The World this week from Mennies

Saturday 23 March 2019

Brexit, May ,Corbin, Sturgeon, Donald.

So another week almost to a close and an interesting week it has been, both for a business point of view and from a political angle as well.

Business wise we are becoming busier by the day, both in the Coach hire side of the business and the vehicle repair and bodywork side also. So never a dull moment and always something new. There is however the ever-present Specter of Brexit and from what I can gather from business owners in general, we are the exception rather than the rule as far as future prospects are concerned and there is great uncertainty and, indeed concern that the UK will either crash out of the EU or be left with an unsatisfactory halfway house of an arrangement.

Which brings me on to the week past in politics with Theresa May holding out her begging bowl to the 27 EU leaders asking for an extension to the leaving date of the 29th March and I do mean this March, the very month that we are in. After three years of so-called negotiation, we actually find that there is no agreement suitable to the British parliament as to the leaving arrangements for exiting the largest market on the planet. A truly incredible position for any government to put a country into. Yes, the credibility of the UK and in particular, the people who are supposed to be running the country, is now at the level of a banana republic and we, through the efforts of the Tory party are the laughing stock of the world.

Potentially we now only 6 days from the Armageddon of a no deal exit from the EU and the Army have set up a command post in the nuclear bunker below Whitehall, presumably to put in place the containment measures necessary in the event of civil unrest brought upon by possible food and medicine shortages together with mass unemployment, and all that needs to be done to avoid this is a single letter from the UK government to the EU cancelling section 50 which was triggered to put in place the worst example of self-flagellation in the history of the Universe, exit from the EU. The EU, showing a remarkable element of pity has extended by a few more weeks, this date of exit to allow some sort of rethink on this invidious situation.

There is a petition which went live on the British government web site two days ago to cancel Brexit in the manner I have just described which is sitting at over 4 million replies and rising by the second. As yet I have not even heard a single comment from this dysfunctional government, nor from the equally dysfunctional Labour opposition led by the hapless Jeremy Corbyn.

Ok, so that is the situation regarding Brexit, a betrayal of the British people by a group of incompetent liars, a situation that can only be fairly resolved by either canceling the section 50 or going back to the people and holding a second referendum now that there is more information regarding the consequences of Brexit than there was in 2016, and that conveniently brings me on to the situation regarding Scotland. Now, although the UK overall voted for Brexit by a small margin, Scotland voted by a very large margin to remain in the EU ( 62% to 38%) therefore the will of the Scottish people was made very clear and that was that we wished to have nothing to do with the narrow xenophobic attitude prevalent in England which had led to the situation of Scotland being potentially dragged out of the EU against its will. Now at present, we have an SNP led devolved government in Scotland, the first minister being Nicola Sturgeon who is also the leader of the SNP a party dedicated to attaining independence for Scotland. We had a referendum in 2014 where the result went against us, mainly through the campaign of disinformation and downright lies by both the British government and the British Labour party. Nicola Sturgeon was elected as leader of the SNP shortly after this and since her election, she has swept independence under the carpet apart from her regular endeavours at keeping the faithful happy by marching them up to the top of the hill and down again by way of pretending that another referendum was on the cards. The one thing she has never done was to, in any credible manner, prepare for another referendum by addressing the issues we lost the last referendum on. I have personally had my concerns regarding both her competence or her commitment to further the cause of independence from very early on in her leadership of the SNP.

