The World this week from Mennies

Thursday 12 May 2022

Been some time since I wrote a “The World This Week From Mennies” blog and there are various reasons for this . Mainly because I have been very busy at work but also because I have been totally dismayed and disappointed in what is going on in Scottish politics, and indeed world politics.

As for world politics, the main issue at present is Ukraine and dipping one’s tow into that toxic pond is to say the least a risk. However, because of the flood of misinformation emanating from media outlets like the BBC, ITV, and Skye, I decided to look at the big picture and offer a few suggestions as to the roots and causes of this conflict , without making any pretense as to being an expert on the situation, but offering a reasonably informed and researched common sense point of view.

So, let’s start with basics . This war ( or as Russia calls it, “special operation”) was avoidable. On Russia’s side it could have been avoided by acquiescing to America’s will and simply allowing NATO led by the US to continually move east ( despite previous agreements ) by recruiting new members of NATO, and thereby positioning nuclear weapons ever nearer Russia’s border. If Ukraine had become a member there could have been nuclear weapons based there that would have been within 7.5 minutes delivery to Moscow. Russia could also have stopped supporting the two, mainly Russian speaking countries in the Donbas area who had declared independence in 2014, Donetsk and Luhansk.

As for NATO, or let’s not beat about the bush,the US, they could have prevented this conflict by making it plain that Ukraine would not be admitted to NATO and they would support a special consideration in connection with the two breakaway regions in Donbas, again, as per previous agreements.

These agreements were made as far back as when the breakup of the Soviet Union was in progress and initially, they were made during discussions between Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton. These discussions were never transmitted into a formal treaty but were probably made at a time when world leaders could reach agreements that were expected to be upheld.

In 1993 there was an agreement termed the Budapest protocol in which Russia the US, Belarus ,Kazakhstan and Ukraine received assurances regarding security, but these assurances were tied to removal of nuclear weapons from each countries soil and also depended for implementation of an attack on each of these countries by nuclear weapons.

In 2014 there were various protests in Kiev and various other Ukrainian cities including Odessa. There were  strong suspicions that the US, CIA had a hand in them, It is a well-known CIA  tactic when manipulating regime change. This was called the Maidan protests or Euromaidan after the square in which most of the protests took place.  In Odessa the protests turned to civil unrest and resulted in a counter Maidan group being trapped in the trade union building which was set on fire by protesters who had been infiltrated by ultra-nationalists.

As a result of these  CIA sponsored protests the government stood down and was replaced by a pro-western ultra nationalist government, as a result of this the two states, Donetsk and Lugansk declared their independence.

As a result of the two states declaration of independence, Ukraine attempted to subdue both states by force, using ,in the main the Azov battalion who were originally a territorial regiment but were subsumed into the regular Ukrainian Army.

 Azov follow ultra-Nazi ideology and were responsible for many war crimes, including the shelling of civilian areas  in their attempts to retake the two breakaway provinces. Russia supported the two breakaway states.

In late 2014 a series of talks took place in Minsk, the outcome of which agreed on border security for Ukraine and also complete autonomy for the Donbas area. Ukraine never really stood by these agreements and in 2018 formally withdrew from them and sought membership of NATO.

This put Russia in the position of having no other option but to move to remove the threat that Ukraine and the west, were in the process of bringing to their border.

Make no mistake about this, this is a proxy war between the US and Russia fought in Ukraine. It is a war that the US will fight to the last Ukrainian. It is yet another war of the US to facilitate regime change, just as they did in Vietnam, Libya, Syria, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, bay of pigs( Cuba) Grenada, Panama, Iraq, etc, etc, etc. In doing so they have killed over 6 million innocent civilians and used chemical weapons with gay abandon ,in for example Vietnam ( agent orange). They are the only country to have used nuclear weapons, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Russia is not the cause of this human tragedy, no it is NATO, backed and led by the US. Putin is no doubt no Angel, but he is in my estimation doing what a leader should do, he is protecting the borders of his country against an aggressor, NATO.
Make your own mind up who is the aggressor from this map showing American bases surrounding Russia

American bases in relation to Russia

A Nautical Nomad

Wednesday 11 May 2022

Naples and Civitaveccia

Day 4 in my sojourn to southern sunny climes and yesterday I was in Naples. The name Naples means, New City. It is the third-largest city in Italy after Rome and Milan.
Naples is the centre for visiting places like Sorento, The isle of Capri and of course Pompei. I remember a few years back taking a private tour down the Amalfi coast to Sorento and then on to Pompei. Wonderful day and a bonus was, that the guy who was driving the car was a coach driver and had been to Scotland many times so we had something in common and it made for interesting discussions.

