Thursday, 19 June 2014

Miliband: Tory Cross-Dresser


Not only is he wearing their clothes, he talks like them too.  Of course, he says he is different, but his plans for benefits show he is walking in the footsteps and dancing to the tunes of the Tories.

Let none be fooled by his pretence of a social conscience.

The Tories have successfully framed the benefits debate as strivers versus skivers, working versus the work-shy, benefits’ scroungers versus the rest, them versus us.  They are different, they are getting that to which they are not entitled, they are taking from you.  But the Tories lie.  Of course, there are some scroungers: there are scroungers at the bottom, scroungers in the middle and at the top.  Where do the Tories look?  The bottom.  Those most disadvantaged.  And they abuse them.  Call them names.  Separate them from the rest of society.  And their right-wing lackeys of the press follow suit gladly.


It’s as though they (the disadvantaged) were the cause of our economic collapse and must be punished rather than being the victims of the scroungers at the financial top of society.


Now because this framing has been successful, Miliband has to respond and he does so not by challenging the Tories’ views but by adopting them to get the benefit of being tough and apparently sugar-coating them to gain credence from the left.  No amount of sugar-coating can mask the sour intent.


He says,

And we can restore the link between hard work and reward.  And to properly reward hard work and effort, we need contribution to be at the heart of our welfare system too.

We talk about the problem of people getting something for nothing.  And we are right to do so.

But there is a problem that politicians rarely talk about of people getting nothing for something.  How many times have I heard people say: “for years and years, I paid in and then when the time came and I needed help I got nothing out”?

Here he uses the Tories’ framing.

hard work and reward

properly reward hard work and effort

something for nothing

nothing for something

and then he brings in his key action:

we need contribution to be at the heart of our welfare system.

Surely the point of the contributions is that we all pay in when we can for the good of all. 

To make sure that someone who has been working for years and years, paying in to the system, gets more help if they lose their job, than someone who has been working for just a couple of years.


To make sure that someone who has been working for years and years, paying in to the system, gets more help if they lose their job, than someone who has been working for just a couple of years.


Are the financial needs different because one has been working for ‘years and years’?  The system should be about meeting need and not about rewarding anyone.  Do we not all pay taxes some of which goes to the NHS?  Is Miliband suggesting that we should get better care if we have contributed more.  No! Not yet, at least!  

We all contribute through taxes and we get back what we need.  The same principle should apply to benefits but the macabre dance towards punishment and rewards continues. 

Miliband’s basic premise is that working is hard but good, one contributes to society and deserves a reward.  But not working is easy and bad and deserves the minimum only.  This is typical divide and rule, an ‘us and them’.  We look after us and abuse them.

Having a job should be a right but now it is a privilege. Does Miliband think it’s easy to be unemployed and looking for work with the threat of sanctions ever present?

To be honest, I don’t think he cares. 

Rather than stand up for all including the disadvantaged he follows the Tories because he is afraid that to do otherwise would be damaging electorally. 

Stand up for what is right.  The more he moves to the right the more the Tories will move to the right and the dance continues.


Say you will not follow the Tories because they and their media supporters are wrong and perpetuate a lie.  The disadvantaged do not deserve to be disadvantaged.  They are disadvantaged and that is punishment enough without the political classes scapegoating them.


I do not even dream of a change.  


Music in the Morning No. 397 – Rhonda Vincent


Come into today with some bluegrass.

Kentucky Borderline                                    Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 396 - Holly Tomás


Just 3 weeks ago Holly made her first appearance and I’m delighted to welcome her home to sing Burns.

Ye Banks and Braes                                                                 Holly Tomás

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 395 – A Fine Frenzy


Another returnee this morning - after more than 4 years – but so worth the wait.  I thought i had already featured this song but, when I looked, I couldn’t find it.

Sit back, close your eyes and relax.


Near to You                                                                               A Fine Frenzy


A little bit of perfection!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 394 – Blue Roses


Laura Groves (Blue Roses) brings you her ‘Greatest Thoughts’ this morning.


Greatest Thoughts                                                              Blue Roses


Thank you, Laura.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 392 – Hiromi


Thirty months after her first incredible visit, Hiromi returns using the second movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 as the base for the most wonderful music.

