Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Telegraph and Truth: Strangers

 

In an exchange of tweets, Jeremy Warner, assistant editor of the Telegraph, has confirmed that the Telegraph uses its headlines to draw in readers – not surprising – and that this trumps the need for the headline to be true.

 

I posted twice on this subject yesterday in which a headline (below)) was at odds with its article (1 and 2). 

Telegraph1 20140428

I challenged Warner to say which was true, the article or his headline. Eventually he tweeted,

Warner4A

I found it hard to believe that this was the truth

Was he being flippant, trying to get ‘click rate’, or trying to influence by the headline alone?

I pushed him again today and he confirmed

Warner5A

Clearly, therefore, the truth of the headline is irrelevant to Warner and the Telegraph: attracting customers is more important.

But given the Telegraph compromises headline truth for customers why should we believe the articles which follow?

We shouldn’t and we don’t believe but I’m surprised that the Telegraph is so open about its deceit.

Takes All Sizes

 

Last night I was reading Derek Bateman’s blog and was taken by one of the many comments.  A pro-Union commenter was ridiculed - not by Derek – for, among other things, the very few comments made on his own blog, ‘the last of his posts attracted a whopping 5 comments.

Ridicule?  Most of my posts receive ZERO comments.  Perhaps I’m open to ridicule over this too! 

Perhaps.  But it takes all sizes. 

 

Should we ridicule the corner shop because they’re not a supermarket?

Should we ridicule the sole trader because he’s not a multi-national?

 

We don’t have to agree with, nor even respect, the message but all contribute to the debate in larger or smaller ways and each is due respect for the role they play. 

Music in the Morning No. 347 – Lily & Madeleine

 

Another of my new finds – well, new to me – brings you the Indianapolis duo, Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz.

Enjoy.

 

Devil We Know                                                                Lily & Madeleine

 

Three minutes of beauty!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Scary Stuff re Banking Job Losses ….

 

The Telegraph has just published another ‘you’re doomed’ independence piece – here. [See here and here for the first]

Telegraph5 20140429

Telegraph6 20140429

According to the Telegraph, Professor Douglas McWilliams will deliver the Gresham Professorial lecture tomorrow (Wednesday) and, if the Telegraph quotes are correct, we are in for a lecture!

"Like Ireland in the 1960s there might well eventually be an economic revival when policy makers, having tried everything else, start to apply common sense.

It took the Irish 40 years to achieve this post independence. By the time [Scottish citizens] see the light they might have lost as much as 10pc in growth and living standards from the slower growth compared with the situation had they stayed in the union."

 

…. but this and all his predictions are based upon there being no fiscal, monetary or banking union’.

So once more we see a very definite headline and article being conditional.

Will they never learn?

 

But there’s a wee bit more.  If you turned up to listen to Professor Williams’ lecture you would be very surprised to hear him talk about independence.  Why?  The original title and overview of his lecture are,

Gresham1

 

Wonder why it was changed?

 

All hands to the union pump?

Got to Get the Readers in Somehow

 

Hang on to that title its relevance will become clear.

 

Earlier today I wrote about Jeremy Warner’s article in the Telegraph here - Definite Indefinite Article! No SurprisesWingsoverScotland picked up on this too.

The issue was that the headline was definite: a Yes vote would lead to fiscal austerity.  There was no doubt.  The article did not match this.  Fiscal austerity and a prosperous Scotland were, according to Warner, ‘equally plausible.’ 

So what was Warner’s view; the headline or that stated in his article?

I both emailed and tweeted Warner and the one response I received was shocking.  I don’t think my contact with Warner could be described as anything other than reasonable and moderate.  My unopened email is appended.  The tweets in order are,

Warner1

Warner2

Warner3

Warner4A

[the highlighting is mine]

 

Warner’s reply to a reasonable question: the incompatibility of the headline and his article is,

Got to get the readers in somehow

 

Now there are three possibilities. 

Firstly, Warner is being honest and the headline is an attempt to get the ‘click’ rate up by using a headline which is untrue, doesn’t reflect the article but is guaranteed to cause a reaction.  Sales trump truth – shocking!

Secondly, Warner is being flippant.  My question is unimportant to him, there is no need to answer honestly.  The incompatibility is irrelevant to him.  He treats a serious question on a serious issue as if it means nothing to him – shocking! 

The third option is that the headline is designed to influence those who see the headline but no more.  Lies and influence over truth – shocking!

 

Shocking but not surprising!

