Something Different: Re-visiting some albums

Why Me Why Not (2019) Liam Gallagher Been listening to this album again and it is definitely one of my favourites over the last few years. I actually think this album is better than anything Oasis ever did to be honest but then I was never a huge Oasis fan. There isn’t a bad song on this album at all to my mind with the stand outs being Shockwave, One of Us, Now That I’ve Found You, Be Still and The River but the whole album is good and while Liam Gallagher is pretty unlikeable as a person he certainly can sing and is under rated as a song writer, good album.

Bad Company (1974) Bad Company This is a really good album with legend Paul Rodgers on vocals. Every song on this album is worth listening to, Can’t Get Enough, Rock Steady, Ready for Love, Don’t Let Me Down, Bad Company, The Way I Choose, Movin On, and Seagull all classics, apart from The Way I Choose which is the weakest on the album but overall a rock classic if you ask me. The album was number 1 in the states and number 3 in the UK and is also in the top 40 rock albums of all time.

 

Mama Said (1991) Lenny Kravitz This was Lenny Kravitz second solo album and very different from the first, a bit more to it musically and being equally as good an album. Slash from Guns N Roses plays on a couple of tracks and Sean Lennon wrote a track as well. This is a really good album overall and I love the tracks Always On The Run, Stand By My Woman , The Difference Is Why, All I Ever wanted but to be honest all the tracks have something to offer and this is a good album.

Times are desperate when you need Baillie, Hamilton, and Fraser

This is just a brief comment on the article posted by Wings Over Scotland tonight regarding the latest developments in the Alex Salmond Harassment Enquiry.

Something really does stink right now in Scottish Politics. The shambles which is this enquiry, and what looks increasingly like a cover up, the court proceedings against prominent independence bloggers, as well as, the zero action towards independence by the party of independence, something stinks . When I am sitting here hoping that Jackie Baillie Labour, Murdo Fraser Conservative, and Alex Cole Hamilton Liberal Democrat’s can get some answers for the public in this shameful period in our political history you know something stinks to high heaven and you are getting desperate. It is getting to the point that the more evidence that is supressed, the more statements changed, the more witnesses hidden, the requirements placed on Alex Salmond but not others to appear in front of the enquiry the more many of us will feel, irrespective of the final report, that there has been a cover up and a vendetta at the very heart of the Scottish Government and that leaves a really bad taste. We also owe a huge debt of thanks to Wings Over Scotland, Craig Murray, Mark Hirst, Gordon Dangerfield, Grouse Beater and some others for doing the job the mainstream media should be doing but are not.

I am so passionate for an independent Scotland but the more we learn and the more we are stuck in this union the more we see how much needs to change from top to bottom. From our Government, our Police, our Judiciary, our so called media, our rights, our services, attitudes that claim people on benefits don’t want to work, everything. But I also know that if the best we can achieve from our Government is the stink we are having to endure from this enquiry then we are even further away than I thought we were. When the so called Labour movement are reaching out to a millionaire posh boy to tell us poor people what we need and calling it socialism we need an honest, transparent, decent Government and we just don’t have one right now and that is heart breaking.

The more that we learn from the tenacious ones listed above, the more I can see that the only way we get our independence is if we take it ourselves because I am less and less convinced each day now that the leadership of the SNP will be able to achieve it. Many of us will walk up that hill in May with the SNP but I suspect that many won’t be walking down with them, myself included. I am starting to think that we will need a plan B, not a plan B to get independence, we are further away today in so many way than we were in 2014, no we may well need a plan B as in supporting another party after this years elections when the SNP let us down which I sadly feel right now they will. I so want to be wrong I really do, I so want the enquiry to prove there was no cover up, no conspiracy against Alex Salmond but does anyone out there believe that now, I don’t. I think today in reading the Wings article is the lowest I have felt during this whole mess, today is the day that I am now convinced there is a cover up beyond doubt at the very highest levels, that certain people at the very highest levels of the Scottish Government and the SNP have put their own MeToo agenda ahead of independence, their own power ahead of independence, and even now they are taking us all for fools in doing their damned best so that we never know the truth, that stinks and does anyone really believe that those type of people will lead us to independence, I don’t.

