2007 - 2021

A Message from Theresa May

enhanced-buzz-27536-1410868862-9Theresa May’s St Andrew’s Day address sounds like it was written by Frankie Boyle and Alan Bissett on a big night out, but apparently it’s for real. Namedropping engineering, inventing the telephone and penicillin its like she’s reading off the back of a teatowel from 1974. You half expect her to slip on a See You Jimmy Hat and open up a Broon’s annual before lauding the economic benefits of the Irn-Bru doughnut.

“And with Scotland’s pioneering spirit as a vital element in our union of nations, I am confident that together we can seize the opportunities of the future and ensure the continued success of our United Kingdom for generations to come…”

Delivered with all the panache and sincerity of a minister in the dying days of the Ceaușescu regime, her teeth-grinding address is like a tick-box of Jock Cliche, minus only the Krankies and Paladin for the full Scotch Bingo card.

Wha’s Like Us?.

Comments (17)

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  1. Bert Logan says:

    Really ‘better together’. Tory abuse for mentioning St Andrews Day.


  2. Doghouse Reielly says:

    I’m afraid they still print those tea towels. Ms May is perhaps not the only one that hasn’t moved on since 1974.

  3. Alf Baird says:

    Not to come to May’s defence, but comparing the past and present is informative in the sense that, yes Scotland did historically produce many great academics and industrialists/innovators. Nowadays you would be hard put to find any. Which raises the question, has our economy/society become rather too open to exploitation – in part a reflection also of our long-standing colonial status and powerlessness to intervene – and where we do not sufficiently nurture enough of our own people and give them the opportunities many other independent nations take for granted?

    1. Skyscanner? Fanduel? RockStar? Kotikan? MiiCar?, Rightscale? Cloudsoft? Float? All major Scottish digital success stories

      John Giannandrea is Google’s new head of search. He’s a computer science graduate of Strathclyde University, originally from Bridge of Allan.

      1. Alf Baird says:

        I meant serious industrialists (primarily real trade in goods, ye ken) and academics ed, not here-the-day-gaun-tha-morra website designers, and financial engineering/speculation working towards eventual sale and cash-in of ‘rising stars’.

        1. But why is this your criteria Alf? Any idea how much RockStar makes?

          1. Alf Baird says:

            Ed, building a ‘sustainable competitive advantage’ is what the nation needs. But corporate profits extracted from Scotland nowadays often have an offshore destination and forget to re-invest here to help build up a long-term competitive advantage.

        2. e.j. churchill says:

          Alf … you’re buy into the whole Post Hoc fallacy. ‘Incremental, supplementary and additional’ is how patent offices work since before the Great War or so. The ‘big stuff left’ is both hard and complex … and incremental.

          – Cold Fusion
          – Anti-gravity
          – Quantum Computing
          – String Theory

          How many patents have owner/contributor names do the 10.000 propeller-heads that worked as an employee, for, with, as an adjunct, … CERN (and Professor Higgs) on his Boson (whatever that is).

          All the low-hanging fruit is long gone.

          1. Alf Baird says:

            e.j., it is not exactly rocket science for a nation to develop a sustainable competitive advantage, as anyone with a PhD on Global Strategic Management in business/trade/shipping (like me, for instance) could tell you. Scotland focuses far too much on STEM, and misses the rather more obvious business and infrastructure solutions. As William Turnbull noted above, there are far too many generalist civil servants around in top positions where they have little real knowledge to add value. Too many bureaucrats going round in circles with hapless politicians (lawyers, teachers, social workers etc) following in their wake, most with little or no real understanding of how business functions in a globalised world (as distinct from prevailing dysfunctional British self-regulated corporate/privatised offshore ‘models’, i.e. not the global norm), and which is at the root of our long-term economic and social woes.

          2. e.j. churchill says:

            Alf, if you are certified conehead advising traders and shippers of embracing or avoiding the market ‘wisdom’ of BDI, WCI and that new kid, CCFI, my chapeau is fully tipped.

            I’m a non-dom eevilll Bankster, so we are both familiar with inelasticity of facts-on-the-ground, and Scotland has a couple of sets of Existential realities that are more than inconveniences in developing a sustainable market segment in anything.

