A Nautical Nomad

Friday 17 September 2021

Croatia

After leaving Malta we sailed in a north easterly direction through the Mediterranean, into the Ionian Sea, turning north and into the Adriatic sea, heading for Dubrovnik in Croatia. We had two nights and a day at sea, docking in Dubrovnik in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

One of the pools and a great refuge from the heat

There is an interesting selection of things to do on the ship on sea days, from deck games to table top computerized games such as chess, drafts and of course a excellent program of lectures. On the larger cruise ships lecture programs are generally confined to longer trips such as transatlantic crossings. These voyages are generally very good value for money as the cruise lines have to reposition according to seasonality, such as Summer in the Med and winter in the Caribbean. Mind you, crossing the Atlantic in say November or March does have its challenges as the weather can be changeable.

Coincidently, a memory came up on my Facebook today from 2017 concerning a transatlantic I did with Princess . We were to dock in Boston and then Newport, before finally landing in New York. Unfortunately a hurricane by the name of Jose had other ideas and the captain announced that we would have to divert south to attempt to skirt the edge of the hurricane . Jose of course had a mind of its own and decided to, itself change course, so over the next few days we changed course several times in an effort to miss the worst of the storm. This meant that we had to miss out Boston and Newport and we had a pretty rough few days into the bargain. We actually arrived in New York a day early at the end of an exciting trip.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

So, after a very calm sail through the Med, Ionian Sea and the Adriatic we arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia , Now Croatia in general is a very beautiful country and in particular the cities on the Dalmatian coast are spectacular. However within recent history Croatia was involved in a viscous war in what is still called the Homeland wars or in particular, and as far as it affected Croatia, the war of Serbian aggression or more commonly the war of Croatian independence, because that is exactly what it was.

The Croatian Navy’s first “battleship”

I wont bore you by trying to go into detail of this and the other wars in the area at that time, but suffice it to say that as far as Croatia was concerned the war lasted ( all be it sometimes sporadically ) from 1991 to 1995 and basically it concerned the countries within the Yugoslavian federation and as far as it concerned Croatia it was between them and Serbia. There was if course a large Serbian population in Croatia who did not abide by the referendum which was held to ascertain the will of the people, in fact the Serbs in the main, boycotted the referendum.

However, the referendum was held and it returned a 95% majority for indepoendence. The war started as a civil war between the two factions Croats and Serbs with Serbia heavily supporting the Croatian Serbs. Croatia had no actual Army at this point and the early fighting fell to the police. The photo above is of their first “battle ship,” so you can imagine what sort of navy they had.

Eventually, they did managed to get an army together and they prevailed over Serbia, but it was a long and bloody war with around 15,000 Croatian armed forces losses and 6,000 civilians. Serb forces withdrew from Croatia in 1992 but the war spilled over into Bosnia with the Croats supporting the Bosnians against the Serbs. Eventually the war ended in 1995.

Coming into the old town of Dubrovnik

Just a thought here . The Croatian situation in 1991 just before the war has parallels here in Scotland. They had a large independence movement who wanted independence from a union, Yugoslavia. They had a large Serb population. The Serbs had a disproportionate hand in the governance of the country and the Serbs had more or less control of the armed forces. Croatia had more or less all of the coastal areas of the Yugoslav federation therefore controlling a main source of income through the ports.
Could it happen in Scotland?

One of the many churches in Dubrovnik

The old town of Dubrovnik takes your breath away . History exudes from the sandstone ramparts to the beautiful churches. Most of the fortifications date from the 16th century and it was here in Dubrovnik that much of the series Game of Thrones was filmed.
It was hot as I wandered through the smooth polished sandstone streets , thankfully traffic free. I found a café to sit and watch the world go by. Prices in Croatia are in the region of half that in the UK.
Dubrovnik was one of the towns laid siege to during the homeland wars and the old town was hit by over 600 artillery rounds, now all carefully repaired.

16th century ramparts looking out to the Adriatic sea

After a peaceful and interesting walk around the old city of Dubrovnik I headed back to the shuttle bus and back to the ship and a rather quieter evening on the Viking Venus than I perhaps would have had on some of the larger ships.

Viking caters more to the quieter more sophisticated cruiser with all activities and bars closing by midnight, whereas on most of the other ships I have been on, midnight would have been about the time to visit the disco. Unfortunately because of Covid restrictions there is no dancing on the ship, which I miss.

As the sun started to set we slipped out of the harbour into the Adriatic sea and headed north up the Dalmatian coast towards Split.

A Nautical Nomad

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Well here I am on my second cruise since the Covid restrictions were eased . The first one which was in July was a pretty restricted one along the coast of the UK with no way to get off the ship unless you were on a ships excursion and even then the guests were pretty much herded together . I decided not to go on any of the excursions, therefore the cruise was pretty much like being incarcerated on a luxury prison ship.

So , here I am bobbing up and down in the Mediterranean heading for Croatia where the bulk of the shore visits are to take place, on the good ship Venus of the Viking line.

My latest trip started on Sunday with an extremely early rise of 2 am to catch the airport bus outside Mal Maison Hôtel in Union Street Dundee.

Pickup spot on 03.00 and a one hour 10 minute journey to Edinburgh Airport. Now I had already checked in on line with British Airways for the first leg of the flights to Malta where the cruise was to leave from, but couldn’t check in on line for the next leg, so assumed I would be able to do this in Edinburgh Airport, Unfortunately, this was not to be, as the check in for the next flight was not open yet in Heathrow. This created a potential problem as I had to change terminals in Heathrow and there was not a huge amount of time between flights.

Ok. so arrived in Heathrow a little early, so far so good, and changed terminals without a great deal of fuss meanwhile the clock was ticking to my next flight. Once in terminal 2, I found a desk with ( among others ) Air Malta, problem was that there was quite a queue , so I fell in line and after half an hour eventually got to the desk, only to be told that I was at the wrong desk. I politely pointed out that the sign above the guys head was stating quite clearly that this was the desk for Air Malta. He was very dismissive and said that I would have to check in at the gate.
Problem was that he didn’t know what gate it was to be and the gate number had not came up on the screen and it was stating that the gate number would be announced just 35 minutes before the flight time. Now with Covid regulations meaning that there was a plethora of forms to be carried and the possibility of one if these forms being filled out wrongly, this did not give ne a good feeling and once I told this guy what I really thought of his attitude I set of finding the routs to all the gates, some if which could take 15 minutes to get to.

