Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy Winterval from Scottish Labour

If the real life Tony Blair Xmas card wasn't bad enough - they seem to be impersonating some of the cast of Hellraiser - Scottish (or was it London?) Labour have decided the way to tackle the SNP in Scotland and to win back the working class pro-independence vote is to move to the right. Labour's answer to Johann Lamont's leadership-suicide note accusing the London Labour machine of dictating to Scotland is to... parachute in a right-wing Blairite who doesn't yet have a seat in Holyrood.

The fact that he was the only candidate for the job who form cohesive sentences doesn't say much for the wealth of talent in Scottish Labour. The 'left wing' choice Neil Findlay is relatively more traditional Labour but in a shambling interview on BBC Scotland radio, he didn't seem to know his arse from his elbow.

Murphy though has had his fingers in many dirty pies over the years and more than likely has a cupboard full of skeletons waiting to appear. He's rumoured to be a millionaire which leads one to ask, how can someone spend nine years at university - at our expense - before leaving without graduating to 'forge' a career in the Labour Party machine and come out 20 years later as a millionaire? I wonder if his expenses claims have helped a little?

Did Murphy know?

More importantly though, as a Blair loyalist and supporter of the illegal Iraq war, just what did holy-willie Jim Murphy know about the CIA torture of prisoners? Where did he stand on the rendition flights that used Prestwick as a stepping stone?

We look forward to those bones being revealed.

These are interesting though...

Jim Murphy, Torture Apologist

Jim Murphy – the wrong answer to the wrong question

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Grandmaster Flash knew.

(Pipeline) pure as the driven snow
(Connected to my mind) and now I'm havin' fun, baby!
(High fry) it's getting kinda low
(Cause it makes you feel so nice) I need some one-on-one, baby!
(Don't let it blow your mind away) Baby!
(And go into your little hideaway 'cause white lines blow away)

Let's face it, if most of us turned up at work in this state, we get our asses handed to us. George Osborne is different though. Remember too that 55% of Scots voted to retain this guy as our overlord. His shaking hands are 'managing' our economy.

I like it how some have euphemistically referred to Osborne's 'hangover'. A hangover from what? Anally-ingested horse tranquiliser with a whisky chaser? Or has he been down Leith chasing some legal highs? A night with 'Higella' Lawson perhaps - daughter of a former chancellor herself and aficionado of controlled substances?

I'm sure Dode Osborne is old to remember the fine Grandmaster Flash of Sugar Hill. Though maybe the Sugar Hill sounds were banned from Eton. Who knows.

Here's a trip - ho-ho! - down memory lane. Listen and learn George.

A billion magic crystals, painted pure and white
A multi-million dollars almost overnight
Twice as sweet as sugar, twice as pretty as salt
And if you get hooked, baby, it's nobody else's fault, so don't do it!

A street kid gets arrested, gonna do some time
He got out three years from now just to commit more crime
A businessman is caught with 24 kilos
He's out on bail and out of jail
And that's the way it goes

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Back in the DDR

The former East Germany is a Cool Place. It's so cool that even the 'Wessies' are discovering the attributes of the their former Eastern Bloc countryfolk. In the 25 years since the 'wall' came down in Berlin, it's amazing that it's taken so long for those in the rest of Germany to realise that the DDR wasn't just state surveillance and repression of those who disagreed.

In recent years, 'capitalist' Germany has come to accept ideas such as a right to free childcare as normal when only a few years ago they were ridiculed as 'communist'.

In the east, the people have their 'freedom' - i.e. they can travel wherever they want. The right to work and a decent wage though is another thing. In some towns of the east, a take home wage can be as little as 500 Euros a month. Mind the right to free at access healthcare? That's communist too.

Little wonder that more people seem to be turning to Die Linke - the Left - for a political solution not to mention reviving formerly discredited 'communist' ideas that had quickly been dumped after reunification. Die Linke apparently includes many members of the former East German Socialists much to the horror of some on the centre-right.

I like this example from the Guardian's take on things regarding education:

 ...when poor results in OECD school rankings led to call for reforms of Germany’s education system at the turn of the millennium, a delegation was sent to Helsinki to study Finland’s top-ranking system. The Finns told them that they, in turn, had taken their inspiration from East Germany.
Frau Tocasaid's mother testifies to this. When East Germany was annexed re-united with the West - and the EU - everything that the DDR regime had built was swept aside to make way for the 'superior' ideas, methods and institutions of the West. Little by little over the past 25 years people have come to realise the error of that thinking.

