Burns Night Disgrace 113


As Robert Burns lay dying, he was plagued by his debts and creditors and worried about the future of his family. He wrote an anguished letter to Montrose to his first cousin James Burnes, begging him to send £20 to pay off, among other things, the tailor for Robert’s customs officer uniform. James, not for the first time, sent the money uncomplainingly to his beloved cousin.

Robert (who was christened Robert Burnes) had visited James at least twice in Montrose. The family home which James built was later the birthplace of his grandson Alexander Burnes, the great explorer, spy and diplomat whose biography I have written, and of his almost equally remarkable brother James. Alexander’s father, also James Burnes, was the first of four successive generations of Burnes born in the family house to become Provost of Montrose.

I detailed in my book Sikunder Burnes that, when I visited the house ten years ago, it was derelict and most of the features had been robbed out. It has continued to deteriorate. This has been quite deliberate and the owner, an auctioneer, had been systematically robbing it of fireplaces, cornices, the provost lamp, and other items of value and auctioning them off. Shocking new photos reveal that he completed this work of destruction to an astonishing degree, and the items of interest – like some amazing Victorian baths and sinks – that remained in the property when I saw it a decade ago have also gone.

The work of destruction complete, this historic building, built by one of Scotland’s most truly remarkable families, is now a shell and up for auction to a property developer. I had contacted Historic Environment Scotland, Angus Council and the Scottish Government to attempt to have something done, but with no result.

So tonight as we recite those great poems, remember a life full of humanity, and get maudlin drunk, let us consider how much we really care about Burns and his heritage. I am an emotional old fool I know, and got attached to Alexander when researching his life, but these images made me cry.


If anybody still has not read my biography of Alexander Burnes, if you can afford to do so please buy it, otherwise your local library will be able to get it for you.


113 thoughts on “Burns Night Disgrace

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  • Phil Harris

    Funny old place, but while remaining English I always felt at home. Worked in Scotland 27 years with plenty of tales to tell from before 1st Miners Strike onwards to 97, some of them very unfunny..

    Scottish shame has its place among the toasts.

    Bought the book 10 days ago – good work beautifulky written if I may say so – highly recommended.
    best
    Phil H

    • William Boyd

      Being a Freemason was probably the the least of the man’s flaws.
      A narcissists and philanderer, preying on widows and the gullible, eager to take bounty as an exciseman.
      It is not so much the man but his work that is celebrated.
      In the circumstance of the time he did what he could to advance himself.
      Yes, be aware but little point in judging at this distance from the reality of his times.

      • Grouse Beater

        You missed out an out and out racist and religious bigot. We are trying to make Scotland tolerant and following this Mason is a disgrace.

        • Terence callachan

          I agree.

          Perhaps you can consider this question I have.
          It appears to me to be rather odd that Alex Salmond had that case against him thrown out by a judge a week or two ago and then these charges are brought against him yesterday.
          Surely the judge of the other case would have known about these new charges coming, will be now be barred from being involved in the new charges and will evidence from that first case be used in the new case.
          Thanks

          • Squeeth

            Get Salmond by civil law has failed; methinks that someone has decided to try again with the criminal law.

        • Pablo

          On the mysteries of Masonry and also useful to consider in relation to Craig’s previous post regarding Alex Salmond as well as current events generally the following podcast may prove illuminating to any one interested enough to listen: https://tragedyandhope.com/peace-revolution-episode-024/

          Quoting from the transcript of this podcast: “When secret societies occult information, and use oaths as a method of ensuring the secrets stay secret; they generate a power differential, if they prevent others from accessing useful information”

          “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
          ― Edward Bernays, Propaganda
          “We have learned to call this propaganda. A group of men, who can prevent independent access to the event, arrange the news of it to suit their purpose. That the purpose was in this case patriotic does not affect the argument at all. They used their power to make the Allied publics see affairs as they desired them to be seen.”
          ― Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion
          “Education should aim at destroying free will, so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished.” Bertrand Russell (Page 50 – The Intended Result of Education)
          “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

          • Kempe

            Russell was quoting German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte. I don’t know under what context.

            Fichte also claimed that “active citizenship, civic freedom and even property rights should be withheld from women, whose calling was to subject themselves utterly to the authority of their fathers and husbands.”

            In either case you might ask why we’re bothering with him.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes Burns had his faults, but he was an ardent nationalist, writing many romantic ballads about Scottish attempts to secure their independence from the English, from Robert the Bruce to Bonny Prince Charlie. This can be seen in poems like “Scots wha Hae”, “Charlie is My Darling”, “The White Cockade”, and many others.

      He (Burns) was a vocal supporter of the French and American Revolutions, even though he was an exciseman.

    • giyane

      Today’s biggest freemasonry is Islamist jihad.Probably for the same reason as Burns, viz ascending the greasy pole from poverty to riches fast. Islamist freemasonry links to western freemasonry without touching the religious schisms. They want power fast.