In the event the gate was announced early and I managed to get there in time and boarded the plane in good time.

At last, a seat on the plane and on my way

An uneventful flight and an on-time landing in Malta. I then took one and a half hours to get through the airport’s procedure including customs and passport control together with Covid checks on paperwork. At this time I would like to thank the mindless Brexiteers for the unnecessary time wasted in the non EU line of people.

From exiting the airport the procedure was flawless in the hands of Viking staff and transport to the ship and again, boarding was smooth and efficient.

Beautiful cabin

Now, at this point I should explain that Viking is not a cruise line I would normally choose and indeed this is the first time I have cruised with them, However Moira ( my travel agent) was able to obtain an exceptionably good rate for this cruise and an excellent veranda cabin for around about a third of the normal price for a single occupancy cabin.

A view of Valletta Harbor from the ship

Once settled in, I headed into the beautiful town of Valletta with its impressive fortified structures built directly off the cliff faces surrounding the harbor. The colonial past of Malta very prevalent in the grand buildings that are generally built by colonials powers, in this case Britain, in an attempt to overawe the local populace and convince them of the benefice of their colonial masters. The benefice of course generating in the opposite direction in reality, as all of these grand buildings together with the administration that went with them was financed through the rape of the countries’ assets by the colonial power.

Another of the “gifts” to Malta from Britain

Malta has long been a crossroads of Mediterranean trade and culture, shaped by countess civilizations . The Harbor at Valletta was built by the Knights of St John who defended the island against the ottoman empire in the 16th century.

In more recent history the island was laid siege to by the Axis powers in the second world war, and I had a longish visit to the underground headquarters of the joint services group from where they planned the response to the forces laying siege to the island .

A beer to counter the heat

So after a longish walk a stop for a beer before heading back to the ship and a nice meal in the World Cafe which is ,under normal circumstances the buffet but because if Covid restrictions it is served up to your choice . An excellent band ended the night but unfortunately and again because of Covid precautions, no dancing.

A nice capachino and watching the world go by

Sunday, and again a walk into Valletta to explore the harbor area and the narrow but in the main, straight streets of the town itself and a chance to indulge in what I have been missing the most ,during the pandemic, sitting at a street cafe, enjoying a capachino and watching the world go by, bliss. Then back to the ship for dinner which was exceptional.

Excellent menu

I had the Oriental style Scallops with Lobster, delicious. Then watched as the ship slipped out of the harbor and set a course for Dubrovnik.

Valletta by night

The evening ended with some good music from the band in the Torshavn lounge , thinking of a small independent island at peace with itself, Goodnight Malta, I will be back

The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 4 September 2021


Holyrood or Reichstag
Brexit and independence

Another week almost in and once again a busy week, but always nice to get some free time at the weekends which invariably finds me at some point visiting my favorite hostelry, Mennies.
I was in there last night and in between debating independence with a new found friend Ian ( a farmer) I got to thinking about where we are with Nicola Sturgeons governess of Scotland and it was not a pretty sight.

Holyrood or Reichstag

It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish, what is happening in Holyrood in 2021 from what happened in the Reichstag in 1938., Both, it would seem were and are, inhabited by Fascists’.
The definition of Facism, is extremely authoritarian, intolerant, or oppressive ideas or behavior, and that my friends adequately sums up the behavior of the present ruling cabal surrounding Nicola Sturgeon.
This manifests itself in the intolerant and extreme behavior on issues such as Gender recognition legislation and what would appear, a blatant conspiracy to remove political and journalistic threats to the ruling cabal at the top of the SNP .

The other day there was a perfectly lawful and peaceful protest outside Holyrood by concerned supporters of women’s rights. Now this demonstration was not in any way meant to suggest the imposition of new or unusual rights , but to protect existing rights based on a scientific and accepted definition of what a woman is and what she should expect by way of protection from preditory men.

Now this democratic expression concern for woman and girls rights was attacked by, in my opinion, a particularly offensive and objectional person by the name of Fiona Robertson. Who called and implied that these people were dangerous fascists. This is the same woman who cannot even define anti-Semitism in its accepted definition.


It has become apparent that decisions emanating from the ruling cabal in Holyrood are themselves fascist by nature and deed. We have a journalist ,Craig Murry in jail, for simply telling the truth. We had a man, Alex Salmond set up by close friends of Nicola Sturgeon on contrived charges of sexual impropriety, because he was seen as a threat to the union. We are seeing independence minded bloggers vilified for the crimes of supporting independence and attempting to show Nicola Sturgeon in her true colors.

One of the main areas of contention as I mentioned earlier is the Gender recognition legislation which is being forced through parliament. Now there was a consultation process embarked upon by the Scottish government, but unfortunately the results have been cloaked in secrecy and only partially and selectively made available to the public.

Basically the results have been broken down into two sections . One section is the input from organisations, the results of this are five out of ten of the participating organisations were for the legislation and 4 out of ten against, with one out if ten neither for nor against. Now to get a true picture of this one has to look at the organisations who supported this legislation and almost without exception they were all organisations who were associated with Stonewall in one form or another.

As for the general public’s opinion, it would seem that this is either unimportant to the ruling cabal or more likely it showed significant opposition to the proposals, as it has been kept secret.

So there you have it Holyrood or the Reichstag of 1938, you choose

Brexit and independence

So back to Ian my new found farmer friend.

The conversation went from Brexit to independence. Brexit it seems did not endear itself to Ian, him being a farmer and dependent on short term workers mainly from the EU. He tells me that a significant amount of his crops are left in the ground and plowed in. This being part if the problem you see when you go to supermarkets and see bare shelves.

The conversation moved to independence and we had quite an involved discussion which revolved around Scotland’s right to choose its own destiny and indeed whether we could indeed afford be independent.


Ian like many other unionists seemed to think that Scotland benefited from the money we “received” from the rest of the UK ( meaning England) He was quite surprised when I told him that this money was first, made in Scotland and sent south by way of taxes collected. Not only that but the money we received back from the treasury was only a percentage of what we sent down and the rest was spent on our behalf by the Westminster treasury, That spending in our behalf includes a share of interest on borrowings, generally, incompetently made by the UK government therfore incorrectly showing a deficit in the GERS figures.

