The Unheard Voice … 


It’s General Election Day in the U.K.     

This one has been called pretty soon after the previous one when David Cameron won in May 2015. 
Why?

Because the current prime minister Theresa May didn’t have an overall majority and was riding high in the polls so called the election to increase her number of seats. 

But here’s my issue ..

Who would you vote for?

Personally none of them,   It pains me to support any of these weak conniving agenda driven loathsome parties. 

Maybe we should look at each party’s manifesto and choose the one most aligned with our own viewpoint.  

But what happens when none of them do? 

For example,  Labour seem strong on social justice but are weak on immigration and will continue to allow the country to be flooded with people on the take without a proper immigration policy.  

Conservative … ha .. liars, weak,  say one thing and do another.  Ruined communities all over the UK. 

SNP … agenda driven manipulatiors.  Only want independence even although Scotland can’t afford it. 

Lib Dem … who?  

Minor parties … might as well not bother. 

So you understand my apathy.    

But I’m not alone.   Have a look at the following stats.  

http://www.votenone.org.uk/uk-unheard-third.html

The Conservatives won the last election with only 24% of the people registered to vote,  Labour were second with 20%. 

But look at the non-voters like me,  34% of people who are registered to vote choose not to. 

We choose not to be part of party politics because they don’t represent us. 

You might say that’s weak,  that wasting our vote allows the winning party to ride roughshod over us. 

And you’d be half right,   It does allow people we find disdainful to run the country.  But it isn’t weak. 

Compare these stats with high number of people who voted for single decision votes like BREXIT or Scottish Independence. 

On those the voting turnout was high.    

 The people including those apathetic to party politics turned out in high volumes and voiced their opinion. 

Now imagine you could harness that vote,  capture that unheard voice and let it speak on the issues,  not the parties. 

Why not?

We all have unique National Insurance numbers and Passport numbers,   We have internet access. 

So why not let the people vote on all of the big issues directly not let these be decided by the parties. 

Let the existing parties present their agenda based arguments but let the people decide,  not the MPs controlled by the whips and your individual vote is lost.     
This isn’t democracy.  It’s an illusion of it.    

It’s a choice between a poke in the eye or a kick in the balls and I refuse to take part in their game. 

Let’s kill off agenda driven party politics and deal with the issues. 

You might say I’m a dreamer,  but I’m not the only one. 

Old Gold Dream? … #SimpleMinds


New Gold Dream
She is the one in front of me, 
the siren and the ecstasy
New Gold Dream
81 82 83 84

Simple Minds played the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall last night,  a relatively small venue for them as they are normally sssiciated with stadiums or arena venues. 

The gig was a stripped down acoustic set,  no synths,  three guitars, percussion,  Jim on lead vocal and the gorgeous foxy Sarah Brown on backing and occasional lead vocals. 

The band have just released an album Simple Minds Avoustic and the tour is obviously to generate sales. 

But what came first?   The music or the marketing?

The music obviously.  But it’s a business,  no one gets to keep producing new music unless it sells.   

Jim mentioned last night that the band had recently had a few tough years.   

I expect that their new material doesn’t sell as it’s just not as popular as it was except with those rare die-hard fans. 

Their tour a few years ago at Glasgow Barrowlands was pushing their 5 from 5 allbum with 5 tracks taken from each of their first 5 albums. 

Their last tour which took in the Glasgow Hydro was mainly a greatest hits tour with a few recent tracks thrown in for toilet breaks. 

But they were still better than U2 or New Ordervwjo were both touring within weeks of each other. 

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/tag/simple-minds/

Last night,  they rocked the place. 

In all my times at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall,  which is quite a sedate venue for a rock band as it’s all seated.   This was the only time that everyone was on their feet from the start. 

The hits came one after an other at a blistering pace.   But what made this for me was Jim chatting and joking with the audience.    

As a guy he’s mellowed and I’m sure he appreciates what he has now more than ever.     His dad was in the audience and Jim played tribute to him and a few other family members of the band for giving them the money to get started 40 years ago. 

There were a few surprises along the way, a tribute to Bowie playing his song Andy Warhol from Hunky Dory was for me a bizarre choice when there are so many more well known Bowie songs to choose from which would be more accessible to the audience. 

The final encore was a nice touch were Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel joined the band for a rousing rendition of Come Up and See Me ( Make Me Smile)

You certainly did that. 

My brother and I went home .. or back to the pub as high as a kite and wishing we could do it all again today. 

The Minds are part of the soundtrack of our youth,   A time when we had our full life’s ahead of us and everything was possible. 

Now call me an Old Gold Dreamer,  but I like to think it still is. 

What a weekend I have ahead?

The Minds last night,  my bestie for a curry tonight, a Bowie tribute band at Oran Mor tomorrow night and going to see the Celtic finish the league unbeaten and pick up the title again. 

Life is good. 

