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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jo Cox - that's where it ends

Today's murder of a pro-Euro and pro-immigration Labour MP has been brewing for years.

In the 70s, the loony National Front campaigned chiefly against black immigration. For different reasons that and a fear of general immigration subsided a bit and became the preserve of posh bigots and council-estate fuhrers. For a while.

Then it was 'illegal immigrants' though 'genuine' asylum seekers were welcomed. Now, hard-working Polish plumbers are scorned and no asylum seeker is genuine.

Now, it's mainstream and everyone from Syrian refugees to 'migrants' from other EU nations to Gaelic-speaking Australian children are objects of derision. Immigration must be 'controlled' says an England/ Britain that has long since surrendered her industries, working classes and much of her culture to multi-national big business and the banking classes.

'We want our culture back' scream toffs and neds alike as they guzzle Belgian beer, curries, nachos, pizzas, kebabs, drive German cars, use Japanese technology, watch American films, wear Bangladeshi-made clothes, write barely literate Tweets using a Roman alphabet and Arabic numerals.

For wealthy bigots like Nigel Farage and his self-appointed bodyguards in Britain First, publicity has been easy to find. Add to this the tabloid front pages - what started as a drip-fed poison has become a daily scream of fearmongering hate.

The BBC must shoulder a lot of the blame for Farage's disproportionate appearances on Question Time. The press have built him and his party up while stoking 'legitimate' fears about immigration. Britain First and other morons like the EDL - whipped up into a fury by Farage and the media - have taken their hate onto the streets in a mirror image of NF ugliness from the 70s.

Far-right terrorists
Britain First and their terrorist chic.

This has culminated in the sorry spectacle that is the #Brexit referendum. Immigration has always been the main beef for most Brexit enthusiasts though unfettered access to wealth through exploitation has had its attractions too. The Leave campaign's leaflets are evidence of this - little or nothing about what Britain would do with 'complete' control - but lots on immigration. The threat of Turkey joining - and the implication that millions of their dark-skinned Muslims will come here. More insidious was the highlighting of Iraq and Syria as if they could conceivably join too at a future date.

No. The EU has its faults but fuck Brexit. We will become a fascist-lite fantasy isle as envisaged by Farage if we exit. There will be no socialist resurgence. For Scotland, we may have a second indyref  as a way-out from the madness but for England...?

Fear of foreigners shows no sign of abating.

Labour too have infamously joined in the melee with 'control immigration' mugs and even Milliband's talk of 'border guards' on the Scottish/ English border should us Scots vote for self-determination.

To their credit, some in Labour such as the late Jo Cox and leader Corbyn have stuck by their internationalist and anti-racist principles. I only wish there were more of their calibre in Labour, north or south of the border.

I'm of the view that immigration has never been an issue. People come, people go. They always have and they always will. It's nature.

Sure, some will always fear and hate the new or the unknown. There should be no excuse for that in 2016. We don't believe priests and witchdoctors anymore.

If these people, racists and fascists, cannot be educated or persuaded to keep any poisonous thoughts to themselves then they must be opposed.

The lessons of history from Spain '36 to WWII to Islamist fascists such as Daesh must be learned.

Fascism doesn't start with concentration camps - that's where it ends. No pasaran.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Seven things we have learned about #SP16

I say, jumping on the latest clickbait jargon for lazy hipster journos.

The aftermath of the 2016 Scottish elections has created a lot of froth and foam. Let's sift through the debris.

1 - The Tory revival. In footballing terms, the Tories have made the top six of the SPL after years flirting with relegation. They're still playing guff fitba but they've enjoyed some fortune against their derby rivals. They are however, a country mile behind the league leaders. Perversely, they actually polled lower than hapless Labour meaning that only one-in-five of those who voted chose Satan. Many of these were tactical votes - some from Blairite ex-Labour voters and some apparently from the farming community, angry at an SNP delay in payments.

They're still polling less than John Major did. Christ on a crutch...

SPFL league according to Ruth Davidson

2 - Labour are now entering their habitual post-election period of 'listening' to the public having acheived yet another low. It's not easy to pinpoint where exactly Labour lost the trust of its once natural constituency - Blair and Iraq? Blair himself? Abandoning nationalisation? Selling policy to billionaires like Bernie Ecclestone? The PFI disgrace? Slandering striking workers as 'fascists'? Miliband? Anti immigration mugs?

Poor Kezia Dugdale who was bewildered just a few years ago at actually being elected is even more befuddled in her current stint as human shield for the Branch Office. Maybe pics of her holding up a 'Vote Green' poster are a sign that she has sights on coming over to the good side eventually?

