The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 9 October 2021

A leader way past her selling date

I write this blog tonight as a sign of sheer frustration at the way Nicola Sturgeon has misled the independence movement over the last 7 years .

Relatively recently, many of what are termed the indy bloggers have been saying much the same as myself and thrown grave doubts on the commitment and abilities of Nicola Sturgeon to fulfill her remit as the leader of the party of independence.
I append a blog I wrote on the 4th May 2016, which was a letter I wrote to Nicola Sturgeon, and this was not the first time I had thrown doubt on her commitment and abilities, no, I had had grave misgivings since 2015 not long after Nicola was crowned Queen of the SNP and de-facto leader of the independence movement.

You might note that the theme is very similar to the many accusations that are being made today on the veracity of Nicola Sturgeons tenure as leader, as even then she was “at it” dangling carrots before an election.

The event described in the blog was a supposedly public meeting, held in a meeting room of the Queens hotel addressed by Nicola Sturgeon, at which I walked out, coincidently , the same room that I had the confrontation with Jeremy Corbyn when he came to Dundee to tell us that he was not to be authorizing any section 30 derogation of the Scotland act to “allow” a referendum on independence to take place.

My point is this. How many carrots does it take before people wake up to the fact that independence will never be achieved with Nicola Sturgeon at the head of the SNP and Scottish government. Just yesterday she was laying the ground for yet another carrot in the run up to next years local authority elections.
The faithful really need to wake up, remember this was 2016

A Nautical Nomad

Tuesday 21 September 2021

I append below a posting I did in 2017 as a result of sheer boredom as I waited to see just how the captain would avoid the Hurricane we had been heading into and trying to avoid for several days. Then like now was very near to the anniversary of the attacks on the twin towers in 9/11. The incident I related, happened only a few weeks after 9.11.

12 September 2017

Day 13 of my trip and another sea day as we head on an ever-changing course towards New York. The hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm and we are about to enter its actual area of effect. The Captain eventually went back to the original plan of sailing in a southerly direction, thereby skirting the lower edge and we are now on a North-West heading. We should reach New York around 8 Am on Friday and I will be glad to get ashore as it feels as though we have been at sea for ever.

Ok, so as there has been not a lot happening on the ship, I will recount an interesting travel incident going back to 2001 which has relevance to an anniversary just passed, 9/11.Now as you will no doubt remember, September 11, 2001 was when the terrorist attack took place on the twin towers in New York when two planes flew into two of the three buildings which collapsed.

A few weeks after this event I travelled to new York to see a friend, and I remember going to the check in desk at Edinburgh Airport and the young lady asking if I had a seating preference as there was plenty of room on the flight (not surprising after recent events), I said to her “well, if there are any Arabs on the flight I want to sit right behind them,” She gave me one of these reapproving looks and a wry smile.

From that day on I have always taken an aisle seat. So, after a pleasant few days in New York I found myself in Newark Airport waiting for my flight to return to Scotland via Amsterdam, as I had booked through KLM. There was a delay in boarding, which is not that unusual, but once boarded there was further delay and a lack of information as to the cause of the delay.

After about an hour the Captain announced that there would be a further delay and the cause was that during the previous flight a turbine fin had become detached from one of the jet engines and they would have it replaced and we would get on our way.

Now I am anything but an engineer but I do now the basics of how a jet engine works, to the extent that one of the functions of the turbine fins is to cool the engine, and this happens by drawing cold air through the engine. Therefore, if a fin had become detached then it had probably went straight through the engine cavity, quite possibly causing other damage, making the repair something other than a quick fix and certainly not a repair that should be completed and then tested in the air with over three hundred people on board.

I called over, a flight attendant and asked to speak to her superior as I was not happy with what I had just heard. She of course tried to reassure me but under pressure agreed to get the chief steward. Eventually, he arrived and in a very squeaky voice, enquired as to what the problem was. I told him that I was off the opinion that we should be allowed to disembark whilst this repair was carried out and the plane properly tested before allowing passengers to re-board. He was of course insistent that there was no problem. I insisted on speaking to someone in a managerial position as I was not happy with the situation.

Eventually after much debate he went off to consult someone else from Northwest airlines which was the partner airline to KLM, whose plane we were on. By this time, we had been on the plane for over two hours and people were becoming very annoyed and many of them were making their dissatisfaction known to the staff. After some time, the Stewart returned to say that someone from Northwest would speak to me but it would take some time for him to get there. So, we waited and waited.

After about another hour they decided to serve a meal. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that they provided us with stainless steel cutlery. Yes, only a few weeks after 9/11 here was an airline handing out knifes on an airplane, a few miles from where it had all happened. They were in effect handing out “do it yourself hi-jacker kits” The attackers at 9/11 had used craft knifes to kill the crew.

