The world This Week From Mennies

Saturday 19th January 2019 Trump, May, Corbin and Nicola

Well, another week in and another interesting one it was. Busy week for me with new horizons in the making, business wise, another contract awarded on the Coach side of the business and an increase in service work for a major supermarket store group in the vehicle repair department of the business, so busy times ahead.

And so to the rest of the world on the periphery of the metropolis of Dundee , let’s start in the US where oor Donald is still holding the country to ransom by refusing to sign off on the budget and allowing government to start actually functioning again. Yes Donald does seem to do some daft things, but I have been thinking about his two years in charge of the most powerful country on the Planet. He has not actually started a war yet , which sets him apart from previous presidents and he seems intent on abiding by his promises to bring the troops home from their terrorist actions in various parts of the World. Yes and when I say terrorist actions I mean just that, because if they are fighting against recognised governments as they are in Syria and were in places like Libya then they are terrorists and no other reasonable construction can by put on a scenario like that. America is of course not alone in this as many other Western countries are allies in this terrorism, but the US does lead.

Now Donald is indeed bringing the boys ( and girls) home, and I think the American people should actually thank him for that. Now had things turned out differently and hillary Clinton been elected President, then I think the World would have been a more dangerous place, because Hillary was a warmonger, probably as bad if not worse than people like John Bolton, and I firmly believe that if she had been elected ,we would have been at war in Iran together with a proxy war with Russia in Syria, and Israel would have been given a free hand in annexing large swathes of Syria in their greater Israel ambitions. The other thing is North Korea, and although that initiative has stalled somewhat lately there has been a significant movement towards a solution, which shows that when two dafties get together , it can be surprising what comes out of it. So on the basis of no one is all bad ( or stupid) then there are things out there that we should thank oor Donald for .

So back to the good old UK and what a week it was in the British parliament. We had the government’s “plan / agreement” on exit from the EU, defeated , in fact massacred would probably be the word. The worst parliamentary defeat any British government have had in the history of parliament. Guess what? they still do not get it. Normally a prime minister would have resigned after having sustained a defeat of that magnitude or called a general election, but not this lot of chancers. Instead they decided to ask all the opposition parties what to do next and then promptly excluded the leader of the opposition from these talks. Corbyn promptly said he wouldn’t be going to them anyway unless the government took a hard Brexit crash out of the table.

Both of these idiots are depriving the British people of another referendum on the basis that a very small majority who voted for just that, trying to make us believe that it would be undemocratic to hold another referendum, even although it is now patently clear that we were lied to and deceived on a grand scale during the referendum campaign.

It is the same as a group of people buying tickets for an air journey, the plane taking off, and during the flight the Captain discovers that there is not enough fuel on the plane but instead of turning back he keeps on going until the plane crashes, because the people bought the ticket in the first place.

The problem we have here is that we have an incompetent government heading for the cliff edge and the alternative is the leader if the opposition ,Corbin who would also throw us off the edge of the Cliff if he was in power. What a prospect to look forward to.

Ok so that neatly brings me to the SNP and their glorious leader, Nicola Sturgeon. Now just in case there are anyone out there who doesn’t know what SNP stands for, it is Scottish National Party and their main purpose in life is the gain independence for Scotland. However Nicola’s main purpose in life at the moment seems to be in saving the UK, as she is putting far more energy in that direction than she is in gaining independence. I have been warning about this ever since the day before she brought out her paper on Brexit in 2016. I called it :” A Road Map To Unionism” The following day when she published the document, I read through the whole 64 pages and then wrote another blog called ” I told you so”.

At long last, mainstream commentators are waking up to the fact that all is not well with Nicola’s ideas of independence and many politicians and activists in the party are the same. Nicola has been painting the SNP in to a corner for some years now and she will have to realise that something has to be done and that is what i am afraid of because she had done not one credible thing to prepair for a referendum and I feel she is about to call one in desperation.

I do not think that this means we will not win a referendum but it means that if she had allowed the grassroots groups and SNP activists to continue a campaign of information and explanation of issues on a lower level after the defeat in 2014, we would have been ready at any time to go for another referendum., She didn’t and we are not.