Die Famillie Tocasaid was fortunate to set off to the eastern state of Saxony to re-unite the bairns with their German grandparents a few weeks back. The nearest airport is Pratha.

Having made this journey many times over the years, I still take a morbid interest in the flat and grey environment that seems to make up much of the Czech Republic. Greater Prague itself is horrible - like Glasgow's infamous 'grim hinterlands' times ten.

Sexy cabaret
The Czechs too have grasped their 'freedom'. It seems to manifest itself in out-of-control and garish roadside advertising. Fuck, it's everywhere.

Another manifestation of Czech freedom seems to be the market for 'erotic dancing' and establishments that offer that kind of adult entertainment. Their names amuse me on the long drive north: 'Sexy Club', 'Extasy Cabaret' and 'Darling Cabaret' which always amuses me as it reminds me of our very ane and sexless Alastair. The clubs and enthusiastic attempt at English obviously aimed at those Yankee and Brit pioneers of freiheit who come to live and play in Prague but who can't or won't learn the Slavic tongue. The Czech language indeed, seems to be held in even less esteem than our own Scottish. At least Scottish Gaelic, as it is presented in our cultural output and television - see the dire Bannan - is deemed worthy to present to those Engerlish speakers who stumble by and wish to look in.

The drive north towards Germany takes you past the hulking grey behemoth that is Cerny Most. This is not the socialist past at its best. A sprawling grey expanse of municipal housing erected in honour of Edinburgh's St James Centre and Leith's Banana Flats. The CM scheme is also home to a large retail park which includes the Republik's branch of IKEA. The Czech or Prague government obviously sees retail as a shining path to a better future and has rewarded the Czech slum dwellers with a rainbow coloured neon sign that welcomes drivers to CM and diverts the eye from the glum surroundings.

Not far from the German border is the city of Liberec - or Reichenberg as it was to the Germans before 1945. Close to Liberec is the Jested mountain on the top of which stands a huge pointed tower. This part of the socialist past seems welcomed by Czechs after a hard-day's skiing even though the monument is obviously the world's biggest middle-finger to Western civilisation.

The visit to the former-DDR is as pleasant as ever but is enhanced by the visit of Dutch punks Bambix to the Emil autonomous centre in Zittau. We head to the Emil and take in the punk rock, ludicrously cheap but excellent beer and salad-leaden vegan burgers. First up in Inner Conflict from Koln. Tuneful hardcore with female vocals - entertaining with good riffs and quality tunes. The guitarist requests than some folk in the crowd stop smoking as the singer is pregnant - it seems as if the anti-smoking laws in Germany have some wiggle room.

Emil, Zittau

Next up is Johnnie Rook from Berlin, who I have heard of courtesy of a split EP with Bambix. They kick more ass than Inner Conflict do. Not only that but the singer is pregnant with twins. This lot are great - bags of energy and a charismatic singer who owns the stage. Like a high-octane AC/DC playing hardcore punk.

Bambix do not disappoint. A Dutch band, speaking German and singing in English. The singer is a tunesmith and the first non-pregnant female-singer of the night. I resolve to see this lot back in Scotland if the chance comes along.

Back in town the next day, local municipal buildings are presenting exhibitions on the 25th anniversary of re-unification. As much of the east has died in the past quarter century, here's hoping that a move to the left can see the old towns and cities rejuvenated. There's a lot of the socialist past that's worth reclaiming.

Peace. Likes.

Can't we remember without the hypocrisy of glorifying our martial present?

Here's a wee tune by a working-class guy from Peebles called Eric Bogle.

And I can't help but wonder oh Willy McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause
Did you really believe that this war would end wars
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing and dying it was all done in vain
Oh Willy McBride it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again

Friday, October 24, 2014

Banned from the Mòd

Well, not banned. But Na Seudan Ura were given a stern dressing down for daring to put a dreaded 'modern' slant on their Gaelic folk music. Apparently one of the 'judges' for the 'Royal' National Mod managed to remove his or her head from their nether region just long enough to look down their nose at the group of teenagers and chastise them for their 'lounge jazz'.