I explained that independence could be gained through a plebiscite election fought on the basis of attaining the will of the Scottish people and not necessarily requiring a cumbersome referendum. He was most surprised at that statement and also when I told him that England had a negative balance of payments whereas Scotland had a very positive balance if payments situation.

Ian was most surprised when I told him that on independence, Scotland would not be due any part of the UK debt and when he very vehemently disputed this I asked him to name a single one of the 64 countries who have gained independence from the UK who have contributed to the national debt of the UK. Not surprisingly, he couldn’t name any because there are none.

I asked Ian to cast his mind back to the time he left home to make his very successful way in the world . Could he recall whether he agreed to pay part of His parents mortgage?

He had to concede that was a fair point.

And so to this evening when I again plan to visit Menneis, no doubt to engage with friends and some, other than friends on social media and Twitter on my views on politics in general and indeed independence.
Remember , life may not be the party you thought it would be but seeing as we are here we might as well dance.

Slainte

The World This week from Mennies

A projected profit and loss set of accounts for an independent Scotland .

Well another crazy week business wise with work coming in from all corners and another step towards the inevitable future, electric vehicles. Very shortly our workshops will be equipped to deal with all aspects of servicing and repair of both private electric cars and commercial vehicles including electric coaches. so onward to the future.

Being the end of the week and a chance last night to visit my favorite hostelry, Mennies, I got to thinking once more about independence.

It has now been 7 years since the last independence referendum and basically, nothing has happened with regard to moving towards the natural state of a country and that is to be in charge of its own destiny.

Now this is down to one person, Nicola Sturgeon, but I wont bore you by enumerating her shortcomings once more and my opinion that in place of independence she chooses gender recognition issues and a hate crime bill to back them up rather than the propose for which she was elected, to spend her time.

No, what I want to highlight, is the true reasons why we are no nearer independence than we were in 2014 and quite simply it is this. Most people believed we did not have a feasible economic plan, it is as simple as that, People were afraid that they would be less well off as an independent country.

Now there were many of us who believed the opposite and had done our homework to back up our beliefs and we pounded the streets of Dundee as the Yes Bus team, to try to convince as many as possible that Scotland would be a very wealthy independent country.

Dundee returned the highest percentage of yes voted in the country but it was not enough and although we started the campaign at arround 27% in the polls we achieved a 45% result in the actual referendum. The increase of 18% was simply down to the campaign.,

But, it was not enough, and as I say , it was simply down to economics or the lack of sufficient information on how Scotland would fair as an independent country.

Yes there was an abundance of other issues such as borders, nuclear weapons on the west coast, pensions, health, can we use the pound, can we have our own central bank? etc, etc. But the main point I found was simply down to the money in peoples pocket at the end of the week and in that we failed to make the case.

Shorty after the referendum and still believing that before long we would once again be in another campaign, I looked at the situation as I have outlined and decided that applying basic business principals to the independence case was what we needed.

Starting a new country , or at least turning an existing country from a dependent one to an independent one is similar to starting a new business or indeed buying an existing business. Now the very basic principal of even contemplating such a venture is find out if it is going to be viable and if it is not seen as viable then you walk away, end of story.

So, how do you find out if a business , or a new venture is viable? Dead simple. In the case of an existing business you ask for the audited accounts for at least the previous three years and you then go about looking at how you can improve the figures through different management practices or different markets .

in the case of a new venture, you do your marketing assessment of your product/ service and make up a projected set of figures for the foreseeable future. If the figures don’t look profitable, you again walk away.

So, that is it, in a nutshell, a projected set of accounts for an independent Scotland.

During the campaign I was a member of Business for Scotland headed by Gordon McIntire Kemp. Through almost daily contact with the people of Dundee I became aware that it was the financial case that we were weak on, and I mentioned this at several meetings of BFS . However, things were pretty frenetic at that time and we never really got around to exploring it fully although I did mention it on several occasions after the referendum and Gordons reaction was , yes good idea but give me 20 of a staff and a very large budget and we could do it.

To be fair, BFS did go down that avenue eventually and produced the wonderful publication ” Scotland’s finances the truth” and it should be compulsory reading for every school pupil and every household should have a copy. However it is not a projected set of accounts for an independent Scotland.

So what advantages would a projected set of accounts have over a publication such as ” Scotland’s Finances the Truth “? Well two things, (1), It would be actual figures ( or as near as could be ) and (2) these projected accounts would have a balance sheet and a balance sheet contains the assets, These would be the assets that Scotland would fall heir to when the union was dissolved . In effect it would be a combination of, figures already available through previous trading, combined with a forward business plan taking out all unnecessary expenditure ostensibly made by Westminster on our behalf, such as Trident , 3.5 billion for Army, Westminster, House of Lords, et, etc.

Now who would have the wherewithal to finance such a project, Pretty obvious, the Scottish government, in fact it could be seen that they have a duty to produce this. It would have to be closely overseen of course as of late and led by Nicola Sturgeon the Scottish government have not been exactly the pillar of honesty, and probably an undertaking such as this would be better done after her removal .

Another possibility would be for the SNP to hand over the 600K of “ring fenced money” collected for the sole propose of another campaign, which seems to have gone missing, to, say BFS who I am sure would be able to collate a projected set of accounts assuming access to the good services of Scottish government civil servants who should be able to provide all necessary information.

So there we have it , dead simple, a projected set of accounts including a balance sheet for an independent Scotland, why did someone not think of it before?

Err, actually, someone did.

So to the rest if the evening and a couple of pints in Mennies on this wonderful sunny evening in bonnie Dundee .

Slainte

The World this week from Mennies

Friday 20August 2021

Sturgeon and the Greens, Afghanistan.

So, the end of another very busy week and a visit to my favorite hostelry with a few thoughts on the week gone by

Sturgeon and the Greens

Today Nicola Sturgeon diluted the very small amount of democracy we have left in Scotland by forming pact with the Green Party, allowing two members of that party into government. No one in Scotland voted for that, this was a decision made by Nicola Sturgeon.

Last May the people of Scotland voted for an SNP government, mostly in the hope that they would cease the habit of a lifetime and actually keep their word for once . Their word being that despite 6 previous mandates going unused, they would actually use this one to go for independence.

What did we get? Well the sum of the promises was to have the independence guru, Mike Russel photographed posing beside a horse box with a few gay yes signs on it. Seriously this is it.