Because we make it that way. 

We Hate Catholics?


Did you see the fitba last week?

What a doing that was .. 5-1 to the famous Glasgow Celtic over that team in blue that play out of Ibrox.   

A complete humiliation and even better that it was at their own stadium in front of 48000 home fans. Many of whom had left with 25 minutes to go. 

Nothing like supporting your team! 🙂

Actually nothing like supporting your team, These people aren’t football fans. They are an outdated sectarian underclass who gather to sing their songs of hatred and bigotry with impunity. 

Their latest charming ditty “We hate Catholics” passes without comment in the compliant Scottish media indicating where their loyalties lie. 

Imagine swapping Catholics for Jews or Moslems and there would be an outcry in the presss. 

They are indeed a stupid, contemptible group of Neanderthals. 

But worse ….  as the Rangers quarters of the stadium emptied while the game was still in play and the Celtic fans were in full voice joyfully singing about winning 10 leagues in a row,   This poor kid above was standing dejected with his fingers in his ears. 

I’m sure he’s a lovely boy,  he reminds me of my own son when I started taking him to see the Celtic  20 years ago.  

He is the future of the Rangers support and more than likely follows the team that his dad and grandfather supported. 

I wonder if he had his fingers in his ears while his own support were singing “We hate Catholics” or did he gleefully join in?

That kid is their future and he has a choice between right and wrong,  football songs or religious bigotry.  

If he was my son,  I wouldn’t expose him to such bile.   It’s a game if football for heavens sake and the team in green has never cared about anyone’s religious allegiances so singing about Catholics is not about Celtic,  but rather about the Rangers supports twisted hateful mind-set. 

But I fear that the kid probably doesn’t even understand the significance of their hatred and joins in because that’s what he’s learned at home where there has been generations of religious intolerance. 

Poor kid,  born into hatred,  I can only hope he sees how unacceptable it is. 

For the record,  I’m a well lapsed Catholic.  Many of my friends are Rangers fans  but I’ve lost a few over the years when they’ve made derogatory remarks about Catholics, Taigs or Fenians. 

It’s the equivalent of calling a black guy a Nigger,   Completely unacceptable. 

The Ignorance Of Being #English?


First off,  this isn’t an anti-English rant.  

I’m Scottish but a proud citizen of the UK and I have many English friends. 

People are people and in my experience there are good and bad everywhere and it’s not wise to generalise. 

But there’s always a few who let the side down and spoil it for everyone else who then gets tarred with the same brush. 

Take these idiotic Leceister City fans in Madrid last night,  singing about Gibraltar being theirs and not part of Spain. 

Legally they are correct, morally Gibraltar is part of mainland Spain.  

But why mention this when you are over to support your team play a game of football?     

No wonder people prejudge and don’t like the English as a nation. 

As I said, I have no problem with English people.   These football hooligans are arse holes who should be locked up and banned.   

They do not represent England as a nation where most people are welcoming and civilised in my experience. 
My only gripe about the ignorance of English is that as an English speaker we have a presumption that everyone else can speak our language. 

Right now,  tucked away in a remote island of Spain surrounded by Spanish, German, French and many other nationalities,   I’m amazed by how many of these people can converse almost fluently in English but I have no ability to speak in their language except for the basic pleasantries of Hello, Goodbye, Please, Thank You etc

It’s a failing   Not just personally but on our education system. 

It’s not as if the Givernment haven’t tried.  French or a similar language is mandatory in primary schools and in the first two years of secondary until pupils choose their subjects.  

The schools even try to arrange it so that you have no option but to take one language or other in your subject choices. 

As a kid,  I did French and like most others I hated it and didn’t see the need for it.     .When choosing my subjects it was French or German and having already did French for a few years and no German whatsoever it was a moot choice. 

Add in to the bargain that aged 14 i had a crush on JoanB and took the class so that I could be near her,  not that anything ever happened apart from scoring an average C in the final exam.    

My heart just wasn’t in it. 

That’s the thing,  as a nation we can try and force other languages down our kids throats but children are resistant unless they see a tangible benefit. 

For most Scottish kids, French is a complete waste of time.   Hardly anyone goes there on holiday as there are so many alternatives that offer better value. 

However a fortnight in a Spanish resort every year where you don’t have to speak Spanish except the pleasantries is not conducive to learning the language. 

What’s the solution?  

With limited resources it’s about making the best of what we have. 

I’d cut mandatory language education for the kids who aren’t interested.  But offer better education with trips abroad where only the chosen language is spoken to the kids who are interested can immerse themselves in their language of choice. 
What about the football hooligans?

The ignorance of only speaking English and the attitude of the football hooligan are related in my opinion. 

Being an English speaker does not make you a football hooligan. 

But if you’re a British football hooligan it’s a safe bet that you don’t speak any other languages or have experienced other cultures. 
It doesn’t really matter what team they support Leicester, Chelsea, England, Rangers or even my team Celtic. 