 

______________________________________________

 

My email sent to Jeremy Warner at 14.00 today and still unopened

Dear Mr Warner

I hope it's OK to contact you.

I'm interested in your article, 'Scotland is voting for fiscal austerity, it just doesn't know it', but I am confused.  Can you help me?

The headline,

Telegraph1 20140428

and your tweet, 'My column on why a vote for Scottish independence is a vote for fiscal austerity http://fw.to/kGi1CrZ ', state categorically that a YES vote will lead to fiscal austerity with the stated outcomes.  Your article, however, says that Salmond's vision of Scotland becoming 'a prosperous, high-income, high public expenditure, social democracy on the Nordic model, fully at ease with its position in the European Union, and possibly even a signed up member of the euro' is equally plausible.

The headline/tweet are incompatible with your first paragraph, a short extract of which is highlighted above.

Which do you stand by, the headline and tweet or your first paragraph?

I look forward to hearing from you.  Much is made in the media about the vitriol directed from Yes supporters to those who don't support their view.  I trust this message does not fall into that category.

Kindest regards

CalumCarr

Music in the Morning No. 346 – Russ Barenberg

 

Just over 3 years ago this music featured in my ‘Very, Very Occasionally series and it returns today.  I wrote this,

I have gorgeous music from the guitar of Russ Barenberg.  I have put together a video from his music and some photos of mine under the pseudonym ‘SwirlingCalum’ and under the aegis of my ‘Swirling Light Productions’.

 

Hymn of Ordinary Motion                                            Russ Barenberg

[with Jerry Douglas and Edward Meyer]

 

There was nothing ordinary about that music!

Definite Indefinite Article! No Surprises

 

We have become used to reading headlines which distort the message  of an article.   The Telegraph reaches new levels.

Telegraph1 20140428

This headline brooks no doubt!  This is really worrying!  How could we vote for this?

Except the article is not definite.  Jeremy Warner starts by asking,

Telegraph2A 20140428

 

He continues,

Telegraph2B 20140428

This is the end of the positive message. 

Then comes,

Telegraph2C 20140428

The article then develops the issues raised in the cutting above.  I’m not going to rebut Warner’s claims about this ‘equally plausible scenario’ nor even am I tackling his use of ‘equally plausible’.

Warner gives two scenarios: a positive (1st paragraph) and a negative (the remaining 16 paragraphs) but despite the massive imbalance he is, at least, open to the possibility of a positive outcome.

The headline though!

LIES!

LIES!

LIES!

LIES!

 

The free press?

Monday, 28 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 345 – Compagnia Sacco

 

Something very different this morning but still beautiful. 

Compagnia Sacco are one of five vocal ensembles from the Ligurian village of Ceriana.  [See here for more information]  Liguria is a north-western region of Italy in which Genoa is located.

The performance is musically fabulous but very, very strange visually!

Alma Contempla                                                          Compagnia Sacco

 

Wasn’t that just out of this world?

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 344 – Praise the Lord

 

You’ll need to get yourself ready for this worship!  This Sunday morning we worship Our Father with the words and music of Robin Mark’s ‘Days of Elijah’.  There is little subtlety in Judy Jacobs’ version but, hey, we’re meant to give everything we have to the Lord and Judy doesn’t hold back.

Each time I listen to this I have to listen and sing over and over and over again.

 

Days of Elijah                                                                       Judy Jacobs

 

Days Of Elijah

       

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

These are the days of Elijah,
Declaring the word of the Lord:
And these are the days of Your servant Moses,
Righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trial,
Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying
'Prepare ye the way of the Lord! '

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

These are the days of Ezekiel,
The dry bones becoming as flesh;
And these are the days of Your servant David,
Rebuilding a temple of praise.
These are the days of the harvest,
The fields are as white in Your world,
And we are the labourers in Your vineyard,
Declaring the word of the Lord!

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah. 

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

 

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.


Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

 

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.
There's no God like Jehovah!

There's no God like Jehovah.

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes.

Lift your voice, it's the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion's hill salvation comes

 

Thank You, Father for holding me and loving me.

In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, I pray.

Amen!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 343 – Fats Waller

 

A classic awaits you this good morn – Ain’t Misbehavin’ from the film, ‘Stormy Weather’.

Ain’t Misbehavin’                                                                       Fats Waller

Have a great 'behavin' day!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Music in the Morning no. 342 – Karl Richter

 

Bach returns in the guise of Karl Richter playing the harpsichord solo from the 5th Brandenburg concerto. 

Sit back and enjoy.

