore wind boom, the target on capital expenditure spending should be more ambitious.

Five turbines of America‘s first offshore wind farm, owned by the Danish company, Orsted, stand off the coast of Rhode Island, October 2021

The offshore developers have agreed with the government that by 2030, 60% of the output by value will be spent with UK-based suppliers, a notable increase from the current 48%.

However, while capital expenditure accounts for the bulk of spending and jobs on offshore wind projects, the government will require less than half of it to go into the British economy (and none into the Scottish economy). 

For local businesses to reap the rewards of the offshore wind boom, the target on capital expenditure, or capex, spending should be more ambitious.

What about those who want green re-skill?

Policymakers should help modernise ports and manufacturing infrastructure, too. 

Decades of underinvestment (now where have I heard that before Scottish steel making, Scottish ship building……………………………….

(When the Ferguson yard was bought by the Scottish parliament they were still working with machines that were over 100 years old, Britain modernising don’t make me laugh)

Britain consistently invests less than France, Germany and the US — and low productivity growth has left British companies scrambling to compete with the more modern and efficient facilities elsewhere in Europe and Asia.

In addition, support should be put in place for the oil and gas workers wanting green re-skills. 

With 30,600 people directly employed in the offshore oil and gas industry across the UK in 2019, there is a pool of potential workers who could shift to the cleaner side of the energy sector. (but will end up on the dole because of the high cost of re-skilling)

However, studies have found that those workers are forced to pay thousands for training courses and are often required to repeat training they have already done. 

Respondents to a survey of more than 600 offshore workers by Friends of the Earth Scotland, Platform and Greenpeace, found that workers spent £1,824 (€2,060) on average per year on training. 

Greenpeace called for the government to introduce an “offshore passport” that would allow workers to easily transfer their skills and experience between sectors. 

The government could also help renewable companies train unskilled workers by paying 50% of their salaries during the training process.

If Britain (Scotland) really wanted to be at the top of the off shore energy game, the shiny main offices would most likely be located at home, not elsewhere. 

French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm in September 2022. Scotland has many offshore wind farms but if any Scottish First Minister ever wish to visit any of these they would require permission from a foreign country – Scotland is missing out on the wind farm boom, we could not even get a contract for our fabrication yard at Methil only a few miles from one of the biggest wind farms in the North Sea, Better Together – Aye Right.   


Three cheers for Greta Thunberg

Today the wind is high and still icy cold, and since the early birds that are now perched on the dormer roof of the terraces across the road from me are all pointing north into the wind, (gules come back to their place of birth to build their nests), so in a way weather vanes, and seasonal clocks.

Yesterday, was haircut day – I was beginning to look a bit scruffy, anyway, there is always the added attraction – a pint of Worthington’s and a burger (a bit of a treat) at Wetherspoons, the cold wind in Dundee would take your lugs off, but then Dundee is like Chicago, the windy city.

I see (like the Eurovision song contest – winners – but were they deserving winners?) the 2024 Olympic games in Paris have become very political. A pair of synchronized swimmers were on the television this morning telling us they will not compete if the Russian athletes are allowed to compete – so much for the friendly games. Still, maybe the people of Europe will have come to their senses by then and kissed and made up with Russia.

The last time Russia was banned from competing in the sport was in 2020 over doping, but of course, we know it still goes on in every sport all around the world, so much money in sports (if you can get to the top, by fair means or foul). Now we have the gender controversy (men now competing in women in women’s sports) and in disabled sports – none disabled being allowed to participate in wheelchair racing so long as their legs are immobilised, is that really in the true spirit of the sport and is a disabled sport not all about allowing disabled people to be all they can be – or does that not matter any more?

Now I remember a brilliant tennis player Martina Navratilova, (very masculine in her physique) and although she was known to be gay still every bit a woman. However, was her build and stamina simply the result of hard work, (for she certainly put her all into her work) or was there a biological advantage in her genes? Interesting, you are only as good as the people you competing against at the time, and how well you perform on the day. I’m thinking of Stirling Moss – brilliant driver but never won a world championship – the competition at that time was better, think Fangio, but does that make Moss any less a great driver?

I think these two girls want to stop politicising and get on with the job they are being paid to do – swim and compete, and keep politics out of the sport.

Glad to see that Norway’s government has apologised to the Sami people – thank you, Greta Thunberg, for putting their plight on the world stage (sad that England is not so enlightened as the Norwegians about the indigenous people in the UK) I’m thinking Scotland and its indigenous people, Scotland has been annexed by the Westminster parliament (where we are outvoted ten to one) and by not allowing Scotland’s people they say – colonisation by any other name, where is Scotland’s Greta Thunberg, I ask myself????

Keep safe.


The tread continues…….

We may seem to have totally different perspectives but really politically we are very similar, even although you call yourself a Unionist – or at least would have been so only a few years ago.

I was a dyed in the wool Labour man – a union man – a shop steward – I spoke out and marched against apatite in Africa and against American nuclear weapons in Britain……

Britain in the 1950 and 1960 was an industrial nation; I could leave a job at 11am and be re-employed by lunchtime. We made things lots of things, we employed people, we had working men’s clubs and pubs where people would gather and enjoy the fruits of their labours, get pished and make a full of ones self on the dance floor.  

In every industry, in Britain, we employed people (shall we risk saying – not the full shilling) who cleaned up around the place – at Rosyth Dockyard when the ships came into dry-dock and the water was pumped out there were all sorts of mud and flotsam and jetsam in the dry dock. It was these lads that went down and cleaned it out – happy as Larry covered in shit shovelling it into a kettle – the thing is they were paid a decent wage at the end of the week (just as we were) they could pay their rent, buy their loaf of bread and join up down the pub or club – they were part of our community.   

  The winter of discontent was not about strikes galore – it was bad management by governments – five year thinking – little or no forward planning – they must have seen the Japanese cars industry – the Taiwan cloths and shipbuilding industry modernising and stealing a bigger and bigger share of the markets around the world – but did they modernise in Britain – no they out-sourced and made money (invisible earnings it was called) and labour was thrown on the dole – fine said Thatcher I have North Sea revenue coming in to pay the bills and sell of all the industry in Britain to private companies – and do so in a way that it will be imposable to re-nationalise. This was very much a plan.

Then when greed took over and the people saw how the carpetbaggers had moved into Westminster – they turned on Thatcher and voted in “New” Labour under Blair and Brown, but it was too late to steady the ship – they joined in the free for all and the devil take the hindmost – that is when I started to think – maybe Scotland would be better off on its own, more so when you seen what Norway was doing with its oil reserved – not paying unemployment benefit but building a trust fund for the future inhabitants of Norway  – but still keep strong ties to the EU as Scotland would have done with England, Wales and NI for trade and security (we already had that through NATO being a member of the EU).

In the 1950s a team of 1,300 “Tunnel Tigers” with hand held drills and gelignite blasted a cavern in the solid granite rock under Ben Cruachan Mountain, they finished in 1959. You should go and visit, be transported down the tunnel in a minibus and look down from the viewing platform at the turbine hall as high as the Tower of London with its four massive turbines.

The dam as part of the system can store 10 million cubic meters of water, from the dam the water flows from the top dam through the turbines and down into the lower dam. And can reach full capacity of 440MW in less than 30 seconds – that is enough to power 90k homes. This once belonged to the people of Britain and paid for by their taxes – now it belongs to Drax.

In 1990 (only three decades after it was commissioned) it was privatised under the Electricity Act 1989, and Drax Power station came under the ownership of National Power, just one of the newly formed generating companies.

Over the years we had the emergence of vertically integrated companies, combining generation, distribution and supply interests. In 1999 Drax Power Station was acquired by the US-based AES Corporation for £1.87 billion.

In 2009 Drax Group acquired Opus Energy enabling it to sell electricity directly. In 2015 the group acquired Billington Bioenergy specialists in providing sustainable biomass pellets for domestic energy systems. (No one at the time was flagging up the folly of burning wood pellets to the health of the nation).  The EU poured millions into what was then ‘Green Energy’ and Drax was quick to see the dollar signs. They conversed the coal burning plant at Selby to biomass – destroying an ancient forest in Canada to sustain the enterprise (just as the EU poured money into a massive biomass plant in Eastern Europe (one of the Baltic states) and the great ancient forest or what was then Russia, a carbon sink, were cut down and turned into wood pulp for the biomass plant, greenwash).

On the 16th of October, Drax Group announced that they had agreed to buy Scottish Power’s portfolio and pumped storage hydro and gas-fired generation for £702 million in cash from Iberdrola, the transfer took place in the 1st of January 2019 Drax had now acquired one of Scotland’s mountains the Cruachan pumped storage power station – along with many others.                   

Britain “Taking Back Control” and “Better together” the broad shoulders of the UK, Aye right.

Stay safe.


Spring and all change

Yesterday was a very busy day, up in the middle of the night to pick Charles up at the airport, the roads were much quieter than when I dropped him off so I was there early, just after 5am and he was not due in until around 6am. (I did not go into the drop off – pick up zone – I would not encourage this rip off – £4.00 to pick up your friend, and don’t dare spend a minute longer that the allocated 3 minutes or your wallet will suffer)

Home by 8am feeling a bit bleary eyed, driving seems to take it out of me much more that it did, I don’t seem to run on auto pilot any more. Maybe it is just the sheer volume of traffic and the fast speed that everything travels at now that you have to concentrate much harder all of the time, I did feel like going back to bed for an hour.   

Still things to do – Aldi to stock up Mr Hubbard’s cupboards and after lunch wash the car, pesky birds don’t half make a mess of a canvas roof, still mustn’t grumble as they say.

Hardly switched the television on these days it is like a re-run of the run up to the years of negotiation to the Brexit deal.  

Think about it – UK government was told by the EU that there was trouble ahead over a border between north and south in Ireland, – bumbling Boris and his Brexiteers simply ignored that warning – they had their eye on the bigger prize annexing Scotland and all its natural resources (levelling up) at that time in Scotland’s hands and controlled by the Scottish government and as a member of the EU protected by the EU. So will it work this time around?

First NI voted to stay in the EU (ignored) – Scotland voted to stay in the EU both overruled by Westminster.

Now we have this new memorandum of understanding between the British PM and the EU president – but can he sell it in the House of Commons? Probably since Labour (red Tories) and the Lib/Dem say they will vote for it.

And can the EU President persuaded all the other members to reopen negotiations (a can of worms) once more over Brexit?

Will the DUP see this as being forced into accepting power sharing in NI, when they would much rather see NI governance direct from Westminster (where they have MPs than see SF (who do not take their seats at Westminster) as First Minister in NI and they very much junior partner and not in the driving seat?

And what of Scotland, Westminster government (Tories, Labour and Lib/Dem) have over ruled the Scottish government by not giving Kings Consent to two of their bills, (forget that they were rubbish bill anyway and not supported by many voters in Scotland) the fact that they were overruled is the problem. Now the Westminster government is saying we will not give our consent to any laws that are passed in Holyrood if we think they may be detrimental to England (colonialism). Westminster had turned itself into a recruiting sergeant for the independence movement.

The high cost of fuel in Scotland driving people into fuel poverty in a land that produces more energy from wind farms than it can possibly use, and has its own gas fields (but not under their control).

We saw a candidate for the local elections canvassing in Aberdeen (the capital of North Sea oil and gas exploration) going to a woman’s door the lady came to the door dressed in a heavy coat as if she were heading out to the shops, she wasn’t she was in fact trying to stay warm in her home with the heating off, she was frightened to turn the heating on, and find herself in debt. Her problem along with all the others in fuel poverty in Scotland lies firmly at the door of Westminster, who have stolen our natural resources.

People up here are not daft, they see what is happening and they don’t like it. There is a wind of change blowing though Scotland at present, (the only fly in the ointment is Humza Yousaf being voted in as leader of the SNP for if that happens it will be business as usual within the SNP (top down dictatorship, the legacy of Nicola Sturgeon and her husband) we need a strong candidate, any one of the two girls would fit the bill, both are strong on independence, rather than simply keeping their party in power, (keep the Westminster money rolling in to their parties coffers and not for the benefit of the people of Scotland) and both have been willing to stand up and be counted against Nicola Sturgeon when the chips were down.  

Already the bill boards are talking about independence some time out from the GE and the election to the Scottish Parliament; I believe it is the Scottish elections that will be decisive, and the GE a preamble. Westminster elections are a waste of time (other than to fill the coffers of the winning parties with expenses, offices and instant media coverage.) but the Scottish elections are different we have the list vote and this time around there are other independent parties to vote for other than the SNP (who demanded that their supporters gave both votes to the SNP) not this time around. These parties with time on their side are making in-roads, now the coats of all the hangers on  in the Scottish parliament, Labour, Tory and Lib/Dem MSP are on a shoogly nail, they have only been given their seat by their own parties (old retainers) from the list vote, all out the door this time around.

So PM I would not be popping the Champagne corks just yet, not until the people of NI and Scotland have their say.

Keep safe.  


Come and Join Us

Just back from my morning ride, still cold but not a bad day all things considered.

One year in and the war as far as the west is concerned is over, they lost. So predictable – sanctions did not collapse the Russian economy and force them to abandon the territory they have gained in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine – that is the strip of land that gives Russia access directly to Crimea, land that they will be reluctant to give up unless a deal can be struck between the EU and Russia over Russian security issues.

The Russians are strategically in a strong position, on the east side of the river, and so long as the war is contained within Ukraine that is fine with them, soldiers lost on the Ukrainian side can not be replaced – Russia can conscript as many as needed to hold their position.

No matter what armament America sends into the conflict they are useless without trained men to operate them, the only way to do that is for America to put boots on the ground, to do that they have to declare war on Russia, their NATO partners (apart from the UK) will never wear that.

Already we see in the UK and across Europe as a whole a resurgence of Stop the War protests. No party in any country of the EU can now count on the support of its people to expand the war into Russia.

The Americans are sending 6,000.000 troops into Poland – I’m sure the people of Poland will welcome them with open arms, 6,000.000 troops with full wallets, of course, they will, the flag sellers on the street will soon be selling more Stars and strips than Ukrainian flags, and the brothels and bars will do good business too, of that I am sure. But will Belarus or Russia be intimidated – not on your life, you can not kid a kidder.

A bluff only works if the threat is real. This was always going to be a war of attrition. Russia will sit tight and wait – the ball is in Europe’s court and it is now up to them to make the next move.

That move will have to come quickly – for every day that passes the gas and oil pipelines to China and India grows ever nearer their destination

Take a look at a world atlas, Russia, Mongolia, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran – to name just a few that will benefit from Russia’s oil and gas reserves, Russia’s economy down the pan, don’t make me laugh. (Look out for a new pipeline from Russia direct to Iran)

All the sanctions in the world by the West will not stop the oil and gas from flowing, and no longer in American oil dollars – it will however stop it from flowing from Russia into Europe, – who will be the loser – I ask myself?    

If you are close to London sign up for the Stop the War march to take place in the City. One million of us turned up for the Stop the War march against the Iraq war, we did not stop that illegal war, let’s do better this time around.

Stay safe.      


“For the times they are a changing”

Lobbing is the curse of domestic and foreign policy in the west. It has influenced nations to go against their own best interest and even sent them into war.

I saw that some supermarkets are finding it difficult to get some vegetables to fill the demand of their customers and have now reverted to rationing, (bad idea will only case panic buying). They tell us the shortage has come from bad weather in the countries that supply the supermarkets of the world. (The UK hit worse than other EU countries – we are now at the end of the food chain of Europe since Brexit). But have the scientist and documentary film makers not been on our televisions for decades now telling us about Global Warming, or is that something else, its it really only one bad year or weather? So long as we have a strong oil and gas industry lobby – with the ear of our governments will anyone really be listening?

Or during the Brexit negotiations we heard dissenting voices about a trade deal with the US – GM crops, battery pigs, tomatoes shot through with chemicals to give them shelf life and cows injected with steroid, to grow the beef; will any of this matter as the shelves of the supermarket grow lean?  

Some in the EU want to rip up the system that exists for energy across the EU they say the system that stands is no longer fit for purpose.  Germany is not convinced they say this is only because of the shortage of gas since sanctions (sorry I really meant to say Putin’s war in Ukraine) and wish to keep the status quo. Following American with sanctions has not had the desire effect on Russia as they thought it would, they have only destroyed their own economy and pushed up the cost of living.

The steel industry has been in crisis since the 1980 – from time to time the government give them another big hand out from the taxpayer – well, we have an election coming up – and it stumbles on for another fixed term government. Yesterday we were told that the Scunthorpe plant was paying off men and closing down the coke ovens. With the Labour party gaining ground what will it be this time – another hand out to the foreign company that own the “British Steel” plant at Scunthorpe, or this time will it be its demise?

During the years of Brexit negotiation, Boris Johnston waxed lyrically about how Britain would be open to trade deals across the world and we even had President Trump telling us it was in the bag. Oh, but nothing is off the table not even that great British institution the NHS – help ma boab, not the NHS – alarm bells loud and clear then – but – what now? The NHS is on its knees, would there be the same resistance from people in the UK that are wishing treatment for life changing illnesses but can’t get an appointment of surgery? Will the NHS still command the peoples loyalty and support?

We saw last year at the outbreak of war in Ukraine shipments of grain being disrupted and high level and behind close doors negotiations were taking place between Russia and countries such as Turkey to get the grain moving. Now the war has extended across Ukraine, and there infrastructure is so severely damaged that the country is barely functioning (although the western media is at great pain to make it look like nothing has changed in Ukraine – people still sitting in cafes, drinking coffee and eating cake) but in the countryside farmers will not be able to plant their grain and there will be no grain to negotiated passage over come harvest thanks giving time in the autumn. Now Ukraine is a big grain producing country (now debunked) Russia is a big grain producing country (now sanctioned) What will be the price of a loaf then? And who will care that the flour that bakers use bake bread with in the UK is from GM wheat from America?  

In 1940 Americans saw in the movie theatres a newsreel entitled “China Fights Back” it opened with a dramatic crisis: scenes of Japanese Killing Noble Chinese Peasants as the narrator explained that Chungking was “the most intensively bombed spot in the world”. Then the narrator identified the hero: “Symbol of the New Chinese (who would be Americanized and Christine) and Chinese determination is lean, hard-bitten fifty-two-year-old Chiang Kai-shek, undisputed ruler and idol of China’s four hundred million”

Of course it was all lies, propaganda spewed out across America by the Soong-Chang syndicate, and Song Dynasty – Chinese lobby. An organisation so well funded and organized that it not only had influence in the American media but had their man inside the White House, eating sandwiches the Oval Office with President Roosevelt.

Both the press and the Gallup polls overwhelmingly showed that there is no international question on which our people are more toughly united than as to the Japanese aggression against China…more that four-fifths of those who have expressed their opinion in a recent Gallup poll are in favour of stopping the evil with an embargo.

Sadly like all these thing the people of America was being asked for their opinion on something they knew less than nothing about – all their knowledge of China and her People had come from the Chinese Lobby, that churned out films, newsletters, pamphlets and billboards to put over a narrative that was false, keeping the American money tap screwed wide open and flowing into the Soong dynasty private coffers.

