Jo-La V Nippy

The twittersphere and blogosphere have been very, very busy following the debate, which took place on Tuesday night between Johan Lamont and Nicola Sturgeon on STV.

I’m not sure if it was a complete setup or not. It was certainly a catfight, undignified and in keeping with a “stairheid rammy”. The feeble attempts to request that the two “ladies” should debate properly didn’t really help at all. If it achieved anything, it showed how much the decorum of such debates and more wider debating in both the Scottish and Westminster Parliaments have been allowed to reach the level of bun fights. Where has the respect for the institutions, which the parliaments are?

It has to stop I tell you!

The debate wasn’t really a debate. Too much talking over each other. Way too aggressive. It was just a “rammy” or fight as the less Scottish might have described it.

I’m sure that Jo-La is a nice and caring person but she highlights the problems, which the Labour party in Scotland are struggling with. They have joined forces with the Tories, who are paying for it all and the LibDems who can’t even manage into the top three in elections in Scotland now.

They are also very restricted in what they can say and do. If Jo-La made a speech which criticised Scotland the Labour Party would be damaged. They can’t actually say what benefits the “Bitter the gither” Yes side would provide for Scotland to remain in the Union. They have managed to create a vacuum, which renders any message they may have as useless to their cause.

All they can do is parrot what their bosses and their foes in Westminster say. Where is the clarity of thought? Where is the loyalty to the Scottish people? It’s all lost because they are Westminster centric and Scotland is just a part of the rest of the UK. If the Labour Party in Scotland cared they would have fought for much greater benefits for the Scottish people when they were in power.

In truth they did very little. Those people who voted Labour for generations ended up voting for a party which sat to the right of the Tories. They didn’t make a stand on illegal and costly wars and worst of all they turned their backs on the principles on which the Labour party was based.

Not that the SNP are much better since they are statist and centrist which will cost them dear following the first general election in an Independent Scotland.

There are factions within the Labour Party who are pro-Independence. They don’t seem to say much or what they say isn’t reported.

Independence will require the current parties to reshape or more likely to re-invent themselves. We will no longer tolerate Westminster political parties operating in Scotland. Politicians who are Labour members and supporters will need to form a new party which has no ties with or influence from Westminster.

I suggest that a new Labour movement in Scotland move a bit more to the left but recognise the value of a thriving economy, which ensures all the nice stuff can be afforded. The basic principle should be that each generation has a better standard of living from the previous generation.

Too simplistic?





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Education, education, education…

I’ve written many times about education as it is close to my heart and also because our country requires the education system to deliver the skills and knowledge which will drive it in the future.

There is a major disconnect within education and of course a general dumbing down of curriculums. Apparently primary school children arrive at secondary schools without achieving the correct level of attainment required to begin the secondary curriculum. When students arrive at Universities they also have not achieved the correct level of attainment required to begin their chosen subject. When students arrive at their new employers they also have not achieved the correct level of attainment required to begin their chosen job. Ho hum…

Then we have the “universities” which used to be “colleges”. I’m not altogether sure what they actually achieve although they must? How easy is it now to gain a degree from these establishments?

Our “learners”, up to the end of secondary, are incredibly negative about their education. Their education gets in the way of their lives and the things they want to pursue. I’d imagine a part of this is down to maturity or the lack of it.

The system lets everyone in education down and that includes teachers. That is a great pity. Some learners manage just fine and go on to wonderful careers, the middle of the group manage despite educational hurdles and the bottom scrape by and mark time until they are “released”.

My own definition of the success of education goes like this – if driving past a school at 7.00 am there would be a queue at the gates by pupils and some teachers who were desperate to get into school to get access to learn as much as they could. The same would be the case if driving past a school in the early evening. Again pupils would be still there working on their own initiative to gain as much knowledge etc. as they possibly could.

Not like the Korean system and also not like Mr Goves vision which is based on an independent model obviously.

That’s fine as far as it goes but what next? The learners are required to select a career, which they feel suitably enthused about and which will maintain their chosen lifestyle as they see fit. Here lies probably the biggest disconnect.

If someone decides they want to become a surveyor for example they take the course at university, which will give them the qualifications they need. Then they will then apply for surveyor type jobs. That makes perfect sense does it not? Well no actually it doesn’t.

The universities and colleges might churn out hundreds of surveyors who end up chasing much fewer jobs. There is no current system, which matches supply, to demand and the tragedy of this is that we are dealing with human beings not goods and services.

Presently we end up with people having degrees and expecting to be employed in a discipline that they have been trained in. This is a further problem because the universities and colleges suggest to their students that they are more than capable of carrying out the work and they will be given jobs because they have the right qualifications. Again the real world demonstrates that this is much less the case.

Sorting out education is a major task and it goes well beyond just the education system as it presently stands now.

There is much more that could and should be done.

The question is what can we do about it?




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Real money and independence.

This might be a bit of a winding path article but I’m sure you’ll stay with me. This is an important topic although you won’t have heard much about it.

There was recent programme on BBC, which almost but not quite mentioned the “Bradbury Pound”. That nice chap, Jeremy Paxman, started his new series about the First World War a few weeks ago and episode one covered the run up to war being declared.

