Saturday, 31 May 2014

Writing Drift


I am writing less.

In no way has my position changed: I am a Yes, an absolutely definite 100% committed Yes but ….

…. I am less driven to post about the dangerously compromised MSM.  Their distortions continue unchanged.  I have changed though.

Last Monday I wrote about ‘Ukip and a Lesson in Christian Faithin which I realised that I was putting newspapers, independence and my blog before God.  In tackling this I now find that I am less inclined to write about independence but more likely to be reading, thinking, praying or worshipping.  Therefore, bad for my blog but good for me.

God is much more important and takes precedence.  This may seem so obvious for a Christian but life has a way of intruding in front of God.

I’ve come to this after listening to a sermon and worshipping.  After this I realised that my writing had decreased significantly.  Music continued but writing about anything other than faith was difficult.

I’m not unhappy with this: I’m delighted.

Music in the Morning No. 378 – Vivaldi


Too long!  I can’t go very long without Vivaldi.  Close your eyes, sit back and enjoy more than 9 minutes of beauty beyond words.

Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor RV522                             Vivaldi


We’ll listen to you soon.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 377 – Sierra Hull


Hi, Sierra.  Welcome to ‘Music in the Morning’.


Chasin’ Skies                                                                           Sierra Hull


You can return whenever you want!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 376 – Cab Calloway


Not just music but dancing (Nicholas Brothers) in a scene from ‘Stormy Weather’.

Jumpin’ Jive                                                         Cab Calloway Orchestra


For another scene from the film see Fats Waller here.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Daily Mail: World Cup Problem




Music in the Morning No. 375 - Holly Tomás


Totally new to me just a couple of weeks ago and today I find that she lives in East Lothian just a few miles east of my Edinburgh base.

Sit back, close your eyes and be transported.

Espero                                                                                       Holly Tomás


I hope you enjoyed being moved around.  I did!  Over and over and over again!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Old Cockers is a Laugh


Those not close to the independence debate may wonder to whom I refer. 

‘Cockers’ is Alan Cochrane, Scottish Editor’ of the Tory-supporting and union-supporting Daily Telegraph.  Often I wonder for whom he writes.  My conclusion: he’s click-bait material only. 

Be so outrageously biased!  Be so ridiculous! 

This is a man that ……  He is a man, I think.  Best leave it there.

I bet he chortled as he wrote the first sentence of his latest work of fiction.  He knew he’d get a response and I have risen …. but I don’t mind because he has written an absolute belter.



those of us seekers after truth


Cockers must have found this phrase somewhere; certainly isn’t descriptive of his work.


You have to laugh sometimes.


Thanks, Cockers!

Monday, 26 May 2014

And We Are Still Different


No doubt the gloaters will be out in force.

No doubt unionists will diminish Scotland  …. again

No doubt ‘separatists’ will be put back in their box


And we are still different

Ukip 10.4% in Scotland but 28% in England

Ukip 4th in Scotland but 1st in England

… very different


Some have said that they are ashamed that Scotland has voted in a Ukip member. I’m not ashamed.  This was the will of enough electors.  I respect this although I wish that it were not so.


The new Ukip member will be David Coburn.  He said this,

I'd like to see both Scotland and England leaving the EU together and running our own affairs.

I'd like to see less Westminster and less Holyrood in everybody's lives. I think that would be a good thing for Scotland.

I want to get the weight of the socialist Scottish state off the back of the Scottish entrepreneur. And, most of all, I want to see every child in Scotland get a thoroughly good education.


We know what this means, don’t we, in a general election even if the Ukip vote drops back. 

More of the neoliberal policies already causing havoc to the welfare state here, and to health and schools in England.

More of the neoliberal policies we haven’t voted for.


The Ukip manifesto for the 2011 Scottish elections said this,

Encourage Health Boards to put key NHS services such as hospital management, long-term care and GPs’ surgeries out to competitive tender.

Give schools and colleges independent control of teaching, exams and discipline, and the right to select on merit, not on postcode.


The only way forward is for the Scottish electorate to vote Yes in September to get the government and policies we vote for.

And if, at some point, we vote a Tory or Ukip-type party then, at least, we will still get the government and policies we voted for. 


Vote Yes!

Music in the Morning No. 373 – Piping Duet


Piping doesn’t get better than this 1996 performance.  Richard Parkes (bagpipes) and Trevor Stewart (uilleann pipes) play and combine beautifully.


Jimmy Blue/Jug of Slurs/Paddy Carry   Richard Parkes & Trevor Stewart


Thanks, lads.

