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Ordinary men.

They were just ordinary men with families, jobs and hopes. They stood and chatted with each other, comparing notes about family and friends, showing photographs of loved ones and sharing food, drink and cigarettes. Only a few hours earlier they had been shooting at each other on a battlefield and only a few hours later they would recommence on the ground they were standing on and kill those same men just like themselves with the same hopes and ambitions.

The 1914 unofficial Christmas truce is a well-known occurrence early in the First World War, the war to end all wars or the Great War. In Late December the soldiers and officers of the British Army were disappointed that they were still in France. The popular scenario bandied about was that it would all be over before Christmas. It wasn’t and they weren’t.

At that moment the British Army was made up of full-time professional soldiers whereas the German Army were mainly conscripts. The trench system was still in its infancy but still men were being killed at levels, which can only be described as criminal and would of course later become wholesale slaughter.

The accounts of the truce are better known now, less so the two sides doing the very least they could to shoot each other on a daily basis. No one wanted to die. Why would they? Choices? Oh sure. Take your place in the attack and the enemy shoot you decline to take part and your own side shoot you. So much for choices then.

“We don’t want to fight on this day or any other” is a quote from a German soldier during the truce, it kind of sums up all wars past, present and future. Ordinary men and women who don’t want to fight and military and political leaders who don’t see themselves as ordinary and who want OTHERs to fight on their behalf for aims which are at best dubious and at worst ill considered and meaningless.

At this time of year we’ve enjoyed Christmas and the Christmas spirit bringing cheer to all men. We have New Year to come when we regard the year we’ve survived and look forward with optimism to the year ahead. We take time out to remember those who are no longer with us and to hope that those less fortunate than ourselves find life easier in 2015.

We all should be actively pursuing good works, which give our lives more value and meaning. There are those who will do no such thing and will selfishly pursue their own agenda.

We’ll get lectured on what we should eat, smoke, drink, say, etc.

We just want to be ordinary people doing ordinary things.

 

 

 

 

 

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The UK government is complaining…

The UK government is complaining that petrol prices are not going down fast enough to customers. Isn’t that nice of them. Well it would be if they were being honest.

It’s great that the prices are going down albeit for the wrong reasons. We should see more price drops for items which are delivered by road with the full backing of the government in theory.

However, how low will petrol prices go? We all know that the government take the biggest share of the cost of a gallon of petrol by a considerable margin. So whilst it’ll go down the government will keep their share and may well increase fuel duty when petrol is at its lowest price. That’ll be really great for us all when the price rises. I think not.

Will the oil companies suffer? Unlikely. They have so much money they can easily get over the low price period. They’ll still have the same assets when the price goes back up. They might screw a bit of money out of their workforce by way of wage cuts etc. because they can and money is money after all and better in their pockets than their workforce, who would just spend on food and the like.

The shrill MSM are busy telling of the doom the low oil price will cause people Scotland. It’s really early electioneering from those stalwarts of Scottish industry formerly known as the Labour Party in Scotland. Just listen to “we told you so”. Actually they lied as is their want.

It’s a result for the anti-frackers though. They seem to gain their knowledge of how dodgy fracking is carried out from a movie and a documentary, both of which contained huge inaccuracies and downright lies.

Hey ho…

It’s just such a pity that we couldn’t stock pile petrol. Not a good idea at all. I’m sure the people with oil heating systems will be watching carefully to pick the sweet spot on the price and then fill up to the gunnels.

It’s an ill wind.

 
 

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A strange thing happened on the way to the keyboard…

Like most bloggers I have a need to check the numbers of viewers/visitors more than once a day. It’s a needy thing. Like I need to know at least some people read my drivel and have signed up to read my blog on a fairly regular basis. When I first started the numbers were low as you would expect, but now they are a lot higher even although I had almost a year off in between the start three years ago and now.

I also tend to comment on other blogs, which can be fairly amusing and sometimes a bit fraught. If you’ve looked at my blog, and you must have to get this far, then you’ll see I don’t get many comments. Blogs are like mini communities and commenting works for some and not for others. I’ve had the odd troll also, although not on toast, which can be a real pain. Generally, though, it’s been an enjoyable journey.

A wee bit earlier I was about to sit down and write a blog. I opened up the blog and checked the numbers and then noticed the comment icon was indicating that I had a comment. I opened the comment and lo and behold the senders name was Judith Ralston. If you give the comments a wee look you’ll see it for yourself.

Now I would imagine that’s fairly easy to set up a profile, which may be, shall we say, a little less than accurate. Maybe there is more than one Judith Ralston within Scotland? Maybe there are several? Yes I know that there will be many versions of Judith Ralston in different quantum dimensions.

There maybe a version of Judith that didn’t have problems with her voice and has gone on to be a much loved entertainer. Since quantum dimension are infinite there will definitely be a Judith Ralston who is Head of the BBC weather department for the whole of the UK.