Today we see the US President Biden daily on our televisions on his whistle tour of Europe, beating the war drum for NATO – intervention in Ukraine. Lobbing at the highest level – US propaganda that will be swallowed by every European media outlet and like the Gallup polls in 1940s when Americas people were asked to vote for something they knew little or nothing about – mushroom people – kept in the dark and feed on ****.

Is anyone today really telling the truth – analysing the consequences of Americans lobbying for sanctions in Europe. Increase spending on NATO and our standing European armies – (tell me again about the weapons of mass destruction Tony) what is the truth? Are the sanctions protection against an evil aggressor – or the saviour of the American economy and arms industry, at the expense of we in Europe???????   

Stay safe.


The Sins of America’s Father – visited upon us.

I have just finished James Bradley’s book The China Mirage, it is a book that you have to take step by step, not a book to be read cover to cover if you want to get the most out of it. To understand America during the 1940s is to understand the War in the Pacific, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War and where we are today. Still, America does not understand China and the unsolved problems with Taiwan are all linked to that period in history.

John Service was the only Chinese-speaking American in the foreign office at the time, the only American who had met with Mao, in his café city. However, because he spoke out over America’s foreign policy in China – he was sacked.  

If the United States in 1945 had been able to…shed some of its illusions about China, to understand what was happening in the country, and adopt a realistic policy in America’s interest, Korea and Vietnam would probably never have happened…We would not still be confronted with an unsolvable Taiwan problem… And Mao’s China, having come to power different way and not thrust into isolation by the hostile West, might be quite a different place. – John Service.

Perhaps America’s most costly diplomatic mistake was the Chinese Exclusion Act. If Americans had accepted Chinese people into the United Satiates there would have been many more American – Chinese citizens – that would have supported a strong bridge between both nations.

About fifty-six thousand Americans died in World War 11 in the Pacific. About fifty-eight thousand Americans died in Korea and another fifty-nine thousand in Vietnam. The total cost of America’s wars in Asia is staggering. Millions of lives – trillions of dollars devoted to rifles, aircraft, and napalm rather than to roads, schools, and hospitals. America’s social fabric was stretched and then torn by the last two Asian wars, which challenged its citizens’ belief that their country was a beacon of freedom.

In the 1960s McGeorge Bund and Henry Kissinger served as national security advisers and recommended the massive bombing of Vietnam – Bund’s plan to bomb Ho Chi Minh into submission – Brand never in his life visited Vietnam.

America’s air power was defeated by the same simple and relatively cheap defence that Mao Zedong had employed: the people went underground. The most heavily bombed country in the world is Laos, which was attacked hour after hour for a decade by U.S. bombing raids.  Many thousands of people had been comfortably housed in enormous caverns, and trucks had rumbled along internal roads connecting massive supply areas. The underground theatre had a huge stone stage where audiences of up to two thousand could enjoy the performance. Theatregoers still remember enjoying elaborate stage performances as American bombs exploded against the rocks outside.

(You might like to look into the people of Eritrea – they have managed to fight back against the British, French, and Americans and regain their lands. How are they doing it – they live underground – where they have their workshops making their weapons to fight against imperialism?)

The United States dropped 2 million tons of bombs on the combined European and Pacific theatres in the Second World War, but more than three times as much as 6.7  million tons on Southeast Asia. McNamara later estimated that the U.S. had killed 1.2 million Vietnamese civilians. The U.S. bombing killed, maimed, or made tens of millions of Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians homeless.

Yet none of this was inevitable, in the 1940s Mao Zedong declared it was important for America and China to be friends, that the United States and China were a much better fit than Russia and China, and that both sides would benefit from the combination of U.S. technological know-how and the skilled Chinese manpower. A generation later, President Richard Nixon – motivated by the American quagmire in Vietnam and competition with Russia came to a similar conclusion. Yet, here we are today and still, America has not learned that (simple truth) lesson.  

I have been so fascinated by a history that I lived through but never really understood what was going on in America at the time to cause such killing and endless wars. I must buy Lynne Joiner’s book the Honourable Survivor and get her insight into, John Service.

Keep safe. 


Why is China now talking about the UN to end the war in Ukraine

The mistrust between China and America can be traced right back to the Soong dynasty – how they hoodwinked the American president (Roosevelt) and the Americans through their American-educted Soong family Charly and his daughters Ailing, Chingling and Mayling (who said of herself – the only Chinese thing about me is my face) and their baby brother Tse-ven, called TV, they had a very well funded (by TV) Chinese lobbying offices in NY pumping out propaganda to the nation into believing China was ready to Americanise and Christianise – when all the time the Soong’s were screwing them.

Pretending to be fighting the Japanese with the money and arms but actually, they were using it in failed attempts to defeat the ever-growing People’s Liberation Army – under Mao, with American money, weapons, and aircraft flown by American ex-pilots. (you may remember how John Wayne flew in the Tiger Squadron in one of his films).

Unlike the Soong dynasty (who controlled China and the purse strings) Mao had no link with the American president or those on the Hill. The American government was so ignorant of China and the Chinese people, Americans simply soaked up the lies like a sponge and kept handing out money and arms to a set of gangsters running China.

Mao was desperate to meet with the American Government and strike a deal – he needed money to industrialise, and stretched the hand of friendship to America – his letter was spiked and Mao rather than becoming a friend of America became public enemy number one.

Had America listened to people like John Service in 1945 and backed Mao then there would have been no civil war in China (millions died) no war in the Pacific, (millions died) no war in Korea, (millions died) and no war in Vietnam……..

Sanctions will not bring down Russia – okay, it’s hurting their economy now, but once the pipelines are laid into China and India – their sales will be far greater than they sold to Europe, however, the looser at the end of all this will be the economies of the EU countries, we see it already. (Using taxpayer’s money and borrowings to help people pay the high price of fuel and food is only subsidising the energy companies – it can not continue.)  

The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the cold war re-draw borders, many of the Baltic states became independent counties once more, NATO (America) move quickly into these countries right up to Russia’s doorstep. Russia was in no position to stop them. Now America has been pumping millions into building up the Ukraine dock at Odesa to take large NATO ships such as the Queen Elisabeth aircraft carrier,  – Russia is saying this far and no further.

You can understand China’s apprehension about America (full my once shame on me – full me twice, shame on me). Yet China has turned itself into an industrial and trading nation and to achieve this it needed customers – the US was a big customer as was the EU – luckily they have a large domestic market so will ride out the storm. As well as India. What the West really needs to understand this, they need China as much as China need the West.

The UN rather than start a blame game needs to talk about ending this war. The EU needs to start trading goods and services with Russia once more rather than insults and missiles. All it will take to end the war and stop Russia destroy Ukraine’s infrastructure is to guarantee that Ukraine will not join NATO. Yes, they have a right to have a standing army if that is what they wish. A ground-to-air defence system, if that is what they wish, but what Russia is asking for and is not hearing is, some guaranteed security on its borders. What ‘If’ Ukraine were to join the EU, that would automatically put it in NATO – NATO (American) bases right up against Russia’s borders and restricted passage for her ships into the Mediterranean Sea. And what ‘if’ Ukraine were to insist (as America wishes) that Russia leaves the Crimea peninsular, that would be a step too far for Russia – she will never give up her naval and air force base there.

So you can understand China’s reluctance to condemn Russia – but why is the EU so willing to cut off its nose to spite its face, Ukraine in tatters means grain prices will go through the roof along with fertilizer (you will have to buy from America, Russia is the only other big grain supplier but you have sanction Russia so like the oil and gas, grain too will be shipped East rather than West. How stupid at these people in the European Parliament?    

Stay safe      


Ukraine Unvarnished

Today (Sunday) on to Aljazeera at 11.30 repeited at 16.30 a genuine unvarnished look at the war in Ukraine – I have never agreed that Russia invading Ukraine – BUT – wrong does not mean unprovoked – and nowhere in this documentary (or any western media outlet) will you hear one word

“Why did it come to this, and how do we stop this war?”

No one is looking at what happened at the end of the cold war, and the only president in Europe that has spoken out and asked the EU to look at Russian security after the cold war, has been the French president.

This war is driven by America – it was they that stirred up the pro-EU/NATO  supporters against the anti-EU/NATO demonstrators – they stoked the fire of division, started a civil war East against West – and the new Ukraine (puppet) president had the US on its side with promises of all the money and equipment they needed to push the Russians out of the Crimea. This was always going to be a step too far for Russia, Ukraine as a NATO country with American bases (although they will not be American bases, no they will only be supporting the Ukrainian forces – and invited into Ukraine by the Ukraine government).

Make no mistake Russia will do everything in its power to hold onto Crimea and its ice-free, warm water port, and only access to the Mediterranean Sea.

Yes, the pictures we see on our televisions are barbaric – but war is barbaric – and no one is interested in talking about peace, especially the US. The people of Ukraine will suffer – just as the people of Iraq suffered, just as the people of Yemen suffer – just as the people of Palestine suffer – and just as the people of Scotland now suffer from high inflation and an economy on the verge of collapse.

Yet the Westminster government’s Tory Leader and his counterpart Labour leader, are running around the UK and EU beating the war drum – Sending bigger and better tanks, warplanes, and missiles into an already out-of-their-control war.

And all the time the US President takes the high ground, for any war in Europe will only fill his coffers. No refugees pouring across his borders, no one will be getting into a rubber blow-up boat and paddling off to American shores. No, America will make the bullets and let someone else fire them, just as they have done since the end of the Second World War and Wars in the Far East.

This war in Ukraine like every other war was so predictable and so preventable – but hey, there is no money to be made from peace.

Stay safe.


A threed between two freinds

On 15 Feb 2023 20:40, Walter Hamilton wrote:

I don’t know if I sent you this – I found it in an out-of-print book on the First World War. 

France and Flanders 1915: Neuve Chapelle, Hill 60 and 2nd Ypres 37 William Campbell (my grandfather on my mother’s side) Born in Slamannan, Private William Campbell was the son of Walter and Elizabeth Shaw Campbell, of 9 Linlithgow Row, Newtown. His father Walter Campbell was a well-known centre-forward for Bo’ness Football Club in their early days. William had two sisters, Catherine and Minnie, and three younger brothers John, Thomas and Walter, the last of whom also served in WW1 with the Royal Scots, 5th Battalion. William was married to Annie Campbell (ms Bell) in 1907 and lived at Furnace Row, Bo’ness. The couple had four children. He was 31 years of age and was employed as a coal miner at Kinneil Colliery until 1912 when he left the district to work in Cowie, Stirlingshire, where he was well-known. While there he joined the Territorials, and soon after the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 1st Bn. Just prior to being sent to the Front he managed to return home to visit his family in Bo’ness. He left in January and arrived in France on 2nd February 1915. He was wounded during the Battle of Frezenberg and evacuated from the battlefield to No.11 General Hospital, a Base Hospital at Boulogne, arriving on 12th May 1915. He died of wounds that night. His wife was notified of his death by a letter from the Hospital Matron who wrote, dated 13th May 1915, in the following terms: I am very sorry to tell you that your husband, 9690 Private William Campbell, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was brought down here last evening at 7:50 pm in an unconscious condition, suffering from a very dangerous wound in the head. He never recovered consciousness and died at 10 the same night without saying a word. It is most tragic for you, and I am very sorry for you in your great trouble. Yours sincerely, M. Lang, Matron. William Campbell is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, at grave VIII. C. 33. His gravestone is inscribed with the epitaph, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted”

Reply from my friend

I haven’t heard that account Walter, very poignant Coincidentally, my Great Grandfather was also in the Argyle and Sutherlands, I wonder if they knew each other! Alexander Cunningham, he fought in the Boer Wars at Paaderburg, Driefontein and Modder River. My Stepfather in South Africa is a military history buff and says that’s where they were. I went to the battle sites in 2010.

He then went on to fight in France in WW1 and remarkably survived. I have a photo of him in his kilt with my Greatgran and Grandad as a boy with his sisters. I also have an original sepia plate photo from about 1901 of his battalion in South Africa. They are posing with a barrel and chalked in it says ’91st, Johannesburg, Rolling Home’…funny thing fate…little was he to know that 63 years later his Grandson (muggins) would be born there!

My reply to my friend

I read a lot about modern history – therefore about the conflict that seems unstoppable, for it is no longer about protecting your family but money, power, and empire building.

When you read accounts like that of Alistair Urquhart, an incredible story of survival during the war in the Far East. Sleeping on top of his dead comrades to keep him out of the mud – Urquhart survives his time working on the Burma Railway, when sent to Japan his ship was sunk by Allied forces – but he survived. He then Survived in the prisoner of war camp only miles away from the Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, but no heroes returned for those in the Japanese prisoner of war camps, no they were sent to America for six months – the Americans did not want their stories to be told – not until American business was well established in Japan – to the victor the spoils.

You should read about the First World War, (now fading into dusty archives) slaughterhouse killing. I read a lot about the First World War, in which both my grandfathers fought – one would join ‘the glorious falling’ the other came through it without a scratch – as did my father who served in the Navy towards the end of that war. The little bits and pieces he told me of his time during the First World War, and in the MN during the Second World War, clearly stayed with him for the remainder of his life.

Many a wife would wake up with a torn and troubled stranger in her bed.

There is a British poem called “Epitaph” about the army of Mercenaries – for that is what they called the first 160,000 to die in the First World War, they were called mercenaries because, unlike the draftees that followed them, they were paid pre-war army. Today America still uses mercenaries (although now called contractors) in all of their proxy wars, that way you don’t scare the voters – no flag-draped coffins for these lads, and the military band playing “Coming Home”.  

The Second World War was won not by the British for more Commonwealth troops fought and died in that war (along with millions of Russians) than British servicemen.

Then we come to the disaster that was the war in the Far East, again so predictable – so preventable, stupid foreign policies by an ill-informed American president. You should read about Mao and the People’s Liberation Army, Mao was a brilliant military strategist, and he took the people (peasants) with him, unlike the Chiang army, funded by the Americans, hoodwinked into believing that the money would be used to drive the Japanese out of Mongolia – but was in fact used by Chiang in his civil war against the People’s Libertarian Army. Chang had a slave army, he press-ganged the peasants to fight for him – forcing them to steal to stay alive, roped them together in long lines to stop them from absconding and stripped them naked at night, for the same reason. The Americans poured millions of dollars and war equipment into that slaughter, and millions died for nothing.

On August 20, 1940, Mao ordered one hundred of his regiments to attack the Japanese positions in North China. In what later became known as the Hundred Regiments Offensive, Mao threw 430,000 of his warriors – backed by millions of supportive peasants – against 830,000 Japanese troops. To put this perspective, the battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War involved 500,000 Union forces against 70,000 Confederate forces. In the Battle of the Bulge, the US and the Allies pitted 600,000 against 500,000 Germans.

Millions of Chinese – Japanese, American and other nations died needlessly, because of a blunder by an ill-informed and biased American president, Roosevelt – and I see no reason to believe that the US has changed its spots. America’s war crimes are worse than war crimes, they are blunders.  

“Did you really believe them when they told you the causes – did you really believe that this war would end wars?”

Stay safe.  


The Selfie Queen is Dead – Long live Scotland.

The writing has been on the wall for some time now – Sturgeon jumped before she was pushed. I’m sure she will be given some gong by the Westminster establishment for her contribution to keeping the Union of the United Kingdom intact, and the Tories still in power in the Scottish parliament. Sturgeon’s legacy – Both votes SNP for a strong mandate for independence – Stop Brexit – after the train has left the station – The Gender bill, further splitting the independence movement, the woman was a disaster area for the Independence movement in Scotland.

What Scotland needs now is for a pro-independent lead of the SNP and brings the country back together again “All Under One Banner” let’s get the independence bandwagon rolling once more.

Forget Westminster – come together as one independence party – a rainbow coalition of all pro-independent parties in Scotland to fight the good fight – for Scottish Independence and – at the Holyrood elections do not waste the list vote on ‘Both votes for the SNP (or main party, whatever that may be at that time).

Rise up people of Scotland – make a stance for freedom. Stop England Annexing Scotland in order to steal our natural resources and leave us with the bill.

Stay safe.    



Our government has been extremely clever at diverting attention away from what is going on in world politics – and behind every shady deal and deception is the US of America, the policies in America have now been one and the same in the UK, (the UK is now an American appendix).

Take the Reciprocal Access Agreement signed by Fumio Kishida and Rishi Sanak in January this year, it may have had a brief mention on the BBC but did anyone tell you that this allows British forces to be deployed to Japan?

Then take the Global Combat Air Programme (GCAP), a UK-Japan-Italy partnership to deliver next-generation combat fighter jets.

As soon as the pack was signed Kishida flew straight from London to update his masters in Washington and further upgrade the US-Japan alliance – even as the Biden administration pushed at China’s red lines to provoke it into using force first, Japan seeks to align itself closely into the US for the defence of Taiwan, (now British troops can be deployed in that too) or as Kishida puts it

The new agreements will “Cement the UK’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific” and went on to say that “East Asia is the Ukraine of tomorrow”

All he went on to say was Japan adopting a new National Security strategy to counter China was ‘the greatest strategic Challenge’ the country has ever faced. Japan has massively increased their military budget from $50bn to $318bn over five years – making them the fourth largest military power in the world.  

So the link is forged – Euro-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific in line with the 2022 NATO Strategic Concept. A quasi-alliance between Britain, the key Transatlantic US ally (American puppet) and Japan the key Transpacific US ally, effectively marks a shift in world security.

Far from being a security blanket for the world, with the UK, US and Australia all having access agreements, few barriers remain in Japan joining AUKUS and UK as the first European country to forge military links with Japan, will only open the door to other NATO members, now moving ever closer to Global NATO.  

In November we know that the Queen Elizabeth carrier (Queen Elizabeth was equipped with US aircraft) carried out a joint exercise (Vigilant Isles 22) with the Japanese, simulating the retaking of the island under enemy control. Alarm bells should have been ringing loud and clear here at home – the meaning of these exercises would mean potentially bringing British forces into direct conflict with China, given the Sino-Japanese dispute over islands in the East China Sea. (as ever the British media under the control of the Tories – stayed stoma).  

Meanwhile, GCAP further deepens Britain’s military cooperation with Japan and Italy, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and MBDA in the UK, will together with Leopard in Italy and Mitsubishi in Japan will be building a new fighter jet, the Tempest, to replace the Typhoon aircraft by the mid-2030s. The Tempest’s capacity to carry hypersonic missiles will significantly increase Japan’s capabilities in joining a US war with China.

Then the propaganda, and rhetoric that always follows such announcements.

The UK government has committed an initial £2bn to the project (down payment) claiming it will create high-skilled jobs, strengthen our industrial base, and drive innovation.  The trilateral arrangement will open markets in both Europe and Asia. PricewaterhouseCoopers calculates the programme could support some 21,000 jobs a year and contribute an estimated £26.2bn to the economy by 2050.

Are doctors, teachers, and nurses……………., all highly skilled (if not highly paid) workers?