What should have we got? Well we should have by now been in the middle of a serious independence campaign, or better still, if Sturgeon had not panicked and instead of cooperating with Alba and allowing her sheep to give their second vote to Alba, in the process, carrying out an embarrassing and vindictive campaign to vilify an innocent man , we could have at this very moment been in the process of conducting separation arrangements with the UK This of course as we all know now ( even most of the handmaidens) deliberately allowed a tranche of unnecessary unionist members to be elected.

So, today we had the unedifying sight of Sturgeon welcoming the green Party to the fold with all sorts of reasons why this will benefit Scotland. But, it is nothing to do with benefitting Scotland, is it? No, as in her usual untruthful mode, Nicola did not mention the real reason and that is to force through her Gender Recognition Act.

The GRA is the most iniquitous and dangerous piece of legislation ever foisted upon Scotland. It opens the gate to allowing biological men access to Women’s and children’s toilets’ and changing rooms . It will allow the policies of Stonewall to insidiously creep into schools and it has already started with children as young as 4 being coached to declare gender doubts. As if that is not bad enough they are encouraging them not to tell their parents.

Nicola Sturgeons Scottish government is stuffed full of people who seem confused about their gender, make no mistake about it, and these policies are a danger to our women and children. The greens are also stuffed full of strange people.

So when you hear Sturgeon saying that this alliance which will allow Greens, unelected for the propose, to be part of the Scottish government, is for the benefit of the Scottish people, do not believe a word she says, she is lying.

Afghanistan

Five weeks ago I predicted exactly what has happened in Afghanistan because of the ineptitude of the US and UK governments. To save me going over it again I attach the blog below. We are governed by clowns in a back circus.

https://wordpress.com/post/bobsblog.scot/4154

So now to the main propose of the evening , a nice pint in Mennies.
To all my friends wherever you my be on this fragile planet of ours, I lift my glass to you.

And remember ” All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to remain silent”

Slainte

The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 7 August 2021

Sturgeon is no Bruce

The SNP under Nicola Sturgeon have descended into a morass of incompetence, scandal, conspiracy, and manipulation of the legal framework of the country.

The one thing it cannot be accused of is furthering the cause of independence and let’s face it, that, according to their constitution is their function in life.

There is what seems, an avalanche of ex-supporters realizing this and leaving the SNP, they are people who threw all of their hopes for independence at the feet of Nicola sturgeon who came to power in a fanfare of adulation and expectation, on the back of the failed referendum in 2014.

I must admit that I too, initially had high hopes for her and hoped that the relatively small amount of negativity which attached itself to Alex Salmond during the campaign would disappear with a woman leader.

I did have a few niggling negative feelings surrounding the efforts put in by the SNP in Dundee during the campaign in Dundee and I have written about them in the past, however, I put these negative feelings to one side and decided to, give full support to what I assumed would be a continuance of the campaign, all be it, in a lesser manner, to educate on the advantages of independence and address the mistakes of the previous campaign. Little did I realise just how immovable a brick wall was to be in the way of any progress to independence.

I, along with others in the Yes bus team organised rallies in Dundee City Square with the intention of attracting speakers from across the political field to put forward their case for independence and in doing so quite possibly addressing some of the major problems which surfaced during the previous campaign. I even offered to include speakers from the no campaign, as it is just as important to address the fears they most rightly had.

I append below a posting I did on the 6th August 2016 when I had to cancel one of the rallies because of the blatant obstruction of Dundee SNP and you will note that I have related a previous experience, where the event did eventually go ahead despite the efforts of the SNP, especially employees and office bearers based in SNP Dundee West office.

All of this came about soon after the coronation of Nicola Sturgeon, she does not want independence and I am terrified that as a last resort she will actually declare a referendum but because of a wasted 7 years in lack of preparation and indeed possible sabotage we will lose it .

In 1320 the people of Scotland wrote a letter to the pope explaining that Bruce had delivered them from the oppression of the English kings and he should be recognized as the true leader of Scotland, under explanation, that if he or any future leader was to turn away from the people of Scotland, they would be cast aside and a new leader chosen. In doing so they declared that the people of Scotland were sovereign.

We still are, and we need to choose a new leader Sturgeon is no Bruce, in fact I would put her in the category of a Mata Hari.

With a will, we can get back on the road to independence, but we need to get rid of the baggage first.    

     Posting of 6th August 2016

Yes, Bus Scotland’s Dragon for independence Event on the 27th of August Dundee City Square, family cèilidh in the Square and parade around Dundee to show support for Scottish independence.

It is with great regret that I must announce the cancellation of this proposed event in its present form. This because of (in my opinion) the willful obstruction of the event by SNP controlled Dundee council.

I will layout my reasons for this opinion below and leave you to decide on the merits or otherwise of my reasoning.

Last Monday I applied for the necessary permissions to hold the event in the city Square together with a parade around the town. There is a 28-day notice requirement for this together with a facility for late applications to be considered by the convener of the licensing board. The reason for this built-in option is that one of the main benefits to the local community of having events of this nature is that they attract a great many people into the center of the City from outlying areas and also from other towns meaning that these events have a very positive impact on the local economy, therefore it is the duty of the council to facilitate in any way possible the success of these events.

The notice period is there to facilitate the necessary permissions from the various Council departments such as building control, Roads and indeed the police. Now in effect, these permissions can take place very quickly, in fact, I have been involved in many events which have been organised within a matter of a few weeks to as little as two days and it is very rare for late applications to be refused, especially ones of this nature that would bring a huge economic benefit to City Centre traders.

So, deciding on the 27th as being the best date for the event, taking into consideration the availability of two of Dundee’s leading bands and a list of top-quality speakers I went into the council offices on Monday the 1st August to make the application, which I did for both the City Square and the parade. I was 9 hours into the 28-day period, so in other words, I gave only twenty-seven days and fifteen hours’ notice.

I received an email from a council officer stating that SNP Councilor Stewart Hunter (convener of the licensing board) had refused to apply his discretional powers to grant the permission for the event to take place. The reason sited was that the last time I organised an event in the square, there were several complaints made and, in any case, the council were not prepared to make electricity available, which in itself would have made the event envisaged, impossible.

I found this very strange and indeed the statement that electricity would not be available rather concerning as I knew that electricity is available and indeed, we had had the use of this facility on previous events. I took exception to this statement and questioned as to why I was being singled out for this refusal to supply electricity facilities and received a reply from the council officer saying that he had meant that there would have to be special arrangements made, which I already knew of as we had done this in the past.  Had I taken his statement that electricity would not be supplied at face value, then that in itself, would have been enough to stop the event going ahead? 