So, to save her any stress or effort I will tell her how we can win a referendum regardless of how ill prepared she has left us.

First thing ,monetary situation. In gaining independence and in the time between the referendum and actually becoming independence, allowing for negotiations into sharing of assets etc, we use the pound sterling probably for about one year. We then peg then pound Scots to either the pound sterling to Euro until we set up a central bank which would take a couple of years maximum and we can then use our own currency.

Pensions, we set a target of doubling pensions within 10 years bringing it to within most EU countries .

We produce a projected set of accounts for an independent Scotland instead of these silly GERS figures, showing a balance sheet which gives our assets inherited from thye UK.

If the british government interfere in the referendum as they did the last time or are difficult in apportioning assets we do not take a share of the UK national debt.

We start a national oil company like Statoil in Norway owning the production and distribution of oil giving preferential rates for fuel, heating oil and gas to Scots. We start up an oil fund linked to the bank account of every person over 18 with an oil revenue dividend payable every ,say 5 years .

This is a start and if we find ourselves in another referendum campaign, this is how we fight it, along with taking no nonsense from the press this time. It is time we stood up and nail our colours to the mast. No messing about this time and another thing it has to be before brexit actually happens to allow us seamless transition to the EU as an independent country.

So enough of politics, it is Saturday night , time for refreshment in the company of good friends, so , I raise my glass to all my friends the World over .



The World This week from Mennies

Trump, Brexit, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.

Well here we are, another week in, and a busy one at that, with a few new ventures in mind, the Coach side of the business holding up well, in what is normally a quiet time of the year, and the repair and maintenance side getting busier by the day.  Never a dull moment.

So, that takes care of Dundee but elsewhere in the World. Well let’s start with our friends across the pond.We still have this crazy situation with the president of America refusing to sign over the authority to finalise the budget causing millions of federal employees to go without wages and the people of America to go without necessary public services. The rest of the sane World look on with dismay, and of course I do not include the Uk in that category of “the sane World” as we are the laughing stock of the world also, with our problems with Brexit.

OK so let’s look at solutions to both problems and let’s start with the US. Now Donald has two problem’s at present. Well to be accurate he has more than two but let’s leave out the mental health issues he so obviously has and focus on the ones that are shutting down the government. Now he wants a wall built along the border between the US and Mexico and he originally said that Mexico would be paying for this wall. This last week he has been trying to say he didn’t say this, but he did, many hundreds of times. He is attempting to persuade Congress to back his plan to spend 5.,5 Billion on the wall.

Ok so here is the solution.The biggest factor in building a wall is the labour costs, so Trump persuades Congress to pass a much lesser amount, say 2 billion and he buys a few million concrete blocks, sand and cement and has the materials deposited along the border. He then offers Mexicans or south Americans the opportunity to build a section of the wall without wages, in place of wages he allows them to bring their close family to America . This way Mexico, in a way, pays towards the wall, congress gets off the hook by passing a much lesser amount, Donald gets his wall, and everybody lives happily ever after. Job done.

Now let’s turn to Brexit,this is actually easier to remedy but needs some explanation. Right, firstly we had a referendum with a simple question. Do you wish to leave the EU, Yes orNo. Scotland voted by a huge majority to remain, Northern Ireland also voted to remain England and wales voted by a small majority to leave but because of the population difference the overall vote for the UK was a small majority to leave. Now the British government stated that Brexit means Brexit and promptly started to conduct negotiations emanating in an agreement to not quite leave. So from “Brexit means Brexit” the British government have went to Brexit doesn’t quite mean Brexit and taking into consideration that only something like 36.5% of then, eligible voting public actually voted to leave therefore leaving 63.55% of the voting eligible population not voting to leave, and also taking into consideration that people have now realised they were misled by the leave campaign and every poll taken lately shows a large majority to stay, then it doesn’t take a genius to realise that there needs to be a rethink and quick. Add to that the comedy of this Government going from one disaster to the next and making a laughing stock of themselves in the process and it seems obvious that something needs changing and it is this.