My feet are still tapping away.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Truth Has a Way of Being Heard


My second post about the Telegraph today – first here.

An editorial in the Telegraph finishes with,

Telegraph1A 20140525

but we don’t, and won’t, find that truth in the Telegraph.

For the Telegraph, and most of the MSM, truth is the unionist case. No more, no less.  Whatever is said must be true and must be relayed to their readers.

The headline to the editorial?

Telegraph2 20150525

The editorial says this,

…. the Treasury will put an approximate figure on the cost of constructing a bespoke Scottish version of government functions that are currently shared, such as tax collection, benefits and so on. This is estimated at 1 per cent of GDP, or approximately £1.5 billion

This claim has already been debunked here. The editorial continues

Stir in the expense of the SNP’s many campaign promises, of maintaining Scotland’s pension system, of paying the interest on its debts, and of filling the gaps in military capacity left by the dismemberment of the Armed Forces, and it is crystal clear that taxpayers in an independent Scotland would be forced to reach deep into their pockets.

How often do distortions have to be debunked before they are left in the bin where they belong? 

They will NOT be put in the bin because fear trumps truth.

Fear, more fear, yet more fear, fear without end

This is what we have faced and will continue to face until we vote ‘Yes’.


Finally, if distortion wasn’t enough, the Telegraph, with the phrase below, shows its utter disdain for the people of Scotland and for the legitimate cause of Scottish independence.

a high price to pay to hire a host of tartan-clad bureaucrats in mimicry of London.

Are voters being duped about the risks of leaving the UK?


Ben Riley-Smith asks this question in his latest article in the Telegraph.  He asks about the effectiveness of the Scottish Parliament’s scrutinising committees and directly of its European Committee.  The claim is that the committee, with an SNP majority, is adding to a report sections which strengthen the case for an independent Scotland being accepted easily in the EU.  Riley-Smith asks a valid question.

There is no doubt voters are being duped but in a very different and much bigger way and it is this which sticks in the craw. Riley-Smith, and almost the entire MSM, accepts without question the utterings of the UK government, union-supporting politicians and organisations, and the UK’s Scottish Affairs Committee chaired by the virulently anti-independence Ian Davidson.

Every day Wings over Scotland debunks lies and distortion coming from supporters of the Union.  For example, read here for the latest post which takes apart the lies in a Better Together booklet inserted in national newspapers.  You could choose virtually any post there and find similar lies being debunked.

And every day brings more of the same.

Where is Ben Riley-Smith when these issues are raised?  Normally he’s not around but when he gives us the benefit of his insight he parrots unquestioningly the union line.

Ben, I guess, is pleased to be exposing, as he claims, the actions of the Scottish Parliament but he should be ashamed.  He writes with wilful blindness.


All we ask is for balance but this word has been excised from the union lexicon.

Music in the Morning No. 372 – Praise the Lord


  And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending



To have faced all that life brings
To have held close to You throughout my life, its joys, its pains, its everything
To have stood straight, when I wasn’t stumbling
To have ventured forth as a follower of Your Son, Jesus Christ
To have fulfilled Your plan for me with a fraction of the grace You have for me
To have loved You with all my heart and soul and with all my mind and strength
To have loved my neighbour as myself
’And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then foreve



10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)                           Kim Walker Smith



Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Union Dividend: Distortion or What?


Herald1 20140524

Headlines and straps normally bear some relationship to the article they highlight.  Within  the referendum debate we have become used to headlines which distort a key point from an article but the example above stretches even the mean of ‘distort’.

Let’s take the headline re positive spin.  Of the article’s 423 words these are the only words about ‘positive spin on sticking with UK’.

But rather than present what the financial costs of independence would be to Scottish households, the Treasury will seek to present its findings in a more positive light, showing what the fiscal benefit of sticking with the UK will be; the so-called Union dividend. [my emphasis]


Michael Settle writes 315 words in which the Treasury / a Treasury spokesman / Danny Alexander criticise the SNP’s figures.

Positive spin from the Treasury?   Not here!


Oh!  You ask about the financial benefit mentioned in the strap?   The ‘Union dividend’?


Nothing!  Not a single word!  Well, that’s not unexpected.  So many times we hear that Better Together will make a positive case and every time the negativity increases.


But let’s look at the apparent financial benefit, at the so-called ‘Union dividend’. 

Clearly we don’t know the underlying assumptions on which the Treasury has based its calculations although we know that many analyses have assumed incorrectly that a Scottish government would follow the same agenda as the UK government.