He mentioned that, just a few days prior to the declaration being made the UK banking sector came close to collapse. That’ll sound familiar to you will it not? We are still suffering from the most recent collapse! Nothing changes.

However, in this case things did change. Jeremy informed us that a collapse was imminent and a run on the banks had begun, people queued to change their bank notes into gold. Luckily though a Bank Holiday was on the cards and duly went ahead. The government then extended the bank holiday by a further three days, followed by the banks re-opening and providing bank customers with “Bradbury” treasury notes.

The Bradbury pound (so named because of the signatory on each pound and ten shillings note) became legal tender. The notes were backed by Acts of Parliament and were unique as their value was secured on the value of the UK’s assets. At the same time these notes provided their monetary value with NO INTEREST. Money used to buy goods and services using the Bradbury pound did not attract interest.

I would have thought that Jeremy would have covered this incredible step, but, alas no he didn’t. He might also have gone on to say that the use of Bradbury pounds would have avoided the huge debts, which were run up fighting the First World War. Then he might have also said that the bankers managed to get the government to agree to withdraw Bradburys so they could get back to lending money and making huge monies from it in the form of interest.

Now the independence part. The Bank of England and wee Georgie Osbourne have spoken and said that Scotland can’t have a currency union with the rest of the UK. Sounds good to me. But Scotland will have shares in the Bank of England which would be recouped to Scotland the desolution of the UK. But who really knows who owns the Bank of England?

Apparently those who know aren’t telling. Are you also aware that the City of London is a completely seperate state? As is the Vatican and an area within Washington?

Are you also aware that almost every country in the world has a central bank run, not by the politicians, but by the Rothchilds? Iran, North Korea and Cuba don’t, and if Scotland goes for it’s own currency neither would we although that list of other countries isn’t enticing.

So how about a Scottish Bradbury (we could call it he Goodwin for fun) pound equivalent and a central bank outwith Rothchilds control? No interest loans. How much money would that put back into peoples pockets and help grow the economy which in turn would help pay for all those good works that so many people seem to want to do following independence?

In ending may I also suggest that in the USA “greenbacks” had also become currency for a number of years following the civil war. I’ll leave you with this thought. It some peoples minds the death of Abraham Lincoln was connected to the issue and use of greenbacks.

Who knows where the truth lies.


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Publicity, who needs it?

Lilly Allen is back. She has now got her wee family sorted out and also got over losing a fair bit of money. She has started releasing new material and she’s also been on TV and in the newspapers and magazines etc.

She made a very interesting confession. She only likes being on TV, in the newspapers and magazines when she has an album to flog or a tour to publicise. It looks like she’s admitted to what almost every sleb thinks.

What about all that nonsense of the slebs whining on about their phones being hacked, by hacked they mean using the standard password which comes with each phone rather than changing it to one which is secure? Hey presto no hacking at all. Either they didn’t because it suited them or they couldn’t do it or they were able to find someone who could.

Some of them went to court and whined again. Some of them sued newspapers and won money and, of course, somemore publicity. Some of them may have also used the whole situation to gain even more publicity.

Publicity, publicity, publicity… they neeeeeeed IT!

No sleb wants to be left out in the cold when they are looking for work and need ‘publicity”. In order to wake people up who matter they need to be “seen” to prove that they are just the person to enhance a flim, TV prog, a tour etc. etc. etc.

You know the lengths they go to.  Usually it involves a wardrobe malfunction or a wardrobe which may be incomplete, or a fall out or a love in, or a divorce, etc, etc, etc,

I’ve no idea why newspapers publish all the nonsense. If Joe Bloggs is starring in a huge blockbuster movie then why do the newspapers provide coverage about it? And then, when they start getting a hard time from the slebs, do they not just stop writing or photographing them and putting  them in their rag ever, ever, ever again?

Take away the publicity and see how quickly the slebs come crawling back and beg for coverage. Their begging will require lurid stories or revealing pictures which feeds their habit, their habit of course being publicity.

Of course the press need the slebs because they sell newspapers and magazines. Do they really? Then why do mere mortals want to know about what slebs do, what they wear and what they say? None of it is in any way worthwhile. Is it?

The slebs also do the talk shows. They get on the circuit and do the One Show, the Graham Norton Show, The Jonathon Ross Show, The Alan Carr Show etc, then there’s radio interviews as a well. It’s almost like perpetual motion. They have their own energy, which propels them along until they do something to upset people or lose whatever they had in the first place.

When that happens they can still sometimes stay on the bandwagon but not bot for good reasons. They fall off and it becomes a spectator sport as did Oliver Reid.


Can’t they just go away?



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Posted by on February 27, 2014 in BBC, Celebrities, Fame


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Justice according to whom?

In Scotland we have a lawyer, Kenny MacAskill, who became a politician who is now the Justice Secretary. This sort of background would make you think that he’d know his stuff and he’d be careful when dealing with legal issues. Hmmmm…

We have a verdict in court, which was, as far as I know unique. You were innocent, guilty or the case was “not proven”. Not proven was one of those things which had been around for a along time and cases were judged to be not proven. It was a sort of but not quite result. It meant that someone may have been innocent or guilty but the evidence wasn’t clear enough although it was clear enough not to be innocent or guilty.