So there we have it in a nutshell, China is such a threat to world peace that it demands an entirely new response – not only from the US but her allies – a New Cold War, all the economic and technological resources of the world fuser in a military pact.

GCAP is a hi-tech programme for unmanned aircraft and cutting-edge weapons representing an ‘unprecedented international aerospace coalition’ to sit alongside AUKUS.

Then again the mantra – ‘Creating jobs, saving lives’ – explicitly ties future economic prosperity in with military production and arms exports, turning the UK into a war factory.

Read your history – in 1934 -1940 handing Japan Koreand a. When Japan invaded Mongolia, he turned a blind eye – Japan bought half the US cotton crop, along with oil and steel, so although American oil was powering the Japanese planes dropping bombs made for US steel – the invasion of China did not take one dollar out of America’s purse.

The civil war in China between the Song dynasty (that held total power in China) thanks to American money, had a strong propaganda lobby in NY and the ear of; US President Roseville that caused the president to make some disastrous decisions in backing TV Song sending $100 million to China (without the authorisation of the people on The Hill) the money was to be used to drive them out of China, (Mongolia), but was used by the Chinese government (the Song dynasty) to wage war on the Chinese Liberation Army, costing the lives of millions of Chinese.  

When the Chinese lobby in America finally persuaded the president to sign off on an embargo on goods to Japan (sanctions) this led to Pearl Harbour and the war in the Far East – costing not only Japanese lives but the lives of thousands of US and their allies.   

Downing Street, shockingly, wants to draw parallels between the RAA and the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902. Forged to counter Russia’s expansion to the East at the time, the twenty-year alliance oversaw Japan’s rapid military industrialisation which was to drive particularly brutal aggression across Asia, which it accelerated after 1936 when Japan joined the Nazi Germany-Italy axis.

Now once again, along with the US, the UK is indulging the aspirations of Japan’s right-wing leaders to regain the country’s pre-WW2 military position.  Specifically, by developing counter-strike capabilities to destroy enemy missiles and other bases, the fighter jet project actively subverts Article 9 of the Japanese constitution – the peace clause – which declares “the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes”.

The UK-Japan deal only adds to the destabilisation of a region vital to the world’s future prosperity and the battle against climate catastrophe. Other Asian nations, whose memories of Japan’s WWII barbarism and military-colonial occupations live on. The Japanese public themselves, despite rising concerns over Chinese assertiveness, do not support tax rises to pay for the increases in the military budget.

But as Japan prepares to host the G7 in Hiroshima in June, the mind boggles as to what new initiatives might be announced next.

The RAA is expected to be laid before Parliament shortly. The key question to be asked is: how far will the UK go in aiding and abetting US hostilities towards China?

My question to the British public is – are you going to wise up and stop this expansion of US (British) warmongering – US empire building – and send a message loud and clear to Westminster that the war they really should be fighting is – climate change – fuel poverty – affordable housing………………. If your MP is not supporting such proposals – and prefers to go along with US aggression and a Cold War mentality – then you have a VOTE.

Stay safe

Over two thousand protesters turned out in London for the candlelight possession calling on the UK government to stop the extradition of Assange to America and set Assange free.


Self Publishing

I have now self-published The Magic of the Sea ISBN number 9798375057354 – cost for download is $0.99 kindle or 2,88 paperback

Scotland, Germany, and Austria by train, bus and folding bicycle ISBN 9798375060088 costs £0,80 for kindle or £1,70 paperback on Amazon if anyone wishes to download them.

The first is about my father’s time at sea – the conditions he and his family endured – First World War,  the depression – whaling, home trade, whiskey runs, during the American prohibition, and Second World War, including the Russian convoys.

The second is my trip to Germany and Austria in 2022 and how it restored my physical and mental health after two years of lockdown.

Writing my stories has made me a star,

Know from St Andrews to places afar,

And yes I know I shouldn’t bitch,

But has not made me,

Tall or rich.  

stay safe


“Go tell that to the Marines”

I see Germany has caved into America’s demands to send tanks to Ukraine – not that they are really needed but it shows the world that it is not AMERICA but ALL NATO members that are sending tanks – 300 if the figures are correct – to Ukraine’s theatre of war.

This will do nothing to end this war only make a bad situation worse. Since, what started off as Russia supporting the breakaway states in east Ukraine, has now escalated into an all-out war NATO (America) trying to bring Russia to its knees.

We have gone from supplying a few DEFENSIVE armaments to now NATO countries supplying OFFENSIVE weapons – and nowhere in all the rhetoric spewed out by western media (on their daily propaganda bulletins) do we hear even an utterance of PEACE TALKS – a coming together to settle this escalating conflict.

Of course, 300 tanks are not going to make a blind bit of difference – and was never intended to make a difference to the situation on the ground, tanks can’t float – and from what I remember of my school geography – there is a bloody big river – the Dnipro River that runs all the way from Mizhrichynski (on Ukraine – Belarus border) to Kherson (on the Black Sea) – with the Russians on the east bank and the NATO tanks firmly on the west bank. This is why the Russian forces pulled back over the River and gave up land already held. The land was on the wrong side of the river leaving the Russian forces exposed. And why they fell back to these new defensive positions – there was no tactical advantage (a lot of bombed-out buildings) that would not have been worth the cost of holding.

The new positions that Russian forces have taken up now have a river between the two opposing sides, much easier to hold, and will be very difficult to take (even with 300 tanks) if the NATO tanks do reach the river the Russians will simply blow up all the bridges and dams (I’m sure they are already mined) making a crossing very difficult indeed. And, of course, Russia has learned her lesson with the bridge connecting Russia with Crimea, (and the undersea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany). These crossings will now be well guarded against American Special Forces.  

This is now and has from the start been a war of attrition. Russia has taken out all the services crucial for comfortable survival over the harsh Ukrainian winter and spring is still a long way off.

And when spring arrives these cities will still be in taters, so the millions that fled Ukraine will not be returning anytime soon, if at all, (another bill for the EU members to pick up). Will farmers be able to plant their crops in a war-torn landscape? What next for Ukraine RED CROSS PARCELS – or will America keep upping the ante until we have an all-out war in Europe?

It is past time for the EU to tell America – time to pull in your horns – and the EU to get around the table with Ukraine and Russia to sort this out.

Alas, there is money to be made from wars (keeping America’s economy afloat) and no bonus from peace talks, more so it a peace dividend means – no American (NATO) bases in Ukraine. (Oh! Sorry, they are not American bases – we are only supporting our (NATO) allies having bases in other countries – go tell that to the Marines.   

“Jaw, jaw – not war, war” – Winston Churchill  

Stay safe


Hamish Brown “The fall of Singapore”

Been a funny old day and no mistake – the plumber arrived with a snagging list and spend a lot of time in my bathroom – still not sure what he did for I still do not have a control valve on my radiator so it is still going full bore at present. I had to leave him to it as this was Probus Club day – Hamish Brown “The fall of Singapore” – actually had little to do with the fall of Singapore.

His father was a Banker and travelled out to Japan – where Hamish was born. Then Hamish, along with his mother and baby sister, (leaving about two months before the fall of Singapore) travelled down from Japan. The boat called in at Shanghai, Singapore, the Philippines, and Kuala Lumpur before heading for South Africa (where they had relations) then back to Scotland, their father left much later and was always just one jump ahead of the posy.

He clearly had a varied upbringing and spent time at some of the prestigious schools across the world, so well educated. But I have to say it was all a bit disjointed. He would keep coming up with little anecdotes, mostly having nothing to do with the story.

I first became interested in what was going on in the Far East at the time of his telling but I really knew nothing. I had read The Forgotten Highlander by Alistair Urquhart, a book not written by an officer as so many were, but by a serving soldier. When the British Empire armies surrendered to a rag-tag-and-bobtail Japanese army that was on its last legs, out of food, ammunition and riding on bikes with no tyres or tubes – it was the end of the British Empire, it collapsed came like dominos, following that fiasco.

Urquhart worked on the Burma railway (his account of the conditions, you would not believe, sleeping on top of corpses to keep himself out of the mud and water he was saved by falling ill and ending up in a hospital where the better conditions (under a British army doctor) saved his life. As the Japanese came under pressure they were evacuated by ship to Japan – his boat was sunk, before its arrival, however, Urquhart managed to survive, ending up in a prisoner of war camp just outside Hiroshima, and you know what happened there.

Urquhart was scathing about their treatment at the end of the war in the Far East, the Americans did not want them to go home and to tell tales out of school, about the suffering that had been handed out by the Japanese, the Americans wanted it to all go away, then they could get on with the business of making money in conjunction with the Japanese – they had the cheap labour we had the cotton, oil and steel. The prisoners were now a liability – no cheers and bunting for their homecoming – they were shipped off to America and six-month of recuperation – but only after they had to sign a paper, to say nothing about what had happened to them under the Japanese.

Now having read about the Soong dynasty, and how they used their wealth and power to gain control of the Chinese government, then asset stripping it, filling up their bankbooks in American, and European banks, and buying property in the most expensive part of New York, Paris and London. T.V would then set up a lobbying (propaganda) company in the swankiest part of New York to push the idea (through their mouthpiece Mayling and her husband Chang Kai-Shek) that China was reforming into a Christian and Americanised country. Mayling had the ear of President Roosevelt, (a man that spouted bile at the peasant Chinese and their peasant army. He gave away Korea to the Japanese believing the Japanese were the saviours of the Far East, who would win the heathens for America. And when Japan invaded Mongolia – he turned a blind eye – the Japanese buy half our cotton and our oils and steel, and that is what sets the bar.

Because of America’s poor (nil) knowledge of China, millions of Chinese, Japanese and others died. And when they decided to sanction Japanese goods and money (much like they are doing over Russians) so Japan attacked Pearl Harbour – how many lives were lost following Perle Harbour?

Millions would be alive today if it had not been for America’s ignorance of Chinese affairs and bad foreign policymaking.

I have just finished the chapter on Mao and his peasant army – the Americans branded him a puppet of the Russian Communists – but he was far from being a communist – he was a socialist. His army did not get paid, what they did receive was land – their land that they had worked then only to hand over at least 50% of their crop to the greedy landlord.  –They all wore the same uniform, and they communicated like family rather than an army – although like any family it still retained a leader (head of the family). Mao led them into the far north (on the long march) around six thousand miles – Mao was near death once or twice and his wife carried shrapnel in her leg. They crossed some of the biggest rivers and highest mountain passes in China. They were marching at an incredible 24 miles a day. Arriving at the town of Yan’an a sun-drenched, dusty region of loess soil, years of dust storms in the region had piled layer upon layer of this loess making it easy to dig into, and that is what his army did, they dug out caves, warm in winter, cool in summer. They carved out school rooms, recreation halls, and a university of military studies.

The soldiers were not allowed to smoke opium and the army did not tolerate the camp follower, women that serviced all big armies. What Mao set out to do is build a self-sufficient economy, like a latter-day Robin Hood; he took from the rich and gave to the poor, and that is why his army grow in size and strength – unlike Chang’s army of conscripts that had to be tied by the neck – one behind the other, and stripped of clothing at night so that they would not abscond at the first opportunity. Moe’s army was a long way from communise thinking. For the first time in Chinese history, an army was fighting for their independence.  

Last but by no means least; I finished the story about dad’s time at sea. Not a biography but taking the stories he told me and putting some meat on the bones – so giving it a posh name, historically novel. I have put it on Amazon – so it can be downloaded (if you are interested $0.99 on Kindle) and it is called Magic of the Sea.

Time to put on the dinner – mince and tatties – it’s gid tell yir ma’

Stay safe.    


The Endless Thread that is Freindship

I received this from an old friend (college chum) in answer to my last e-mail – and my reply – though it was worthy of posting.

Ahoy! Sorry for the late reply, always busy dealing with offspring and dramas.  However, brief respite Saturday, managed to get in the sea at Silver Sands high tide at 14:00 which literally chilled me out a bit.  That was probably the coldest for a while but there were a couple of die-hards including a chap in his 70s.  A curious seal appeared again and leapt out of the water about 2 cables away, I often see him, must be wondering what the hell humans are doing in the water at this time of year the mad buggers haha.

Yes, I didn’t think about how much damage those ships are doing, to be honest, and as you say they are not reporting it on MSM to a great extent.  I don’t normally subscribe to conspiracy theories but I am now convinced the electric car revolution is utter nonsense and there are great and dark powers behind it.  Like murder, there has to be motive, means and opportunity.  I can only think that the power companies in cahoots with the government/s want to try and disenfranchise the oil-producing states in the Middle East and remove all power and wealth and dependency on them which, to be honest, wouldn’t be a bad thing in terms of dependency as it might nip in the bud these bloody wars.

The EV argument is ludicrous to even surely to the most non-erudite of laymen.:- 

The planet will be raped for lithium, and thousands exploited across Africa and Asia to work in the open cast mines.  

They don’t work in freezing temperatures, (I’m not as technically gifted as you but I know even my ‘Ring’ doorbell battery depletes in hours rather than weeks in sub-zero temps).  

If there are snow blizzards and EV get stuck, the batteries drain and no way to get the vehicles out.  

After 9 or 10 yrs the batteries deplete and have to be replaced costing a fair hefty sum 

They have no effective, environmentally friendly way of disposing of the batteries

It just doesn’t add up to me, something sinister is going on, they just can’t pull the plug (if you’ll forgive the phrase haha) on petrol vehicles in 2030, it’s abject nonsense.  Are they trying to isolate and contain the population? A possibility methinks, I’ve seen what I call the ‘de socialization’ of society through simple things like the destruction of the pub trade, it saddens me as an example to see a wee town like Milnathort, it used to have 2 major pubs right at the main crossroads, both gone now, One a private house and the other a bloody conference centre.  There is still The Thistle Hotel and a smaller hill up th brae on the old Perth Road but you know what I mean.

Even in my younger days, the pub was the centre of the community, you got to know your neighbours, and met new friends and there was a general ambience of community however hazy the evening got lol.  Times change as you know more than me lol.  I suppose we’re all culpable to a varying degree with home drinking and advances in home entertainment but you can’t beat a good night of convivial chat and laughter in a pub.

On that dreary note, if you haven’t visited Kirkcaldy Hugh Street of late then don’t lol you wouldn’t believe your eyes.  It’s a dystopian nightmare, all the major stores are closed and gone, Markies is now a vaccine hub, the Mercat is like a forlorn drunk with empty shops like rotten teeth marking the main thoroughfare like crucifixes on the Appian Way, Miss Maudes has lain empty for years and now Superdrug has announced imminent closure.  Unemployed foreigners hanging about in groups in minging attire and appearance and junkies shouting at the sky.  All the while the SNP-led administration pouring millions into the lovely, useless paving restructuring of the promenade where no one goes and or spends money, utter madness I tell you, Walter!

We are looking to move from Kirkcaldy, it is the pits these days, and all we hear are sirens, I think criminals have now got the idea into their heads (and probably correctly) that there aren’t enough police or the will to stop them, we have seen a rapid increase the last year or so in prowlers, break-ins, car thefts and all sorts, quite depressing really, welcome to Sturgeon’s paradise haha.

Apart from that everything is well hahahahaha. Must dash, Monday morning work madness to attend to, stay safe, hope you enjoyed ‘Fedora’.

Sounds amazing chum, excellent prose of review, enjoyable read.  I haven’t seen ‘Fedora’ must look out, haven’t been to the opera since ‘Carmen’ for many years which is a fav of mine.


Hi again

You know of course that I love the sea – I learned to sail (dinghies) when out in Cyprus way back early 1960s. I have had a few boats over the years (sailing) the largest was 27 Feet and weighed in at around 5.5 tons. Sailed up and down the North Sea from North Berwick to Wells-on-Sea (out of Grimsby) it was a comfortable live-on-board wooden boat that kept the maintenance tools ready to hand – mostly scraping, sanding and varnishing – a lot of bright-work on these old boats. It was the boat that was going to be my permanent home in France, (the plan was to buy a piece of land adjacent to a canal and live there, but life got in the way. So, I have seen lots of those little comical heads popping up alongside my boat, big calf eyes and whiskers. I often wondered if it was the boat that made them curious or my lobster pots, and setline that I always dropped over the side along with the anchor. Fresh, live lobsters sold well in local restaurants – bought me some diesel.

With you 100 per cent on EVs why does everything need a battery now? From, yes, your doorbell to your vacuum cleaner, and yes open cast across the world, and when the finite resources run out on earth they will start dredging the oceans. And like you say – disposal – much like the awfully cheap nuclear power – leaving the cost of disposal and clean up to the next generation – our end is served.  

I cry over the demise of the local pub and working men’s clubs, they were the places of communication – discussion rooms, none of this one-sided crap on social media – we all had a say and our opinion were listened to. (Maybe that was the trouble – the truth came out about our governments). Also, the coming together of males/females at dances and socials, music, laughter, and a whole culture swept away with their demise.

When I add up all the costs – what we have gained and what we have lost – I can’t help thinking – we’ve been taken for a ride.

Home entertainment (to use your vocabulary LOL) the television must be the best cure for insomnia known to man.

Yes, empty shops, possibly due to online shopping, (which has not helped global warming all those delivery vans heading out Amazon’s gates and spreading out across Fife. However, what they need to do is turn those empty shops into homes, bring more people into the centre of town and you will get local (small shops) opening up again for the baker, greengrocer, butcher ….. this is how it was in the cities and towns I visited on my trip to Germany/Austria – and of course, there are no charity shops, food banks, people sleeping in doorways…. in Germany/Austria, the state social services works.

As for crime, if people see only a dark tunnel ahead of them, unemployment, poor wages when in work, living from hand to mouth, poor damp homes in some run-down housing estate (no longer owned by the council but buy to let investors, whose only interest in the house is how much money it can make to fill their retirement pot. Depressed nations of unhappy people will turn to drugs, and crime to feed their habits or kicks. I have a nephew – when his parents split up the kids wet off the rails (their mother had no control over them) the youngest two went on a spree of housebreaking – only caught when they broke into the Mayors home and found the liquor cabinet, got pissed and though that the goldfish in the pond in the garden would bring them a few bob or two, so they went splashing around in the pond trying to catch the fish. When they were in court Malcolm asked for 22 other cases to be taken into consideration – seems they had found something they did well. I asked Malcolm, years later, why he did it since he was a lad that was never into material things or wanted riches. He told me for kicks, he felt alive when he was housebreaking. I go right back to our education system, if you can not install discipline in schools, (see what happened in the school in Anstruther, fighting in the classroom) and channel young energy into worthwhile activities then you will end up where we are now.

