James Cook has just pointed out that by January 2, 2018, 63 people in the USA had died at the hands of a gun. That’s more than the Las Vegas massacre. It happens all the time in the USA and only makes the news here if it is a massacre or if there are Muslims involved, but every life is a life no matter whether it ends as a one-off or part of a mass shooting. And what is Mr Trump doing about gun control? Answers on a postcard.



As most of you know my mother recently spent a little time in hospital in Dundee. It was busy, right before Christmas and the staff were run off their feet, but they all had time for a friendly word, a little bit of encouragement, for all the patients, not just my mum.

Some of the patients were less than pleasant. I heard one woman moaning about the food, another potty mouth complaining that they were keeping her against her will, and a third who kept getting dressed and heading towards the doors, determined to leave. And that was only in a bay of 6 beds!

As well as treating seriously sick patients these nurses and doctors coped with these stresses. And they did it with a smile.

We are incredibly lucky to have the health service we have and I’d like to say a personal to them.



Best summed up by our own dear Arbroath 1320

Replying to 

aha … so it IS true then … there are MORE kids staying on at school to better improve their education before moving onto tertiary education then. WOW! who knew eh? MORE Scottish school kids are seeing the benefits of a SCOTTISH education I blame the SNP myself! SNP BAAAD

That along with the fact, pointed out by various people, that “6th form” is an English expression not used in Scotland.

Dr David McNay Retweeted HeraldScotland

6th form? you should try employing some Scottish people for your SCOTLAND BAD propaganda; we call it 6th year here.

Really, Scotland Office, Dover House, London, when you are writing press releases for the Scottish press, could you get someone who is Scottish to do it? It makes more sense to us who don’t speak English English and y’know, it’s a courtesy to use OUR terminology in OUR country.



We are fortunate that university education in Scotland is run by the Scottish government, because, not only is it £9500 a year cheaper than in England, additionally it is spared this creepy son of a lord fellow who knows next to nothing about university education and who, according to his now much-deleted twitter account has interesting and freely expressed opinions on matters sexual as well as education! I’m sure he will be as great a success as most of the rest of the Maybot’s appointments.


38 thoughts on “RANDOM THOUGHTS”

    1. Shan’t! I’m far too shy, Niko.

      Fortunately for us, the fragrant Toby Young should not have any power or influence over our Scottish universities, unless Westminster intends to ride roughshod over that part of the devolution settlement too.

      This appointment of a completely unsuitable right-wing prannit is redolent of the behaviour of His Orangeness in the States, where Betsy DeVos is education minister. Although she is constantly talked up in the right-wing meeja, she is against State education, and not just for children; she hasn’t got much education of her own; and she is, like so many Tories here and Republicans over there, like clotted cream: thick and rich. To the victors go the spoils…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. This Trump thing becomes more complex by the day. I hear this morning that Tony Blair is denying any connection… which, given Blair’s record, must mean that there is one.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I just watched Rachel Maddow’s show on MSNBC from yesterday, it broadcasts about 2 a.m. our time, and things seem to be breaking by the hour over there. The plot thickens even as we watch!

            I should have said – thanks, Doug – that the ever-so-fragrant Betsy has that unsavoury brother. They’re all barking right-wingers, of course.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yep… I always think of a phase my gran used to quote when I hear about them having “differences”. “When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own”.


  1. I thought it was about time someone sensible commneted on Tris’ post. One of the not-men! That Toby Young -arghh. Obnoxious individual, he’d fit in well with Ruth’s lot. Sounds like potty mouth at Ninewells might have had dementia unfortunately.

    We are very lucky that NHS and education are devolved. Both the English NHS and Welsh one are going to pot but if someone waits five minutes for a blanket the Yoons go crazy. I sentence them to an admission to an English hospital next tiem they are ill. Gosh what am I thinking – an admission to the corrider if it’s not full!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is indeed fortunate that education, health and law and order are devolved. The mess that the Tories are making of them in England is quite unbelievable.