Several thousand pounds is the claim.  What does this mean?  Must be less than £10k otherwise that would have been mentioned.  My guess is that ‘several thousands’ means between three and five thousand.  More than five would have brought us ‘just less than £10k’ .

Therefore, I’ll assume the claimed benefit is £5000.

But note this is not an annual benefit but is accrued over 20 years ==> £250 each year , £4.81 each week, 68 pence each day.

But this benefit is not for every single one of us.  No, this 68p per day is for each household. 

Data from 2011 shows the Scottish population as 5.295 million and the number of households as 2.37million.  Therefore, based on my and the Treasury assumptions, each person in Scotland would benefit by just under 31p each day by remaining in the union.


31p to stay in the union?


No thanks!


Music in the Morning No. 371 – Luke Kelly


Thirty years have come since Luke Kelly left us but his music stands massively over Irish traditional music.  Luke was a founding member of the Dubliners who featured in ‘Sunday Morning Coffee’ in late 2010.

Today Luke takes us along Raglan Road.


Raglan Road                                                                             Luke Kelly

Luke, thank you. Once more you have touched my heart.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Scotland after No: Alan Bissett


What ‘s to come for Scotland after a No vote.  Author and playwright, Alan Bissett gives his view. 

It’s starting to come true already.



Beware and

Vote Yes!

Music in the Morning No. 370 – Troumaca


Music from the Mahogany Sessions has filled a few morning’s music and today we continue with ‘The Grace’ by Troumaca.


The Grace                                                                                        Troumaca


New music, new music to love.  Thanks, boys.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 369 – Maria McCool


Beauty enters your morning.

Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí                                               Maria McCool


Now I’m ready for the day.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Benefits: Thought Experiment


No!  This isn’t about the UK benefits system.  Here I consider the benefits of my posting on Scottish independence issues.

My stats show that very very few people read my blog and even fewer comment.  Other than 2 regulars there is no-one.

Now imagine standing in a remote part of Scotland, no-one else around.  What would be the point of standing with a ‘Vote Yes’ banner?  There’s no-one to see it, no-one to be  convinced but I’m doing more than standing with a banner, I’m taking time to read, think and write and still there’s no-one (virtually) to read it.

Why continue?  I don’t need to be convinced of the independence case?  My blog won’t suddenly be inundated with readers – never has been – and so I’m left standing with my banner, no-one around.  Some time even I will recognise the pointlessness of my lonely vigil.

This isn’t a plea for readers.  It’s a straightforward process of thinking through why I do this and to what purpose.   I do it to convince but there’s no-one around to be convinced. 

Can there be a better definition of pointlessness?

Confusion Again at CBI ….


… or is it more?  Perhaps they’re fools or charlatans.


We’ve come to expect this after their No campaign registration and subsequent withdrawal but, if the papers are to believed, the CBI president will add to the confusion later today.

The Herald and the Guardian  report extracts from Sir Mike Rakes speech to the CBI’s annual dinner.

Herald1 CBI

The Herald’s headline sets the scare but the details in the piece are scant, very rocky and unquestioned – as usual.

Herald3 CBI

There it is.  There may be more in Rake’s speech but this is all the Herald has published.

Scare: capital will move from Scotland to rUK and any currency union will fall!  But look at the key part of this extract.

Herald3A CBI

Yes!  The details are different, very different, and the moral is NOT the same.

The Czech and Slovak economies were very different,

“By the time Czechoslovakia returned to democracy in 1989, its Slovakian lands were dominated by increasingly obsolete heavy industry, while the more efficient Czech economy was generating around 20% higher GDP per capita than its neighbour.” [Source]

unlike the Scottish and rUK economies which are very much aligned.  There is no reason, therefore, for a currency union here falling apart as Rake’s suggests.

The moral for Rakes: choose your examples well.  Not to do so will make you look like a fool and a charlatan.


The Guardian highlights a different issue – the economy – and again Rakes looks the fool or charlatan.

Telegraph1A CBI 20140521

Logic check!

There will be a ‘range of unknown and unforeseen consequences’.  Normally unknowns and unforeseens make it difficult to predict an outcome.  How could it be otherwise? 

But in Unionistland logic is turned upside down.  Unknowns and unforeseens lead to insights and knowledge of outcomes.


But he’s not finished yet.  Rakes finishes off the above quote with,

Telegraph1B CBI 20140521

Now Rakes takes us in an interesting direction.  Had he said that the case has not been made that independence will be good for its (i.e. Scotland’s)economy, I would agree with him.  Nothing is definite.  But he doesn’t say that.  Look again.