I inquired as to why I as the organiser of the event had not been informed of these unspecified complaints ( if indeed they had been made at all) and believe it or not the officer said that at the time he “saw no any useful purpose would be served in doing so” This I found very strange as he was at this point making as he saw it a “useful purpose “ in attempting to use these suspicious complaints to stop this event and by depriving me of the ability to have defended my responsibility in these complaints he had taken it upon himself to act as both Judge and Jury to my detriment.  I thought this to be a very strange manner in which a high-ranking council officer should carry out his duty as a public servant.

I inquired as to what these complaints actually were, and this is incredibly what he came up with and what my answers to these allegations below.

Ice cream van there without permission: – Nothing to do with me and if that was the case then why didn’t the City Square ambassadors who were on duty ask him to move.

Someone sick in the toilets of Hendry’s coffee shop: – The contents of someone’s stomach are hardly my responsibility and quite possibly more to do with Hendry’s who had probably sold him food. Perhaps a visit from the environmental health officers of the council would have been in order.

Some people were drinking outside and this is against by-laws:- nothing in the conditions of use of the square concerning this and how did he know that these people were at the event and as this was not a closed event this was not my responsibility. Why did the City Square Ambassadors not do anything about this as it was their responsibility?

There were no Stewards at the event: – there were 20 stewards at the event all with hi-vis vests on and Steward written on the back but as the council had refused permission for the parade, there was actually no requirement for stewards as it is not a requirement of the use of the City Square.

These, believe it or not were the so-called and quite possibly fictitious complaints that were supposedly used in the thought process by Councilor Hunter in his decision to refuse to apply his discretionary power to allow the event to go ahead, an event that the application had been made 9 hours late out of the 28 days required. Even if these so-called complaints were genuine, how could I have defended them if I had no knowledge they existed. I was of course at the event and did not witness any of these alleged incidents taking place, I spoke to the police all throughout the day and again at the end of the event and they were perfectly happy at how it had gone.

Now let me address what is possibly the real reason for this application being turned down, and for this, I must go back first to the previous event in October last year and a previous event which took place two days after the general election in 2015.

Now at the event in October last year I had invited Tommy Sheridan to speak, as he had been a staunch advocate for independence and was actually the first person of any note that I heard advocating people to join the SNP as they were the best conduit to independence just after the referendum. Also, when he came to Dundee during the campaign, he filled the Marriott hall and had to go outside and speak to a large crowd of people who could not get in. I asked people from all parties also to take part. There followed one of the most comical episodes in the politics of Dundee when a politician who had been put forward by the SNP to speak went on to Facebook to ask all and sundry whether he should speak on the same platform as Tommy Sheridan, certainly a novel departure from the normal procedure of voting for someone who can presumably make their own mind up about when and where they speak in public.

This as you can imagine caused quite a kerfuffle with the sheeple, aided and abetted by employees and SNP officers posting adverse comments in order to give this politician an excuse to withdraw, which he did.

Now because of confusion at the council office I had not applied for the parade element on time so found myself in much the same position as now, having to depend on the good offices of Councilor Hunter, which of course he refused and this is the interesting bit. He refused on the grounds that the previous time I had organised an event he had only approved it at the last minute. Now the point here is that the event he was speaking about was nothing to do with me I had not applied for permission and had not organised it, I had however agreed to put the Yes Bus there.

This event was to take place the week before the General election in 2015. A few days before the event I had a visit from an SNP politician, Chris Law, who asked if I could use my influence in having the event postponed until the weekend after the General Election. I asked why, and incredibly the answer I received was “we can’t have saltires and yes signs being waved about the City Square the week before the General Election”, this statement he attributed to Stuart Hosie.  I could not believe what I was hearing. I said that if it was moved then there would be no council permission in place for the new date and was told that this would be “taken care of”. Before I had a chance to speak to the organisers they were approached by the politician and an SNP political manager. Who put to them the same proposition of moving the date, they also mentioned that there was no permission in place for another event and were told that it “would be sorted. “

In the event, the SNP did not apply for the event change, and it was only on the morning of the event that they had to scurry about getting Councilor Hunter to sign off and give permission for the event to take place. That was not the 28 days it was not even 27 days and 15 hours as this one was, it was not even 28 hours and was more like 28 minutes before the event took place 

So, there you have it, a tale of two entities the SNP and an ordinary citizen of Dundee and two sets of rules.

You might have noticed that the common thread going through this story is the fact the all of these events have had an independence theme, you might also realise that at every one of them there has not been a single SNP speaker, apart from the one just after the General election where Stewart Hosie was prevailed upon to say a few words as he was passing by and instead of trying to make out that he had made the effort to speak to the people, he comically told them that he shouldn’t really be there but was shopping for a pair of trousers and was hijacked into speaking.

 Given events which unfolded into Hosie’s love life, one can only assume that he did not purchase a belt for his trousers that day as subsequent events would indicate that he had a problem keeping his trousers up.

The SNP in Dundee have a problem regarding their sole purpose in life and that is to assist in the process of moving towards independence, they allow themselves to react to personalities instead of keeping their eye on the ball, they display a lack of understanding of basic strategic thinking.

My experiences of them lead me to believe that they are a threat to independence where they should be an asset.

They need to wake up and smell the coffee.

We will arrange another independence related event soon and once again my sincere apologies for the cancellation.

The World This week from Mennies

Saturday 31 July 2021

The Banana republic of Scotland

Well another week in and quite a week it was , I have dedicated this blog to one rather disturbing subject as you will see below , the political jailing of a teller of the truth.

This week the Scottish government under Nicola Sturgeon descended even further into the abyss of incompetence and banana republicancy, when they jailed Craig Murray on what appeared to be trumped up charges of jigsaw identification of a complainer in the case against Alex Salmond.

Now when I say “they”, I mean the Scottish government, led by Nicola Sturgeon   which includes the Crown Office prosecution service which has become the personal Stasi of Sturgeon.

I know Craig Murry, he is a nice, honorable  guy and is a former diplomat who was sacked from his position in the British government for having the audacity to complain about their complicity in torture. Now in order to sack him they conjured up false complaints of him soliciting sexual favors for supplying travel documents, accusations he was found not guilty off.