It does nothing to dispel views of Scottish/ Gaelic speakers as old-fashioned and dour Presbyterians of the 'no sex as it might lead to dancing' mould.

It also does little to present Gaelic as a living modern tongue.

An Comann Gaidhealach, who have organised the National Mod for more than a century, have presided over the death of the language over much of the Scottish mainland. In 1892 when the first Mod was held, Gaelic was still spoken by local families and communities in places such as Caithness, East Sutherland, Easter Ross, Inverness-shire, Strathspey, Perthshire, Stirlingshire, Arran, the Angus glens and on Lomondside. Despite the pomp and pageantry and despite the Royal patronage, An Comann Gaidhealach did little or nothing to make a stand for Gaelic and to protect it in those communities. Comparisons with similar societies in other small nations are like chalk and cheese.

Cultural and political can be merged but not if you're too feart to offend the Royals and the lairds. Not if you're still doffing your cap and mustering a few words of gratitude to those, and their kind, who happily saw our glens emptied of people with the remaining men used as cannonfodder and any remnant 'native-speaking' children punished for that crime.

Sadly, in Scottish Gaelic culture, the world-views and words of long-dead poets and a vanished society hold more value than a vibrant and forward looking future.

Meanwhile, in the Basque Country, the local punks have a new CD out. The good news for An Comann Gaidhealach is that it isn't lounge-jazz. The bad news is....

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Let's do it. Vote Yes.

Watch and share. We know what a no-vote looks like, we're living it already. Some are doing fine but tens of thousands are mired in poverty. Can't we use our wealth more wisely?

Nach dèan sinn nas fheàrr na th'againn ceartair? Bi misneachail agus thoir sùil air adhart. Saor Alba. Thoir air ais an cumhachd.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Its twins! Royal babies to take power!

We are privileged to reveal that the Royal Baby is not one but two! They are very premature but in a panic to avert Scotch independence, Princes David and Nigel will be installed on the Downing Street throne. Though young, Downing Street PR gurus with help from Gordon Brown, have advocated a 'back to basics' approach to the coronation. Brown is said to have alluded to the sorry tale of the Maid of Norway who became Queen of Scots at the age of seven.

The previous heir to the London throne, Prince Boris, is thought to be considering a reality TV show which he would co-host with the reputed anti-Semite, George Galloway.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Scotsman censors itself...


Was alerted to an amusing story of Johann Lamont's woes today in Govan. However, the link to the negative 'off the no-message' story in the Scotsman was... not there. Instead, would be voyeurs got this:

So, the Scotsman is now censoring its own stories?! Fortunately, some evil hackers swiftly organised by Alex Salmond himself on behalf of Yes Scotland's IT squadron were able to access an archived copy. Archived after 3 hours? Wonder why....? After all, it was billed as a 'top story'.

Whose ass is on the line for this one then - the author or the sub-editor? Even worse, they let slip that working-class Govan, home of The Rangers no less, is now an 'SNP heartland'. Expect a call from Darling sometime soon.
SCOTTISH Labour leader Johann Lamont got the wrong No vote today when she took to the SNP heartland -- and was met with closed doors.
The MSP for Glasgow Pollok made a ‘behind enemy lines’ visit to Govan, in deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon’s Govan constituency, to argue the pro-Union case with voters.
But despite an army of Labour supporters knocking doors, only three residents engaged in conversation with her - while several even came outside to return the leaflets pushed through their letter boxes.
The weak response from SNP voters got worse when a pensioner refused to even discuss with Lamont how she would be voting on the 18th.
But Lamont later insisted it had been a successful exercise and not a waste of her time.
She said: “I’m very positive about the response that we got. It’s reflected the response that we’ve got across the country in Labour areas.
“Labour people are committing to vote No whilst the SNP’s supporters are committing to vote No as well, because they recognise they can get the benefits of devolution.”
But she claimed she did not see the local residents only come outside to give back the Labour leaflets.
She said: “Well I didn’t see that.
“Everywhere you go you’re going to have some people who are not going to be happy to see you, but right across the country I’m getting a very warm response on the doors because people know that for us this is not about what our party is saying, it’s what’s in the best interest of the people of Scotland.”
The Scottish Labour leader also said she was not concerned about an increasing number of women Labour voters apparently moving towards independence.
She said: “It’s not what I’m finding on the doors. I think particularly women are recognising that actually you wouldn’t put your family’s future at risk.
“They’d be expected to deal with a £6 billion black hole from day one and we know that’s a real problem and women recognise that.”
Source here.
Headline image from this excellent blog.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Jim Murphy over eggs his pudding