      I can’t think of anything that we have devolved which isn’t done better here than it is there. There’s a message in there somewhere, don’t you think?

      The poor lady who kept dressing and trying to leave was clearly suffering from dementia. And the really sad thing is that she wasn’t that old. The one with the foul mouth was just an objectional old crone. The thing is that they were all dealt with so expertly by the staff. I have nothing but admiration for them.

      I’ve been reading the tweets of lots of doctors who are apologising, ashamed to be giving what they reckon is poor service to their patients. Working long shifts and absolutely exhausted when they leave, yet feeling guilty about going home and leaving their colleagues.

      But hey, cheer up, we’re getting blue passports, so it’s all cool.

      Honestly, I’m sorely tempted to take a leaf out of the potty-mouthed woman.


  2. As a family who has had to make use of the SNHS on three occasions for hospital admissions over the past few months and still have Community/Disrtict Nurses calling regularly. We are very, very happy to be able to access medical care promptly when it is required.

    The staff of the SNHS are second to none . They have my utmost respect . The nursing profession SHOULD be better rewarded.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Now, where on earth did you get an idea like that?

      Really, what were you thinking?

      Next you’ll be proposing that we stop bowing to the queen and abolish the house of lords.

      Get a grip!



      1. LOL. I used to be able to remove unwanted posts, but I see that WordPress in its infinite wisdom has seen fit to remove that power.

        Sorry… But it was a point well made, so no harm in having it twice 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s certainly the best in the UK. There are staff shortages though, and the waits for people to see doctors in general practice is far too long.

      We would have more to spend on it if we weren’t paying for those ridiculous PFI contracts.


      1. Indeed. I took the opportunity of a recent visit to Ninewells to ask the consultant what the situation was like, and what morale was like – she confirmed that they are way behind on the elective, non-urgent stuff and morale could be a lot better, but they’re still fine when it comes to coping with emergencies. Which means to me that they have their priorities about right.

        **BEGIN RANT**

        These knock-on effects from austerity are exactly what you would expect when the bloody Westminster regime – I use the word “bloody” advisedly, because it has blood on its hands – insists on chopping away at everything that used to hold dear old Blighty together and make it worth living in, and on slashing the Scottish Government’s budget regardless of the overall contribution we make to the Treasury: if I read the signs right, that contribution is actually increasing significantly over time, even as They slash what we get back from it in pocket money.

        Nowadays, if you want to see what used to be best about life in the UK, you have to come to Scotland to find it. We’ve done very well, relatively, so far, simply by having a competent government that isn’t hell-bent on destroying public services, but we’re reaching the crunch point. And this is before Brexit knocks however many percentage points off GDP.

        I haven’t seen anything yet about how Brexit is going to make the cost of money higher – the UK lost its triple A+ credit rating a while ago, and that is not going to improve. So, absent independence, not only will we still be paying through the nose for the PFI project that gave us, among other things, parking charges at Ninewells, we’ll also be forced to cough up huge and increasing sums to service the vast debts the Tories have run up up thanks to their failed economic policies. I say “failed”, but of course they haven’t failed the already very rich. But maybe that was the point.

        Of course, independence would help there too. We are NOT responsible for Westminster’s debt, and we won’t be, and They can’t make us in international law – though They will no doubt try.

        It would also be so very good if, independence or no independence, we had the famous Full Fiscal Responsibility – and paid Westminster only for what it delivers for us. I think we on here know already that that would mean bye bye “black hole”, and no more subsidizing Crossrail and Hinkley Point and HS2 and London’s megasewer, and still having to build the Queensferry Crossing on our own.

