RSS

Category Archives: Scotland

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.

Advertisements
 
 

Tags: , ,

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?

 

Tags: , , ,

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.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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…

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

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.

Or…

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.

Or…

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.

 
Leave a comment

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

 

Tags: , , , ,

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?

 

Tags: , , , ,