Thursday, 31 July 2014

You'll enjoy this... He's brilliant!


Mrs Thatcher was using the fishermen to get a rebate
After all the fishermen didn't live in the SE of England
A bit like the farming deal
Scotland loses out again.
Shameful and heartbreaking
Proud of this, are you Politicians?
Well, no one much listens to war criminals, so sod off Blair
Ah, a socialist in the Labour Party. Hoorah.
Lordy, you wait for a socialist for 10 years
and then two come along at once
Then of course, the disappointment is that these two Tories,
still drawing salaries, while making most of their money elsewhere,
come along and make a sunny day cloudy.
Says it all
Just sometimes, as we get closer to success,
we get a reasonable article
This is according to Hansard
Oh well, people are entitled to change their views,
and a political career needs a little manipulation
of ideals from time to time.
Butter Together
Dear Old Danny Alexander, George Osborne's boot boy
Oh don't worry Alistair, you'll get your seat in the Lords.
There's always a place for a flipping liar in there.
Well, I never
A third real socialist. I hardly believe it.
Well, they are a sharp set of old fella, aren't they?
Well the one or two that are awake are...
Three hundred a day from sleeping?
I could do that.
So we are actually doing worse than everyone else except Italy?
That's not quite how George described it, is it?
Oh stick around Mr Panda. You'll get used to the lies they tell here
Z list celebrities will do ANYTHING to get their names back in the press.
I'd only heard of a couple of them, and I'm told they were all Blair's friends.
Why weren't you asked to sing at the Games, Annie?
Do you, Stan the Man?  Oh dear. Never mind.
Better luck next time.
Congratulations to all the athletes taking part in the Games.
Win or lose, thanks for coming to Scotland and competing.
Take away a good memory of your stay here.
And Stan the... erm Man? 
Crawl back into your hole.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


David Clapson was once a serving British soldier who for two years patrolled the mean streets of Northern Ireland which at the time of the late 70s and early 80s had been labelled as one of the most dangerous places on earth.

After leaving the army David moved directly into work with BT where he stayed for over 16 years and then left to be a full time carer for his elderly mother, saving the taxpayer many thousands of pounds in sheltered accommodation and nursing care, after David's mothers health worsened and she eventually had no choice but to be moved into a home David began to look for work and turned to Iain Duncan Smith's DWP to help him while he went through this transition in his life, made even more difficult because he himself was now nearly 60 and a diabetic.

On the 20th of July David Clapson was found dead, he had died alone in his home that was without electric, his food cupboards were empty apart from a few tea bags a tin of soup and some out of date sardines. Next to David's body were dozens of CVs for job applications and a letter from iain Duncan Smiths DWP informing him that his £71.70 p per week JSA had been stopped or as they like to put it sanctioned because David had missed one interview, so David had simply stopped taking his insulin which was still in his fridge that no longer worked, the coroner also found that David's stomach was completely empty so he had not eaten in days and was slipping in to an advancing stage of starvation before his death.
That's his cv, along with the fact that he refused
to pay back the expenses he over claimed. Greedy fat Git
Iain Duncan Smith's DWP has become a department of fear for so many now, as it meets out the punishment of coldness and hunger with impunity and scant regard for human life. Over a million sanctions have now been issued to the sick as well as the jobless that has meant that unless you have a charity or friends and family to turn to, you will suffer hunger and coldness regardless of whether you have paid into the system as David had done for many years. People are now so ashamed to be labelled a scrounger by their fellow citizens that many admit to just going hungry rather than be seen using food banks or asking for a hardship payment which is another way that Iain Duncan Smith’s DWP heap a little bit more embarrassment and shame on people.