Tocasaid is only too pleased to join the chorus of disapproval at the disgusting and mindless violence that befell Jim Murphy yesterday in a Fife town. We trust that Police Scotland are throwing all resources behind identifying the man that catapulted Murphy's sorry tour into the headlines.

It is indeed shocking that Murphy used a microphone to bellow over an old-age pensioner who challenged him on Gordon Brown's lies on the NHS.

It is indeed shocking that one of his Labour colleagues told a woman recovering from cancer to 'get a job'.

It is indeed shocking that in places, Labour councillors wearing their council name tags were wheeled out to provide an audience.

It is shocking that many think Murphy has engineered this stunt to take people's attention away from the paucity of his arguments and that after supporting the Iraq War and the Tories' Welfare Cap that people now think of him as a 'Red Tory'.

Delivery for Mr Murphy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Patronising Lady and Scary Man

Sad stuff from Better Together

Better Together are currently the Hibs of Scottish politics. Apologies to all the good indy-supporting and long suffering Hibees out there but the new season is going as swimmingly for Hibs as BT's ad campaigns are.

First of all, the latest in a seemingly long line of 'ordinary voters' turns out to be Airdrie's female Fuhrer and now their bland unthinking but obedient housewife takes the portrayal of women back to the 50s. Farage and Godfrey must be loving it.

This came after Alistair Darling's implosion at the hands of an all conquering Alex Salmond in the 2nd televised indy debate. I almost felt sorry for him until I remembered his words of doom - apparently about the '79 devo referendum.

The responses to #PatronisingBTLady have been hilarious showing where the real creativity of this campaign lies. Having come across one or two BT stalls and met Jim Murphy on his Meltdown Tour, I can honestly say that the Better Together 'activists' come across as 'odd'. All orange corduroys and Jack Wills shirts.

If you want a woman speaking her mind on the referendum then I challenge you to find better than Elaine C Smith. Hard to believe that this is from a year ago but it's worth sharing again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jim Murphy's ordinary followers hit the capital


Jim Murphy is a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

I'm convinced that he is the thin, more conservative version of George Galloway. Neither like being challenged and will blow and bellow any naysayers aside. Bullies.

Galloway-Wilson roadshow
On the other hand, whereas Galloway rarely has anyone accompanying him to hog the limelight - other than maybe Brian 'poison dwarf' Wilson making a cameo appearance - Murphy has a small cadre of weird looking drones in suits to beef up the numbers. These followers seem to have a dual purpose - they can act as 'grassroots' listeners in the PR photos but also Jim can rope them in to laugh at anyone who questions him.

Myself and a friend got wind that he was gonna do his 'soapbox' thing 'opposite' a certain pub on the seafront in Edinburgh West. We're both left of centre and can both remember meeting Mr Murphy on anti-racist marches in Glasgow some time ago - back when Murphy was an NUS high-heid-yin hoping for a cushy career in the Labour Party.

My friend is a member of UNISON and hails from a Glasgow scheme. Indeed, he admitted to having been a member of the Labour Party Young Socialists some 30 years ago. Both of us are public servants and are seeing our pensions eroded and pay frozen. We also don't like it that Better Together see fit to use sectarian BNP supporters who one day tweet that 'Catholics should hang from lamposts' while the next appearing on televised Better Together propaganda posing as 'ordinary voters'.

Things are slow to get going but at half an hour later than the scheduled time there are around ten BT automatons gathered. There is no 'juice crate' or megaphone. Instead, Jim and his weird looking band set up camp in a local beer garden. Two shiny drones in BT jackets take to the esplanade for all of 3 minutes to hand out leaflets. No-one seems interested so we engage the drones in conversation and are invited across 'for a chat' in the beer garden where Jim is holding court with a pint in hand. Farage?