Dare I also say that there will be dimensions where this blog does not exist! I know pretty fat fetched but there you go.

Judith, in her comment, has said that she has been ill. I, and I would imagine a number of other chaps would want to wish Judith a speedy return to the Scottish evening weather forecast. I think for the first reappearance Judith should push the boat out, just to remind us all of what we have been missing.

I’m not a big fan of the BBC since they are the voice of the UK establishment and are perhaps far too entwined with the Glasgow Labour set, which is probably not a healthy position, to be in. I think the BBC should buy the old Scotsman building which is right beside the Scottish Parliament. This would mean that the parliament would receive better coverage and Edinburgh would gain much improved reporting. I can see Sally Magnusson being the Edinburgh anchor with Brian Taylor ranting on a bit longer than currently each night.

The thing is, who would present the weather? Can you think of anyone with the correct credentials?

 

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The Chancers autumn statement…

I thought we were in the winter by now? It starts on the 1st December, which makes it all the odder since the winter equinox is a couple of weeks away. Whilst on the subject of timing and stuff you’ll have heard the BBC claiming that this year is likely to be one of the warmest years on record. It will be, but only because the satellite record started in 1998.

Back to topic if there is such a thing anyway…

Chancer Gideon Osborne stood up and ranted on for a while about how well the UK was doing and how we were well on the mend to normality. We were one of the fastest growing economies, employment was up and we would get tax reductions and various wee tempting things to make us smile.

Within a few hours the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published a paper rubbishing the Chancers claims. Oh dear. And an election coming up fairly soon. Not helpful. Now the Chancer and the sub-prime minister really like the IFS. They really, really liked it during the run up to the Scottish Independence vote. I bet they aren’t as keen on them now?

It was also interesting to hear that the Chancer was going to set up a Sovereign Fund for Manchester and that general area, based on fracking income. Most countries in the world, who have oil or other such resources within their borders have similar arrangements. Texas, for example, gets to keep a lot of the taxes collected on oil extraction and refining.

In Scotland we get zip. Worse than that we don’t actually get to know how much taxation has been taken on the 95% of the oil which is in Scottish territorial waters. We don’t know how much taxation in general goes into the Westminster pot. Could it be because WM doesn’t want us to know? Could it be that the 95% of the oil which, lies in the Scottish waters part of the UK has been propping up governments since the Queen turned the taps on?

It looks very likely that WM will make life very difficult for Scotland and try to make sure that the SNP and the whole idea of independence won’t ever be a possibility again. Until, of course, the oil has gone

Just one mention of Liebore. Yesterday at First Ministers question time Mr Grey from Liebore stood up and, with a large smile on his face, stated that it was a good job that the Scottish people had rejected independence since they could now see how volatile oil prices could be. Yes he smiled. Another nail in the coffin of the Labour Party in Scotland.

What joy.

 

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Bits and pieces…

Stuff happens and sometimes it’s worth a comment. On that basis I shall rant and ramble along on this fine December day.

I’ve been particularly recalcitrant with regards to Judith Ralston, the Scottish weather presenter who has been referred to as “Miss Whiplash” by others but certainly not by me. On the run up to the Scottish Independence Referendum BBC presenters of all shapes and sizes of a Scottish nature were usurped by an influx of people from south of the border as was the BBCs want.

This seems to have led to JR presenting the weather on BBC radio and since then she has made a few fleeting weather appearances and a singing gig on BBC Scotland Children in Need. Not solo obviously, but as a backing singer with Jackie Bird.

We need more of JR on our screens. As I may have mentioned in the past, her weather forecasting is probably pretty fine but many a chap in Scotland may have no recollections of what she was saying at all. We may have to start a campaign? Bring back JR!

Wait a minute that may have been used before?

Were you heading southeast down the A1 last weekend? Well obviously you weren’t but you may well have wanted to be since it was closed. A large bang was heard at or near the Catterick Army Base not far from Scotch Corner, which is a significant misnomer since it’s not in Scotland, Scotch is a drink only and there is no corner.

The loud bang was heard by locals and by people in Glasgow and other places. I, myself didn’t hear a thing. The Polis shut the road for a short time of some 16 hours. Well you can’t be too careful now can you?

Anyway, it’s a mystery and we’ll never know. Probably, it was down to the military since there is the Army base and an RAF base also close by. Since loud bangs were heard all over the place some say it might have been meteors whilst others think it must have been a secret aircraft creating a sonic boom or three.

Maybe it flew in from the USA with a flight time of 45 minutes? Pity BA, Virgin etc. can’t buy the technology so we could get longer holidays on the beach rather than spending hours on slow drones? 15 minutes to Ibiza anyone?