Always a war or a victory

When in Naples, it is obligatory to eat pizza as that is one of the things Naples is famous for, and rightly so, as it is wonderful. I of course, as always, conformed to custom and stopped at a streetside restaurant to indulge, a streetside Restaurant that I have frequented in the past when visiting with a special friend on a previous cruise.

The obligatory Naples Piza

One thing Naples is also famous for is the traffic which is horrendous and traffic regulations are obviously optional. This is shown in drivers’ attitudes to pedestrian crossings. What we in the civilized world call Zebra crossings. Now, I have no idea how a Zebra would get on crossing one of these roads but as far as humans are concerned it is extremely dangerous and whereas in the UK a pedestrian has right of way, in Italy crossing a pedestrian crossing is the Italian version of hunger games and a means by which the Italian government control population. In short, a pedestrian crossing is a government-sanctioned kill zone, so beware!

After a pleasant although dangerous day in Naples, back to the ship, dinner then a short visit to the disco before bed.

Coffee always nice in Italy

Today we are in Civitavecchia another name for the ancient town, a much more serene and safer town than Naples and a pleasure to have a quiet time sitting with a cappuccino and watching the world go by.

The Garage

Now you might be wondering as to the relevance of the photo above. Well, there is a story to this, and it goes back several years to one of my previous visits to Civitavecchia.

I was having a wander through the back streets as I am want to do on these trips and I came across this very place which is, or at least was at that time a garage. Now at that time, there was a rather large guy at work on a car and deeply engrossed in some problem under the bonnet. Now this fellow was of ample proportions and was obviously wearing a pair of ill-fitting trousers. This meant that as he was bending over the front of the car his trousers were somewhat revealing giving an opportunity for the photo of a lifetime.

Now it was rather difficult to discern whether what I was witnessing was a view of anatomy or a view of a contraption for parking a bicycle. Anyway, I decided to take a photo in the spirit of a bit of tongue in cheek humour.

Now the appliance I had at that time was a tablet and it was not a straightforward process to take photos with, so whilst trying to get this tablet set to take a photo. One of the two guys who were with the large mechanic looked over and realized what I was about to do and seemed to mention it to the mechanic.

Well, it would appear that the mechanic had an acute case of humour deficit syndrome, as he exploded into a tirade in some foreign language, quite possibly Italian. Now I do not speak Italian but between his tone, blood vessels on his face and the gesticulations with his hands and arms I did manage to get the impression that he was upset in some way and got the distinct impression that remaining in that vicinity could possibly result in a terminal outcome. I of course responded in the Scottish vernacular and there was quite a standoff.

I had of course pre-assessed the situation and was quite confident that I could have, if I necessary, outran the three of them quite easily, with the mechanics trousers in all probability falling down in the first few yards of the chase, however in the interest of Italia-Scotia relations and my own continuing good health I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew a short distance and around a corner to check to see how the photos had come out, only to find that they had not been taken at all.  

So, today I again found the garage but unfortunately, it was closed up. Perhaps the mechanic has moved to greener pastures and is now a cult figure on some bicycle parking manufacturer website or perhaps he has retired. Whatever he is doing now I wish him well.

Now before anyone asks if I make a habit of going around the world taking photos of men’s rear ends, I can assure you this was in all innocence, and solely in the interest of a twisted sense of humour.


A Nautical Nomad


A Nautical Nomad

9 May 2022

I haven’t posted for a while, in fact since my last wee trip to Spain and Portugal, but here I am again on my travels. This time it is from Barcelona going deeper into the Mediterranean sea than the last time, hopefully, the weather will be better and warmer.

So my trip started on Saturday with an overnight in Edinburgh at a guest house called Murry Park “Hotel” for some strange reason. I think it must be the first time I have stayed anywhere without seeing a single member of staff. There was a notice on the door with a phone number to contact, which I did and received instructions on the code to open the door whereby I found the key to my room in a bowl on the dresser. Oh well, a sign of the times I suppose.
So once settled in I headed to a nearby hotel for a meal and a couple of pints to set off the trip.

