The World this week from Mennies

Another week almost to an end and yet again an extremely busy week in business with our latest project, which is the renovation of our 92 seat Skyliner coach coming to fruition with a first time pass at the testing station. Well done Jamie and the team.


Tonight will be the last Saturday evening I will travel home from Mennies to Lisheen, the house I have lived in for over 30 years ,in a village I have lived in for over half a century. It seems like yesterday, when as a young Man of only 19 years I embarked upon what was a massive project for me at the time which was to build my first home in the village of Auchterhouse. A massive project, not least for the reason that I had the princely sum of £10 in the bank at the time. Not much in the bank monetary wise but a huge deposit account of belief and endeavour, in one’s ability to overcome any hurdle that life was to throw in my way, and believe you me, there have been hurdles aplenty during that half century of an interesting and challenging life.


Over the last few weeks I have been clearing out the house in preparation for the move and I have filled to capacity, a 14 cubic meter skip along with burning probably in the region of a ton of papers which contain many memories. I had a few wry smiles as I went through the court documents of the many court cases I carried out myself, as in Scotland it is permissible for ordinary citizens to bring or defend cases in the district or Sheriff courts. The building industry is renowned for bad debt customers, and I carried out many cases on my own account much to the chagrin of many of the Dundee lawyers, who were generally pretty upset when I won against them. Of all the cases I ever carried out on my own behalf I only ever lost one of them. I remember a lawyer once said to me, “I have seen you take these small claims cases and up to now I have never been aware of you losing any, how do you do it?” “Quite simple really” I said “I have never taken out a case that I was not on the right side of the law in “I have many stories of my court wrangles but perhaps that is for another blog.

So, all of this was going through my mind as I bundled these records containing all of these memories into the skip and by the end of this coming week, the Auchterhouse phase of my life will be at an end, a new page will have begun and a favourite saying of mine will be appropriate.


Every day is a new page in your life story

You have a choice

You can simply read it

Or you can write it


I fully intend keeping on writing pages for some time to come.


So not had much time for too many views on the World this week, except a couple.


The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented the budget this week which was in the main a lot of wishful thinking which will have to be revised anyway in a few weeks when the final Brexit deal (or no deal) becomes apparent. However, one thing was to me very important and that was the raising of the upper tax threshold to 50K , meaning that the Scottish governments threshold of 43K  will leave many in Scotland worse off than their equivalent in England. Now there are many people saying that they will willingly pay the additional tax in the hope of better services. Well, I do not believe them, and the problem is that now because of the SNP’s insistence on gaining additional but limited powers through the Smith commission they are playing keep up with the Jones’s and the people most affected by this disparity are the very people we need to turn from no to yes in the fight for independence, that is the middle to upper earners and people with a private pension who have drawdown arrangements in place. I warned against having anything to do with the Smith commission and now it is coming home to roost.


Lastly, there is oor Donald, at it again, trying to out-Fascist the Fascists with his attitude towards a pathetic group of desperate and poor people, hopefully making a pilgrimage towards the border with the US, in the very slim hope of gaining entry and asylum from what ails them back home. So, what does Donald do? Does he arrange for increased border facilities to process these pathetic beings into rightful categories of legality as required under international law? No, he sends an army together with tanks and heavy equipment to confront this throng of human misery.


There is no point in trying to describe the disgust in the World over the action of a man whose own Mother came from a Scottish island which was affected by the Highland clearances. I can but direct Donald to a plaque on the base of the Statue of Liberty.


Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Emma Lazarus will be turning in her grave and  lady Liberty will be shedding a tear today.


So enough of the doom and gloom, tonight is the last Saturday I will be going home to Auchterhouse from Mennies so I raise my glass to half a century of endeavour, planning, worry ,fear, victory , defeat, but always excitement and effort. To my friends wherever you be in this fragile planet of ours. Have a good and safe weekend.