You only have to go to places such as Bradford (where I lived for many years) and see how the Pakistani population have taken over the  city, the kids do what their parents tell them to do – they work hard at home and at their school work – (as soon as a little girl can press the keys on the cash register they are working in dad’s or granddad’s shop) – whatever you think of the Pakistani they do have a high work ethic – possibly because they are immigrants (even if they were born in England)

I saw the Green Party MSP on the telly the other day, he was telling us that the north of Scotland was a wilderness and should be covered in on-shore wind turbines (who elect these Numpies?) what we need to erect on any (wilderness or otherwise in Scotland) is a million home for young immigrants – we are living in a demographic time bomb (not helped by Brexit, England’s drawbridge mentality) – when we did have a much better system for people to move much more freely around Europe – we had the staff to keep our NHS afloat (without the high cost of agency workers) our care homes (a thankless task) were being staffed (happily) by people from the Baltic States (places such as Romania) the crops were being lifted in the fields – not rotting in the fields. Where did we go wrong?

Still, it is hard to keep a good man down for long. I have been walking down by the harbour over the years and seen the demise of the inshore and crabbing industry all but disappear (again Brexit) the French are buying their lobster, crabs etc. From the Faro islanders now, any way to cut a long story short one small crabber has been tied up in the river for some time now and I just happened upon the harbour master the other day – asking about the boat – it belongs to a lady whose husband died. Was she selling it – seems she can not make up her mind (possibly nostalgia stopping her from parting with it) but something will have to be done with it or it will deteriorate past saving. I have her address – so maybe another project for the bold Hamilton. I would like a wee boat again – do a bit of fishing and throw (three maximum, and for self-use only, before you need a fishing licence) lobster pots out.

I did not know you were into Opera, I got there by all the musicals that were the stable diet of the cinemas in the 1950s – Rose Marie, The Student Prince (I’ll do my duty for Carlsberg) Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Seven Brides for seven Brothers, the sound of Music…… all stepping stones to my introduction to Opera. I have many DVDs of Opera (and musicals) but my favourite has to be Mozart – Le Nozze Di Figaro. So funny I could watch it over and over. In fact, I play the CD a lot around the house – or when in my workshop, you do not have to see the action, for the pictures are there in your head, all you need is the music to bring them to life. I wanted to go to a live opera when I was in Wien but they were booked out months in advance, boo-ho, if I had known this I would have booked months before leaving Scotland, such is life.  

Keep safe.   



Loved the opera (Fedora) and the attendance was as much as I have ever seen at Met Opera at the Byre. Why, well, I don’t really know – could be it has been some time (before lockdown) since we have had Met Opera at the Byre, withdrawal symptoms maybe? However, more likely that since St Andrews University has taken over the theatre, they have a policy of “Pay what you can”. When I first came to St Andrews it would have cost a couple around £50.00 for seats, and since I did not see anyone under 65 there tonight is suspect, getting a couple of tickets for £20.00 (you can manage that even on a pension) has brought the people (OAP) beating a path to their door.

The opera was Fedora set in Russia – Paris and Switzerland, and this is reflected in the music, heavy melancholy Russia, waltzing and dancing, Paris, and in Switzerland, light and gay, lots of (French) horns sounding very Alpine.

We open in Count Vladimir’s house in St Petersburg, which is very male, all gamblers and drunkards – the count we find out he is a gambling man and a womaniser – the marriage to Princess Fedora Romanoff, is due to take place the following morning (clearing his debts for Fedora is a rich widow – the Count has been shot and they have brought him home – he dies of his wounds. (Fedora had a lucky escape if you ask me) – questioning the servants, the name of the man suspected of firing the fatal shot was said to be Loris Ipanoff. Fedora swears to get revenge for her lover’s death.

Loris escapes the country to avoid capture pursued in Paris by Fedora, who seduces Loris and extracts a confession which she then passes on to the Police in Russia and arranges for her spies to abduct Loris and return him to Russia and justice.

Once the gears are in motion – Fedora asks Loris why he shot her lover. Turned out to be a crime of passion – Loris caught his wife and Count Vladimir (remember him) and in a jealous rage shot them both. Around this time Fedora sees the error of her ways and promptly falls in love with Count Vladimir.  

The couple flees to Switzerland to do a lot of kissing and cuddling (well. It was before the 9 O’clock watershed) – news finds Fedora that Loris’s brother had been taken in for questioning as being complicit in the death of Count Vladimir (although totally innocent he died in custody, whereupon their aged mother died instantly on heard the new. Fedora is distorted since it was she who started the ball rolling.

A letter comes to Loris – he has been given a pardon. Delighted with this news he intends to return to St Petersburg to be reunited with his brother and mother – he then receives the news of their deaths and that a woman spy from Paris had caused their death. He flies into a rage he will track this spy woman down and kill her. Fedora pleads for him to forgive her – then the penny drops – he realises it was Fedora’s doing. In grief – for the loss of her new lover and the happiness he would have brought into her life, she drinks poison – the fat lady sings her swan song and dies – as she lies dying Loris forgives her – Paper hankie time.

Fedora is sung by Sonya Yoncheva, the range of the woman, from very low to extremely high notes – she certainly earned her corn, a long performance for her.

Loris Ianoff (I think he is Polish) – in the very first performance of Fedora this part was sung by Caruso, (another piece of useless information).

There was a part in the first Act, for my favourite voice, a contralto playing the trouser part. (They are always cast as witches, bitches or trousers) but it was short and sweet.

A very enjoyable 2.5 hours that went in a trice.

Stay safe.  


Shipping from early times has kept world trade afloat – now is shipping threatening to sink our world?

Not too many years ago I worked with steam raising plant, and we burned heavy oil, so viscose that heaters had to be attached to the pipes to keep it flowing. This oil was cheap about 50% cheaper than light oil, it burned fine, in oil-burning boilers and specially adapted heavy oil-burning engines even had the advantage of it lubricated as it drove the combustion engines. What we all knew of course was it produced a lot of smoke and a heavy flake of ‘Black Carbon’ from the stack so was phased out within towns and cities. However, it was still used extensively as the fuel of choice for shipping.

The biggest modern container ships will carry up to one hundred thousand containers, if you filled each of these containers with shoes from China to take to Europe then you would need 170,000,000 boxes of shoes. So efficient have these ships become – being able to time their arrival at ports such as Rotterdam to plus or minus fifteen minutes and unload within hours, makes them very efficient cutting the cost of delivery of a pair of shoes to only add 25p. That is less per ton/mile than it cost to carry coal in barges along English canals at the height of the industrial revolution.

These ships burn 380 tons of this heavy oil each day – that is around 240 barrels – each day. Ships now have to change to a lighter fuel when it near ports, or in rivers. So that the heavy fall out of black carbon does not fall on populated areas. Fine but we have heard so much of late about the Artic ice melt, and how now the North West Passage has become much more accessible to ships now sailing across the roof of the world for much of the summer – large modern ice breakers have helped to keep these sea lanes open for longer seasons too.

This means that many container ships are plying much closer to the ice packs than ever before and that black carbon laden with sulphur is not falling on the open sea, or going into the atmosphere but landing on the artic ice causing it to melt at a far higher rate than air pollution alone. We now have seventeen to twenty per cent of black carbon from shipping falling on the Artic ice cap. Shipping across the roof of the world has increased; eighty per cent now use the North West Passage for the cost of sea time is dramatically reduced. This has been used by shipping companies as a get-out-of-jail card – sea time is cut – therefore we are polluting less. However, the pollution they are causing is not out at sea but is now on the land (or ice to be more precise).

Ships now travel under ‘Flags of Convenience’ – so don’t expect such countries to do anything to stop shipping companies using heavy oil, and out with the laws and control of any country other than international law ship owners will always opt for the cheapest fuel (50% cheaper).

I had always thought that the G7 – G whatever and Davos were all about sorting out such problems in and around the world, but alas no, they spent all their time trying to persuade EU countries to escalate the war in Ukraine by shipping modern tanks into an already overheated situation.

As the Polar Ice Cap recedes, more and more open water will be available for shipping – already at eighty per cent. Most of this water will be Russian – now making noises about putting a levy on ships passing through its waters, since they are the ones keeping the passageways open with their, large modern icebreakers (which makes you wonder about the rhetoric behind America’s proxy war in Ukraine).  

There are of course alternatives to heavy oil, but nothing is going to change until international law forces change.

What are we thinking? Would 23p on a pair of shoes – drive us into poverty? Stopping the use of heavy oil at sea would give the Ice Cap breathing space for us to make the changes necessary over air prolusion.

Fact: one container ship puts more Sulphur into the atmosphere in one trip from China to Rotterdam than all the cars on the planet do in one year. Car engines are so efficient now that they are practically free of pollution – as you know when you go for an MOT. Modern cars are fitted with catalytic converters, reducing emissions even further. We really need to stop talking about e-cars as the saviour of the planet, and start to tackle the real causes of global warming – ships – military vehicles (exempt from the figures).

Shipping from early times has kept world trade afloat – now is shipping threatening to sink our world?

Well, must go, to Met Opera this afternoon – Fedora.

Stay safe.


Or Voice Must be Heard

Are you not just a bit tired of the news broadcasts that invade our homes each day? Today it was the American spokesmen telling us how Russia is now using criminal gangs as mercenaries to fight in Ukraine, I’m sure they are, Stalin did, and America have used mercenaries in every war they have ever waged, although now they are called Civilian Contractors, no need for flag-draped coffins on the nightly news for these lads, so no scared horses – our votes are safe.

The images on the news this morning showing the American spokesperson standing at the podium telling us all this could so easily have been a re-run of the same man standing there years ago telling us about Weapons of Mass Destruction – same guy – same stretching of the truth.

What did we expect – America, Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, and most of the Baltic nations sending vast amounts of high-tech military equipment, (first anti-tank handheld weapons, now we are way beyond that) NATO boots on the ground – manpower and intelligence from American surveillance, targeting troop movements, the killing of young lads, just out of boot camp – never fired a bullet in anger, (war crimes) and it is all Russia’s fault because we only ever hear one side of the story.

And now the talks in Switzerland that should have been about – the world economy, tackling global warming, a war on the world, so catastrophic, (no matter if we disagree about the causes) only second to all-out nuclear war, was high jacked by America to talk about sending more, bigger and better, weapons of mass destruction into an already escalating conflict. I have to agree with Germany, how sending German tanks into a war zone will do nothing other than bring the war closer to the EU member’s door. The Second World War that devastated the great cities of Europe is still fresh in many people’s minds, thank goodness for Germany, the pressure, in the end, maybe too much but like Hungary, they see the dangers of following American foreign policies.

Still reading The China Mirage (it is not a book to read all the way through it has to be put down and thought about as you go) we see how Roosevelt, had (secretly) handed Korea to Japan, even though Korea had signed a pact with the US that Korea would ever be independently guaranteed under US protection. Then when Japan invaded Manchuria – the US made some noises but in the end

On October 9 1931 Stimson met President Herbert Hoover and demanded that the US and the League of Nations jointly condemn Japan’s actions on the grounds of a number of international treaties. Hoover based the calculations of America’s interests in Asia on hard dollars and cents. The bottom line was that the value of US trade with Japan was many times larger than it was with China. While Americans might shed a tear for Noble Peasants Wang and O-lan, the Japanese were buying fully half of America’s cotton crop and Japan’s military-industrial complex bought large amounts of US oil and steel. Nelson Johnson – the US ambassador to China from 1929 to 1941 – wrote the Japanese control of North China would not cause “The loss of a dollar from an American purse.”   

I look at this and I look at what is happening in Ukraine at this time and see America’s proxy war (in which it has successfully involved Europe through its alliance with NATO) as nothing more than keeping the wheels of the American war factories well greased – for jobs mean votes – and votes mean power.

Now reading about Mao Zedong and how he ended the Soong dynasty (who helped themselves to China’s wealth, squirrelling it away in American and European banks and in property across the world) The Peoples Army. a small army of peasants that took on the might of the Generalissimo and won. fascinating stuff

Stay safe


“We’d rather be Red than Dead”

At the height of the cold war for many Americans, the threat of a nuclear war was very real – you had the Hawks in Government (mostly making big bucks from America’s war factories) and the anti-war protesters – one of the slogans, in response to if we do not stop Communists they will take over our country.

“We’d rather be Red than Dead”

Now I have always been intrigued by the attitude of the Japanese towards direct threats by stronger nations from outside their country’s borders – I can’t remember all the details off hand – but more or less the East India Trading Company wish to set up in Japan and the Japanese were rather sceptical about the terms, so resisted – Britain protecting its interests sent a gunboat brisling with canon. The Japanese at that time had no defence against such weapons so capitulated. Then they did something I thought rather unexpected – they approached the only white man on the island, who happened to be Scottish, and asked him to show them what they needed to do to modernise.

“We’d rather be (savvy) than Dead”

In James Bradley’s book, we learn how an ill-informed, preludes and arrogant President Roosevelt looked upon the Chinese people. They were savages, unruly, and incapable of ruling themselves, what they required was re-educated to become Christian and Americanised. Much the same attitude that the new Americans had for the indigenous Native Americans whose land they settled.

Charles (Charlie) Soong had sailed to America to find work as a labourer, he chose the East coast rather than the West coast – for in the west Chinese, men women and children were being murdered – ethnic cleansing. Charlie ended up in the protection of the Southern Methodist Church in Carolina, they wanted Charles to be their man in China reforming the heathens to Christianity. He was educated at the best universities in America and sent back to his homeland as a baptised Christian to preach the good news to the people of China.

Charles, already knew that the people of China had no wish to be Christian or Americanised but he has seen the collection plates in the churches in Carolina filling up with coins and dollar bills for him to carry on their mission in China, (he had returned home with 2 million dollars, start-up fund).

The missionaries in China had little understanding of China since they lived mostly in western areas separated from the real folks of China. Soong used this to his advantage and strung them along, whilst the missionaries sent glowing reports home to America.

When Soong was in America he could not help noticing that everyone carried a bible to Church, they were issued to schools and even found in doctors waiting rooms. He suggested to the church that he could print and supply them with bibles and church books and material at a fraction of the cost and built up a large printing house in China supplying to the US, making him a very rich man.

Charlie married well in 1897 and the marriage produced three daughters (Ailing, Chigling, and Mayling) and a son (Tse-ven called T.V.) – all were sent to America to be educated, at universities of Harvard, Wellesley, and Georgia’s Wesleyan College. Like their father, they quickly realised that America did not accept them as Chinese but as Americanised Chinese Christians. The eldest daughter Ailing was a smart cookie, she was never interested in power but the money that power would bring her – she became the puppet master of the family.

Ailing Soong inherited her father’s drive. She journeyed to America, alone at the age of 14 years and graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, in 1911, before returning to China as Dr Sun’s personal assistant.

By 1911 the Manchu dynasty was on its last legs, its emperor only five years old. Numerous uprisings – some of which Sun Yat-sen led or participated in. on January 1, 1912, Sun was elected resident of what was now the Republic of China, but he did not have control of this unruly country, and in 1913 Sun and Charlie Soong packed up their families, boarded a ship in the dark of night and fled to Japan.

In 1914 the 26-year-old Ailing extracted herself from the sexual advances of her 48-year-old boss and married H. H. Kung, a Chinese Christian also in Japan who was reputedly China’s richest banker and a lineal descendent of Confucius.   

In 1918 on the death of her father Ailing gained the reins of Soong’s empire. The Wesleyan-educated Ailing, her husband H.H. Kung and her Harvard-educated little brother T.V. raised funds for the Nationalist Party (the party was very up and down sometimes having to flee into exile.)

At the end of the First World War President Woodrow Wilson entered the Paris peace talks preaching “self-determination” as a salve for a ravaged world – Wilson sold out the Chinese people – when the news hit the streets of China – the people reacted in protest. Communist Russia sent agents who soon established warm contacts with important Chinese intellectuals and political figures. Two decades of America’s efforts to Christianise and Americanise the Chinese people had been swept aside – almost overnight.  

The Nationalists were the rising star under Chiang Kai-shek, he had trained as a soldier in Japan and his idea of revolution was for the army to take over and control the country. He believed China could only be controlled under one leader (dictatorship).

The other side of the equation was Mao Zedong (Communist Party) he was a bit of a romantic and loved the idea and the romance of Old China, a cultural revolution.

The bulk of the people of China at the time lived in small villages scattered across the country. They were farmers, living in mud huts, with no electricity or sewers. Half the people died before the age of thirty. Landlords held sway, owning the vast majority of the land, and the farmers often paid them more than 50 per cent of their crops in confiscatory taxes.

By 1925 Mao was already talking about organising a peasant revolt. Peasants scattered across the country in small numbers could not be easily brought together and participate in the revolutionary movement.

Sun Yat-sen died in 1925 setting off a chain of events. Chiang Kai-shek was allied with the urban, Western-oriented moneyed classes and the banker of landlords who feasted on the situation as it stood, the opposite of Mao Zedong’s thinking, taking from the rich to give to the poor (90 per cent of the Chinese population).

Ailing steps up to the plate, she was a woman with a mind that forgot nothing and forgave little, a forceful woman that had she been male would have ruled China.

In July 1926 the Russian-funded Chinese United Front forces and Mao’s Communist followers launched the Northern Expedition of military effort involving a hundred thousand troops and were designed to break out of southeastern China, bet back various warlords, conquer central China and gain control of the vital Yangtze River.

Ailing Soong was alarmed by Mao’s peasant uprising and workers’ strikes. Ailing took a Bank of China steamer upriver to the city of Jiujiang, Chiang Kai-shek’s temporary headquarters on the Yangtze, and invited him aboard for a man-to-man talk. Ailing had taken control from the start by making the Generalissimo come to her. After hours of negotiation, she proposed an alliance between the powerful Soong Empire and the ambitious Chiang.

Ailing made three demands, which would later have a dramatic impact on the U.S. – China relations. Each demand concerned her family. Ailing told Chiang to appoint her husband H.H. Kung, as prime minister, for financial control. That her little brother T.V. would serve as Chiang’s finance minister. Third, that was both political and personal, Ailing possessed something priceless through her father’s support of, and Chingling’s being a widow of, Sun Yat-sen: around the Soong family hovered the aura of the fabled Mandate of Heaven. Ailing offered Chiang an unimaginable prize: marriage to the Soong clan and a stake in the Mandate.

Ailing had earlier told younger sister Mayling that she would offer Mayling’s hand in marriage to Chiang Kai-shek, 29 years her senior. Mayling was indeed a catch, cultured, rich Chinese Southern Methodist. She had spent a decade of her young life living and studying in New Jersey, Georgia, Tennessee and Massachusetts, learning to speak perfect American-style English. In 1917 when only 21 years old Mayling graduated from Wellesley College with a major in English literature and a minor in philosophy, she had lived half her life in the U.S. Mayling was later heard to say

“The only thing Chinese about me is my face”      

Ailing proposed a Soong-Chiang syndicate with her relatives in the Generalissimo’s bedroom, office and pocket. Ailing dismissed Chiang after making her proposal, saying she would await his answer, Chiang could not get home quickly enough to pack his wife off to exile in America and marry into the Soong dynasty.

In April 1929 Chiang moved to oust Sun Yat-sen’s Russian advisers and the United Front, eliminate Mao, and crush the peasant and labour union uprisings.