I always thought it was a good idea.

Along came Kenny and he tries to get rid of it. It’s an old law and is no longer fit for purpose. What? Like thousands of old laws you mean? None of which are fit to be thrown in the bin?

Not content with that, the bold Kenny then decides that corroboration should also be scrapped.  The requirement for corroborating evidence means at least two different and independent sources of evidence are required in support of each crucial fact before a defendant can be convicted of a crime. Again seems like a pretty reasonable and important piece of law.

Police persons in Scotland go about in pairs for that very reason. Although there may well be occasions when the two police persons perhaps record stuff in a Hillsborough fashion, but that’s a different story.

Why would a justice secretary want to do away with two Scots Law tools? Is there likely to be a good reason for this?

Lets say two people are in a room and something happens. One of them calls the police and makes an allegation about the other one. The police come along and take a statement and look for evidence to support the allegation. which might be serious enough for a forensic investigation to take place.

In court the evidence found and/or the forensic evidence supports the claim made by the accuser and the other person is dealt with accordingly.


In court the evidence found and/or the forensic evidence supports the claim made by the accuser and the other person is dealt with accordingly.


In court the evidence and/or the forensic evidence does nor fully support the claim made by the accuser and the other person receives a not proven verdict or is acquitted.

Fine so far?

Now what may happen when both of these tools of justice are no longer in place?

In court the evidence found and/or forensic evidence does not support the claim made by the accuser? The lawyer for the accuser makes a strong case as does the accuser. The judge or the jury may decide that the accuser makes a better case of it and the accused is sentenced accordingly.

Two things in wrapping up.

Firstly both of these tools have been heavily criticised in cases of assault and sexual assault and rape. This has lead to claims that victims are being let down by the justice system. It’s even been said that these tools have led to guilty people being let off. .

If there is no real evidence how can anyone be tried on the basis of what someone said and to which no one else had heard apart from the accused?

Secondly, the Judges are not in favour of removing these tools. The police were also not in favour but then they changed their minds. Bear in mind that Kenny appoints senior police officers and that we have a Scotland wide police force.

Is this justice? No one wants to see anyone leaving court not having been found guilty when they have in fact been guilty. But neither does anyone  want to see someone who is innocent sentenced.

The aim to bring more people to justice should not be based on anything other than real and corroborated facts. Anything else may be the result of aims which are not in the best interests of our society.

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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Justice, Politics, Scotland, SNP


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How many jobs…

On a number of occasions I’ve worked with rural communities. These communities were all looking for the same thing, trying to survive in the shorter and longer terms.

They live in gorgeous surroundings, fresh air, nature etc. etc. The communities consist of the real long term locals, the transient and of course the incomers. It’s not difficult to come across very wealthy people with a fabulous house and a bit of land who work in London Tuesday to Thursday and spend the rest of the time in their chosen village.

Everyone contributes to the local economy in various ways, which mostly results in local spending although online shopping can impinge on that. Going for a Sunday newspaper could easily be a 30 minute job and going for a fish supper, in the more remote areas could take two hours and the fish supper would be cold by the time you got back although, no doubt, you could fall back on their statutory can of Irnbru, Red cola or Vimto.

Most of these communities have some form of tourism happening too but they still carry on with the basics of earning a living. On my travels I used to ask people how many jobs they had. The winning chap had nine jobs. He had nine jobs because at any one time during the year some of them would be profitable.

His job list went something like this –

* He farmed some land and had sheep.

* He bred and trained sheep dogs.

* He rescued sheep dogs, which had become a bit unruly and trained them properly before he sold them.

* He had a shooting range.

* He charged a local adventure business for using some of his land for mountain biking and quad biking.

* He was in a folk/country-dance band (hooch!).

* He sold CDs of the bands music.

* He had converted an old barn into a function room (once used by Rob Roy apparently).

* He used his dogs to perform herd geese at one of the visitor attractions.

There were lots of B&B’s as you would imagine which provided jobs mainly to the younger generation, which the villages and their outlying areas desperately wanted to hang onto. Too many young people left for college or Uni and never came back.

Most of the communities had a group of people who tried to encourage people to work together to support the area. There were many skills available to them as you would imagine but not everyone wanted to play ball.

In certain respects large cities such as Edinburgh and London are similar. The Shore in Leith, Out of the Blue, Stockbridge, the Grassmarket, George Street are all like villages within a bigger town. Okay there isn’t a lot of grass and it can get busy at times but there will be, for sure a lot of people with more than one job.

How many jobs are enough?


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I should have mentioned that I was heading off to Paris for a few days. Wi-fi is pretty much free here. How civilised. 

I watched a wee bit of TV last evening whilst recovering from walking. The No vote are at it again. Looks like each passing day will contain some sort of bluster, threat or guff from them. 


Like we care? 


Anyway, an odd word here and there for now from me.


Vive le republique (Scotland soon).



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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


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