Category Archives: Politics


Remember the Charlie Brown Christmas song? It goes, ‘Oh Christmas tree, oh …’.

I much prefer, ‘Then raise the scarlet standard high’.

Yes, I know there’s the old Labour Party version. It’s more current, more correct; but the old version is so cool. And, in the weird place we’re in right now, so relevant.

Anyway, a Christmas tree.


I was a huge Madness fan in my (and their) younger days. Since their Ladykillers tour brought them to Newcastle yesterday, I had to grab some tickets.

Squeeze, who I’d (weirdly) never actually seen live before, were supporting, and they were a huge bonus. Particularly since I’d not known that Glen Tilbrook had rejoined the band.

I’d actually watched the Ladykillers, the classic old film, on TV yesterday afternoon. I’d assumed that the tour of the same name was unconnected, but the gig definitely had something of a theme, with images and clips from the film. There were also, unusual for this band, pretty open criticisms of UK politics.

Yes, they’re getting on a bit, but they do still put on a good show.

It was also clear that they’d had some coaching in the Northeast dialect, when they performed Wor House. There was also the correct pronunciation of Newcastle, as opposed to the inappropriate Newcarstle.

Save Us Now

Apparently, there is a new political movement in Gateshead. They are shining a light on corruption.

This leaflet arrived through our letterbox this afternoon.

Unfortunately, this new political party, which wants my vote in the local elections, aren’t able to achieve even a minimal standard of grammar in their marketing material.

There’s the obvious apostrophe fail, several instances, spaces before commas (on a pretty big scale), and missing full stops.

Oh, then there’s the weird change in font, presumably to fill a page.

Should I mention the scaremongering about Gateshead Council’s pruning trees to allow a 5G signal to work more efficiently?

Now, Gateshead Council are rubbish, but is there really a subversive move towards streetlight 5G transmitters?

I’m more concerned, as I’ve previously mentioned, about their tendency to demolish old buildings and their failure to maintain clean streets.

I shall read what they have to say at although I think they should have gone for a .com. it does appear to be complete rubbish though.

Photoshop the verb

Somehow, I’d missed the formalisation of Photoshop as a verb. Like many, many other people, I’d used it as such since the 90s, but I’d not realised that it had been adopted by dictionaries until this morning when, on breakfast news, a clip was shown of Theresa May accusing Russia of using fake news along with photoshopped images. 

As a committed Linux user, I’ve used Gimp as a most capable alternative to Photoshop. While I do recognise that gimped may not work quite as well as a verb, it feels wrong that mainstream dictionaries should offer free advertising for Adobe. 


Seriously, Scottish notes are much better on the eye. 

More effort seems to have gone into the design. Darwin still takes a bit of beating though. 


We’re just back home after a couple of days in Europe Peebles. I’d never been before and was somewhat surprised to find that it’s pretty gorgeous.



The locals (in the locals) we met were lovely; there were even a couple of expats northeasterners (one from Newcastle and another from Gateshead).

We were quite intrigued by the Beltane festival, which apparently has its roots in Brussels mediaeval Europe.


We spent much of yesterday in the capital  Edinburgh. Regrettably, the cool graveyard was closed, but it’s great to see restoration in progress. The view from the hill was still pretty impressive though.






While in Edinburgh, we had a quick pint (Punk IPA) in the World’s End pub before heading back to Peebles.


Back in Peebles, we went to the Bridge Inn, after which I saw a familiar creature.


While I don’t have a picture to hand, I’m pretty sure that such things exist outside Europe in London, by the Thames.

Also, when in the Bridge, I visited a urinal which appeared to have once belonged to Adam Ant.


We’d have remained stayed in Europe Peebles longer, but we have a date with a goddess in town this evening.


I voted to leave the European Union. I didn’t try to persuade anyone else to do so and kept my views to myself. However, I’ve been disappointed with the number of people who made a point of forcing their views on me and, now that the UK has decided, are using social media to insult what is, in effect, the majority. A small majority, I acknowledge, but that’s how democracy works; a majority is a majority.

Contrary to the many comments I’ve read on social media, I don’t fit their profile for the majority. I’ve worked all my life and never claimed a penny from the state. I’m educated; I have two degrees.

I love Europe, I like the culture(s) and adore the beer. I simply don’t want to see the UK lose control of its future. I’m not racist, but I do believe that EU migrants shouldn’t be filling the low paid jobs that UK nationals won’t take because they feel that state benefits are a better proposition.

I voted to leave the EU. Had the majority been in favour of remaining within the common market, I would have accepted the UK’s decision with grace.


It seems as though there’s a new scandal involving politicians every few months. But David Cameron does seem to be weathering the current Panama storm and he’ll most likely survive, albeit with a little (more) tarnish. However, should that not be the case, he could fall back on his acting career.