‘The case has not been made that an independent Scotland would be better for our economy .’

After independence which economy would Rakes describe as ‘our’.  There is no combined UK economy: they’re separate.  Surely he can’t be referring to Scotland.  Does ‘our’ refer to the UK economy?


Is he a fool and loose with his language or is he really saying that the rUK economy may take a turn for the worse once Scotland is independent?

I think we deserve to know.

Music in the Morning No. 368 – Pet Shop Boys


Thought we’d have a bit of a change. ‘Go West’ was for a period the music played when the Pars – Google if you don’t know -  came onto the pitch. 

Ah, memories!

Go West                                                                             Pet Shop Boys


Think I’ll need to hold on to memories for a few years yet.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Words Fall by Themselves!



You may not be familiar with him but Ben Brogan, Deputy Editor of the Telegraph, has written words which beggar belief.  I make no other comment: his words fall all by themselves.



Music in the Morning No. 367 – Dan Tyminski


Yes, Transatlantic Sessions return with Dan taking the lead.


The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn                                    Dan Tyminski

[Dan: guitar & vocals; Aly Bain: fiddle, Michael McGoldrick: flute; Phil Cunningham: piano, Todd Parker: double bass, James McIntosh: drums, Jerry Douglas: dobro, Russ Barenberg: guitar]


Too long.  Too good to be away so long.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Torrance Treble: Politically Dishonest


The unionist MSM, and that is virtually all of the media available within Scotland, contorts itself daily to present fiction as fact and fact as fiction.  David Torrance, in today’s Herald, does the practice proud, with his, ‘Nationalists determined to rewrite inconvenient history’. 

Former BBC man and independence supporter Derek Bateman does an excellent job in dismantling Torrance’s case.  I want to focus on just one part of the article: Alec Douglas Home’s intervention in the 1979 referendum.

In 1979 a simple majority of votes was not sufficient for devolution to be set up.  At least, 40% of the electorate had to vote ‘Yes’.  ‘Yes’ won a very small majority of votes cast but did not meet the 40% threshold and, therefore, devolution was not enacted.

Lord Home of the Hirsel, a former Tory Prime Minister, had a major impact.  In a broadcast he said that if we, the people of Scotland, voted ‘No’ the next Conservative government would bring forward a better devolution Act.  This was in 1979 [see Wikipedia, Dennis Canavan].  Two months after the referendum, Margaret Thatcher became the Prime Minister at the start of 18 years of Tory rule.

There was no better devolution Act.


Torrance Treble

David Torrance writes,

but although it is certainly the case that Mrs Thatcher, Lord Home et al were politically dishonest 35 years ago [The emphasis is mine]

Three incredible points arise from this.


Firstly, they weren’t ‘politically dishonest’, they lied to the Scottish people to achieve their goal of a ‘No’ vote.  Plain and simple.  Lied

Why not say that, David?  Does it sound better?  Do you feel better using the euphemism?  It’s as though you accept that lying is acceptable when done for political purposes.  It’s not!  Lying is lying is deceit.

In fact it’s worse than this,  Your view is one-sided: lying is acceptable when done only for political purposes which you support. 


The double comes up when Torrance accuses voters in 1979.  We should have known that Lord Home was lying!  He says,

anyone who'd been paying attention to Tory policy since 1975 would have known full well what its view of devolution was. The 1979 Conservative manifesto, meanwhile, committed it only to "discussions about the future government of Scotland"

Oh well, more fool us, David!  We should have seen through his promise of a better Act following a ‘No’ vote.  The good Lord Home, educated at Eton, was a bare-faced liar and we should have known.  


Torrance completes a tremendous treble when he criticises us for not believing the pro-union parties now when they say that more powers will be devolved after a ‘No’ vote.

although it is certainly the case that Mrs Thatcher, Lord Home et al were politically dishonest 35 years ago, it does not follow the same is true in 2014. [Emphasis is mine]


There have been too many lies to risk trusting again!  Plain lies, simple lies, big lies, wee lies, bare-faced lies, ridiculous lies, lies about lies. 

We don’t believe you, David. 

We don’t believe unionist promises.

Trust has gone until we vote ‘Yes’.

Treble and out!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Put the Money to Better Use


The Daily Mail is boasting about a £1billion pound submarine.




No, thank you!

Think we can put the money to better use.

‘Man of the People, Councillor, Historian, Bon Vivant, Raconteur and Wit’ ….


is how Gordon McCaskill describes himself on his Twitter account



These aren’t the words I would use after his tweets this morning about Stuart Campbell, of WingsoverScotland.