      May Allah’s curse be on all their species because of the millions of lives they ruined to sate their lust for ego and money.
      Today a follower of the freemasonry of Muslim brotherhood tried to get me to go to the wedding party of a Daesh’s son living in the nest of spies in central London , Al Queenida country.

      Political small talk is much the same in every culture. BIG MAN TALK. Let’s bankrupt the country with No Deal . Or in Middle Eastern talk Let’s demolish the whole country.
      To which the universal answer is ” Ya! Ya! Do it Me in Fuhrer. Fucken offen all the people. YAA!

    • Sopo

      The fact of being a mason, in and of itself, does not discredit any individual. I rather get the impression you know nothing of the topic and your dislike is simply instinctual in nature.

      And now a poem, Mother Lodge, from Kipling:

      THERE was Rundle, Station Master,
      An’ Beazeley of the Rail,
      An’ ‘Ackman, Commissariat,
      An’ Donkin’ o’ the Jail;
      An’ Blake, Conductor-Sergeant,
      Our Master twice was ‘e,
      With im that kept the Europe-shop,
      Old Framjee Edujee.
      Outside – ” Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!
      Inside – ‘Brother,” an’ it doesn’t do no ‘arm.
      We met upon the Level an’ we parted on the Square,
      An’ I was junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

      We’d Bola Nath, Accountant,
      An’ Saul the Aden Jew,
      An’ Din Mohammed, draughtsman
      Of the Survey Office too;
      There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
      An’ Amir Singh the Sikh,
      An’ Castro from the fittin’-sheds,
      The Roman Catholick!

      We ‘adn’t good regalia,
      An’ our Lodge was old an’ bare,
      But we knew the Ancient Landmarks,
      An’ we kep’ ’em to a hair;
      An’ lookin’ on it backwards
      It often strikes me thus,
      There ain’t such things as infidels,
      Excep’, per’aps, it’s us.

      For monthly, after Labour,
      We’d all sit down and smoke
      (We dursn’t give no banquets,
      Lest a Brother’s caste were broke),
      An’ man on man got talkin’
      Religion an’ the rest,
      An’ every man comparin’
      Of the God ‘e knew the best.

      So man on man got talkin’,
      An’ not a Brother stirred
      Till mornin’ waked the parrots
      An’ that dam’ brain-fever-bird.
      We’d say ’twas ‘ighly curious,
      An’ we’d all ride ‘ome to bed,
      With Mo’ammed, God, an’ Shiva
      Changin’ pickets in our ‘ead.

      Full oft on Guv’ment service
      This rovin’ foot ‘ath pressed,
      An’ bore fraternal greetin’s
      To the Lodges east an’ west,
      Accordin’ as commanded.
      From Kohat to Singapore,
      But I wish that I might see them
      In my Mother-Lodge once more!

      I wish that I might see them,
      My Brethren black an’ brown,
      With the trichies smellin’ pleasant
      An’ the hog-darn passin’ down;
      An’ the old khansamah snorin’
      On the bottle-khana floor,
      Like a Master in good standing
      With my Mother-Lodge once more.

      Outside – Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!’
      Inside- Brother,” an’ it doesn’t do no ‘arm.
      We met upon the Level an’ we parted on the Square,
      An’ I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

      • Maria Gaughan

        No women present then.Free Masons all men-had plenty of time to sit around and pontificate!

        • Rowan Berkeley

          Sopo, January 26, 2019 at 04:34 – The fact of being a mason, in and of itself, does not discredit any individual.

          Sopo, did you know that US Freemasonry was all white until the 1980s? Hence Prince Hall Freemasonry, which was & unrecognised (by White Massa Washington) and therefore they have either charters from England or none at all?

          “For many years both Prince Hall and “mainstream” Grand Lodges have had integrated membership,[citation needed] though in some Southern states this has been policy but not practice. Today, some Prince Hall Grand Lodges are recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) as well as the great majority of state Grand Lodges in the US and many international Grand Lodges. The situation is complicated by the level of recognition that is granted, with some lodges giving full “blanket” recognition to all Prince Hall Grand Lodges, while others put on limits with regard to issues such as “intervisitation rights” or treating the Prince Hall Grand Lodges as regular but foreign jurisdictions.”

  • Robert Alexander

    The owner of the house applied for planning consent to have it demolished. It was only stopped by Montrose Community Councils strong objection to its demolition. Getting support for its retention amongst the Councilors Crow, Norrie,West and what’s her face was imposable as they would not go up against a member of the Montrose unco guid,they were craven when they came up against thir betters. The Montrose Society were the very same,a preservation society in name only. We used to call them The Big Yellow Taxi Society.
    It was about this time that the SNP councillor Sandy West suggested dynamiting Red Castle at Lunan for safety reasons as bits were falling off it. From the North school to h Lifeboat shed these SNP Councilors drove a bulldozer through Montrose built heritage.