He has spent the years since, advising various countries on aspects of diplomacy and governmental procedures, together with writing books of a historical nature including murder in Samarkand in which he details some of the concerns he had in connection with the British Government’s complicity in torture.

He is an ardent supporter of Scottish independence and a constant critic of how the Scottish government and SNP have both handled the cause of independence and indeed how they handled the recent case in the high court where the ex-first minister Alex Salmond was persecuted on false charges of sexual impropriety.

Now why do I know they were false charges? Well, I know they were false charges because a jury of mainly Women cleared him of every single charge. I have never seen such a set up conducted in a Scottish court.


The charges were brought after Nicola Sturgeon initiated a retrospective system of bringing charges against former politicians including former first ministers. The only politician that this has ever been used against is Alex Salmond. The whole procedure was a farce and led by Leslie Evens who for some explicable reason is still the permanent secretary to Nicola Sturgeon, in fact she received an extension to her contract shortly after the trial. Alex Salmond has intimated that he is to bring an action against Leslie Evans and the Scottish government.

So, where does Craig Murray come into this? Well, this trial was conducted in what could only be called semi-secret circumstances. With the identities of the complainers being kept secret and the court being cleared at times during some of the evidence. Also, later in the trial Lady Dorian who was the High Court Judge hearing the case, imposed a court order protecting the identities of the complainers. It is interesting that the mainstream media (who were in the main anti-Salmond) persisted in calling the complainers “victims “and persisted in reporting the prosecution case only.

 
Craig was present at the court and assiduously reported the facts on both sides and this did not go down well with what can only be called the conspirators, made up of the Scottish Government, Nicola sturgeon, Pater Murrel ( husband of Nicola Sturgeon and chief executive of the SNP) and their staff and close associates, some of whom were unbelievably the complainers.

Craig was accused of jigsaw identification although many of the mainstream reporters were far more specific and incompetent in protecting the complainer’s identity, in fact at the subsequent enquiries conducted (and whitewashed) into the investigation, the procurator Fiscal actually identified one of the complainers. Needless to say, none of the others had any charges brought against them except Craig.

Craig was brough before Lady Dorian and found guilty of jigsaw identification on the most spurious of evidence, and unbelievably was not even told what words he used in this farcical charge of jigsaw identification were. This was the first time in Scottish history any one has been tried for jigsaw identification let alone jailed for it. He was given 8 months in prison.


The women he was supposed to have identified was in all probability one of the women who perjured herself at the trial and no action has been taken against any of them.

This will all come out in the course of time and mark my words, a few eyebrows will be raised when the identities and closeness to the Murrells of the complainers is made public.

The losers in all of this are firstly Craig Murry , who has several health issues and a young family to support, but one blatant looser in all of this is the Scottish legal system together with the Scottish Government.

Under the present leadership of Nicola Sturgeon Scotland has descended to the level of nothing more than a banana republic, and although I have been campaigning for independence all of my adult life, I am glad we are not independent with a person like Sturgeon in charge of the country.  

So, and now to the main purpose of a Saturday, a pint in Mennies, I raise my glass to my friends the World over

Slainte   

The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 24 July 2021

Who should have a vote on independence,

Well another week in and a busy one at that, with expansion plans in the vehicle repair side of the business reaching new heights and another step in the direction of electric vehicles, which seems the inevitable rout the industry is taking. I must admit though, that I am surprised that hydrogen is not more to the fore as an alternative fuel.

Who should vote on a countries independence

A thorny question for Scottish people but, I would suggest, not one that should be, and for various reasons.

Firstly ” a thorny question for Scottish people”, exactly, “for Scottish people” is the optimum phrase. If indeed it is decided in the first place that Scotland is not already independent then surely a country’s destiny should be decided by the people who carry the name of the country and that is Scottish people, people born in Scotland and not people who for various reasons at that specific time, happen to live in the country.

Can you imagine a football club for instance who would hold their annual general meeting on a match day and invite all the spectators to vote on resolutions simply because they happened to be in the ground on the day? No, of course not that would be ridiculous, not least for the simple reason that around half the people there would not be supporters of the club and would have allegiances elsewhere.

So why would a country, lets say a colony, of a larger or more powerful country allow the colonisers to actually have a vote on whether that country became free of the coloniser ?

That scenario is obviously ridiculous, isn’t it? It would be like India allowing the occupying British army to have a vote on whether Britain was to lose a major asset, wouldn’t it? Well guess what? That is exactly what Scotland did in 2014.

We assumed ( for some strange reason) the mantel of a colony, decided that we were not independent and allowed citizens of the colonizing country, to vote on whether we became independent. Guess what ? they didn’t and we lost the referendum.

Now, there was other reasons why we lost the referendum and one of them was that the colonising power , contrary to the UN declaration of self determination and de-colonisation of territories and countries, actually participated in the debate on the side of the no campaign. It should be noted that despite the SNP virtually accepting the status of Scotland as being a colony, by virtue of the fact that they saw the reason to hold a referendum in the first place, they did not object to the UK involving itself in the no campaign!

Ok, so, what should have happened? Well, I would suggest that Scotland is already an independent country, all be it, tied in various ways by agreement to a union, negotiated in 1707. None of these ways as far as I can see was to forfeit our independence, in fact the Scottish parliament was only suspended and not abolished.
It is a long time since I actually read the Act of Union but as far as I remember it contains a clause that allows either party to relinquish their membership should their respective peoples wish this to happen.

Lets therfore assume we are not a colony, but ( up to now) a willing partner in a union, similar to the EU, as we were until 2016 where we voted to leave, or to be more precise, England voted to leave taking an unwilling Scotland with it. And let us assume that a goodly number of Scots wish to leave this voluntary union ( which they do). So what is the procedure?

Well it is in effect the same whether we are a colony or already an independent country and the first move is exactly the same. We ascertain the will of the people, which can be done in a number of ways. It can be done by a referendum and this is one of the more unusual ways that countries become independent, or it can be done through elected representatives deciding that they have been elected on the basis of attaining independence or dissolving the union., This is by far the most common method that countries have used to attain self determination.

At the present time we have a huge Scottish majority in the Westminster parliament which would very easily facilitate either a declaration of independence or a dissolution of the union.

The only imponderable, is why the SNP refuse to do this.