Brexit seemed the prime opportunity to once more to at least prepare for another independence referendum, given that the Scottish people were about to be dragged out of the EU against our will. The utter chaos and incompetence that resulted in the Uk governments attempts at negotiation seemed like manna from heaven to the independence cause, but no. Nicola sturgeon deliberately refused to even attempt to form a case for independence on the back of this chaos although it was blatantly obvious that with an enemy in utter disarray, that this was the optimum time to get back on the campaign trail. No, Nicola seemed to be more intent on saving the Union of the UK as opposed to what should have been her main propose in life as leader of the SNP, and that was to further the cause of independence. She decided to produce the Scottish governments answer to Brexit in 2016 shortly after the referendum and I suspected that this would be her opportunity to grandstand as the saviour of the UK. The day before this report was to be published I wrote a blog and titled it ” A Road Map to Unionism” The day after I wrote the blog, the report was published. I was on a ship at the time and when I read it I couldn’t believe my eyes, as it was more or less exactly as I had predicted, it was indeed ” A road Map to Unionism” I wrote another blog that day and titled it ” I Told You So” I attach both blogs below.

I believe I have been right in my assessment of Nicola Sturgeon’s abilities or commitment to independence and the position we are in at the moment, with our adversaries all over the place and in utter confusion, and without even an attempt by the SNP to mount a cohesive campaign in preparation for a future independence referendum only serves to reinforce my opinion. It could be the case that the SNP will be forced into some sort of action because of the corner they have painted themselves into, but that will be like going off at half-cock and be less than effective.

I think that Nicola Sturgeons days as leader of the SNP are numbered and I feel that this imminent demise could be connected to the Alex Salmond case and Nicola Sturgeons involvement in what I believe was either a set up, or a massive cock up. ( set up being my favored theory) I also believe that Nicola has been preparing her exit strategy by setting up future sources of employment on a more global platform, quite possibly within the UN organization in its various initiatives concerning women’s rights.

If my suspicions are correct the she would be better gone, sooner than later. It would seem that at present there is only one SNP politician putting his head over the parapet and that is the MP for the western Isles, Angus Mc Neil. I suspect Alex Salmond is also in the background with Angus.

So on to Donald and the US. Much is now being made about the fact that ISIS is on the verge of collapse , in fact, just today could mark the end of their Caliphate dreams in the middle east and Donald is beating his chest about this. However, this defeat of ISIS has very little to do with the US, in fact, if it wasn’t for the efforts of both the US , the UK and Israel, they would have been defeated long ago. Make no mistake, the victors here are the democratic forces of Syria, the Kurds and Russia, The manipulated mainstream media will try to convince you this is not the case. Mean while Daft Donald is attempting to legitimize his masters in Israel’s claim to sovereignty of the occupied territory in the Gollan heights area of Syria. This is illegal under international law and Trump is no better than the gangster government of Israel for even thinking of this.

So enough of politics and hopefully a relaxing evening in Mennies. I was here last night and ended up in deep conversation with a couple of friends about independence, one of them, John certainly keeps me on my toes and comes up with extremely interesting scenarios regarding the politics of Scotland especially in connection with businesses in an independent Scotland. Good banter and sometimes difficult to keep track of the quantity of alcohol being consumed.

So, to all my friends the World over, I raise my glass and wish you a pleasant and safe weekend enjoy yourself and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do 🙂



The World this week from Mennies

Saturday 16 March 2019

The EU, Nicola, Tory and Labour self harm, Donald,

Well a gap in my wee blog from Mennies, as last weekend I was in Brussels. Beautiful City of beer and chocolate. Extremely multi cultural and inclusive with a wonderful city center of winding streets and alleys, lined with shops bars and restaurants. The home of Tin-Tin and Captain Haddock and of course the headquarters of the EU. The EU being the largest market on the planet, the market that we , through the UK Tory and Labour parties are about to leave, in an act of unmitigated folly and self harm

Yes , only 13 days to go before we reach the official leave date of the 29th March., That is unless the remaining 27 sane members will allow an eleventh hour postponement to madness to allow the UK government a few more Months of idiocy, just as the last few months have been. The word in Brussels ( and no doubt many other parts of the world) is that UK democracy is a laughing stock. The Mother of all parliaments has been rumbled, they are quite simply a bunch of clowns in a Circus called Westminster.

