Doune The Rabbit Hole 450

I shall again be running the bar – the Whistleblower’s Arms – at the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival from 22 to 24 August at Cardross, Port of Menteith.

I find this festival, which is very much a lifestyle event and features mostly new talent, an extremely life-affirming experience. Last year it brought me back from a very dark place. Some of this blogs most active commenters and helpers have been among the volunteers over the last couple of years, keeping the event going. Personally for me the festival is necessarily centred around Williams Bros and Thistly Cross, but there is a tremendous variety of music:


The event is very family friendly, and also an amazing place to meet new friends. It does not have any specific political orientation, but I might fairly say that the vibe is very much in line with the kind of unconstrained intellectual space promoted on this blog. On top of which Cardross is an extraordinarily beautiful place. The variety of local food on site, ranging from vegan to game, is one of the things I really enjoyed. It is a not for profit event and nobody gets a salary.

Tickets are not expensive by festival standards, and certainly cheaper than a weekend break in a hotel. But there is also the alternative of working your passage – the festival still needs plenty of volunteers.

I am genuinely looking forward to it enormously. Hope to see you there.

450 thoughts on “Doune The Rabbit Hole

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  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    Schrödinger – particle translational motion, Clark. All 2’s should be superscript (squares) except ‘2m’
    ‘Ψ’ is the wavefunction.

    And that’s as far as I go without making more of a fool of myself.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    Roy Anderson – traces exist of him on the internet (bikers remember their own), and was evidently a talented rider with a good track record (literally). One at least of the bikes he owned was a CBX 1000 – iconic bike: Honda shovelled six cylinders- inline, like a car engine – into a useable frame, and achieved high levels of user satisfaction…worship even. It was built like a Swiss watch and sounded like a choir of CB 125’s. It may be the one you are thinking of, and the photo could be one.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Can someone please explain to me the scam involving academy schools. 

    The Academies Act 2010  was the first thing the Coalition did when it was elected in 2010, a sure-fire sign that it is important to the Tory backers. Since then, thousands of schools have been converted from state to academy schools, which means the taxpayer still pays for the but private individuals get to decide the curriculum.

     But who is making money out of this and how? Today’s Guardian has a front page story titled: “Wealthy Tory donor David Ross in line for top Ofsted job

     “A multimillionaire Tory party donor and friend of David Cameron and Boris Johnson, is in the frame to become chair of Ofsted, a move that would plunge the schools regulator into a further row over its politicisation.

    David Ross, the playboy co-founder of Carphone Warehouse whose charitable foundation supports more than 20 academy schools, is understood to be in serious contention to take over the Ofsted role from Labour peer Sally Morgan, who is waiting for the education secretary, Michael Gove, to make a fresh appointment.”

    Don’t tell me this guy has diverted his energies into schooling for philanthropic reasons. I don’t get it. What’s the scam? What am I missing?

  • Clark

    I thought it might be Schrödinger. “d2Ψ/dx2” will be the second differential of the wavefunction wrt x, which is presumably distance. Are H Planck’s constant, m mass and E energy? And what is k?

  • Clark

    Node, it’s not just about selling mobile ‘phone contracts to kids is it? Carphone Warehouse became TalkTalk.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    That should be h-bar (h/2π), actually, but life was too short to find the symbol…k is the force constant, and yes, E is energy as usual.

  • Mary

    ‘Baroness Morgan, whose expulsion from her Ofsted role was revealed this year by The Independent, was widely considered to have proved an impartial executive despite having run Tony Blair’s office when he was Prime Minister.

    “Sally Morgan has been able to rise above party politics and command cross-party support – it’s crucial the next person is able to do the same,” a Liberal Democrat source said.

    Mr Laws indicated that he believed the decision not to re-appoint Baroness Morgan was a sign that the Ofsted inspectorate, which is officially independent of government control, was being damaged by political interference.’

    Ross sounds most unsuitable! Read on.

    He won’t be in the job long though will he? That is, is he gets it.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    I think it must go deeper than selling phones, Clark, but maybe not. Maybe it is all about marketing opportunities, gaining the power to choose school suppliers, gaining control of the schools’ budgets. But I suspect there are deeper motives. Political? Brainwashing? I think I’m missing something.

  • Phil

    “What’s the scam?”

    This is just my guess born from a believe that state schooling is all about the difficult job of shaping a compliant work force from a whole load of rebellious individuals.

    They are playing the long game. The current academies are set up to:

    -get corporate advertising into schools
    -employ staff sympathetic to the corporate mind set
    -normalise excessive pay for a few
    -attack the unions
    -prepare for a profit making education system

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    My suspicions run along the similar lines to yours, but if that’s the game, then what’s in it for the likes of Ross? He doesn’t seem a Soros/Koch brother type mover shaker. There doesn’t seem to be any immediate financial gain. Is he someone’s lackey, fronting part of a long term operation? Helping out the big boys for a few favours?
    They’re up to something.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Ah, I’ve figured it out, it’s all so obvious. The simple explanation is …. oh, sorry, the football’s starting, gotta go.

  • Phil


    Sorry I missed the specific question entirely. OK how about this:

    He’s establishing a foothold. Sometime in the future, perhaps even as soon as one week after our next neo-liberal government in April 2015, schools making profits are deemed a good idea. Bingo!

    It’s a punt on a wink and a nod. He donates somewhere along the line. No need to put everything in the manifesto.

    i.e. Business as usual.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    PLease read my Indie link above. All the clues are there. He greases up everyone who might be in a position to put a margin his way. Including, not only Cameron and Johnson, but, almost without needing to say this, Blair.