Going back to the last Scottish election in May and the emergence of the new party Alba, led by the former first minister Alex Salmond, it would appear that he had much the same idea as I have just been explaining and have been doing since 2015 and that is using an election to ascertain the will of the people and thereafter ( assuming the will expressed was to achieve self determination ) begin negotiations on the split of assets and liabilities.

This sent Nicola Sturgeon into a fit of panic, bringing out a tirade of vicious criticism, castigation and denunciation, together with what seemed a denunciation of the justice system in Scotland in connection with an innocent man. She insisted on the both votes for the SNP which had already been proved to facilitate the unnecessary election of numerous unionist members in the elections in 2016, to once again be the policy, instead of allowing the second vote to go to Alba thereby allowing a super majority in the Scottish parliament which would have facilitated the commencement of negotiations allowing Scotland to leave the union and become independent in all ways.

Make no mistake about it , the one person who blocked that situation was Nicola Sturgeon.

The one person that must be removed from her present position to allow self determination for Scotland is Nicola Sturgeon.

So now to look forward this evening to a nice pint of beer in my favorite hostelry, Mennies.

to all my friends the World over, have a good and safe weekend

Slainte

The World this week from Mennies

Tuesday 13 July 2021

The extremism of the SNP

 

There has been a very large amount of concern lately concerning the rout of travel that Nicola Sturgeon has been taking the independence movement and indeed what seems to be extreme policies in regard to trans rights together with the amount of undue influence certain organisations such as Stonewall seem to be applying to the Scottish government. Worse still, it would appear that the Scottish government again led by Nicola Sturgeon seem to be granting Stonewall inordinate amounts of money which in turn they use to lobby the same government with their extreme policies in regard to children’s education.

I attach a blog I wrote in June 2015 which you will note was just after the 2015 General election when we sent 56 SNP members to Westminster. The propose of the blog was to highlight the extremism of a Facebook site named Yes 2. You will note that it was set up it would seem, using a data base of SNP members and politicians and a great many people, including myself, were added to the site without their permission or knowledge.

The propose of the site was to filter out any concern or criticism of SNP policies and in doing so, inhibit free speech. When I gave my concerns , I was removed from the site. I wrote to Peter Murrel giving my concerns and was assured by him that he would investigate the site. Needless to say nothing was done.

Quite plainly, what was being attempted ( very poorly) was to gather together a very large slice of the independence movement including politicians, quite possibly by very dubious means and again quite possibly using SNP data bases. Herding them into a group where they could be manipulated ( again unsuccessfully) filtering out descension and honest debate.

What must be bourn in mind is that one of the the persons responsible for this you will note is Mike Strachan, at that time he was an officer of the SNP based at Dundee West office in Lochee, I believe he was treasurer, therfore presumably had access to SNP data bases . He then became political assistant to Chris Law MP, and partner to Shona Robison MSP at that time heath secretary.

My complaint to Peter Murrel regarding possible breaches of the Data act and the fact that SNP politicians were in effect participating in this oppressive behavior was never officially investigated , however shortly after my complaint there was an exodus of politicians from the site and it no longer operates, or at least not in the manner it was initially set up.

There is something very dark at the heart of the SNP and it is nothing new, in fact I would say it can be traced back to when Nicola Sturgeon took over the leadership.


8 July 2015
  · 

I refer to a posting (copied below) in the Yes 2 site today referring to debate by people who expressed an opinion on UDI.

First let me say that I agree wholeheartedly with Mike that there is absolutely no need for any abuse of any kind in any of these debates, whether it be between members of opposing factions as in the Yes versus the No campaigns or, and more especially, between people within the grass roots Yes movement and remember, the Yes grass roots organisations conducted their referendum campaign all in their own ways, separate from the SNP.

However, and this is a big however, I do object to some of the content, tone and accuracy of the piece and let me say at this point that I personally at this moment in time do not think UDI is the best way forward, so here are my concerns.

Firstly Mike, who is the “we” you represent in this piece? Is there some sort of committee set up to monitor the views expressed on the site? Or are you being a self (or otherwise) elected spokesman/ champion of the SNP and if so can you let us ( the people who have joined this site from grass roots organisations in the belief that it would be a forum for open and honest discussion) know who in the SNP encouraged you to write this piece?

You make the following statement: –

. “We all know that UDI more often than not results in bloodshed, death and often civil unrest or war. We know the government is killing people, but to kill more and still lose independence is simply not the answer. If independence is not achieved through democratic means, then it will not be recognised”.

First of all, “We” all, know nothing of the sort, but it was nice of you to make up “our” minds for us.

I would assume that you allude to the most recent claim of UDI which was made by Kosovo around 2008. Well, it might be of interest that the bloody war that preceded this declaration was started as a result of, guess what? Yes, a referendum in Serbia.

There was a period of peace / cease fire imposed by the UN /NATO and then after some years the government of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, UDI. This has been recognized by a sizable majority of countries and the international court of justice together with the UN.

It may further interest you to note as below the opinion of the British government and please note this particular part of the statement which should have resonance given the treatment meted out to out democratically elected MP’s this very week in Westminster.

“ , has made it quite clear, that, given the legacy of abuse, it cannot again become part of Serbia. Courts do not order estranged spouses to continue in a broken marriage. “

United Kingdom

10 December 2009 Daniel Bethlehem QC, Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office • Serbia by initiating proceedings before the ICJ wants to set back the clock, and seeks an advisory opinion that would compel Kosovo to re-engage with Serbia over its status. There is, however, no reason whatever to believe that an agreed outcome would be any more achievable now than it was in the past. The United Kingdom warns about the misleading approach of Serbia, which would like the court to assess the legality of the declaration, ignoring the events that led to it.

• Serbia has made it quite clear that it will never accept an independent Kosovo. Kosovo, for its part, has made it quite clear, that, given the legacy of abuse, it cannot again become part of Serbia. Courts do not order estranged spouses to continue in a broken marriage.

• Although the Resolution 1244 referred to the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, this principle was not the cornerstone for a political solution of Kosovo’s status. The United Kingdom did not come to support independence for Kosovo quickly or easily and does not see these proceedings as adversarial to Serbia. Serbia’s democracy is not much older than Kosovo’s. Independence of Kosovo brought stability to the region after a traumatic decade. The common future for both Kosovo and Serbia lies in eventual membership for both States in the European Union and the United Kingdom will continue to work towards the realization of that vision.[99]

Now Mike this brings me to the next part of your piece where you say:-

“If independence is not achieved through democratic means, then it will not be recognised. If it is not recognised we will be sanctioned against. Who would we trade with if not the UK, the EU or indeed most of the developed world. Who would protect us if not NATO and the UN? Who would pay our pensions if not the UK? Who would fly to our airports if not all major airlines? Who would buy our oil and whisky if not the developed world? Who would employ us as citizens of a sanctioned country? The list goes on and on.”

