The world this week from Mennies

Sat 23Feb 2019


Shamima Begum, Jeremy Corbyn, Donald trump, Brexit, Nicola Sturgeon and independence.


Well another week in and a busy one at that. However, yet another very mild week for this time of year. If this is global warming, then it is about time it was here in Scotland. Don’t worry, I am not gong into the arguments for and against global warming in this blog, but I am going to comment on the heated discussions that have been taking place over this past couple of weeks concerning Shamima Begum. She is the girl who left  England at the age of 15 to join with the religiously inspired group ISIS.


This young girl lived with this group for 4 years where she married and had two children, and a third last week whilst in a refugee camp. Her first two children died of disease There is no doubt that she was the subject of religiously motivated indoctrination in the lead up to going to Syria to join ISIS.


ISIS are a disgusting sect who have been causing havoc in both Syria and Iraq, at times being funded by Israel and the US as they saw them as a method of defeating the democratically elected government of Syria. At one point when ISIS were at the height of their power in Syria, Israel were buying stolen oil from them in contravention of international law. ISIS are well known for their habit of beheading people live on the internet.


Because of the efforts of the Syrian Army, with the aid of Russia, and much to the disappointment of the US, Israel and the UK, ISIS are at the point of complete defeat in Syria.


Mrs Begam is in a refugee camp in Syria and has applied to be able to return to the England. The home Secretary has refused her application and made both her and her newly born child stateless by removing their British citizenship. Making someone stateless is not allowed under international law. This girl’s case has been descended upon by many of the right-wing tabloids and extremist social media commentators. It is also a very handy diversion from the utter chaos surrounding this governments handline of the Brexit crisis.


It is as well to note that there has been something like 450 ex ISIS fighters returned to the UK, some of which went on to be involved in terrorist attacks. There was also a case very similar to this one where a young Mother returned and could stay, although she had her child removed from her care because of the mother’s terrorist connections. The only difference in Mrs Bergan’s case seems to be the need to divert attention from the awful mess the government is getting the country into with Brexit.


I feel that the UK government have a duty under international law to allow this girl back to the country of her birth and if she has been involved in any illegal activity, she should be brought to justice Up to now I have not heard of anything she has done that could be termed illegal. It is not a crime to be married to a mercenary, fighting in a foreign country, if it was then there would be thousands of British women in court. There have been many British mercenaries left to fight in the Middle East on various sides and been allowed to come back home again. I feel that the UK government also have a duty to protect people in other countries from British subjects who break the law so if she is guilty of any illegal activities the British government should act to remove this threat from these countries.


The difference in this case seems to be that this girl is coloured and Muslim.


Politics in the UK took an interesting turn this week with the defection of several Labour and tory MP’s from their parties to a “limited company” registered in a tax haven. Yes, that is what in effect happened. They have not formed a new party, they have formed a limited company. Now the thing about a company as apposed to a political party is that the company does not have to divulge the source of its funding, I feel that if it did in this case the source would be traced back to the government of Israel and the hint is in the manner in which the ( mainly Labour) defectors gave reasons for their defection. I was for two main reasons. Jeremy Corbyn’s shambles on his EU position and more importantly, the anti-Semitism in the Labour party. Now I am no friend of the labour party or Jeremy Corbin I think he is a poor reincarnation of shambling Michael Foot. His policy on EU withdrawal is shambolic and wrong and he (as Prime Minister) would be a disaster and another road block on the road to Scottish independence, however, he is no antisemitic. He like very many others (me included) despise Israel for their disgusting treatment of the Palestinians and this makes him an enemy of the state of Israel, therefore they will do all in their power to make sure he never becomes the prim minister of the UK. I feel that any funding for this new “group” you will find has in all probability been channelled through one of Tony Blairs financial vehicles. Tony Blair of course is a fully paid up member of the Israeli government and Palestinian slaughter fan club. So interesting times ahead in UK politics.


Speaking of UK politics, which it is difficult to do at present without bursting out laughing followed by hysterical crying after you actually think of what you are doing, the Brexit farce goes on with Theresa May making her ,now almost daily trip to Brussels, so that Junker can tell her once more to f**k off.

Now almost daily we are hearing of companies deciding to leave the sinking ship Britannia. All this and we are not even out of the EU yet. Honda, Nisan, Landover Jaguar, Michelin, the list goes on and gets longer by the day. Brexit is openly being termed a crisis, but it is a crisis that does not need to happen, just stop it, it is like hitting your head against a brick wall, its great when you stop. Try it Teresa. One hope is that the Labour party (or what is “left” of them, excuse the pun) seem to be realising that in order to uphold true democracy they should support a second referendum on Brexit. As far as fairness to the people of the UK is concerned, this must be the thing to do, although as far as the fight for independence goes, it makes things just that bit harder and this brings me on to the next subject.