The World this Week from Mennies

Hard to believe that another week is almost at an end, and an interesting week it was, with Daft Donald moving towards cancelling an agreement with Russia on medium range nuclear armaments. He certainly is surrounded by illogical warmongers such as John Bolton, no doubt with stakes in the arms industry. Mind you I suppose that in the very remote event that The US is forced to suspend arms sales to the regime of monsters in Saudi Arabia, then I suppose they will still have to keep the republican sponsors happy with more manufactured threats from Russia meaning a boost to the armaments industry

Meanwhile Monsters Incorporated better known as the Saudi Arabian dictatorship have owned up to the murder of Khashoggie being premeditated, which is an improvement from “he was in a fight and so we thought it would be a good idea if we dismembered his body whilst he was still alive, but in mitigation, he was only alive part of the time.” It is good that the EU (apart from the UK) has decided to impose an arms embargo on this despicable state.


Still in the states, there has been multiple acts of terrorism aimed at prominent democrats and I am sure Donald is desperately looking for a Muslim, or at the very least a black person to blame it on. Hold the press, it has been discovered that there was a Russian in the USA at the time and he had access to the postal service so obviously it must have been him. I am sure Donald will be considering yet another US base near the Russian border to make it something like, 65. Mind you Russia has, err, no bases near the US.

To be honest, it you take the fact that there are US elections coming up, and no bomb has gone off, if I were Donald, I would be seriously considering a false flag scenario. I am quite sure there are nutters on both sides of the fence in the US, a good proportion of them in the security services.


Hold the press, it has just been announced that a guy has been arrested on suspicion that he was involved in sending these bombs and guess what ? He is neither Russian or Muslim, hell, he isn’t even black. In fact , he is a republican. Whoops, Donald now how did that happen? “Well you know , we have all the best people , we have the very best people”


Here in Scotland we had the nauseating sight of US TV host, Larysa Switlyk posing with a dead goat she just shot on the island of Islay and, revelling in its death. It is one thing killing to eat but another to kill for the joy of killing a harmless creature. What kind of weird satisfaction can that woman get out of that?


So to Brexit ,and as we draw nearer the cliff edge like a bunch of Lemmings, we still have a comatose government in Westminster without a clue how to complete negotiations with  neither the EU or the world trade Organisation whose membership are not all in favour of allowing the UK favourable trading terms. More especially Latvia whose sports team were refused visas by the right wing bampots who were trying to beat their chests and show just how anti-Jonny foreigner they really were. Well Theresa, it is coming back to bite, not only you, but the whole of the UK, so thank you very much and confidence in your ability to look after the interests of the UK is dropping faster than the US stock market.


Back to Scotland again and the SNP the champions of independence (only kidding) are back on the trail of being anti Brexit and are finally coming out in support of a peoples vote to cancel Brexit. Yes, they had a policy for a considerable time of not supporting another referendum on EU membership. I wrote a blog about it some Months ago. However, we are nowhere nearer getting on with a campaign of education and supplying ammunition to grass roots groups to attract no voters to yes. This, to me is one of the great mysteries of the last 4 years. Although I must admit that for some considerable time, I have had the awful thought of the SNP propping up a shaky tory government in return for a joint premiership of the UK for Nicola Sturgeon and if that   happens, we will end up (literally) with a federal UK and hopes of a truly independent Scotland blowing in the wind.


So, enough of politics and doom and gloom, it is the week end, I am in Mennies with a nice pint of Tennants, definitely well-deserved this week, so I raise my glass to my friends the World over.



PS. One of my wee sayings pertaining to Scotland from my touring days.


Welcome to Scotland.

When you leave, take only your memories and a small part of what we are.

Leave, only your footprint and a small part of what you are.


The World This week from Mennies



So, another week almost in and as usual, a very busy week at work. Just today, we took delivery of our latest vehicle, a 92 seat double deck bus and would you believe it, the guy delivering it from London (yes always good to give third World countries a bit of trade ) managed to find a tree to hit ,and it arrived with a smashed side window. As it was going out on a job today it meant a bit of a move on to get it repaired in time which we managed with a good 10 minutes left to relax before it went out.