Had a wee after thought, if I were Alex Salmond I would not appear in front of this committee, as Mac (posted on Wings) so rightly says “This inquiry a joke. It is actually more of an extension of the cover-up itself than any real attempt to uncover it”. 

Roll Up Roll Up it’s Vaccine Time

Is anyone like me getting so sick of the whole vaccine thing, England doing amazing but Scotland needs the BRITISH Army to sort out it’s mess, real moral booster for health staff all over Scotland eh. Wall to wall vaccine on the BBC and pretty much all other news shows, if I see one more person getting a vaccine I’ll scream, I know what a vaccine is, I know what a needle is, I don’t have to see every bloody person in Scotland and England getting one but I suppose in Scotland we will soon get wall to wall Army giving the vaccine because SNHS staff are incompetent and not capable to deliver this service, you gotta love the UK.

What I have found more interesting is the lack of coverage on the story about poorer countries not being able to access a single dose of vaccine,

“International solidarity needs to grow,” Martha Delgado, the Mexican official in charge of negotiating the country’s vaccine contracts, told BuzzFeed News. Echoing concerns across the developing world, she warned that there will be no end to the global pandemic until everyone has access to the vaccine. She wants the US and other Western countries to think outside their own borders and their immediate needs. “No one will be safe until everyone is vaccinated,” she said.

Canada, for example, has preordered at least four times the amount it needs to vaccinate its 38 million citizens. The UK has secured enough to cover nearly three times its population. The European Union and the US could immunize almost all of their inhabitants twice with the number of vaccine doses they have reserved. Meanwhile, almost a quarter of the global population won’t have access to a vaccine until at least 2022, according to the BMJ, a medical journal.

So far, some of the poorer countries that have been hardest hit by the virus only have preorders to cover a small fraction of their population. Peru, where a dramatic oxygen shortage left the country on edge earlier this year, and El Salvador, where more than 1 in 4 people fall below the poverty line, have preordered doses for less than half their population, according to a New York Times analysis.

I really hope the Scottish Government give any spare vaccine to poorer countries free of charge, this is not a time to look inwards it is a time where we need to look out for everyone in my opinion, it’s time for all of us to demand fairness and help the poorer nations get the protection they need but does anyone think the Tory Government in England will do that, nope, no way will they help dirty foreigners get protection and won’t even think that the best way to protect people in the UK is to protect people all over the world and do our bit to help.

Something Different Kinda: Politicians

There are not that many people in the world that I admire to be honest other than my family and a couple of close friends. It goes without saying I admire my Mum and Dad, during the 80’s my Mum and Dad kept food on the table and clothes on our backs, we always had a birthday gift, we always had a nice Christmas when Thatcher and the Tories had destroyed the livelihoods of millions, like they are doing now, but I was thinking are there any politicians I admire and there are some so I thought I would mention them.

The first politician I took a real interest in in the 1980’s was Alex Salmond. He was just an MP at that time and not the statesman he was to become but he stood out. You didn’t get much news or footage of Scottish Politicians on TV but I remember seeing him regarding the budget and council tax and how his focus was Scotland and holding Thatcher to account, he didn’t mess about and he wasn’t afraid. He talked Scotland up all the time and just didn’t accept for one second that we were inferior to anyone and I admire him to this day and hope that he chooses to return to politics in some form.

Kofi Annan Secretary General of the United Nations and just exuded dignity and patience. He reformed the United Nations to a large degree and was probably the only Secretary General of the UN I have ever really taken any notice of, he came across as a man of peace and was genuinely trying to bring people together to make the world a better place. Sadly gone now but he certainly opened my eyes on a lot of subjects.

Baillie Fraser MacPherson Scottish Liberal Democrats. In my opinion one of the best local councillors Dundee has ever had. While Fraser and myself would never agree on the constitutional issue I can’t think of a more hard working or honest politician in Dundee who will represent any constituent of any political persuasion as if they were his closet ally. Fraser has helped myself on a few occasions, especially with housing issues, but he is also the kind of politician we could do with more of, the Scottish Liberal Democrats are lucky to have him.

