Saturday, 18 May 2013


Sorry Norway, I've been so busy, I missed it on the day. 

How nice to have a day that you could be proud of your country. Hopefully we will have one too very soon. A day of celebration and national pride. It's something that I've never experienced so far in my life.

Mrs Thatcher once told us to "rejoice at that news", but I seem to remember that that was because she'd managed to kill more Argentinians than Galtieri  had killed Brits. I don't celebrate death, so I couldn't join in.

Anyway, we hope you had a wonderful day in your wonderful country. 


  1. Tris what are you thinking of congratulating them in having separated from Sweden despite being too wee, too poor and too stupid. Since then their "family" have become foreigners and their shared history has been extinguished. Are they happy with their £600B oil fund and being one of the richest, stablest and equal societies on earth? Good grief they only need look at Scotland to see what they have missed out on by being separate.

    Okay congrats Norway, thanks for showing us what might have been, We can't get the past 40 years back and Maggie ensured we don't have a state oil company, But we can ensure the next 50, 100, 150 years is better,. Vote YES

  2. It's a day fro them to reflect PP.

    They too could have had nukes... [Sigh]

    Oh well....

  3. Tris, wee anecdote, a few years back I was in Norway at a factory acceptance test, and on completion I had to get the bus from Arendal to Kristiansaand for my flight. It happened to be National Day and -even at 7 am - the streets were thronged with families all in national costume, parents and children alike. As the bus wended its way through little hamlets the story continued, all were out in their finery, and the atmosphere seemed magical.

    Nae nukes mind...
    Anyway, the bus driver had been spending some time on a mobile phone, when he turned and beckoned me up front. Explaining that due to the celebrations, the route was bypassing the airport, I was told that I would be dropped at a layby, where a taxi would pick me up to complete my journey. Standing rather apprehensively in the middle of nowhere, I was relieved when a Mercedes turned up and shuttled me off to the airport. With 36 euros on the meter, I fumbled for my wallet, only to be gently told that the bus company would be paying the bill.
    Can you imagine that happening here? Me neither. Beautiful country, great infrastructure, and a society to aspire towards. Love it.

  4. Hey Mafia (not something I ever imagined saying :) )

    Thanks for that cheering story. What a lovely country, more or less at peace with itself, (right wing Nazi nut jobs notwithstanding, but there are mad people everywhere).

    I can't imagine any of that happening here. With everything privatised and the only motivation for doing anything at all (from companies' points of views) being financial enrichment, none of the bus/taxi thing would have happened.

    On a holiday there would be very few buses, and your chances of getting them to pay for a taxi would be zero. You'd have simply got to the airport too late to catch your fight, and there would have been no refund.

    But we'd never have a national day here. Remember Brown wanted a BRITAIN day to prove he wasn't Scottish and some dick suggested August Bank Holiday be renamed British day... till someone else who have been out of London told him that August Bank Holiday isn't celebrated in Scotland.

    Still, I thought, you have your British day on your own. We aren't interested.

    Thanks again for your story...

  5. Oh yeah... what will happen in North Korea decides to bomb Oslo?

    Ahhhh... they never thought of that, did they, for all their KrN 16,000,000,000 in the bank....?

    Makes you weep....

  6. Thanks Tris, you're very welcome. I have worked in Stavanger since, but that was my very first visit to Norway. The factory where I was doing the inspection was a modern building set amongst woodland overlooking a fjord, and they insisted on taking me a tour round before we started, with very obvious pride in what they were showing me.

    Everyone who started, from a wireman to an accountant, spent their first weeks working in every department, learning each stage of production and testing (they made sophisticated CCTV systems) before taking up their proper duties.

    At lunch everyone used the same (beautiful) facility, again overlooking the fjord, all sat together, no segregation of management and workers.

    I was very struck by the spirit and enthusiasm of the staff, and with the realisation that it could be a pleasure to come to work in these circumstances. This allied to the tale above started something within me, a recognition that how we operated in the UK was all wrong, short termism and greed over-riding the kind of mutual co-operation and efficiency that I found embedded in that little factory. An accountant wielding a soldering iron, without complaint!

    I actually travelled home from there with a real sense of wonder, couldn't wait to tell my wife about this lovely country.

    Vote YES in 2014 and we may just be able to replicate some of this, and build a society worth paying taxes for, and a society in which it would be a pleasure to participate and live.

  7. Another brilliant tale Mafia.

    Unfortunately this post wasn't seen by many, and is now a couple of days old. I'd like more of Munguin's Republic readers to share that. Would you be in agreement to me making a post out of your two posts... just in your words, and putting it up later today so that others can share your experiences?

    It's almost a dream of mine to work in such a place, beautiful settings aside (although they are important and what a joy that would be), to have this sense of equality in the workplace; the idea that everyone from the cleaners to the MD from technical services to HR and accountants were working together to produce something; something to be proud of; being paid more equally than in the Uk... Oh what a dream.

    I love Scandinavia; love their way of doing things. As I've often said, I'd love to live there. I would certainly consider moving should Scotland be daft enough to want to stay in the UK.

    Let me know if I can use your comments please....


  8. Hi Tris, please feel free to use my comments in any way you see fit, and thanks...

  9. Tris: My name is Stuart Black, by the way, which is the name I use on WoS, Mafia is short for mafiastolemyguitar, which is my CiF persona.
    You might want to tidy up the grammar too!
    Cheers, Mafia.

  10. Cool Stuart... I'll do something with it later today as I've just put up a post.

    Thaks again!

    Aren't we lucky to have WOS!!

  11. Couldn't get through the day without it, Tris ;)

  12. Meanwhile:-

    Still answers needed regarding Thursday.

    The question that must be asked is whether mob rule is now the norm in Scotland.

    This demonstration was not authorised by the City of Edinburgh Council, check their website and the actions of the Police in not arresting all the demonstrators blocking the road must be raised.

    This was a sad day for democracy in Scotland.

  13. Please take your comments to a thread on what happened on Thursday, not one about Norway. Thank you