The World This week from Mennies.

Saturday 27 November 2021

Scotland is independent, Why do our leaders not know this?

I have said this before and I will say it again, Scotland is an independent country. We are an independent country joined to the rest of the UK by a ( theoretically) free choice made in the lead up to the act of union enacted in 1707.

This choice although not made in what we would now call a democratic manner, was made using the political system we had at the time and that was by a small group of people set up as representatives of the people.

It was an agreement made between two sets of pseudo-democratic politicians, neither of which would fulfil the definition of democracy by today’s standards.

As far as I can see, there was nothing in the act of union that extinguished Scotland as a nation, in fact, there is a provision in the act for the situation to be reversed if either country wishes that to happen.

Scotland retained its own legal system and education system, although the education system was subsequently heavily influenced by the larger partner in the arrangement, England and that is obvious even today by the inclusion of “English” as a subject in the educational curriculum. Remember, in 1707 both Galic and Scots were the main languages used in Scotland.

There is no doubt that Scotland was always treated like a colony, but it could be held that that was through choice by large sections of the population, although, remember too that after 1707 there were several uprisings in 1708, 1715, 1719 and 1745. The 1745, being the most successful of them all but it should be noted that the turning point in this uprising was when the Scottish army reached Darby, where they turned back. And having looked at that uprising for some time now, to me it draws parallels with what is happening now.

In the 1745 uprising, the clans were gathered and rose to the standard of Charles Edward Stewart based on the attainment of freedom for Scotland and were very successful in defeating the English armies of occupation, within Scotland. However, once the army moved south and into England, it would appear that the highlanders and indeed lowlanders in the forces of Prince Charlie realized that the agenda was not exactly what they had been led to believe and they were being used to usurp the crown of England, therefore by the time they reached Darby there was great consternation within the army as to exactly what they were doing so far south in England.

A parallel could be drawn here in relation to why our Westminster MPs are still in England after achieving an almost total Scottish majority in 2015.

Regardless of how this union was looked upon by England from 1707, and it is obvious that this was as a takeover, the actual act of union was never altered and therefore to my mind still exists as an agreement to cooperate, similar to the EU agreement, giving either party the right to remove itself from the agreement when it becomes obvious that the arrangement is not working for that partner. Exactly as was the situation with the EU.

Now again drawing a parallel with the 45 uprising, the people of Scotland are becoming fed up with the situation where we have a vast majority of Scottish MPs in London doing not a single useful thing for Scotland and a leader in Scotland who was more intent in saving England from the follies of Brexit than she was for Saving Scotland from the harm that leaving the EU would do to Scotland. This could have been done by ending the voluntary union.

So just in the same way as  Charles Edward Stuart became a traitor to Scotland when he crossed the border into England with a Scottish army, so is Nicola Sturgeon by allowing Scottish members of the Westminster Parliament to waste a vast Scottish majority by remaining in the Westminster parliament without using that majority to annul the act of union.

It is not a case that Scotland should have to gain its independence, all it should be doing is asserting its independence and removing itself from an unequal union.

It is actually, as simple as that and the only person who is preventing that is Nicola Sturgeon. There is no doubt in my mind that she and the politicians who support her illogical policies are traitors to Scotland.

Scotland never lost its independence through the act of union. It is still independent.                       


A Nautical Nomad

Friday 26November 2021

So, here I am aboard the Britannia, after a horrendous week of trying to get various tests booked and completed together with a constant barrage of emails from P&O telling me that they can’t wait to welcome me on board, “but here are just a few more pieces of information” to make you feel even more uncomfortable, such as if you should contact Covid we may put you ashore on one of the islands.

Wow, really! Now some of these islands are not exactly up there in the top ten countries with a highly developed health care system, in fact, some of them have raw sewage running down the street gully’s en-route to the nearest river where it flows untreated into the Caribbean Sea, quite often at a beach where tourist gaily frolic in the surf.

The last email with “a few last-minute details” was 16 pages long. So, anyway, after quite a stressful week I made it through to the airport and settled in at the Premier Inn which is situated right next to the terminal building at the airport. Perfectly reasonable and clean accommodation and at £44 a very reasonable price for an airport hotel. Dropped my case in the room and walked across to the airport to check where I had to go the next Morning to be once again tested before boarding the plane, to find that the covid testing centre did not open until 7 AM and my information pack was telling me that I should be there by 5 AM, oops. This did not give me a high level of confidence as to what was to unfold the next day.

First time flying with TUI, once Thompson good flight

However, back to the hotel for dinner and an early night and to be honest, the next morning went like clockwork. The testing centre was open at 5 and the testing procedure was carried out very efficiently, followed by a seamless checking in process.

The flight was long but good, with reasonable in-flight meals. A bonus was that I had three seats to myself, so was able to stretch out and get some sleep, heaven. The next stop was Barbados, where the efficiency was continued with a seamless transfer to the ship, involving disembarkation from the plane and straight on to coaches which were parked on the apron, with no need to go through the terminal buildings.

