Posted in Reporting Scotland, Scottish Fiction, Scottish Literature at 12:00 on 2 December 2015
This award is supported by Creative Scotland.
This year’s winner and the Saltire Scottish Fiction Book of the Year surprised me.
It was The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (whose name Sally Magnusson on Reporting Scotland pronounced as Michael. Is that how he does so?)
My review of it is here.
Posted in BBC, Politics, Reporting Scotland at 19:37 on 16 April 2015
Today, on the BBC’s Reporting Scotland, there was a clip of David Cameron, aka Mr Irresponsible, saying that he was to blame for many things (well you’re right in that at least, Dave) but that Labour’s collapse* in Scotland wasn’t one of them.
Really, Dave? How un-self-aware can anyone get?
It’s got nothing to do with the speech you made on the day after the Independence Referendum where you slapped down those who had just voted to remain in the UK with a, “We don’t care about you, we only care about England,” attitude? Could anything have been more likely to enrage both those who had voted no and those for yes? A clearer demonstration that Westminster politicians just don’t get it as far as Scotland is concerned would have been harder to find. To anyone who knows Scots what response could have been expected other than a rise in support for the SNP (who ought to have been set back for perhaps decades by the rejection of their key purpose for existence?)
I suppose it could all be part of a diabolical (yes, I know it means of the Devil) plan to undermine the Labour party in the UK as a whole but I don’t believe Cameron actually is as cunning as all that. (His sidekick Gideon Osborne, aka George, is another matter, though.) I realise the Tories have more than something of the night about them but I doubt in their wildest dreams could they have deliberately conceived and implemented a coherent, rather than accidental, strategy to reduce the influence of Labour on the Westminster Parliament.
Labour having conspicuously failed over the many years of my lifetime to protect Scots from governments they have not voted for, many people seem to have come round to the view that only a large bank of SNP MPs at Westminster will ensure that Westminster cannot treat Scotland off-handedly.
So yes, Dave. I do blame you.
BTW: I suspect that Labour won’t lose quite so many seats in Scotland as the polls at present predict. There are still many “always been Labour” voters around.
Posted in Events dear boy. Events, Politics, Reporting Scotland at 20:22 on 21 October 2013
One of the mysteries – to me at any rate – of the dispute between management and workers at Grangemouth petrochemical complex is that the company that owns it, INEOS, says it is losing £10 million a month there.
The workers are faced with signing up to significantly reduced terms and conditions or the prospect of redundancy.
But…… Losing £10 million a month running an oil complex? One, moreover, that is capable of supplying all the petrol stations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of the North of England?
What sort of mismanagement led to this situation? How can anyone in this day and age not make money from owning an oil refinery and its associated petrochemical works?
On Reporting Scotland tonight a glimmer of an answer appeared.
It seems INEOS has been expanding rapidly. We were told – in passing – its owner Jim Ratcliffe has incurred debt in doing so even though otherwise he appears to be doing all right.
Reading between the lines it seems he wants to make the workers at Grangemouth pay for it.
The most disturbing thing about this whole rigmarole is that little mention has been made of this aspect up to now. Politicians and the media have been shying clear of criticism of the company’s conduct. Serious questions ought to be asked of the company and politicians – UK wide. I doubt the Scottish Government has much real clout in a situation like this. I’m not holding my breath for the UK coalition to do anything about it though.
Is Jim Ratcliffe a fit and proper person to be in charge of any commercial enterprise? Have the losses been built up deliberately to engineer a diminution of workers’ conditions and pay?
How on Earth was such a chancer allowed to get anywhere near control of Scotland’s largest industrial asset?
The whole thing stinks.
Posted in BBC, BBC news, Events dear boy. Events, Politics, Reporting Scotland at 12:00 on 21 October 2013
First spotting of the season, BBC Scotland News on Friday 18/10/13. Just shy of one week less than a month before Armistice Day.
At the SNP Conference, Alex Salmond addressing the devotees – complete with poppy.
The next news item featured a farmer or something (he was in the great outdoors, whatever) who sported a poppy in his lapel. I wonder if the BBC supplied it to him.
Curiously the presenters in the studio were sans poppies. Give it time.
Posted in BBC, Reporting Scotland at 12:00 on 10 January 2013
How pressured as a minority do Catholics in Scotland feel when every utterance of their spokesperson is trumpeted by BBC Scotland as an event of major importance as this assertion was on Tuesday?
(The comparison of this oppression with that of blacks in the US in the 1960s was yesterday described as insulting.)