Where is William Hague Jim Murphy?
One lady is stating that the NHS is "100% devolved". I add that maybe the running of it is up to us but the financing certainly isn't. Something that Labour-affiliated UNISON seem to agree with.

I raise the Yvonne Hama issue. Murphy asks 'Did that sway you into voting Yes or were you Yes beforehand?' I say it doesn't matter - you shouldn't use racist sectarian nutters in your publicity. 'If you were Yes beforehand then it isn't an issue' he retorts.

Better Together's grassroots - kept hidden today

During the conversation, another friend who's working on a documentary about the referendum texts to ask where Murphy is going next. Reasonable request, no? However, this is where things get really weird.

"It's all online" says one of the drones. 'No it isn't, my friend has tried. Can you tell me just now though?'

"Stick to the issues" says a posh professional PR guy in a suit who wears a 'No Thanks' badge.

Eh? We're confused. 'We aren't arguing, only saying that a friend would like to interview Mr Murphy for his documentary. He's a Swedish film-maker...'

"Shut up and listen!" says the posh suit.

'Er... where will you be next...?"

Murphy steps in, guffawing and egging on his Mormon-esque mates to shout us down. An elderly posh couple - they look like something from Condé Nast Boat Owner mag - step forward. They old guy approaches me in an aggressive manner, finger wagging, "Why don't you just shut up and stop shouting over Jim" he says like an angry father.

I persist. 'Listen. There's a chance for you air your views in a documentary...'

Jim and Posh Suit raise their voices. 'OK these guys obviously aren't interested in the real issues. let's all move over to another table'.

At this point, we open our jackets to show off our bulging belts of explosives as Murphy seems to expect. "Saor Alba!" we cry as we detonate ourselves sending Yessers and BT loons alike into space...

No. You can't join the club.

Actually, we just left.

It's sad when a discussion with an MP leads to said MP and entourage putting their fingers in their ears and yelling 'nah nah nah....!'

We were struck by a number of things...
  • my friend said that they were the poshest Labour guys he'd ever met
  • none of them looked 'ordinary' - they were like pseudo-religious politico hobbyists
  • Jim Murphy doesn't like being challenged as has been evidenced in his '100 Days of Sodom' tour
  • Murphy has the desperate air of a man who sees his seat on the gravy train evaporating
  • they made no attempt to persuade us to vote 'no'
The future must be ours.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A season like no other kicks off

Though I still think of it as Division One, the new Scottish Championship is where it's at this year. The Club Formerly Known as Glasgow Rangers having emerged from its pet cemetery made short work of winning Scotland's third tier to gain promotion. Hearts having being handed a 15-point penalty on top of having Gary Locke as manager were always likely to go down.

Hibs though, like they have done so often in recent years, took the word misery and made it their own. Big style. Hard as it may be to remember, but a year ago Pat '5-1' Fenlon took the Abbeyhill club to new depths with a 9-0 aggregate loss to mighty Malmo. In stepped Tory Butcher who took a bad thing and made it worse. Hibs saw the cliff of relegation some distance away and raced headlong towards it. The final flourish of woe against Hamilton in front of a home crowd attracting gasps of amazement and guffaws of laughter from supporters of wee clubs around Scotland.

Hibs to their credit, played well against The Rangers last week in the minor Challenge Cup that these wee teams have to compete for despite losing to a badly organised Neu-Ibrox XI.

The farce known as 'The Rangers' will be the focus for most us - even for us supporters of The Other Teams. Their woes have multiplied though mostly off the field at this point. Their dire display against Hibs though to the backdrop of a near empty Ibrox will surely boil over into more rage should they lose to Hearts' youngsters on Sunday. It appears that Rangers 2.0 have lost more than £70m in two years. How?! The Rangers debacle is too complex and labyrinthine to enter into here, so I'll leave that to others.

Scotland's other establishment club, Celtic, have not played well either. After finally overcoming the part-time footballers/ fishermen of Iceland, they were royally humped by Legia Warsaw. Fortunately for Scotland's Walmart of Football, Legia were found guilty of some minor infringement of the rules and Celtic were awarded the exact scoreline they needed to progress. This, is the second time in a few years that their embarrassment on the pitch in Europe has been salved by Europe's footballing high-heid yins.
O Connor - a diet of coke and pizza.