Arseholes will continue being arseholes until they realise there is a consequence for their actions. 

Last night the Spanish police went in heavy and made a few arrests.  Not really enough to deter the problem.  

For me,  if you cross the line and are arrested,   it’s an immediate 30 days in prison, maybe let you out after a fortnight if you behave yourself and promise to be a good boy. 

A bit Draconian,  but that’s the only language these people understand. 

Try explaining that to the wife or your boss on your one phone call.  

Kissing Frogs?

I never thought it would happen
With me and the girl from Dumbarton
Out on a sunny beach
Isn’t life a peach?

It’s been a while since I’ve seen some real sunshine. Scotland isn’t known for its heatwaves.   

I think we had a few days of glorious sunshine last year. But typically it was midweek and I was stuck in an office somewhere. 

Work .. a necessary evil to fund a decent lifestyle but my mantra of keeping it in perspective is that … I’d much rather be on a beach. 

Rather ironic that last year I didn’t have a sunshine holiday after two the previous year and the years before that. No holidays and no sunshine was pretty crap. 

I was stuck in Glasgow the whole summer .. oh what a bummer. 

So right now, heading way down south to a sunshine island in the middle of nowhere is pretty cool. 

La Belle as I call her on here, I’ve known her 12 years, we had a relationship for a while back then but circumstances, mainly work and child care, hers and mine, got in the way.  

She’s younger, better looking and moodier than me.   

Of course she’d say that I would say that.    

But it’s hormones, it goes with having tits. He generalised. 

But do you know a pre-menopausal or menopausal woman who isn’t moody?

Name one?

I rest my case!

Fortunately, like most relationships it’s about balance and the good outweighing the bad. 

Last week this holiday wasn’t happening. Who’d want to spend serious time with someone who does your head in?

She’s hanging over my shoulder right now, airplane seats are way to close and has just spotted that last statement.   

I could be in trouble. 

So in fairness, I’ll concede that doing each others head in is probably possibly maybe what we do best! 

La Belle, the beautiful woman, is pretty hot for an ordinary looking guy like me. 

I should and do consider myself lucky. But then I’ve never kissed a frog. 

Happy holidays!

What a weekend I’ve had. 

The Who in Glasgow on Friday with brother number 2. They banged out the hits including my personal favourites Baba O’Reilly and Won’t Be Fooled Again     

Its hard to grasp that these guys have been knocking out the hits for nearly 55 years since My Generation in 1963. There’s nothing old about these rockers. 

Saturday up early for the drive north then south to Ardlamont Point to join my mates wild camping on the beach. 

A walk along the beach and up the hills followed by a night around the campfire jamming and drinking with your best pals til 3am is part of what life is all about. 

Now a week in the sun with La Belle.  

Life is good. 

In fact, it doesn’t really get much better. 

Kids these days …. #Glasgow

la-la-land

Its 7am and I’m having a lazy day.

I was still awake before my usual alarm at 6:30am even although I’m not “officially” working for the next two weeks.

Somehow I’ve managed to wangle it that the consultancy I was working for are still paying me until the end of the month even although I’m already working elsewhere and have been for the past 3 weeks until they implemented their “furlough” on contractors over the Easter period.

Bummer ..  shit happens .. but when It does sell toilet paper and Imodium.

So I’m making the best of it and looking for a last minute sunshine holiday for a week.

Better get those invoices done tho .. I’m garbage at that self employed admin stuff.

Anyhoo …

My youngest daughter is also on a break from her university studies over the next few .. yep she should be studying and has course works to do etc.

But last night her and her bestie were getting ready at mine and heading out on the town .. because  .. “Dad nowhere opens until 11”. Continue reading “Kids these days …. #Glasgow”

A bit fit? #fitbit

So ..  it was my birthday last week.  My kids bought me a Fitbit Blaze   Basically a smart watch which monitors various aspects of your health and wellbeing.

I’ve got to tell you I was somewhat cynical to the claims made in its reviews of accuracy and functionality.

But hey I was born cynical!
However ..  I’m happy to report that after a week of wearing my device, it’s my new favourite toy.

I’ve found that it accurately monitors the number of steps, floors climbed, daily exercise routine or a lack of.

A personal highlight is that it produces an accurate assessment of my sleep pattern.  See screenshot above.

My sleep pattern is pretty awful, prior to starting this new job I’d be up until 1am most nights or sleeping at 10 then awake at 4.     That may still be the case as I need to start waking up at 630 and out at 730am and have been tired most nights.

But this records the sleep I’m getting.   Friday night and I’m out at 1030 and get over 7 hours sleep.  I’m amazed at that.

The best thing I’ve found though is that the Fitbit isn’t just a monitoring tool but is also a motivational tool.  Continue reading “A bit fit? #fitbit”