This is only the second time I have sailed with P&O. The first time I left with a not very high impression of them and one of the main reasons for trying them again was the price and the length of trip and of course the Caribbean. My reasons for the low opinion I gathered the first time, were mixed, the main one being the imposed Britishness. It was things like every deck was named after a colony of the British Empire. There was always a “curry of the day” on the menu. The Union Jack is emblazoned over the front of the ship. The food was very British and therefore generally bland with not a lot of choice.

Yup very British

One of the main things that kind of put me off was the discussions with fellow passengers. Now let me say here that I have no problem whatsoever with people expressing honestly held views, but the distinct impression I got was, that there were a lot of uninformed opinions going about looking for someone to attach themselves to and for some reason that generally was me, therefore there was a lot of re-education went on as to the viability of Scotland as an independent country.

Anyway, enough of that and I am here with an open mind as to any improvements in P&O who are, by the way, anything but a British company as they are owned by Carnival, an American company, as are Cunard, another “very British” Cruise line. The Britishness is a branding, which, to be honest, seems to work.

So, after settling in, I made my way out into Bridgetown which is the capital town of Barbados. Barbados was a colony of Britain, and it became independent in 1966. It has taken them a considerable time to shake of the effects of being governed by another country, but they seem to be getting on their feet. I have been in Barbados several times over the last 20 years and during that time I have seen steady improvements. When they became independent, they, like other ex-colonies kept the Queen as their head of state, however, they have now decided to become a republic and this I believe becomes official by the end of this year.

One thing I have noticed in the Caribbean, that is the difference between islands that have been ruled over by Britain and ones that have been part of other empires such as France and Holland. The French and Dutch islands are prosperous and have very good infrastructures, whereas the once owned British islands, are generally very poor and underdeveloped, the exceptions being islands like Bermuda and the Camen islands, which are tax havens.

A few bottles of Banks beer, local and very nice

So, after a wander through Bridgetown which is generally safe except for an area of a few streets ( which I couldn’t find), I settled for a bar on the way back to the ship where I partook of a few bottles of Banks beer which is a local brew and very nice too, before heading back to the ship by 10PM which is the curfew limit in Barbados.

Saturday was hot and I took advantage of the additional day in Bridgetown to further explore and re-acquaint myself with the town, stopping again at the same bar for some re-hydration before heading back to the ship, whereby, onboard I joined in a dance lesson followed by dinner and ended up in the disco. A good start to the holiday with the ship heading for Curacao in the Dutch Antilles.    

Ships Atrium

The World This Week From Mennies

Thursday 25 November 2021

The phenomena of Nicola Sturgeon

When Nicola Sturgeon’s tenure as First Minister is looked back on, it will be as a phenomenon ( an unexplained happening). Her popularity is certainly on the decline and rightly so, but how she arrived at such a level of popularity will be a mystery.

Her ascension started on the back of the bitter disappointment at the loss of the referendum and I can only surmise that at that point, her loyal following wilfully embedded into their psyche, an adoration state way above any logical or rational level.

From there on people would find it difficult to withdraw from that intoxicated state of mind, regardless of the disaster she was about to become in regard to both fulfilling her propose in life as the leader of the SNP and first minister of Scotland, a country governed on a mandate of gaining independence.

Not only has she presided over a shambles of an administration, reference covid handling and the seeding of retirement homes with infected patients, Fergusons shipbuilding shambles, Alex Salmond conspiracy, etc, etc, etc, and neglect of the cause of independence, but she has also strived to insert policies specifically designed to split any independence vote. Policies such as Named person legislation, Hate crime bill, Gender recognition bill and the introduction of what can only be termed subliminal Child grooming and attempted normalisation of unnatural and dangerous sexual activity, again in children.

Add to this, the attempted destruction of woman’s rights in connection with safe places being shared with men self-identifying as women, and you have a huge question mark over why it has taken so long for her popularity to drop.
One of the reasons of course could be the people she is being compared to, as in Scotland and indeed the UK, as far as politicians go there is not a high bar to reach. We have people like Boris Johnston who rambles on about Peppa Pig during speeches, Kier Starmer who is probably more of a Tory than most of the MP’s on the Tory benches.

I really do not believe history will be kind to Nicola Sturgeon and she deserves nothing less than an honest condemnation of her failures, which mount up by the day. If she is lucky she will get a mention of the baby box, an idea she borrowed from the Scandinavian countries.

A Nautical Nomad

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Ok, so a wee while since I did a Nautical Nomad blog, the last being on my travels around the coast of Croatia and Malta.

This cruise finds me in the Caribbean and being here made me think of another great explorer Christopher Columbus (tongue in cheek) as it was in this area where he first landed after leaving Spain in August 1492 and arriving in what is now the Bahamas, landing on an island he named San Salvadore, after a
trip of two months, before sailing through the Caribbean.

Now this is where I am now and the difference from Chris and me is that I knew where I was going. You see, Chris thought he was heading for Asia and in particular India and indeed although he completed four expeditions, he never really realised that the large land mass that kept getting in the way of his passage
to India was in fact the Americas.

One of the main things that Chris discovered was that he was not much of a navigator, when he sailed around Cuba, he thought he had reached China. He sailed around the Caribbean for several months looking for riches to take back to his sponsors in Spain, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

He landed on an island called Hispaniola, now called Haiti and the Dominican Republic. I have been to both places and the poverty is heartbreaking.

