Monday, 18 February 2013

Krispy kreme doughnut anyone?

A new Krispy Kreme Doughnut outlet has opened at Hermiston Gait on the outskirts of Edinburgh, there's clearly something special about these doughnuts because every night since it opened its doors, as I've driven past, customers waiting for a taste of doughnutty goodness have been tailed back on to the M8 causing obstruction on the Hermiston Gait roundabout.

On Friday night as I parked outside the gym I attend in the Gyle Business Park (my body is a temple, it takes up half the block,) I was stopped by a passing motorist looking for directions to Krispy Kreme, I can't lie, I was a bit miffed; do I look like I'd know where the doughnut shop is? (Yes Paul - you do.)

Anyway, the point is, I was reading over at Tris' place about Scottish meat standards and how there seems to be a race to the bottom in trying to supply the Scottish public with the cheapest meat suppliers can find. With every burger seeming to consist mostly of horse could it be, that in a fit of paranoia, the great Scottish public have decided to shun meat and replace it with Krispy Kreme doughnuts? (It should be noted, Scottish meat produce standards are of the highest quality with full trace-ability,  its the shite available in the supermarkets which is of questionable progeny.)

The only alternative is all those people sitting in the traffic queue by Hermiston Gait (sometimes without even getting any doughnuts because the shop has ran out,) are in fact; fat bastards.

Linked to this even if only tenuously, on another evening while leaving the same gym (in which I like to hone my physique to a rapier-like tip of fitness,) I witnessed a man trying to flag down the car in front of my own, since I like to live life close to edge I decided to stop thinking he was probably looking for directions to the doughnut shop. Instead of stabbing me to death, he explained his car had broken down and did I know where Hermiston Gait was because there was a Halfords there. I told him yes, I did know but I'll give you a lift* round because it'll be closing imminently. We got round to the Hermiston Gait roundabout and sure enough, the traffic was queued back blocking traffic coming off the city bypass, my passenger asked why it was so busy at this time of night in this seemingly random spot. I explained about the new doughnut outlet, he said 'NO WAY!' I said, 'WAY!' (I'm paraphrasing.) As we finally cleared the line of traffic he said, 'See? I knew it wasn't the doughnuts, there's a KFC there as well...'

I haven't visited the doughnut shop yet and if I'm being honest probably won't, some kind soul will no doubt bring a box into the office anyway where my Victorian sense of guilty restraint dictates that I wait until everyone goes home before snaffling one up.

* My random act of kindness for the day.

Monday, 11 February 2013


Unionist side produces report which supports entirely the unionist side on Scottish Independence.

Legal opinion obtained from Professors Crawford and Boyle of Oxford and Edinburgh Universities respectively states, Scotland will inherit nothing in terms of treaties, agreements assets currently enjoyed by the UK. Meanwhile, with independence; Scotland will be a new state starting from scratch.

Except in terms of the UK national debt, which is where their opinion inexplicably stopped. (At least according to the BBC this morning.)

Nicola Sturgeon queried: "It also raises a very important question for the UK government - if they are prepared to lay claim to the assets of the UK are they also prepared to take on all of its liabilities, such as the UK national debt?"

I would ask the same question myself.

(Foot note: Prof Crawford was on Radio Scotland this morning, by way of a digest; he said yes, Scotland would not inherit treaties and agreements but most would just roll over, an application to the UN for example would be straight forward. Meanwhile, in what can only be described as a disturbing lack of concentration; the BBC interviewer asked a useful question about EU membership, the Professor said both Scotland and the rest of the UK would have some renegotiating to do. So, another report which is all mouth and no trousers. Westminster could of course just ask the EU about membership instead of relying on opinion, but it won't. One wonders why?)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Chewin' a wasp on Call Kaye. (Same Sex Marriage)

Well, when is somebody not chewin' a wasp on there? Call Kaye, BBC Radio Scotland's morning current affairs program and some might say, party political broadcast for the labour party.

This isn't about that though, its about gay marriage. Firstly, I have no interest in it, I'll never do it, which is something I have in common with all those wasp chewing religious types who were phoning in this morning venting their spleens on the topic.

When I said I had no interest, I meant personally, socially speaking, I do. You see, people don't turn gay as an adult, some might come to terms with it then but it'll have been there from the start. The supreme irony here is, people who don't know how this works use the notion of someone 'turning' gay in support of the argument that you're not born that way when the reality is, its the very same prejudice and negativity that drives that person to hide or deny it until adulthood in the first place.

It is an elegant vicious circle.

For me, I'm not concerned about adults in this, its the young people growing up with an alternate & unavoidable sexuality. They are being made to feel so wretched, so abjectly miserable that they see taking their own life as the only option, young people are killing themselves with out even being able to say why; imagine feeling so desperately terrible that in your final moments as you give yourself up to oblivion, even then; you can't bring yourself to tell any one why?

I never quite got as far along that particular route, but I'd be a big fat liar if I denied contemplating it as an option, but as I said, I'm an adult now so please save your concern for someone more deserving.

The debate on gay marriage is an odd one, we have an ideal held by some foisted on a few, about a biological imperative foisted on that few by fate itself. We have two very vocal minorities claiming the moral high ground and a monopoly on reason while in the middle we have a silent majority who don't give a toss. Then in amongst all that, we have a small sliver of our young people listening with growing horror - young gay people in the process of finding out they are not turning into the person wider society expects them to be and more over, coming to realise there is nothing they can do about it but accept a life of vilification.

I haven't read of any young person not being able to come to terms with their religion and taking their own life because of it, marriage is not a religious construct, people have been doing it for centuries, swans do it and I reckon we can assume swans are at the very least agnostic if not atheist in their beliefs. I agree with rights to religious freedom but people have to understand that that franchise stops within your own sphere of existence, you can't foist it on any one else. If you truly believe your faith is being eroded, it says more about your religious fortitude than anything else.