Independence for Scotland is a dream I have had since I was a boy. My hopes were up when Alex Salmond gained a majority of one, in the Scottish parliament and declared that there would be a referendum on Scottish independence. At that time, we were sitting in the polls at 27%. Throughout the campaign leading up to the referendum in 2014 we pushed that figure to 45% a great achievement. We lost and Salmond resigned. That was probably the worst singe event that could have happened for the independence movement, because Nicola Sturgeon was elected leader of the SNP and she immediately disbanded Yes Scotland and retreated into a bunker. She, along with her band of faithful zombies are still in the bunker. She has laid out her dictate for independence as being dependent of the outcome of Brexit but has decided that the Scottish people (who voted by 62% to stay in the EU) will be happy with a mere attachment to the singe market of customs union and not full membership. Up till recently she had had a pretty strong following of personality cult members of the Nicola fan club who constantly abuse anyone with a different opinion, or who question the wisdom of doing nothing as far as preparation for a future referendum. However, of late there has been a significant swell of questioning of her abilities as far as preparing for a future referendum and the inadvisability of waiting until the interminable outcome of Brexit. There are people like the MP Angus McNeil from the beautiful island of Barra and Kenny MacAskill who are now openly questioning the wisdom of constantly waiting with absolutely no sign of any preparation taking pace. This is good and hopeful, I am still of the opinion that the independence cause will not be properly taken forward under the stewardship of Nicola and her husband Peter Murrel who is the chief executive of the SNP.


Ok I have went on too long with this week’s update and not left a lot of time for my old pal Donald Trump. So very briefly, and apologies to Rudy for the brevity of my take on his favourite person, and the saviour of the Universe. So Donald, last week decided to declare a state of emergency to try to block the few pathetic pieces of humanity who in desperation try to reach the US to better themselves and feed their families. Yes, a state of emergency so that he can look in the mirror in the morning and say, well I got my wall, how great am I? Well Donald , you and a few others might think that but the greater part of humanity on this planet will be shaking their heads and wondering if perhaps the 5 billion or so dollars you think you might be able to spend on a useless and eventually rusting monument to vanity, could have perhaps been sent on alleviating the poverty that causes people to seek a better life. On the other side of the coin and up to now you haven’t started any new wars and hope you will keep out of Venezuela and keep that nut case John Boulton under control.


Ok, so for anyone who is still awake, it is Saturday evening and time for my favourite watering hole Mennies. A nice bar in one of the nicer areas of Dundee. The proper name is the Speedwell Bar but take its name Mennies, from Mrs Mennie who owned the bar at one time. Her claim to fame was the occasion when the Rolling Stones were playing on the Caird Hall in Dundee and visited the pub after the show. They became rather rowdy and were thrown out by Mrs Mennie.


Hopefully I won’t get into any, too heated, political debates tonight and end up being thrown out. So, I wish my friends the World over a great weekend and I raise my glass to you.


And remember:- There are many injustices in the World and they are good traveling companions of the silent people.


Time for a long hard think

There is great concern within the independence movement as to the abilities of Nicola Sturgeon to formulate a credible plan towards making Scotland an independent country. I have heard from various sources that there is some sort of plan to hold a Scottish election shortly after this brexit fiasco has settled down . If this is indeed the case then let me make it very clear that I do not believe this has anything to do with furthering the cause of independence but more to do with strengthening the SNP’s grip and tenure in power.
It would seem to be the case that not only is there great concern among the membership and grass roots groups regarding the way the SNP seem to be blowing in the wind without a credible plan for independence but both parliamentary groups are now seeing splits in their ranks regarding the lack of credible planning.

The only sop to a proper road map to independence was Andrew Wilson’s economic commission report, which was over a year late to start with and produced the very opposite of what we needed and that was a credible plan on currency. It was very obvious from the start that this was unpopular with both the membership of the SNP and the general grass roots movement. Instead of realising the mistake and getting rid of it ,Nicola Sturgeon has had Andrew Wilson going around the country trying to convince the membership, that in the event of independence , the policy would be ,adopting Sterling, and to make matters worse to have it as the currency of an independent Scotland for up to 10 years. This is one of the reasons we lost the last referendum on ,therefore this position is , from a strategic point of view, idiotic and for a first minister and leader of the SNP to think this is wise shows a tenuous grasp on reality.

I was intending going into a long diatribe regarding the lost opportunities and downright bad decisions made by the leadership of the SNP but instead I decided to simply attach a blog I did way back on April 2017 which I could have written today as the circumstances have not altered.