In one of history’s bloodiest betrayals, forces loyal to Chiang massacred between twenty thousand and thirty thousand presumed Communists in Shanghai alone. Generalissimo’s slaughter in the countryside was far-ranging taking hundreds of thousands of lives, yet it was little reported in America. Chiang had turned his Soviet-funded and trained armies against those who had been his Communist allies. Chiang’s forces were small in comparison with the Chinese population but were regionally strong enough to force Mao and his comrades away from China’s east coast.   

I just love this stuff, don’t you?

Off for coffee and a scone with my two ‘girl friends’ life, does not get much better than this.   

Stay safe.


For the truth shall (always) set you free

A few years back there was a big hoo-ha about Britain’s involvement in the slave trade, the protesters wanted statues of men involved or having any connection with the slave trade to have their statues taken down and in one incident pulled down and dropped into the harbour at Bristol. All pretty stupid really.

The slave trade was of course a black mark in British history but if you put it into context and look at what the lives of the ordinary men and women of this country were at that time, factories workers laboured in appalling conditions into an early grave in satanic mills and forced to live cheek and jowl, in slums, ridden with rats and decease. Men press-ganged into the Royal Navy, or into the army – horrendous conditions, cannon fodder, building Britain’s empire (for the rich). But far worse would come; the real stain on British history was the China (opium) Trade.

I am reading James Bradley’s book The China Mirage – the hidden history of American disaster in Asia. The book opens with the opium trade – first by Britain and then by America.

As ever (and to this day) when any nation restricted Britain or America’s (god-given right) to exploit their lands, British and American gunboats will appear on their shores, or gun-ships in their skies, to beat them into submission. Bradley explains in great detail how not only the civil war in America but the waterfront properties of NY, railways, copper mines, in Tennessee and Maryland, coal mines in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Perkins Institution for the Blind, factories, cotton mills and the great harbours on the east coast, all built on opium money. Along with these the great universities, were then, and still are today, dependent on trust funds set up with opium drug money. America was built and financed by the opium trade, disguised as the China Trade.

Britain of course was well ahead of the game. In July 1836 Commissioner Lin addressed a letter to Queen Victoria, then still a girl of twenty and only two years on the throne.

We have heard that in your own country, opium is prohibited……has China (we would like to ask) ever yet sent forth a noxious article from its soil? ….. If foreigners came from another country, and brought opium into England and seduced the people of your country to smoke it, would not you the sovereign of the said country, look upon such a procedure with anger, and in our just indignation endeavour to get rid of it?

England, responded in its usual high-handed manner, as it would to anyone that dares to speak out against its foreign policy or question its god given right to dictate to others (including countries within the UK – Scotland) – Victoria sent the Royal Navy to blast away at China’s coastal cities until they surrendered to Britain’s demands.

You see Britain wanted the tea and fine goods from China but they came at a cost, the trade was draining the coffers of England and nothing was being bought by China from England. Britain made nothing that China needed or wanted. Britain (just as in America) was able to wash their hands of being directly involved in the opium trade by the use of the East India Trading Company, (protected by the British government’s armed forces) which shipped the drugs from India. America shipped their drugs from Turkey, into China, (privateers like the Russell Company, not the government although protected by America’s armed forces) the profits made in opium were 26 per cent on investment.

All the wealth pouring into America from the opium, still, the trade was well hidden – all that was ever said in the reams and reams of paperwork over the decades, opium was never mentioned that was buried and never spoken of in America.

The slave trade was evil but nothing in comparison with the death toll from the opium trade and the wars that followed before China regained its lands from the British and Americans (buccaneers).

In John Pilger’s film ‘The Coming War on China’ we see how when Mao Zedong came to power, America was shocked, and dazed, how had they lost China (just as Britain must have felt when it lost India, their jewel in its empire crown). The parasites that had fed off China for decades now could not find a boat quickly enough to scurry back home.

James Bradley will take me from the nineteenth century through the Second World War, and to the origins of the Vietnam War. Bradley reveals how American misconceptions about China have distorted America’s domestic and foreign policies and led to the avoidable deaths of millions.

What I have never understood is why we (the people of these islands) tolerated such behaviour from our government, a government now fully joined at the hip with American foreign policy. I hear no voices of dissension; from the British media – newspapers, the BBC, Sky News, or Channel 4, quite the opposite – we simply swallow the government’s press releases, hook line and sinker, Russia Bad – China Bad – we still have not acknowledged our part in the Iraq War, where thousands of innocent civilians were killed, for a lie, Weapons of Mass Destruction. Our part in the horrendous death toll in Yemen, and still dying even to this day, yet not a line of print or a word from good old “Aunty” (our public service broadcaster.) However, they will broadcast appeals for money to aid the suffering of people we are complicit in bombing the hell out off.  

The man who took this country into the Iraq war, Tony Blair– was he punished – no, England’s highest honour was bestowed upon him. He much like the statues we now see in George Square in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, of nineteenth-century, slavers and opium barons were put on a pedestal. Everyone in that government (who voted for that action, in Iraq) was complicit in a war crime, and sadly we too, allowed them to do it, then sweep it under the carpet – remember it was done in our name.

When Mao Zedong rose to power in 1949, the US government and media portrayed him as an angry, anti-American Soviet pawn. Yet, Mao had reached out to President Roosevelt in 1945, saying he was eager to fly to the US to discuss his vision, a historic opportunity – how New China, he believed could work with America – tragically America nipped it in the bud, China had no choice but to turn to Russia.

Did we not see the same attitude at the collapse of the Soviet Union? Anyone coming cap in hand to America (or Britain, one and the same when it comes to self-interest and foreign policy) will simply be seen as weak and ripe for exploitation. 

Once again, we see Russia and China moving closer and closer together in trade and as an alliance against American foreign policy that is dependent on a large military presence around the world. 

Today, like Britain in the 19th century, America and Britain once more find their balance of payments in the red, we buy from China, but China needs little of what we make. The money is all flowing one way – from west to east. Not only China but also India and Indochina, all their country’s industries will now be fed with gas and oil from Russia. The troubled history between China and America – two of the largest economies in the world – still plays out to this day.

A large military force is no longer the threat it once was, people power has proved itself to be most resilient against sheer power. We see it in South America, people rising up against America when they try to impose unwanted puppet governments on the people. Likewise in the Middle East, North Africa, where sanctions no longer have any effect, and now in the Far East, whose domestic market far outstrips anything that American and Europe would ever import, China no longer need America’s buying power as it once did.

Now America’s proxy war in Ukraine is all about America’s wish to control Ukraine as part of its empire, (although it will never be spoken in those terms) we are not building military bases on foreign soil, we are supporting allies – go tell that to the marines.  

Europe with its draw bridge mentality has a demographic problem, unlike India, with a rising young, well-educated, workforce. China has the wealth and a government that is willing to see new opportunities and exploit them without the bottom line mentality of the west, where nothing can be done unless it is sanctioned by private finance and only then if there is a percentage profit at the end. And Russia with its vast regions of still untapped natural resources is a clue to why Russia and China have become a threat to the world power that was once the domain of the US.

China has not squandered its wealth on big military spending (for the first time ever getting into the top 100 of countries’ arms sales, the UK is fifth). Rather china bought gold, mineral rights and now oil and gas from its neighbour (and thanks to the EU following US sanctions) I’m sure at a cut-price deal.

I am already fascinated with this book – I only wish we had a more enlightened and independent media in the UK – for the truth shall (always) set you free.

Stay safe.   


Electrician – Plumer and Story Telling

 Another drizzly day here in St Andrews, and the cold blustery wind is not helping things, still, Aldi calls. I bought some corn beef, so stovies for dinner.

I had the electrician in this morning to fix the shower, pump would not start up so have had a paddling pool for a shower tray for almost two weeks now. He did not stay long – only long enough to tell me I needed a plumber, the drain is blocked tripping the pump, ho-hum, if it’s no’ flees its midge.

The plumber has just left, seems there was some metal object in the pipe, not sure what it was but nothing I recognise, still he did leave me all the mess to clean up – oh well, stop me from wearing.

So no news really – things much as usual – never mind I’m sure Charles will be along soon, he must smell the dinner by now, he is such a scrounger. Sad really, by this time next year he will be in a home, I have seen a difference in him over the year he has been here, downhill all the way. I am really blessed to have such good genes.  

I did finish my presentation, this time audio/visual, I said I would put together a sort of slide show of all my holiday snaps and as they come up say something, allowing the images to trigger anecdotes – my head full of little stories about that trip.

I was amazed at just how long it had taken me to download them onto PowerPoint and write little captions for each – before transferring them to a memory stick. Up until the wee small hours, not that I missed anything on television. I had over 150 – too many but at least they are all there now and can be broken up into sections.

As I worked on each one I remembered small details – like in Salzburg – it was the first week in April, and I took myself off on a walk along the river. Overnight snow was deep upon the park benches, and children were out with their parents, they were making snowballs to throw at them. Further along, I came upon a girl possibly late 20s or early 30s she was doodling in the snow on top of one park bench – she was unaware of me being there and as I came up on her I said

“Play bonnie hen”

I’m sure she had no idea what I had just said – but gave me a beautiful broad smile – even if there was a little nervous embarrassment in it. Strange it is these simple little coming together with strangers that I remember more than the beautiful scenery, lakes and mountains, and that is what makes me come back again and again for………. “May I have more Sir?”    

Instantly this triggered another anecdote that happened on the same day. I was coming over one of the numerous footbridges when a lady asked me to take a group photograph. I held up her smartphone, click, and click – but when I handed it back she showed me the picture I had just taken – four of my splayed fingers.

Group photograph on the bridge – take two.  

The first week of that trip the weather was not of its best – but I always remember in the movie Shirley Valentine, Shirley had been asked to look after a neighbour’s dog for a couple of days and feeling sorry for the dog she gave it the steak that had been for her husband’s tea, replacing his steak with egg and chips. When he complained she told him

“You liked egg and chips”

To which he replied “On a Tuesday – I like egg and chips on a Tuesday – this is Thursday”

“Pretend it’s Tuesday,” she told him.

So when the weather was not at its best that first week I simply told myself – I’m on a winter break – just as good.

Dear oh dear, I’m Havering again, maybe next I too will be talking to the wall.

Stay safe.   


“Send More Food”

The weather today is dreich with light rain but pleasant enough out. I made my way down to the Bowling Club, on Pipeland Road for the Probus Club talk, today it was a Jim McArthur “Robert Burns – a few interesting facts”. It was not about Burns but the people around him at that time who had the greatest influence on his works. Fascinating stuff, I really enjoyed his presentation.

In two weeks’ time, we have Hamish Brown on “The fall of Singapore” (plugging his latest book) I remember him from my RAF mountain rescue days, and during the time he walked all the Monroe’s in Scotland in one go, he used the same technique as the lads from our group when they walk from the most northerly Monroe to the most Southerly (Ben Hope to Ben Lomond) – I was part of the team that put out food parcels at post offices and small stores and dropped parcels off at remote farms so they had fresh supplies.  Not having to carry heavy stores, such as tins of fruit would aid their progress – I was also doing sorties out in the land rover to meet up and re-supply.

One of the stipulations was that they called in each day – having RAF Mountain Rescue members lost out on the hills or worse would not look good in the national press or on television news. Every time we received a call – it was to “Send More Food” – funds were running low so Chiefy Hind secured a 7 Lbs tin of Strawberry jam and three loves of bread from the Mess and sent them out. The next day we received the daily report – ending with “Send More Food”.  

I did the same trip solo and unaccompanied – I now know just how hungry you get on a long constant walk or cycle ride for that matter. I carried practically nothing with me but a sleeping bag and camping stove. Food was a large bag of porridge oats, (with salt already added) and a few boil-in-the-bag meals – to save fuel I used the water that the food was boiled in for tea. As the gas supplies run low, it was only used to boil enough water for tea – I ate the porridge as brose (meal and water with added sugar, again I simply tipped what sugar I had into the bag of porridge oats). I tried hard not to lose height by staying as close to the tops as I could, and sleeping out in the heather, or if I could find some sort of shelter stone, sheep pens, or wooded windbreaks. Bathing was in streams or naked in the numerous mountain lochs. By the end (sixteen days and 53 Monroe’s later) I could have climbed to the moon.

The worst thing about growing old is remembering when you were young.

Since I am all dressed up and have nowhere to go, I think I will go for a pint.

Stay safe.


“Socialism Is Great”

Sorry I have been out of touch for a day or so, however, I have been keeping up with my cycling (very sort trips less than 20 miles) but my time has been taken up with a non-fiction book by Lijia Zhang – I simply could not put it down, even when the lines of print were starting to blur. The title “Socialism is Great” is misleading and should be taken as Lijia’s subtle sense of humour. It is her life story from a school child in a poor household during the Cultural Revolution. She is bright, ambitious and determined to escape this life of poverty and daily grid – she sees the university as her way out. But at thirteen her mother, who works in a state factory wishes to retire and the government allows you to do so before the official retirement age by having someone take your place in the factory – Lijia is nominated to replace her mother in the factory, her dream of taking the entrance exam for teacher college is dashed.

This is warts and all story told in a most down-to-earth amusing way. it was the end of the cultural revolution and now the country was opening up to people setting up small market stalls in the marketplace, (free enterprise) it grows rapidly which in turn pushed up prices that the state-run system could not cope with – people having to take two jobs just to put food on the table. An unsettling time (echoes of privatisation in Scotland)

The political instructor Wang had caught her reading Jane Eyre – hidden under her desk during a propaganda lecture.

“an English book” he spat, shaking it violently, a disgusted look on his face. “Look at you, why do you dress up so fancifully for work? You like to worship foreign things, don’t you?”……….

“I have the freedom to choose what I wear,” I replied despite my nerves. “I haven’t broken any factory dress codes, have I? “

“Freedom? Some rotten ideas from the West have certainly gone to your head. This is a socialist factory. Reading a rotten foreign book during an important political meeting is a serious offence. You’ll be punished………..

Her story takes us through the growing pains of China’s move from a closed society to a more open and encompassing society – mainly through education.

Like Russia, the model that the Chinese communist party copied, was inclusive and imploded. When the Soviet Union collapsed – Gorbachove went to the West (Thatcher and Ragan) for help – they laughed in his face, and America move into the Baltic states, they hated communism now, having tasted the fruits so freely handed out by Capitalist America. Now many are seeing how they have jumped from the pan into the fire. Forbidden fruit always tastes sweet at first bite.

But unlike Russia – China did not take and eat the fruit of the West, they changed yes but on their own terms – a mirror image of America yes, but not controlled by the Western powers and that has scared America more and why we hear the rattling of nuclear swords today in Ukraine and in the South China Seas.

Captain Yule, – an academic, a school teacher, and a brilliant officer in the Salvation Army, once told me,

“To ignore is to not understand”

So buy this book and no matter what conclusions (or not) you draw from it, for I guarantee it will bless you with an honest and factual read, written by one that lived through that period and came out the other end an academic and brilliant storyteller. “Socialism Is Great” is a worker’s memoir of New China, and can be bought through Amazon (and no I do not receive any reward for the plug).  

What I received, other than a very enjoyable read was how we are talking about a time in recent history, 1970 onward – China went from an isolated community of poverty and hardship – and in a time span of only 30 years has become the world’s fastest-growing economy, that has managed to remain Chinese and not fall under power the Wall Street spivves.  We on the other hand in the UK have become more and more an appendix of Wall Street and because of Brexit a drawbridge nation – something that caused Russia to implode and China to change course. Maybe it is time for the Scottish people to look in the mirror too.

Stay safe.      


Without Stepping Stones

Monday, Monday so good to me. I was late to rise and although my laundry day I decided to give it a miss – laziness is no good unless encouraged. It was extremely cold outdoors, and ice covered the cars in the car park, not a morning for cycling. Still, Mrs Hubbard’s cupboard needed replenishing so off I went to Aldi, and I was thankful for my extra layers.   

Many, many years ago my big sister was courting Dave (later to become my brother-in-law) Dave was taking my sister to the cinema, where the new musical Rose Marie (screened in the mid-1950s) was being shown, a big treat, mum said to take Walter with them.

Going to the cinema was a big treat and I remember being very excited about it at the time. Unfortunately, it was not a movie for small boys and I soon became bored with the action on screen and started crawling around – collecting discarded tickets – the manager was called to the disturbance and my sister and her soon-to-be husband (along with my big sister’s delinquent wee brother) were evicted from the theatre. (I don’t believe my sister ever forgave me for that – for she would from that day forward, throw it back in my face).

Musicals were big throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s and the songs from the latest musical would be played to death on the radio too.

I remember going to see the Student Prince – really an operetta rather than a musical that MGM turned into a movie. Student Prince was a big hit in 1954 when I went along with members of the family to see its premiere, I was hooked. The voice was that of Mario Lanza although Edmund Purdom (a British actor) played the part of the Prince in the movie.

Lanza played Caruso in the movie ‘The Great Caruso’ staring alongside Ann Blyth, the song when you are in love hit the airwaves for weeks after the release of the movie, and you will never ever hear Ava Maria sung better than in The Great Caruso. 

The music and lyrics were all part of the concept of these movies and were always a bit special. I suppose, in a way, they were my initiation into the opera that I now love. I still have a good collection of musicals/operettas that I watch a lot. So when I saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers would be shown on television (Sunday) I couldn’t pass it over.

The music and lyrics are not of the quality of Student Prince but the choreography is outstanding, I really enjoyed watching it once more. 

Howard Keel (with his rich deep voice) Jane Powell stared alongside him in seven brides for seven brothers. Keel again alongside Betty Hutton in Annie Get Your Gun, a comedy based on the life story of Annie Oakley, (Hutton unforgettable when she imitates Keel, putting on a deep voice – ‘the girl that I marry will have to be………..)

Keel once more this time with Doris Day in Calamity Jane, and what about the unforgettable, Kelly, O’Connor Reynolds combo in Singing in the rain by the time we get to The Sound of Music we have moved away from a film version of a stage show to proper movies in their own right.

Just a thought, maybe the reason that opera has become less appealing for the modern generation is that we have lost the operetta/musical stepping stones? 

Stay safe


I have a friend from my college days – we still stay in touch – this is such a communications

I have missed out much of the communication so a bit stylistic, but I though it sums up the problems in this world and how governments seem unable to get a grip of a situation that is quickly spirling out of control.

My friend

Yes, it’s a hard balance about automation, it was ever the case, the Dunfermline revolt was probably influenced by the Luddites.  I was brought up in a tenement in Lochend and my background is staunchly working class but I don’t ascribe to the radically socialist ramblings of some of my family as we would fall out.  They are entitled to their opinion but to be honest a lot of them are arguing from inherited and overheard conversations and not based on reading a book or doing some research like you and I.  I just hold my tongue, the majority of them are now pretty well off and don’t know what they are talking about, the Facebook generation. 


I like you came from a Labour background, so sort of died in the wool socialist but I totally agree the patients have taken over the asylum. and of course, the Labour party was taken over by Tony Blair and his pal Gordon Brown (the third way). And yes, the Facebook generation does not help, calling one another names and false or half-truths being banded about serves no one well.

My friend

Thinking out loud reading your reply below, I think we agree somewhere in the middle, it isn’t so much I don’t think we should help the less well-off, we should absolutely but there is a line between dependency and encouraging people to be self-sufficient. 