Elsewhere in the World, we had the awful further reports from Turkey of the Washington Post journalist’s gruesome demise in the Saudi Arabian embassy. It would appear that, subject to verification this man was dismembered whilst still alive. If this is true, then these people who are running that regime are monsters and one of the most disgusting aspects of this horror story is the way Donald trump and our own government in Westminster are turning cartwheels to try to ameliorate the effects of this outrage on our best buddy, Saudi Arabia. Hypocrisy on every level when you think back to the feigned outrage against Russia when baseless claims were made the day after the Skrippals were taken ill. This shows once and for all that we and the US are governed by the same class of monsters that committed this outrage in Turkey.


In the Uk, we had another humiliating trip to Brussels for our hapless Prime Minister as she once again tried to push an agreement on leaving the EU. This time she was again rebuffed and didn’t even get an invitation to dinner and presumably had to nip around the corner to a sandwich shop for sustenance. When is she going to understand that it is not up to the EU to make things easy for this bunch of nut jobs who are driving us towards the cliff edge and oblivion. It is up to the UK to get out of the self-imposed conundrum of the border with the EU, because it is the UK that will manufacture this border when we leave together with the ramifications to the Good Friday agreement that will follow.

A couple of Months back I was in Brussels and went to the European parliament on an open day they were holding. I was able to ask a question in the parliament and asked what the attitude was of the EU to the question of Scottish citizens who are also citizens of the EU, in the light that Scotland voted by 62% to stay in. The speaker said that this was a question that had been discussed and they would always consider the effects on their citizens in any negotiations with the UK and also said that they were fully aware that the vote had went the way it did through misinformation being presented to the British people. In effect, I wonder if this is the reason for the EU being pretty stringent in their dealing with the British Government, an attempt to consider the fact that we were lied to in the referendum and up to the point where we actually leave, we are all still EU citizens.


I see that Russia, Turkey, Germany and France are to have a summit on the War in Syria., Excellent, please keep the US warmongers as far away as possible. From any agreement and always beware that it is Israel who are pulling the US strings. The US bombed Syrian soldiers last week for having the effrontery to be attacking America and Israel’s friends, ISIS.


Back on the independence trail (and an exceedingly long trail is  becoming) and we had Nicola Sturgeon going down to London to make a speech on Brexit and suggesting extending the time scale of Brexit , this is after making it very clear ( or as clear as she ever is) that “she” will make up her mind on another independence referendum “ once the Brexit situation is clear. I think she still sees herself as the saviour of the Union. Would someone please tell her that this is not her job and she was elected to govern Scotland always remembering that she leads the party of independence.

I have heard from a reliable source that there are politicians within the SNP who are becoming very uneasy about the way Sturgeon and her husband Perter Murrel (chief exec of the SNP) are running a political party like a family business, not at all good.


So enough of politics, it is Saturday night and I am in my favourite hostelry, Mennies , so I raise a glass to all my friends wherever you are on this fragile planet of ours, and a wee thought before you go.


In all my years in business I have employed thousands of people

I have employed some really intelligent people

And I have employed some pretty stupid people

But I have learned something from every single one of them.