  • N_

    Not all is wrong in the world. Roger Stone has been arrested and charged with witness tampering and making false statements.

    Lock him up!

    You gotta wonder how the criminal campaign-funding and data-use allegations swirling around Arron Banks and other Trump fans is going to affect the ongoing Brexit saga. Stone will appear in court today.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      N_,

      There are very few people of integrity involved in this entire affair. They include Seth Rich, Craig Murray and Julian Assange. Much of the relevant evidence has already been published on this blog, and elsewhere, shortly after the time of The Leak. Since then the entire affair has been drowned in intense propaganda, by extremely powerful people.

      Craig, Nice door. Have a good Burns night.

      Tony

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Stone is just another fall guy for Trump’s rants, and Mueller is acting more and more as if he were Eliot Ness with his pre-dawn raids.

      Glad that you won’t be on any jury regarding Trump’s treason .Remember, he was the guy who called on Putin to supply those 33,00 emails from the Democrats, intended to show that Hillary should be locked up immediately as she is a lesbian druggie who liked having oral sex with young females.

      • freddy

        Any drugs in particular Trow? Lesbians tend to like females, so how young are they?

        Also – I like your rants, even more than Trump’s

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          The drug was cocaine.

          Stone confirmed for the POTUS that the Russian hacking of the Democrat emails for Julian Assange’s Wilikleaks did NOT prove that Hillary was a criminal who should immediately locked up as Trump pronounced during the campaign, and Cathy O’Brien had claimed in The Tranceformation of America: The True Life of a CIA Mind Control Slave…, pp. 152-6.

          Let’s hope now that the US government behaves like something more than the world’s largest banana republic.

          • Cynicus

            “The Tranceformation of America”
            —-
            Tranceformation: typo of the year pace setter. It is so good that I almost think it is deliberate!

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Ain’t no typo, Cynicus, as the words on the cover and title page are Trance Formation, not Transformation.

            You should get the book, and read to rather than engaging in trolling.

  • Molloy

    .
    “You may be unconquerable, if you enter into no combat in which it is not in your own control to conquer. When, therefore, you see anyone eminent in honours, or power, or in high esteem on any other account, take heed not to be hurried away with the appearance, and to pronounce him happy; for, if the essence of good consists in things in our own control, there will be no room for envy or emulation. But, for your part, don’t wish to be a general, or a senator, or a consul, but to be free; and the only way to this is a contempt of things not in our own control.”
    Epictetus

    .

  • Leonor Martinez lobato

    Good Morning Graig and family,
    The greed and lack of humanity in mankind is distroying me as a caring human being who does not accept corruption as a way of life!
    I have read your books,Sikunder Burnes,Murder in Samarkand and Catholic Orange Man of Togo and I am avidly waiting for another one!
    Your narrative skills brought me right inside the action and I congratulate you to be able to achieve that!
    Thank you
    All the very best to you and your family
    Regards
    Leonor Martinez Lobato

    • wardropper

      I’m sure it takes more than a corrupt world to destroy a caring human being.
      Stay strong.
      You are not alone.
      Best wishes,
      wardropper

  • DAVID WHITTON

    When present fame brings no groats hame
    and family strives tae mak ends meet
    then man strips banes o’ memories
    tae sell like auld claes in the street.
    The stanes and clay o’ hoose and hame
    wi’ rafters bare nae comfort give
    to those who stare and wonder
    whaur the flesh o’ lives and trinkets bide.

  • Muscleguy

    The NTS is meanwhile in a shameless plea for £100k of public donations to do minor repairs to Robert’s cottage (the one where he was born). I was not under the impression the NTS was so strapped for cash. Perhaps if their bloated head honchos trimmed their salaries . . .

  • Ian

    Property ‘developers’ are the absolute pits. A symbol of the asset stripping mentality which prevails as a model for the state. More to come with brexit.

    • Baronesssamedi

      Given the building’s dreadful current state, it’s PERHAPS possible that the property developers MIGHT want to capitalise on the building’s history and do a sensitive job of converting it into flats/housing.

      Otherwise what else would it be used for? Options such as ‘museum’ or ‘heritage centre’ are whole cans of unsustainable worms

      • Kempe

        Demolition and building anew would be actually be easier and cheaper. VAT is not payable on new build for a start and cheaper materials can be used.

        It’s a common trick of developers to buy an old property, promise to do it up then let it decay (or even “go on fire” as they say in Glasgow) until the building is in such a poor state of repair a case can be made for it’s demolition.

      • Ian

        The point is it is rundown because that is what property developers and their suppliers do – wreck a building, or let it crumble, in order that they can knock it down/’redevelop’ it. It could, at one time, have been restored.

        • Ian

          It is far cheaper to demolish a building, replacing with cheap short term building, calling it ‘luxury flats’, which will have no merit whatsoever. Caring for a building which has history is just a hassle for them, and worse, there is no ‘real’ money in it. And thus are our communities and their histories demolished. It’s been going on for decades.

