Author Archives: doreenmilne

First they came for Catalonia..

Barrhead Boy

In the coming days Madrid will issue an arrest warrant for President Puigdemont of Catalonia on the charge of Rebellion.

It has the sound of something from a bygone age ,something that happened in the 18th or19th Century,not something that happens in 2017.

It leads one to believe this will not end in a 30 day custodial sentence and a €500 fine for the good President.

The last President of Catalonia to declare Independence Lluís Companys was put up against a wall in 1940 by Franco’s fascists and shot.

He remains to this day the only incumbent democratically elected President of a European country to ever have been executed.

Let us hope that this remains the case forever more.

However we do not know what the intentions of this extreme right wing minority government of Spain is in regards to President Puigdemont,we don’t even know if this charge of Rebellion…

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Four Walls and a Roof

The Common Green

“It seems obvious: the reason only a tiny percentage of new…buildings and retrofits aren’t green isn’t cost. It’s lack of ingenuity or knowledge of new construction techniques — architects and builders wed to the ‘same-old,’ lenders leery of anything unconventional.” – Sustainable Energy Africa

Housing – buildings in general, in fact – needs to be about more than just four walls and a roof. It also needs to be about more than vague promises of “more houses built” or about a volume-based industry which tries to extract as much profit per square metre as possible or being about more than the landlords who swoop in afterwards to do the same.

And with around 53% of all energy use in Scotland being used for heating and only a small fraction of it coming from renewable resources, it needs to be about more than throwing up any old building and passing the…

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And then we will win

Spot on from Paul Kavanagh. @weegingerdug

Wee Ginger Dug

I have a long standing policy of refraining from attacking other people in the Yes movement. If we are to win Scotland’s independence, we can only do that with a broad based movement which encompasses a wide range of opinions, and a diversity of viewpoints. We need to attract those who disagree with us, and we can only do that if we contain within our ranks people whom those wavering No voter can identify with. That means that, by definition, our movement will contain voices which I individually don’t agree with. After all, if the Yes movement only contained people who agreed with me, it wouldn’t be a very broad based mass grass roots movement, it would be a fan club.

In this blog post I’m about to do something I never do – criticise certain parts of the Yes movement. I love this movement. I am committed to the…

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Too Taboo…or just too Difficult – things you maybe shouldn’t joke about

Robinince's Blog

Are there some topics you shouldn’t joke about or that you shouldn’t want to joke about? is suicide one of them?

A couple of years ago, I was talking to an ex-headteacher in a hotel bar after a gig. There were a few us around the table, as well as a stranger on a business trip who was lonely so joined in the drinking and olive eating. As I lent in to pick up my beer, the ex-headteacher grabbed my arm and said, “you comedians need to do more routines about suicide.”
In a matter of fact manner, she told me that her daughter had killed herself and she believed that it would help if talk of suicide did not seem such a taboo. As George Carlin probably said (I remember him saying it, but can find no trace of it), “stand up is a low art, but it’s a…

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The DUP: history and controversy

Politics and Insights

Former DUP leader, Peter Robinson, (left) in paramilitary uniform, 1986.

The following story, first published in the IrishTimes on 16 May, is of a massive donation to the DUP, which reads like a John le Carré novel – but voters need facts, not fiction.

What connects Brexit, the DUP, dark money and a Saudi prince? By Fintan O’Toole

If Northern Ireland were a normal democracy, the election campaign would be dominated by a single question: how did the Democratic Unionist Party end up advancing the cause of a united Ireland through its support for Brexit? More specifically: what role did dark money play in that extraordinary decision? This story has all the makings of a John le Carré thriller but democracy on this island needs facts, not fiction. 

To recap briefly: two days before the Brexit referendum last June, the Metro freesheet in London and other British cities…

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Wanted: Scapegoats

Media Diversified

by Kiri Kankhwende 

Listening to the coverage of the Tory Party Conference in the last couple of days a real blind spot is emerging: who are we going to blame for everything when the foreigners are gone post-Brexit?

Granted, not everyone will go, but this government is going to try to get rid of as many as possible. Everything is geared towards supplanting “foreign” with indigenous.

Like, doctors. Jeremy Hunt, possibly the biggest threat to the future of the NHS but with the durability of a post-apocalyptic cockroach, has pledged that by 2025 the NHS will not have to rely on foreign doctors. Plans to provide 1,500 more training places a year for new doctors aren’t a bad thing, but the British Medical Association said that this “falls far short of what is needed.”

Hunt also said that he would force doctors to repay some of the money for…

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So MP’s Don’t Like The Idea Of Deselection??

Declaration Of Opinion

I listened to Liz Kendall talk down to a Question-Time audience member last night saying how MP’s like her were voted in by their CLP’s then voted for (or not) by a wider electorate. What Kendall failed to mention is that during Blair and Brown’s tenure as Labour Leaders, the candidates the CLP’s were voting for were “approved” from “on high” by the Leaders office and not, in some cases, the preferred candidates of those same CLP’s. So is this the reason lots of these MP’s seem so ready to follow along when it comes to attacking Jeremy Corbyn? and why they are appearing to be so anti-democracy. These MP’s haven’t really had to try, they were handed their positions, I wonder how many CLP’s in the past voted for the “best of a bad approved bunch” after they “won” their chance to stand in a local election all they…

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