Sunday started at 03.00 with a walk to a nearby bus stop to catch the airport bus. Bang on time and a short trip along Cortsorfin Rd to the Airport. now I had heard that there were serious problems at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam where I had to change flights, so I was somewhat apprehensive regarding getting to the ship on time. However, although there was indeed a very long line at the passport control in Schiphol I managed to get through that and get to the gate in plenty of time. To all Brexiteers reading this, the line waiting on clearing non-EU passports took 40 minutes. The line for those with EU passports took 5 to 10 minutes. I don’t think there has ever been such a blatant exercise in self-harm in the history of the planet.

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Leaving Scotland

in the event, I arrived at Barcelona Airport about half an hour later than I would have, so not too bad at all. It has been some time since I sailed on the Epic, a very large ship and at one time one of the largest in the world. It takes around 4.5 thousand passengers, but these days some of the royal Caribbean ships take 6.5 thousand passengers, virtual floating cities. So boarded the ship around 15.00 and settled into the cabin which is a studio cabin. Pretty compact( small)

in the event, I arrived at Barcelona Airport about half an hour later than I would have, so not too bad at all. It has been some time since I sailed on the Epic, a very large ship and at one time one of the largest in the world. It takes around 4.5 thousand passengers, but these days some of the royal Caribbean ships take 6.5 thousand passengers, virtual floating cities. So boarded the ship around 15.00 and settled into the cabin which is a studio cabin. Pretty compact( small) but sufficient. unpacking did not take long as before I came I have repacked into a carry on suitcase as I had heard that one of the problems at Schiphol was the luggage and I did not want to get to the ship without my luggage. The last time I lost luggage was a number of years ago whilst cruising on the Concordia, yes the one that sank, nothing to do with me, as I was on it exactly a year before it sank and incidentally it was the only cruise ship I have been to that I did not get an emergency drill. So A few photos of the ship.

Pool deck in the evening


Sunset, day one as we head for Corsica

I had dinner at the buffet as it was an easy option and the choice of food was not bad. Then the obligatory tour of the bars and entertainment venues, one of which is the Cavern, dedicated to the Beatles, having a very acceptable Beatles tribute band.

The Beatles

It had been a long day but it was not yet complete without a visit to the disco. Where I showed the youngsters how to dance. After a 23 hour day, I found my bed a very welcome place to be.

Today we landed on Corsica which is a French island. Beautiful place and the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. I had a very leisurely wander around the town with of course the obligatory stop for a cappuccino, bliss. mA few photos of the town.

A morning cappuccino

Where Napoleon was born

Looking out over the town square

So to tonight, the ship has just left the pier and heading to Italy. Dinner then perhaps some Beatles music. Then possibly the disco. It has been a pleasant day.

A Nautical Nomad

Saturday 5 March 2022

Cruise Queen Elizabeth Spain and Portugal 6 to 18 March 2022

Well folks, back on my travels and this time on Queen Elizabeth for the first time. Been on the other two ships in the Cunard fleet several times QM2 and the Victoria.

Started yesterday afternoon with a trip through to the airport in the Xplore airport shuttle, compliments of the Scottish government, using my travel card.

One night in the Hilton Airport hotel decent meal and a couple of pints to start off the trip.

Cold night looking out towards the Airport

Last trip was in November if my memory serves me well and that was to the Caribbean.

Wee bit different this time, as I am heading to Spain and Portugal on the good ship Queen Elizabeth of the Cunard fleet.

Very British but owned by the American company, Carnival , as are a good selection of cruise lines sailing the seven seas. Lines like Princess, Seabourn, P&O and Holland America.

First time on the Queen Elizabeth but have sailed many times on the QM2 and once on the Victoria.

Cunard was started by Samuel Cunard in 1840 and although it became a very British line, he was in fact a Canadien, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia ( new Scotland ) Cunard started as a small ferry’s shipping company before expanding into ocean going liners.

At one time they carried live cows to supply fresh milk and the unfortunate animals were slaughtered and eaten by the guests on the last two days of the voyage.

So after an exceptional intense and busy period in the business, I am glad to be on my travels once again.Last nigh in the Hilton at Edinburgh airport with an early flight this Morning to Southampton. A night here and board on tomorow, for a trip which takes in Spain and Portugal with an overnight in Lisbon. A great city which holds many memories for me.

Early rise this morning and a cold morning it was, through check in and security. Cup of coffee at Costa and boarding more or less on time.

However, once on board there was a dely as the plane had to be de-iced ( or at least that was what they told us) which meant over an hour waiting on the tarmack with the door open and no heating on, bloody freezing. Just as well I was not boarding today.