Stuart has already written about Tory Councillor McCaskill and his tweets but I couldn’t let this episode pass without commenting.

This is the sequence of relevant tweets,



Threats, however unlikely or however made, are threats.  Councillor McCaskill has let his arrogance get much the better of him.


Time for him to withdraw his remarks and apologise.


I doubt he will and until he does his Twitter account should show this description,


Saturday, 17 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 364 – Ravel


Daybreak welcomes you into this glorious (I hope) morning.  Today’s music, ‘Daybreak’ or ‘Lever de jour’ is the first of 3 movements in Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No.2.

Sit back, close your eyes and listen deeply.

Daphnis et Chloé Suite No.2 Mvt 1: Daybreak              Maurice Ravel


So, so beautiful.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 363 – Tom Odell


Another new voice, Tom Odell and ‘I Know’ he’s very good.

I Know                                                                                      Tom Odell


Ah, yes. Brill!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Pot Iain Martin


In an unsurprising piece today, Iain Martin writes negatively again.

Telegraph1 20140514

All those who support independence are labelled pejoratively ‘nationalists’ or worse according to the headline,’Alex Salmond’s Scottish nationalists’ 

Sad Iain chooses not to mention that those who favour the union are British or UK nationalists; chooses not to mention that many who support independence are not SNP supporters.  But then he must use every opportunity to twist the truth to favour his side.

This isn’t even my main point.

Martin writes of David Cameron’s two visit,

But how are the Nationalists greeting his arrival? Sadly it's with the usual acidic sniping and relentless negativity.


But how does Martin write of Alex Salmond just two paragraphs later?  ‘Sadly it’s with the usual acidic sniping and relentless negativity’!

Telegraph2A 20140515


Iain, do you want to know the worst aspects of your ‘usual acidic sniping and relentless negativity’?   You know exactly what you are doing; you don’t care about twisting stories to suit your and the Establishment agenda; and you revel in so doing.


Sad pot, Iain.

Music in the Morning No. 362 - Rabanser Rizzo Rimini


A trio of pipers bring Thursday morning to you.  Peter Rabanser, Walter Rizzo  and Matteo Rimini play tunes known to them – obviously - but not to me.  The black pipes are French and the brown is Umbrian – ceccola.


Rabanser, Rizzo and Rimini 


And I used to think that the only pipes were Scottish bagpipes!!!!!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Flipper is Flipping Again


In some ways I feel sorry for Alistair Darling and his confusion.  Several times, he forgot which home was his second home but, fortunately for him but not for the taxpayer, his confusion brought him more money than if he had not forgotten.  

Whilst searching for a positive case for the union I came across more examples of his confusion.  Poor Ali!


Giving the JP Mackintosh lecture in November 2012, Darling said,

Chairing the Better Together Campaign is one of the most important things I’ve ever done in politics.  The decision we will all make together is the most important we will make in our lifetime.  Its effects will travel down generations.  It is an historic choice that will resonate down the centuries.

Darling recognises that for him and us the referendum decision ‘is the most important we will make in our lifetime.  It is an historic choice that will resonate down the centuriesbut yet, for him, chairing Better Together is not the most important task he’s done in politics! 

A decision that ‘will resonate down the centuries’ but it’s only ‘one of the most important things’ in his political life.’ 


This must be a slip of the tongue.    No!


At the launch of Better Together in June 2012 he said,

When Scotland votes in the referendum, we will face an historic choice which will shape our country and our families’ future not just for the lifespan of a Parliament but for generations to come.

Chairing this campaign is one of the most important things I have ever done in politics. The decision we make is the most important we will make in our lifetime.


How can there be this historic decision which will ‘resonate down the centuries’ and is ‘for generations to come’ which is not the important task of his political life?

Clearly poor Alistair is confused.  Mind you, he had to work with Gordon! 


But there’s more.


By April 2013 at the Scottish Labour Conference, the referendum decision had been downgraded,  He said,

But I am back, back for this referendum because it is one of the most important decisions that we will take at any time in our lifetime.   Where Scotland will take one of the biggest decisions that has taken in the last 300 years.


and by this year his role had been upgraded,

He said leading the no campaign was the most important thing he had done in his political life:’  [Guardian 31 March 2014]


But despite being the man in charge of rescuing the banks during the financial crisis in 2008, Mr Darling insisted that the campaign to save the UK was ‘the most important thing I’ve ever done in my political life’.   [Daily Mail 1 April 2014]


Don’t you feel sorry for him?