3- The Rev Stuart Campbell from Wings Over Scotland continues to be an objectionable wank. Tocasaid has covered his bizarre anti-Gaelic rant before but he's topped that by his stubborn and insensitive - wrong, even - comments on Hillsborough. He's also peeved that the SNP didn't get an outright majority due to us dullards not following HIS instructions though he does admit that the SNP actually increased their vote. He's now aiming his blunderbuss at anyone who questioned his #BothVotesSNP dictat, including the likes of Bella Caledonia and the Greens. Bizarrely, he's now attacking Green voters on class grounds and Bella on readership stats. I'd imagine that there's a fair bit of truth in the claim that Green voters are mostly middle-class. It's just that Stuart Campbell's adopted home of Bath, that's BATH, sticks out a bit in the roll-call of Proletarian heartlands... Toxteth, Brixton, Easterhouse, Hulme, Craigmillar, Bath...

Bye Wings, was nice while it lasted...

4 - RISE didn't rise very high at all. While I agree with the jist of them - I've voted SSP in the past - I find their existence as a political party to be pointless at this moment. Some of their stunts are bizarre and the little communication I've had with them has been off-putting.

I was amazed that while their manifesto was a nigh-comprehensive list of worthy causes that they couldn't find room for Scottish/ Gaelic culture and the more the campaign wore on, the less relevant they were to me... Driving around Glasgow in a transit blaring out Bella Ciao? A fine song, but what on earth does an Italian partisan anti-fascist anthem have to do with the Scottish elections? If RISE really need to enforce their playlist on Glaswegians, could they not find something a bit more relevant? Dick Gaughan? Hamish Henderson?

And bellowing at McDonald's customers with megaphones?

And the RISE Young Team? Who?! Presumably it was one of the Youth Team, and a candidate no less, that tweeted a death wish to the Rev Stu...Word on the street bruv is dat's a dumb ting to do...

Little wonder that despite disproportiante media coverage they finished behind Tommy Sheridan's Solidarity. Bit of a 'red neck' given their antipathy towards Tommy and his ego.

5 - The SNP did well. The SNP are patently the best vehicle on the road to independence. I'm not wedded to one party though and a plurality of parties in a future Yes campaign must be for the good. Wings Over Scotland may be right that the Greens, so far, are not 'popular' with most voters but then again neither are the SNP. Nevertheless, they do represent a significant body of opinion and that 6 to 12% depending on where you vote may deliver a crucial majority in #indyref2.

Nicola Sturgeon is a powerhouse of a politcal leader and the SNP generally a force for good. However, they do need to pay attention to who they choose to represent them in elections. Taking money from the likes of Brian Souter may not be cool but if the SNP can put his dosh to progressive use then I can live with that. On the other hand, wild horses would not drive me to vote for Christian heidbangers who openly display their prejudice to gay and women's rights. I believe there were one or two such 'guid Catholics' on the SNP list. Get rid. Personal beliefs should be kept personal. An invisible guy in the sky should have no bearing on government in a modern Scotland.

6- The Lib Dems. Meh. Can't be bothered writing about them.

7- All-in-all, with more than 50% of the vote going to pro-Indy parties and an SNP/ Green majority in Holyrood, the mandate is there to call #Indyref2 when the time is right.

Pour yourself a dram, relax and prepare for an independent Scotland sometime in the near future.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Scottish Gaelic in the #SP16 manifestos

Or not, in the case of RISE Scotland and the Lib Dems. But more about them later.

With the Scottish elections air faire - I thought I'd break my sabbatical to explore what the main parties have to say on the place of Scottish/ Gaelic in our society. Gaelic is mostly a non-partisan issue. It is a language and if it is truly of equal worth and status then a plurality of viewpoints expressed through it as a medium should not be a surprise. There are some bigots whose regular but erroneous outbursts on Gaelic issues are fodder for a new ugly breed of fringe Unionists but by and large Scottish is supported across the political spectrum.

Despite the gurning that the SNP are 'forcing' Gaelic onto an unwilling populace, they are for the most part only following legislation signed or implemented by Tories, Labour and Lib Dems in both Westminster and Hollywood.

Here we go. Let's get the worst done and over with...

The Tories - despite loose cannons like Alex Johnstone and Jackson Carlaw - the truth is that the Tories have supported Gaelic since Thatcher. Significant funding for Gaelic was first put in place by a Tory government in London. In their current manifesto, they even have a picture of Bagh a' Chaisteil and manage to state:
We continue to support Gaelic education and would welcome further dedicated Gaelic schools being set up.
Labour - the Branch Office has been generally supportive over the years. Alasdair Campbell is a piper of Gaelic-speaking Tirisdeach stock while the arch-Unionist and pro-nuke bag of bitterness that is Brian Wilson can even speak it to some degree and has been a vociferous proponent of the tongue for decades. On the other hand, one of Kezia Dugdale's first statements after expressing shock at being elected (you're not alone there a' ghràidh) was to oppose BBC Alba receiving a slot on Freeview.

