• January 2009
    M T W T F S S
    « Dec   Feb »
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 269 other followers

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Reviewers’ Comments

    "Great read every day. Makes me smile as Rab muses about music and his irreverent views on the EU. Tune in, you won't be disappointed."

    "Excellent 'Blog' which can be controversial at times, while maintaining it's humour. Keep it up Big Rab!"

    "Updated every day with doses of good humour, political satire, a running commentary on the progress of author's home football team and his life."

    "Pure brilliant, so it is - I never miss it, though God knows, I've tried."

    "An inspiration to start my own blog"

    "For dipping into it's better than pakora sauce"

    "Anyone who doesn't like the EU and has a soft spot for Albion Rovers can't be all bad"

    "Facile and False"

    "Populist,puerile and prosaic"

    "Utter pish! Keep it up, I love it!"

    "People may also find the Ben Lomond Free Press blog illuminating, interesting and/or amusing. It’s not mentalist as such but familiar themes emerge. I particularly like accounts of encounters with strange elementals (of course! ELEmentals!) from elfin safety. And the fact that the blog is run by someone who plays in a blues band called Harmonica Lewinsky."

  • Hit Me!

    • 1,210,490 hits since January 2008
  • Top Rated

Another Belated Happy Birthday

How could I have missed it?

On the 24th January The Ben Lomond Free Press celebrated its first birthday!

Thank you to everyone who has looked in during our first birl round the sun and in particular thank you to those of you who have taken the trouble to reply to, or comment on my posts.

birthday-cakeSince 24th January 2008 this blog has received over 110,000 hits. The vast majority of comments have been favourable. Let me say quite honestly that I am proud of the regular contributors here. I know some of you personally and others I feel as if I know personally. You represent many different political, social and religious views, but always maintain a good discussion rather than resort to name calling or flaming.

Thank you for that.

Here’s to the next year!

PS My old blog is still up there at http://bigrab.vox.com/

Happy Birthday Rabbie

I had meant to mark the Bard’s 250th birthday yesterday but stuff got in the way. So, some lazy blogging from me here as I list this selection of quotes put together by Michael Greenwell at his excellent site. Michael has altered some of the quotes slightly but this is a great cross section.

“Ye hypocrites! are these your pranks? To Murder men, and give God thanks? Desist for same! proceed no further: God won’t accept your thanks for Murther!”

“Suspicion is a heavy armor and with its weight it impedes more than it protects.”

“How wretched is the person who hangs on by the favors of the powerful.”

“Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn”

“While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things, The fate of empires and the fall of kings; While quacks of State must each produce his plan, And even children lisp the Rights of Man; Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention, The Rights of Woman merit some attention.”

“Their sighing , canting , grace-proud faces, their three-mile prayers, and half-mile graces.”

“Affliction’s sons are brothers in distress; A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!”

“O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”
(O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.)

Two in a Row!

I haven’t mentioned Dumbarton’s vital 2-1 away victory at Berwick at the weekend. Apparently the game was played in terrible conditions and on a very poor surface.

Sons were up against it for much of the game and Berwick’s frustration at some poor refereeing manifested itself in six bookings and a sending off for the home side.

Derek Carcary was once again the man who got the Sons out of jail. A good three points which keeps the promotion dream alive.

Scottish Coin

I suppose many folks have a tin of old coins in the house. I remember this coin from our tin when I was a kid. I rediscovered our tin when my mother was moving home recently.


There were several coronation commemorative coins including that of Edward VII. This one is different. On one side it says “In defence of the rights and honour of Scotland”, with the Royal Lion Rampant flag.


On the other it says “Edward I of Britain & the British Empire, falsely styled Edward VII. Our army, navy, parliament and flag all are British not English”.

I’ve had a look on the net for some information but have so far drawn a blank. This is obviously not the work of Scottish nationalists but seems rather to have been struck as a protest to a time when the postal address of Scotland became North Britain. It’s a reminder that the union was meant to be one of equal partnership and how it didn’t actually work out like that.

Interesting stuff.

The BBC and Impartiality

We’re in the age of the policy, the charter and the mission statement. One can hardly buy a product or service these days without being bombarded by meaningless drivel on an individual, company or government body’s ethical principles.

Most of it is bollocks.

Click Here for some of the endless knots the BBC ties itself up in, in the pursuit of “impartiality” Click Here for more. The Beeb says it is simply maintaining impartiality by not allowing an appeal for humanitarian aid for Gaza to be broadcast. And yet by their refusal, have they not just declared their support for the Israeli government who claim there is no humanitarian crisis?

One can impartially judge whether there is a humanitarian crisis here:

The Disasters Emergency Committee are the organisation behind the Gaza Humanitarian Appeal. They have been around since 1963 and encompass 13 aid agencies including the British Red Cross, Christian Aid, Save the Children, Oxfam and Help the Aged. They too of course have a mission statement and critera for intervention. The three principles which govern their intervention are interesting.

1. The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift international humanitarian assistance.
2. The DEC agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national appeal.
3. There must be sufficient public awareness of, and sympathy for, the humanitarian situation so as to give reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal will be successful.

All I would suggest much more concise and helpful than the hand wringing rubbish currently emanating from the BBC. I will be donating to the DEC today and their address is on the clip below should you wish to help. (NB other broadcasters are mentioned on the clip. They have all, even Sky*, since agreed to broadcast the appeal)

*edit, actually Sky have refused to broadcast it after all. File them with BBC.

Shame on the BBC

From BBC News Thursday 22/01/09

“Aid agencies are battling to meet the urgent needs of tens and thousands of displaced, homeless and injured people in Gaza, as well as to get damaged water, power and sewage infrastructure back even to their ailing pre-war levels.

That stage alone will cost “hundreds of millions” of dollars, while long term reconstruction will run into “billions,” the UN has said.

Two separate Palestinian surveys have put the cost of the damage just under $2bn.

One said it would take three to five years to rebuild even under normal conditions – never mind with the continued Israeli blockade which stops all but humanitarian basics entering the strip.”

From BBC News Thursday 22/01/09

“The BBC has defended a decision not to air a TV fund-raising appeal for Gaza, saying it wanted to avoid compromising public confidence in its impartiality.

It said a decision was taken with other broadcasters not to show the Disasters Emergency Committee crisis appeal on any network in the UK.

A corporation statement added there were also doubts about “the delivery of aid in a volatile situation”.

DEC said there was “clear evidence” the British public wanted to help.

In a statement, the BBC said: “The BBC decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of an ongoing news story. “


Is This the Most Relaxed Man in the World?

Thanks Kenny!


One Giant Leap

I’m sure Stu won’t mind my spreading the word further on this. I saw this clip at his blog. This is the result of a collaboration of Jamie Catto (Faithless) and Duncan Bridgeman.

They travelled the world and in each location they added bits and pieces (drums here, bassline there) from local musicians. The theme for the project is “Unity Through Diversity”.

As if to illustrate the point there are contributions from Michael Stipe, Robbie Williams, Eddi Reader (did I ever tell you Eddi was once in my shop?) and Denis Hopper amongst others.

The scoop is here

If you watch the following and don’t start at least some rhythmic movement, I have some bad news.

You’re probably dead.

Latest News!


Step Right Up!

I know I’ve featured this track before but as I think it is amongst the finest pieces ever recorded, it’s well worth a repeat.
I have a feeling Smiler will enjoy this.

Mr Tom Waits and Step Right Up!!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 269 other followers