Piano Sonata No.8  'Pathetique Mvt 2 (Adagio cantabile)        Hiromi

[Playing with Hiromi are: Anthony Jackson: bass;  Simon Phillips: drums]


I hope she finds her way back here soon.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 390 – Mark Orton


This happens so often now!  A new artist pops up on my screen with music which demands its place at the head of the queue for this slot.

Today it’s Mark Orton and ‘Night of the Skeptic’ from Orton-composed score of the film ‘Nebraska’.

The opening accordion sounds so atmospheric, so Parisian, before a guitar, then violin, and then piano break in.  Eventually with the violin dominant the accordion takes more of a back seat yet brings back its sadness.  Towards the end the discordant piano increases the piece’s darkness.

Enough!   Sit back and let Tin Hat work their magic on you!


Night of the Skeptic                                                  Mark Orton and Tin Hat


Oh!  I could listen to this over and over and over.  I just have.

See you tomorrow

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Music in theMorning No. 389 – Donald Byrd


A wee bit (7 min) of jazz brings you into Wednesday morning.   Donald Byrd and his band play ‘Flute Blues’.


Flute Blues                                                                         Donald Byrd

[Donald Byrd: trumpet; Bobby Jaspar: tenor sax and flute; Walter Davis Jr: piano; Doug Watkins: double bass; Art Taylor: drums.]

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Cameron: White Supremacist?


Very unfortunate juxtapositioning of the story of a tragedy and a photo of David and Samantha Cameron might lead one to suppose that the No. 10 couple are white supremacists.

If any feel I am trivialising a tragedy then please accept my apologies.  That is NOT my intent.  My heart goes out to the families of those killed.

This is a screenshot from the Independent.

Indie1 20140610


You may think, of course, that I have created this.  Not a bit of it.

Go here - -  and look at the 7th story on the left.  The pic below shows the positioning on the page.  [Note: don’t magnify pic below: you can’t read any words]

Indie2A 20140610

Music in the Morning No. 388 – Marcus Mumford & Oscar Isaac


I hadn’t heard this track  - Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song) - until 10mins ago: it’s from the Coen brothers film, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.

I think you’ll love it.


Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)                 Marcus Mumford & Oscar Isaac


What a find!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 387 – Davy Spillane


Just 5 weeks ago Davy made his first visit and I am delighted to welcome him back. 

This morning he brings us pain and despair in a magnificent rendering of ‘Caoineadh Cu Chulainn’ (Cu Chulainn’s Lament).  Until now I had never heard any instrument cry but, in his hands, Davy’s uilleann pipes cry the heaviest tears imaginable.

Caoineadh Cu Chulainn                                                 Davy Spillane


With my eyes closed and after umpteen viewings I am still moved and despite the pain I hope you were able to appreciate the beauty within this recording.

And tomorrow there will be more lovely music for you.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

BBC Reformed


What a  difference!

There is a new BBC without the biased unionist message.  Difficult to imagine that the BBC could change itself.  It hasn’t.

But there is still a new BBC. 

Visit BatemanBroadcasting.Com and find fresh radio, free from the standard bias we have imposed on us every day.


Music in the Morning No. 386 – Praise the Lord


Today the first two lines of Psalm 42 are taken


As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.


and woven into a wonderful song of worship.  But before then I pray,



Father God, I long for You.
I long to know Your presence
But often I am too closed to be aware
Too often I know, in my head only,
’That You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship Thee’

Too rarely, Father God, do I truly know this
Too rarely, Father God, do I live this from my soul
For I am weak and I wander
For I am lost although well-meaning in my wandering
I am weak and I fail as I try to be strong
For I come when there is nothing else
Too often, Father, You are the last refuge and not the first

Every week my prayer says, 'Too often I don't'       
And 'Too rarely I do'
This is where I am,
This is my place
And from here I pray for Your forgiveness
And for the wisdom to learn and move closer to You

And then I may truly know
’That You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship Thee’




As the Deer Pants for the Water                                                Robin Marks


Father, I give myself to You.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

News and Weather Where You Are


Author and poet, James Robertson, catches the situation perfectly!

UPDATE: June 7 @ 13.16  I note the massive and excellent WingsoverScotland has just posted this video too.  I didn’t follow.  Not saying Wings copied from me either.