Labour though is currently a chaotic mess on many fronts. As I write, a mere week before the election, their manifesto is hot of the presses. Well, kind of lukewarm. In fact, it seemed as if Scottish Labour would abstain on a manifesto this year. Sure enough given the ever decreasing standards of Labour personnel over the past few years this manifesto made even Rise Scotland's seem slick.

Two gaffes immediately caught the eye. First, the online version was published with at least one section missing - the now infamous 'hello there, hello here' gunshot to foot. Next in the language section was this...

Where on earth did they get 'Nordic' from? Norn or Norse? Or did they mean Doric? This sums up a party that has taken the electorate for granted for decades - producing shoddy campaign material with factual errors, spelling mistakes and all the finesse of a stoner staying up all night to finish a crucial essay before next day's deadline.

As to the real life language that is Gaelic, it's pretty wishy washy. Just what you'd expect from a party now famous for abstaining.

Shame, as it wasn't always like this. In their 2011 manifesto for the Highlands and Islands they stated:
Scottish Labour recognises the crucial importance of Gaelic medium education to the continued survival and flourishing of the language. We support an expansion of opportunities for learning Gaelic, including removing the obstacles to Gaelic education and growing the number of Gaelic medium teachers, especially in areas where there is strong parental demand. We will build on the achievements of the Gaelic Language Act and will enhance our support for Gaelic through encouraging Gaelic broadcasting, Gaelic arts and increased visibility for the Gaelic language in Scotland. We will also support the work of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college on Skye, and encourage new learners as well as native speakers from the traditional heartlands and beyond.

Liberal Democrats - skimming over this document after taking several wrong turns in their garish eye-stabbing website was worse than perusing the Tories' letter to Santa. Please note, multiple pics of Willie Rennie (minus mating swine) is not a positive! He either looks as if he's struggling with a bout of anal cramps or is trying very, very hard to add up the numbers of remaining Lib Dem MSPs.

This is a party that has lost any relevance it once had. With a strong representation in the Highlands, it was once very pro-Gaelic. Elected members such as John Farquhar Munro and Charlie Kennedy not only spoke Gaelic to varying degrees of fluency but were honest, likeable and even radical politicians. Now, we see the likes of the ridiculous Tavish Scott - son of the laird - playing the anti-Gaelic card in an attempt to hold onto the party's remaining 'heartland' of the Northern Isles where Gaelic does have a 'history' albeit not as a recently spoken community language by a significant percentage of the locals.

In 2011 though, they did say:
Support Gaelic medium education where there is demand and promote the language in cost effective ways.
Though funnily enough they now say that if parents in Shetland were to demand GME, they would oppose the desire of those Shetlanders to have their kids educated in Gaelic. Then again, what do you expect? They are Lib Dems after all. Would you trust a Lib Dem?

Curiously, the link to the Lib Dem manifesto I sourced included the words 'no to nuisance callers' (??!)

Answers in a Tweet please...

Scottish Greens - their online document is certainly more pleasing to the eye and does not focus on one personality (if that applies to Wille Rennie). Nothing on Gaelic education but this comes in under Arts and Cultural Diversity:
We support cultural ventures in all the languages of Scotland, including measures to encourage the use of Gaelic, the Scots tongue and the languages of those from minority ethnic backgrounds
Could do better. Support is good but any new ideas at developing the use of Gaelic?

SNP - Compared to some 'national movements' the SNP has been relatively 'language-lite' perhaps in an attempt not to 'scare the horses' as was said of the Yes campaign. Gone are the days when Gaelic slogans were part and parcel of SNP conferences. On the face of it, the SNP offer perhaps the strongest case for Gaelic though as mentioned above, until now they have mostly been building on common ground cultivated by the three main Unionist parties. That said, the present Gaelic 'heartland' of Na h-Eileanan Siar is strongly SNP at both Holyrood and Westminster levels.

Here though we have a bit more to chew on with Gaelic coming under both education and culture (A Creative Scotland) - not rocket science but something the other parties have failed to recognise. Here we go:

We will also implement new legal duties and rights to support Gaelic Medium Education as part of our ongoing commitment to stabilise and increase the number of Gaelic speakers.