There are two ways out of this debacle the leadership of the SNP have gotten the independence movement in to. Either they elect a new leader and chief executive, or we start a new party ” The Scottish Independence Party” .

Now I know this will be met by the usual ” divide and rule accusations ,by some of the less able to think SNP acolites, and quite possibly some of the dwindling, ” Nicola has a cleaver plan” personality worshipers, but there comes a time when only major surgery is the only answer to cut out a malignant growth. because the alternative is the death of the independence movement.

Have a read of the blog I did on the 4th April 2017 and tell me if you think there is anything the SNP have themselves, done to forward the cause of independence since it was written, or indeed since the last referendum on the 18th September 2014

Our road.

The World This Week from Mennies

Saturday 9 Feb 2019

Venezuela, Seabourn, Question time, Brexit

Well, that is me back from my travels and back to a cold Scotland. So, what has been happening whilst I was away.

Well it is apparent I can’t leave Donald alone for a couple of weeks, but he folds to the Neo-cons and starts threatening to invade another country, and after me praising him the other week for being the only president for some time not to have started a new war.

Now, to be perfectly honest, Venezuela is no paradise at the moment, but this is mainly due to the imposition of sanctions by the US, and why might you ask are they doing this? Well, it is because of two things. One, they have a Socialist government and two, they have loads of oil and the US think they can administer the distribution of this oil better than the Socialist government in the country, just like they now do in Iraq and Libya. The fact that getting to where they are in these two countries involved killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people is neither here nor there to people like John Bolton, Trumps security advisor, and if he gets his way then Venezuela will go the same way as these two other unfortunate countries. I somehow, do not think that it will be quite as easy in Venezuela and could turn out another Vietnam for the US. The US predicate their stance on Venezuela, as backing a democratic solution and in doing so they have recognised a guy as president who was not even a candidate in the last elections. That is a real skewed interpretation of democracy. So here we are once again with the US on the verge of invading another country to take control of their natural assets and in doing so, quite probably about to sacrifice young soldiers and innocent civilians on the alter of greed, this has to stop.

So here back in the asylum that is Brexit we have the company set up by Tory backers to facilitate a new channel ferry service to Europe. Transport secretary Chris Grayling personally gave his support to the “new company” stating that all due diligence had been carried out on the “new” company.  Now we discover that the government has now to remove the contract from the ferry company with no ferries because they couldn’t perform to the contract. You really couldn’t make this nonsense up. This government is presiding over one calamity after another in connection with the madness that is Brexit and we haven’t even left the EU yet. Donald Tusk summed up the situation precisely during the week when he said, “By the way, I have been wondering what that special place in hell looks like for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan to carry it (out) safely.”

That statement sums up the madness that is Brexit, completely.

Ok So question time and the usual bias directed at the independence movement with the addition of a guy who had miraculously been on the program 4 times and was videoed in deep conversation with Michael Forsyth, a hard line Brexiteer Tory peer. The guy was there it would appear, for the sole purpose of giving an anti-independence tirade.  Now the reason I mention this is not simply to bring to people’s attention the built-in bias against independence by the BBC, but to note the lack of official SNP condemnation of this, they are content to sit back and act as a media punchbag. It is far past a joke and time it was addressed. This is just a small part of how I see the lack of preparedness in the SNP for any future referendum.

Last week it was announced that a long-established Dundee company, McGills was to go into receivership with the loss of 375 jobs. Jenny Marra did well in the Scottish parliament in highlighting the seeming lack of cooperation between the company and Scottish Enterprise in arranging a rescue package and highlighted the difference between McGills situation and a company in the West of Scotland whom received six times the £2 million required by Mc Gills by way of a rescue package when there were less than 300 jobs at risk. Now it would appear that the multinational accountancy firm KPMG was instructed by Scottish enterprise to investigate a rescue process for the company but came to the conclusion that administration was the best option and then were actually appointed the administrators. To my mind this was a case of mixed allegiances and vested interests as you might know, the administration process can be very lucrative to the administrators. Now there is some suggestion that the presentation of future prospects given from Mc Gills to Scottish enterprise was not as complete as would have been expected but surely that was the job of KPMG at that point to make sure it was. Is it a coincidence that that presentation was probably the trigger point for them being appointed administrators?

So, questions to answer from both Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government, as the loss of this company obviously has severe repercussions for the local economy of Dundee and district.

Ok so a pint in my favourite hostelry and good to get back to some decent Scottish beer. Always good to travel and meet different people from different parts of the World, but always good to get back home again.

So, to all my friend where ever you be on this small and fragile planet of ours, have a good and peaceful weekend.

Remember this.

When in conflict with someone and before passing judgement, you must first walk a mile in HIS shoes.

Then if you still do not agree, then at least you are a mile away from him, and you have his shoes.