Wednesday, 24 February 2010


The European Union is largely speaking a pretty unpopular institution. I’ve met very few people who actually like it. Of course, in fairness, I’ve also met no one who understand anything about it.

I don’t either of course. It’s all so complicated, and there is so little time and so many more interesting things in life to understand, if you get my drift.

Mind you, despite all the hatered for it from all over Europe, no one in government, no one who actually would have to actually deal with the fall out of leaving Europe has ever actually proposed that we should do so.

That arch Europe hater of all times Mrs Thatcher with her trusty lieutenant Norman Tebbit, whom I bet wore union jack underwear, actually got us deeper and deeper into it despite the fact that dealing with foreigners (except English speaking ones like dear Ronnie) always made them look like they were about to vomit.

It is a point to ponder that even they never proposed a referendum on whether to stay or leave.....

For my own part, I feel that, as long as Scotland is a member of the UK, I prefer that we remain a member of the EU. Mrs Thatcher once described it as “socialism by the back door”. I suspect that the English preponderance for right wing government has been somewhat tempered by that very "backdoor socialism". And for that I am grateful as I have always been ruled from that right wing England despite not once voting for it. An independent Scotland would be unlikely to need Brussels to tell us to treat our poor, old and sick like human beings, so, when that happy day comes, I’ll be content to take economists’ advice on whether or not Scotland would be better in or out.

I’ve never been much of a fan of UKIP. Their politicians have all been rather 4th rate (not to mention strangely orange in colour). It’s as if any self respecting right winger sticks with the Conservative Party, stays on the right wing and despairs a little of the “mad rantings” of the likes of Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine and 彭定康 (Chris Patten).

But presumably members of UKIP, who despite hating Europe and everything European seem very content to take full advantage of the salaries and expenses grtanted by the hated enemy... some take rather more than full advantage... think of themselves as English gentlemen/women.

It was then, rather a surprise to see the unpleasant, ill-mannered, personal rant from Mr Farage in parliament yesterday against the new President of the Council.

Mr Van Rompuy may not be a spectacular politician in the mould of Thatcher, Obama, Gorbachev or Mandela; maybe no one in the UK had heard of him until recently (but then as a large slice of the population hasn’t heard of Gordon Brown or David Cameron either, what does that tell you?). And it’s true that Belgium is a small country, in fact a 'united kingdom', which, like our own, is hardly really united, but surely Mr Farage’s mother taught him some basic manners. You don’t say that kind of thing out loud.

What was all the more remarkable about this ill-bred outburst of bile which shamed the UK was that Farage was obliged to admit that Mr Van Rompuy was competent and capable.

It seems to me that for all his faults of being foreign, and Belgian at that, that it would be rather nice if the UK had a few politicians who could claim even one of these adjectives?

And, as an afterthought, as unspectacular as Mr Van Rompuy may be, at least he's not a war criminal, reconsiable only by his socks and shoes jhanging from the backside of Geroge W Bush. In short he's not Tony Bloody Blair.


  1. What an idiot that man is!!

  2. Well it's beneath most people's dignity to behave like that Anon. Besides, he ranted on about the salary the guy gets. I don't remember UKIP members taking less than they were offered or indeed stinting themsleves on the gravy train. Isn't one of them currently in prison for fraudulently claiming expenses.....?

  3. Hesseltine, Clarke and Patten...they three are the main reason I am a Tory...and one guilty of little "mad rants" too!

    "But presumably members of UKIP, who despite hating Europe and everything European seem very content to take full advantage of the salaries and expenses grtanted by the hated enemy"

    Exavtly, spot is truly pathetic that the UK seems to elect more UKIP MEPS, on a greater share of the vote than Labour nowadays.

    Mind you, having said that, it is a little too much to say England = Right wing Scotland = Left wing. Scotland is one of the most 'c'onservativ [small c] nations I've ever known!

  4. Yep Dean: Nigel's expenses would make the duck house man green with envy, and I'll bet that wee Jim Devine bloke would give his teeth to have access to what Nige's has managed to put away over the years....

