• November 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    27282930  
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 285 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!

    • 1,298,124 hits since January 2008
  • Top Rated

The E(n)d for Miliband?

George Galloway celebrates his victory in the Bradford West by-election by more than 10,000 votes.

Galloway can be brilliant, amusing and prescient. He can also be er….none of the above.

Labour I fear, are a shambles both north and south of the border. Strange things happen at by-elections but surely nothing quite so strange as this for a very long time.

Farewell Ed Miliband?

Looks like it.

Advertisements

Down Amongst the Dead Men

I thought I’d take a wee look at the fringe parties in last week’s Scottish Election. In particular I’m focussing here on parties which could reasonably be labelled to be on the far ‘left’ and ‘right’ of the mainstream.

The four elections looked at here are 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011
In the first two elections I only have data for the SSP so apologies if there were other left or right parties standing.

Nothing Left

If there were other far left votes cast in 1999 and 2003 then it would perhaps throw into even deeper relief how that vote has all but disappeared. Of course the trials of Tommy Sheridan have done nothing to help the SSP or in turn Solidarity. There is ample evidence that a split would have occurred anyway, not least because it’s what left wing parties do.

Right You Aren’t

On the right it’s good to see the BNP suffering losses although UKIP have gained ground. In reality though all these parties are for the foreseeable future, an irrelevance in Scotland.

George Galloway’s bid to bring  his bizarre love for despot dictators and medieval religions to Holyrood failed miserably. If you need any evidence of how Galloway speaks out both sides of his mouth then here it is:

And talking of medieval religions, I see the Scottish Christian Party are on the wane too.

Gail Warning

So the (big) brothers have fallen out over a woman. George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan I’m talking about here and the decision by Gail Sheridan to stand for the Scottish Parliament under the Solidarity banner.

Wee George is a bit miffed because he had been talking to Tommy about swinging……a few votes his way, via a collaborative effort to galvanise the 8% or so of voters likely to vote for a far left candidate in Glasgow. However, reading between the lines, George had severe misgivings about the whole thing (ie he knows his pal was guilty) and now there has been that most predictable phenomenon – a split on the left.

I suppose showing the famous clip from the Life of Brian again would be tedious, but really, how predictable are left wing politicians? If ever there were an opportunity for them to capture the imagination of voters then surely now is the time. The UK £1 trillion in defecit, increasing taxes, inflation, rising unemployment, the early days of an already unpopular UK Tory led government, bankers bonuses etc.etc.etc.

So what do the left do?

Unite and effectively mount a coherent strategy to highlight the almighty mess that capitalism has got itself into?

Or simply repeat history and endlessly fight amongst themselves.

And why is it that the left attracts such vainglorious individuals such as Galloway and Sheridan and promotes them to leadership?

Galloway is an enigma indeed. The same man who brilliantly slayed the US Senate single handed and has the ability to construct a good argument on just about any subject, too often descends into petty bigotry whether sectarian, social or political.

Sheridan’s self belief and deception has probably led him to the position of believing his own lies. If only he had listened to advice eh?

I happen to think that the SSP (and Tommy’s) presence in the Scottish Parliament was a good thing. The disenfranchised were given a voice. Warrant sales, where the poor were hounded for debt and their possessions sold off for coppers, were abolished and in lots of other matters the influence of these six MSPs was heard and taken note of.

Before you scoff at that, think about it. An MSP from another party wouldn’t have introduced the bill on warrant sales but when presented with it, a majority thought it a good and worthy measure. Hearts and minds were won over.

In the words of the song, ‘It’s all over now’

This posting hasn’t really been about Gail at all. Neither has it been about socialism or the left.

It has been about Tommy and George and that is just how Tommy and George see it.

Their agreement to fall out however probably means that neither Respect, Solidarity (nor the SSP) will be sending any MSPs to Holyrood.

Insomnia, George Galloway and the Peoples’ Front of Judea

I'm not sure what it is that's keeping me awake (it is currently 3:34 am). It could be the tragedy of Scotland's exit from the European Championships. It may be the Curry Club Special I had when I got home. One thing is for sure it isn't the current trials and tribulations of the the Respect Party which is causing my insomnia. However I have just been on the George Galloway Website which is excellent value for money.

It headlines with an apology for the cancelation of a planned convention in Blackpool. Apparently the directors of Blackpool Pleasure Beach cancelled the Respect do at the last minute. The explanation according to George is that Blackpool Pleasure Beach Ltd. is a contributor to the Conservative Party.

George apologises.

I then turned my attention to a link which promises a signed (by George!) copy of the Fidel Castro Handbook – buy your copy here! step right up!! only to find this:

"We have been unable to supply recent orders for the Fidel Castro Handbook. This has been because the publishers, MQ, are in liquidation and the books, as assets, are being held in a warehouse and not released until the legal formalities are settled. So, a sincere apology to anyone who has recently ordered the book and it has not been sent.

We have been talking to the former publishers and the liquidator and we are hopeful that we can shortly resume supply. However, it you have ordered and paid for the book and if the matter is not resolved by the end of this coming week, April 27, a full refund will be sent to you."

George apologises.

It is not clear whether MQ are (were) contributors to the Conservative Party.

Then if one scrolls down a little one gets the inside track on the schism in the Respect Party in an article headed "Respect at the Crossroad". It's all the SWP's (Socialist Workers Party) fault apparently. There really is no need for me to go in to much detail here. Simply study any left wing/socialist party in Britain over the last 50 years or so (including I may say the Labour Party in the 80's) and you'll get the gist of it. The fundamentalist left wingers, (Dave and Derdrie Spart) are resisting any move to popularise the party and calling it a right wing plot. The supreme irony here is that the article immediately below "Respect at the Crossroad" advertises "The Global Peace and Unity Event"

I have heard and seen several references to Respect and Respect Renewal (George's new party – we await the next split with interest) this week and the uncanny similarity to one particular section of Monty Python's Life of Brian.

 

The site also has a link to George's radio show, the most recent of which has him discussing Scottish independence and the terrible case of the young Saudi Arabian woman who was gang raped and ended up with a more severe punishment than her attackers. George despite his fondness for all things Moslem and Islam manages to wriggle about the subject in his own inimitable fashion.

 

Read and post comments |
Send to a friend