Annabel Goldie Scottish Conservatives. This one will surprise a lot of people but I actually listened when she talked, I never agreed with any of her policies but I liked that she was respectful, she debated on the facts as she saw them and never seemed to make things personal in the Scottish Parliament. She was willing to try to find common ground and work with even the SNP if she thought it was in Scotland’s best interests and while a unionist to the core I do think she was genuinely trying to represent Scotland. The Tories would do better to find more politicians like her rather than the hate fest they have had most of my lifetime.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex Democratic Senator for New York. The youngest Senator in US history and only elected I think in 2019 but this woman is someone who speaks their mind and holds people to account. I have seen her on tv and politics shows a few times and she just stands out, a supporter of Bernie Sanders and definitely one of the few American Politicians worth listening to. I really think she could be a President one day I really do.

John Letford, former Lord Provost of Dundee. I had the pleasure to work with John as part of my job and I found him to be very old school but a great champion for Dundee and for young people. He was maybe not the most politically correct politician there has ever been but he was honest and my admiration really comes from his work in promoting men’s health, something he never got credit for but had an interest in. Very supportive of the idea of youth councils and the Scottish Youth Parliament John really did believe that young people had a voice and opinions worth listening to, not many politicians can honestly say that.

Charles Kennedy SDP and Scottish Liberal Democrats. Another sadly not with us but a politician I had a lot of time for. I didn’t agree with a lot of his politics, especially later in his career when he was moving to the right, but his stance on the Iraq War I admired and I felt sorry when certain individuals in the Liberal Democrats used his battle with alcohol as a way to tear him down and replace him. He was the most successful leader of the Liberal Democrats, but like Alex Salmond, some at the top of his party wanted the power for them it would seem but he was a man of integrity and I believe we are worse for not having him around in the political sphere.

So a few of the politicians that have stood out for me for more the right reasons than the wrong ones. A mixed bag in many ways and I assume most people would not agree but people influence us in different ways.

The Problem is Independence

So Richard Leonard is gone, who you may ask. I appreciate there will be a million blogs about this today and many better than this one which will forensically take Leonard’s leadership apart and talk about his many perceived failures, the back stabbers, Sir Keir Starmer etc. I heard him on the radio, and others, this morning but they don’t get it at all. The issue is the constitutional debate and policy. Richard Leonard may well be a decent man as many say but he was a poor communicator, never really seemed to be prepared and seemed to forget what was devolved and what wasn’t. But as bad as he was a branch manager the simple fact is that Scottish Labour will go no where until they come on board with the wishes of most of Scotland for real meaningful change, and have policies that reflect that. To just say no to a referendum, to bang on about federalism, to deny democracy and scream SNP bad, nationalists bad, is a record that has been on a loop for 20 years, we have moved on and Scottish Labour haven’t.

Now I suspect they might go for Sarwar and that would be the gift that keeps giving but if they just want to have a real go at Nicola Sturgeon once a week then they will go for Baillie as I do think she would make life more of a challenge at FMQs but that will still only work for so long. Scottish Labour need to at the very least back a referendum now, but they won’t I would imagine. They are as trapped as Labour in England are, they have no alternative ideas to the Tories, they can’t out right wing the Tories and they can’t go left because most of their left voters have either turned right or resigned from the party. They can’t be progressive because the media won’t let them and they can’t stand on a policy of federalism because England doesn’t want it. Starmer is a huge mistake and the rest of their front bench offend most people so where does that leave Labour and the branches. If I were the Unions with money to back someone I would be looking at doing something different, maybe joining with the Liberals and bringing back an SDP type party that can be a centre left party because let’s be honest Labour are over and they are not coming back.

The Hole that keeps getting deeper

Saw this today on a news feed and to be honest it does not look good at all. The article really does ridicule the Scottish Government with comments like ‘collective memory loss’, ‘this has led to accusations of ‘coaching’ answers so that they do not necessarily provide the information being asked for’. The report goes on to say four of the six civil servants giving evidence have been forced to correct or clarify their evidence after their appearances. In one case Barbara Allison, director of communications and ministerial support, spent two weekends and two working days to prepare for two evidence sessions, but faced criticism after she twice claimed under oath that she had not received a text message from Ms Evans, in which she wrote ‘battle maybe lost but not the war’, on the day Mr Salmond won his judicial review.