    • N_

      @Ian – I like how you put “developers” in scare quotes. The whole ideology stinks. You are absolutely right that it comes from a grab grab grab mentality. “Development” originally meant an unrolling or unfolding. The notion that land and housing exist so that by being let or developed they can inevitably provide profit for rich greedy bastards – because that is what land and housing are “for”, that is how they give what they have got, how they move forward – is in the same ballpark as “eminent domain”.

      Usage of the word “development” in this sense, which is so dear to landlords and property speculators – and nowadays also to estate agents, money-lenders, and local councils – dates back only to about 1890.

      What we need is the nationalisation of the land without compensation. Failing that, the nationalisation of land development rights without compensation would be welcome. In 1947 Labour managed to introduce a 100% tax on land development rights, but as soon as the Tories got back in again in 1951 they abolished it. Sadly even the 1945 Labour government didn’t do it without compensation. They set up a £300m fund to “compensate” landowners. Dunno where they borrowed the money from – the Rothschilds probably. Cf. he money borrowed from the Rothschilds to “compensate” slaveowners and also landowners who lost “their” land in Ireland. (I wonder how much of this is on the national curriculum – probably none of it.)

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    But wasn’t the building built and maintained by funds from slave labor in Jamaica?

    Shouldn’t it be confiscated by a national commission on slave labor in Scotland?

    • craig Post author

      No, the Burnes family had no connection to the slave trade. Robert considered a job on a Jamaican plantation at one time but did not go.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Robert Burns is on record for accepting the job, but he didn’t go to Jamaica because he got his poems published in Kilmarnock. Like most writers he was willing to do anything to get his praises of independence and freedom published somehow.

        And there was no talk of the slave trade on this thread about Robert, just slavery itself.

      • Goatboy

        I spent a sizeable portion of my childhood listening to my Dad talk about Robert Burns. He was busy compiling a detailed chronological history of his life, pieced together from collected letters and cross referenced with countless other texts. He has referred to it many times as my ‘inheritance’ (I wonder if that means my sisters are getting the house!). The impression I got of Burns was of a deeply romantic person, a lover of life and someone who saw behind the many veils that people and society held up to conceal themselves.

        At one point my Dad was approached by a Professor of Literature from Glasgow University. I believe this person was writing (or had previously written) a Burns biography. He was eventually not given the research done by my Dad. Might have had something to do with my Dad’s deeply held conviction that Burns was assassinated by the state. Its not really that far fetched but many don’t want to hear it. Perhaps this Professor was one of them.

        My own Great Grandfather was a poet of some note. His name was Robert Crawford and he wrote poetry in the old Scots. I have heard family stories of how Ramsay MacDonald was an acquaintance of some kind and looked on him when he was crushed while working as a miner. My own poetry career was less impressive. I won the P7 recitation award for ‘To a Mouse’! Anyone reading that poem must surely see the childish romanticism that was undoubtedly a part of his character. Tonight I will humbly remember Burns (as filtered through the lens of my Father) and raise a glass to his memory, and especially to his art.

    • N_

      @Trowbridge – Such a commission is an excellent idea. How are things going with SNP councillor Graham Campbell’s commendable (and not before time!) call for a museum of slavery in Glasgow? I hope he is successful.

      Imagine if the government of an independent Scotland when it received its share of the British state’s money were to use it not to sign contracts with its cronies in return for kickbacks to its troughers but to pay compensation to the parts of the world that had been hit hardest in the past by Scottish slave owners and slave traders and also to ensure the abolition of present-day slavery in Scotland. (There’s something I don’t like about the term “modern slavery”.) I’m thinking here of the Cuban government’s slogan about how many homeless and starving children there are in Latin America and the world, “and none of them are Cuban”. That is something to be proud of. But of course nationalist movements promote class “alliances” between exploiters and exploited, and in the Scottish case the false and crazy line that Scotland is itself a colony stands in the way of an apology that would deserve respect.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Have no objection to a museum about British gains from slavery since it would memorialize the efforts by Lord Chancellor Brougham and many others to end it, starting with the vicious system in Jamaica before it was ended in the UK.

        Have no objection to Scottish independence either, but it is not going to happen, given the power of Britain’s deep state. Just look at how it is leading the call, like Spain, for a new election in Maduro’s Venezuela.

        The world’s imperialists are tasking over.