 

Harpsichord Solo, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5,D major, BWV 1050

 

and I did enjoy that.  Exquisite.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Iain Martin: Lost the Plot?

 

Iain Martin, of the Telegraph, is one of my favourite commentators on Scottish independence, not because I think his analysis is correct but rather because, alongside his stablemate Alan Cochrane, he is guaranteed to raise an unintended smile. 

His latest attempt is brilliant!  Not a smile but a guffaw!  He makes claims so outrageous that I fear for his sanity!

Let’s start with,

Telegraph1A 20140424

On its own this is bad enough but he continues,

Telegraph4 20140424

and then,

Telegraph5A 20140424

 

Despite my ROFLMAO, I find it hard to believe that Martin actually believes this crap. 

 

Are you ill, Ian?  No sane person could actually believe this.  Surely?

Are you desperate?

Take a couple of days months off.

 

Rather than being a concern, that you write in such a way is a boost.  You confirm what we can all see and feel.  You know that ‘Yes’ is on the march to a likely win and you are desperate and you have nowhere to go but smear, smear and more smear.  Yet you have the gall to say of the other side,

they scream “bluster” and  “smear” 

but you describe yourself perfectly.

Thanks, Iain. 

Music in the Morning No. 341 – Monteverdi

 

Let your ears receive this offering and let your heart be touched.

The video’s description says,

Lamento della ninfa is the 18th piece from Monteverdi's eighth book of madrigals (Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi, 1638). The three male voices narrate the story and offer empathy to the nymph while she is lamenting over her abandonment. This movement of the madrigal is a beautiful example for Phrygian progression with the ostinato of its bass line in four descending notes all the way through. The inner turmoil and sorrow of the nymph is mirrored in the music by the melodic and harmonic dissonances.

I don’t understand much of that but I understand what is important: the music reaches my soul.

Lamento della Ninfa                                                      Claudio Monteverdi

 

Thanks, Claudio!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 340 – Birdy

 

This morning a 17 year old says hello.  Jasmine van den Bogaerde, Birdy, brings you ‘Words as Weapons’.

 

Words as Weapons                                                                         Birdy

 

I think there’s much more to come from Birdy.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Another Tom, Tom …..

 

  ….., the piper's son,
Stole a pig, and away did run;
The pig was eat
And Tom was beat,
And Tom went crying
Down the street.
 

 

This Tom - for the first Tom read here -  is Tom Gallacher whose mini-bio in the Telegraph says,

Tom Gallagher spent 32 years teaching politics and casting doubt on seductive cure-alls from European integration to Scottish Nationalism. He is professor emeritus of Bradford University and has published eleven books on European politics.

I’ve never met Tom but he seems a tad prone to exaggeration and that is seen to perfection in his current blog on the Telegraph.  Others will, no doubt, critique his efforts much more fully and eloquently than I (eg see Derek Bateman – here and here - who is criticised by Gallacher).  I make do with just a few lines.

The headline and strap are,

Guardian7 20140424

I could stop here and let that headline define Tom but his first paragraph shows the mind-set of this rabid anti-SNP professor.

Guardian8 20140424

 

Tom, I’m ROFLMAO.  I trust your article was satirical!  Wasn’t it?

No!  Then I’m ROFLMFAO

Tom, Tom ….

 

 

  ….., the piper's son,
Stole a pig, and away did run;
The pig was eat
And Tom was beat,
And Tom went crying
Down the street.
 

 

Tom Morton in today’s Guardian writes a disappointing piece; disappointing not because he argues for the continuation of the union but because the article is so poor.

Guardian1 20140424

I pick up on 3 points:

-  references to the Balkans and fascism

-  his comments on ‘civic nationalism’

-  his loose language about the legitimacy of various governments

 

Balkans and Fascism

Guardian2A 20140424

Tom, you know that there is nothing within the pro-independence campaign or within the SNP which is remotely close to the nationalism of the Balkans or to fascism.  That you even raise this demeans you much, much more than those you intend to tar.

 

Civic Nationalism

The pic above is the start of Morton’s few words on civic nationalism.  He completes with,

Telegraph3A 20140424

See what you’ve done there, Tom.  You say it’s wrong to set the Scottish border, any border even, as the break point for civic nationalism but then in the very next sentence you use the British border to define your civic nationalism.

Scottish border  -  wrong

British border    -  right

Is that not hypocritical, Tom?   Or did you not notice the flaw?