Some people may think this is simply one case that slipped through the net, but most people who care know it is most definitely not. Since I began this page I have come across stories of people dying in absolutely disgraceful conditions almost monthly and if you read back on my page I have covered these shameful stories of people's lives just being snuffed out by chance and circumstance on coming into contact with Iain Duncan Smith's DWP and their treatment at the hands of that department.
Says all you need to know about this upper class low life
Somewhere in Stevenage there will be a person sitting at a desk in the job centre plus, who was there to help David Clapson get a job and improve his life, instead they sanctioned him to keep up the number of sanctions they are expected to issue each month and in doing so, drove a proud man into a lonely and squalid death, and they will sit at their desk this morning and issue more sanctions against people who they have no idea of their vulnerabilities and life experiences. We should all feel ashamed at David's pointless death and feel a burning rage at the pampered millionaire Iain Duncan Smith and this near religious crusade he is on, in punishing everyone that has the misfortune of circumstance to come across his DWP department that now openly fosters resentment and hate and fear, but the real killer is the shame and dehumanisation it spotlights onto ordinary people at the most vulnerable times of their lives.
A sorry excuse for a minister
One day, maybe not this week or even next month or next year, but one day we will ask ourselves how we allowed this to happen, how we allowed MPs like Iain Duncan Smith to take hundreds of thousands of pounds from the tax payer in bogus expenses and for second homes and fine foods and even finer wines, and deny the likes of David, 71 pounds to feed himself when his life took a difficult turn, just because they simply have the power to take it all for themselves, and to takeaway it all away from the likes of David who was powerless to stop them, even though his years of paying taxes were gobbled up by the likes of Iain Duncan Smith on a luxury life style that he himself did not even work for but acquired by simply marrying a wealthy barons daughter and has lived off his father in laws wealth from that day onwards, even his mansion is the property of his father in law and he lives there rent free.

I hope for some that after reading this post, today will be the day you ask yourself that question.... HOW DID WE LET THIS HAPPEN !!!l

Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Guest Post by Wilson Crichton

I've been following the Commonwealth Games, enjoying the sport and deploring BBC Scotland's coverage. It seems that it doesn't matter that a Scot, in Scotland, can have his or her name garbled on BBC Scotland – M'Clean or Muhdok for instance – but that's OK since we are about to see the wonderful wonderfulness of another wonderful English athlete performing wonderfully......... Truly, the athletes of all nations are wonderful and their skills are awesome (and yes, I mean the English ones too), but the commentators' gushing I can do without.
“One more astonishing addition to “our” medal haul – oh! And Scotland did do quite well too” – type of comment hunted me away from the telly to look at the medal table to see the wonderful astonishingness of it all. First thing I noticed was Scotland has a lot of medals (ya dancer). Our haul is great compared with previous games. I wondered if there was a different but equally wonderfully valid way of looking at the medal tables. So, the obvious thing for me is to try put the performances on an equal footing, so how do the medal standings line up on a per capita basis...

Digging into, I found estimates for the population of all countries in the medal table for July 28th except Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. These I picked up from google. Divide the population in millions  into the medal haul for each country, and order by Gold, Silver and Bronze in that order and by quantity (I think that's consistent with the conventional medals standings), lead to quite a wonderful set of results.

Pop x106
medal standing
total Gold
total Silver
total Bronze
Grand Total

Nations with populations of 5.3 millions or less dominate the top 7 places in this medal standing with the notable exception of Australia. Is Australia different because it has a sport oriented culture? Maybe the real exception for Australia is her performance should lie between Singapore and England (based purely on a shakey working hypothesis and her population), but she has defied this by developing her sports as she has – well done Australia! 

The group following from places 8 to 13 have populations from 30 to 56 millions. With the exception being Cameroon, having a somewhat lesser population. Similar in population to Australia but with a much reduced medals performance by comparison. Perhaps she too, should perform somewhere between Singapore and England if my cod analysis has merit. I'd say wealth plays its part in this equation. That said, Cameroon is only behind South Africa and Kenya, thus being the top three African nations - Go Cameroon!

You'd imagine that this group of countries would have a commensurately greater pool of athletes to develop and choose from. So, there would be more qualifiers, in a greater number of events, and those that did qualify would be more likely to win, not so though.

No surprise that the top of this table is dominated by relatively wealthy countries in the commonwealth (so the wealth isn't so common after all). 

To change tack slightly, years back, football pundits explained we are too small to compete and that was why we no longer qualified for the World Cup or the European Cup. I guess I accepted that at face value. I supposed the same rational applied to our rugby team. But, now I wonder. The data from the 28th. July suggests that wee countries can do very well in a basket of sports if there's some money to spend, so why should football and rugby be different? Do we expect to fail and so when we're proven correct, we developed a self re-inforcing failure spiral?

Good to see Scotland at the top of a virtuous table though, with Wales up there too. Maybe someone with a more socio/sport/economics background could make better sense of this or even just blow it out of the water."
Munguin says that he was going to go in for the Games, but he simply couldn't trust Tris to run the Republic while he was away. Tris pointed out that being pompous while looking cute wasn't on the list of games, fell on deaf furry ears, like most of what Tris says.