I appreciate that most Governments probably do this but at a time when the Scottish Fishing Industry is on it’s knees, at a time when many feel that this enquiry is just not getting to the truth of what went on, who knew what, who did what, who made the decisions this is a really bad look and adds more fuel to the fire. The report goes on with a source close to Mr Salmond told the publication: ‘The bill for the cover up continues to mount. It can hardly be said that they are getting value for money given the woeful performance of mandarins in front of the committee.’

James Hynd, the government’s head of cabinet, Ms Evans, and inquiry lead Judith Mackinnon also spent hours preparing to provide evidence, parts of which they later had to correct or clarify. Alex Cole-Hamilton, the LibDem MSP and a committee member said he was ‘astonished’ that government had spent over £50,000 on prepping civil servants only for them to provide ‘patchy at best’ testimony ‘considering the collective memory loss’. He added: ‘It also raises the very real concern that these civil servants are being coached – that their answers are not natural, and once again, we might not be getting the full truth in our work.’ A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: ‘It is completely untrue that Scottish Government witnesses have been coached. It also seems that following the concerns raised by many in the Scottish Parliament that the investigation into wither the First Minister misled Parliament will include that issue with James Hamilton QC saying he had received ‘written statements and other information’ in recent months and confirmed he would investigate. In a letter sent to MSPs last night, he said he believes Miss Sturgeon’s ‘reporting of the relevant meetings to the parliament’ is within his remit and will be covered by his inquiry.

It is getting harder not to disagree with Wings Over Scotland that the noose in tightening and it is getting harder and harder for the Scottish Government and Civil Servants to hide, that is a good thing for the Parliament and for those of us who want a better Scotland not a mini Westminster but the more that comes to light the deeper that hole keeps getting.

GRA through the back door?

The Gender Recognition Act is one of the more controversial pieces of legislation the Scottish Parliament had tried to get passed in recent years and has been shelved for the moment under the basis of the Covid-19 pandemic and not the fact that it has proven to be controversial with a lot of articles on sites like Wings Over Scotland, even 88.1% of people were against this bill in my own little survey in October 2020 or there about. Today when surfing the net during my break I saw this headline on an American site and thought I’ve not seen this reported anywhere in Scotland. Personally I think we should leave things as they are just now as I am not so sure the Scottish public are ready for such a change or even understand the potential ramifications of it, I am not even sure I do either to be honest, and we have all seen the pile on that takes place with the Trans Lobby on Social Media if you come to their attention but this does look like GRA through the back door if the question is not even asked, I know we get asked how we identify as a person now rather than ask what sex we identify as but changing the census might jut annoy a lot of people.

They’re better than you are

The last few days have seen a ramping up of the Scotland is rubbish mantra, this is now an annual event as we know but this year it is almost daily as a result of Covid-19. Both sides do it, the unionists love it when they can point out things like maths and english pass marks in England compared to Scotland, how many vaccines has been administered in England compared to Scotland, how many people have Covid and oh only so many old people died in English care homes compared to Scottish ones. The SNP they do it as well, look England is a basket case, look how many are in hospital, look how many more poor people go to University compared to England blah blah blah. It is really tiresome to be honest.

I also never understood the fixation with the league table thing in Scotland either, or anywhere for that matter. Let’s set public targets so we can say to an area in Dundee you have the worst school in Scotland, or tell Edinburgh they have the worst hospital, the highlands the most young people who can’t read or the most elderly people who die of boredom. It is absolutely childish if you ask me and shows how messed up the UK is and how inferior many our politicians feel and they then reflect that on to us, look they are better than you, you are better than them. I don’t know a singe teacher I work with that wants a single young person to fail, I don’t know a single person in the health and care fields who don’t want to make people’s lives better, more healthy, cure them or provide dignity so when we report these stupid league tables or turn the vaccination programme into a race as Nicola Sturgeon has done we do a disservice to all those who work in those fields who in the main are doing their very best. I get we need internal targets to measure progress, we need to evaluate to see if we are meeting our goals and to discover where we can do things better, what I feel we don’t need to do is ridicule people or communities, we can inform our communities about what they should expect from the services they pay for but we don’t need to turn that into a league table, we don’t need to demotivate staff or communities.