So, what does this mean to us hers in Scotland? Let me start with what it should mean. It should mean the best possible opportunity to commit to a campaign once more for a free and independent Scotland within the EU. A family of nations we would be welcomed into with open arms, in place of the sad and dysfunctional English Government. Yes, English government, because that is what they are. Anyone who has been watching the black comedy unfold during the week past on the Westminster parliament will realize just what I mean, with Scotland’s needs being constantly sidelined ,along with our 35 SNP representatives as they tried to introduce amendments to highlight Scotland’s position and reluctance to leave the EU. Yes this should have been the final straw that would break the Camel’s back and should have led to an announcement that Scotland intended going its own way with a referendum to finalize the will of the people of Scotland to leave the rotting corps of the UK to fertilize the Green fields of England.

Yes, that is what should have happened , but no , yet again, all we got from Nicola Sturgeon was sound bites to keep the personality cult members quiet and yet again social media was full of the ” Nicola has a cunning plan” brigade. A bunch of no hoppers who can not stand having their little bubbles burst, and cling to the hope that their glorious leader will eventually find a ” cunning plan” Well folks , let me tell you something for sure, remember all these times over the last four and a half years that you called me names like ,Unionist, shit stirrer and many more that I would not print here, when I said that there was no cunning plan, every time Nicola marched you up to the top of the hill, only to be marched down again. Every time you thought you were about to be led into a new campaign and I cautioned against such high hopes. Every time I urged the SNP to at least start to prepare for a future campaign. When in 2016 I called the Nicola’s answer to Brexit, a ” road map to unionism” Well here we are four and a half years from the last referendum and it is blatantly obvious that there has never been a creatable plan let alone a cunning plan, and, more importantly , it is blatantly obvious that the efforts of the SNP parliamentarians, since the EU referendum in 2016 have been aimed at saving the UK union rather than what we sent them down there for in the first place and that was to get us out of this poisonous and grossly unfair union that is the United kingdom. Of all the SNP members of Parliament down there ,I think there is only one with a pair of balls and that is Angus Mc Neil from the Island of Barra. He seems the only one who will put his head over the parapet of the castle of Sturgeon and Murrel, to say it as it is, and that is we are wasting valuable time whilst the enemy are dispersed all over the battlefield, in utter disarray ,immersed in complete chaos, whilst Nicola fiddles and Westminster burns. Well Nicola, it is not a fiddle player we need at the moment, we need a leader and a road map to independence. I fear there is more than meets the eye to Nicolas tardiness regarding preparation for a future referendum and I suspect it has its roots in the Alex Salmond case. I feel there is a tinderbox there awaiting ignition, only time will tell, but watch this space.

Ok , Labour and once more Corbyn is seen to be a prevaricating wimp and a strong brexiteer despite his party being mainly in favor of remaining in the EU. it was quite disturbing watching the majority of Labour MP’s abstaining on the motion to allow a people’s vote and not difficult to see why, in all this government chaos Labour are still lagging behind in the polls.

Donald, and not doing too well in the popularity stakes with it being discovered that his quotes are being used on literature produced by a far right extremist terrorist group that the New Zealand mass murderer was a member of. It has also been found that Kim Jung has started re-building nuclear testing facilities because of the mistrust he has regarding the overtures by Donald and the gangster like attitude of Pompeo and company.

Ok so enough of politics, and on to the weekend and a couple ( or more) of pints in that den of political intrigue and convivial company, Mennies .

I wish all my friend , wherever you might be on this fragile planet of ours a great weekend and I raise my glass to you.

Slainte .

Remember, Never be afraid to say what you honestly believe is the right thing to say, and never be afraid of listening to what someone else honestly believes is the right thing to say. Invariably , the actual right thing is somewhere in between.

The World this Week from Mennies

Saturday 2 March 2019

Trump, Business for Scotland, Corbin and Independence


Well, another week almost to a close and yet another busy one at that, the next stage of the business expansion took another step forward with movement in the acquisition of property to facilitate further development of servicing facilities for a major contract.

