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.


  1. Independence: Darling warns of ‘Yes’ camp tricks

    yeah ! too blimking true and here is the evidence

    1. Good heavens Niko, did you not read the post I sent you about Radical Scotland, Flipper is yesterday's nonentity, previously an Advocate but who resigned before they could investigate him, says it all, and of course his pal (ahem) Gordie let him become Chancellor so he could get the blame. Labour, aye they 're better together, nay buddy wants to be with them.

    2. Danny Alexander sais in the Herald that Flipper was doing a good job.

      Thoughtful, measured and persuasive....

      Dan the Man's next job is surely stand up comic.

  2. No one gives a damn what that nonentity is saying any more.

    Lord Darling-Flipper of Seven Homes is far too busy making money to be effective, and even if he weren't he'd be far too bloody boring to be effective.

    In the meantime, do you want to comment on hungry people, Niko?

    BTW, I suspect that YES can pull the rabbit out of the hat. Unlike Darling who may very well turn into a rabbit.

    1. tris

      let them eat cake...............tunnocks of course !!!!

    2. Niko: I hope you've bought this song... Otherwise... Brownlie will be down to get you.

  3. Fish fingers, Chicken and mushroom stew, baked beans, creamed corn. with strawberries to follow

    You too can eat like a queen...not drink though...

    1. You know Brenda. She's not a big spender.

      But I think Phil likes a glass or two...

  4. have waited on this release since last week, thought that the levels of expectation would diminish the impact, but am amazed at the passion and quality of the arrangement. we all have to download this version of caladonia and share it

    1. Hear hear.

      Got my copy now.

      Of course it is possible just to listen to it on Youtube... and for people who are broke and can't afford the 79p, then thats fair.

      But, I'd say to anyone who can afford it, please buy it. And for those who can't (and there will be some in this unequal country) please please please publicise it, on your blogs, on twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, wherever you.

  5. Brilliant version of a great song - worth buying on it's own merits far less for a good cause. It is shameful and frankly disgusting that in an oil-rich Scotland individuals and familes have to go cap in hand to food-banks. The comment from the lady in Aberdeen deserves greater prominence.

    Keep up the good work in bringing this and other matters to our attention.

    1. Yes, I'd have bought it anyway John.

      Totally agree with the lady from Aberdeen... and that she deserves more prominence.

      Thanks for your words of encouragement... and will you please speak to Niko. He's getting out of hand again.

  6. Well, no-one can say that I don't do my bit for independence - all my lady friends eventually say "Yes, Yes, Yes!!"

    (Okay, I'll get me coat - I was going to the pub, anyway! Yes, I know it's Sunday but it's in a good cause)

    1. Eventually, being the operative word!

      I didn't think they had pubs open on the islands on Sundays. Whatever next?

      The whole fabric of society is coming unstuck.

      Get thee behind me Niko, I mean... No, I mean Niko.

  7. I listened to the Libations version and then listened to the original Dougie Maclean, I like both versions, Dougie's is much gentler but the Libations one is sung with the fervour of the day and does give you shivers. Will get Husband to purchase, well beyond my capabilities, I am the Book buyer on Amazon or the Game Buyer, other wise I leave it Music up to him.
    I had a lecture for Niko but was interrupted by my friend in Pennsylvania on Skype, so he can consider himself lucky.

    1. LOL. It's not that hard, Helena, and I'm sure you are perfectly capable of it... but, on the other hand, he might feel that his function had been usurped if you took it on...

      I wouldn't bother with lectures for Niko. leave him to Mr Brownlie. She scared of him!

  8. Great song well done lads, regarding foodbanks its a terrible state of affairs for a rich country such as Scotland to be in, Westminster doesn't care about Scots never has never will, yet blank cheques can be found to start whatever dirty war Westminster see's fit to participate in. The only way to change things for the better is to vote yes.

    1. I hope the Libations are reading your comments Anon.

      I completely agree with every single word you say there.

      Just walking up the road counting the number of YES stickers in the windows... not a single no.

  9. The artistic inclined are doing Scotland proud more power to all of your voices.

    Yew Choob presents 'BBC Blah,Blah'

  10. The artistic inclined are doing Scotland proud more power to all of your voices.

    Yew Choob presents 'BBC Blah,Blah'

    1. Excellent. Their vids are always funny.

      Fat-Suit came out today for independence. I'll feature their brilliant music later in the week... They are worth a listen.

  11. Replies
    1. Yes. You're being testy in three different guises.

      I don't care though, as long as you've bought Caledonia! :) preferable in three different guises!!

  12. Went to bed singing Caledonia and got up singing it this morning, I reckon I will be singing it to September. I see my wee lecture to Niko turned up, not that he/she will read it. Seems it isn't a strong point with those Bitter Together types.

    1. It's always in my head... Even waking in the middle of the night I'm singing it in my head.

      It's infectious.

      The best kind of song to become a chart success. The kind that gets inside your head.

      Niko gets Taz, his faithful, YES voting dog, to read the posts to him, Helena.