Monday 6 January 2014


That intellectual colossus known as Richard Baker has said that Charities which operate across the UK will have to split up if Scotland becomes independent.

Not one single charity has backed up this statement.

Still the Scotsman gave him a headline about it.

But let's just for a second move into the realms of fantasy and imagine that Richard two brains Baker is right about this.

So what?

Is there at present a Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA)? Isn't there also a Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)? Are there not other charities just like this?

Does the fact that the two of them operate separately in two different countries mean that they are not doing a good job?

Is the Red Cross headquartered in Geneva? Does the Croix Rouge operate in France? Does it work in co-operation with the Red Crescent? 

Is it pretty effective inasmuch that any of these charities are effective?

Actually one of the things that strikes me about these large charities is that they least the UK ones... to have massive offices in the centre of London.

That indicates to me that a great deal of the money that is given goes on the upkeep of these offices. That is not what I give to charities for. I know, of course, that they have to have premises, staff, and all the other expenses that any other large organisation has... but I've often wondered why they have to be in one of the most expensive cities on earth.

Separate Scottish charities with offices in smaller, less expensive cities, may well be able to put a greater proportion  of their money to the purpose for which it was donate.

Oh yeah, one last question:

Is Richard Baker a complete dick?

Tony Blair has had a good year it seems. While the rest of us got poorer, he appears to have got very much richer.

He has banked over £13 million making this his most financially successful year since stepping down as prime minister.

Blair's wealth, including a London home, a country estate and numerous other properties, is estimated to come to £70m. 

The former PM has built up his fortune over the years as an official adviser to investment banks and insurance people. He also advises governments such as the Kazakhstan regime and earns as much as £250,000 a time for private speeches and appearances.

The bumper financial results for the 12 months to April 2013 have been revealed in the latest accounts for Blair's two firms, Windrush Ventures and Firerush Ventures, which were lodged with Companies House last week.

Falling out with Rupert Murdoch over whatever was not, however, a particularly bright thing to do.

The idea of commemorating the centenary of the start of the first world war in 2014 in a public fashion, was crass and tasteless and typical of David Cameron and his government of spivs. They all have plenty of money but absolutely no class adn boy does it show.

Those of us in Scotland are not in the least puzzled by the fact that he has decided to hold the if state do, led by the Queen and her hangers on, in Glasgow, rather than London where every other national event has always been staged.

The start of the war is very close to the date of the referendum. Cameron has said that he wants this to be another occasion (like the Olympics and the Jubilee) where all us Brits can get together, wave our flags and rejoice that the Lord made us British instead of foreign...well, not his exact words, but as near as makes no difference.

Clearly he hopes that the enormous amount of red white and blue and butchers' aprons everywhere, which will doubtless be paid for by the state and supplemented by the generosity of Glasgow councillors will persuade us against the reckless adventure of running our country for ourselves, thereby depriving London of the wherewithal to continue in the WWI tradition of popping off to war.

The trouble is that this is not an Olympic Games (the best in the history of the world ever), nor is it a celebration of an old lady having the same job for 60 years, a rarity nowadays, although working till 87 will soon be the norm.

No, this is a marking of the start of a dreadful and pointless war which killed millions of ordinary mainly working class, mainly men, or boys so that some really seriously rich people could grab a bit more for themselves. 

If some mark of the beginning of it was to be made, it should have been low key and probably personal to each family who lost people. Maybe the Queen could have said something on television, from her home in Balmoral quiet, sombre and subdued, preparing us for four years of mourning.

Then there could have been a commemoration of the end of the war in 4 years time... 11 o'clock on the 11th day of the 11th month. It has served well as remembrance day for 99 years now. 

Clearly however, it won't do now, because Cameron has seen an opportunity, just weeks before the referendum, to hold a big bash, costing untold millions in security in Scotland. Just to remind us that, had we not been part of the British Empire, we might very well have avoided the deaths of the disproportionate number of Scots who were dragged into this war.

He wants flags to be waved.

He will use the monarch and her entourage to do this, and (I'm not sure if this is wise) doubtless he will have to trot out his spivvy cabinet of people whom we didn't vote for, to look suitable solemn. 

