This week we’ll find out if the have tipped Scotland into recession. Time to take off the table and start listening.


So it seems that the Scottish economy grew at 0.8%. Hardly a startling figure, it has to be admitted, but it compares very favourably with the UK figure of 0.2%.

Of course, as always with these figures, it has to be remembered that both Scottish and English governments have input. In fact, that majority of levers for controlling the economy are held at Westminster. But the unfortunate tweeter, Jamie, was happy enough to blame an expected (by the Tories) downturn on the SNP, so it’s not unreasonable to expect him to now praise them for a performance from which his Tory counterparts in Westminster might well learn something.


And, just in the passing, we note from the illustration that the Scottish National health service has done so well that even the BBC had to admit that the rest of the UK could learn from it. Take a bow, Shona Robison. I’m not sure that Jeremy Hunt can share in that praise.

And since we are commenting on the news, it would be remiss of Munguin not to mention that the so-called (by Murdo Fraser, tweeter of this parish) her majesty’s Eleven has been found guilty (by her majesty’s supreme court) of trying to stuff her majesty’s treasury for rather a lot of tax. She must be particularly hurt by that, Murdo, with them being almost family!

It’s not been Rangers’ finest 24 hours. They lost 2-0 to Progres Niederkorn, a small team in the Luxembourg league. Part-timers, Niederkorn had never won a match in European competition before.

Maybe it’s retribution for stealing all that money from their most important supporter and Granny, Liz.

Charles Walker MP, OBE, YUK


Here is a letter sent by Charles Walker OBE (remember the OBE bit, it seems important to him given that he signs his letter with it), to a nurse who wanted him, as her MP, to support Labour’s motion that the public sector pay cap be lifted.

But Mr Walker, OBE, whilst seemingly sympathetic to the nurse’s plight, felt unable to support what is a reasonable measure because he thinks that Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell are Marxists, traitors and anti-British.

I wonder if Mr OBE (let’s just cut out the unimportant bit of his name) really knows what a Marxist is. Maybe he’s just been watching too many Cold War movies?


Just for fun, we checked out the OBE’s Wiki page. It seems that in December 2013 he was the only MP to confirm he would accept an 11% pay increase. Obviously, he was happy to go against the public sector pay freeze at that point. (Of course, Joe Stalin’s mate wasn’t the leader of the opposition then and hadn’t proposed it… and he personally was going to get a bit wodge of dosh.) His championship of the pay rise and membership of the Speaker’s Committee led to him being described by the Daily Telegraph as being in with an outside chance of becoming speaker when Bercow stands down. (Heaven help us!) He was awarded his OBE for services to politics. I thought most Tories got knighthoods for that. Maybe Mr OBE’s  services weren’t that special.


Good to know though, that our overpaid and overpampered MPs are there to represent OUR interests, as long as our interests aren’t proposed by a traitor and Marxist.

What a complete Roaster!


Random Thoughts

Apparently, Mrs May spent £20,000 on an RAF flight for Ms Foster from London to Belfast after their talks last week. The magic money tree must still have been bearing fruit at that time because there are cheap flights for as little as £14 from London to Belfast.


I know they are new besties, but seriously, as Arlene doesn’t actually have a job in Northern Ireland, what with her being the cause of the breakdown of the power-sharing government, it wouldn’t have hurt her to go to the airport and wait for RyanAir like the rest of the human race have to do.

Ruth must be incandescent. I bet, despite her being a colonel, May has never laid on military transport for her… and she HAS got a job….well, two actually.


I’ve always thought that Michael Gove was some sort of a cartoon character, not to be taken seriously, from his idiotic beginnings as Education Secretary, to his ridiculous position as Lord Chancellor.


On tv today he defended the tuition fees charged in England (the steepest in Europe) and said that people who didn’t go to university shouldn’t have to subsidise those who do. Mr Gove went to university in 1985. There were no tuition fees then.

Mr Gove went to university in 1985. There were no tuition fees then.


Most enlightened countries realise that it is to the benefit of everyone if we have an educated workforce. More and more jobs indeed require that people be educated to at least bachelor level. So in most of Europe governments make it as easy as possible for people to get to university. And most recognise that people’s ability to take up tertiary education should be based on their ability to learn, rather than their ability to pay.

Of course many people benefit from the education of doctors, lawyers, dentists, nurses, engineers, architects, teachers, etc. That seemed not to occur to Gove.


It’s a pity that Mrs May was “persuaded” by whoever to return Gove to the Cabinet. He may be an asset to Mr Murdoch inside the cabinet but he’s a bit of a liability to the rest of us.



Well, who would have believed it? And the car companies are mainly in the North East of England, which voted so decisively for Brexit.


So, if I had voted to put the country at a huge economic, cultural, education and social disadvantage because I was bent out of shape about us using the metric system and wanted my £ : s : d back along with Sts : lbs : oz and Gallons, quarts, pints and gills, not to mention furlongs, poles, yards, feet and inches, and all the rest, then I think I’d probably be ashamed to write to the papers about it. Oh, and I’m not entirely sure that someone who prefers a system based on the number 10, to a system, build around any number other than 10, could necessarily be called a fetishist.




Reminds me of the story of the supermarket queue in California where a woman was talking on her phone. A man behind her thought she was talking in Spanish and told her that she was in America, she should speak English. The woman explained that she was actually a native American, and she was talking Navajo, NOT Spanish. She politely suggested that if he wanted to speak English, he should go to England!

Incidentally, although I enjoy languages and always try to learn a little of the lingo of whatever country I’m going to visit, I’m not ever able to do much more than say hello, thank you, please, and a few other words. I’m pretty grateful then that no Hungarian launched an attack at me on a bus in Budapest for speaking English. Hungarian has to be the most complex language I’ve ever heard spoken.



It’s as well, when the Orange Order are marching anywhere near your house, to be prepared to clean up after them as you would with your dog.  A bucket of disinfectant and a brush will be nnecessary. They seem not to be potty trained.


This would seem to be a reasonable response to them, though.

I’m a great believer in freedom of speech and of freedom to assemble, but these people, quite apart from their lack of toilet training, shout racial abuse at Catholics and Irishmen alike.

I have to ask myself if we want this kind of racism and sectarianism on our streets.




n oprang
Hello, welcome. We’ll get someone to show you around.
n bird
I’m the yellow bird of the family!
n lions
Off to the pub?
n zakynthos, greece
Zakynthos, Greece.
n orang
Pay attention, little one, you’ll learn something.
n owl
n pandas
You’re a funny looking panda!
n pea
I’m the white bird of the family!
n pygmy elephant
Pygmy Elephant, Borneo.
n reyk
n rain
Look to the rainbow.
Sunset on derelict chimney pots.
n Seljalandsfoss
Hadchit, Lebanon.
n tiger
I’m ready for my close up Mr DeMille.
n turtles
Me too.
n pine
Ferry to Cumbrae (where I was on Monday).
n cedars-of-lebanon-snow
The cedars of Lebanon.
N orang4
That’s it then. Pay your 50p at the door on the way out. See you next week.





What is hilarious is that the Tories had the effrontery to warn about a coalition of chaos?

Labour, Plaid, the Greens, SNP…

But in this comic opera world with “leaders” like Trump and Mayhem, Erdogan and Netanyahu, I’ve given up being surprised at anything.

Thank heavens for Macron, Merkel, Sturgeon and the Nordic leaders.


Thanks Andrew!