 We support the central role of Gaelic arts in engaging people with the language, and enhancing the relevance of the language to Scottish society. We will also provide support for the Scots language

 We will maintain our investment in BBC Alba as a vital part of Scottish broadcasting output, and in recognition of its contribution to the development of the Gaelic language.
RISE Scotland - the new radical pro-indy alternative to the SNP 'establishment'. One could ask what is wrong with the Greens and why did the already extant SSP need to be subsumed into a new organisation but...

Nothing. They have words on many valid causes but nothing on Scotland's indigenous culture - the language, music, education, research, media, sport - not a syllable. The closest they come to Gaelic culture is promising to add yet more tax onto a bottle of whisky! Though some of their policies have a worryingly libertarian tone about them:

The primary curriculum is too cluttered, and in secondary schools the burden of assessment has become a direct barrier to better learning and teaching.

Gaelic and other languages taught as a second language would be easy pickings in attempts to 'declutter' the curriculum. Could Gaelic and other languages be taught and encouraged in other 'radical' ways? Er, we don't know. It would seem as if RISE have taken the Lord Robertson's words on 'Scotland not having a culture and languages' to heart.
Nationally, RISE will ensure that councils’ spending decisions are made using participatory budgeting techniques such as those developed in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which allow citizens to decide for themselves how their funds are spent.
'Citizens' such as Tavish Scott who could whip up a sizable minority of whingers with a grudge and decide that 'his' local area does not demand Gaelic education/ services and even if locals were to demand it, we're not going to let you have it anyway. How will these citizen panels operate? Will a simple majority vote suffice? We aren't told.

RISE should know that getting 100% agreement, or anywhere near, is nigh impossible amongst virtually any grouping of people. Otherwise, the socialists of RISE would just have joined the SSP instead of creating yet another organisation, no?

But I digress...

I expected better from RISE even though their existence at this point in Scotland's journey towards independence is a mystery to me. Their manifesto document itself is difficult to read - black text on a dark red background on some pages- gu sealladh orm!! So far, RISE seem relatively well known for certain members who gained notoriety during the indyref campaign and for others shouting at McDonalds' customers about said company's working conditions. Their highlight in the polls seems to have been a subsample of 39 voters in Glasgow, 2 of which were going to vote RISE.

In terms of a positive vote for Gaelic, the SNP promise the most. For that important list vote, you may consider the SNP again or the Greens assuming the Tories' warm words of comfort to Gaels don't wash away the knowledge of just who they are. The Lib Dems continue their downward spiral and Labour can barely get their half-baked manifesto out on time though we can assume they are still pro-Gaelic given recent voting records. RISE may as well not exist as far as we're concerned. Certainly, we don't exist in their eyes.

All in all, there's a worrying lack of action on languages of any kind from any party. Bilingualism is the norm for most people in the world. The benefits of bilingualism to children are proven. The EU is still pushing the 1+2 approach to languages and education. Bilingualism has been shown to promote positive attitudes towards diversity in children and has valuable cognitive benefits to the child.

It's been said that English is the Walmart of languages. Surely this type of myopic and imperialist attitude should be consigned to the past? If so, our politicians need to do more to equip our young people with a knowledge of their own languages, culture and history as well as insights into those of others in the world community.

Monday, September 21, 2015

If pigs could fly...

Get Over It

...their graceful porcine wings would take them far away from the debauched cesspit that is Westminster and the establishment of rich white men who run it - give or take the odd Corbyn or Mhairi Black. And they are roundly ridiculed as extremists by people who engage in or support arms-dealing with Saudi Arabia and others, penalising the poor and disabled, renewing Trident and sexual intercourse with dead mammals.

To be fair though, they'd probably fuck dead fish were the opportunity to present itself.

It now seems beyond doubt that when Flemish master of the canvas, Hieronymus Bosch painted his triptychs he was envisioning the future governing class of Great Britain.

Westminster debauchery
Rule Brittania fellows!

The MPs expense scandal was only the tip of the iceberg - the apparent coverup of paedophile rings working within the corridors of power would allude to the depths to which these people would sink. Hell, I hate foxhunting but these people fuck and kill kids and people. The dead foxes are probably just a carnal digestif.

And, it isn't just the sordid image we have of a young dish-faced, shiny-chinned David Cameron inserting his sausage into a dead pig's mouth - it's the fact that he and others do this because it, er, lubricates the wheels of advancement.

For us in Scotland... at least us Yes voters in the #indyref can hold our heads up high. We didn't vote to be ruled by swinefuckers.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Or to be more exact, it's a hatred of something that's not understood. Ignorance, in a word. While Stuart Campbell may bleat about feeling like an 'alien in his own land' due to other people using a language he doesn't know and may question the role of an 'ancient' language in modern society - he sounds more like the dark-age peasant who fears the forest and darkness due to not having the wherewithal to shine a light.