I just hope that little fool of an English Education Secretary has the presence of mind to keep his idiotic mouth shut on the subject of patriotism and how sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country. Given that he thinks so much of that idea I'm surprised that he hasn't volunteered for Afghanistan, where I'm sure some poor squaddie would be happy to let him take his place and make the ultimate sacrifice.

Anyway, additionally, with their customary lack of good taste, they appear to have commissioned a £2 coin from the Royal Mint with the WWI imagine of Kitchener on the obverse.

I have pledged that every single coin that comes into my possession with that image will be given to the YES campaign. 

I hope to encourage  my friends to do likewise.


  1. Typical Baker he has not a clue. Charities are not UK wide. E & W and Scotland have their own regulatory body. Not sure at NI. He should check the ads on he might notice a different number Scotland and E & W.

    1. He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer...

      Actually, he's probably about the most blunt one... and given the contents of the particular drawer to which he belongs, that's saying something.

      Probably his lack of sharpness is only surpassed by that of their James Kelly (as opposed to ours, whose as sharp as a tack and then some).

    2. If oor Richard has two brains, he has worked very assiduously to keep the other half hidden

      happy New year tae yin and awe

      As for Cooncillor "Baffled," he has yet to find the first hemisphere.

    3. Two brain "cells" I think, neither of them functioning at optimum...or at all really.

  2. 'Scuse

    But is that a photograph of Tone Blair and Wendy?

    So why would that be so, as Wendy is an ex wife of Rupe?

    Just thinkin like.

    1. Yes... I happened upon it ... and for no reason... I decided to use it.

      It has nothing to do with the rumour that our Tone was a wee bit more friendly with Mr Murdoch's wife than Mr Murdoch would have wished.

      Nothing at all, I assure you. I never believe rumours.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I heard he tried to send her a selfie of his tits but he couldn't get the cabinet to sit still long enough boom boom.

  3. Just thinking Tris, isn't Blair the Bliar also the U.N. Middle East Peace envoy?

    I only ask because from where I'm sitting he does NOT seem to have done a very good job of it. Mind you, according to documentary I saw last year he sucks up to the Israelis right left and centre whilst pissing off the non Israelis no end!

    1. Yes, ironically, given that he started a war or two there, he is the peace envoy.

      Magic huh. If you know the right people (and he knew George Bush) you can get any job, no matter how badly qualified you are for it.

      At one stage I though he was supposed to be teaching Palestinians how to run their economy. I hoped not for their sakes, given the complete balls up he made of running the British economy.

      Anyone, who knows what he's doing now, other than charging £10,000 to get your photograph taken with him.

      Huh, has the muppet heard of photoshop?

  4. There is a petition against the coin to celebrate the Great Slaughter and its architect here -

  5. Richard Baker, now who on earth would vote for someone as silly and ill informed as he is. He either does not engage brain before he talks or gets his script by email from London in the morning around the same time that Lamont does. Now lets say he is correct, I know Christmas has passed, what does it matter. It might create some jobs and actually allow charities to set a Scottish agenda and that might not be a bad thing esp around housing and poverty etc.

    Tony Blair, bless him. How much money can of the most disappointing politician and tory need. Are they still trying to find a safe seat for his son, would love to see that campaign lol. Hi Im whoever and my dad is Tony Blair, a vote winner for sure. He is just a no mark and one of the biggest mistakes this country ever made but I don't think he killed Labour, he just finished off what Kinnock and Smith started.

    WW1, yeah let's celebrate the deaths of millions and lets start it in Glasgow, the city that lost thousands of it's young men to fight in what was basically a stupid toffs war for no reason whatsoever other than the vanity of the stupid. I think a lot of older people might go for this but I would hope most Scots would see through this for what it is and I'm sure Glasgow City Council, and Lamonts partner, will have no problem spending a fortune on it while blaming the SNP for starving them of cash. Doesn't matter that Glasgow is the most subsidised city in Scotland, a sad indictment of Labour over the years, but also gets you thinking that throwing money at it has never worked so maybe a new approach is needed. Still I'm sure Rangers fans will love it and it will give them a chance to talk about how shit everything is in Scotland.

    Still another day closer to friday so not all bad.