In other worlds, Leigh Griffiths continues to revert to form with rumours that he'll be back at Hibs in the not to distant future. Surely, they wouldn't take him back? One of Hibs' other troubled children, Garry Jos... O Connor is now funding his habit plodding the turf for... Selkirk.

I have no predictions but do hope that... The Rangers are forced to spend another year in the lower leagues and that's if they survive financially at all. Hearts could beat them to the title but I'd imagine their youngsters to be too inconsistent. Hibs, currently with about 13 players to their name but with a new manager are bound to improve on last season's misery. I wouldn't put money on it though.

In the SPL, I'd love Aberdeen or Dundee Utd to take the title. On current showing, Celtic are... shit. But, money talks. Especially to the SFA.

Oh... and Lambie is out for a Yes vote.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Jim Murphy 0 - Auld Lady 1

Or in other words, Jim Murphy's Chernobyl. Or Jim Murphy becomes a bellowing bullying blawhard against a wee pensioner. Or Skeletor's demise...

Who was the last desperate politico to attempt a 'soapbox' stunt in public? Was it William 'Happy' Hague on his 'Save the Pound' tour? Anyway, Murphy reminds me of George Galloway who also resorts to shouting others down when faced with difficult questions.

Whatever, some points to consider from Murphy's very public anal hemorrhage are:

  • the pensioner offers a seasoned politician a fair question
  • Murphy can't even look her in the eye
  • despite the sparse attendence, he feels the need not only for a megaphone but has to yell constantly as if to deafen his naysayers into submission
  • he lies again - the NHS in England is being privatised bit by bit and his Labour colleagues in England have confirmed this though not opposed it
  • all he has to fall back on is.... Braveheart! 

Where's the auld wumman?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Happy Birthday George from BBC Tocasaid!

Or, alles Gute zum Geburtstag in your ancestral tongue.

It's been a while but what better occasion to take a break from the scorching Scotch summer than a royal birthday. It certainly takes the mind away from PRO-PUTIN SEPARATISTS er, our friend Israel bombing the fick out of families, children and hospitals in Gaza.

 Happy Birthday from all at BBC Tocasaid!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spin your own UKIP candidate generator

Just say you're in an 'anti-establishment' political party. Your leader comes from the same kind of stable as David Cameron or George Osbourne but because he's a blawhard with a sense of humour, the media love him. The fact that he's another rich white man with a dodgy record on expenses and migrants to work for him is glossed over.

Behind the jokey everyman  'always in pub with pint in hand' persona is a hive of frenetic hard-right activity. It seems as if every right-wing nutter in the book is in UKIP - from knife-wielding skinheads seig-heiling to the camera to swivel-eyed aristocrats to misogynists to god-bothering homophobes.

Here though is Tocasaid's handy contribution the UKIP phenomenon. Want a controversial right-wing arsehole to pump you up with the oxygen of publicity? Have a spin...

1 - Jeremy Clarkson. Has prejudice of one shade or another filling him like beans. Mexicans, gays, Scots, women, black people... He lives the life of a traditional English, white private school product. Hell, why doesn't the whole world race about in posh cars, roll about guffawing at the less fortunate (or just those who are different) in between slugs of expensive wine? Like UKIP, he plays the 'rebellious' card while being... just another rich, white man who's never known anything but a life of privilege.

2. Pat Robertson. Downside is that he isn't British. But then again, neither is Farage's wife who he employs at the taxpayer's expense in a job that a Brit could do. Neither is Farage's 'builder' pal and star of UKIP's election campaign and author of racist tweets who hails from... Zimbabwe. So far, Scotland has been no-man's land for the crazies of UKIP. This is where Pat comes in. He knows us..."A dark land, overrun by gays". Pat could lubricate the passage for Farage to slide in and sort us out.
"In Scotland, you can't believe how strong the homosexuals are. It's just simply unbelievable," he told his viewers.
Scotland's religious past was no more, he said. "I don't think it exists any more. And what could happen? It could go right back to the darkness very easily."
3. Random Bonehead. UKIP was described to me by a pal as the 'EDL for rich folk'. That about sums it up. But, it seems as if UKIP has been adept at attracting the kind of short/no-haired nutters that used to swim with the BNP. Ein, zwei... reach for that phone!