Some of these days I might, just might, get around to thinking of retiring and putting my feet up. Naa, on second thoughts, probably not, as I have seen too many people retiring then dying and as I have no intention of doing that I will probably keep going for a while yet. In the mean time I am once more getting itchy feet as somewhere on the planet is calling me, not sure where yet, but somewhere definitely is, so perhaps my travel journal will be appearing before long.


So back to reality for a wee while and the confines of the metropolis of Dundee, and indeed the very best pub in Dundee, Mennies.

This week we had the meeting of my best pal from across the Pond Donald, and Kim Jong-un. Two supreme leaders together, one a supreme, racist, liar,con man and bully. The other, Kim Jong-un. The former having a rather bad week back home with the testimony by his one-time friend and fixer Michael Cohen, who presented (if true) a litany of Jail inducing allegations concerning Donald’s business activities over the decade of their acquaintance, from Stormy Danials to the Russian Mafia. That was bad enough, but he had to leave Vietnam without any kind of deal, so the meeting of the two supreme leaders was a supreme failure. Interestingly, it was easier to get Donald to Vietnam last week than it was 40 years ago when he should have been there but managed to get off, because of several student exemptions and then a diagnosis of bone spurs. So not one of Donald’s best weeks.


So back home and the other not so supreme leader Jeremy Corbyn. Now let me say to start with that at present, British politics are a joke to the extent that a Brian Rix Whitehall farce couldn’t even come near, for abject idiocy. But last week we, once again had the hoary old chestnut of anti-Semitism rearing its yawn inducing head, on the back of several labour MP’S resigning using the well-worn accusation of anti-Semitism within the Labour ranks, that together with the accusation of incompetence regarding Brexit policy by Corbin. Ok so let me be clear, Corbyn is useless, and his Brexit policy is all over the place, he is a reincarnation of a badly dressed Michael Foot, but he is no anti-Semic and I doubt whether many in the labour movement are. Corbyn’s problem is that he supports the human rights of the Palestinian people and as such is seen by the Government of Israel as a threat. Now the Government of Israel have been working assiduously for many years to change the meaning of Anti-Semitism from, “a hatred of Jews”, to a dislike of the Israeli government for their genocidal treatment of the people of Palestine. They have spent many millions of pounds through contributions to politicians and encouraging these politicians to be members of the organisation called “Friends of Israel” where-by they receive many benefits including trips to Israel. Strangely enough, one of the Labour defectors was some time ago secretly filmed receiving a large amount of money from an Israeli agent to assist with taking down a less than sympathetic Tory MP. Jeremy Corbyn is seen as a threat because of the possibility of a general election and thus the anti- sematic smear campaign. He has of course no back bone and therefore caves in continuously to this unjust smear tactic.


So a bit nearer home and yesterday I attended a lunch by the Business for Scotland Saltire club. Now Business for Scotland are an organisation of business people who believe in an independent Scotland. The Saltire Club is a group within Business for Scotland who meet regularly for lunches attended by politicians and notable figures from the media, whereby ideas can be exchanged and hopefully passed on to those with remits and abilities to change the way things are done in government and indeed, the independence movement. Business for Scotland led by Gordon McIntire Kemp research the difficult questions relating to Scottish business and how it would operate in an independent Scotland. I have been a member of BFS from during the independence campaign we had from 2012 to 2014 and during the final months of the campaign my family and I donated the use of one of our full-sized front-line coaches as a battle bus to tour the country. I joined the Saltire club when it was formed sometime after the campaign but became somewhat disillusioned at the cooperation being received from the SNP and left after some time.

However, having received an invitation to the Lunch in Dundee yesterday I decided to go along and was very pleasantly impressed by Gordon’s presentation of how things had changed with the SNP/ Scottish government, and how the organisation now had a strong team of researchers and a program of statistical information and guidance which will be extremely useful in the next referendum campaign. So, I have re-joined the group.