I again called for the chief Stewart and enquired as to whether this was part of some weird reality television show and insisted that he expedite the appearance of the airline representative. Meanwhile I took photos of the staff handing out the “do it yourself hi-jacker kits” being careful to remove the photo card in the camera and replace it with another one.

Eventually, and after we had been on the plane for about 4 hours the Stewart came along and told me to come to the front of the plane where someone would talk to me. I had of course appraised some of the people near where I was sitting of the situation and there was a lot of concern at how things were being handed.

My concern was that there was the possibility that I might have ended up spending more time in New York than I had planned. So I was taken to the front of the plane along the gangway where there was a guy who introduced himself as the New York manager of Northwest Airlines who looked rather annoyed.

Quite brusquely he said “I believe you have a problem” “ I believe it is you who have the problem , in fact you seem to have two problem’s” I said “ firstly you are carrying out fairly major repairs on a plane filled with passengers with the intention of testing it in mid-air with the passengers on it and secondly you have just issued everyone on the plane with do it yourself hi-jacker kits, so who has the problem”?

There followed a rather ill-tempered exchange with both of us using some pretty straight forward language and him demanding that I hand over the photos I took of the staff handing out the offending articles. I refused.

I explained that he should allow the people to disembark and wait in comfort while the repair was carried out and then test run the engines before allowing the people back on again, meanwhile taking the opportunity to get rid of the planes stock of weapons which they had been freely handing out.

At one point he said “ well ,if you are not happy, you can leave the flight but you will be responsible for making your own arrangements to get back to the UK “ my response was, “I have a better idea , why don’t you go and F**k yourself because the only way I am leaving this plane is with everyone else while you get it properly repaired and tested”

At that point I was pretty sure that he would have me arrested to get rid of the problem but just at that point there was a commotion behind us at the doorway to the plane and the chief Stewart whose squeaky voice has gone up a few octaves seemed to be trying to stave off a lynching, which he seemed to be object of.

A number of people had come down to the front of the plane to find out what was happening and I discovered later that what had precipitated it was an answer to a query by one of them as to where I was, the attendant commenting that she thought I wouldn’t be coming back.

So, a look of complete panic came over the managers face when he saw that things were not quite going to plan and in fact the good old American Cavalry had arrived. It did not help when I looked at him and with as straight a face as I could, said, “ok your move”

He asked if I would get them to go back to their seats whilst he considered the situation and would make an announcement very soon. I went back in to the plane got them to settle down and after about 10 minutes the pilot announced that they would disembark whilst they completed the repair on the engine whereupon they would take the plane away for testing and only when they were absolutely sure everything was ok would they re-board the plane.

We disembarked and went into the departure lounge. We could look out on the plane where it became apparent why they did not want us to see what was happening because they had a scaffold up to and surrounding the engine and there was a squad of men busily working inside the engine.

After the repair was completed they took the plane away and presumably ran up the engines to test them before allowing us to re-board. On the flight, we had plastic cutlery with our meal. As you can see, a rather bored Captain Pugwash, heading for the Big Apple.

And a rather bored Captain Pugwash bobbing up and down near the entrance to the harbor at Victoria on Gozo Malta. Packing mostly done and looking forward to a 4 o’clock rise tomorrow to be transported to the Airport on mainland Malta and a long day ahead.

It has been a good trip although restricted somewhat by necessary precautions. Viking cruises, would I do another one ? Yes I think I would, and tomorrow I am heading back to the best wee country on the planet


A Nautical Nomad

Friday 17 September 2021


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

One of the pools and a great refuge from the heat

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

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

Dubrovnik, Croatia

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

The Croatian Navy’s first “battleship”

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

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

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

Coming into the old town of Dubrovnik

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

One of the many churches in Dubrovnik

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

16th century ramparts looking out to the Adriatic sea

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

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

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

A Nautical Nomad

Tuesday 14 September 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beautiful cabin

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

A view of Valletta Harbor from the ship

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

Another of the “gifts” to Malta from Britain

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

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

A beer to counter the heat

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

A nice capachino and watching the world go by

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

Excellent menu

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

Valletta by night

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

The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 4 September 2021

Holyrood or Reichstag
Brexit and independence

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

Holyrood or Reichstag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brexit and independence

So back to Ian my new found farmer friend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He had to concede that was a fair point.

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


The World This week from Mennies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Err, actually, someone did.

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


The World this week from Mennies

Friday 20August 2021

Sturgeon and the Greens, Afghanistan.

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

Sturgeon and the Greens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 7 August 2021

Sturgeon is no Bruce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Posting of 6th August 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They need to wake up and smell the coffee.

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

The World This week from Mennies

Saturday 31 July 2021

The Banana republic of Scotland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The World This Week From Mennies

Saturday 24 July 2021

Who should have a vote on independence,

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

Who should vote on a countries independence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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