    1. Maybe we could get those rangers fans to have a game of football through the middle of it all?

      Since the best moment during the war that everyone will remember was the christmas football match and (unofficial) ceasefire.

      We really need to do something to remind the world that Scotland is against this. (I had a dumb idea of getting a bunch of muckspreaders to drive through it (while running) with the slogan "War is Shit" on their sides. Would be hilarious to see Cameron and the rest in a state starting to approach that of all those young men who died for their predecessors)

    2. I really do like your suggestion about the muckspreaders I'm sure we could find a few friendly farmers and have a wee crowdfunding event to pay their costs

    3. I think that we have to be very careful how we protest this monstrosity.

      We mustn't let them turn (with eager assistance from the BBC and the Daily Mail) our disgust at the wrongness of celebrating the beginning of needless slaughter, into "Nats show disrespect for war dead".

      I think that the First Minister should go, as he will be invited to do, given that it is in our country, and play his role on behalf of the families who lost members and friends to fight, not for Britain, but for the rich.

      The press and teh Tories will be looking for something that shows disrespect to "our boys""; the same Tories who pay soldiers off a couple of days before they would become eligible for a full pension, but who hide behind the khaki on every possible occasion.

      'Our boys' that Tories/Labour send to war (to keep them at the top table), with worse equipment and worse rations than any of the other nations taking part.

      But if we show any disrespect at their flag waving, tear jerking, big dinner afterwards for the queen and her family and the cabinet and the lord provost of Glasgow, ceremony, I assure you we will be the bad boys.

      We expected dirty tricks. I'm sure that the First Minister is prepared for this and will do Scotland proud by showing his respect for the soldiers and his disdain for those who would profit by them.

      I think however that we should not miss any opportunity to show just what a farce of a war it was, and how Scotland fared so very badly in comparison to the UK when it came to deaths.

      And they are glorifying it. That fool from England's education department was talking, as usual, out of his backside, when he gave his "dulce et decorum" speech.

      Read Harry Patch's book Mr Gove, you thick arse.

    4. Did I not read Illy, that David Beckham is charged with organising a football match between England and Germany?

      It seems to me that that is every bit as tasteless as the coin.

      Some Rangers fans might want to join in the English football side, but we should remember that there is a Facebook Page for Ranger Supporters for independence, so we mustn't tar them all with the same brush!

    5. I agree, we need to make sure that we shouldn't give the media a free pass on making us the bad guys for "disrespecting" the war dead.

      I did say the muckspreaders were a dumb idea, maybe if we got some verterans to drive them? It's a shame that there aren't any veterans of the wars alive to protest this. Didn't the last one say something along the lines of "we should have given the politicians the rifles, loaded them on the boats, and told them to sort it out themselves"? Billboards getting that quote right might be useful.

      Personally, I'd prefer it if the First Minister boycotted it, people walked through the middle of it as though it wasn't even there, or maybe organise a picnic with music in the streets that it's occupying?

      A soundtrack going soumething like:
      Two Tribes (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
      Universal Soldier (Donovan)
      Fortunate Son (Clearence Clearwater Revival)
      The Price of a Mile (Sabaton)
      War (Edwin Starr)
      Green Fields of France (The Men They Couldn't Hang)
      Christmas in the Trenches (John McCutcheon)
      Seems appropraiate to me. Might need something upbeat to end on though, "Get Up, Stand Up", "There's No Gods, and Precious Few Heroes", or maybe "War" again, or you'll have people crying in the streets.

      Then again, maybe having people crying in the streets is appropriate for a do for the start of WW1?

      The thought about the football game was that it would be an echo of the one in 1914, where the soldiers from both sides told their "leaders" where to stuff it, and had a christmas party right in the middle of a war. The idea doesn't work unless it's in the middle of the "celebrations" and *isn't* officially sanctioned.

      Quite frankly, I think the biggest show of respect for soldiers who die in war is to do your best to not let it happen again, which Cameron et al. are certainly not doing. Maybe we should all turn up flying Palistine's flag as a reminder that he's certainly not standing for peace?

    6. I'm pretty sure that in the corridors of power in Edinburgh, decisions will be made as o how the government should react to this ploy.