Let's be clear, no-one is forcing the Rev Caimbeul to light a torch instead of cursing the darkness but surely it isn't too much to ask for those us who possess two (or more) torches to live without ridicule. To stretch this metaphor further, our taxes go to support the supply of batteries for our big torch (some may say an 'alien' Anglo-Saxon torch) so surely some cells for the wee torch must also be provided?

That sounds like a progressive and just solution.

And, if we aren't fighting for a progressive and just Scotland that can stand on her own two feet without fear of being derided as 'too wee and too stupid' then frankly, it's not gonna be fuckin worth it.

And if the Rev Caimbeul - ironic, eh? - isn't deriding the language of the Scots, or her speakers, as 'too wee, too stupid' then what the France is he doing?

This seems to be the sum of his logic:
spoken by a minority = obsolete, no-one speaks it
Gaelic is ancient = so is witch burning, castles, mountains, fossils (is this actually an argument?)
Gaels are bilingual = force them to speak English then (and the Danes and Dutch too?)
I don't understand it = bad
it's the indigenous tongue of the Scots = Nazi blood and soil stuff

This is the vicious cycle of Scottish bilingualism: Speak it = don't force your elitist language on me. Don't speak it = it's a dead language, no-one speaks it.

Jackson Carlaw, who kicked off this stooshie, is one huge balloon of a man. If the usually sharp and well-researched Stiùbhart Caimbeul - he does make several good points in the latter half of his posting - can't hit a closach this size with his darts without nailing Scotland's Gaelic speakers then maybe his is a bubble that's burst.

Carpark sign in Islay. Resulted in closure of Scottish schools.

Someone mentioned that the worst enemies of Scottish are Scots themselves hence why people with Gaelic names like Caimbeul often seem to revel in their ignorance and celebrate their kicking of the wee guy. This would seem to be the case. And that begs the question, how will we ever gain our independence if we're trying to stagger forward under the burden of yon massive chip on our shoulder - that self-loathing grudge known as the Scottish Cringe.

Elvis Costello - the Sionnach Fionn here -  sang about 'one less white nigger'. Are we still, to use a another crude term, still just 'porridge wogs'? Carlaw and Caimbeul think so.

Entry in the 'Urban Dictionary'

I mean to say and if you pardon my French - otherwise useless to me despite two years of it in school - what the fuck? If a modern Scotland can not encompass diversity and bilingualism then it deserves to be forever the lackey of Westminster and the runt of the Union, being laughed at by the rich, the idle and the debauched in the House of Lords. Would an independent Scotland only care for the poor in the Mother Theresa style - speak the right tongue in the right way and I may help you?

As to Jacksy Carlaw - he's the loose cannon of the Tories. What kind of ersepiece would lift a crude and erroneous image and statement from a group of right-wing EDL-types known as 'Smash the SNP'? I trust that Ruth Davidson is taking action? Or do only those 'vile CyberNats' warrant our disdain?

Lastly,  some biographical and other points.

Scottish Gaels have worked for and paid taxes to the Scottish/ British state for centuries. From Bannockburn to Dunkirk, they have been the backbone of 'our' many armies on the frontline. They received neither reward nor recognition for this and indeed were punished and repressed until modern times. During the Clearances, Gaelic was good enough to entice Scottish speakers into the army and to warn them of the consequences of trying to reclaim their own land. This, while it was beaten out of their kids at school.

A warning to backward teuchters in an obsolete tongue. Know your place bumpkins.

As to myself, I am half-immigrant and my children are half-immigrant. My grandparents and great-grandparents were immigrants and emigrants due to poverty and famine in the Ireland and Scotland of their time. If this is 'blood and soil' nationalism then which blood, which soil? I thought the Nazis only wanted 'ein Spraeche, ein Volk'?  My children speak three languages - two of which are 'useful' should they wish to communicate with millions of others. Their Scottish tongue is also useful - not for the millions, who says big numbers only matter - for day to day conversation in their home, for decoding their local and ancient placenames in the Lowlands (is knowledge of the past/ present a bad thing?) and for enjoying the modern cultural output we can now enjoy in our Scottish tongue - from dad's Oi Polloi CDs to BBC Alba to Dotaman to Peppa Muc to Tormod Caimbeul to the film Seachd.

The talk of Carlaw and Caimbeul is almost fighting talk and it's clear that neither frequent local Scottish hostelries very much - goading and ridicule of this sort in sometimes met with a response that's not as polite as that of Gaelic speakers.

Maybe that's what we need to do more. Fight.