Too right – refugee camps – foreign aid – making people dependent on a plastic shelter and a food handout, is no substitute for work that makes them self-sufficient, but then you have to put that work in place for it to work, chicken and egg. I have a love-hate relationship with Charities – big wages for those that run these charities – little achieved – food banks a curse on our nation, in America if you work for Walmart you automatically qualify for food stamps, and it is coming to a place near you soon.  I support Guide dogs for the blind (having had a member of the family blinded during the war and I captained a tandem for a blind lad) I felt it was worthwhile – but recently I have been inundated with books of raffle tickets to sell, constantly asked to give generously to the cause – how much I wonder of my money donated is supporting the dogs training and wellbeing and how much is going on promotion and fundraising? Charities in this country must be one of the fastest-growing businesses there is.

Handouts from the government – but who are the government really giving the money to, – is this not just another way to subsidise the energy companies? We are building more wind farms in Scottish waters – more than enough to supply every household in Scotland with cheap energy – but we are paying amongst the highest prices for electricity and gas anywhere in Europe. Why because we control none of the electricity of gas from that source. The government (so the people) should have a stake in the energy companies. And more publicly owned wind turbines should be funded by taxpayer loans. You see this lot in Europe. When on holiday in Austria, a lad, had taken me up to the top of a community wind generator – I asked, do people not complain about the noise from the blades, in close proximity to the houses? Only those that don’t own a wind generator complain, he said    

I am very fortunate I have good genes that afford me good health, I live in sheltered housing – someone cleans my windows, tends the garden, and fixes any faults to the property. My heating comes from a central boiler, so in with the rent, I can have my flat as hot or cool as I wish. We have laundry washing machines and tumble dryers (who can afford a tumble dryer these days?). OK I have to watch the pennies but I am very content with my lot, so I’m H-A-P-P-Y.  

I ended up in West Yorkshire by default (my mother fell ill and ended up in the hospital and they would not let her out unless she had someone to look after her, my sibling sisters all scattered, ‘things to do and places to go’, I ended up as her carer, I thought it would only be for a month or so until she got on her feet – mum suffered a stroke, 19 years later she died. Buggered up my retirement plans but I do not regret a minute of it (even though she could be a crotchety old bugger (lady) at times. It was tough, and there was little help at that time, now we seem to have gone the other way – over the top. Try pushing a 90-something 15-stone person in a wheelchair around a very hilly part of Yorkshire and you will know what I mean. Life as the Moodie Blues told us is ‘A Question of Balance’.

Yesterday the morning was windless and awfy, awfy dreich, mist lay in the valley and low-lying fields like a cold snow-white shroud. Dropping down from Strathkinness the cold was such, I felt naked. I saw a curlew knee high in a flooded field, once so common in the lands around Fife, no longer, a few fallow fields, now much of the farmland is under arable and the ceaseless plough. Home and on with the last of my homemade lentil and tomato (and whatever else happens to be lying around) soup its gid tell yir ma’.

The Salvation Army charity shop has a sale on ‘All DVDs and CDs 10p’ hold me back. An 8 DVD collection of Catherine Cookson, a German language course (I really need to try harder to learn German), and a couple of French language films, I love French films the actors as so natural in their dress and actions, although very much kitchen sink dramas. And the usual run-of-the-mill American movies with all the computer graphics, greed, corruption, shooting, killing, and of course the good guys (the Americans) take the day. But that is the good point of 10p DVDs if they are rubbish, what you are losing, so you can experiment with lots of genera.  

In one of Kristin Scott Thomas’s stars, I did not know she was fluent in French and it certainly does not look as if it has been dubbed. Kristin is perfectly cast in this film for she does have a serious, loner-type looking expression on her face, hang doggie.

A guest at a dinner party, she is being taunted by a man, who has had a bit too much wine. Why have we not seen you around, where are you from…….. She finally answers – in prison – 15 years for murder, after a pause to take it in, all around the table burst into laughter. Of course, she is telling the truth. It is a brilliant story, the acting is superb, and the ending is thought-provoking, and something we as a society still struggle with is euthanasia.

The words that came over very strongly for me were that prison time for killing your own child is the longest time in prison. (Eternal prison time)

After 12 O’clock and not a dish washed – must go, stay safe.


Bairns not Bombs – Nicola

Where do we go from here? Well, it must be clear to the world by now that America intends to use all its military hardware – (and boots on the ground but only as instructors and military advisers) if they ever do admit openly to them being there at all, much in the way that Britain is flying sorties on or near the border with Russia and like America clandestinely. Make no mistake about it this is America’s proxy war in Ukraine, and as ever Britain is sitting on Uncle Sam’s coattails.     

What we have seen over the past days of the war in Ukraine is America introducing its latest military hardware into the theatre of war, the HIMAR rocket launcher. Six rockets were fired into the Donetsk region – taking out a camp containing an (as yet unknown but substantial amount) but substantial amount of Russian soldiers, (more than likely these were new conscripts, fresh out of boot camp.

It must be clear to Russia that what started off as support of the breakaway states in the east of Ukraine has now been high-jacked (likely instigated) by America. There is no way Russia can trump America’s war factory. So what was akin to First World War trench warfare has now escalated into modern high-tech warfare with America holding all the aces and supported by their NATO (Britain and the EU) pals – Russia will lose out in any arms race – and so long as the war is contained within Ukraine the EU and Britain will be happy to give such support.

On August 6th 1945 an American B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, and the world entered the nuclear age. The expansion of nuclear weapons across the world is total, every major country now has their “NUCLEAR DETERRENT” for that is the lie they have given the peoples of the world for their build-up of an arsenal of nuclear weapons,

It is not a weapon of aggression, ‘for no one would dare to use them’ they are simply deterrents, keeping the world safe and free from war, (and the bands played believe it if you like).  Each one of these inhumane weapons has a destructive capacity 10-fold that of the one dropped on Hiroshima which was a damp squib in comparison.

Now if you were a Russian military advisor faced with the prospects of being kicked out of – not only the Donetsk region but losing control of your only warm water harbour and home to the imperial fleet, in the Black Sea and your only route into the Mediterranean Sea, what would you advise?

If that were me, I would tell Putin to order an inter-continental-ballistic-missile, fitted with a non-nuclear warhead, but clearly capable of carrying one, and send it into western Ukraine and near to say Poland or Romania, border without going over the border, obviously – the message would be clear to everyone, America must stop its aggression or the next such missile will carry a nuclear warhead.

I believe such a threat would send the EU leaders scarring off to the UN demanding a peace settlement over Ukraine and in the meantime an end to all military equipment being sent by the west into the Ukraine theatre of war, and an immediate ceasefire.

Up until now, nuclear war has only been a threat, introducing visual effects and you change the narrative. As America has built up its military presence around the world and used that military power (along with its monetary policies) to bully and become a threat to the stability of the world, that is now no longer the case.

How much longer can America continue their aggression before the first inter-continental-ballistic-missile, caring a nuclear warhead flies?

Just a thought – Sturgeon wants any future independent Scotland to join NATO – before you consider that move Scotland (Sturgeion’s arse is already out the window, if she does not jump soon then she will be pushed out at the next Scottish elections) think what one inter-continental-ballistic-missile, caring a nuclear warhead would do to Glasgow, just down the road from the British/American nuclear submarine base (and fall out across the central belt of Scotland).

Bairns not Bombs – Nicola

Stay safe.


Until the last chain falls – Our freedom will make slaves of us all

The Scottish government is to spend £100 million building a new super-prison on a 54-acre site at Provanmill near Royston Road, read the headlines. Scotland has a great record of building new super prisons for boys and girls (although they may as well call them unisex after passing the gender bill) – now I have no problem with new and better conditions for prisoners after all people are sent to prison

As a punishment – not to be punished

There are of course some offenders that should be locked up for their own good as well as that of the public, and, on the whole, these are long-term prisoners who go on to serve out their sentence and we see no more of them.

Overall prison population levels rose by just 1% on 2020-21 figures, remaining stable at just over 7,500 in 2021-22. However, the balance between the sentenced and remand populations continued to shift.

The average daily remand population increased by around 14% in 2021-22 (from 1,634 in 2020-21 to 1,862), while the average daily sentenced population remained broadly stable (-1% from 5,658 to 5,597). These changes mean that a greater proportion of the prison population was held on remand than in previous years. On an average day in 2021-22, around 25% of the prison population were held on remand – the largest proportion on remand on record.

Growth in the average daily remand population between 2020-21 and 2021-22 only occurred in three of the index (alleged) offence groups – Group 1 ‘Violence’ +9% to 989, Group 2 ‘Sexual crimes’ +23% to 209, and Group 5 ‘Crimes against society’ +34% to 386.  Around 60% of the average daily remand population in 2021-22 were accused of index Group 1 ‘Violence’ and 2 ‘Sexual crimes’ offences. A further 21% were accused of Group 5 ‘Crimes against society’ offences.

Question – do all these remanded prisoners need to be behind bars?

Re-offending in Scotland is almost twice as high as in any other European country and three times that of the best.

Male offenders recorded an average of 0.51 reconvictions per offender, compared with 0.48 for females – both up on the previous year.

Offenders who committed a crime of dishonesty had the highest reconviction rate (45.6%), while sex offenders had the lowest (10.4%).

The reconviction rate for custodial sentences was 43.8% in 2018-19, up from 41.0% in 2017-18. However, for offenders who received community payback orders, the rate was unchanged at 29.2%.

For individuals given non-court disposal by the police in 2018-19 (such as a warning or fine), or by COPFS, 18% and 15% respectively received another non-court disposal within a year.

Scotland has a revolving door of re-offending

For me, it is not until you look at the background of young offenders (many of whom graduate to senior prisons) that you wonder who is letting who down.

Young adults who received custodial sentences had lower levels of educational attainment, with 36.9% achieving the expected level of English and maths by the end of key stage 2 compared with 53.0% of their peers with non-custodial sentences or cautions, and 72.4% of those without criminal convictions.

A large share of young adults who received custodial sentences was identified as vulnerable during childhood; 41.7% were children in need (CIN) and 17.6% had been children looked after (CLA).

Despite high levels of vulnerability among those who received custodial sentences, receiving a custodial sentence remains unusual; 92.2% of CIN and 84.9% of CLA did not subsequently receive a custodial sentence.

More than half (52.5%) of young adults who received custodial sentences had been persistently absent during schooling, compared with 35.9% of those with non-custodial sentences or cautions; persistent absence was lowest among those with no criminal convictions (10.9%).

Nearly three-quarters (72.2%) of those who had a custodial sentence had received a fixed exclusion compared with half (50.3%) of those with non-custodial sentences or cautions, and 9.0% of those with no criminal convictions.

Young adults who received a custodial sentence by age 23 to 24 years are overwhelmingly male (92.6%); in addition, 68.6% of those receiving a non-custodial sentence or caution were male.

The same old story – poverty, poor housing, a safety net that is full of holes and lets too many vulnerable families down. An education system – one size fits all – that allows slow kids to fall behind – then allows them to drop out of school altogether (what prospects in modern society for a kid that can’t read?) Maybe instead of a new prison, we need new (or better) social services, a new or better education system, and more and better affordable housing not high-rise ghettos……

Stay safe


Killing, by any other name, would smell as sweet.

The caption running along the bottom of the BBC news this morning read – Ukrainian authorities have reported the killing of hundreds of Russian soldiers in NYE air strikes, well I’m sure they all have excellent big erections after that one. Are we really all expected to cheer at such news, what have we become?

I saw a little clip on television, of a Vulcan bomber aircraft in flight, the Vulcan was designed for one purpose and one purpose only to carry a nuclear bomb. This bomber had the capacity to destroy in a way unimaginable before the Second World War. A great feat of engineering the commentator was telling us.

I remember the Vulcan in service (the first flight of the Vulcan was on 20th July 1956 it was retired from the RAF in 2015)

It was only 53 years earlier than the Vulcan’s first flight that the Wright Brothers made it into the skies; the speed of change has been astonishing even in my lifetime.

You have to praise man’s ability to invent and build – my father saw the first aircraft to take to the skies – he was still around when man first flew to the moon.

“A small step for man – a giant leap for mankind” or was it.

Going to the moon was the result of Russia having just launched a dog, then a man into orbit around the earth, the start of the space race and the Cold War. Trillions and trillions of dollars spent on sabre rattling between two great nations – Why?

In the last years of Hong Kong on lease to Britain, the people of Hong Kong decided to relocate their ageing airport out with the city – in a Herculean effort, they built a tunnel under Victoria harbour, build bridges to carry rail and road out onto an island, knocked the top of that island and built a modern airfield, all at breathtaking speed.

Given the money and incentive, there seems little that man cannot achieve (even in a relatively short period of time) yet here we are in 2023 and still living with a Cold War mentality. Why?

We have some serious problems in this world and we need serious people to solve them – the Ukrainians are sitting in the dark (those that have not already fled the country) and freezing their balls off. So predictable – So preventable.

There are people around the world who are so poor they live in squalor and can’t feed their children, many of them will die of preventable diseases.  

War and rumours of War – across every continent – across the world. Why?

We as a people have shown the ability to create, beautiful buildings. Create technology that was futuristic, only a decade ago. Science has developed cures that have eliminated many of the diseases that plagued our forefathers. We are of an age where we could so easily live in a land of Milk and Honey but do not seem to be able to shake off the sins of our fathers. Why?

Please -Let 2023 be the year of Bairns not Bombs.        

Stay safe


2023 Happy New Year – The Year of the Rabbit

And according to Chinese astronomy and how the rabbits will affect other animals in the Chinese calendar – it is going to be a turbulent year for my sign; I did not need an astronomer to tell me that. However, I consider myself to be pretty lucky to still be here and in (relatively speaking) good health.

Yesterday morning it was housecleaning duties, an old Scottish tradition, go into the New Year with a clean home (and at one time, all debts paid) so a clean slate. Not that my wee flat takes much keeping clean. Then it was out for an hour’s ride in the car, visiting Scotland Wells

– a natural spring where the water bubbles up from a sandy bottom leaving the water clear and sweet. At one time it was believed that the waters had a healing property and were well visited in the past.

Then on to Loch Leven

– a beautiful area for walking, cycling and fishing, and even today, cold and overcast, the car park was half full and dog walkers were aplenty. The loch was like a mill pond, flat and calm, so the ice was beginning to form on its surface. I would have liked to spend more time here walking along the shore, but I had Charles with me and even after a very short walk he was already inhaling at his puffer, time to head back to the car, and home.

Everyone has had enough cake and biscuits to last the year out, so I thought to have a light meal and made beef burgers, of course, the raw onions were stinking the fridge out. Then I thought maybe it would be best to form the burgers into a meatloaf, you know, wrap it in foil and stick it in the oven, and leave it to its own devices. To go along with the meatloaf I boiled some potatoes, once cooked into a tray they went, covered them in olive oil and they too joined the meatloaf in the oven, job done, just to switch on the stove.

Showered and changed all was ready so I settled down with a whiskey, (I was two large ones up by the time my guests arrived) to watch Notting Hill, followed by The Pelican Brief – you can’t get enough of Julia Roberts (then Hugh Grant and Denzel Washington are not such bad wee actors either).

It was just before the bells that the first visitor arrived, so big hugs from Pat at the bells. The other two (and two dogs) arrived as First Foots, I’m H-A-P-P-Y the effort was not in vain.

I served up and told my guests – “Eat up or I get it on ma peece tomorrow”

The meatloaf vanished like the snow from a dyke in spring as did the roast potatoes, phew!

The jelly was not a seller – but jelly keeps – so long as you keep it out of sight.

02:35 all had left (including one reluctantly dog) I set about washing up (don’t you just hate to come down to a sink full of dirty dishes?) now it was as the Fisk Tyre advert will tells you “Time to Re-Tyre” (brilliant logo, sort of wee Willie winkle).

I awoke this morning at 08:45, fresh as a daisy, not a bed cover disturbed – can’t remember when I last slept so well.



“Scotland, are we ready to listen – are you ready to change?”

I watched a little of Ben Hur this morning – it was the scene where Ben Hur is a galley slave. The speed of the rowing is increased to ramming speed and men start to collapse with the intensity of their work. The scene reminded me of a cartoon I once saw, the slave beating out the time was a big black man, and as he surveys the wreckage of collapsed men along the length of the ship the caption read

“And that’s Jazz”

The rain looks as if it is on for the day so no cycling for me, a good time to break a tenner as they use to say – although you will not get very inebriated on ten pounds these days.

The BBC was showing all the famous names that have died during 2022, all were household names during my era – people such as Sidney Poitier – films he stared in, such as, ‘Guess Whose Coming to Dinner, and ‘In The Heat of the Night’ shone such a bright light on colour prejudice back in 1960.

“They call me Mr Tibbs” classic

I love to read books by people whose words have changed our world, and I was thinking of this when I was writing about Sidney Poitier, he changed the way I thought about black people in America, who up until then, have had a bad press. So changing the world is not about the person that wrote/spoke the words but the people that listened and changed. And I believe that so long as people are willing to change, then the world has a chance.

I have started reading James Bradley’s Chinese Mirage’ you hear how China needs America and America needs China, how after the Chinese kicked the westerners out of their country – the rise of communism, America started a campaign of propaganda against ‘The Yellow Peril’ expelling Chinese from any position within the government of local authorities.

We use words to dehumanise peoples, for it is easier to kill if the people you are killing are not really human – in every conflict from the dawn of man’s understanding we have done this – Japanese (Nips) Germans (the Hun) French (fogies) I even heard a friend of mine (who should have known better) call Russians (Riskies) although knowing the man well – it was said in a jovial manner.  

“Communism need not mean poverty” was the slogan when the Chinese people turned themselves into an image of America – and set the two on a collision course, (America tolerates no rival).

China may appear to be the same as America a ‘Capitalist Economy’ but they are not the same. In China you have a Market Economy –controlled by the state, this has bred a newly rich middle class in China – affluence is everywhere you look in modern-day China.   

America is still a Capitalist Economy’ and controlled by one per cent of the richest people in the world. In America, you can change the parties – but you can not change the politics, so will remain ‘Wall Street not Main Street’.

China has shown the world that if you are willing to listen and change, then there is ‘HOPE’ and hope is a good thing – maybe the best of things.  

The question for the people of Scotland now as we enter into this New Year,   

“Scotland, are we ready to listen – are you ready to change?”

Stay safe


Drumcarrow Craig

Some time back I bought a DVD in a charity shop in Dundee, it was ‘You’re cheating heart’ exploring the Scottish country and western music scene and Glaswegian life and culture. And turned out to be a laugh-a-minute, six-part BBC series, written by John Byrne – the cover told me that John Byrne was the creator of Tutti Frutti. I spotted that the BBC was showing a re-run of Tutti Frutti about a rock and roll band in the day of black and white television (the 1960s) retracing the Majestic band’s gigs as a silver jubilee tour, and as a tribute to Robbie Coltrane, so I watched the first part – then the second part yesterday. I don’t know how it went down in its day, but it did not set the heather on fire for me, it was after midnight when I turned in for bed, so not surprisingly it was after 8.30 when I woke up this morning.