Flipper is flipping again!

Music in the Morning No. 361 – John Wright


John made his first appearance in November 2010 and not before time John, who died in 2008, returns with an immensely sad song, ‘Family’, but a song which is filled with hope. 

Family                                                                                 John Wright 


Many thanks, John.  Hope triumphs over despair in the Lord.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 360 – Erik Satie


Not of New Age but Erik Satie’s piece has the same feel: beautiful, soothing but ultimately ‘go nowhere’ music.  I love the apparent simplicity but Satie doesn’t move me as does most music here.  It’s as though the music and I walk slowly with nowhere to go but around and around.  Within this there isn’t boredom, as one might imagine, but beauty and then surprise as dissonance appears and just as quickly disappears. 

Enough of my (probably ridiculous) comments!

Gymnopédie No.1                                                                  Erik Satie


Thank you, Erik

Monday, 12 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 359 – Planxty


This morning ‘My Heart is Tonight in Ireland’


Oh, I’ve started the video at about 1m 24s in to avoid most of the preamble.  For the preamble just watch on YouTube

My Heart is Tonight in Ireland                                                 Planxty


Think I’ll listen to that again.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 358 - Praise the Lord



‘My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine’


If only ….
If only I trusted more
If only I believed more
If only I was more open
If only I walked more closely
If only ….
But then I return
And know again that
’My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine’



Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)                                        Hillsong United



‘Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine’

Father, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, I pray for forgiveness and for Your blessing,





Saturday, 10 May 2014

VoteNoBorders = No Change


We know that VoteNoBorders is set up for a No vote and no change in Scotland’s constitutional status.

We know too that VNB has been thoroughly debunked as a grassroots organisation.

Despite media exposure way beyond their size and effectiveness, there is no change in two key areas of their site.

Firstly readers were invited to

VNB HYS Heading

This is how the page looked on the 3rd May,

VNB HYS Captioned 20140503

and today, 10th May,

VNB HYS Captioned 20140510

No change!

This grassroots campaign has really taken off.

Then we had this, also on the 3rd May.

VNB HYV Captioned 20140503

and on the 10th,

VNB HYV Captioned 20140510

Again, there is no change.

Grassroots!  Huh!


No change at VoteNoBorders! 


They’re getting what they want.  Long may it continue.

Independence and Jesus


The Telegraph carries this headline,

Telegraph1 20140509

Rev John Ross states,

Despite the fact that a majority of Scottish people (54 per cent) consider themselves Christian, in an independent Scotland, as a matter of public policy, and for the first time since the Reformation, Christianity will be deprived of its status as the national religion.

I struggle with this call to vote No.


Why is it so important that Christianity is the national religion?  It’s a label and no more.  The label doesn’t affect me and my faith, doesn’t affect Jesus, the Bible, God.  Christianity being the national religion doesn’t make the country any more or less Christian.  Only the Word of God and the work of his children will make Scotland a truly Christian country.

Scotland will become a Christian country as more and more turn to Jesus and as those, like me, who call ourselves Christian live our lives closer to God.

The Bible and not the label.

Music in the Morning No. 357 - Daughter

More new – to me – music with Daughter.

Landfill                                                                                      Daughter


Think Daughter will return.

Friday, 9 May 2014

A Must Watch


This video has been flagged up at two much bigger blogs – WingsoverScotland and Munguin’s Republic but some may only see it here.


Dr Philippa Whitford talks about independence and in particular the differences between NHS Scotland and NHS England.   The less that England spends on health the less money comes to Scotland.  We need independence to defend and grow our NHS.

Please listen.  You will rarely hear a case better made.


See what I mean.

Please think hard about what Dr Whitford tells us …… and vote Yes!

Ach, I Can’t Be Bothered!


I was going to write about two articles in the FT but I can’t be bothered.  Each was an example of the worst kind of anti-independence writing and I’m fed up highlighting article after article and dishonesty after dishonesty.


Should you wish to read these articles they’re archived here and here.


Much better had the two writers said, ‘Ach, I can’t be bothered.’

Music in the Morning No. 356 – Christina Perri


Good morning.  Christina Perri brings you a song I knew already but I had never heard her original version.


A Thousand Years                                                         Christina Perri


See you tomorrow!

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 355 – Dick Gaughan


Oh, my heart hurts for all of today’s song ….. 


….. but during the last verse my hurt sits with God’s Grace and Love.


Don’t be put off by my faithful response: you don’t need to know God to feel the hurt and hope.