One of the most positive aspects of the pro-independence campaign was the prominence of strong, Bolshy, outspoken women. Why should 51% of the population continue - in the year 2015 FFS! - to be silenced or subjugated? Scottish Gaels may be less than 2% but that won't improve unless we become as crabbit and impolite as the Basque speakers, the Welsh speakers and  the Maoris.

Go for it. Na gèill is tu beò.

Other responses:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sow good. The championship season.

It's been a belter. Obviously for those of us who watch the fitba through maroon-tinted goggles it was unexpectedly painless, at least in the league. The cups were another story but if Robbie Neilson's plan was to concentrate on the league then it worked a treat. The three-horse race with Hearts, The Rangers #2 and Hibernian didn't work out. Instead, Hearts had the league sown up before Valentine's Day with Falkirk and Queen of the South in particular forming a cluster of four some distance behind.

I was lucky enough to be at the Whisky Fringe when news of Sow's last minute winner at Ibrox came through. Probably the most important goal of the season. It instantly dented the unfounded and undeserved self-regard of Sevco Rangers and their lapdogs in the media. From that game on, they were trailing Hearts and proceeded to go to pieces. That was followed up by another important defeat of Hibernian who after the previous season's farce hadn't really got going yet.

Hibs then lost two on the bounce to Falkirk and Alloa while Sevco dominated all teams until they too met the unpredictable Alloa with only a late goal saving them from defeat. More points lost to Hearts though. The gap was to grow even larger after Hibs visited Castle Greyskull and handed Salary McCoist's overpaid duds a 3-1 defeat. Hibs had looked uncomfortable at first, barely able to string a pass together, but then the Sevco defence imploded and Sevconian FC were fortunate to keep the score to 3. In typical Hibs fashion though they followed up that satisfying win by drawing at home to Raith Rovers. The much ridiculed Christian Nade creating havoc in the Hibs defence. Hearts were still undefeated when they met Hibs for the first Easter Road derby. Hibs were up for it and Hearts despite having possession and chances didn't look like scoring. Hibs did, Hearts got a man sent off and Hearts were heading for defeat. With the Hibs fans bouncing and taunting, the Hibs players inexplicably gave Hearts the freedom of the pitch. Ozturk took the ball and this happened... 

Late November and Hearts hammered yet more nails into McCoist's coffin with a 2-0 win at Tynecastle. Rangers turned up with a mission to hurt and that they did. Incredibly, only one of them saw red but young Kevin McHattie was forced out for months after a horrific kick from Kenny Miller. Hibs meanwhile lost again to Falkirk. Mid December saw McCoist have his ass handed to him in Dumfries after a convincing win for Queen of the South against 'The People'. Hearts marched on regardless. The start of December saw Sevco in a cup semi-final and plucky wee Alloa. Surely this would bring some comfort for Salary and his well-remunerated players? Maybe not. One of the results of the season... 

Ally McCoist then became the first(!!!) Rangers manager of the season to leave footballing duties in favour of 'gardening leave'. With a glum Kenny McDowall now in the throne, Sevco's defence went all LibDem and things could only get better...


High-score of the season is an easy one to call. Again, an important win came when Da Rangers were labouring to draws with Falkirk and er... Cowedenbeath the week following this mauling.


In March, Stuart McCall who had done a grand job leading Motherwell into danger took over at the Ship of Fools and went on an unbeaten run. Or in other words, a series of draws against teams in the second tier of football whose player budgets would barely stretch to buying a pair of spades for both of Rangers' gardening-leave managers.

Hibs meanwhile were looking good and were now the closest of 'the other two' to Hearts. When they met Rangers at Easter Road on March 22 anything other than a Hibs win would give Hearts the title. As per usual in games of high significance, Hibs went to pieces and McCall was the toast of the Blue Derry Boys of Billy Union Orange or whatever the Rangers' fans sing about themselves.

When the fixtures were announced, the Hearts/ Rangers match on the final day of the season was seen by some to be the title decider. In the end, Hearts won it without kicking a ball. In the middle of March. All that were left were the play-offs. Alloa deservedly secured their Championship status while the formidable Queen of the South narrowly lost to Rangers. The idea of Da Rangers back in the top flight was as appealing to most of us as being caught in a sandwich between Eric Pickles and Jackie Baillie. Could Hibs stop them? No. Only Motherwell, who had under Stuart McCall, been sacrifical lambs for Die Rangers stood between the Premiership and the Forces of Dunkelheit.

