Thursday, 20 September 2012


I love my country but sometimes I weep for it. Scotland has given the world Robert Burns, one of the greatest  lyric poets ever, Adam Smith, the towering intellect behind "The Wealth Of Nations", and William Wallace, a beacon for freedom lovers everywhere.  Down the centuries Scots have spread across the Globe benefitting many other countries with their business acumen, inventions and, like Adam Smith, their influential ideas.

  Now, though, our country is being increasingly tormented by a bunch of moral and intellectual pygmies masquerading as politicians in the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood in Edinburgh. With very few exceptions they are small people with no great ability and even less vision. They are "seat warmers" whose greatest ambition (this is particularly true  of the increasingly dictatorial Scottish National Party) is to keep drawing their salary whilst poking their grubby little fingers into every area of people's lives, no matter how private.
If they have an aptitude for anything it is for arrogance and impertinence and right at the moment the chief culprit is the Deputy First Minister, Ms Nicola Sturgeon.

  Ms. Sturgeon is what is known in Scotland as a "nippy sweetie". Loosely translated this implies something that seems rather sweet but that can turn rather sour and bitter if you get too close.. Ms. Sturgeon is not so much a politician trying to serve her countrymen (that would require a modicum of humility and the lady does not do humility) more of a hectoring schoolmistress or a sort of toxic "den mother".

  Her current obsession is enabling gay couples to marry in Church. Nanny......sorry Ms. Sturgeon says:
"We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal...............we believe it is the right thing to do!"

  This is despite the fact that 64% of the people who responded to the Scottish Parliament's Referendum on the subject ( that's 3 times more than the people who responded to the referendum on Scottish separation from the U.K.) were against gay marriage.

 Many rightly fear that clergy who do not agree with the proposed changes could be prosecuted for refusing to marry gays in Church. Sturgeon has made airy claims that the law will be amended to prevent this happening but she must know that she has no power to keep that promise.......even if she ever intended to.

 The European Court Of Human Rights has said that while gay marriage in Church is not a "Human Right", if any Government gives gay marriage the "green light" then gays must be allowed to marry in Church. Still, "the nippy sweetie" insists in making her unkeepable promises.

 A recent survey came to the conclusion that less than 2% per cent of the overall population are gay. Probably half of them are never likely to want to marry in Church anyway and so, for the sake of 1% of the population, she is willing to snub 64% of it. This is State aided tyranny of the minority. It is manifestly NOT democracy.

 Gays are NOT persecuted in Scotland. They have huge freedom and if they so desperately want to be able to marry in Church is it not feasible for them to form their own denomination?

 Most people who balk at the reforms could probably be placated if gays were told that if they could find a Church willing to marry them all well and good but it is this element of compulsion that alarms and religious groups quite rightly see it as an interference too far. What price freedom of belief now?

  "Belief" - that is the key word. Ms. Sturgeon and too many like her have no discernible beliefs other than their own right to power and their own rightness .............see again Sturgeon's self serving quote. They pride themselves on dragging Scotland into the 21st century but if clergy go to jail for their beliefs is that not dragging us back to the 17th.

 She and her ilk, holed up in Holyrood, that coccoon at the bottom of the Royal Mile, have become more and more distanced from the lives of ordinary people who are in no way homophobic. Looking for "brownie points" from the militant gay lobby will do the general gay population no favours at all.

  I don't give much for Scotland's future if it does break away from the rest of the U.K. If Sturgeon and her kind have their way they will turn Scotland into a nasty little neo Stalinist P.C. riven state perched on the edge of Europe. Adam Smith, that hero of the great, and truly liberal, and outward looking, "Age Of Reason" must be spinning in his grave.

On a happier note

Don t miss Buster while he is in town!!!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


In any word association test the words "easy listening" could be followed by the words "Bacharach and David". That would be understandable but it would also be to sell these two song writers short.
  Together, they wrote at least 700 songs that encompassed everything from songs for at least two Classic Westerns ("The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head") to the jaunty "Magic Moments" (their first big hit in 1958 and recorded by Perry Como) to the haunting, plaintive Alfie.
  Bacharach's melodies were original, fresh and wonderful but it was surely David's sometimes witty, sometimes plaintive but always elegant lyrics that put the proverbial "icing on the cake" Lennon and Mc Cartney were cool, Dylan was social conscience in song but, when you really think of it,  it was Hal David who voiced, for the rest of us, the joys and sorrows of 20th century relationships. He did so with consummate skill and his unique brand of urbane American style that travels so well.
  He was, as a lyricist, every bit the equal of Lorenz Hart, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and for that matter - Noel Coward. Is there any better depiction, in popular song, of the misery of rejection than "Walk On By" ? Part of us would like to express those sentiments if we found ourselves in that situation but pride or a lack of eloquence prohibits us. Hal David puts it all succinctly into words though, so we don't feel isolated or foolish for feeling our hurt.
  David looked on song writing very much as a business but it might be more appropriate to say that he was a craftsman whose tools just happened to be words. Lyricists, like their poet cousins, know the value of economy and precision and the need to fashion a line of a song skilfully enough for it to carry the weight of a world of meaning. David was easily up to the mark.
  There are many good lyricists in the world but not many Hal Davids. He managed that great feat of saying profound things in a simple, though never facile, and heartfelt way.
  Hal David's lyrics helped prove Noel Coward's remark about the potency of cheap music - except for the fact that there was nothing cheap about them.

My modest effort: The Balloon Man In Edinburgh is available as an ebook from Amazon. See link below.

5star reviews   "a little gem"!

P.S. It's not a childrens book!