The World this week from Mennies

My world this week from Mennies is a look at what is going on in the world and the fight for independence in Scotland.
Another week in and a mixture between a trip to the outer isles and back to work on Wednesday. The Isles trip I have recounted ( apart from the last day) in my wee travelogue on Facebook. The last day was quite notable as we had originally booked the 7.55 AM ferry from Barra to Oban but because of an impending storm the ferry departure was brought forward to 4 AM meaning a pre 3 o’clock rise and a trip down to the ferry. That was the easy part of the trip. The difficult part was standing up during the crossing as it was quite possibly the roughest crossing I had ever been on, meaning that a goodly number of the passengers were sea sick including Laura and Paddy. I should have realised it was to be a rough crossing when the café was not serving the traditional Cal Mac breakfast, no doubt because the staff did not relish clearing  up the regurgitated breakfast  from the public areas .
So back to Oban and an uneventful drive back ,dropping Laura and Paddy off in Forfar then back to work.
So , what has been going on this week? Well we have the ongoing circus of Brexit with every day we draw nearer the apocalypse of exit from the EU bringing more and more revelations as to just how bad it is to be in the country and provision being made for civil unrest, yes you heard right, the powers that be are so confident that this madness has been the correct course of action that they are preparing for civil unrest. I am afraid the Sun is speedily going down on the British Empire but to be honest I cannot wait until the darkness falls.
There was the conclusion of the inquest into the carnage caused by the religious nut who mowed down pedestrians outside the houses of parliament then gained access through an unmanned gate where he was confronted by an unarmed policeman, who he stabbed to death before being shot by an armed officer who had to run to the scene from another part of the grounds. Totally inadequate security at the very seat of a Government responsible for killing thousands of innocent people in the middle east. You would think it would register with them ,wouldn’t you.
Then at the same incident it transpired that there was a police commissioner on the scene who witnessed the killing of his “comrade” and immediately responded by locking himself in his car, the cowardly b*****d. His excuse was that he wasn’t armed, he had a car the killer had a knife, think about it!!
Saudi Arabia is accused of torturing, then, murdering a Journalist who was saying uncomfortable but true things about the dictatorship in Saudi Arabia. Now the thing about this is that this Journalist worked for a US newspaper, which makes it rather difficult for oor Daft Donald., After all, the Saudis must now be on their last warning after bringing down the twin towers at 9/11. So Donald, to his credit has gotten himself into a bit of a sweat over this and threatened that someone will pay for this. Now ,note the wording “ someone will pay for this” Well the last time the Saudis committed an outrage on American soil , someone did pay for it, Saddam Husain! And hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq, who just ,by chance were enemies of Saudi Arabia and Israel. So judging by this, we can expect American bombers to be flying over Iran any time soon, mark my words.
Back home we had the annual march up to the top of the hill and down again exercise, more affectionately called the SNP conference, or the Peter Murrel and wife chat show. The chat consisted of the word independence being mentioned 20 times along with several other words none of which were “prepare” . So here we are again on the independence roundabout, going round and round and producing nothing but hot air and vertigo.
People are seriously now becoming fed up with this inaction by the SNP with regards to lack of preparation for another referendum, whenever that might be, with the ever reducing unpainted floor of the SNP’s withdrawal to the corner decreasing by the day.
We are now seeing major figures coming out and openly criticising Nicola Sturgeon, with people like Kenny McCaskill ,Angus McNeil, Joanna Cherry, and even Robin McAlpine who went into all sorts of contortions to criticise without actuality mentioning Nicola Sturgeon.
Can I just say something to these guys and girls, every mention, of degrees of inaction you have written in the last week regarding the SNP has been in my blogs for the last four years and they are there for you to check. Time for a wakeup call and replacement of Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrel .
Remember this, :- The problem with following blindly,
Is that one day, you might wake up blind.
So apart from all of that I hope my friends the World over will have a pleasant and peaceful weekend and I raise my glass to you

The SNP Merry go round of Conversations

Ok , so here we are again with a chance to talk to no voters with Nicola Sturgeon’s latest ” initiative” regarding independence, so let me be quite clear, the result of this “day of action”will be much the same as the rest of the “conversations” initiated by Nicola and that is confusion. Confusion among the people who are to be targeted by this “initiative” who I presume will be people who voted no in the last independence referendum. How they are going to find these people I do not know but if they are simply going to speak to SNP members, then it will be even more of a waste of time than I envisage.

The two things that mark Nicola Sturgeon’s term in office as the leader of the SNP are, conversations, and long grass. The one thing she has an abysmal record of is providing a roadmap to independence and that , as leader of the SNP should be her main purpose in life.

We had the election of Keith Brown as deputy leader of the SNP a few months ago and he was given the task of, yes ,having a conversation about independence. We had a conversation a couple of years back which was to have been concluded by St Andrews day , where upon ,it was expected an announcement of the success of the conversation would have been announced. Unfortunately the result was kept secret, presumably because the conversation did not work out as planned which is exactly what will happen to this “conversation”.