 

Government Legitimacy

You start by saying,

Guardian4A 20140424

I can agree with you here but then you lose it.  You question the legitimacy of the current Scottish government.

Guardian5A 20140424

You question because the SNP has a majority of seats in the Scottish Parliament but with less than 50% of the vote and then you question more by saying the turnout was 50%. 

Tom, do you want to turn the clock back to the 1979 referendum’s 40% rule where those who didn’t vote were deemed to have voted ‘No’? 

With that 45.4% and 44.0% of the Scottish vote (constituency and regional list) the SNP gained 53% of the seats whereas the Labour party (with 31% and 26%) gained 28% of the  seats. [Source

But let’s look at the Labour vote in Scotland in UK elections. I looked at all elections going back to 1970.  The only occasion that the Labour party got more than 45.4% was in 1997 (with 45.7) but how closely did the number of seats reflect the votes cast.  This doesn’t look good for your case, Tom!

 

Year %age Vote %age Seats %age
Turnout
2010 42 69 64
2005 39 69 61
2001 43 78 58
1997 45.6 78 71

 

Hey Tom, if you question the SNP’s legitimacy I’d expect you to damn these results which show gross over-representation of the Labour party. 

Do you?

Don’t be silly!

Guardian6B 20140424

[highlighting is mine]

Huh!  A blatant untruth!

You buried yourself there, Tom.  A bit of honesty, just a wee bit of honesty, was needed but you couldn’t do it.  When honesty is lost, credibility is lost too.

You’re not honest, Tom!

You’re not credible, Tom!

 

But then most of the No campaign would suit the same description.

Music in the Morning No. 339 – The Roches

 

Maggie, Terry and Suzzy bring you their lovely harmonies.  I found them in the mid-70s only to lose them for almost 40 years.  Here they are  but note the audio is very hissy.

Hammond Song                                                                     The Roches

 

Different!   But really, really good.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 338 – 5 Hand Reel

 

This morning I bring you a powerful Scots ballad, ‘The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray’,  which is believed to date from the 17th century.  5 Hand Reel, including Dick Gaughan, produce a magical performance.

 

I’ve appended the words after the video but if you want chapter and verse on the Bonnie Earl then please visit Murder Ballad Monday which has an excellent article on ‘The King, the Queen, her lover and his death - The Bonnie Earl of Moray’.

 

 

The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray                                                         5 Hand Reel

 

The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray

Ye Hielans and ye Lawlans
O whaur hae ye been
Thae hae slain the Earl o' Moray
And they've laid him on the green
He wis a braw callant
An' he played at the ba'
O the bonnie Earl o' Moray
He wis the flo'er among them a'
An' lang may his ladie
Look ower frae Castle Doune
Ere she sees the Earl o' Moray
Come soundin through the toun

O woe betide ye Huntly
And whaurfore did ye say
O a bade ye bring him tae me
But forbade ye him tae slay
He wis a braw callant
And he played at the ring
O the bonnie Earl o’ Moray
He micht hae bin a king
Lang may his ladie
Look ower frae Castle Doune
Ere she sees the Earl o' Moray
Come soundin through the toun

Ye Hielans and ye Lawlans
O whaur hae ye been
Aye they've slain the Earl o' Moray
And they've laid him on the green
He wis a braw callant
An' he played at the glove
Aye the bonnie Earl o Moray
He wis the Queen's true love
An' lang may his ladie
Look ower frae Castle Doune
Ere she sees the Earl o' Moray
Come soundin through the toun

 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 336 – Rob Ickes

 

Top picking greets you this morning with top dobro player, Rob Ickes, with Andy Leftwich on mandolin.

Angeline the Baker                                                                       Rob Ickes

 

My fingers are sore just thinking about what’s involved in this.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Archer Should Bow Out

 

I’ve read so many trashy anti-independence articles but I’ve just come across one which is off the scale.  Graeme Archer writes, I exaggerate his skills, in tonight’s online Telegraph here.

In the article, Archer describes himself as a commentator and in his profile as a professional statistician.  Stick to statistics, Graeme.  Any commentator who claims as you do that,

Telegraph3A 20140418

is either ignorant or deliberately telling lies. 

Which is it, Graeme?   Do tell us but not in another article: that would be too much.

You use “nationalist” pejoratively.  That’s standard practice for those who favour the retention of the union but you’re a nationalist too, just for a different country.  Your nation is the UK.  From your ‘writing’ you feel as strongly about your nation as Alex Salmond, and I use him only because you do, does for his.