We simply need to cancel Brexit and we will have everything this government are trying to negotiate and more,much more, what is the bloody problem?

Right, now that I have solved two of the World’s most pressing problems let me now go to an issue that is far more important than any of these crazy situations.

This week Alex Salmond won a case of Judicial review against the Scottish Government, or to be exact the Scottish government capitulated when their case threatened to be exposed for what it always was and that was a blatant attempt to smear Alex. Now the person nominally responsible was Leslie Evans who is the Scottish government permanent secretary. She was responsible for implementing a policy decision made by Nicola Sturgeon on openness and accountability for harassment.

Now I have been reading all week from ardent Nicola Sturgeon fans about Leslie Evans position which is as apart of the Civil service of the UK, which is correct and she was put forward as a candidate for the position as part of a chosen and vetted group by the UK commissioner for the civil service., The point missing from all of these outpourings of anger was that it was Nicola sturgeon as Scotland’s first minister who actually appointed Evans and Evans was responsible for implementing Nicola Sturgeon’s policy on harassment. The policy and implementation that the high court Judge remarked was contrary to law on several points.

now there has been criticism of Sturgeon for not immediately sacking Evens and indeed Mc Kinnen who was the person responsible for the investigation into the Salmond allegations.

I feel the reason for this unwillingness to sack Evans is because if she did then the whole house of cards would tumble down.

Just before the story of the Salmond accusations became public and coincidently, I was standing in Mennies when I received a message with one sentence, “Sturgeon has stabbed Salmond in the back” This came from a friend of mine well dug into the Holyrood political establishment. Two days later it was all over the papers and on every news outlet. The allegation was that Salmond had sexually assaulted two women in 2013 when he was first Minister.I had suspected for some time that relations between Salmond and Sturgeon had been strained and several incidents such as the comments Sturgeon made when Salmond took on a show on RT. She was openly critical of him instead of simply saying nothing.

So, taking all that had happened, I formed the opinion at the time that the message I received was in all probability correct and the revelations this week have done nothing to change my mind. It has been known that Salmond would prefer a more direct approach to independence than Sturgeon in fact any approach to independence would have to be better than Sturgeons approach which has been a succession of marching her troops up to the top of the hill and down again that many times that it would have made the Grand Old Duke of York dizzy.

I have also been of the opinion that Sturgeon is a liability to the independence movement and this Alex Salmond case has done nothing to change my mind on that.

I feel there is quite a way to go and quite a few revelations to surface surrounding this case. We will have to wait and see, but it is the Scottish government who are on the ropes at the moment not Alex Salmond.

OK so, it is Saturday night, there are refreshments to be had and discussions aplenty no doubt, so I raise my glass to all my friends the World over and I am planning a cruise towards the end of the month which will leave from Fort Lauderdale so might catch up with one or two of them.


The World this week from mennies

Trump, Brexit, the SNP, the “takeaway” ship company. 5th Jan 2019

Well here we are in the first week of the new year, and what a year it promises to be, with Brexit only 85 Days away, an incompetent government at the wheel in the UK, an unstable president in the US, and a party of independence in Scotland who are lost somewhere along the road to independence. What could possibly go wrong this year? Oh, and before I forget, happy New Year.

So, let’s start with oor Donald., and when I call him oor Donald, I do so because of two things, firstly he is Scottish by ancestry, as his Mother came from a small village near Stornoway on Lewis. Secondly, because, regardless of how you loathe or love the Man, his decisions as President of the most powerful country on the Planet, affect all of us, every day of our lives.   Donald is an enigma, on the lower end of the scale of enigmas. He makes decisions that are illogical, bazar and sometimes actually sensible. Let me start with the sensible ones as they are fewer of them. I class his decision to withdraw troops from Syria, as a sensible decision, firstly because they should never have been there in the first place as they were never invited by the legitimate government of Syria, making their presence there a terrorist operation. He has backtracked slightly on this by extending the timescale from a matter of weeks to several Months, quite possibly because someone told him that by leaving, he would be stuffing the Kurds in favour of the Turks. The Kurds themselves have slightly ameliorated this situation by inviting the Syrian Army to take over the town of Manbij which they themselves liberated from the Israeli and US financed, terrorist group, ISIS. The US has been playing a double game here, but that was too complicated for Donald to work out.