  • pete

    It may be blindingly obvious to say but Burns was a man of his time, so, if, as the Stun says today, he “fathered 13 children by 4 different women” we cannot judge him by modern standards, we are trapped in our 21st century point of view, our opinions on his morals are kind of irrelevant.
    Similarly, as far as his Freemasonry is concerned, it has evolved over time to change from some kind of weird but mutually beneficial social club into an equally weird but far stranger and secretive mutual admiration society, which may or may not have links to sections of the power elite and be involved in corrupt practices. If you dislike secretive practices GCHC may not be the job for you.
    That was not how Freemasonry started out.
    Burns is on record as having accepted a job as an overseer of black slaves in Jamaica, but it was a post he never took up, he never went to Jamaica: https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/scots-fact-of-the-day-robert-burns-and-jamaica-1-3666374 I like to think that he would have recoiled from the kind of cruelties the job might have demanded of him, just my opinion though.
    It is sad that the dwelling he was born in and where he spent his first few formative years has been all but totally gutted by looters of the internal fittings, this philistinism is typical of today, but his work will live on in spite of this. I hope NTS don’t turn the place into some kind of theme park.

    • Squeeth

      Nonsense, that line would exculpate American slavers, nazis and zionists. Morality is timeless, which is why the crimes of the past aren’t repeated. All that change are the lies told about the crimes of the present.

      • pete

        Yes, I see your point, it seems like a ridiculous question but did Burns have a proper conception of what the job of slave overseer might involve? I don’t know. It doesn’t sound like an occupation that a moral person would embrace, no matter what desperate circumstance might have put them in that position. From my poor knowledge of the subject of Burns, his morals seem not untypical for today. If he understood what sort of misery he might have encountered in Jamaica and how he would have he reacted to it is a matter for speculation though. It never happened.
        Is morality timeless? Various world cultures have embraced all kind of practices we would find barbaric, how can one defend FGM, for example. I prefer to stick to evidence based rational arguments rather that claim morality has absolutes, but I am aware of the dangers of that. Modern science has given us the power to prolong life where no quality of life seems to exist, what should we do in such a case, I have no answer.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    From reading the details, I am unclear whether permission has been granted for this property to be demolished. With it’s history, if it was in England I would expect a preservation order to be granted.

    “***IDEAL INVESTMENT/DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY*** Footprint of site extending to approximately 346 square metres. Property will require refurbishment prior to habitation.
    PLANNING REFERENCE NUMBER: 18/00164/FULL. Planning permission for 1 x 2/3 bedroom house and 1 x 4 bedroom house. ”

    I have a great affection for old houses. I was brought up in one, and have lived in another for most of my life. I can’t stand modern boxes. They have no character, no style, and are made of crap.

    Tony

  • 0use4msm

    The Scots like to identify themselves as part of the oppressed Celtic fringe together with the Irish, but if you look back in colonial history they basically functioned as the shock troops of British imperialism, heavily involved in the opium and slave trades.

    • Douglas

      Doesn’t mean that gang members can’t reform and live better lives.
      Plenty of other nations in the Empire had people who collaborated and did well.
      Step one is to leave the gang.

    • Ian

      Of course the Empire would use its citizens to prop it up and maintain it, especially when those citizens are limited in their life chances at home. No surprise or shame there.

  • giyane

    I can’t see much wrong with the house. Perfect condition for the electricians to get started. The doors look great.
    I wonder how many modern entrepreneurs could write a single stanza of poetry. Mrs May wrote: Brexit means Brexit, but she omitted : ‘no sheep, no factories, no lorries, no passports, no biscuits and no sex’.
    Thereagain, if she had written all that and worked it into rhyming couplets with meaning, irony and soul, we might not have voted for it.

    We thought we were going to extricate ourselves politically from the EU, but breakfast news told us this morning we would shift our colonial Muslim-bashing activities to NATO where plus sha change, plus ch’est la fucking meme choshe.

    Why don’t you crowd fund it? i’m sure Burns’s birthplace is a better cause than Salmond’s private life. What makes you weepy and maudlin makes me think let’s get going.

  • Sharp Ears

    You might feel ill reading this. Theresa May has no principles and is a hypocrite. She needs this grubby money for the next election.

    Theresa May dined with Presidents Club co-chair after sleaze scandal
    Bruce Ritchie met PM after she criticised charity’s men-only event where female staff alleged sexual harassment
    25 January 2019

    ‘He was one of 48 benefactors who socialised with the prime minister between 1 April and 30 June last year, with others including businesspeople who support a hard Brexit and a number of oil executives. In total, donations to the CLG amounted to £2.4m.

    The identities of CLG members who dined with May have been uploaded to the Conservative party’s website.

    Since 2013, the party has provided a limited glimpse of its elite donor events by publishing a list of donor and cabinet minister attendees four times a year.

    The latest disclosure comes amid reports that Sir Mick Davis, a mining tycoon who is the Conservatives’ chief executive, has launched a push to boost party funds in case parliament or the prime minister call a snap election.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/25/presidents-club-co-chair-paid-50k-to-dine-with-theresa-may

    Bruce Ritchie – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Ritchie
    Net worth £200 million in 2014.

    ‘In 1991, Ritchie founded Residential Land Limited, and is its CEO. Ritchie through his Residential Land Group of 163 companies owns 1,200 privately rented properties in central London, and hotels and commercial property in Mayfair.’