The overnight rain had left behind overcast skies – but like the Egyptian Moslem girls – it wore its veil light. I really needed to get out on my bike.

Although the roads were now clear of black ice and snow the air was still very cold, an extra layer and thermal gloves were the order of the day. Drumcarrow Craig is no more than about six kilometres from my home and a mere pimple at 217 meters above sea level, but starting at near zero you have to climb them all.

Leaving the bike at the bottom of the farm track that runs up to what was once a quarry

I set off for the trig point. The most direct route onto the top is via a steep scramble at best graded Difficult. The horses spend their time up here, and I’m sure do much to keep down perennial weeds as they mow the grassy slopes with their feeding, paid me little attention, as I closed on the summit.

This is another of Fife’s numerous iron age settlements and again like Norman’s Law the outline of what would have been a large structure, is outlined in the foundation stones that make up the circle. The door lintel is still here on the side that faces away from the prevailing winds – coming from the southwest – today the winds were more southerly but bitter cold.

I dropped down the lame route from the ridge, much easier on my knees – unfortunately, the lame route is also the route of least resistance so closely followed by the runoff water. My cycling shoes are for off-road riding (you can ride and walk in them – designed with hidden cleats) not taken into consideration by the designer chappie, it rains a lot in Scotland, and they leak. and wet short shallow grass over a granite base can be graded at VS (very severe).

The homeward journey was a joy, downhill all the way and with the motor disengaged you can’t half get up speed down those steep sections.

The wee bike has now covered 4442.0 kilometres, and I believe the battery is coming to the end of its useful life; I have to put in much more effort on longer runs these days. Batteries have become much cheaper, and when I do replace it I will do so with one with twice the Amp-hours, for those long summer days – when they finally return.

Already looking very dreich out there, I think I have had the best of the day. time to get stuck into the last of the potato and leek soup, it’s gid tell yir ma’

Stay safe.   


Love does not change when change it finds – Shakespear (sonnet 116)

Now we are all looking forward to the coming New Year – and many a whiskey tear will be shed in the singing of A Man’s a Man for a’ that. After the gender bill passing at Holyrood and man’s inhumanity to men still a predominant fetcher in conflicts and discord around the world, a man is no longer a man for a’ that.

Still, we pray and travel hopefully that the New Year will bring sanity to the world – maybe men will try to settle their differences, and return to the fight, that needs fighting, the fight for women’s rights, and animals’ rights to a home on earth (including man) and start seriously taking on the fight against Global Warming.   

I did go out for a short ride on my bike again this morning, and it was its bloody cold and black ice is still a problem, and yes even on the bus routes, (remembering the time if you had a bad trip – it meant you fell and broke your hip) heart attack country.

I had been asked to an open house party yesterday and of course, the house was full of young people. One lad was a researcher for the only Labour Member of Parliament Scotland (so not your average independence supporter) thankfully he has seen the light and is now moving on. It seemed that the contents of many of my e-mails (anti-war stand) to Eileen, had been in discussion at great length over the holidays, academics tend to do that sort of thing when they come together as a group.

It was after everyone had gone that Eileen and I were able to have a proper conversation, and she had, up until that time, taken the very strong stance – Putin bad, and the cause of all our woes. However it transpired that one in the group was a Ukrainian – she had come to Scotland years ago to study and not only did she study teaching at her university, she clearly studied other things too, for she is now married to a native of Scotland and lives permanently in Edinburgh.

Being Ukraine, she will, of course, follow what is happening in that country much closer than I, and told Eileen, Walter, is right in much of his assumptions, and yes Ukraine is in the grip of America and yes the war in Ukraine is America’s proxy war, and costing Ukrain dear.

Now I have never ever said that Putin is right – my stance has always been anti-war, but like all disputes and conflicts, there will always be two sides to a story.

When I reiterated that the EU needs to move away from this entrenched position they have dug for themself, a stance that is killing Europe’s economy and forcing its citizens into poverty. Europe really needs to start communicating with its neighbour, Russia, over a way forward.

She said, “You mean giving into Putin?”

“No that is not what I meant at all, but they will have to talk to one another if progress is to be made and they really need to stop this war on their doorstep before it gets out of hand – get back to trading with Russia – get the gas flowing again into Europe.”

“How do you stop the war if Putin has annexed parts of Ukraine and refuses to leave – in fact, Putin believes that Ukraine is still part of Russia?” she asked.

I see it differently – I still believe that this is mostly about Russia’s security – Russia feels threatened – since the end of the cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO  had expanded and now we have lost the buffer zone countries (the Baltic States) they are now all part of the EU so by default part of NATO.

If I am right – then it would be too easy for Europe to invite Russia to join NATO – not only would that remove the threat of NATO on Russia’s borders but the perceived threat to Europe from Russia. This, in turn, would de-escalate tensions and reduce the arms race that is now in progress (NATO’s costly expansion) and as Winston Churchill would have said ‘Jaw, jaw not war, war’.

“But how can you even trust a man like Putin? That’s impossible, it will never happen”.

Well, that is what they said about Turkey – and the EU and Turkey have a very thorny relationship but they somehow manage to sort out their differences and work together over such things as refugees (who pays for their keep in Turkey) – as for Turkey and the US – America has never forgiven Turkey (a NATO member) for buying Russian defensive weapon systems, rather than the very expensive US one, right peeved they are.

The stumbling block to this of course will be America. America needs a bogyman to keep its war factory in production – Russia has always proved a willing provider.

I believe that America thought that once the war in Ukraine was established – they could hand it over to NATO (Europe) and move on to establish new conflicts e.g. China.

Anyway, whatever your stance – I wish you all a Happy New Year –

‘And may you better reck the rede, that ever did th’ adviser’ – Burns.  

Stay safe       


Over the Hills and Far Away

In the movie Miss Potter – Beatrix tells her mother,

“The only thing that matters at my age mother, is that everyday matters”

I had dressed for cycling but before I set out I decided to empty the trash, hay it’s not such a bad day – why put off till tomorrow that which you can do today, back indoors and a quick change of shoes.

As soon as I turned the key in the car’s ignition, Suzi Quantro and her band of renegades filled the space inside the car they were dancing in the wind – a queue to put the hood down. Irene still looking after me, her Aran jumper still doing a stilling job.

First, stop the filling station – before the rolling total could reach £13.00 the pump cut out – tank full – that can’t be right. Inside the gauge was not reading half a tank of petrol, now since I’m a glass-half-full kind of a guy I was H-A-P-P-Y. At least I know now, the gauge is broken showing a half tank at full.  

There must have been heavy rain overnight for the fields and roads had standing water at every low point, making it fun to drive – weaving in and out to avoid the standing water – roads still remediably empty of traffic.  

My destination was the fort and settlement on top of Norman’s Law, I have been here before but you can’t get too much of a good thing – said the maid to the gardener. At 218m it is not high and the road takes you a fair way up from the river – your starter for ten.

The route to the top is easy peasy – a proper right of way and use regularly by walkers and cyclists, the first part is a farm track, and then you turn right at the junction, where the path borders Cloudberry Woods (it’s for sale if you are in the mood).

It was here that I met an elderly lady with a rather boisterous Golden Retriever that broke free from her clutches and ran headlong at me – jumping up and had I not been quick enough would have landed me on my backside. He then went off to find a stick and challenged me to a duel – try and get this stick from my locked jaw, he challenged -Good Game, Good Game.  

On the left of the path is a stile that leads you onto a wide pasture, then the steep path up onto the ridge.

Today there was a young couple at the top – so pictures of our hero – scaling the heights – Walter at the trig point.

“Hay that’s my jacket he’s wearing” – I lived in a house with four sibling sisters and it was a case of first in went out the best dressed – Mum – Irene’s away to the dancing in my twin-set, and Dave’s coming to take me out – why did you no stop her…………?

Dad was right, Bedlam Hall.

The wind was blowing fierce, but not really cold, and the views are to die for, over the Silver Tay and beyond.

Going up is always easier than coming down these days, I have to take extra care, and two my knees take a battering.

At the car park mine was the only car there – the other must have been the lady with the dog, the young couple had walked up from somewhere nearby. In fact, I saw a wheen of groups out walking – all waving to the top-down car as it slowly makes its way past – I will have to practice my wave.

I was going to head into Cupar and visit Ann’s but then remembered it was Christmas Day, better to leave it until another day. So it was out onto the A92 for Link Wood roundabout.

I spotted the sign for Kilmany, so I would say hello to Jim Clark – as you all know he was born and lived on a farm close to this spot.

Pulling up at City Park, Suzi told us it was Suicide, not today hen, I’m H-A-P-P-Y I’m H-A-P-P-Y …………

Oh No! You’ve gone and gotten the car dirty again – there’s not a telling in the lad.

Stay safe


You’r life in You’r Hands

So much of riding a bike or motorcycle is common sense and experience – then again sometimes it is not.

I’m sure you have all seen those silly little ‘Anti Cycling’ clips that have been constantly appearing on the internet, suggesting that the person in the clip was riding his bike in a manner that, although in accordance with the new guidelines from the government, is riding in this manner is a danger to all other road users.

Of course, these clips are all staged – you never see a face, and the rider is always so far away for anyone to get any indication of who they are.

I have been riding a bicycle all of my life, and a motorcycle since the age of 16 (legally) and I’m still here. I ride my bicycle in the same manner as my motorcycle; I use all of my own side of the road.

What I mean by that – is if I am coming up to a left-hand corner I move out into the road so I can see as far as possible around that corner (car drivers are already there they are sitting on the right-hand side of their car) – in this way I am forewarned of any obstacle in my path, road-works, poor road surface, potholes, or broken down vehicle, and have a better idea of how sharp the corner is.  As soon as I see all is clear ahead I can move back across onto the left-hand side of the road again.

Coming up to a right-hand bend the opposite applies – I move close to the kerb/verge to see as far around the bend as possible – move out to the white line at the apex of the corner then back to the left side of the road, once more.

Riding in the way not only allows you to see the road ahead it also straightens out the bend, (taking the racing line) therefore much safer.

I use the same tactics on my bicycle going down steep and twisty roads, although you do not have to venture so far out into the road. You should be safe enough unless some clown in a car was impatient enough to pass you coming up to a blind bend.

The other trick to keep you healthy on a bicycle is when you are turning off a road, to your right. You take a glance behind, nothing at your side or close behind – a mirror is not good enough – there is a blind spot when a car is up alongside you but far enough over so that the mirror will not pick it up. Now stick your hand out anyway, even if the road looks clear behind, indicating your intention, and move to the centre of the road.

Now use what they call in the Police Motorcycling Handbook “LIFESAVER” glance once more behind – there will always be a car driver that tries to overtake – even when he sees you are about to turn right. And no matter who the blame is apportioned to later – the cyclist is going to come off worse, or dead.

Turning left, no car is going to pass you on the inside here but a motorcyclist or cyclist may try if you leave them a big enough gap, (I thought you were going straight on).

Again glance behind – then close the distance between you and the kerb – quick glance once more – a pedestrian may decide to step off the kerb in front of you (probably sending a text, on the phone, or playing computer games at the time) and like before, the cyclist will come off worst.

Stay safe


Bairns, not Bombs

My walls are now adorned with Christmas cards, and my sock drawer is filling up (well, what do you give a man that has everything) Christmas is once more upon us.

The two boys are back at boarding school after their Christmas holidays, and they are telling each other about their experiences.

It was brilliant, the Roman Catholic boy said, the tree, the decorations, the carol service, midnight mass, and best of all the family – including grandmother and grandfather – over for Christmas dinner, and that is when we opened up our Christmas presents.

You don’t celebrate Christmas, he asks, his Pakistani friend, do you, what did you do over the Christmas hols?  

On Christmas morning dad drove the Mercedes around to the house and we all piled in – he drove us down to the industrial estate where we went inside his warehouse, and as we looked around at the rows and rows of empty shelves – we sang

“What a friend we have in Jesus………before flying off to our Swiss Alpine lodge for our winter skiing holiday – sorry getting very cynical in my old age.    

Tell me again that Ukraine is not another American proxy war; Volodymyr Zelensky – Joe Biden’s poodle – invited to speak in congress in America – welcomed by Biden like some conquering hero into the White House (I remember when the Afghan warlords received the same treatment at the American Senators texas ranch – before they became America’s enemies). Zelensky lorded over and of course given a folded America Flag in a case to carry back to Ukraine. The cat is now out of the bag – America is using Ukraine to gain territory around the Black Sea – expand trade deals (selling, high profit, GM seed to Ukrainian farmers, and like the bankrupted farmers of India they will find one planted some seed can not be stored for next years crop – they are then over a barrel to the American seed company).

American military bases will soon follow (they have been poring in money to modify the docks in Odesa to take the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier (complete with American warplanes at British taxpayer’s expense) and like all American bases around the world they are not American bases, they tell us, they are only working in collaboration with allies. What’s not to like a large military base bringing in much-needed foreign currency to your country. This is all American empire-building by stealth, or should that be a gun to your head – Like in the Godfather – my father made him a deal he could not refuse – your signature on the paper or your brains.

At home the cost of living is through the roof, production through the floor, the country going into recession, a time to tighten our belts the Chancellor tells us, things are bad and will get worse before they get better, no more money in the coffers to give higher wages to nurses, postmen, firefighters, teachers………. But with billions to give away to Ukraine and the budget of our forces, escalating daily now 3% of GDP.

We will suffer from high fuel bills, higher taxes, lower wages (because of inflation) an influx of refugees from Ukraine and Afghanistan (in the millions, who have no problem getting into the country, as genuine refugees and will not be forcefully transported to some foreign land in Africa – where the dictator there has been offered fast sums of money to take them in (of course there will be no guarantee of accommodation, healthcare or work, that risking all to come to Britain promised them.)

Stop pandering to American foreign policy and start looking after the poor of the world Bairns, not Bombs.    

stay safe 


Winter’s Wonderland

Charles was standing at the manager’s door when I was heading out to the car,

“Want to go for a wee run in the car Charles” I called to him

He, like my wee dog, was at the door before me, after posing the same question to him – that will be a yes then.

The rain may have been little during my run – just enough to activate the windscreen wipers – is everything automatic on this car? However, when out of the car it was bloody freezing with an ice-cold wind at its back. I was pleased that I had put on my Aran jumper, knitted for me by my sister – Irena is still looking after me, even though she is deceased.  

 I did try to put the hood down but it would not go down, maybe just as well, the weather was far from good. We went out to Guardbridge, Leuchars then onto the Wormit road heading for Balmerino Abbey or at least what is left of Balmerino Abbey.

After a quick look around (Charles had never seen it before) we climbed up to Hazelton Wells. This is a very long and steep climb on a bike but not today. The great thing about climbing hills on a bike is that you get to dive down the other side, (normally). Today it was all the way down into Newburgh, where we visited the ruined Abbey there.

Charles suggested we might go for a coffee – so we did at the café/filling station. Tea and a scone for me – coffee and an Empire biscuit for Charles (naturally Charles had no money).

Home via Lindores Loch and onto the A91 I wanted to turn left at Melville Lodge roundabout and go into Monimail and visit the tower there – but Charles would not have been able to manage the stairs – so it was on to Cupar and home via Pitscottie.

The car was a dream to drive – all went well – apart from the petrol gauge did not move even a degree, very un-nerving.

Home and out with the instruction manual – seems the hood will not move if the extra parcel space is open in the boot, I went into the boot and found that I had inadvertently tripped the handle that opens up that extra space by stuffing the car cover in the corner – so an easy fix.

Will take the car round to the filling station and check the tyre pressures and put a bit more petrol in the tank, see if that moves the needle on the petrol gauge, if not then I will just have to run it until the warning light – for the low fuel comes on and fill up then – which seems to work for it flashed on as it should when the ignition was switched on.

I feel much happier, now that I have decided to keep the car and just enjoy it, OK, it may not have the best fuel-efficient engine – but as my old girlfriend would say “It’s the pleasure that counts.”  

Stay safe.


Will this bill see Sturgeon Ousted?

According to Elie Weather, the most accurate for North East Fife, there is a 40 per cent risk of rain until around 11 O’clock then partly cloudy until around 1 O’clock. However, so far the skies are clear and it is cold and windy out. The only reason I mentioned this is the car has been sitting for a while now, not ideal for a highly bred little racehorse such as a BMW Z4 so now that it is back legally on the road I thought I would take it for a spin.

I have only driven this car a few miles and it will take some getting used to, and not only driving but getting in and out of the damn thing.

Once in you seem to be sitting in the bottom of a bathtub looking over the rim making it difficult to see the front corners (maybe I should have a cushion under me) and legs straight out in front, again no idea on a long trip. It’s saving glory – it’s a car you to be seen in. I drove it with the hood down and was surprised at how good it felt and at shielding you from the wind (then I ride a motorcycle, a lot) and of course, you can put the heater on. So good did it feel that I would drive it all the time in this manner (so long as it was not raining.) Now, where did I put that bobble hat with the pompon on top?

In the movie Blind Side (a brilliant performance by Sandra Bullock) Leigh Ann Tuohy is taking Michael Oher (Quinton Aeron) shopping. One thing I know about shopping – if you do not adore it in the shop, you will not wear it when you get it home. Think of yourself wearing it, then ask yourself,

“Is this me?”

With the eyes of the British media averted here in Scotland, the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill is in its final stages of passing in the Scottish parliament.

This bill is likely to pass tonight for it has the backing of Labour and the Green party, however, it certainly does not have the backing of the people of Scotland.

This is the most device law that will ever pass in that parliament and will be like Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax in Scotland – the start of Nicola Sturgeon’s downfall. For even if it does pass, legal challenge, after legal challenge will follow hard on its heels, not only costing the taxpayer millions to defend but the positions of those who voted for its introduction – will be ousted come the next Holyrood elections.

Stay safe


The Coming War on China

I have been a big fan of John Pilger’s work for many, many years – I have read many of his books and watched his documentary films. Yesterday I received his 60th documentary film The Coming War on China.

Pilger is a multi-award-winning journalist, including Britain’s highest award for journalism, twice, and television academy awards in both the UK and the United States. Pilger has been s a foreign correspondent and a frontline reporter and a war correspondent. Pilger, (through his experiences) has become a fierce critic of Western economic and military power, his humane eyewitness reporting has been described as a unique presence on British television that explores where others dare to tread.

In this his latest documentary film, shot over two years across four potential flashpoints, The Coming War renewed work has been set like his landmark Cambodia Year Zero, this film breaks the silence. With eye witnessing interviews and rare archive footage, it tells the secret history of an entire nation declared ‘experimental’ in the nuclear age.  

The United States and China may well be on the road to war – and with a noose of US bases now encircling the world’s newest superpower, China, nuclear war is not only imaginable but a nightmarish prospect, The Coming War on China is both a warning and an inspiring story of people’s resistance to war and the occupation of their countries.