Yesterday the guests were Leslie Riddoch (Journalist) and Chris Law the member of the Westminster parliament for Dundee West. Leslie gave a masterful account of the Nordic manner of independent countries and especially the Faro islands. I have known Chris for many years and campaigned alongside him during the referendum campaign. I remember bumping into him in Mennies after a gap of several years during the campaign and him telling me about an idea he had. He had bought an ex-army fire engine and intended having it refurbished and taking it around Scotland campaigning. I asked to see it and he took me to where it was, and I saw it was in a bit of a mess but offered to get it into our workshops and carry out the renovations. It was with us for a couple of months while we striped the paint, made good the body imperfections and completely re-sprayed it and serviced the mechanical side of it. I remember Chris sitting in my office the week before he left on his journey around Scotland and he said to me “well, what do you think” I said to him, I think you are f*****g mad, but I hope you make it. Chris did take it around Scotland on a very successful campaign and was back in Dundee on the last day of the campaign where he joined us, the Yes bus Team in the City Square of Dundee. We had had a very busy day talking to people and reassuring them, many people had come into town just to see us and wish us luck, as we had spoken to thousands of people during out campaign over the last few months in the centre of Dundee. Most of the team, Deb, Tony, John , Harry, Mark and all the rest of them, had left as they were to be gong to the count later and Chris and I were left clearing up and taking down the stall, it had been an extremely intense few months and I remember thinking that it was a anti climax as I looked around  “our” Square, the place we had held against all odds, with the might of the no campaign against us throughout the campaign. We had seen off the numerous attempts by the no campaign to put their people on “our streets”, we had seen off Jim Murphy with his tour of Scotland and his Iron Bru crate to speak on. We had seen off the Labour battle bus with Anus Sarwar where we organised a march at hours’ notice to march behind our piper, Ian to spoil their day. I remembered the wee old lady who, earlier in the day I met as she walked down Reform street, she had made a special trip into town to speak to us. She came up to me and told me she had voted by post a couple of weeks before, she said she had , had a visit from one of these “ no people”  who had told her that her pension was at risk if she voted yes so she made out her postal vote and gave it to the young man to post for her and she voted no. She said she regretted it now and she was sorry. I told her not to worry as she did what she thought was right at the time and gave her a big hug.


So, there we were the two of us standing there on the field of battle, so to speak. The yes Bus team had seen off the enemy, but had we won the battle? Chris said to me, what do you think? “I think we should get over 70% “I said “what will you do now “ Chris asked. I looked around our Square and thought of the intensity of the last few months, of having all but abandoned the business and left Jamie to run it. “I just don’t know” I said, and I couldn’t stop the tears coming. We walked across to Hendry’s and had a coffee. That was the end of the campaign.


We lost the referendum, but Dundee returned the highest percentage vote on the whole country, I suppose that was the Yes Bus teams reward.


Chris went on to become an MP and again the yes bus team played a big part in that and his selection for candidate. Yesterday at the lunch I took him to task as to why the SNP have not made any effort to prepare for a future referendum and we had quite an animated discussion regarding this. I have had many a heated debate with Chris, mostly in Mennies regarding the shortcomings of the SNP and I will no doubt have many more. I hope there is a change on the horizon, but I fear there must be major surgery before the body of the SNP will be on a healing curve and I suspect that might be sooner than later.

So, to all my friends the World over, I wish you a good and peaceful weekend and I raise my glass to you.



Remember, life might not be the party you wished it to be, but seeing as we are here, we might as well dance.

The world this week from Mennies

Sat 23Feb 2019


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

Time for a long hard think

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our road.

The World This Week from Mennies

Saturday 9 Feb 2019

Venezuela, Seabourn, Question time, Brexit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember this.

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

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


Alex, the Enigma.