I have no problem with your being a UK nationalist but I do have a problem that you don’t accept that you are a nationalist.  It’s strange that, isn’t it Graeme, that those who favour the union don’t see themselves as nationalists.

You’re such a strong UK nationalist that you fear independence because,

Telegraph1A 20140418

You really are a poor wee soul, Graeme. 

You’re a nationalist and won’t admit it.

You are either ignorant or you lie.

You are a commentator who can’t commentate.

Stick to the statistics, Graeme.  I’m sure you’re better off there.  Statistics don’t understand nationality either.

Music in the Morning No. 335 – Michael Marra

 

…… Robert Burns.

 

Green Grow the Rashes                                                   Michael Marra

 

 

A guid Scots voice with brilliant Scots words.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

‘I’ve Never Understood’: Ruth Davidson

 

I’ve never understood’  [Ruth Davidson, Good Morning Scotland, 16/4/14: from 01:08:34 in]

Thanks, Ruth!  How refreshing to hear an honest politician!  I know it’s hard to believe, especially so of a Tory, but it’s true.  Perhaps soon we’ll see honesty become a political virtue but I won’t hold my breath.

Ruth was talking about the disparity in school performance  - getting 3As or more at Highers - between pupils from homes in the top and bottom income bands.  In Edinburgh, for example, the poorest 20% were 20 times less likely to achieve 3As than the richest 20%; in Dundee 10 times and in Glasgow 5 times.  With no evidence she blame comprehensive education suggesting that we should be open to initiatives from outside Scotland including these practised by the UK’s Tory government.

I wonder who or what she blames for the difference in life expectancy, health, unemployment?

 

But what had Ruth never understood?

I've never understood why local authorities are in charge of schools.  I've never understood that the body that takes out our bins – councils – are in charge of teaching our children.

Let me explain, Ruth. 

It’s not the same people. The binmen don’t teach and the teachers don’t empty bins.  Different departments have authority for bins and teaching.  It’s a bit like the UK government although our local authorities, despite lapses, have more compassion.  You know that nutter, Michael Gove?  Well, he’s responsible for the education in England and a fine mess he’s making of it too. But it’s a different nutter who’s in charge of the Department of Work and Pensions and a massive mess been made there too.  See, Ruth.  Same government but different nutters.  It’s yet another different nutter from the same government who’s in charge of health in England.

Have you got it?  Do you understand? 

You do! 

Another day I might explain poverty.  I guess you’ve never understood that either.

Music in the Morning No. 334 - C-M Widor

 

I hope your probably awake because you are about to be blasted with fabulous organ music.  Peter van de Velde plays ‘Mattheus-Final’ from Charles-Marie Widor’s ‘Bach’s Memento’.

Are you ready?   [Note: Music starts 38secs in]

Mattheus-Final (Bach’s Memento)                          Peter Van de Velde

[Antwerp Cathedral]

 

I’m still ’wowing’ at this although I’ve heard it about 10 times in only a couple of days.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 333 - Collabro

 

Britain’s Got Talent greets you this fine morning.  On this year’s first audition show – on TV only 4 days ago – were Collabro, a group of 5 young men who had only been together as a group for about 1 month.  But I make no apology for bringing them to you.

[Note: the video is 6min 40sec but the song finishes at about 3m 35s, the rest is taken up with applause, judges’ comments and votes.]

Enjoy Collabro as they sing ‘Stars’ from Les Miserables.

 

Stars                                                                                              Collabro

 

Whatever else they do (or don’t do) in their career they have given us a wonderful performance.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

No More to Say!

 

 

Telegraph 1A 20140415

Music in the Morning No. 332 – Luigi Boccherini

 

This morning welcomes you with music of the night …. but what music!

Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid -  Opus 30 No. 6 (G. 324)’ (Night Music of the Streets of Madrid) was written in 1780 (abt) for stringed quintet - 2 violins, cello and two violoncellos - but much more than this the piece is 12 minutes plus of gloriously wonderful music.

There are seven short movements whose descriptions (thank you, Wiki) and timings are,

Blog 1 20140415

[Apologies for using a pic above.  Livewriter wouldn’t give a properly aligned table]

Enough! 

Music!

Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid                      Luigi Boccherini

 

This was much longer than I normally use bit I hope you felt it worth the effort.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Polly Toynbee: Chance to Clarify – Missed

 

As has been widely reported on the web (pro-independence sites, at least), Polly Toynbee made comments which have created a stir [See WoS and No Jocks Please, We’re British’].  I asked her to clarify, an opportunity which she didn’t take.