Why Old Men Cry                                                             Dick Gaughan



Why Old Men Cry

I walked from Ypres to Passchendale
In the first gray days of spring
Through flatland fields where life goes on
And carefree children sing
Round rows of ancient tombstones
Where a generation lies
And at last I understood
Why old men cry

My mother's father walked these fields
Some eighty years ago
He was half the age that I am now
No way that he could know
That his unborn grandchild someday
Would cross his path this way
And stand here
Where his fallen comrades lay

He'd been dead a quarter century
By the time that I was born
The mustard gas which swept the trenches
Ripped apart his lungs
Another name and number
Among millions there who died
And at last I understood
Why old men cry

I walked from Leith to Newtongrange
At the turning of the year
Through desolate communities
And faces gaunt with fear
Past bleak, abandoned pitheads
Where rich seams of coal still lie
And at last I understood
Why old men cry

My father helped to win the coal
That lay neath Lothian's soil
A life of bitter hardship
The reward for years of toil
But he tried to teach his children
There was more to life than this
Working all your life
To make some fat cat rich

I walked from Garve to Ullapool
As the dawn light kissed the earth
And breathed the awesome beauty
Of this land that gave me birth
I looked into the future
Saw a people proud and free
As I looked along Loch Broom
Out to the sea



Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Ben Riley-Smith: Reporter?


He’s not the worst but he is consistent in his slanted writing.

Telegraph1 20140507

Telegraph 2 20140415


He is not the worst but, at least, he has shown his true colours.

Telegraph3A 20150507

Music in the Morning No. 354 – Lucius


Another new name to me.  Wikipedia says this of them,

Lucius has been lauded by the New York Times for their "luscious, luminous, lilting lullabies", praised by NPR for their "charisma and charm." and by Rolling Stone as "the best band you may not have heard yet".

Hope you like their offering this morning.

Don’t Just Sit There                                                                    Lucius


If you liked this, come back tomorrow.

If you didn’t like this, come back tomorrow because you’ll find something very different.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 353 – Bach


Once more I invite Bach to bring us his genius.  This morning we have the first movement of Actus Tragicus.  Wikipedia says this,

Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (God's time is the very best time), BWV 106, also known as Actus Tragicus, is a sacred cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in Mühlhausen, intended for a funeral.

A mere 2½ minutes but there is nothing else ‘mere’ about this wonderfully atmospheric piece which (re)turns us to face God.

Actus Tragicus Mvt 1: Sonatina                           Johann Sebastian Bach



Monday, 5 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 352 – Jesse & Joy


Music in the Morning welcomes brother and sister, Jesse and Joy Uecke, from Mexico City. 

Sit back and revel in their music.  Don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish: your pleasure will not be affected.

La De La Mala Suerte                                                           Jesse & Joy


If you enjoyed this, be sure to come back tomorrow for more music to love.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Adam Tomkins: Two Positive Cases for the Union?


Professor Tomkins, in his words ‘a Justified Unionist’, writes very well and very persuasively.  If you haven’t read his latest post (long) in which he describes ‘Two Positive Cases’ then please take the time.  At more than 2700 words this is more an essay than a post but, hopefully like me, you will get to the end and be unconvinced by Tomkin’s arguments.

I am not going to review the entire essay, rather I’ll dip in and out.

I’ve been aware of Adam Tomkins for some time but never bothered to get to know ‘him’.  The main reason is that I detect an arrogance in his writing and in his video appearances, although this is a criticism which could be made of many on both sides.  He could be saying, ‘I’m good, I’m bright, I’m right.  I dare you to challenge me.’  Perhaps I’ve got him wrong.  He may be very humble in which case I’ll apologise.

Enough preamble!  Tomkins writes


There is so much in this little snippet.


A Global Force for Good’ 

Not even a ‘?’ at the end.  This stated as fact.  There’ll be no mention of Iraq, Afghanistan, involvement in extraordinary rendition or cyber-snooping or many, many more examples where our actions were not for global good but for our good.


Being at the Helm … ’  [definition: in the position of being in control of something]

of the EU, the UN Security Council, NATO, the G7, the G8 and the G20.

There’s always a risk that those who are very sure of themselves will over-reach.  Whatever the reasons, Tomkins has gone way too far with these words.  The UK has a role within these organisations but ‘at the helm’?  No!

At first sight, Tomkins’ essay appears to be perfectly argued but once small chinks and flaws are seen the essay becomes something very different.  You can decide what it becomes.