Alex Salmond is facing 14 charges of sexual misconduct. Has he been set up and if so by whom?

Alex is an incredibly able politician, probably the most able in the whole of the UK political system, as such he poses a threat to those who would see his main purpose in life realised. That of independence for Scotland.

He recently won a case of judicial review against the Scottish government. In fact, he won the case because the Scottish government withdrew their defence when Salmond’s team insisted on sight of correspondence probably as a specification of documents, which would have proven who knew what, regarding how, and in what manner Salmond came to be under investigation regarding two alleged complaints of sexual harassment.

Much has been said regarding how this all came about and the fact that the person who was responsible for installing the system that was used in this case was the permanent secretary to the first minister of Scotland and that the civil service in Scotland is one and the same civil service that supports both the Scottish government and the Westminster government, leading to much speculation that it was the British government through the Civil service who were responsible for the witch hunt against Alex Salmond.

I do not think that is the case, I think the person responsible is Nicola Sturgeon and here is my rational.

Leslie Evens who is the permanent secretary to the First minister was not chosen for the position by the commissioner of the British civil service, she was chosen by Nicola Sturgeon, from a short leit arranged by the commissioner of the Civil service. It is the duty of the permanent Secretary to work for and on behalf of the Scottish Government like all other Civil Servants in Scotland.  Her immediate boss is Nicola Sturgeon. Leslie evens was tasked, by Nicola Sturgeon to implement a system which would bring to account any politician’s past or present who had been guilty of sexual harassment, Nicola Sturgeon was (it would appear) aware that there had been suspicion that Alex Salmond had been accused of some form of harassment as far back as 2013 in two cases.

It would appear from the judge’s determination in the Judicial review that this new system could have been designed around the Salmond case and in fact the implementation of it was probably used in such a manner that the investigating officer Judith MacKinnon actually encouraged the complaints to be pursued. The system was implemented in an unlawful manner for various reasons one of which was that the investigating officer had been involved and had prior knowledge of the case and had approached the possible complainers, quite possibly encouraging them to pursue the complaints, before she was made the investigating officer, that in itself contravening civil service rules. It is inconceivable that Leslie Evens and in all probability Nicola Sturgeon did not know about this. This new system was Nicola Sturgeons baby signed off by her, this was the first time it had been used why would she not have been kept up to date with what was going on?

When the court made its determination and it was obvious that illegal activities had been employed, then why was Leslie Evens not sacked? was it because Nicola Sturgeon was closely involved? I suspect that was the case. Both Nicola Sturgeon and Leslie Evens made the case that all other issues other than the procedural issue regarding Judith MacKinnon had been discounted by the court but in fact that was not the case as none of the other issues had been adjudicated on because of the Scottish governments abject surrender in the case. It should also be noted that it was the Scottish Government who reported the matter to the police and also that there was an email emanating from the office of Peter Mural, sent out to past and present employees of the Scottish government asking for any experiences of sexual harassment, which could have been taken as a fishing expedition for accusations against Salmond.  

So, has there been bad blood between Salmond and sturgeon for some time? yes of course there has and that was never more obvious than it was at the time it was announced that Alex Salmond was to host a TV show on RT and Nicola Sturgeon openly criticised him for doing so. There was no need for her to say anything, but the thing was, that it gave Alex Salmond a platform to carry forward the independence cause and that was something, that for some reason went against Nicola Sturgeons agenda.