In the end, all's well that ends well. Sevco were trounced over two games and their cartoon defender Moshni is facing police action after giving Motherwell's Irwin a bit of doing after the final whistle. At least for another year, Scotland's top flight will be spared the violent play of Rangers players as well as the violence, sectarianism and racism of their fans. Some further financial woe is not out of the question. 'Glib and shameless' Dave King who had a hand in the previous Rangers going bust is now at the helm. What could go wrogn?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Labour: missing

John McTernan

Murphy is in hiding. Perhaps in a designer McTernan chrysalis and about to re-emerge as yet another Jim Murphy - "At my service folks. One for me, all for me!"

Labour were horsed. Many in the party acknowledge that. Even their sole winner in Scotland - the UnionJack-clad Ian Murray seemed dumbfounded at the realisation that he, after polling well in the posh parts of south Edinburgh, was the last man standing.

It has been a slow demise though. To me, the best thing Labour in Noff Bwitan could do is to separate from the party HQ in London. If the prospect of Chukka Umunna as leader comes to pass and he does indeed take the party further to the right in order to win back the all important Middle-England, then what's left of Labour in the Scottish Parliament is sure to be further eroded.

Hearts fan Murray, or is it Rangers?
The problems are many and stretch back many years. Here's a wee saunter - in no particular order (hell - I don't enjoy Ian Murray's office expenses!) through Labour's shining path to oblivion in Scotland...

- Fascist Bastards! No, not the BNP, Ukip or even the SNP (patent pending Ian Smart) but striking firefighters. This came from the then Labour minister Dr Richard Simpson. Surely a man whose moral compass lies somewhere north of Tony Blair's broon-eye...

- Iraq. Maybe this over all others encapsulates the poverty of the modern Labour Party. Joining with a rabid neo-con US president to mercilessly bomb another nation that in no way threatened us with the loss of up 1 million lives is beyond belief.

- Immigration Mugs. This isn't the first time that Labour has tried to appear tough on immigrants but this was surely one of the most crass. I mean, what the fck! Labour, instead of taking on Ukip and the BNP and fighting for immigrants and explaining the benefits of immigration get into bed with der kleine Englander. 'We can goose-step' further than you....' Gordon 'moral compass' Brown himself lifted a National Front slogan from the 1970s - British Workers for British Jobs - to bolster his flagging campaign in 2010.

- Trident. I can mind the auld days when people like George Robertson and Murphy et al would join the CND marches. Even if you considered nuclear weapons a deterrent back in the days of the Cold War, there can surely be no justification for them now. Even army high-heid-yins and Portillo agree. It's vanity. A white fucking elephant. Even lonely Ian 'UnionJack' Murray agrees. How did he vote though...?

- Drones. No. Not the ones that Obama uses to massacre tribal children in Pakistan but the soulless careerists that took over the Labour Party... when? I don't know but probably around Kinnock's time. Just look at the likes of Murphy, Dougie Alexander, Alastair Darling as well as the 'new generation' of smooth city slickers already jostling for Weird Ed's vacated seat ... not a principled bone between them. I hope that the SNP never attracts this sort.

- Jim Murphy. There's so much been said about this guy and much in ridicule. The fact that he sits - not just as a supporter - but on the political council of the Henry Jackson Society is something that he should be confronted with. Somehow, I can't see Kaye Adams broaching the subject... Suffice to say, Murphy is toxic and only the gleeful coverage in the Unionist media of his Better Together antics has hidden this fact from some.

- PFI. It's still incredible to me that this was Labour's egg. And some wonder why many folk don't see any difference between Labour and Tory? The schools and hospitals that will be paying private-business pirates rent for the next century know this only too well.

- Better Together. And not only in the slimy campaign of scaremongering to save the bankrupt UK political system... Labour members were photographed not only with the Tories but with Ukip and National Front (!!!) activists in a desperate attempt to keep the Westminster trough open. During the #GE2015 campaign, Tories were seen at Labour Party stalls presumably to encourage a 'tactical' vote against those dangerous Nats.

What's left of a genuine left-of-centre Labour membership in Scotland needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Break from the Eton kids and banker-class of the south of England. Actually support the progressive policies of the SNP and Scottish Green Party when required to instead of blindly opposing everything they do like some buttock of an Old Firm tribalist. Lastly - when the next referendum comes - throw your weight behind the yes-campaign. A modern left-of-centre Labour Party that Keir Hardie would feel at home in, starting anew in an independent Scotland might just be the answer to SNP domination.

Friday, May 8, 2015

#GE2015: they said what?

It doesn't become Tocasaid to gloat in others misery but... seeing the queues of taxis taking away a succession of Labour and LibDem 'Portillos' is immensely satisfying. So, GIRUY. And, I really fkn hope that you do find out for real what it is like to survive on £55 a week.

Anyway, how did the high-heid-yins and talking heads in the world of politics fare - not only in the runup to #GE2015 - but in the previous years. Years that are important if we wish to examine the painful but deserved decline of the RedTories Labour Party in North Britain. Did the politicos really know any better than the footballers?

