Friday, 24 July 2015


The prevailing winds in Britain blow from West to East, which is why, traditionally, rich folk tend to live in the West End of big cities, away from the smells. Edinburgh, of course, has its New Town but many of its wealthiest residents live in the North-West in the areas of Barnton and Cramond. If you're not familiar with Edinburgh but live in Glasgow, these areas are exactly the same as Bearsden and Milngavie. Unlike the denizens of Bearsden and Milngavie, however, the residents of Barnton and Cramond pay their share of council tax; they don't pay a pittance to a separate council while using all the city's resources for free!

Anyway, no matter how rich the residents, there are always disagreements between neighbours over trees, hedges being too high or house extensions. Selfish homeowners are always the enemy in the media, lacking community spirit and only thinking of themselves. The worst kind is the one that puts Leylandii all round his property, affecting everyone in the area. You never see the media sticking up for such a person; unless, of course, we're talking about JK Rowling. Her property borders a busy, well-used road and local residents are up in arms that a lane has been closed off outside her house so that her 30ft Leylandii can be trimmed. This caused tailbacks and traffic jams for days, but the Daily Record seems to think that it's all one big joke. They go on about neighbours learning spells like 'expeliarmus'. I wonder if they'd feel the same if it was a supporter of Scottish independence involved! Only those, and such as those, indeed.

In the same vein, but a lot more serious, is the news that those guys that plotted to murder 'Mad Dog' Adair and Sam McCrory have been found guilty of "conspiring to murder Adair and McCrory by attempting to acquire firearms, carrying out reconnaissance at McCrory's home and and planning where and by what means he was to be murdered." Two of them, "Duffy, from Donegal, and Hughes, were also convicted of terrorism by attempting to acquire vehicles and an AK 47 assault rifle and making plans for the storage and retrieval of firearms." I think the operative word in Duffy being found guilty is that little phrase 'from Donegal'.

All the indications have been there that Duffy, the ringleader, is a delusional fantasist. He apparently suffers from mental health problems, exacerbated by an addiction to Tramadol. He's been painted in court, and in the press, however, as a 'dissident Republican'. Implications have abounded that he has links to the Real IRA or the Provisionals, depending on which article you're reading. Why is it, then, that the guy hadn't the first idea of how to go about getting a weapon? He walked into the Brazen Head and asked Anthony Stokes if he could get him a gun, for God's sake! He's also, apparently, a terrorist because he 'attempted to acquire' a Kalashnikov rifle. Now, I think most of us men tried our best to shag as many females as we could when we were younger and, in the majority of attempts failed miserably. Do those desperate attempts make us bona fide Lotharios? They do if you follow the logic being applied to Antoin Duffy.

So these characters, who did nothing but talk and plan without having a clue what they were doing are murderous terrorists, even though nobody got hurt except in their heads. No weapons were involved and they hardly inspired a wave of terror among the general public.

Turn the clock back four years to two characters that made bombs and sent them through the post. They weren't just sitting in a car talking about murder; they actively set about trying to kill their intended targets. Home-made bombs were sent to three innocent individuals just trying to go about their daily lives. Neil Lennon and his family had to be placed under police protection, while mail sorting offices had to be in a high state of alert. Isn't that what a terrorist is: somebody that inspires terror? And yet the court and the media painted these terrorists as deluded losers, who couldn't make a viable bomb to save themselves. But the fact remains that they intended to kill, caused panic and made devices that they thought were viable and were intended to be. They set out to kill and tried their best to do it. Yet they were treated as harmless buffoons and one of them is already out of prison.

So, essentially, sending bombs through the post, trying to kill people, doesn't make you a terrorist, but making formless and unrealistic plots does. Of course, it helps as well if you have an Irish name and come 'from Donegal'!

Meanwhile the cries of 'paranoia' as supporters of Scottish independence, including myself, accused the security services of being involved are now sounding a bit hollow. The Daily Record pleads that it was prevented from disclosing that MSPs are being spied on until now, but it is debatable whether the paper, or any other media outlet for that matter, would have run with this story last September or during the General Election. The question was asked during the Referendum and it needs to be asked again: why is the English Establishment so desperate to hold onto Scotland? There's a story there if any decent journalist was prepared to dig.

More important, as far as our agnivores are concerned, is running with the story that Scott Allan has put in a transfer request to try to force a move to his 'boyhood heroes', Sevco. Whether the story is true or not it's a blatant attempt to try to disrupt the Hibs changing room before they play Sevco tomorrow in the Petrofac Cup. Hibs could get a lot more for Allan in the January transfer window, so it's unlikely they'll bow down to any pressure, even from the player himself. Hopefully this disgusting attempt to unsettle the team will fail and Hibs will destroy Sevco.

Speaking of disgusting, stand by for James McClean coming in for a lot more abuse after Kirk Broadfoot received a ten-match ban for verbally abusing him. I think we can all guess the kind of bile that Broadfoot threw at him and we can expect more of the same from The Peepul online. In the meantime, compare the headline in the English Daily Mirror: "Rotherham defender Kirk Broadfoot handed 10-game ban for sectarian tirade against James McClean" to that of the Daily Record: "Former Rangers star Kirk Broadfoot handed 10-game ban for verbally abusing Wigan's James McClean". Big difference, eh?  The Record also omitted this little piece:

"Broadfoot was born into a Protestant family in Ayrshire and is known to be a staunch supporters (sic) of certain cultural traditions relating to his religion."

Er...those 'cultural traditions' have got nothing whatsoever to do with being a Protestant. Maybe that's why the Daily Record left that bit out. Do you think?

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