Monday, 28 July 2014


So unless I'm mistake from this small quote (the rest of the article is behind a paywall), if we vote NO, the Scottish government will, in future, be kept in line by the central power in London. 

This British (read English) power will never been allowed to be "hollowed out", whatever that means, by the Scottish government, elected by the Scottish people, under a part proportional voting system.

Be warned: If we vote NO Alistair Carmichael promises that we will be kept under the thumb of the British Empire and the question of freedom will never be allowed to rise again.

And that's not any old somebody saying that. It's David Cameron's man in Scotland. The representative of London in our midst. 

Heaven knows what they intend to do... send their troops to make sure that the Scottish parliament doesn't do anything the London parliament disapproves of? 

Bug the first ministers private offices and those of his cabinet?

Insist, as some including Mrs Thatcher's living representative on Earth, Michael Forsyth have suggested, that the unelected House of Lords be allowed a function in Scottish governance and the rights to veto legislation? 

Send one of the royals to live in Holyrood House to oversee our government?

Maybe even Godzilla himself will take over the palace to keep Alex Salmond, or (snigger) Johann Lamont in their Provosts of a regional council? 

So much for respect and "more powers". 

We will be watched carefully and regardless of what we vote for in the future we will NEVER be allowed our freedom.

OK Carmichael. Thanks for the warning. 

Another game changer? 

What IS she doing? Levitating?

Anyway, the good news, apart from the slightly weird old lady trying to fly,  is that the poll appears to show a swing of 4% will deliver victory.

We can do this.

The Red White and Blue Arrows appear to have been privatised by the Ultra Right Wing Nut Case at the Ministry of War (who didn't call the woman 'a slut' at all... he said she was a 'slattern', so that's alright, even if the two words mean exactly the same thing). They seem to have taken on a job for Eire welcoming the Queen and flown a bit lower than usual ... 
The Biased Broadcasting Corporation has been taking lessons in crowd counting from the pre infants classes  or "Better Together No Thanks U Kok". 

The organisers of the protest at Pacific Quay, anticipating a bit of jiggery pokery with numbers, handed all protesters a numbered piece of paper. There were 1,207 pieces of paper given out. It is possible that there were more people there, but impossible that there were fewer.

And yet the BBC estimated 400 people.

You pay £140+ a year for a pile of lies.
I've just seen this. It surely has to be a spoof. Their reporting of the Palestine situation has been Israeli biased, but for goodness sake, even the BBC wouldn't have done this?
The thing that I resent most is that they wasted the once in a lifetime opportunity of oil. Norway's Sovereign Fund now makes more in interest than their oil production makes. In short, if their oil dried up tomorrow, which it won't do, they would still be an incredibly rich country.

The immense wealth that they have created, on top of this, has all pensions covered in Norway, state employees and retirement.

On the other hand, in order to stay at the top table and wield this much vaunted clout (about which we hear a lot but see little) the Uk has frittered the money away on fighting wars it could never win, causing ill feeling around the world, buying weapons that it doesn't own and/or can't use and/or don't work, having embassies and consulates in places it doesn't need them, and generally continuing to act like some Imperial power from the 19th century. 

The result is that the external debt is £1.3 trillion and rising; no retirement pension is funded and a large number of public service pensions are not funded, meaning that taxes will have to be paid in future to fund them. This is an additional inestimable amount (depending as it does on life length). On top of that there is a massive personal debt as people take on loans for housing, education, and credit/store cards.

What a bloody mess of a country.
Don't forget. If you haven't yet bought "Caledonia", you might like to think about it. Food banks need our money.

Saturday, 26 July 2014


This post isn't going to be any surprise to what Stuart Campbell would call "Alert Readers" (and I don't think that Wings is the only blog who has them). You knew it was coming.
The scandal of Food Banks is one of the greatest indictments on this government of heartless toffs. Yes they around in the days of Tony Blair but the growth of their use over this couple of years of "welfare" reforms has been a national disgrace.

I read a tweet the other day from a lady in Aberdeen who said: I'm voting YES because when I look out to sea, all I see is oil rigs; when I look inland all I see is food banks.
"Even people in work are on breadline"
Although this post isn't essentially about what way people are voting in the referendum, it goes without saying that a great deal of the problem of hungry kids and even hungrier parents can be traced back to the Westminster "Welfare" reforms of Iain Duncan Smith, which have been roundly condemned by the Scottish government and by the majority of Scottish MPs in Westminster. 