      Like him or hate him, Salmond is usually a slick operator when it comes to these things. He has treated almost every slight and all rudeness from BT with politeness and decorum.

      I rather hope that no one, be they Yes or No supporters, will spoil in any way the dignity that SHOULD be shown to the dead, maimed, wounded and mentally scarred.

      I ay should be shown to them.. and I mean that. It's just that it should be shown in 2018!

      I wholeheartedly agree that the biggest respect we can show is to do your best to stop it happening again.

      The war to end all wars was only over for 21 years when the same morons got back down to it again. We have shown these people who died in that war to end all wars, no respect whatsoever.

      I agree too about the football match. It was a fabulous gesture at the time that said two fingers to the leaders, these guy across there are just like us... But with Price William and David Beckham organising it, it isn't any longer a two fingered salute to Cameron and his ilk.

      I wish the Queen would tell him where to get off on this, but of course she won't.

    7. I think we might all want to be playing John Lennon/Yoko Ono's "Give Peace a Chance".

    8. This is probably one of those situations where the SNP can't publicly do anything, but a spontaneous grassroots protest could probably get away with it. (It worked for Farange's welcome to Edinburgh)

      I think I agree, the best solution is for Elizabeth to tell him to stuff it.

    9. Yes possibly. I'd love her to say that she had decided to give that a miss as it was tasteless and crass and something only a scheming spiv would come up with...

      But she won't. And i bet they will all be there with wee George and Kate Middleton and Mrs Parker Bowles to try to cover the distaste we will have for the odious Tory cabinet.

      I imagine that some peace protests will break out, but I just hope they are not blamed on the SNP as Farage's dismissal was, despite having been accomplished by a far left Labour group headed by an Englishman!

      The only person arrested for offensive behaviour was in fact said English lad, as student at Edinburgh Uni and chairman of the Radical Labour party.

    10. Im pretty sure Alex Salmond will line up with a pithy comment which will bellitle the troughers at the same time as praise our loyal soldiers, they will have picked the wrong man to mess with if they try to get him to trip himself up WHICH THE MSM ABSOLUTELY WILL DO

  6. Such a memorable man I had completely forgotten about him Maybe I thought he had morphed into a garden gnome

    1. Which one...Gove or Baker.

      They are more or less equal in intellectual rigour and both resemble elves... although particularly unpleasant ones.

  7. tris

    Must admit commemorating the start off and not the end
    of the Ist world war is particular crass , even the dogs
    in the street know its just about undermining the snp

    still i spose we will from now on
    have remembrance on the starting date of
    the 2nd world war....probably not eh

    you should read this

    Michael Gove, the British education secretary belittling Australia's war dead

    Gove claims that the British generals have been unfairly maligned – yet they imported thousands of Australian troops to fight, then sent them to be slaughtered

    Gove another chicken hawk

    1. Excellent piece, Niko.

      Gove is an arse, and an ignorant one at that. Catastrophically inefficient management of the war was responsible for so much death that didn't touch the elite who, by virtue of birth were in positions of responsibility with no other qualification for them than their station in life.

      The Australians, forced to fight for the British crown in a war which shouldn't have touched their continent and had nothing whatsoever to do with them, were just one of the nations at war.

      As the bloke points out, according to Gove, you would have thought that it had all rested on stout English hearts of oak. In reality on around 15% of the combatants were British.

      Scotland did comparatively worse than the rest of the Uk when it came to deaths.

      We should demand that we have a special remembrance on September 1st for the war dead of the Second world war (although actually as the war started on September 1 and ended on September 2, 6 years later, it wouldn't make that much difference) .

      It is comforting to know that unionists also see this as a Cameron ploy. I don't want to get paranoid and see Cameron's evil everywhere...

  8. tris

    yep gove 15% is 100% well to him and the truth is
    those that died he couldnt give a shite about and those
    who come home..what kind of country would gove
    like them to have saved.....????

    1. No. Most of the ones who died would not have been Tory voters. They were the young lads, kids for the slums often who signed up for Kitchener because of the thought of a bit of adventure... and god knows their lives, you would have thought, couldn't be much worse than they were. Wrong unfortunately.