What caused the original ruckus?

On Sunday Politics London, Toynbee said,

…..  After we have the Scottish referendum it's quite clear that Scotland, one way or another, will be moving further away.  I don't think you could have ….. a leader of a national party being a Scot. ….’

After Andrew Neil interjected she continued,

‘…. I think a Scottish constituency as a leader of a national party would now be too difficult or indeed to hold a lot of the great offices of state.’

I can understand,  but don’t agree with, the logic which I believe lies behind her comments and so I gave her a chance to clarify her views.  In a short exchange of emails she wrote 5 sentences in total in reply to my two quite lengthy messages.  I’ve put my emails at the end and Toynbee’s replies are below,

Yes, an MP for a Scottish constituency can certainly be Foreign or  Defence secretary or DWP or any non-devolved role. But not say, health or education, or universities or care etc. So I think being leader, but not with a credible role in those key areas would be difficult. I suspect Brown will be the last.

and

Well, it does concern me. Just as the West Lothian question does too. These may not be resolvable in an altogether logical way and we shall just muddle along. Douglas Alexander will be a fine Foreign Sec – [sic]

 

The opportunity was there to give us some insight into her thoughts but, unfortunately, she decided not to go there AND she ignored almost all my questions, one of which was asked twice.

 

She is concerned ….. but about what I do not know.

 

_________________________________________________________________

My original email (sent 23.48 13 April)

I'm interested in your comments, made on Sunday Politics London on 13 April, about it being too difficult for an MP from a Scottish constituency to lead one of the UK national parties or to hold some of the great offices of state.

You said (my best attempt at transcribing your words),

As for Danny Alexander you'll not possibly have a Scot ..... After the …..  After we have the Scottish referendum it's quite clear that Scotland, one way or another, will be moving further away.  I don't think you could have the leader of a national, do you think so, a leader of a national party being a Scot.  I don't mean we'll be sending them home.

After Andrew Neil interjected you continued,

Oh, indeed, absolutely.  I don't think a Scottish constituency as a leader of a national party would now be too difficult or indeed to hold a lot of the great offices of state.

I'm interested in why you believe this.

In what way would "Scotland ..... be moving further away"?

What particular offices of state should be beyond Scottish constituency MPs?

What you suggest seems to go way beyond, in the opposite direction, the unfairness of Scottish constituency MPs being able to vote on rUK matters which are devolved to Scotland.  I understand it is Scottish MPs from the UK national parties who vote on such matters, the SNP MPs abstaining.


After a No vote in the independence referendum, Scotland would still be in the Union, would have its devolved administration and UK national parties would operate in Scotland.  This is the situation which has pertained since the Scottish Parliament re-opened in 1999. 

Why then should there be the two restrictions you suggest?

Even if Scotland were 'moving further away', why should this prevent a Scottish constituency MP from leading his/her national party?

Would you see it possible for a Scottish constituency MP to hold office for a UK department whose responsibilities were not devolved to the Scottish Parliament?

I hope you are able to reply in which case please accept my thanks.  If it was inappropriate to contact you then please accept my apologies.

_____________________________________

My second email (sent 10.49 14 April)

Thank you for your very prompt reply - you must be very busy -  but if I may ask five more short questions.

In what way would "Scotland ..... be moving further away" in the event of a No vote?

I understand the logic of your position but, as always, it is the implications and perceptions which play loudest.

Following through on your views, is it not the case that the leader of a UK national party and, therefore the Prime Minister, must be an English constituency MP, given that there are devolved administrations in the other 3 countries? 

Does it concern you that one country, albeit by far the largest, would have a 'lock down' on these roles?

Does it concern you that a Scottish constituency MP with ambitions for high office would have to move to England?

The perception, I suspect, amongst many will be that Scottish constituency MPs are second tier politicians because there is now a 'glass ceiling' separating them from their (possible) ambitions.  Does this concern you?

Music in the Morning No. 331 – Sam Bush

 

Lovely lightweight music welcomes you into this new morn.

 

Eight More Miles to Louisville                                                 Sam Bush

[with Stephen Mougin]

Bet you were tapping away!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 330 – Praise the Lord

 

 

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong, a perfect plea
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

 

 

Before the Throne of God Above                                   Lou Fellingham

 

 

One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Saviour and my God!
With Christ my Saviour and my God!

Amen

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Something That Almost Felt Like Hope

 

FT1 20140412

So writes Matthew Engel in today’s FT (or here if you can’t access FT site) in one of the better articles about independence, not perfect but far removed from the normal MSM output.  It’s worth a read.