You could almost get a job with “Project fear “Mike writing that hysterical nonsense. It is almost like watching the BBC during the referendum campaign.

Do you think any perceived Unilateral declaration of Independence would not be preceded by negotiations with trading partners, the international court of Justice , the UN and NATO ? of course it would . Countries leaders do not sit in a darkened room having a few drinks get themselves fired up and then suddenly go out in the street and declare UDI.

Seriously Mike ,if you and whoever “we” are seriously wishing this site to be credible then you must stop trying to stifle honest debate or you become nothing more than another Labour party and if you by some chance are acting on behalf of the SNP and in some way trying to keep the lid on this UDI movement then stop it or you will lose all credibility.

As I have already said, I do not at this point think that UDI is advisable, but I do know what is inadvisable and that is to try to silence those who do not agree with you.

Bob

I append the posting that I am referring to below.

Mike Strachan

9 hrs • Dundee

Good morning everyone! It’s been an amazing couple of weeks watching you all join the group and seeing the numbers grow. We are all independence minded and want what is best for our country.

However, we have become increasingly concerned regarding the amount of aggression being shown to certain members when they try to explain why a democratic referendum is currently the only way, we can look to achieve our freedom. We all know that UDI mire than often results in bloodshed, death and often civil unrest or war. We know the government is killing people, but to kill more and still lose independence is simply not the answer. If independence is not achieved through democratic means, then it will not be recognised. If it is not recognised we will be sanctioned against. Who would we trade with if not the UK, the EU or indeed most of the developed world. Who would protect us if not NATO and the UN? Who would pay our pensions if not the UK? Who would fly to our airports if not all major airlines? Who would buy our oil and whisky if not the developed world. Who would employ us as citizens of a sanctioned country. The list goes on and on. For a UDI to actually work properly, we would need well over 2.2 million people to be proven supporters of independence and we all know that will never happen. And if you tried to prove that, what would you do, take a vote????? That’s what a referendum is. And we certainly wouldn’t need over 2.2 million people for it to work.

We are all for healthy debate and discussion but need to remind people this is not a group or forum pushing for UDI. We are pushing towards the next referendum. As support for independence is still around the 48-50% we need to find patience within us and work forward. We need to peacefully and in a friendly way, win over no voters. Please feel free to post articles and page links in the group that members can go on to share on their own timeline in the hope NO voters will have a read and maybe come to the group for further information. And that information has to be non-aggressive.

Do not post aggression or foul language. It will not be tolerated.

We are on this journey together everyone. Let’s make it peaceful and inviting. Aggression will lose us our independence.

Thank you and here’s to a better future.

Mike Strachan

Admin

I will leave readers to make up their own minds as to the motives behind this site bearing in mind that we are now almost 7 years from the last referendum, 7 years into the leadership of the SNP, and the independence movement by Nicola Sturgeon.
We are literally going nowhere on that road to independence.


Bob

The World this week from Mennies

Afghanistan

Monday 12 July 2021

This week, Mennies has transitioned to Celebrity Silhouette, as I am bobbing up and down somewhere in the Irish sea, on a cruise to nowhere, Because of Covid restrictions, the original itinerary was changed from, Southampton. Orkney. Belfast. Portland to Southampton, Liverpool, Portland, with no ability to go ashore in any of the stops unless you take a ships organised tour , which means you are very much restricted to the coach or its near vicinity.

Afghanistan

Over the last couple of weeks the US alliance, which includes the UK have been packing their bags and preparing to scuttle off and leave the Afghan army to be slaughtered at the hands if the Taliban. Mark my words , that is exactly what is about to happen.

What has it all been for? The answer to that is absolutely nothing. After 9/11 George Bush decided to ignore the fact that the perpetrators of that atrocity were all from Saudi Arabia and blamed it on Al Qaida who coincidently had a couple of ineffectual bases in Afghanistan.

So what did they do? Instead of bombing these bases or putting special forces on the ground to destroy them, they went to war with the government of that country who happened to be at that time the Taliban. Now, who were the Taliban? Well at one time they were called the Mujahedeen and at that time the US, through the CIA were financing them to fight against the Russians who had at that time, like the US, very unwisely invaded Afghanistan.

Now, why would the US wish to come to blows with an erstwhile ally . That is complicated, but what should be considered is that most foreign policy in the US is led by the CIA and as you might remember they have a long history of using drug money to finance clandestine operations all over the planet. So what is the main export product in Afghanistan? Yes you got it ,heroin and strangely enough despite their more unsavory attributes, such as their attitudes to women, the Taliban forbade the production of heroin.

So, under the guise of seeking out Bin Laden the US gathered together an alliance of the stupid which included the UK and many European countries and the Poppy crop which had been almost eradicated under the Taliban, once again flourished.

This had several consequences, one of which was that it ensured a constant source of heroin for the western world and it caused countless civilian deaths together with the deaths and mutilation of thousands of soldiers of the alliance.

Eventually, like most of the US’s interventions in other countries affairs, it become apparent that it had been a disaster and now we are about to leave Afghanistan to return to exactly where it was before we decided to become terrorist’s in someone else’s country.

Now make no mistake about it, but the sacrifices our brave military made in that country was wasted, utterly wasted. They were not fighting to protect their own country, they were not even fighting to protect another country, they were fighting to uphold a CIA agenda, which included the production of Heroin. An agenda that goes back to the President Carter days of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan when production of heroin was centered around the town of Darra in the northwest of Pakistan supplied from the fields on Helmand in Afghanistan. The CIA had set up a factory to manufacture Russian style weapons paid for through the profits of Heroin shipped from Darra to Russia and Europe. These weapons were distributed free of charge to Afghan fighters who used them in their struggle against the Russian invaders and then used against our own troops after 9/.11 So anyone who thinks that the US involvement in Afghanistan, started after 9/11 really needs a re-think.

The Taliban will once again take over control of Afghanistan after they have completed the slaughter of the Afghan Army and once again they will no doubt destroy the poppy crop.

When will we ever learn.

Bob