Enjoy!  Laugh even!  Despair at the sentiments he accurately portrays.

Music in the Morning No. 385 – Rachael Yamagata


Another new – to me- artist for your Saturday delight.  Rachael sneaked up on me through Spotify and she jumped straight into the series.


Reason Why                                                                Rachael Yamagata


I’m constantly amazed that there seems to be an endless supply of music I love.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 384 – Beethoven


Beethoven’s music hasn’t appeared here as often as his general popularity would suggest and I bring not one of his ‘classics’ but a work without an opus number (WoO 57). 

Don’t be put off; this is absolutely spellbinding.  The more I listen the more I get from this, especially as I listen with my eyes closed.


Andante for piano in F major ("Andante favori") WoO 57       Beethoven

[Sviatoslav Richter]


I have to find some more relatively unknown Beethoven.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A Reply from David Cameron?



Last month, Mr Cameron said the result of the Scottish independence referendum would be "decisive, legal, fair, irreversible and binding".

Within the press there was doubt about Cameron’s meaning and, therefore, I contacted the Prime Minister’s Office through their website - - as follows,

On the Today programme on Tuesday, 20 May, Mr Cameron said the result of the Scottish independence referendum would be "decisive, legal, fair, irreversible and binding".  During the on-going debate, opinions expressed by politicians and the media have implied that a 'Yes' vote would be irreversible and that a 'No' did not preclude another referendum in some unspecified year. 

As a result of Mr Cameron's reply today, The Telegraph suggests another possible meaning: that, regardless of the result, there could be no more referenda on Scottish independence.

Clearly, there are two very different interpretations of Mr Cameron's words: which did he mean

1. a Yes is irreversible and therefore there will be no more referenda

2.  the result is irreversible whether it be Yes or No and there will be no more referenda

Can you clarify?

Did I get an answer?  Don’t be silly!   There was a reply though.

A quick email was all that was needed.  Dave could have knocked it off after dinner but that was too much too expect of our Tory leader.  Quickly shuttled out of No. 10 to the Scotland Office.  Fortunately, Carmichael didn’t reply: at least their letter was well-constructed and written in good English.


There was no clarification of Cameron’s position.  There was bumph.

… if people in Scotland vote to leave the United Kingdom that would be a permanent decision.  If people vote to stay within the UK, both governments have agreed to accept the outcome of the decision and all three pro-UK parties have committed themselves to strengthening and enhancing the devolution settlement in Scotland.

Absolute bumph!

There were lots of pro-union leaflets included too and very soon they’ll be helping to make compost.

Music in the Morning No. 383 – Wes Montgomery


A wee bit of jazz guitar from one of the best, Wes Montgomery, who died tragically young.


Polka Dots and Moonbeams                                         Wes Montgomery


So smooth, so mellow.  What a sound!!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 382 – Cara Dillon


O, the most beautiful sound awaits you.


Lark in the Clear Air                                                                  Cara Dillon


And, for once, I was right!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 381 – Joshua Radin


Not only do we have a newcomer to ‘Music in the Morning’ we have a ‘Brand New Day’!


Brand New Day                                                                  Joshua Radin


Great stuff!  See you around, Josh.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 380 – Fiona Apple


A different feel this morning as a fragile-sounding and -looking Fiona Apple asks, ‘Why try to change me now?

UPDATE  2 June @ 0745  I am very uncomfortable showing this and so have removed the video from the post.

Why Try to Change Me Now?                                             Fiona Apple

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Music in the Morning No. 379 – Praise the Lord


Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz, who featured 1 month ago, return to sing the Lord’s praises this morning.


Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!


Such simple words but each time they awaken our awareness of the greatness of Our Father, the Lord God Almighty, and in me, at least, an awareness of the distance I am from being the person God wants me to be.   I feel not despair but delight not in my failing but in the absolute knowledge that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are with me always; the path, the guide, the light willing me onwards.  Their forgiveness clears the path, their love lights the way and God’s hand keeps me steady.

Father, we worship You with our hearts open but in the knowledge that our dark side is too close.  We kneel down in shame ….


Holy, Holy Holy                                                                Lily & Madeleine


…. and arise bathed in Your purity.

In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, we pray.