 

The clip above is Engel’s final paragraph but the second last resonates too.  Engel writes of Sandy Weddell, minister of Easterhouse Baptist Church, who was IDS’s guide when he (IDS) visited Easterhouse,

FT2 20140412 

Whatever the short-term difficulties which independence brings I have no doubt that my grandchildren (probably several years away from conception) will live in a successful and independent Scotland.

 

Something that almost felt like hope

Music in the Morning No. 329 – Fortunato Chelleri

 

Who?  Another unknown suddenly appears from 250 years (or more) ago.

May this Baroque piece lift your morning beyond the mundane.

 

Fortunato Chelleri       Sinfonia for strings & basso continuo in C major

 

I was lifted!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Salmond or Robertson: Telegraph Confused

 

It should be difficult for Alex Salmond and George Robertson (Lord, or is it Lard?) but this afternoon the Telegraph has achieved the impossible.

 

But is this incompetence or a deliberate act?

 

Their Scottish News page has this incompatible headline and strap,

Telegraph1 20140411

The headline clearly refers to George Robertson’s manic talk of earlier this week but the strap is to the SNP conference. 

Clicking on the link on the page takes us to this,

Telegraph2 20140411

 

A mistake?

Deliberate?   But why?

 

Will put down to sheer incompetence because that fits with the rest of the No campaign.

Just as I was finishing this I decided to check back and the mistake has been corrected.

 

Therefore, I was right.

 

Incompetence rules!

Music in the Morning No. 328 – Amy LaVere

 

We step away from my normal offerings.  Welcome Amy.

My preferred video had better video quality but embedding was disallowed but the performance is the same.

That Beat (Keeps Disturbing My Sleep)                                  Amy LaVere

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 327 – Friar Allesandro

 

Be with God as you listen to Friar Allesandro.  [See here for info]

 

Panis Angelicus                                                            Friar Allesandro 

 

Father may I be open to Your love today and all days.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Scotsman, Trident, Pound and Truth

 

My first version of this post started, 

The Scotsman is well-known for its anti-independence stance and its twisting of ‘stories’ to suit its agenda, eg see here, but today it has surpassed itself with a non-story.  They have been scraping around in the bottom of the barrel  for so long that there is no barrel left.  They’re in the gutter.

Today they carry this headline,

Scotsman 1 20140409

There is no doubt in this headline: a question mark at the end would have left the position open but, no, the Scotsman is claiming that there is definitely an SNP plan linking Trident to the pound.  But the Scotsman gives no evidence of such.  There are no sources indicating a plan exists.  There is nothing other than some quotes from Dr Phillips O’Brien, director of the Centre for War Studies at Glasgow University, which give little basis for the Scotsman’s claim.

The article is short and so you can read all of it below.

Scotsman 2B 20140409

 

It was clear to me that the Scotsman had whipped up a controversy out of very little and I was going to continue to write in that vein but then I thought, ‘Why not ask Dr O’Brien?’.  When I wrote extensively about Trafigura in 2011 and 2012 I contacted the interested parties.  Why not do that now?

And so this afternoon I emailed Dr O’Brien as follows,

Dear Dr O'Brien

I hope it's OK to contact you.

Today's Scotsman carries an article - Scottish independence: SNP Trident for pound plan - which is built around comments you are reported to have made.  Unfortunately, the Scotsman has a reputation for over-stating the difficulties of independence, for slanting stories to the negative and for producing stories with misleading headlines and statements. 

Today's story could fall into these categories and so I ask if the story accurately reflects your views.  For example, the headline 'Scottish independence: SNP Trident for pound plan' and first paragraph, 'The SNP government is ready to allow the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons to remain on the Clyde after independence in exchange for keeping the pound, according to a leading defence expert.' allow for no doubt.  There is a plan.

The quotes attributed to you - "have to make deals", "What we see on Faslane and on defence issues and security is an attempt to say, ‘Look we will be more reasonable on this than we seem to have been in the past publicly’.", and Reading the white paper, they’re saying, ‘we can host these weapons for the long run’.” - don't carry that strength.

I watched a BBC interview of yours from the 27th September last year and I was struck by your straightforwardness: I couldn't judge whether you were pro- or anti- independence.  This is unusual to see.  I note that in that interview you said it was reasonable to expect Scotland to retain Trident for between 5 and 15 years simply to allow rUK to determine what it wanted to do with nuclear weapons and to make the necessary physical arrangements to house them should it (rUK) itself decide to retain nuclear weapons.