Unaventfull flight, landing in Southampton an hour and a half late

Arriving at Southampton

Taxi to the Star hotel which is not exactly the most selubrious hotel I have ever stayed in but I have slept in worse places, however the last time I did, the government were paying me to do it.

The room is about the size of a large wardrobe and it has quite an unusual toiletry arrangement see below, no doubt brought about by the managements concern for guests egerness to get out of the room as soon as possible. The WC is situated in the shower cubical so you can save time by having a s**t at the same time as having a shower.

So once I get this wee blog finishged I will have a look round for a place to eat as ( surprise, surprise) the hotel does not serve dinners.

Tomorow is set to be a wee bit of a challenge as I recieved an email from Cunard to say that the ship had to be diverted because of a medical issue and would be late back to port which means that I will have to lug my luggage arround for the best part if the day until the re-scheduled check in time.
I must appologise at this point for possible spelling mistakes as the spell check has decised to stop working and I am dyslexic, sorry 😦

So out into the wilds of a Saturday night in Southampton.


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

The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 23 October 2021

I am getting tired of saying it

Yes indeed, I am getting very tired in saying it and that is “the SNP and Scottish government are not doing the job they were elected to do”. The person responsible is Nicola Sturgeon. She took over from Alex Salmond in 2014 after the last referendum and one if her first actions as leader of the SNP and Scottish government was to expunge all mention of independence.

Yes believe it or not that is exactly what she did. The reasoning behind it according to several politicians I know was to prove that Scotland could be governed well and then people would then turn towards independence.

I will say that again in a slightly different form and see what you think. “prove that Scotland can be governed well within the union and people will turn towards independence” Can you see just how stupid that statement is? That believe it or not was what they Sturgeon was trying to make us believe.

I have not had the inclination to do much blogging lately, for two reasons first one is that I have been insanely busy in the family business and the second reason is that I am simply fed up saying the same things day after day and year after year.

In fact I have been casting doubts on Nicola Sturgeons abilities and commitment almost ever since she was elected. This has led me to the inescapable conclusion that she is either mind numbingly stupid or, more likely has been working against independence ever since the first day she took office.

As an example of my persistent warnings I append a Facebook posting I did on 23 October 2015. Now please do not get me wrong. I am not trying in any way to suggest the Nicola Sturgeon actually does call a referendum, for two very good reasons. The first reason is that if she did then it would be only to deliberately scupper any chance we had and the result would almost certainly be another no.

The second reason is that a referendum is neither the best not the most effective way to gain independence and as I suggested in the appended blog from 6 years ago, a far better and mire direct method would be through a plebiscitary election.

Have a wee read of the Facebook piece I wrote in 2015 and with a straight face, tell me I was wrong .

Have a good weekend folks no matter where you be on this fragile planet of ours.


23 October 2015
  · New York, NY, United States  · Shared with Public


So we now have English votes for English Laws , passed in the Westminster Parliament. Now I am abroad at the moment and perhaps not as tuned in to what is going on as I would like, so I would like to be corrected if I am wrong, but I cannot find much outrage expressed by either the SNP or the Scottish government.

Now this has been on the cards since the day after the referendum and therefore the SNP and the Scottish Government have had plenty of time to do two things (1) Formulate a policy commensurate with the implications which follow from this decision of the Westminster Parliament and (2) have had time to properly investigate the constitutional position regarding the Act Of Union and depriving Scottish MP’s of their rights under this arrangement.

I have briefly looked at act Of Union, from a very basic layman point of view and on the surface, it would appear that there is an automatic provision for dissolution , in the event of either side being disfranchised by the removal of equal representation in the Parliament.

Now ,as I say , I am very much an amateur in this field but the Scottish government is not ( or shouldn’t be) so I and I am sure, many others would like to see what provision our Government have made for this eventuality and what conclusions have been arrived at.

Again I could be wrong but I have a certain unease at the seeming lack of outrage expressed by our representatives in the Scottish Government, the Westminster Parliament and the SNP.

I would also like to know the situation this presents regarding a future referendum or indeed what I and others have been advocating for a considerable time with regards to a manifesto of independence being presented to the Scottish people next May by all the independence minded parties at the Scottish Parliamentary Elections to be held next May. In the event of all the independence parties collectively receiving a majority then I cannot see this being seen as other than a democratic expression of the will of the people.

What ever the case , it is obvious that the British Parliamentary system is now broken beyond repair and independence is now more inevitable than ever, all it needs is a willingness of the people who have been given our trust.