We had the growth commission report which came out more than a year late. This was widely seen as the possible long awaited beginning of a road map to independence. Unfortunately it turned out to be a dog’s breakfast and was almost immediately relegated to an other “conversation.”

So why have all these “conversations” been failures ? It is quite simple really. It is because they have been very one sided conversations and let me illustrate why.

SNP activist:- Knock knock.

No Voter :- Hello

SNP activist:- I am from the SNP and we are having a discussion about a future referendum.

No voter:- Good I have been waiting 4 years for someone to call as I have a few questions for you.

SNP activist:- Good that’s what Nicola sent me here for, fire away.

No voter:- What currency will we be using in an independent Scotland?

SNP activist:- Err, well, I can’t answer that question as this is the subject of another conversation at the moment.

No voter:- You are joking I hope, ok well do you have a definitive answer to whether we will be in the EU or possibly the EEA, or possibly, just a member of the single market, as that seems to be what Nicola decided the Scottish people voted for in the EU referendum although I can’t remember seeing that on the ballot paper?

SNP activist:- Err, well actually, Nicola hasn’t actually told us yet and we are having a conversation about that at the moment.

No Voter:-  You seem to be having a lot of conversations. Ok so what will be the finances of an independent Scotland, have you produced a projected set of accounts and a balance sheet, which will show our inherited assets so that we can be confident that our finances are assured, or at the very least in good hands because that is what I do every week with my wages when making provision for the weeks ahead and I have heard Nicola speaking about the GERS  figures as though the deficit contained in them will be transferred to an independent Scotland?

SNP activist:- Err ,well, actually no, we have not done that yet, and to be honest , no one in the SNP can actually understand the GERS figures anyway but I am sure we will be having a conversation about that before too long. However I think you will agree that since the SNP came to power and formed the Scottish government they have governed well. We have free bridge tolls. free further education, free bus passes at the age of sixty, free elderly care, and free baby boxes.

No voter:- Yes so in other words what the SNP have done ,is  they have proven that Scotland can be governed well, within the UK and as the only thing you can offer is endless conversations then it looks like I will be voting no again, that is if you actually get around to having a conversation on when you will hold another referendum. In the meantime I have some paint to watch as it dries, bye.

SNP activist raising his voice to a closed door:- A referendum, I forgot to mention that Keith Brown is having a conversation about that.

It is almost as though Nicola is looking for the answer that will convince her that a referendum is not viable in the near future.

Quite simply , Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell ( chief executive of the SNP) are not fit for the job and should be replaced. Or perhaps it is time for a true party of independence ” The Scottish Independence Party”

This is our road, and we need a road map to independence.

Tatties N Mince or Mince N Tatties

I have just been made aware of the heated controversy which has been created in Dundee, by agents of the Tully( better known in the ferry and the west end as the Evening telegraph) sneaking  into Mennies during my absents whilst on duties overseas. These desperados had the audacity to hold a straw poll on the proper terminology to be used when describing the  local delicacy of Tattie’s N Mince trying to obscure the truth by way of fake news by eliciting the views of unsuspecting and inebriated locals and convincing them of the mistaken belief that the proper terminology should be Mince N Tattie’s.
They further had the audacity  to publish highly inaccurate poll figures in a blatant attempt to obscure the truth. This is of course an attempt by DC Thomson to cause dissent and concern among the good people of Dundee.
Now for the benefit of the less well educated Tattie’s N Mince translates as Potatoes and Mince. Potatoes being tubers which are grown extensively in Scotland and which at one time were collected by school children (of which I was one) in forced labour during what was ( for some strange reason) called the Tattie holidays, for which we were paid a pittance and had to make the difference up by surreptitiously filling a bag with potatoes and taking it home each night. Whereby our Mothers, once we had handed over both the Tatties and the days wages would provide us with this local delicacy of Tatties N Mince. The mince being chopped beef from Aberdeen Angus cows.