    Now Dean. I'm not at all sure I associate your name with "mad rants"!... well, ok then, I do.

    I was talking politically when I referred to Scotland being left of centre. You only have to look at the returns Dean, whether by FPTP or PR, Labour does better than the Tories.

    Keep on ranting matey.

  5. Hey, Dean, in which particular ways would you say Scotland's a small 'c' conservative nation?

    Maybe it's just the metrosexual cats i hang wi but i reckon we're a fairly broad minded mob these days.

  6. naldo,

    You may be right, but I'm from a rather highland family school...where the loyalty to the local church, and 'local' values remain strong. Much of the instinctive values from my experience in Scotland remain rather [small 'c'] conservative, erm, for example..commitment to christian traditions [kirk, episcopal etc] or family values...I may be wrong of course.

    Mind you, given that some of my family are still bitter about the result of the 1745...

  7. Fair do's, Deano, we can all only go on our own experiences. I went to Embra comprehensives where, after a bit of calling each other "poof" or the odd brown skinned person getting "paki" we pretty much stopped all that nonsense after 2nd year.

    I think the Clash, Buzzcocks and Bob Marley had a lot to do with expanding our horizons and ending the daft name calling.

    You might know this, Dean: any idea why the Episcopal church is so big in the Highlands? I'd always thought it would be a straight scrap between RC and the various prestbyterian crews but there seem to Episcopal churches all over the place up North.

  8. Naldo. That's a really interesting question... and I'd be interested in Dean's view of it. Like you I'd have thought the episcopal church would ahve pretty much lessened in influence and even existence the farther north you went.

    I've never been to the islands, although I'd love to go, but I can't imagine a big cathedral in Stornoway...

    I was also interested in your theory that music of the likes of the Clash and Buzzcocks seriously improved race relations. I've always wondered how people thoughout the last century could love the music that black people made and yet consider them in some way inferior..... Going back to Pearl Bailey, through Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and today's rappers....

    Certainly makes me think....

    Your posts are always interesting Naldo, and thought provoking .

  9. The Episcopalians were, alongside Roman Catholics the bulk of the Jacobite supporters. And given that Prespetarians [the 'Kirk'] tended to support the illegal House of Hannover, there is also the dynamics of clan inter fighting on top of all this.

    The Episcopal Church was at one time granded supremacy over Scotland, as the 'official' faith until Cromwell, naturally there is a strong anti-England, and anti-Lowland Scots history and romaticism surrounding the Episcopal institution.

    As a non-juring High Anglican myself, and an ardent Jacobite I too would sooner die than join the faith of traitors, i.e. the Kirk, an institution opposed to the Stuarts, and thus also deeply and HEAVILY involved in the Highland clearances, and murders, rapes and pilliging of my native islands and Highlands.

  10. Hello there Dean my wee Tory mate.... Did you have a nice weekend at the fishing?

    Thanks for that explanation of why the Episcopal Church is big in the highlands. Hopefully you'll never have to die in Scotland to follow the faith you feel suits your needs and beliefs. Regardless of what it is.

    My view is that the past, of course, is the past, and whilst we should always be prepared to listen to, and learn from history, we should be big enough to understand that many of the people in all religions (and branches of them) today have something to offer the community and have no knowledge or interest in what their churches did in the past. It was not, in any case, the church that was guilty; it was the men who led the church. I doubt if any branch of any religion is blameless, so involved was religion with politics. It is as well that this is largely, but not entirely, no longer the case.

    Religion is best served when it concerns itself with the word of God, whoever that god (or gods) is/are; and leaves politics, a dirty business at the best of times, to those who are best suited to it.

  11. Ah the fishing was good, but we ended up rounding up more cockels and welks than fish.

    Oban pubs were lovely, full of life. Though I am alarmed by the lack of activities for the young, I saw too many young people sitting around the keyside drinking bukkie, a sorry sight for such an important ferry-fishing town of Oban.