I understand some churches don't want to conduct same sex marriages, to be honest I couldn't understand why a same sex couple would want to press the issue and be married in a setting which does not tolerate their existence, if they were doing it to make a point then its not a point I agree with at all.

This morning on the execrable Call Kaye I found myself in a quandary, there were 77,508 responses to the Scottish Government's same sex marriage consultation. I found myself claiming the rest of the population who didn't respond as being not bothered so basically in favour. I then realised this was hypocritical because I've decried on several occasions the 40% rule imposed on the referendum on devolution that took place in 1979, an explanation of which can be found here. (Very quickly if you can't be arsed, it just meant people who didn't vote were counted as no's so the referendum was lost. a shameless bit of sophistry from the UK at the time.) I'd hate to adopt the same policy to bolster my own points about same sex marriage.

Gordon Wilson, ex-SNP MSP (and leader) was on saying we should have a referendum on the topic, what makes him or any one else think more people would turn out for that than did for the consultation? I suppose it would be more widely advertised but look at the AV or the Police Commissioners referenda that took place (down south); hardly anyone bothered their arses about it. As a measure of feeling it would be meaningless, counting the votes of those who sat at opposite ends of the spectrum and no one in between.

My point is, this debate is adding to the general background hum of disapproval for something we have no control over, fate decides what blows your skirt up, fashion or lifestyle might make you more open-minded but since fate planted that tendency too, its entirely moot. Making young people, children even, feel so excluded, so alone and so hated because a section of society believes in a set of ideals supposedly based on love, forgiveness and acceptance, seems illogical at best and a huge double standard at worst.

Some religions tell young people same sex relationships are unnatural and less deserving of respect than heterosexual affiliations while at the other end of the spectrum, gay pride marches & the media tell them they need to invest in some arseless chaps and adopt an overly camp/butch pretence if they want to fit in.

Ignore all that shite, for that is what it is: shite. I'm not saying it gets better, but there are a hell of a lot of people who are gay who don't want to get married, prefer not to wear tight t-shirts or dungarees, or smear a profundity of product in their hair, you can't see us because we're actually really very normal, which is what you are; don't let any one tell you otherwise.

That is all.

Friday, 1 February 2013


This will be another post about politics, fair warning. Tune out now if you can't be arsed but remember, since all topics discussed here are done so with the bar set quite low, while I can't guarantee you won't be bored; you will at least be able to grasp what's going on.

The Electoral Commission have released their recommendations regarding the running of Independence referendum, it covers a number of areas most notably, the question itself, funding and ground rules for the running of the campaign. In the run up to the report being released, the 'no' side have been urging the Scottish Government to accept all aspects of the EC's recommendation, sight unseen. Unionists have been deriding the SNP's question since it was released; "do you agree Scotland should be an independent country?" They say it leads the voter to agree, its what people like to do, which I suppose is true; if you're talking about the weather or the sartorial judgement of a work colleague. Not sure about any one else, but I like to credit (most) people with a bit more sense, so for a referendum on independence; I think most folk would realise it was a wee bit more important than sock options of a morning.

The commission decided; "Should Scotland be an Independent country?" was a better question, it was clearer and wouldn't lead anyone in to deploying a decision making paradigm similar to one they might use at Greggs during lunch. The Scottish Government in a fit of reason decided to adopt this and all the rest of the Electoral Commission's recommendation, which was nice of them. It should be noted, the EC recommendations are advisory, no government or assembly need take their advice but, ours did. So, a crushing defeat for the SNP then, Salmond back peddles, Sturgeon crest-fallen and Yes Scotland in disarray?

Well not really, its not that big a change and lets be honest for the sake of a 'do you agree' or a 'should', if the Scottish Government did tell the EC thanks but no thanks, imagine the furore... Alistair Darling, putative leader of the Better Together campaign claimed the SNP climb down as a victory for democracy, common sense and Better Together yet, in terms of funding, the Electoral Commission suggested changing a £250,000 funding advantage in favour of the Unionists to a £63,000 advantage for the Yes campaign. See that £250k advantage the unionists did have? It had it because that was how the Scottish Government had arranged funding. (I dare say they weren't happy, but that was how it worked out and they were living with it.) If that's what Darling calls a victory, how does he describe a loss?

Crucially and the main point of this post, one of the other recommendations was (and do remember Tories, Lib Dems and Labour going on at length about the SNP Government having to accept the EC's report in its entirety,) one of the other recommendations was; both sides should present information (preferably of the honest and factual variety) in the run up to the referendum so voters would know what a yes or no would mean after the referendum.

Imagine then, when on the same day the EC report was released, a representative from the 'no' side (A.K.A Better Together) in the form of Ruth Davidson (Scottish Tory leader - no, she's not that busy) refused to provide any details or information. David Cameron also managed to not answer a similar question during PMQ's the same day.

So, all the while, unionist parties and Better Together have been pressing the Scottish Government to comply, but when it comes to their own responsibilities; they're not so keen.

If you are a floating voter, have doubts or just don't know who to believe, look at the information coming from Yes Scotland then compare it that coming from Better Together. All it takes is one lie, which is all it took for me, one lie then the entire unionist house of cards came tumbling down, from BBC bias to Ruth Davidson dissembling on Scotland Tonight; it really is a no brainer.

As a reward for ploughing through all that - I know politics is boring; here's a quick joke:

I went to the zoo the other day and saw a baguette in a cage.
I think it was bread in captivity.

No? Okay, what about this one:

This guy told me he is the fastest cross dresser in the world.
I said, "Really?"
She said, "Yes."

Still no? Well, there's no pleasing some people.