We want Scotland to be a normal independent country, I even want England to be a successful independent country, and I want all of our politicians to grow up, our media to actually become journalists and not Hello columnists. So can we just stop with the Scotland is better, England is better, Russia is bad, China evil, America wonderful rubbish and just get on with the job of acting like and working towards becoming a normal country. Until we get this whole comparison thing off our shoulders we can’t just move on, yes I bang on about the English Government, our lack of confidence in our own country and abilities are some of the reasons we are governed by a Government in another country. We are no better or worse than anyone else, we need to recognise that we are doing our best, we need to encourage and inspire. I am a glass half empty cynical old fart but even I can see that we need to change, I need to change, and our politicians definitely need to change. So let’s start with stopping this comparison nonsense and let’s have more honesty.

The Tories make me sick!

Yesterday on twitter I started to see some images of what children in England have been receiving from companies awarded contracts worth millions of pounds as a weeks supply of food, allegedly these packages are worth £30 each. The Tories are part of a scandal that has got to be investigated via a judge led enquiry as soon as this pandemic is passed us, we have seen with PPE that we are being ripped off as Tory supporting companies have been awarded billions overall from the taxpayer but now people are even having their dignity robbed from them with a food package that most people would regard as insulting in the extreme.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To profit in this way is nothing short of immoral and disgusting, as is this Tory Government led by the far right of the Conservative and Unionist Party, the very party that sadly many in Scotland vote for also and the party the unionists want to continue to govern Scotland no matter what. Now you would think that opposition politicians would be indignant at this state of affairs, I found one comment but no doubt there is more, I also replied to this tweet from Jon Trickett Labour MP –

Labour should be demanding an investigation, they should be demanding an enquriy, they should be demanding resignations and possibly criminal charges but no, Labour don’t do that anymore, they either support the Tories or abstain, that is the state of the Labour Party today. At least under Corbyn they had a spine, under Sir Lordship Keir they are Tory enablers. What will it take for decent people in this country to take a stand against this corruption, of course some voters actually support it

You have to be a bit twisted to think like that don’t you, there are always those out there willing to do the Tory Party bidding of ridiculing the poor and vulnerable, these are the people who want to nuke the world, the ones who want to see an end to any sort of protection for the most vulnerable, these are no doubt the people who vote for the Tory Party.

I know people who say they are proud to be British, I could not be more ashamed. When this horrible pandemic is over this Tory Government and their enablers have got to be made to pay for how they handled this crisis, there are reasons the super wealthy have made a killing during this pandemic and become wealthy beyond what most of us can imagine, the Tory Party are one of the reasons they have.

This was always going to happen

When John Swinney announced the scope of the alleged breach of the Minsterial Code by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon there were a lot of people concerned that the remit was designed to ensure that the First Minister could not be found guilty as the investigation would only look at examining Ms Sturgeon’s role, if any, in the investigation into Mr Salmond. Following Alex Salmond’s submission to the Harassment Enquiry opposition MSPs are now calling for the scope of the investigation to be expanded: Scottish Conservatives Murdo Fraser and Margaret Mitchell, Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie and the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ Alex Cole-Hamilton have written to Deputy First Minister John Swinney calling for an ongoing investigation to be widened to cover section 1c of the code, which relates to a requirement that ministers give accurate and truthful information to parliament (Holyrood Magazine).

This was always going to happen as since day one of John’s Swinney’s announcement many have said the remit was wrong and did not cover the concerns raised by Parliament, sadly I agree. Not many of us want to see Nicola Sturgeon fall but most of us would agree that potentially misleading Parliament is wrong and historically results in the person if found to have done so stepping down. None of this needed to be this way but this whole affair is just a shambles from start to finish and this is the fault of the Scottish Government and the SNP, they could have just done the right thing from the start but they appear to not have done so as the impression that many sadly now have, myself included, is that there is a potential cover up going on and as I have said before the independence cause is bigger than any individuals involved in the movement. When you add in all of the articles on Wings Over Scotland regarding all of this including the actions against people like Craig Murray it is hard not to be concerned that something is very wrong with many aspects of our understanding of what is going on, it is hard not to be concerned at the direction of travel of our politics in Scotland. This whole issue just gets worse and worse by the day.