    • giyane

      May needs you to think she gets money for the NAZI party by fundraising from playboys.
      It probably really comes from QE handouts with strings attached rather than serving wenches with strings attached.

      Sorry, my moral compass has gone haywire with Brexit. We thought we were voting against the Federal EU, and Mrs May has turned that round 180 degrees to voting for hating foreigners.
      Then we thought we were voting for free trade and Mrs May turned that round 180 degrees and said she would not rule out no British lorries or planes being allowed to move after a hard Brexit.

      There must be a large ferrous object nearby making nonsense of all rational thought. It’s like watching a film to the wrong sound track. May just smiles to the cameras with the sound track of a shipwreck.

      • Ian

        If that’s what you believed you were voting for, more fool you. You voted for the likes of Farage, Fox and Mogg to impose their fantasy rightwing ideology on this country. Check David Lammy’s speeches. Or Fintan O’Toole’s articles.

        • giyane

          Yes Ian more fool me. Now I chat with my fellow human beings and they sneer ” this government is going to face the wrath of the British people if they don’t deliver us what we want.”.
          Tories !
          Like school kids messing about with weegie boards and scaring themselves to death.

          • Squeeth

            https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2019/01/yanis-varoufakis-britain-needs-people-s-debate-not-second-brexit-referendum

            “..if I had a magic wand by which to annul Brexit now, I would not use it. For what would I tell the lady in Leeds? She fully understood the costs of Brexit. She was not duped by Cambridge Analytica or Facebook. Her vote was intended to strike a blow at the establishment that did all it could to take the demos out of British and European democracy. By annulling her choice today, in order to avoid Britain crashing out of the EU, I would be betraying her in a way I could not justify.”

            For the first time since 1973 the English had a democratic vote on the nature of the UK. Keeping the English disenfranchised while the peripherals dictated to England in fake independence votes is one of the reasons why a majority voted “Outez!”. Poking the boss class in the eye was another, hence the establishment, corp-0-rat media and the state broadcaster pretending it was all racist xenophobes. Remainers are the real racists.

      • Contrary

        Talking of Fintan O’Toole, he is on this discussion thing – it is aimed at remainers, sorry, but I would be really interested to know if any of the reasoning behind the ‘why’ of Brexit voting resonates with leave voters, or if they just find it offensive – it’s examining identity and viewpoints and avoids party politics, and is only half an hour long

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lOSj6WYCiEU

        I posted it in the last thread, but am really interested in finding out if having a clearer understanding of a possible rationale behind the more obvious reasons for voting leave causes offence or actually makes sense. Giyane, maybe? (I don’t believe it is aimed at trying to change anyone’s opinion on the matter, but I have a different viewpoint so will likely interpret it differently).

        • ZiggyM

          Contrary
          Don’t know about why. But for me O’Toole encapsulates the delusions of some with this line.

          ” You cannot free yourself from imaginary oppression”

          • Maria Gaughan

            Fintan isn’t oppressed-many are. He has no idea how they feel,totally ignored and disenfranchised.He,and the Media in general are a huge part of the problem. They are,or have become a mouthpiece for the Establishment.

        • FranzB

          I think Fintan O’Toole is good on the petty bougeois ‘make Britain great again’ mentality where presumably Tory voters have to blame someone for the state of the UK, and blame the EU having consumed decade after decade of anti-EU propaganda from the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.

          But on why working class voters voted Brexit I don’t think that works. All I can think of is that the vote had an irrational basis – anger, hatred, envy. Think of Farage’s Powellite ‘Breaking Point’ poster showing refugees walking into Slovenia. Or the Vote Leave assertion that Turkey was close to joining the EU and that 77 million Turks would be able to migrate to the UK. You can assert endlessly that immigrants contribute more than they take out, but there will always be a phone-in where someone’s anecdote confirms any prejudices – the apochryphal immigrant down the street who’s unemployed has a council house and lives on benefits.

          I like the James O’Brien technique. When someone asserts that the ECJ is telling the UK what to do, he asks give me the three judgements that have most affected you. Answer comes there none. It doesn’t do any good though, where a decision is taken on irrational grounds, rational arguments are useless.

          Not that Farage and Co. don’t have reasons, They want to get the UK financial sector out from under the EU regulations so that the UK financial sector can be deregulated. It worked so well in 2008 – profits privatised, losses nationalised.Triple covfefes all round.

          • Contrary

            FranzB, ,,,Meh. I kind of wish you’d watched the video before commenting, we already know these things, and you have just put forward that you don’t know the ‘working class’ motivations, then added your own negative take. Yes I believe it was emotionally based, and ziggyM has succinctly related part of the reasoning O’Toole put forward. There were other people there in the discussion though, and there are some concrete emotional reasons for wanting to leave the EU – just no practical ones for anyone that doesn’t use tax havens. I personally feel zero emotion regarding membership of EU: if it makes practical sense, stay, if it doesn’t, go. I find it very difficult to relate to how anyone can see it from an emotional perspective, so genuinely wanted to know if any leave supporters can relate to what was being discussed in the video because it makes some sense to me.