4. James MacMillan CBE. Conservative, Christian (of the Roman Catholic sub-sect) and controversial. He has compared pro-independence artists to the Blackshirts and doesn't like the Scots Tories having a lesbian leader. This could be a win-win situation for UKIP - a raving right-winger who is still kind of... respectable. By some. He still looks like a pompous auld fart though and accusing others of being Blackshirt may backfire.

5. Whatshername Hopkins. Your typical vacuous south-of-England rent-a-quote, if you like your quotes offensive. Even the Daily Star compared her to a horse. She doesn't like 'gingers', old people in mobility scooters, the working class or Scotland. If you're Farage and you want either another mistress or someone to add an equine a feminine touch to your radge party then Hopkins is your girl. Probably her most infamous tweet was this one:
“Life expectancy in Scotland 07/08 birth is 59.5. Goodness me. That lot will do anything to avoid working until retirement.”
Poorly timed, the controversial pundit posted the message just hours after a police helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow, killing nine people and injuring 32 more.
The Independent.

6. Leigh Griffiths. At first glance you may think that the Hibernian fan and Celtic FC striker is a bit thick to involved in politics but I don't see any difference between him and many of UKIP's extremist past, present or former political candidates. He doesn't like homosexuals, east Europeans or Muslims of a Scottish-Asian background. Perfecto para UKIP, no? On the other hand he has probably never heard of Brussels.

Hey it's not perfect but you spins yer wheel and takes yer chances!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How to dismantle Ukip in one easy step....

Actually, I'd probably take advantage of their Freepost address just to make them pay for the privilege of being humiliated.

Read on...

Read this email exchange in which a local resident takes apart UKIP

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Advantage Herald and where next for the Hootsmon's HQ?

Interesting times in Scotland's auld print media. Today's Sunday Herald announcement that it will back a Yes vote in the referendum has gained it acres of coverage on social media, many inches in the print of other papers as well as a few minutes on telly.

It is welcome though it is also probably a shrewd marketing move as well. If polls are correct, currently a pretty solid 40% of us are pro-indy with another 15 to 20% undecided. As the auld guard of what passes for journalism these days regurgitates the same auld scare-stories, it is a wonder that more of these dying organs don't twig that they're basically shitting on the intelligence of some 60% of their potential readership.

The Scotsman - now famous for its 'SNP accused...' and 'independence fears' headlines - is now 'downsizing' its HQ from the expensive but central location next to the Scots Parliament to a bog standard and ugly office block out of the town centre. 

It has also lost a significant number of staff over the years including the man who designed its once reputable and reliable website. Now, it's website is not very user friendly, the content mostly patronising shit while the print newspapers in the Scotsman stable come across as the boring bastard children of the Daily Mail and Reader's Digest. Even their one decent sports reporter, Tom English, has recently jumped from the stinking ship. It's nemesis, the 'CyberNat' media on the other hand is going from strength to strength. Wings Over Scotland's has a larger readership than the Scotsman's print version if not the online content too.

As the Scotsman's vague and reticent owners seek to save more dough while also trying to stem the hemorrhage of readers, it's fair to ask 'Where's the next stop for the Scotsman as it travels the tramline to oblivion?'

A ruined sheiling on Mòinteach Bharbhais? The back room of the Diggers in Gorgie? The 'Scotch' MPs' quarters in Westminster post-independence?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The banana selfie we'll never see

When racism rears its head in football, some racists are more equal than others. If you're a first team regular for Glasgow Celtic and a Hibernian fan who's been filmed in a bar mocking another player as a 'fucking refugee' on account of his east European origin then there's some wiggle room.

It's good to see footballing professionals throughout Europe take a stand against racism and in solidarity with Dani Alves. Leigh Griffiths has a track record of racist and homophobic abuse. His clubs, Hibernian and Celtic, should know better. Some excuse him on grounds of his working class origin and alleged low IQ. The same charges could be levelled at much of the BNP or EDL membership and no sane person tolerates them.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Better Together, cataclysmic apart...

Former NATO numptie

In the Gaelic of Islay, thank you is not 'tapadh leat' but 'gu robh math agad'

So, to Lord George of Port Ellen, 'gu robh math agad' for warning us of impending violent meltdown upon an affirmative and democratic vote for self-determination.