Ok, so let’s look at Nicolas agenda and compare it with what one would have reasonably expected from Alex and let’s go right back to the last referendum in 2014. We lost that referendum, much against the expectation of most of the independence movement and Salmond resigned, succeeded by Sturgeon. Now there were various accusations surrounding the operation of the voting procedure, especially the postal voting and the fact that there had been no exit polls. Now a lot of the resentment could have been sour grapes but there was a lot of evidence that could have been legitimate but there was never an investigation into any voting irregularities, if for nothing else to lay a ghost to rest. Any reasonable person would have expected the SNP to immediately conduct an enquiry into what went wrong with the intention to correct mistakes and continue with a lesser campaign of education and explanation, concentrating on the issues we lost the referendum on. To this day four and a half years later we have not had a single item of effective preparation for a future referendum. That is unless you count the Economic commission chaired by Andrew Wilson which came to the conclusion that a future referendum should be more or less fought on the same monetary union principal that lost us the last referendum. Absolutely crazy and in any case has been kicked into the long grass by giving it to Keith Brown (deputy leader of the party) who is by coincidence a strong believer in preparation for a future referendum. So that killed two birds with the one stone.

Now throughout Sturgeons reign she has marched the troops up to the top of the hill and down again that often that it would have made the grand old Duke of York dizzy, without actual committing to any sort of either preparation or a referendum. She has lost countless opportunities such as the day after the vote to come out of the EU when even the Daily Record came out and supported another referendum and the polls went up to 59% in favour of in dependence.

At every election since the 2015 GE Sturgeon has presided over significant seat losses and in the last Scottish election a loss of over half a million votes. She has been seen to have sided too comfortably with the British establishment, as seen during the Scripal poisoning incident where she immediately parroted the British government stance of Russia being guilty, without a shred of evidence being produced., Even Jeremy Corbyn was more careful by saying that he would reserve judgement until evidence was forthcoming. An inclination to extreme right-wing adherence which was again obvious with the SNP support of the British government’s position, backing up American involvement in regime change in Venezuela the other day. All this together with Sturgeon ‘s propensity to save the Union as she has blatantly and consistently attempted with her Brexit policy. A rather annoying trait she has, is to dress in Margret Thatcher look alike jackets, perhaps an indication of her role model.  

Nicola Sturgeon has become a liability to the independence movement and now she is attempting to remove the one man who could actually take the fight forward.

The original accusations against Salmond were leaked to the press (daily Record) on the 24th august. The same day as I received a message from a friend who is deeply involved in the inner workings of Holyrood, including contacts with the press. The message said,” Sturgeon has stabbed Salmond in the back”. It came at that time, as no surprise to me and having subsequently thought at length about it, I am still of the same opinion.

Now, as far as the accusations against Salmond are concerned. It will be interesting just how these accusations are presented in court and more particularly how they are answered. Now, make no mistake, allegations of sexual harassment and particularly of attempted rape are very serious and should, if proven be dealt with in the appropriate manner, but I have my suspicions that these allegations could have been the result of a similar fishing exercise that it would seem was the purpose of the initial contact between the investigating officer and the two original complainants. I also am of the opinion that going by Salmond’s statement that he has done “nothing illegal” that there has been some sort of personal contact but perhaps consensual. Only the outcome of the case when brought to court will determine guilt or innocence. It is getting to the stage that nothing short of written consent will be required for personal contact between the opposite sexes to be initiated. With all the recent celebrity accusations going back many years, I have yet to see any definitive procedure for initiating intimate contact.

Nicola Sturgeon is a strong feminist and made a point of showing up at the lead of a gay rights march recently. To my knowledge she has never been near any of the many independence marches that have taken place over the last four and a half years, since she became leader of the party of independence. Perhaps her priorities lie elsewhere, and she is of course perfectly entitled to express her personal preferences in what ever manner she sees fit and chooses, but as the leader of the SNP she has a job to do and I and an increasing number of others are becoming disillusioned with her performance.

There is one thing I am convinced of and that is that Nicola Sturgeon is not fit to lead the SNP and I have also the feeling that she has been involved in character assassination of the one person who could have taken us forward to a victory at another referendum. She has painted the SNP in to a corner, and perhaps she will now be forced to call a referendum, if she does and despite the wilful lack of preparation, I think we will win, if we do, it will not be because, of Nicola Sturgeon, it will be despite, her.