            I think some understanding would help mitigate some of the aggression I have seen displayed; usually if people understand their own motivations, how to express themselves and can justify their actions, there is no need to be angry. With such a close divide in the vote, it would be normal to give some concessions to the losing side – look at all other referendum votes (all devolution ones, the Scottish independence one), there were always concessions granted (not followed through in some cases right enough) – but in this EU one the government has taken it to the very extreme interpretation of what may have been the vote (let’s ignore incompetence for now). Both sides, leave and remain, should be disgusted at this. So, why don’t both sides want the other to have some kind of concession? If it is near enough a 50-50 split, you have to be looking for some compromises, and I haven’t seen much of either side looking at any. And why isn’t there a bigger outcry at the unfairness of the electoral system – it is the parliament that has caused this strife after all.

            I fully expect compromises will be made in the event of Scottish independence, and I don’t think anyone will argue against the principle – you can’t expect to live happily alongside people that despise everything about what their country has become – but what they might be will depend on the level of support I expect. Frustrating though it is, you have to accept no one thinks exactly the same way you do.

        • giyane

          Contrary

          The most articulate form of expression is where the writer or painter has internally digested all the information and re-gurgitated it through their own creativity. TV/ Film combines music, pictures and stories all in the undigested form and all selected to manipulate the viewer.
          If I watch a youtube I watch it without the volume first to see what tricks it’s trying to play on my mind. If it has music, I won’t listen at all. What can we do, just by blogging, against a population – not just TV and Film – indoctrinated – but willingly self-submitted to brain indoctrination?

          If you watch Middle Eastern TV, which I deliberately don’t, you rapidly get caught up in the normality of war and homelessness. That’s the function of the Middle Eastern media, to normalise tragedy which has been deliberately created by evil politicians.

          And when a member of the ERG performs on the news on radio, you just say this is a posh idiot talking bollocks. End of story. But when they come on TV you’re seeing the Crufts-pampered, cutie hair-curlered beauty-parloured Tory persona which has all the malice soft-lensed out and all the buzz of renta-yobs and London traffic wide-lensed in.

          I take responsibility for my over-active imagination. My two daughters and my mum all had/have Art degrees and my son uses his visual imagination to locate muscles for massage. to anybody without a visual imagination the body is just a moulded shape of jelly. Tory politicians are using the full Bollywood to sell us shit that makes them rich and us poor. And lovely Jeremy Corbyn is too straight and decent to stoop to sell us his message of justice and honesty by any soft-soap at all.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            I agree with you, Giyane. I think the visual part of the brain has no critical ability. It cannot tell truth from fiction. ‘True” and “False” are verbal judgments. Images are unarguable. All of them are equally “true.” I remember a US cop giving court testimony who was found to have confused his recollection of what actually happened in an incident, with his recollection of a movie event.

          • Contrary

            Thank you anyway giyane. I don’t watch any TV myself, at all. I listen to radio that tries to sell me propaganda – both in what they say and what they don’t say – but it is much easier to discern fiction when just listening, especially when you become familiar with the presenters’ tells.

  • bj

    Novichok.
    Spread the rumour the house is Novichoked.

    At least it’ll get a new roof that way.
    Publicly funded!

    • nevermind

      I prefer a wee dram of Glenburgie on Burns night, bj, as much as a good Russian vodka.
      Let the MIs enjoy their poisonous tipple.
      Have a great Burns night everuone, without the burning down of important buildings.
      Here they take some tiles of the roof above the main beams and let the weather do their dirty jobs, takes a few years.

  • BrianFujisan

    Shocking and Quite Deliberate destruction
    A whole council could allow it

    Got the book on sitting there standby.. trying to get through some others.

    The world Twice a year
    Scots heritage looked uppon
    Hogmany and Burns

    Happy Burns night Folks

  • Twostime

    Replys seem to be broken tonight – ironic and a shame – Happy Burns night good people on this site.

  • TenaciousV

    I dread to think of the valuable buildings we have let be taken from us over the last centuray alone. GCC must have destroyed many Rennie Mac& Greek Thomsons buildings etc before someone realised their worth hisorically & educational, as well as wealth wise! My grandfather was on the rebuilding of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. My wee mammy told me..as he told her. how he would pull himself up the building sitting on a plank of wood with his slates. No cranes or hoists then. I attend the breast cancer clinic & surgery there now & Ifeel proud of my granpa who died befiore i was born& I always wonder will it still behere in another 100 odd years. They cannot match that skill & craft today.
    We were brought up to ‘look up’ at the buildings around us. We diidnt have a car so we never got to venture further than the bus into town. the odd day at the seaside was just that. I saw more of the country once my hubby got a car on 1978 though! I think that was 1st time I saw burns place!