On the illogical to bazar decisions Donald makes, his press conference yesterday after his meeting with Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat committee, was a classic. I found it difficult to believe I was listening to the president of America, who started off by telling the World how great he was. This took up most of his speech which was to have been about his meeting with the Democrats regarding opening up the government, and his obsession with his wall along the Mexican border. The wall, you will remember that he was going to get the Mexican Government to pay for.

Well I do not think I have heard such a rambled, and at times incoherent diatribe from a politician for a considerable time. The only thing I could take from it was that instead of a wall he seems now to be speaking about a steel fence. There was no agreement from the Democrats (who now control the Senate) so therefore he continues with the government shut down, leaving millions of government employees without pay and even more millions of Americans without services. A terrible situation to allow a country to endure because of a silly vanity project.

So, elsewhere and we come once again to Brexit and the New year sees Theresa may scuttling around EU leaders with her begging bowl, desperately trying to get “clarification” of the backstop arrangements for the border between the EU and the UK which just happens to be in Northern Ireland. This before parliament debates the EU agreement on the 14th of January. What an utter mess this government have gotten the UK into.
To add to the black comedy that is Brexit we have the Tory government awarding a £14 million contract to provide ferries to the EU, to a company who have never traded, run by a guy whose last company folded owing millions of pounds to creditors. A company who do not have a rowing boat never mind a fleet of Ferries, and whose attempts at even producing a set of conditions of trading was hilariously copied from an internet fast food delivery company. So presumably, once they are in operation you will be able to phone them up for, two tickets for the ferry from Ramsgate to Ostend, two large pizzas and a large bottle of coke. As if that was not bad enough, another part of their terms was taken from a jeweller’s web site and part of another section in their terms was in Latin. One thing that was apparent is that the present board of Seabourn are big donors to the Tory party. Honestly this government are going from one disaster to another. When will someone put them out of their misery?

This neatly brings me to the state of the independence movement under the auspices of the SNP. We have a situation where there is a government in Westminster barely capable of governing. We have a situation where we are about to be driven over the edge of a cliff called Brexit, like a suicide of Lemmings, a Brexit Scotland voted against and we have the so-called party of independence, the SNP, caught like a rabbit in a car’s headlights with no apparent pan to extricate us from this cesspit of inanity and incompetence. Instead we have the leader of the SNP attempting to save the Union. There was a poll done recently that showed that in the event of a snap General Election the SNP could gain 14 seats (some of the ones they lost in the last general Election) and this could give them the balance of power. Many people see this as a way to force the government (presumably labour) to agree to a section 30 to allow an independence referendum. I honestly feel that although the SNP have put us in the position of being ill prepared for another referendum or contest for independence, they should simply go for the GE on a single-issue manifesto, that of independence, with the intention to declare independence in the event of a Scottish majority of Westminster MP’s.

I do not think they will do that, and instead will use the increase of SNP Westminster MP’s to assist the UK back on its feet after Brexit.

So enough of politics, it is Saturday night and time for a pint in my favourite hostelry Mennies. The proper name of the pub is the Speedwell Tavern, it is called Mennies after one of the previous owners Mrs Mennie who ran a tight ship. Her claim to fame was one night after performing in a concert in the Caird Hall here in Dundee, the Rolling Stones paid a visit to the Pub. They became rather rowdy and were asked to leave by Mrs Mennie.

A wee dity I penned as part of my speech at my daughter Laura’s wedding.

You will climb the wall to look over and see that the grass is greener on the other side.

You may be tempted to cross over to sample the greener grass

If you do, then remember this

The most important thing you can take with you is the ladder.

I wish my friends the World over a great Saturday evening and a good weekend.