Who is More Socialist?


I am delighted to be living in a time when politics has become sexy again. This applies to Scotland, where we have a clear goal, based on pure principles. Although the first independence referendum was lost, hope is high when half the population of Scotland harbour an increasingly strong desire for self-determination. What then are we to make of the shenanigans in Europe over which political bloc the SNP can join?

Yesterday, the SNP asked to join the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. So far, so ordinary. The vote was passed in favour of the SNP, by 32 votes to 29. This is where reality veers off into the bushes and heads for the home where the ludicrous people live. I am guessing that few of us knew that parties already within the bloc have the right of veto on new entrants.

Up stepped three Lords from the Labour Party’s Council of Europe delegation to veto the inclusion of the representatives of the people of Scotland. Let us pause to understand the full ramifications. Three of the unelected members of an institutionally corrupt level of the British democratic process (stop laughing at the back) decided that a party which refuses, as a point of principle, to nominate people to an intentionally undemocratic chamber, was less socialist then they were.

In 1973, the satirist Tom Lehrer said that satire died, the moment Henry Kissinger was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. What would Tom say at this moment? A party which is dedicated to increasing the freedom of five million people and taking back some of the wealth the people created was refused entry to a social democratic grouping by a party that is now so far removed from its founding principles that a giraffe would dislocate its neck trying to see where Labour were going.

In the coming election, I hope that people who still maintain a race memory of what the Labour Party was when I was a child, finally admit that the party of the people is now led by Nicola Sturgeon. The Palm has passed to a new generation and that generation has joined the SNP.


Rangers Crisis Part 1

On October 24th, 2009, I started a new thread on Kerrydale Street (a Celtic fans’ forum for those who don’t know). It was entitled ‘Media Scandal Bias’ and my opening post was as follows:

“On Radio Scotland live Walter No Surname admits that the Bank have taken over the club, he is buying no-one and they’re waiting to see who can buy the Club. Yet this is ignored and the phone in goes on about the general ‘Old Firm’ issues of the poor standard of the game. Maybe I’ll wake up and this nightmare of bias will end…”

Now, little could anyone know where we would all be this Friday 13th April 2012. Rangers on the brink of liquidation and the media in Scotland accused of a blanket disregard for their prime directive which surely is to uncover truths others would prefer hidden. Not only that, but the SFA are presided over by someone who is deeply implicated in the issue of EBTs and the SPL seem hell bent on returning a new version of Rangers to their long held place in Scottish football, without the benefit of justice having been served.

I’m still proud of my second past on that thread two and a half years ago, so here it is again:

“There are two Rangers teams: the blameless 1872-88 lot who helped Celtic get going and the Frankenstein’s monster created by Sir John Ure Primrose to defeat the forces of Popery, Home Rule and Republicanism. It is the latter who have remained unmolested by the media for the last 100 years because they, those who governed us and the media had the same ideals.

The situation is now much less homogenous. The Labour Party is full of Unionists. The SNP want to break up the Union. What’s a decent Brit walking down the Paisley Road to do? Who can they believe? What can they understand or hope for when the very ground on which they walk is crumbling beneath them?

Adam Smith’s capitalist creed is ultimately heartless and always devours its own. Tonight the invisible hand of the market has emerald Fenian fingers and I for one am sniggering quietly to myself.”

I will return to this theme, as it is a defining moment in Scottish football. How this crisis is solved will point the way to the sort of society Scotland is going to be in the coming half century. And it’s just about football. Funny that.

Ace McTastic and the Blackguard BeeBaw by Gedboy

The idea for Ace McTastic came to me one evening on the Bridge over the railway by the Tramway. In a flash I knew what I had to do. By a great piece of luck, my writing was helped by the SFA kicking me into touch in the February of 2004. This gave me the time to sit in the Tramway every afternoon for the best part of a year nursing one cup of coffee and typing away on my beloved MacBook. The story was quickly roughed out and a fitting denouement provided which would allow for the second and final part. The as yet unwritten ‘Ace McTastic Meets the Pugalizers’. I am immensely proud of my first born. Though I have gone back a hundred times to amend the grammar and improve the set pieces, I have never altered the core of the story.

The last years have been more prosaic. Six rejections, five years out to write and research ‘Played in Glasgow’ and now I have to do the MLitt without which I will be jobless and itinerant. I hope that someone will notice the book on Authonomy but if not I shall keep on going until my genius is accepted as a mundane fact.

You think I’m joking?


The Ideal Homes Exhibition Prince’s House

Spent three pleasant hours at the IHS at the SECC on Saturday. Bigger than I had expected. When we got there: five minutes before opening, the queues were stretched way back towards the Finnieston entrance. They had my favourite sausages from Debbie and Andrew. Four packs for £10. Curiously Diane does not think they are morning sausages because they have ‘too much flavour’. When I work that one out, I’ll get back to you.


I did leave in a perturbed and somewhat annoyed fashion. All down to the Prince of Wales. His ‘ideal house’ came fitted with all the technical improvements in windows, flooring, insulation, roofing that you could reasonably expect. All well and good but the structure would not have looked out of place in a Stefan Muthesius book on Victorian domestic dwellings. Some of the more astute readers will have noticed that it’s 110 years since Vicky crossed the Styx, yet here we are trying to build houses that would not have looked out of place in the new suburbs of nineteenth century southern England.


This makes me die. I am not a worshipper at the feet of Hitchcock and Johnson but I do feel for the modern architect with fresh ideas. Forget it whilst the dead hand of His Royal Chuckiness influences our urban planning. And don’t get me started on Poundbury. Ebenezer Howard, you should be alive at this hour – to take the blame or the victory wreath.


Full Time Result: The Idiot Box 1 The Internet 7

Friday night and only intermittent broadband. The outside world has decided to shun me until Virgin hook me up again. The weekend will be a trial, notwithstanding using my iPhone to check my emails and see what’s going on with Kerrydale Street and the Huddleboard In only a few short years the internet has taken over my life and massively improved it. I have always distrusted the mass consumption of gelatinous lies provided by the idiot box in the corner of the living room. In the last ten years I have gone from avid if slightly distracting viewer, to barely a viewer at all. I will honour ‘The Mentalist’ with my presence tonight and the European Cup Final tomorrow, but that will be it. ‘The Mentalist’ is of sufficient quality that it seems the right thing to do to enjoy it in the sophisticated company of my Diane.

The ECF will be watched with the sound down. I too can shout ‘I’ve seen them given’, or ‘just two big men coming together’.  I am aware of the necessity for the ref to show common sense whilst not making life difficult for himself. In short I too can talk like someone who has had a lot of experience of football but as yet, is still patiently waiting for a shot of the family braincell. I shall save my excoriation of the printed media for a later blog.