  • David Jonson

    “As Robert Burns lay dying, he was plagued by his debts and creditors and worried about the future of his family.”
    He was lucky they didn’t recite his poetry at him though…

    • Republicofscotland

      Burns was an internationist, he took great interest in the US and French revolutions. His works were first translated into German, Karl Marx once published Burns works in a paper, and even today German’s hold Burns suppers.

      I’d imagine the EU warms to the fact that Burns was an internationalist, and not a isolationist.

      • Loony

        Unless Burns loathed and despised southern Europeans and did all in his power to permanently impoverish them then I would not imagine the EU to care one way or the other about Burns.

        Maybe some redemption could be found if he hunted down the descendents of Italians in Wisconsin and sought to destroy their businesses there.

  • Republicofscotland

    British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, is to destroy all documents relating to the Chinook helicopter crash over Mull that happened in 1994.

    Aboard the helicopter were 25 of the most senior members of the Northern Ireland Intelligence community, as well as four RAF staff, who were intially blamed for the crash.

    Williamson and the MoD have been urged by family members of the dead, to not destroy the documents as they could be vital in clearing the matter as to what really happened.

    The then Defence Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, said that there remains unsolved matters with regards to the crash.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/17385754.families-urge-mod-not-to-destroy-key-evidence-on-chinook-helicopter-disaster/

    Sounds to me as though by destroying the files the MoD could be trying to permanently cover up something they don’t want the families, or the public at large to know.

    Britain’s Seal team six, on a larger scale.

  • Tatyana

    Burns’ poems translated by Marshak, turned into songs by Oleg Pozharski (aka Knyazz)
    you can listen to a sample here
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hriKuOy9Nt8SZaRLBD5nN6c2pM6GKULm/view?usp=sharing
    That sample shows how we in Russia understand Scottish folk music and lyrics

    Samuel Marshak was very popular in Soviet Russia for his childrens books and he was an outstanding translator. He translated for us Shakespere, Wordsworth, Kipling, Milne, Keats, Austen etc.

  • N_

    Countdown co-presenter Rachel Riley says she will get extra security on the Channel 4 quiz show after somebody put out some “tweets” criticising her for involving herself in the Zιοnazi hate campaign against the Labour party.

    Will she come onscreen flanked by Zιοnazi soldiers in battle helmets and carrying Uzis?

    • Goose

      The story looks like an attempt to smear and resurrect a story that never did have much substance to begin with, by the Murdoch press:

      – Who are #GTTO #JC4PM, are they affiliated to Labour or just lone individuals, campaigners?

      – What have those with these specific hashtags actually posted that’s abusive? This is important, because of course unfair characterisations are going to be challenged and they have every right to defend themselves and the Lab party from such scurrilous nonsense coming from those with ulterior motives. Is it these who are making unacceptable threats? If so, why hasn’t she reported them?

      – The far-right are traditionally the worst offenders in this area.

    • giyane

      Playing the victim role for all it’s worth.
      The answer to that is what JC does so brilliantly which is not to step into the carpet slippers laid out for you to be the missing aggressor.

      He just mutters ” stupid woman ” into his beard when he sees the lady playing that boring female card. Now that observers have cracked the language of unspeak by lipreading he should mouth a different word as code.

      What about ‘umbilical ‘ or ‘ sausage rolls ‘?
      And junket could use ‘ plus .ca change ‘ or ‘ rien de rien ‘ to get through those moments when the bull sees the red flag’. I’m 64 years old and I still don’t understand the physiological change I undergo when I hear a lie is in fact my “bullshit” alarm being detonated , to borrow Craig’s excellent phrase.

      Holocaust day tomorrow . Where can I get some those blue plastic caps to put over my BS alarms ?

    • Dungroanin

      Lols as the narrative control refuses to endure.

      Don’t think anyone knew what religion the youngglambumreplacementofoldCaroleFlabbYbum was, until she suddenly started a song and dance about it!

      What a waste of a university degree – didn’t she get ‘talent’ spotted on University Challenge? – all that education just to end up being daytime tv wank fodder.

      Or was her career trajectory planned?

      Same goes for the ever-growing-nosed
      Bagshawe/Mensche – her current output seems to indicate an urgent return to her rhinoplasty factory.

      The II/IoS: SCL crowd are like the proverbial English aristos they are, seem to be ignoring their lying liars works being revealed.
      The MSM failure to even acknowledge the state sponsored conspiracy of fakenews confirms their guilty association.
      State sponsored – private profits.
      Cadwalladr – Mensch – the Blairite rump – Riley… it seems they can’t keep refusing the natural process of Parliamenntry Democracy much longer and let the people decide. Hence the multi-front attack on the representatives of social democracy and anti-Rupert(*).

      Attempts at by-passing the already well delayed GE are getting more desperate by the day – invoking Betty indeed!

      They are fucked and they know they are!

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