The new Drink Drive limits in Scotland come onto force on the 5th I believe. This is a good thing, well almost a good thing, Firstly, the limit is now so low that it may catch people who have not actually been drinking. Secondly, should they not have gone for a no limit (see first point) and does that mean the Polis will stop breathalysing anyone stopped for any reason in a car?

Interestingly, it seems that the makers of Harris Tweed have recently produced a tweed jacket, which has an aroma of whisky. You can just see it now. Old guy gets pulled over and winds his window down. Polis stick their head in his window and get a wiff of whisky. Polis ask man to get out of the car as they suspect he has been drinking alcohol. Old man says he has not been drinking and it’s his jackets fault…

 
 

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Gordy Broon is gone…

My wife used to work beside a woman who knew Gordy Broon. She said he was a very, very clever man. He may well have been or still is for that matter. He managed to hoodwink quite a lot of people during his intervention in the final stages of the Scottish Referendum.

But that is history. He’s going to work with the UN on education with a salary that reflects his experience and stuff. Lets hope he keeps his political thoughts to himself though from now on. Not because he has anything meaningful to say of course since the Smith Commission reported with the Tories and Lab sticking together just like the ending of 1984. Talking about which, the Tories and Labour stopped the living wage proposals in the Smith Report.

There are things that could be done without recourse to Smith and of course Dave and his purring Queen. How about Nippy Sturgeon making a start on developing a Scottish Declaration of Rights. I chose this as a starting point because such a document would determine how our representatives would behave towards us.

Given, that the Better Together people or the NO side as they were, told enormous amounts of lies, exaggerated issues and generally misled to win. There was no VOW. It was a construct by Gordy and the Daily Record, which vowed nothing tangible and the three Stooges, Messrs’ Cameron, Miliband and Clegg went along with it. Various other “stars” such as Jim Murphy were complicit in it also.

A short aside. The question, which has still not been answered, is of course “Why would England want to keep Scotland if the Scots were a millstone?” We all know the answer. 95% of the oil within current UK waters is in Scottish waters, Scotland can be used for storing nuclear bombs and waste and Scotland can be used as a guinea pig for new legislation. There’s also the growing awareness that Scotland does not need Labour but Labour desperately needs Scotland.

The development of a Scottish Declaration of Rights, probably based on Scots Law and the USA version to a degree could work well for us all. It would have to be voted on and it would have to be legally adopted. If it was worded strongly enough we could cut out the lies and smoke and mirrors of politicians, and dare I say, bring some honesty into the debate and our own going governance.

Come on Nippy. Give it a go. It will keep the momentum going if nothing else for short term.

 

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Well were the 1970’s great then… Perhaps not so for the BBC

I started High School in 1969, which seemed like a great thing at the time. The early part of the decade wasn’t entirely brilliant from a musical point of view but things improved pretty quickly. I sort of moved fairly quickly from charts stuff to Alice Cooper, Bowie, Deep Purple, Wishbone Ash, Genesis and YES. There were other obviously but those are the mains with YES being the best by a mile. I still listen to YES all these years later and I still go to their gigs which are defined by greying hair, pot bellies, bad teeth, balding and wrinkles and that’s not just the band.

Top of the Pops was still a must although the stupid camera effects were tedious. Lots of progs had bands on playing their chart songs with Crackerjack and the Saturday evening shows with Cliff, Lulu Val Doonigan etc etc. and of course The Black and White Minstrell Show and Rolf Harris. During that time I saw not a peado, not a single grope and no grooming.

The BBC showed a lot of those progs and they were very popular for various age groups. It was a bit odd then to find the BBC airing a programme about how good or bad the 70s were. They showed loads of clips from the 70s with content which was well before the PC and Righteous brigade got traction. They showed sexist and racist clips to back up their case for how much and how well we’d travelled to the current controlled and prim times we now live in.

One of the highlights was Bill Oddie being shocked at 1970s TV prog contents. The Black and White Minstrels in particular where white men “blacked” up, was not happy viewing for Bill and a bit uncomfortable for all us viewers. The Bill got ambushed. A clip from the Goodies showed him blacked up. What was he to say?

I do like a bit of leftie baiting, but the BBC baiting Bill was pretty surprising. Maybe he’s fallen foul or should that be fowl, of the Beeb.

The truth of course is that it’s all in the past. Things were different then. It was a harder life than now maybe and less colourful since brown and beige reigned supreme then. I watched the 70’s programmes and laughed and enjoyed them. Some were funny. Play for Today regularly featured ladies in various stages of undressing.

I don’t think the BBC prog was a success unless all the PC lefties were in full ” look at us we are wonderful” mode.

Predictable. I liked the 70s because I had loads of fun, prog rock was wonderful and my life truly began. It was a different time. It wasn’t the 2000’s

THINGS WERE DIFFERENT THEN!

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in BBC, Music, the 70's

 

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