Smith's chaotic management of London's Department of Work and Pensions; the reforms he has brought in that have failed dismally (and those, like ATOS, that were brought in by a seemingly equally heartless Labour Party before 2010); the demoralised staff who have no earthly idea what the next change, or failed IT system will bring; the relentless rise in the cost of housing, electricity, gas; the stagnation of wages; removal of the tie between inflation and benefit increases; the introduction of bedroom tax, zero hour contracts. All have exacerbated an already unacceptable level of poverty in what likes to call itself one of the world's richest nations.
Well, a lot of Britain isn't.
Food banks, Red Cross parcels... call them what you will. They are a return to soup kitchens. 

And that is an abomination in an oil rich country.

It almost seems like it has been done on purpose to make David Cameron's legacy, The Big Society, look like it is a reality. But Labour in the UK has promised to be every bit as hard on social security as the Tories have been, so there is no change from London on it way.

Yes, people are helping. Every week in most towns there is a supermarket or a bank or a charity shop collecting food to take to the local foodbank. And individuals, sometimes poor people themselves, are making their contributions.
Some of it, of course, is. And at our expense.
(It they must have a pretentious French menu you'd think
they'd get someone who knows enough French to type it,
someone who knows about accents!!)
Most people do what they can. No one really needed David Cameron to make us a big society when it comes to people going hungry.

But some do even more. 

For example, these guys, The Libations, went into a studio and recorded the inspiring Darren Docherty song "Caledonia".

When Richy Duncan sent me the link to this song a week or so ago I started playing it while I was working on another post. But very quickly I stopped working and started listening. I'm a bit fussy about music. I'm not really a musician myself, but I have been playing the piano by ear since before I could reach up and see the keyboard. Actually I have sensitive ears. Badly played or sung music really grates...and I can pick out a bum note at 100 meters... but good music really inspires.

This, I promise, is really good music. First rate musicianship and sung with passion by a singer who lives every word of the lyric.
Tubby isn't going short, and that shirt didn't come out of Primark!
If you're a Scot, a Yes Scot or a No Scot, you'll be touched. You couldn't fail to be.

And, after all, whichever way we vote; and whichever way the country votes, we must do something about children going to school hungry and parents who have to go without food so that their bairns don't.

The song is available to buy on Amazon and iTunes. (iTunes seems to be the best bet financially, not to mention the only one for which I have a link!)

But please don't buy it till after midnight UK time Saturday. We want the sales figures to count in one week!!

We can make this big if we spread the news. Most people will have some sort of social media contacts  Facebook, Google, Twitter...or indeed other blogs. Please help the Libations to help food banks by getting this out there and getting it bought.

A chart entry is not out of the question if enough people buy it in the first week.

I know the guys will be grateful to you, but far more importantly the hungry people will be even more grateful.

Thanks in advance...

PS :



New ‘flash recording’ of Caledonia goes viral to raise money for food banks.

Compelled by their shared disbelief and sense of injustice at the growing Food Bank crisis in Scotland, Martin and Ross Henderson hatched a plan to record a beautiful new arrangement of Caledonia based around the inspiring vocal of their friend and singer Darren Docherty.  They hope that catching the mood of the nation will highlight the issue and raise some much needed funds for the many voluntary organisations that are working so hard to alleviate the problem.

“Like so many people, we saw the heartbreaking footage of Denis Curran telling a hushed Holyrood Committee in no uncertain terms, just how desperate the situation really is.  Spurred on by his powerful words, we thought we’d try to help.“

Once the musicians had been assembled, a studio was booked and the daunting task of rehearsing, arranging, recording and mixing a version of the song, worthy of its reputation and popularity began.  There were some nerves as the group met for the first time and started to run through the song, with no clear idea how the day would pan out.  And then something magical happened.

Within a matter of hours a new arrangement was conceived that adds a powerful twist to the old favourite. This process was captured on video shot during the session.

The gamble appears to have been a good one as it's racked up thousands of hits within just 48 hours of being shared on youtube. Hopes are now high that the single could reach the charts.

The band have already been offered a slot at Party In The Palace in Linlithgow on Saturday August 9th  2014.
Caledonia by The Libations is available now on iTunes and all profits go to food bank charities.