Robertson's mouth. Not what you think it is.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fun at the fitba with Leigh Griffiths and The Rangers!

Scottish football has been all shook up but some things have stayed just the way they always were. Such as... Rangers fans bringing violence and aggression to another city. A Celtic player indulging in dumb but dodgy politics. On the bright side, Raith Rovers have won more games at Easter Road in 2014 than Hibs have and one of them was against a Rangers' side who were marginally less violent than their fans outside.

With Rangers, you know where you are. They don't just have some dodgy fans, they have them in the thousands. At least. As I've mentioned before though, some teams and their fans see themselves as occupying a moral highground when it comes to attitudes to bigotry and racism. Celtic and Hibs are probably the proudest wearers of the golden halos in Scottish football.

Having moronic fans is one thing but having highly-paid professional players indulging in anti-social and racist behaviour is another. Celtic have been here before with Scott Brown's infamous fotie-op with the SDL. Hibs have been there with Derek Riordain and Leigh Griffiths. Now Celtic have Leigh Griffiths on their hands.

What will they do? Both clubs make a lot of their origins as clubs formed by immigrant refugees. To have a major first team player singing anti-refugee songs in a pub with racist fans of another team must surely see his ass exiting the door.

Some Celtic fans such as Glasgow-born Phil MacGiollaBháin make much of the bigotry of others. Is racism only unacceptable when aimed at those who claim Irish descent? MacGiollaBháin condemns Griffiths but only makes a meek demand that Celtic 'take him on about it'. As observed, Griffiths has form on the racist front and seems to find it difficult to keep out of trouble in other areas too.

Sadly, if Celtic do let Griffiths go, it seems as if many Hibs' fans are only too willing to take him on again. Most Hibs fans on the Hibs Net forum condemn his behaviour but seem to happy to take back a prolific goalscorer. This isn't much of a moral highground.

Scottish football has progressed though a significant minority still shit in their own backyard.

In recent years, I've started attending Hearts' games again after a long absence, mainly to support the club that became the local team of my Irish and Catholic great-grandmother and her sons. At first, the cross-community aspect of the Hearts' support was a joy to behold. I can remember the bad old days when significant numbers of fans would shout or sing songs that were offensive in one way or another. But here were fans of all colours presenting a genuine cross-section of the Gorgie Dalry community with many Asian, Eastern European and Chinese Scots. There were also families and more women in attendance than I remember years back.

Unfortunately, at my next derby game I was forced to confront a pair of fat and ageing bigots who repeatedly shouted anti-Irish abuse at the Hibs' players. There's always one or two dickheads who spoil the party. I later heard from a Hibs' fan that one or two of their supporters had shouted 'Paki bastard' at Hearts' Mehdi Taouill - a French Moroccan.

Fighting racism will be a never ending battle. There will always be someone who feels the need to impinge on the freedom of others. What matters is how we deal with it.

Paying a racist ned a small fortune just because he can score goals does not deal with it. If education is the answer then a spell of unemployment will give him the message.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Margo: clach air a càrn

She knew what Scotland needed to flourish and she knew what Scotland needed was to share its wealth and use it for the benefit of all. Here's hoping that the Assisted Suicide bill she brought forward will be accepted by a progressive parliament that looks to the future and isn't chained by any conservative or religious moral outlooks.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

SPT shoot themselves in the foot

In short, Glasgow Labour Party Strathclyde Passenger Transport has banned these ads for Wings Over Scotland on the grounds that they are 'political'. Despite no party political opinion being advanced and only a constitutional position implied, the secretariat of the SPT has said 'naw'.

Funnily enough, the ad has now been shared and re-tweeted on soshul meeja sites with articles also appearing on the Guardian, BBC and STV websites. Expect some of those 37 'national' papers to follow suit with a dour denunciation tomorrow. After all, Wings' readership is booming while the readership and sales of pisspoor rags like the Scotsman are in a Hibs-style freefall. In what is becoming a win-win situation for Wings - and balanced reporting of the referendum - all monies have been returned to Mr Campbell at WoS.

Free publicity courtesy of the SPT. Malcolm McLaren will be chuckling in his grave.