    He can sometimes portray himself as a self-made man – a Northerner who has succeeded in the business world of London.

    But in fact Mr Ross’s father, John, ran Cosalt*, a safety services firm which is Grimsby’s only quoted public limited company, and on whose board Mr Ross Jnr still sits. Indeed, the family is part of the Ross frozen food dynasty..

    ..he has frequented parties attended by, among others, Mick Jagger, the publisher William Cash, merchant banker Mark Cecil, and Prince William and Kate Middleton….

    …Barely a year older than David Cameron the pair have become friends.

    In October, Mr Cameron flew from London to West Yorkshire and back on Mr Ross’ private helicopter. Two summers ago, Mr Ross paid for Mr Cameron’s return flight from Germany for a World Cup match. Since 2001, Mr Ross has donated £117,560 to the Tories, either to Conservative Central Office or to local branches of the Conservatives near his home in Northamptonshire.

    And his involvement in politics has given in him entrée into his other passion – sport. He is a member of the Sports Council, on the board of Wembley Stadium and was recently appointed by Boris Johnson – to whom he bears a passing resemblance – as his representative on the board of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog).

    *which he ran into the ground, and put into administration under Price Waterhouse Cooper in 2013. PWC subsequently sold him back a chunk of it for a knockdown price.

    Detailed examination of his company structure would probably reveal something set up (like Serco etc) exclusively to subcontract publicly-funded work. That’s how privatisation works. The public no longer has to pay for the operation of a service. Instead the public pays for the operation of the service (badly), substantial profits for the contracting company, any sweeteners and discounts going, and in the case of PFI, renting its own property.

    You people really aren’t cynical enough…:-)

  • Phil

    Nice one Baal. Not sure if I fully grasp the penultimate par (“how privatisation works”) if you fancy spelling it out for an idiot.

  • Mary

    Presumably the millions of Eqypt’s poor will not have access to electricity for cooking and light.

    Morsi couldn’t or wouldn’t do it but al Sisi does the business. No problem.

    ‘Ousted President Mohammed Morsi failed to implement a $4.8bn (£2.8bn) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would have unlocked another $12bn in bilateral loans. His reluctance to sign the deal was partly down to the austerity measures tied to it. These would have included reducing energy subsidies, cutting the public sector workforce and introducing a sales tax.’

    Egypt raises fuel and electricity costs
    Egypt has introduced electricity and fuel price increases in a move to cut state subsidies and reduce the budget deficit.
    Some fuel tariffs are reported to be increasing by 78% while electricity prices are expected to almost double within five years.


    Egypt’s poverty rate has increased, reaching 26.3 per cent for the year 2012/13 compared with 25.2 percent in 2010/11, the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS reported on Wednesday.

    A CAPMAS report stated that the domestic poverty line stands at an annual LE3,920 ($569) per person

    However, the country’s extreme poverty rate shed 0.4 percent from 2010/11 to record 4.4 percent in 2012/13. The extreme poverty line stands at an annual LE3,570 ($518) per person.

    Poverty remains predominant in rural areas compared to urban areas. The highest rates in the country are in two southern Egyptian governorates, Assiut and Qena, at 60 and 58 percent respectively.

    The average expenditure of Egyptian households stand at some LE26,161 ($3,798).

    Expenditures of around 5.6 percent of the Egyptian families –currently 19 million nationwide – are less than LE10,000 ($1,452) per year, while 6.2 percent of total families spend more than LE50,000 ($7,259) annually.–in–CAPMAS.aspx

  • Peacewisher

    Just watched GG programme with Chris Fear. Very, very, depressing about Palestine. Good turnout at demonstrations outside Middle East. however…

    Then watched RT news about continuing bombing of Donbass people. Arguably even worse, as is mmedia coverage.

  • Peacewisher

    Flicked back to BBC1 and ITV1, and both channels full on with variations on “worship money!” A long week-end in the country in Bonny Scotland looking increasingly attractive…

  • Brianfujisan

    Jeeeeezo Costa….Geeeeza Goal.. Argentan – Wise up

    Craig, Clark I’m up for Volunteering ….Heavy Diary for August Two weddings..Best man at One.. But would love to be there n help oot…

    Slight communication problem with Hearing Aids..but Still Game


    Children are always the first victims of war.

    “The Palestinian youth who was caught on video earlier this week being beaten by members of the Israeli Border Police is a United States citizen from Florida, the U.S. State Department confirmed on Saturday.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki named the youth as Tariq Khdeir, 15. He was a cousin of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian whose burned body was found Wednesday in the Jerusalem Forest. Khdeir was visited by a U.S. consulate official, the statement said.

    “We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force,” Psaki said. “We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.””

    Ah, yes. The sanctity of US citizenship.


    As it relates to discussion with Ba’al ……

    I think Libertarianism is a doggerel of confused and ambivalent politics. It’s easy to hide conservatism within that moniker. I have been observing it for some time and find it disingenuous. There is such a thing as left libertarianism, but it is squashed by the din of untoward comments. Just as liberals used to hide behind ‘independent’ when lynch mobs united to hand them by the neck until dead, so too conservatives seek shelter. It’s time to define the demarcation between Rand Paul conservatism and libertarians who don’t believe that highways and infrastructure should not be Federal but local. Where I agree with them is that Posse comitatus proscribes the militarization of local police with MRAPS and ordnance beyond their utility for law enforcement. The Vets returning from war and the PTSD demon afflict their families and the public when they are incorporated in a cop mentality. Taxpayer dollars


    good Christ. ” Taxpayer dollars funded the very suppression they were supposed to prevent.”

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