      The trouble with both the world wars was that the governments painted pictures of the green and pleasant land that was so easy to believe in when you were abroad, in a trench, being shot at... but actually didn't exist for the troops. The green and pleasant land was all about country houses and shooting parties.

      They came back to nothing...

  9. Independence won't make a blind bit of difference when it comes to charities, though the large charity CEO's are on humungus wages why? greed thats why.

    As for Blair or as he's better known B-liar the man has gall to show his face in public and to think he even took the job as middle east envoy after the shit storm he caused in the middle east is testament to the fact that hes a psychopath at heart B-liar was also known as Miranda as he liked to cross dress at Uni.

    Looking at Kitchener ugly mug staring back at me from a £2 pound coin really takes the biscuit, not only are they going ahead with this farcical celebration of the START of WW1 but in years to come I'll need to be reminded of it when I look at at £2 quid coin, god help us if a no vote is returned, we'll have Cameron, Osborne, Clegg and Co's heinous mushes imprinted on all manner of shite.

    1. Well, Anon, as you say it won't make much difference. I'm inclined to support little local charities where I have a better idea of what is happening to the money...

      As for Blair, he's beneath contempt in my book... I can't imagine him in a frock though... ugh, I don;t want to either.

      Well, as far as the Kitchener coin is concerned, they've done Yes a favour, because I know quite a few now who have pledged every one of these coins to the campaign.

  10. Could not agree more, Niko.

    As for Tris's question regarding Baker the answer is an absolute Yes.

    Talking about the Aussie, one of the songs left out above was Eric Bogle's "The bank played Waltzing Matilda and in another futile war "War Correspondent". As far as Blair is concerned he fooled me and countless others at the beginning but I can honestly say that I do not hate many individuals but I certainly hate him both for what he did to a once great Labour party but, much more importantly, to countless unfortunates in other circumstances. He helped leave decades of misery and mourning throughout a country which was already dangerous but is much more so now.

    1. Yes John, like you I thought when he arrived that Blair was a breath of fresh air.

      Well, that was a mistake. He was a breath of foul stale air.

      Like you I don't hate easily; it's far too destructive. Not to the person you hate. Blair couldn't care less if I hate him. He made all these millions last year, why would he care? It's you it destroys. So I reserve it for very special people.

      He ruined the Labour party. He took away from ordinary people, teh vote that they had; the chance that things would change a bit for the better for them in this class ridden society.

      He successfully made his party electable in the posh, rich bit of the Uk and rest could all go ****themselves. Then to please his overlord with whom he must surely have been in love (there can be no other explanation) he killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were innocent of anything, well more or less.

      We have left Iraq in a mess; the deaths will go on; Al Qaeda is now entrenched and everyone who lives in the Uk is far less safe than they were before.

      If my mum didn't read this blog I'd tell you what I think he is.

      Although I'm against the death penalty I'd be happy to see him in front of a firing squad for what he did, pour encourager les autres.

  11. Have the Germans really agreed to re enact the no man's land Christmas day football match to celebrate, sorry I mean commemorate the START of WW1? Has anyone any info or proof of this? I just can't believe they would go along with something so crass, after all they are not fighting a Referendum on the very survival of their state.

    Also, any news on whether all the other European Nations are planning on cele.. I mean commemorating the START of what was so obviously their glorious war too?


    1. When it was originally proposed, it was reported that the Germans were furious.

      I'm not sure what the current situation is.

      I've not heard of any other big events in Europe. It will not, I'm sure, pass without something, but nothing like what is being planned in Scotland by the man who says he's a mere Englishman.

    2. Worth keeping an eye out for this. It might help underline the crass, cynical and sick use of 'our dead boys', that this stunt is!

      This could only happen because the last of the veterans are now dead. They always had plenty to say about the political and national reality that disgusting episode really meant to 'our glorious dead' !

      Now that those tiresome old men and woman are all happily dead, we can hand the whole thing over to the PR men and have the massive British jamborie we've been wanting to have for decades (and luckily just in time for the Scottish Referendum nonsense too, if we tweak the dates a bit)!

      Pass the sick bucket and could somebody please open a window?


    3. Yes i agree.

      We should quote and requote Harry Patch at the thick little troll that is Gove.

      He was there sonny... you weren't.

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