Firstly, here's the one-time socialist cum NATO chief, George Robertson AKA the Baron of Analingus Port Ellen:
"Devolution will kill Nationalism stone dead"
Now, there's the 'spider' that pulled the strings behind Jim Murphy's meltdown of a campaign - and other failures - John McTernan. The Mr Nasty of UK and Australian politics who makes Alasdair Campbell look like a life-giving ray of sunshine said,

"The No vote brings that fantasy (the SNP) to a juddering halt. The Tories will lose the 2015 general election."

oh, the Spider again,

"A no-vote will rejuvenate Scottish Labour".

Well, that one worked out well, eh?

Another nasty is George Galloway who himself is out on his arse.

"The SNP won't win a single seat from Labour."

Galloway needs to take the words 'single', 'seat' and 'Labour' and rearrange them into a new sentence.

Tha last word goes to the Dead Man Walking that is Jim Murphy,

"I'm astonished at how easy it's been to outwit the SNP"

Off to prepare the groundwork for some good drams later on. I'm sure this post will be a work in progress.

Edit: final word goes to Wings over Scotland, of course, with a pretty comprehensive account of the utter bullshit spoken by the deluded. Sure, we all make mistakes but even at the time these statments were patently ludicrous.

Revolution singalong: Murphy v. Leatherface

It's the song of the moment. Tracy Chapman's classic 'Talking 'Bout a Revolution' is the song of the morning and beyond. Jim Murphy and his election-lifebelt, Gordon Brown, were famously trolled by a young boy and his father in a pre-election school visit.

Murphy was cringeworthy in my opinion but then again, i'm no muso. Apart from the original, Sunderland's proletarian melody-makers Leatherface #fundilymundily get my vote.

Well, Jim Murphy thought he could schmooz a wee guy with a guitar at Braehead. So I played 'Talkin' About a Revolution' - I think the irony might have been lost!!` Lol
Posted by Matthew Gibb on Saturday, 2 May 2015

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Football celebs vote in #GE2015!

We all know that Alex Ferguson is a Labour man, whatever their policies are. Also that ex-Hearts and Hibs red-card junkie Michael Stewart is an intelligent advocate of independence and is backing the SNP. Terry Butcher is, or at least used to be, a Tory. But, let's face it, fitba celebs rarely put their heads above the parapet on the political front.

Tocasaid will hazard a few guesses though.

So, with the election upon us and episodes of mindless sickening violence (see above) now in the past, let's enjoy some 90-minute nuggets...

First up is house-favourite Leigh Griffiths. Hibs fan and righteous Celtic FC forward has been banging in the hat-tricks lately. His ongoing hat-trick seems to be the triple-grudge of racism, homophobia and Islamophobia. That's surely makes him a Ukip man.

Moving slightly to the left, we have Ally McCoist. He's a well known Unionist and with Oldco Rangers having corned the right-wing conservative market for fans in recent decades, he's sure to be a Tory. In fact, I reckon he's so taken with Scottish Conservatism that he's morphing into Ruth Davidson.

Anne Budge of Hearts and Leanne Dempster of Hibs are two independently-minded women with clear visions of what their respective clubs should look like. They also thrive in an otherwise backward-male environment. That makes them SNP fans of oor Nicola.

Robbie Neilson. Young manager who's quiet demeanour has nevertheless yielded spectacular results for Hearts this season, albeit in the second tier. They won the league by a country mile as the SNP are predicted to do on May 7th. SNP again for this winner.

Lee 'Elbows' McCulloch. Past the sell-by date footballer and vicious hardman of The Rangers FC. Even his own fans don't like him. Other fans detest him. Referees don't know he exists. He's not very popular. He must be a Lib Dem.

Alan Stubbs. Used to be a likeable guy but has grown into one hell of a bitter man this season as Hibs yo-yo all over the place - one minute they're horsing Sevco and the next allowing Christian Nade of all people to dance around their defence and score. Given his bitterness towards other teams and fans coupled with the fact that his team finished a very distant second to winners Hearts, he has to be a Labour man. No Jim Murphy though as Stubbs is just bitter, not evil.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Hell, we may not all support them but most of us have a soft-spot for them. There's Yogi for a start who's gone from buffoon to manager of the year. And, there's the excellent Twitter account. The Frankie Boyle of the football Twitter world though not as foul-mouthed. They also love beating the corporate-corpse of Scottish fitba - Celtic FC. I'm sure they're partial to a few jars and a 'wee smoke'. Defo a Green Party team and what's wrong with that?

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Vote early, vote often, vote SNP.