Now just to clear up this miss-understanding regarding the terminology which should be used in describing this local delicacy. It is all to do with quantity and availability., Now at one time potatoes were the staple diet in Scotland ,just like Ireland. this is where we get Potato soup and potato and leek soup ( note the highest quantity comes first, you wouldn’t call it water and potato soup now would you)) or simply just potatoes with possibly some onion to give flavour  ( mostly stolen from onion Jonnys bikes when they were at peoples doors up a Closie delivering onions) and that is where the Mince comes in , as the mince content was  absolute luxury and normally rationed very carefully, unless ones father had heisted a bookies runner earlier in the day and found himself in funds to hand over to the boss for the weeks rations.

So there it is quite clearly an attempt by the Tully ( evening telegraph) to spread unrest in the good City of Dundee. and I have noticed a demographic forming with the lower orders of Dundee society mainly based in places like Fintry favouring the Mince first version whereas the better class version with people brought up in the classier parts of town such as Kirkton ,choosing Tatties first.
This unrest  concerned me greatly and realising this could lead to trouble, I decided to resolve the matter before any civil unrest, or worse still , uncivil unrest ensued, I decided to contact my good friend Donald Trump as you know how good he is at solving problems. I have a hot line to him which he keeps next to the big red button only ever an arm length from him. I always hope he will press the right button any time I give him a bell.

This was the conversation:-  Hallo Donald I hope you are well and I hope I have not disturbed your round of golf again.

Hi Bob , always good to hear from you and yes I am on the course but I have all my people with me and you know I have all the best people.

Yes Donald I do know you have all the best people, tell Sarah I was asking for her and hope she is remembering to take her medication and keep smiling, and John also and I hope he is better rested and  not having to to  count too many dead bodies to get to sleep at nights

Yes Bob I will pass on your regards , now what can I do for you as you know I always do what I can for my friends especially ones from my Mothers  great country, England. And tell Alex I was asking for him and that I have forgiven him for stuffing me in regards to the wind farm he allowed beside my beautiful golf course at Mennie and also pass on my regards to the Royal and ancient who removed the Open from my beautiful golf course at Turnbury because I was discriminating against all these nasty terrorists.

Yes Donald I will pass on your regards and by the way your Mother came from Scotland which is not part of England. Right, well the reason I phoned you was that we here in Dundee have a problem and I hoped you could help.

Yes of course ,anything for one of my staunchest supporters Bob you know ,every body loves me and I am always glad to be of assistance.

Well Donald we have this problem in Dundee regarding the terminology of a local delicacy, Tatties N Mince as some subversives are insisting on calling it Mince and Tatties., The problem we have here is that this could be the thin end of the wedge and we could end up calling ourselves  Thamson  Jock’s Bairns if this is not corrected.

Ok Bob I have my people on to this and they are telling me that Australia is a big place but they have found Dundee.,

No Donald, not Dundee Australia , Dundee Scotland. They have been watching Crocodile Dundee to often. Are these the same people who told George Bush that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction., I have told you before to keep an eye on them.

Ok , they have found it Bob and I have a satellite homing in on you right now, you know I have the best people.

Yes I know Donald now what I would like you to do, is adjudicate on this matter and put these subversives right.

Ok Bob I am on it and John Bolton is here by my side.

Oh dear.

Ok John has come up with a plan, I think we should nuke them.

Em, well perhaps we should keep that one up our sleeve Donald, in case the situation deteriorates although we might just have to take out Fintry as a warning , you guys have a track record there  and  we could always use the threat of course.

Ok John is looking at  another plan we could get some big guys in there and the CIA have all these peoples addresses  so we could give you the addresses and you guys could paint their doorposts with goats blood then we could get the yes bus and round up all their first born and take them to Broughty Castle where we could set up another Guantanamo Bay I have a few thousand orange boiler suits on the way to you.

Ok Donald perhaps you could just issue a presidential proclamation, and if these people see boiler suits arriving they will think someone has a job for them , I think that will do the trick , these Fintryites will agree to anything other than work, brilliant, I knew I could depend on you, as you say, you have all the best people. Next time you are over here I will treat you to a plate of Tatties n Mince and take you to Mennies for a pint.

So problem solved and henceforth the proper term under presidential proclamation will be  TATTIE’S N MINCE, you got that?