Like John Pilger, I believe that there are people across the world (including the United States of America) that are rising up and speaking out against American foreign policy and Western economics, and I also believe that the truth will come out and the peacemakers will prevail, however, as yet we are a whisper in the storm of Western Media Propaganda.

Do yourself a favour, for we all need to know the truth, for they do in our name, buy this DVD, for hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.   

Stay safe.


Time is not on our Side

When I was studying marketing at college and learning about international markets. One of the things I read, blowing my mind, was that if Coca-Cola were to sell the equivalent per captor of their fizzy drinks in China as they did in Australia, they would not simply have to up production – they would have to create a whole new Coca-Cola company.

The size of the domestic markets in China, India, and Pakistan, in fact, the eastern hemisphere of the world is enormous and almost untapped by the western industrial nations.

I have never understood why we in the UK are so ignorant of this fact. Then again, the folks here are not informed as they should be by the UK media – quite the opposite.

Once upon a time here in the UK, we were given figures of what was known as our Balance of Payment – the money we raised from exporting, our goods sold to the rest of the world – against what we paid for goods into this country from the rest of the world. Maybe because the difference these days would only scare the voters it is best not to tell. The country’s economy now floats on debt – invisible earnings – and printing money.

The war in Ukraine has caused big problems for Europe (and that implies the UK, being part of Europe although we are now, after Brexit, an appendix of the US). Modern wars are not won by soldiers, although battles can be won or lost by soldiers on the ground, wars are most defiantly won by War Factories, and have been since the War of Independence in America when we say the first major industrial war.

After the Second World War, countries that we would have said lost the war surprise us now to appear to have done better than we who were reputed to have won the war, incurring vast war debts and an unemployment nightmare.  On the other hand, names such as VW, Fiat, and Mitsubishi, are now vast corporations -household names, yet it was they that were all on the losing side of the Second World War, why?

Hard on the heels of the Second World War, we had the Korean War and Japan was in the right place at the right time for the Americans. They turned Japan into the War Factory. Close to the fighting for US aircraft, and millions of out-of-work highly skilled men and women, it was the start of Japan’s rise, much like a phoenix from the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In Germany, a British army officer from the Royal Engineers could see that although the VW factory had been bombed, mostly the damage done was superficial. And since that British officer had the unenviable task of putting Germany back together and again. What to do with the millions of unemployed – well put them to work in the VW factory making a cheap car that was at that time needed for the allied forces in Europe, and later for the domestic market. This was the start of what we now call the economic miracle. It all starts with a clean slate – no autocratic bureaucracy – unions on the boards of management – so no ‘them and us’ disruptive disputes – all helped to put Germany back together again.

I said that wars are won by War Factories not men soldiers on the ground – 90 per cent of war casualties in modern wars are not soldiers but civilians, saving the embracement of numerous body bags being seen coming home from conflict – don’t scare the voters – no Vietnam protesters on the streets of America these days. No one will get in an inflatable overcrowded boat and head for America – proxy wars fought with high-tech military machines, like some computer game in a shack millions of miles from the front line that is modern warfare.

The US and UK are pouring millions into Ukraine – their War Factories will always be able to supply more armaments than Russia – so the US will prevail – well no.

If we go back to my marketing studies we will see that so long as the war is confined to Ukraine (and it always will be not even the powers at be in the EU are daft enough to allow it to spread from the borders of Ukraine into Europe as a whole and why American has come up with the idea of sanction on Russia – kill the Russian economy and Russia will implode much as the Soviet Union imploded. Times have changed.

So long as the Eastern hemisphere needs the gas and oil that is under Siberia and Russia is willing to put in the infrastructure to supply that gas and oil to the East then Sanctions are nonsense. China, India, and Pakistan alone are a market far greater than the EU will ever be, I think I am right in saying that India has a larger population than even China now, (Coca-Cola will need two more Coca-Cola companies if they are to sell there in the quantities they sell per head in Australia).  

At home we have inflation through the roof, production through the floor, and revolution in the air, all because we are following the foreign policies of America, Maggie Thatcher told you decades ago,

When the pound reaches parity with the dollar then there is no going back,

We are now an appendix of the American capitalist economic system, ‘Wall Street, not Main Street’. And This is why Scottish Independence is so vital to our existence, but make no mistake about it, Time is not on our Side.

Stay safe


My claim to fame

It has been a busy time for me and a very mixed bag. Going out to friends’ homes for drinks oh and cake and shortbread, very Scottish, I was also out for drinks at the pub with my friend.

The Probus club did throw up a bit of a curve ball, the speaker’s car would not start – flat battery – they needed a stand-in – after offering my service for an off-the-cuff talk I sat down and my brain froze – shit what have I done. My problem is that I am deaf so I could not hear the audience (were they tittering away at my humour?) or was the audience welcoming me (as Billy Connelly would say) – like a fart in a space suit?

I mentioned this in an e-mail to my friend from our college days and he sent this reply,

You’re some boy as they say! 🙂 lol Aye, I remember that pressure well, the lecture hall at college, I think I did a speech on RLS…I was all prepared and looking forward to it then stood up and my brain froze ha-ha-ha.  It’s frozen again today but more due to the bleeding weather!

You never said what you talked about? Knowing you and your life a myriad of experiences! Sure it was received very well; you should have charged them lol.  I still recant the tale of when you and I were given a basic radio interview task at college, all the others were getting store managers, the Principal etc and you said ‘…meet me at Carnegie Hall, we’re interviewing Tom Weir!’  I still laugh when I think about that, I was like ‘What??…THE Tom Weir?’….I recall getting the recorder up and running, you started off on a structured interview but soon meandered off with Tom into reminiscing of your days with the RAF Mountain Rescue team….next thing we know after an hour the theatre manager came thundering in with a panic-stricken demeanour…’ Mister Weir, there’s 200 people upstairs paid ten pounds a head to see your show and you are half an hour late!!….’…Oh crivvens’ says Tom ‘oh well Walter, Greig….thanks for the chat, must go as you see’ and off he toddled lol, complete gentleman was Tom.  It was you blethering…not me for a change…honest!! Ha-ha-ha.

I had completely forgotten about that, yes Tom certainly was a gentleman. I started off my interview by asking him about how he started in journalism. He said we did not have much money but I like to escape the city (Glasgow) and the Campsie Fells were within cycling distance so I would go there at weekends and walk the hills, I started writing about my sojourning – sending articles to my local newspaper – I found that if I introduced a photograph in with the article it was more likely to be accepted so I became more interested in photographs. However, he was just such a great storyteller – that was his secret really.

I asked Tom, – I don’t know if you remember meeting up with four of us lads from RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue on Cairn Gorm, it was high summer and you were accompanied by a flock of women walkers – if memory serves – you (in jest) introduced them as inmates from the women’s prison at Tillicoultry. The conversation moved away from an interview to him asking about fellow members of the Kinloss Mountain Rescue past and present, it was after a while that the manager came into the dressing room – kickers in a twist – telling Tom he had an audience waiting upstairs. I believe the audio-visual presentation he gave (slide show and talk) was on his recent trip to Kazakhstan for I remember a lot of Yaks and those strange movable tents they have that look like lattice work inside. – Exciting times.      

Now well into December and heading for 2023 – and not a dish washed. Of course, there will be predictions made for the coming year – but what is most needed is for the EU to get around the table with Russia and as Macron told them – take seriously Russia’s concerns over their security needs, (of course America is the stumbling block to any talks with Russia).

Actually, there is a programme in the Byre Theatre ‘The France of Houellebecq and Macron’ on the 18th of January – free but you have to book – I will do that today.

If we could get a settlement with Russia and Europe that could satisfy Russia’s concerns over security from an every encroaching NATO – now right on their doorstep, (US bases in Ukraine would be a tad too close for comfort for the Russians) and EU countries once more started buying gas from the Siberian gas fields – inflation would fall – the Bank of England would not have to raise interest rates – mortgages, and loans would not cost more, people would be lifted out of poverty and the strikes for more pay to keep pace with inflation would end – in other words – cure the illness, not the symptoms. Stupid is what stupid does.

I heard Miliband on Channel 4 news the other night and heard the most sensible words from anyone on television for a long time – he said we need international cooperation to tackle the problems of boat people trying to get to Europe (including the UK) – unless you are Ukrainian or Afghanistan you will not have a direct route to come to the UK or EU – people have not come here as economic migrants they are coming here because if they stay where they are they will die – they are fleeing war and famine, simply they are trying to survive – yet they are treated like lepers when they arrive in England. We need international cooperation to tackle the causes of this migration. Take seriously Climate Change – countries such as Madagascar once able to feed their people from its land have had four years of drought – the once fertile land has now been turned into desert.

Wars across the globe are causing a mass migration of people heading north for better life chances. How long has the destruction of Yemen been going on – feed by British and American weapons and the use of British staff to service the planes and plan and select targets for the Saudi Arabian (British-built) aircraft.

Refugee camps spreading at an alarming rate across the globe, some now the size of small cities – You do not help people by giving them a plastic sheet and a bowl of rice – that will only make them make them dependent, by doing so you encourage discontent leading to trouble and strife – leading to even more migration.

And why I believe Miliband is right when he said that the problem with boat people is a problem that needs international cooperation. Sadly for the people of Ukraine, Palestine, Yemen, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, there is no profit in helping the poor and destitute of this world the smart money is in arms manufacture and war factories.

My prediction for 2023 Global Warming will be the big story – sadly little will be done about it just more COP-outs.

Stay safe.


Sunday followes Saturday


Today the weather was shit, bloody cold wind and intermittent rain all the way from Santa Clause land. However, I really needed a haircut so I boarded a bus for Dundee – I do not visit the barber as much as I once did – and certainly, no longer do I have to before I visited my sister – the first thing she would say when I came in her door if I didn’t, would be

“Is it not about time you had a haircut – sir?”

So short back and sides, then off to Wetherspoons for a pint of Worthington’s and a burger and chips, big difference in quantity and price even in the last few months, ho-hum.

Next stop the charity shop – six DVDs – for the princely sum of £3.00 what a bargain. I was once asked by a friend,

“What is your favourite actor/actress?”

You know I could not tell her – I watch so many movies and I do have favourites, but all actors/actresses make bad movies from time to time – however, I tend to pick DVDs mainly by actors and actresses and I have to say I seldom pass any with Julia Roberts in its cast – she never fails to please. Then again, top actors/actresses only really shine when they play against someone just as good as they are.  

Then again, the story has to be top drawer too, and storytellers do not come much better than John Geishas, and it just so happened that one of the DVDs today – The Pelican Brief, was written by John, (staring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington) John, has written a whole catalogue of best sellers, of course, two that spring to mind – The Client, The Firm –were both made into successful movies, his genre, as ever, American law.

One another that I’m looking forward to seeing again is Indecent Proposal starring Robert Redford (you always know what you’re getting with Redford although maybe just a tad old in this role – classic) he plays alongside that little stunner of a woman Demi Moore – a fascinating story with a twist in the tail.


The day was much brighter than yesterday and much, much quieter too. The bike ride was short and sweet – the low bright and blinding sun always a worry when out on a bike, cars get very close and with the cycle path and non-bus routes unsalted it is the devil or the deep blue sea, safe cycle lanes in Scotland – not in my lifetime.

After yesterday’s trip to Dundee – the coldest place on earth when the wind blows up the river or charges down off the Sid Law hills, there was entertainment in the Caird Hall Square, along with stalls along with the Salvation Army band – their numbers much depleted these days.  

On my return, I did a trip around Aldi – home and on went, the soup pot, never really off during these cold winter days. This afternoon I watched Indecent Proposal – Robert Redford up to his old tricks again – he approaches her and tells her

“You’ve missed a button” breaking the ice.

He used the same line in The Horse Whisperer – he walks up behind Kristin Scott Thomas she was in the kitchen making heavy weather of cooking a meal – he fastens the top button of her dress –

“You’ve missed a button” embarrassed Kristin (for linking his touch)– “Thank you”.

Clearly, actors do have leeway over the director in delivering their lines, in The Magnificent Severn – Steve McQueen steals the scene over Yule Brener on top of the hearse when he took the cartridges out of the shotgun and shook them. There was no need to do this he would know by the weight if they had shot inside them. However, Brener was the big star of the picture – Steve had to take the camera off him, he stole that scene.  

This evening I felt in a romantic mood so Knotting Hill or maybe Pretty Woman both had unforgettable lines

Knotting Hill – “remember I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”

Pretty Woman – they are in the lift – she dressed in the finest of dresses and wearing a quarter of a million dollar necklace and earrings – feeling every bit a Pretty Woman

“If I forget to tell you later – I had a great time tonight” classic

The other that springs to mind was from One Find Day they kiss and he said,

“Forgive my lips for they find pleasure in the most unusual places” something she herself had said to him many years before. Pure romance.

Stay safe


Sorry PM we never went away

ALBA to hold “Way Forward for Scotland” independence Conference

Posted by Alba Party, November 28

Alba Party is to hold a Special National Assembly in Perth on Saturday 10th December on the next steps for the independence movement in the aftermath of last week’s Supreme Court decision.

Sold out but will be broadcast – book your ringside seat

The Conference, which will be open to any member of the public to attend, titled “How to put Scotland’s Future Back in Scotland’s Hands – ALBA’s Way Forward” will be addressed by former First Minister Alex Salmond and Alba Party’s two MPs, Kenny MacAskill MP and Neale Hanvey.

The pro-independence party will set out their plan to progress Scotland’s campaign of self-determination and members of the public will be able to contribute their views on what the next steps must be to bend Westminster to the democratic will of Scotland.

Alba has the plan to move the argument forward. They advocate the immediate convening of an Independence Convention composed of all Scotland’s elected representatives and encompassing civic Scotland. Secondly, they propose popular agitation and peaceful protest be embraced as a legitimate and essential part of the independence campaign. They also propose a sustained campaign of parliamentary interventions at Westminster and a series of political initiatives at Holyrood.

Alex Salmond’s party say that an independence Convention should immediately endorse Scotland’s right of self-determination thrown into question by the extremity of the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Alba Party believes that any recourse to a Defacto Referendum poll, either at a Westminster or Holyrood election, must be fought as Scotland United for Independence, not in a normal party political way. They stress that is the only way to keep the campaign issue on independence and not on the track record of a single political party.

Commending Alba Party Chair Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh said:

“ Going cap in hand to a Court London was never a sensible tactic and the response from the establishment was even more extreme than expected. It is now imperative that Scotland’s future must be placed back in Scotland’s hands. Alba Party has the plan to ensure that this happens. However, we know that the independence movement is bigger than any one political party, which is why we are calling on the entire independence movement to attend our event, listen to our vision for the way forward and put forward their own ideas.

“ Scotland right now needs a combination of popular activities on the streets and a clear plan to take the country forward if we are to bend Westminster to our democratic will.”

Alba Party’s Special National Assembly will be held in the Dewar Centre Perth. You can register to attend here:



“protection against Russian aggression”.

If you believe the war in Ukraine is about Russian aggression – if you believe the war in Ukraine has nothing to do with American aggression – if you believe (as put out by western propaganda the BBC, Sky News, Channel 4 news) that America is not fighting a proxy war in Ukraine) – read on.

In the past week, the situation around the small unrecognised republic of Transnistria, which lies along the Nistru River between Moldova and Ukraine, has sharply escalated.

Ukrainian saboteurs have staged several terrorist attacks on the territory of the republic. Hostile forces are being drawn towards Transnistria.
From the west, NATO units are moving towards Moldova’s borders.

If a few days ago there was information about the redeployment of Romanian and Polish units, according to the latest information, large units of the USA, Portugal and other NATO countries are also moving. There are no NATO troops on Moldovan territory yet.

Tik Tok video showing huge amounts of military equipment on lorries.https://southfront.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Romania-port.mp4?_=2

From the east, AFU troops and a group of thousands of foreign mercenaries, including at least 1,000 fighters from the Turkish far-right organisation Grey Wolves, Canadian, Croatian units and fighters from Scandinavian countries, are concentrated.

Explosions hit Transnistria, a Russian-allied region

(One aim of the coming attack on unlucky Transnistria is to open a second front, forcing Russia to intervene and split its campaign.)

On 29 April, Ukrainian and Russian sources reported that Ukrainian President Zelenski allegedly offered Russia, through closed channels, to exchange Nazis from Azovstal for de-escalation in Transnistria.

If this information is true, such an offer should only be perceived as an attempt to obtain additional benefits before the start of hostilities in the Transnistrian region.

During the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has lasted more than 8 years, Kiev has not fulfilled any commitments on significant issues.

On 29 April, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry urged compatriots to leave Moldova in view of the “difficult situation” in the country and around Transnistria.

Following Bulgaria, the US, Canadian, French, German, British and Israeli authorities advised their citizens not to enter Transnistria and, if possible, to leave Moldova.

It is noteworthy that the Moldovan leadership is trying its best to avoid opening hostilities in the region. Chisinau understands that the outbreak of hostilities in Transnistria will lead to a war on the territory of Moldova itself.

Also, Chisinau has no alternative to Russian gas, which the republic receives at a fixed price, much lower than the market one. A large number of Moldovan citizens are working in the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Moldova’s political leadership is not independent in its decision-making. If Washington orders a military operation against Transniestria, Chisinau will be forced to obey.

Poland plans to occupy west Ukraine.

Part of Western Ukraine was Polish territory up to the 2nd World War

On 28 April, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Naryshkin, said that Washington and Warsaw were planning to deploy a Polish “peacekeeping contingent” in the western part of Ukraine. Today, the FIS said that Naryshkin’s statement was not a version, but intelligence information obtained from several reliable sources.

“According to information received by the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Washington and Warsaw are working on plans to establish tight military and political control over ‘their historical possessions’ in Ukraine,” Foreign Intelligence Service spokesman Sergei Naryshkin said.

According to the FIS, the first stage of the “reunification” should be the introduction of Polish troops into the western regions of Ukraine under the guise of their “protection against Russian aggression”.

The war in Ukraine has far-reaching consequences for Europe – already we see splits in the NATO alliance (mainly France, Germany, and Norway) they see how the escalation of the war in Ukraine by NATO (America) is dividing the world into two spheres East and West.  

The war in Ukraine was instigated by America, which stoked the civil war there. The Minsk agreement was torn up. Russia move in to protect the breakaway states in the east of Ukraine giving America to excuse to get involved – not by sending troops in but through a proxy war. Make no mistake about it America and Britain have (clandestine) boots on the ground in Ukraine. We know British aircraft have been flying sorties over Russian territory (recognisance).

Sanction of Russian business (American led) the European Union cuts their throat by stopping buying Russian gas and oil (pipeline from Siberian oil and gas fields into China almost complete, in record time). This has disrupted markets around the world and put Europe (including the UK) in the shit – roaring inflation – high prices in the shops – people unable to cope with higher rents and higher fuel bills – the population of the UK first protested now they have gone on strike (a form of revolution) – the Tory government takes fright talks about curbing the striker’s rights by new laws. Revolution is in the air.   

Stop the War – Stop the madness – Bairns not Bombs

Stay safe