• June 2012
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Unintended Irony

There’s hardly a day gone by since February that the gates of Ibrox haven’t featured in the newspapers or TV.

However this one I spotted yesterday has a wee bit of unintended irony added.

I’m thinking of the sign bottom left.


And having followed the ongoing soap opera that has become Sevco 5088, Dumbarton supporters have been reflecting on the bullet we dodged having had John “Bomber” Brown in charge as manager for a mere 2o minutes before Clyde came in and offered him a wad more cash he decided he couldn’t take the job after all due to family circumstances.

I’m sure there is some explanation for Bomber assuming the demeanour of a psychotic fulminating social misfit who shouts at people on street corners, the other night.

Or maybe he’s just a psychotic fulminating social misfit who shouts at people on street corners.



Britain from Above

An absolutely fascinating site of aerial photography detailing Britain between the years 1919 and 1953 is to be found here

The search facility found this photo of Inchmoan Inchtavannach and Inchconnachan islands on Loch Lomond in 1939

Loch Lomond Islands and Luss 1939

This is Helensburgh on October 7th 1927. If you look closely you can see a Clyde steamer at the pier and what looks to be a small motor boat on the left side heading towards the shore.

This is the Queen Mary at Bowling on her way from Clydebank to face the world in 1936 with a De Havilland Dragon biplane in close attendance:

Continuing on the ship theme, and taken on the same day as the Helensburgh photo, this is the shipyard at Irvine:

Many of the photos of Scotland were taken on 6th/7th October 1927. For example, here is the home of Sevco 5088 in happier times on 06/10/1927:

Shite Idea?

I reproduce here, without editorial comment, a story from BBC News


Quote of the Day

Better Together?

I still haven’t decided how I’ll vote in the referendum on Scottish Independence.

Partly, that’s because I have yet to examine the issues properly and come to an informed decision. Partly though, I think I’d like to know what I’m voting for or against. It’d be a help if I knew what the question was and if there is to be one or two questions.

The Yes campaign, trailed as a multi party effort, was launched a few weeks ago. High profile fellow travellers like the Greens’ Patrick Harvie and independent Margo MacDonald have since jumped ship because they say the SNP is dominating the campaign.

I’m truly shocked by that.

Who’d have thought that the SNP would be positioning themselves at the forefront of such a campaign?

Anyway the Yes campaign launch had actors Allan Cumming and Brian Cox there and of course Sir Shshawn is a long term supporter.

Yesterday “Better Together” (i.e. the No lobby) launched their campaign.

It is fronted by Alistair Darling, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer who, lets face it, presided over the best period of growth and stability worst banking and financial crisis the UK has experienced in 300 years.

The bold Alistair said yesterday, obviously referring to the Yes campaign launch:

“I don’t think people are impressed when you line up actors, no matter how good they may be, who have flown in from the other side of the Atlantic to tell us what to do.
“This campaign will be decided in Scotland by people living here.”

This roughly translates to:

“We couldn’t get any actors”

Mind you, the campaign song is a snappy one:

As well as such luminaries as Nick Clegg, Ruth Davidson and Michael Moore, the BT team paraded some ordinary Scots who let their feelings be known.

For example:

I cast my mind back to 1971 and the days prior to the liquidation of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders.

Edward Heath, the Prime Minister of the day, stepped in and with his government saved the yards from the risk of closure by pumping investment into them refused to give UCS, who had a full order book and projected profit for the following year, a £6 million bail out to allow them to continue.

Only after a widespread trade union and civic campaign did the Heath government relent and put some money in.

But really, I do wonder about the whole campaign thing. The SNP seem to be even more afraid of the “I” word than anyone else and seem to be spending most of their time telling folk how they won’t really notice much difference. We’ll still have Pudsey Bear, Michael McIntyre and Alan Titchmarsh on the telly and the Queen adorning our currency and opening our parliament.

Kind of makes you think, er…what’s the point?

Will the Eurozone crisis and the resultant fall out not be much more relevant to Scotland’s future than any referendum?

As I say, I haven’t made up my mind on how to vote but knowing Scotland as I do, I just can’t see a yes vote being achieved from this vantage point. To do so would require the independence lobby to have a massive majority at this stage because there will inevitably be a shrinkage in that vote as the time draws near. They haven’t and what support they do have seems to be ebbing already.

The SNP is the only cohesive and remotely plausible political party in Scotland just now. It is going to take all of their skill and powers of persuasion to win the vote.

I don’t think they will, and that is nothing to do with “Better Together”.

It is because to persuade others of your case you have to be 100% certain of it yourself.

The SNP just don’t give the impression that they are.

Mind you, Brave hasn’t been released here yet……..


Just what IS Roy Hodgson getting for Christmas?

Tasteful and elegant

Also scores penalties……

Also for the Elvis fan in your life…..

Rangers – The end game?

You know I just can’t see any way that Sevco will have a club/team ready to compete in whatever league will have them. Charles Green seems delusional at best.

Eurozone – The end game?

I am a division 2 businessman.

And yet since the inception of the Euro single currency I have managed to predict with absolute clarity where it would end up. You cannot apply a single currency equally to succeeding and failing economies, varying cultures and work ethics and completely different fiscal policies.

With a single currency if a country goes bankrupt it cannot devalue its currency and recover. There is no safety valve.

Any idiot could see that.

And that is why the Euro is going to ‘end up’ very soon indeed.

That is because people and nations will always vote and act in their own interests.

Therefore bye bye to the Euro.

Hello to its legacy of chaos which will last for a generation.

The Big Noise

I experience the disenfranchised victims of society on a daily basis at my work. No hope people and families stuck in bad housing, addiction, crime and poverty.

Sometimes sympathy can be reinforced by events, sometimes it is tested.

When one takes an objective view though one can’t help but conclude that society has trampled on the potential and worth of these people. If only they could be engaged in something that caught their imagination and interest?

A few years ago I heard about a plan being put forward by Richard Holloway, former Scottish Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh and a man who was brought up in the shadow of Ben Lomond. Holloway had also been chairman of the Scottish Arts Council and had heard about “El Sistema” a project in Venezuela which had helped children from deprived areas engage in music.

Classical music.

The pilot for a scheme here was to be the Raploch in Stirling. The Raploch is one of Scotland’s most notorious and deprived housing estates.

The cynical amongst us tried without success to imagine children from Raploch engaged in classical music and playing in an orchestra. To be honest I thought “Best of luck to him!”.

Well that cynicism is unfounded.

You can read about the extraordinary success of the project in this BBC report


I’m nothing if not predictable.

A day off.

Out on the boat.

Photo: AnElephantCant

We went to Inchcailloch which I have written about many times before.

We visited the ancient burial ground.

This is the grave of the Clan Chief of the MacGregors, Gregor McGregor, buried in the grounds of the 13th century church.

I can’t find too much information about Gregor MacGregor but readers may be more familiar with his nephew Raibeart Ruadh MacGregor – otherwise Red Robert but perhaps more commonly known as Rob Roy

Inchcailloch, along with the islands of Torrinch, Creinch and Inchmurrin form part of the Highland fault line. These are the latter islands photographed from the former today.

And on the way out, this was Inchmurrin with Ben Lomond in the background: