Search

Paul's Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.

Uncategorized

Posted by on in Uncategorized

The Scottish National Party was the third largest in the House of Commons. If you get your news from the BBC, you might think the third party is the Social Democrats. The SNP won greater than 50% more seats at the last General Election. The argument goes that as no-one outside Scotland can vote for the SNP, there is no point giving the party air time on the British stage. In Canada, the leader of the pro-separatist Bloc Quebecois was invited to take part in the leaders' debates, even though no-one outside Quebec could vote for his party. That meant that Canadians could see not only where the Bloc was coming from but where the other party leaders stood in relation to it. In Canada there was a national election. The broadcasters in the United Kingdom are treating the General Election as an English Election and only the leaders of the two main parties south of the border merit debate time. There is much nonsense spoken and written about Scotland at the moment  and the chance to nail some of the lies on a United Kingdom stage is being lost. Something is not right. 

Continue reading
Hits: 1
0
Posted by on in Uncategorized

I was a little miffed at a suggestion in a history of the Royal Flying Corps that life in the trenches during the First World War offered an improvement in quality of life for the numerous slum dwellers who found themselves sent to the front line. A bit patronizing, I thought. But I think the author got the idea from a classic novel about the war in the air called Winged Victory. The point made by a fictional pilot in the book was that he couldn’t see what motivated the downtrodden slum dwellers to fight for a country that treated them so badly. Good question. The Second Boer War of 1899-1902 resulted in a flood of volunteers to fight in South Africa. But the authorities were appalled by how many of them had to be rejected because they were in such poor physical condition, rotten teeth being a particular worry (a quick survey of the newspapers for 1900 and 1901 shows that on several occasions as many as 50% of Edinburgh volunteers were rejected on medical grounds). The school dinner programme came just in time to beef up the boys who would be sent for slaughter 1914-18. And the Land Fit for Heroes promised to the survivors by Prime Minister David Lloyd George failed to materialise. The children of the warriors of the First World War were a little smarter and less trusting when the second round broke out in 1939. It was clear the status quo would not be acceptable after the war was won. It is only recently that the Establishment has dared to start taking away what they successfully fought for 1939-45. Mind you, British veterans of the fighting 1939-45 are becoming scarce on the ground. 

Continue reading
Hits: 8
0
Posted by on in Uncategorized

In the crime shows on television a lot of suspects seem to know exactly what they were doing on a specific day when questioned, even though the it was weeks earlier.  I have trouble now remembering what I was doing this time last week. But I do know what I was doing around sunset on 13th of July 1985 – I was jumping up and down giving a statue of the Duke of Sutherland the V-sign. There were hundreds of us hoping up and down gesticulating at the statue on the ridge above Golspie that night. The reason I know the date was the Runrig concert at Golspie co-incided with Live Aid. The legendary Gaelic rockers were belting out a lively song about the Highland Clearances named Dance Called America. Not surprisingly, it’s quite a bouncy lively tune. The crowd knew what it had to do. They turned pretty much spontaneously turned their backs to the band on stage, which could easily have been mistaken for a hay trailer, and clearly demonstrated that they knew who the statue on the column on the ridge was and the contribution he and his family had made to The Clearances. It was a memorable but moment – obviously. Oh, the reason I remember it must have been the day of Live Aid was that a blanket was carried around the crowd to collect donations.

Continue reading
Hits: 14
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

We had a spate of people who died after becoming trapped inside clothing donation bins here in Canada. The bins, like good modern post boxes, have a moving shelf in the opening to stop people reaching in and helping themselves to the contents. Obviously, when it comes to these large clothing donation bins there must be a way around this security feature. But there's also obviously a risk of being trapped. Cue the professional advocates for the poor and their demands that the security feature should be removed. The thing that struck me was that no-one mentioned the fact that those who became trapped were stealing. Worse than that, they were stealing from the poor. I can't say "fellow poor" because I've noticed that some folk engaged in similar activities are driving trucks. I don't like to see anyone dying trapped in a steel box, but is making stealing from the poor easier really the best solution?

Continue reading
Hits: 18
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

One Tuesday a month I go to a talk put on by the local university and involving students working on their PhDs. Recently the presentation was about fentanyl deaths in prison. The student was more mature than most, in both senses of the word, and had been a prison guard before going to university. I'd turned up early and so had an older guy. The three of us got talking. The older guy suggested that fentanyl deaths in the prison was an excellent example of self-culling among some of the less sympathetic members of society. I can't remember what the former prison warder replied but he handled the quip well and was no bleeding heart. The PhD student invited questions at the end of his talk and I kept expecting that older guy to make his self-culling crack again. But he remained silent. But by then it was obvious that most of the audience for the talk were in fact out-and-out bleeding hearts. And there a few who are so intolerant and closed minded than the bleeding hearts. I'm sure the old guy wasn't the only one who wondered whether the fentanyl deaths in jail should worry society too much. It would have been an interesting discussion. But it was never going to happen. Postcript - I was foolish enough a few weeks later in the same room to question a statement that anyone who had reservations about the tactics of Extinction Rebellion activists  should be regarded as an example of "road rage culture". I should have known better. 

Continue reading
Hits: 20
0
Go to top