Having checked as much as possible the results of the Local Government elections I can find no firm figures at the time of writing. However as far as I can gather from the newspapers – Herald and National -the best I can get is that in England the Tories lost 1334 seats and Labour between 80 and 90; in Northern Ireland the DUP is under pressure. However I did find out something surprising – it would seem that there were no elections in Wales – or London! * Never dawned on me that London is a separate country, but hey, whatever the Tories want theyRead More →

“And still they gazed and still the wonder grewThat these big heids just hadnae got a clue”. One line from Oliver Goldsmith’s  poem above has always seemed to me to apply to people with pretensions.  While Goldsmith wrote “That one small head could carry all they knew” is not appropriate, I have substituted my own take on things.  The populace are definitely wondering at the public mess our Westminster government is making.  There seems to be no ending, or any progress, in sight for Brexit. As I write, the SNP have tabled a motion to revoke Article 50, which has received over 6 million signatures,Read More →

And having writ moves on, nor all thy piety nor wit, shall lure it back to cancel half a line nor all thy tears wash out a word of it. Fitting way to start with the opening lines from the Rubiyat of Omar Kayyam by Edward Fitzgerald, although as usual I only remembered a fragment of it and had to consult The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations – must choose something simpler next time.  Anyway the fingers of history are moving rapidly onward and we are not getting enough time to work out what is happening. Latest on Sunday of this week Mrs May isRead More →

I am indebted to Jim McGugan of Letham, Angus for sending me cards of comparisons between Scotland and 5 different countries; Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Finland. He compares Area, Population, Density, Country GDP, GDP per head, Currency, Borders with, In EU?, or with other arrangements, and finally Nuclear bombs:  this last has Scotland the sole “beneficiary”. The cards are published by Bill Robertson, 1 Drimmie Place, Letham, Angus, DD8 2DW of the SNP in Letham, supporting Normal Nations everywhere, as a counter to the “Too wee, too poor and too stupid” and are being delivered by Letham Branch, one country at a time- waryRead More →

The title “Power devolved is power retained” is attributed to the late Enoch Powell, a hard right Tory also remembered for “rivers of blood”, his condemnation of immigrants, chiefly if not exclusively, coloured.  He became a Northern Ireland Member of Parliament, which seems appropriate. As I look at the cantrips of the  Tory Party, and at a  confused Labour Party, I have to say I am not sure what will happen even before I get to the end of the page – the Liberals still not sure.  However, the direction of travel is evident. Before and since the inception of the Scottish Parliament the ToriesRead More →

A curious, or cautionary, tale depending on how you feel. At the height of the investigation into Alex Salmond, he set up a Crowdfunding to help with his legal costs. Being a firm believer in “Innocent until proved Guilty” as opposed to the opposite by the media and the other parties, I decided to contribute. I filled in all the details – and the payment was rejected. I double checked the details and it was rejected again! While I contemplated my next move, the telephone rang; I answered the call and an electronic female voice queried what I was doing. She asked some questions, innocuousRead More →

  Timing – no matter how up to date you attempt to be, news these days moves so fast it is out of date before you finish writing.   Halleluia – or the Scottish equivalent? SNP Councillor Chris McEleny was one of the candidates for Deputy Leader, and worked as an electrician at MoD munitions site in Beith.  In the course of his campaign, the MoD took away his security pass and suspended him. National Security officials interviewed him at his home and queried him about a speech he had given to the SNP Conference.  Chris took his case to an industrial tribunal. The Judge,Read More →

This week we will have the Annual Oliver Brown Award, going this year to Lesley Riddoch.  As I followed the cantrips at Westminster I was reminded of one of Oliver’s quotes regarding the Westminster Parliament  “The Lord Privy Seal is neither a Lord, a Privy, nor a Seal”. We still have Black Rod, whatever that is, and ‘Strangers in the Gallery’, all outmoded and belonging to another age.  I am particularly aghast at the voting system; when a vote is called the Division Bell rings and MPs have about 15 minutes to get to the voting lobby, where their names are marked off by aRead More →

A bit of a mixture this time, as this week will be a busy one for me Some two years ago, I think, I got a new computer and decided to use a “civilian” email address. In the last two weeks BT, my supplier for this email address, said I had to change my password, specifying I could not use my current one. Since then I have not been able to access my “civilian” email! I had my eldest son attempt to fix it after fruitless tries, even using their “Helpful chat” method. ( I had to cancel that try as my tea was ready).Read More →

Thought I was nearly finished but had a sleep in the chair and decided to rip it up and start again. I cannot remember such turbulent times in all my 83 years! Maybe I am just forgetting but I am certain things have never been so uncertain.   First we have a world crisis with the US and North Korea engaged in a war of words, so far. North Korea is unpredictable and the United States with an unpredictable President does not give us succour. In this we have the nuclear threat, Trident, in Scotland , in theory in Britain’s hands but with the powerRead More →