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    "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."

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    "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."

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    • 1,214,415 hits since January 2008
  • Top Rated

Days Gone Down

If your knowledge of the music of Gerry Rafferty extends to Baker Street and not much more, and you like well crafted and well played songs, close harmony, great arrangements and dynamics, I urge you to listen to this at a reasonable volume.

 

Come on the Nats

In my time I have voted for all the major political parties, and some minor ones (with one exception – I have never voted Tory). I listen to the arguments and based on that, make my decision sometimes on the basis of local matters and sometimes those of national importance.

I have been generally impressed with the way the SNP has gone about its business as the minority government in Scotland since 2007. Mostly I’ve agreed with what they have done and have tried to do. Even on those occasions where I have had issues with proposed legislation (eg the alcohol pricing proposals) I recognise that opposition was generally politically motivated.

How else would one explain the Condem coalition proposing similar measures for England and Wales?

The SNP in government has done its best to help a cause very close to my heart i.e. arresting the decline of town centres in Scotland. The £60 million Town Centres Regeneration Fund wasn’t much but it was at least a step in the right direction. Rates relief for small businesses was another initiative which helped in a small way to begin the journey of regeneration of our town centres and ergo, communities.

Let me say here that my own business did not benefit by one penny on the rates relief measure but a few smaller businesses I know did.

The issue of derelict town centres, with retail properties lying empty all over the country as a result of disastrous town planning decisions and the profusion of out of town shopping centres, surely has to be addressed somehow?

That’s why the proposal by John Swinney to levy a tax on the very largest retailers to raise £30 million for the Scottish exchequer is to be applauded.

The tax based on property will affect only 215 out of 215,000 business premises and is I would suggest a ‘no brainer’.

However Labour and their friends the Tories and Libdems are opposing the proposals for the same reason that they and the Scottish media always oppose the Nats. No matter how good and popular the policies, no matter how able the politicians by comparison to their opponents, no matter how imaginative their ideas and frankly no matter what they try to do, they must, it would appear, be stopped at all costs.

Those who oppose the Nats should be careful what they wish for.

The sobering thought s that should the polls prove correct then it could be Ian Gray for First Minister.

Perish the thought.

The Trials of Tommy

On the day Tommy Sheridan is due to be sentenced having been found guilty of perjury, BBC Scotland are broadcasting a half hour drama about the case at 3:30 this afternoon:

Shades of Gray

This is the incident which got Andy Gray fired from Sky TV

He had earlier made sexist remarks about Sian Massey who was an assistant referee in the match between Wolves and Liverpool on Saturday. In consideration of today’s laws and workplace regulations, Gray’s behaviour was wrong. It should have warranted a warning as to his future conduct.

However Sky Sports wanted rid of Gray and dug up the second clip so they could fire him for upsetting Uncle Rupert by taking News International to court decided that sexism, being such a serious breach of decency and behaviour, from any of its presenters should mean dismissal.

Sky Sports majority shareholder is News International.

News International owns the Sun.

The item below was published on their website today:

The Numbers Game

This humble outpost of t’internet is enjoying its busiest day ever.

With about 85 minutes of the day still to go this is how the stats are looking with 3,574 page views so far today.

I think at least half of these have been for the excellent Burns picture by John MacTaggart which I posted here last year, as well as in my posting ‘Burns in Dumbarton’ below. I hope that some of these additional visitors have been encouraged to visit John’s excellent website

 

 

The Immortal Memory?

AnElephant can sing Happy Birthday

AnElephant can dance and do turns

Play a tune on the chanter

Recite Tam O’Shanter

AnElephantCant ever forget Robert Burns

Brian and Phil

Happy Birthday Rabbie

“Here’s freedom to them that would read.
Here’s freedom to them that would write!
There’s nane ever fear’d that the truth should be heard
But they wham the truth would indite!”

From Here’s a Health

There’s a great article here about Burns’s ambivalent and changing attitude to political matters.

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