Sheltering Behind Our Larger Neighbour

Tomkins has set up a strawman here with a staggeringly arrogant picture.  Does Tomkins believe that all countries which are not part of these organisations are sheltering behind those which are. 

Are there only two positions: at the top table or sheltering?  Tomkins would have us believe this.

Is there only value from being at the top table?  Two paragraphs later Tomkins gives himself away when he writes,

But it is only through such a privileged position [at the top table] in the world that we are able to drive through the changes we want to see

Tomkins takes the testosterone position.  It’s what we want not what is best.  Power, influence are all.  We play with the big boys or we are useless wimps.

Does he not see that this desire for power takes £billions away from our needy to buy a Trident replacement and to fight unnecessary wars.  There’s always money for a war!

But there’s more to ‘sheltering behind our larger neighbour’ than Tomkins lets on.  For years the UK has hidden behind the might of the USA every so often poking our heads out saying, ‘coming to get you’.  This is weakness not strength but the illusion of strength is there and even that might well go when Scotland becomes independent.  Therein lies unionist fear.  But that can’t be acknowledged and so the issue is turned round to tell us how insignificant Scotland would be.

Frankly, I don’t care.  I’d rather live in a country without testosterone positioning, a country with integrity and compassion.


One of the World’s Most Influential and Extraordinary States

My comments here carry on very much from above.  When we deign to proclaim our desire to live in an independent Scotland we are assailed by cries that our nationalism is toxic but when, for example, Tomkins asserts the UK as ‘one of the world’s most influential and extraordinary states’ this nationalism is to be celebrated.


Britain is the Soft Power Superpower of the World

Arrogance reaches new levels as Tomkins continues

Our heritage, culture and language, the strength of our education and culture sectors, our promotion of free speech, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law are unrivalled anywhere in the world.

The arrogance and the narrow-mindedness that can assert this is mind-boggling.

culture and language 
strength of our education and culture sectors
promotion of free speech
parliamentary democracy
rule of law

In all these areas we are unrivalled!  Let them remove their blinkers and see the world as it truly is. 


Finally, Tomkins states,

We’re more prone to beating ourselves up about our mistakes than we are to moments of self-congratulation.

Tomkins has attempted to correct that balance here and he has achieved his aim brilliantly.  His article is a piece of extravagant and arrogant self-congratulation.

Fortunately his success in extravagant and arrogant self-congratulation highlights the chinks and flaws in his case for the union.


Two positive cases for the union?

Adam, you should have added the question mark too.  You succeeded in self-congratulation but failed to make your cases.

‘Compelling Scenario of a Britain No Longer Unified’


So says the Daily Mail 

DM1 20140504

There is no need to read the article - I’m still laughing – unless you too want your head to fall off.

This article work of fiction, as it must be given that it starts on the morning of the 19th September, has a very simple summary.


Be afraid of Yes!


But we’re long past being affected by fear.  Let fiction remain where it belongs – bound to the printed word – and let us treat fear with the contempt it deserves.


Laugh and Vote Yes!

Music in the Morning No. 351 – Praise the Lord


Once again this morning we welcome Robin Marks to lead our worship.


All I Once Held Dear                                                                  Robin Marks


O, Jesus,
How I love You
You suffered beyond suffering
For me
But yet I fall
And still You love me


Saturday, 3 May 2014

Music in the Morning No. 350 – Dave Arcari


Today’s music, a Burns’ song,  I’ve heard many times by many performers but never a version like this.


MacPherson’s Lament                                                          Dave Arcari


A bit different?

Friday, 2 May 2014

Malcolm Offord: A Man for the Grassroots!


Malcolm Offord - I feel I can call him ‘Malcolm’ because he’s made such an impact in less than 2 days of VoteNoBorders - is clearly a man of the people, a man for whom a fair share is his creed.

Possibly not! 

The following short extract describes a different approach to sharing,


[highlighting is mine]


Whilst most of us were suffering the effects of austerity, others had different lives and priorities.

Don Reboots Rev


Many have laughed at the new and so-called grassroots campaign, ‘Vote No Borders’ – see WoS here and VNB here but beware there may be a much more sinister intent.  This is a hidden attack on ‘WingsoverScotland and the Rev Stuart Campbell. 

Really?   Yes.  Hidden but true!

The Rev is to be rebooted.  We’ll hear that the Rev has switched sides.  He’s seen the light.  Watch out for the first signs.


How do I know this?  Hidden with the name ‘VoteNoBorders’ is ‘Don Reboots Rev’.

You’re making this up? 

Well, I am but it is no sillier than VNB styling themselves as a grassroots campaign.