Therefore, I ask if the article is an accurate reflection of your views and of what you told the Scotsman and if not in which ways.  Do you believe there is a definite plan?  Do you think there is enough wiggle room for the Scottish Government (SG) to retain Trident in return for the pound?  Are there any other comments you wish to make about the article or about deals the SG might make regarding Trident. (sic)

I look forward to hearing from you but if my contact is inappropriate please accept my apologies.

Yours sincerely

Calum Carr

[The emphasis above is mine for clarity and was not in the original email.]

 

Dr O’Brien replied within 1 hour.  I had wanted to publish his reply in its entirety provided this was acceptable to him.  Perhaps, understandably, he would rather I did not quote him verbatim but was happy that I summarise his views, provided I stated that this was my summary.

 

Calum’s Summary of Dr Phillips O’Brien Reply

The first point of interest was about the tone of emails he has received.  Whilst he thanked me because my email was respectful he said that others he had received today were not.  This is disappointing because, as I said in reply, ‘respect  …. costs little but is worth much.’  We do ourselves no favours by being disrespectful.  I made more of this in a previous post about Barrhead Travel.

The next point is that he says the article goes a little far and he qualifies this by saying that the White Paper does not rule out Trident remaining in Scotland for a considerable period.  In his BBC interview he thought it reasonable that Scotland could host Trident for between 5 to 15 years to allow rUK to make its decisions and any physical arrangements to house them.  He states that the White Paper gives no guarantees or deadlines but rather only gives a view that Trident should be removed by the end of the first parliament.

Thirdly he says, in terms of an independent Scotland’s  anti-nuclear policy, that the Scottish Government only state that they will not maintain nuclear weapons and say nothing about other NATO countries bringing nuclear weapons into Scottish waters.  In his BBC interview he goes slightly further by saying that were Scotland to ban any ship with nuclear weapons from its waters, as New Zealand has done, then Scotland would not be allowed to join NATO.

Fourthly, he believes that Scotland is in a weak negotiating position in that it wants much, quick Nato entry, easy EU membership and a currency union but has little to bargain with other than Trident.  Dr O’Brien doesn’t state the following explicitly but I think he believes that, because of its weak negotiating position, Scotland may have to do a deal it would otherwise not want to do.

Finally I don’t know what Dr O’Brien’s views are on Scottish independence.  He says that he is not anti-independence but that doesn’t mean he favours independence. 

 

Scotsman Story and Dr O’Brien’s Views

I go much further than does Dr O’Brien.  He says that the article goes a little too far.  I say the Scotsman has gone way beyond what Dr O’Brien has stated.

 

The Scotsman says there is a plan, and the SNP government is ready to do a deal, to retain Trident for a currency union. The Scotsman leaves no place for doubt in these statements. 

Dr O’Brien makes no mention of a plan but says only that the White Paper leaves options open.  He may think that Scotland will end up having to do a deal about Trident but even this is far from what the Scotsman alleges.

 

I believe there was the potential for an interesting and important article had the Scotsman been straightforward in how it reported Dr O’Brien’s views but the Scotsman is only straightforward in its absolute negativity towards independence and in its desire to advance the cause of unionism at every opportunity even when no cause exists.

 

Finally I thank Dr O’Brien for his openness.

Music in the Morning No. 326 – Cimarosa

 

I first heard of Domenico Cimarosa last night but I’ll not forget him.  This morning we have the first movement of his Oboe Concerto in C major.  Originally the four movements were keyboard sonatas and in 1949 Arthur Benjamin ‘combined them into the larger concerto form. He rewrote the pieces, scoring them for oboe and string orchestra, keeping most of the melody in the solo voice. [source: allmusic.com]

 

Oboe Concerto in C Major Mvt I                             Domenico Cimarosa

 

Not bad!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Music in the Morning No. 325 - Silly Sisters

 

Two of England’s best folk singers, Maddy Prior and June Tabor, bring you Cyril Tawney’s story of life in the Royal Navy (nicknamed ‘Grey Funnel Line’ because of their grey livery). 

Sounds boring?  No!  Beautiful and evocative.

Why do I call Maddy and June ‘Silly Sisters’?  In the mid-70s they recorded a couple of albums, at least, as the Silly Sisters.  I’ve still got the albums stacked somewhere in the mess which is my basement!

[Note: The song ends about 1 min from the end of the video]

Grey Funnel Line                                          Maddy Prior and June Tabor