One of the things that marked Chris’s travels was the violence killing and torture that he brought to wherever he landed. He wrote himself in his diaries that the people were invariably peaceful and did not possess weapons. He changed that and after leaving a party of colonists to develop Hispaniola and
return to Spain, he returned some months later to find that all the colonists he had left been slaughtered by the peaceful inhabitants. He had obviously learned them something.

Now one of the big differences between Columbus’s travels and mine in the Caribbean is that I make a point of killing and torturing as few of the locals as possible, I also, as matter of principal take very few slaves back to Scotland with me.

At one point the news of Columbus’s excesses reached Spain and the king sent a governor to Hispaniola to investigate the reports of brutality and cruelties, this resulted in Chris being sent back to Spain in chains, only to be released shortly after and sent back again. It is estimated that the local tribe the Taino, was reduced from something in the region of 250,000 to several hundred
within a few years.

So, all in all Columbus was not exactly a pillar of good. He did however open up the south American continent to Spain, making it at the time the most wealthy country in the world.

So back to my travels and I have kind of digressed and ran out of time as I have a few islanders to pack into the hold of the ship before dinner in connection with a new venture I have embarked upon  related to Brexit. A few weeks ago, I was speaking to a farmer in Mennies and he was complaining vigorously that because of Brexit he was extremely short of workers. Ok, I thought following in Columbus footsteps I would take back a few workers’ to test the market as they are well used to working in the open and would amply stand up to the searing temperatures we experience in open fields of Scotland, so hopefully this trip
can pay itself.

Oh, and one more thing, when was the last time you heard the name Hispaniola? Well, wasn’t that the name of the ship that sailed to Treasure Island in the Robert Lewis Stevenson book “Treasure Island” I wonder if the treasure island Stevenson had in mind was indeed Haiti? It was certainly
Columbus’s treasure island.


The World This week from Mennies

Saturday 13 November 2021

Day to day stuff
COP 26 Climate conference and Nicola Sturgeon
The Ghost of JF Kennedy.
Boris, the dangerous clown.

Day to day stuff

Well another week in and a busy one at that, business-wise with ever-changing requirements in the automotive industry, it is a constant challenge to keep abreast of modern-day requirements.
The last few weeks have seen, the setup and commissioning of the new paint and body shop, the installation of a new 25 Ton vehicle hoist, Jamie’s accreditation to stage four ( highest level) of electric vehicle technology and also ADAS, which is vehicle radar systems connected with driver-assist systems and will eventually lead to driverless vehicles.
We also took delivery and installation of dealer-level Ford diagnostic equipment.
We continue our close association with Asda and Morrisons, super-markets in the servicing and maintenance of their home delivery fleets, where we cover most of Scotland.
So all in all a very busy couple of months. This accounts for the lack of blogs of late, so I apologise to my vast following for that omission, the whole three of you.

COP 26 Climate conference and Nicola Sturgeon

Some of you might not have noticed but we have had a huge conference in Glasgow over the last two weeks. A conference, attended by hundreds of delegates together with their entourages amounting to many thousands of people all brought here on numerous forms of transport, mainly aeroplanes which are among the worst contributors to global warming. Believe it or not, the conference was on, err, global warming, and to make matters worse, held in the middle of a pandemic, in a country where the new infections are totally out of hand and with a Scottish government who do not have a clue how to control it. So try if you may, to make sense of that.
As if all that was not bad enough, we had the unedifying sight of our glorious first minister who was in the huff because Boris the clown did not invite her to the conference, prancing about having selfies taken with people she deemed important in order to fill in her resume for the next job she applies for when she is finally found out as a fraud in the independence movement.

Nicola and a very important person, I am sure, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria

The Ghost of JF Kennedy.

Once again the restless specter of JF Kenedy has arisen in the form of another documentary from Oliver Stone in a sequel to his box office hit in 1991, JFK. This one is called through a looking glass and lays out the possible involvement of the CIA in the assasination, presenting evidence that an assasination was planned in several alternative cities, again using people associated with the CIA.
The CIA have long been a government within a government and have been the cause of untold misery and death in the various theatres throughout the world in which they have been involved. Kenedy had sworn to cut them down to size and paid the price for it.

Boris, the dangerous clown.

Jonston, the village idiot is at it again, bumbling through the governess of what is slowly becomming a failed state. His latest venture was to change the law so that one if his Tory pals could be forgiven for misleading parliment regarding paid lobbying. Unfortunately he has found his bumbling has opened a can of worms, with second job Tories making hundreds of thousands of pounds in aternative ventures instead if looking after their constituents welfare. As usual , Jonston was not in parliment to hear the row and instead decided to visit a hospital somewhare. Surely there must be a village somewhere, looking for an idiot, that he can be safely retired to.

And now to the rest of the weekend and a pint in Mennies, with, No doubt, an involvement in some lively political discussion.
So to my friends the World over, have a good weekend and remember .
Every day is a new page in your book of life
You have a choice
You can simply read it
Or you can write it