Sunday, 5 July 2015


I’ve never been a big fan of the IMF, for reasons to numerous to go into here; they seem to have gone round the world leaving chaos in their wake. But I’ve always been an EU fan and, somewhat naively, I’ve been a supporter of the Euro, for all the obvious reasons of convenience and certainty of transactions in a single market and currency area.

Of course the fact that I have been employed and paid by EU funding and that I’ve seen how much it can do, by comparison with the far more limited UK or Scottish funding has been a part of firing that enthusiasm.

I always felt too, that the worst excesses of the right wing British (English) governments could be mitigated in some way by the more progressive EU directives.

And the very fact that the EU annoyed the hell out of Mrs Thatcher and gave John Major, and later Cameron, ulcers, was enough to endear it to me.

But the more I have read about the Greek crisis, the more I have begun to doubt what I have for so long believed. I've begun to see the EU in a different light, and not a particularly endearing one.

The Euro project seems to have failed, beaten by the crisis of 2008 and on. Of course in the beginning Greece seems to have fiddled the figures to get into the Euro project, but the people who audited the Greek books prior to its joining, to verify its convergence with mainstream European economic performance, should have been bright enough to see through the pretence that the Greek economy was in a suitable state to work alongside economies like those of Germany, Austria, Finland and other rich countries.

Clearly too, just like in so many other countries (not least the UK), the Greek super wealthy don’t bother with the inconvenience of paying tax, and probably never will. And making these people pay taxes they don’t want to pay, is a virtual impossibility. Ask any country that has tried it.

As an economic dunce I can see that there can be no future for Greece in the Euro. It means never-ending and ever-increasing bail-outs to pay off the last bail-outs. With no money spare from paying back the banks at outrageous interest rates, the country can hardly grow the economy, and as we all know austerity never grew economies. It just, in some strange way, makes rich people richer.

Our blogroll has an Alex Andreou, a Greek, who besides writing an occasional blog, is a freelance journalist and actor. This is his take on the current situation. I think he expresses it far better than I could. I suggest it is worth a read because it talks about today’s crisis and ties it in with the current situation in Scotland, because whatever has happened  or will happen in Greece, things have changed forever, just as they have here.

Whatever the outcome of today’s referendum, I wish the long suffering ordinary Greek, badly served by hopeless government and the greedy elite, the very best. As a person living in the UK I can sympathise and empathise.
Our mate, Pa Broon, has a two-for-one offer on Amazon. Some of you may already have read his travelogues, but there are many new readers here since we talked about the individual books, what seems like years ago. So can I suggest you have a look. 

I can guarantee that they are a damned good read, full of facts mixed with amusing anecdotes and written in Paul's usual self-deprecating, yet endearing witty style.

If you doubt me, here's what Paul says of it himself! And who could doubt him?

Additionally, it's worth remembering that every penny goes to the Scouts and the great work they do with young people.

 A value for money amalgamation of two previously published travelogues. Short enough to leave you feeling satisfied but not cheated out of valuable time - thoroughly recommended for the smallest room.

Want to know what really happens on Scout trips? Steady, its not that exciting. Two short travelogues that are entertaining and useful if you're going to walk the Great Glen Way between Fort William and Inverness or if you're thinking about visiting the Island of Arran.

Handy tips on where to camp, where to shop and where you can go for a free hot shower in the middle of no where. But wait, that's not all; you also get information on wild campsites, on why the canal was built and on where not to stay in Inverness and a beautiful set of complimentary soup spoons.*

Meanwhile, if you're on Arran - lots of quirky information about the tiny villages that abound along with social commentary on day wear, geology and snow but sadly no information about pubs & restaurants because the young folk were skint.

Each book bought means the Scout Group is closer to not having to do jumble sales - these are loathsome disgusting and horrible. Buy a copy for friends as well - all proceeds go to the scout group to which the young folk belong.

* There are no complimentary soup spoons, its a lie.
Sloppy Sunday hasn't disappeared. It can still be found here, for those looking for the awww factor.

Saturday, 4 July 2015


PS: Favour: If anyone has heard about there being a broadcast on STV, this coming week, of Johanna Lumley's trip on the Trans-Siberian Express, could you please let me know when it is on. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Bless him, if you can't laugh at Govey,
there's something wrong with you!
Apologies to my friends Eileen and Brian, lawyers both! 
HSBC, Barclays, RBS, HBOS?
Penguins welcome too...
The 'Vicetoy', well described by Dickens (below)
(thanks to Geoff Dugdale).
Anyone thought about making and selling
Fluffy Muddle stuffed toys?
Uh Oh, it's the OO, always good for a giggle.
And so full of love for other humans.
Nope. He was taught that he was better than other people because of his connections and wealth. His school and his university, not to mention membership of the Bullyboys' Club reinforced it. Finally being a Tory, and with help from Buckingham Palace, an MP, and then PM, sealed the deal.
I hear he just insulted Mr Skinner again. Boor!
If he doesn't make you laugh, nothing will.
Well, come on, wind isn't perfect but given the choice....
which would you prefer in the sight-line of your living room.
Oh, how true...
Erm.... yeah
I don't suppose 76 is available?
The biggest joke of all.

Monday, 29 June 2015


...Shouldn't make up dossiers of people's insulting tweets to them...

They were begging for this.
I see Jackie Baillie has been tweeting tonight that Tory austerity will hit Scotland hard. It seems she's only just tumbled to it since some "experts" have pointed it out. 

The thing is, you see, Jackie, we knew that all along, without the aid of experts, and we hoped that by voting YES in the referendum we could avoid it. But as you know, you guys won the referendum and we are better together pooling and sharing austerity, and of course, nuclear weapons, Westminster renovations, pay rises for the people at the top, more Lords, Buckingham palace done up...and possibly English train lines, although there may be doubt over that seeing as they messed it up, and having got the votes and secured another 5 years of gravy train, all this crap about a powerhouse in the North (of England) can go fizzle!

Thanks a bunch, Jackie and all your mates.

Normally I'd say that it probably wouldn't affect the likes of you, but I wouldn't like to be you if you lose your seat next year. Iain Duncan Smith knows no mercy and even your poshness and ties with the Conservative party are unlikely to save you..