        Hey, we could also stop paying the National Grid their penalty for generating electricity outwith London and the SE – let the rUK pay for their own power grid on their own territory, and for bringing Scottish electricity to them – that would bring people’s living costs here in Scotland down quite a bit. We should be delivering it to the border, and after that, what they do with it is up to them. And / or – we could spend the money instead on our own electricity projects, such as hooking ourselves up to Norway’s hydroelectric resources, and even Iceland’s hydro and geothermal power. Oh, and if we stopped paying licence fees to the BBC, and had a reformed SBC buying in from the BBC only what we Scots want and need to see…

        Independence is the obvious option, of course. Far, far simpler. We can always dream, but we also need to plan – and I hope there are some smart people working on all those things and more right now, so we are good and ready to present the positive case. I hope we have people working on the impacts of Brexit on Scotland too, because it looks very much as if (a) we’re not going to get anything sensible out of David Davis and his Department – triple D- for effort and achievement there; (b) even if we do, we won’t be able to trust it because it will have been expertly pauchled, which is one thing they really are very good at; (c) we really need to know, and so do our people before they vote in the independence referendum.

        You know the saying “The truth will set you free”. Well, in Scotland’s case, I’m sure it will.

        **END RANT**

        Happy New Year everyone, with as few visits to your local hospital as possible!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Good rant, Ed.

          Why can’t the public see?

          Oh yeah, BBC, Herald, Hootsman, Ruth, Fluffy. (I see austerity hasn’t kicked in in Fluffy’s world with his massive increase in entertaining budged… or maybe bribes to get people to print stories about the 6th form. Next we’ll be getting cricket. What what.)


  3. @Tree of Liberty
    Simple but effective idea. Abolish the current Corporation Tax and replace it with a Revenue Tax. If there is any nexus with Scotland then the Revenue is taxable. No deductions necessary. Tax becomes simple and they can’t transfer price it offshore to tax havens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Kanga,

      That almost sounds like a plan to me. Could you run it by us again? I am a creature of little brain, and, frankly, the likes of me need’s it spelled out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Dougie
        If you think about it this way. PAYE taxpayers don’t get much of a break paying tax on all their earnings subject of course to the various tax ranges depending on how high your income is. So basically apply similar rules to other incomes. If it has anything at all to do with Scotland then they pay tax on the revenue (turnover) they can have any expenses they like but we don’t care we just tax the revenue. So Starbucks, Google, Apple pay based on the sales they generate, who cares about their costs, it doesn’t matter, they can then work out their business model to suit the new reality. BUT and this is the important part, they can’t escape paying their share.
        Simple but effective.
        Can’t therefore do things like invoice out of ireland for scottish services.
        Can’t transfer coffee through the Netherlands to artificially increase it’s imported value and creating a spurious cost-of-sales figure.
        Can’t use a financing arrangement to generate ‘false’ deductions.
        They have to pay their share.
        I am sure there are a few tweaks required but essentially there is no ability to dodge tax.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. One thing I’d like to see is an end to companies’ paying their employees so little that they have to claim benefits and tax credits to survive, and work second and even third and fourth jobs to survive – also zero-hour contracts, of course, but we also need flexible contracts with guaranteed wages so that people with other responsibilities can organize their work around them, rather than trying to do the reverse.

          Subsidizing employers for a while to take on apprentices and people who would otherwise be on benefits may be justifiable, but not giving CEOs and shareholders free money out of the public purse by paying a chunk of their wage costs for them.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yes, that’s a scandal. If you can’t make ends meet whilst paying people a living wage, then frankly, go out of business, and let a better businessman/woman take over.

            Don’t expect us to subsidise you.

            I watched that stupid prime minister from England battering on about how buying a home was the great British dream, and how her government were helping people to achieve it. I remember Cameron doing the same.

            But you have to ask yourself, in a world where you have low pay, job insecurity, short term contracts, zero hour contracts, with the threat that this will get worse after Brexit when the standards imposed from Brussels disappear, is it wise for people to take on monumental amounts of debt.

            Once you might have said that it was something to leave to their kids, but increasingly it looks like they houses will have to be claimed back when you get old, so that you can pay your health care.

            Germans and Swiss manage very nicely in rented accommodation, pretty strictly policed (unlike here). Why can’t Brits?


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