            ‘Too: wee, puir, dumb’ are existential and have been since before the younger David. To some extent, of course, they feed on each other, but the various offered reasons and excuses have brutal, painful solutions theirownselves. Kick the can … it has form.

            The SG (whatever party) is easy, and cheap, to re-direct. Throw a few more Sterling into block grant, and they go away. This year is exemplar: Scotland is desperate for more concrete, roadbed and track, fibre optic cable, etc. As more is devolved, the block grant will shrink with UK budgets. Predictably, every Minister who could find a microphone, screamed, whined, grenched … heartless Tories, blah, blah. Hammond flips £800mm (EARMARKED & participatory). This does three good things: it insures the money will go for bridges and ditches, it WON’T be dumped by the undocumented bin-full into the welfare vug, it forces disciplined budgeting & spending – skills the arse-enn-pee are still learning.


    2. William Turnbull says:

      It is notable that in living memory the posts of Chancellor and Vice Chancellor in Glasgow and Edinburgh universities have been occupied by Nobel laureates: John Boyd Orr, physician and nutritionist (Chancellor at Glasgow, 1947-1971 and Edward Appleton, physicist (Principal and Vice Chancellor at Edinburgh, 1949 until his death in 1965). More recently the posts of Principal and Vice Chancellor, as well as Chancellor at Glasgow have been held by career civil servants: William Kerr-Fraser (both posts) and Muir Russell (Principal). Beyond climbing to the top of the civil service greasy pole, neither appears to hold any particular distinctions. A further Vice Chancellor at Glasgow, Sir Graeme Davies was an academic, a metallurgist, but like so many since Jarratt, he had also been a civil servant, in his case a past Chief Executive of the Jarratt- inspired HEFCE. The present occupant of Glasgow University post (Anton Muscatelli) is a banking economist – who immediately prior to the crash of 2008 naturally predicted that banking was key to the future of Scotland’s economic health. Tragically, the First Minister has him as a key advisor.

      Here is what he thought (quoted from Muscatelli’s Oration see: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/8514/response/21940/attach/html/10/Oration%20p.1%2019.06.2002.pdf.html) of Fred the Shred when he awarded him an honorary degree at Glasgow University:

      “Having seen for himself how banking can go spectacularly wrong, Fred Goodwin obviously decided to show the business world how to do it properly. the rest is the stuff of corporate legends. In 1995 he joined the Clydesdale Bank as Deputy Chief Executive and he became Chief Executive in 1996. The informed consensus is that he would have risen to the top of the National Australian Group, if the Royal Bank had not had the foresight to hire him in 1998. The rest is the stuff of corporate legends.”

      Well that is certainly true, but not in the way that the credulous Professor Muscatelli thought it would be!

      This genius went on to state: “One thing any economist will tell you about mergers and acquisitions is that they rarely yield the benefits and cost savings promised. What is remarkable about the NatWest operation* is that the takeover document, which Fred Goodwin was responsible for still holds true – the targets have been met. This is a remarkable achievement for someone who at 43 years of age is one of the youngest chief executives in the UK, to confirm Disreli’s dictum that ‘almost everything that is great has been done by youth’.

      *part of what sunk RBS

      Muscatelli made this magnificently perspicacious speech in the year 2000.

      By 2008 RBS was scrap metal seeking salvation from the taxpayer – and only this week failed another Bank of England stress test.

      In any rational world Muscatelli would have followed the Shred into ignominy -instead – in 2009 – he was appointed Principal of Glasgow University.

      The present crop of nonentities occupying top posts in Scottish universities is a sad reflection of the decline of learning in Scotland – and its place in the national arena. Sadly, its primary role is seen as providing fodder for the failing capitalist economy – rather than creating a population capable of original, critical thinking. And because it failed to do that – it fails in its ostensible purpose of supporting an innovative economy.

  4. Maxwell MacLeod says:

    Interesting accusations. Any chance of some relevant quotes? The one given certainly doesn’t do it.
    Reads like Troll lite to me
    The here’s tae us theme is mirrored in Duncan Bruce’s Mark of the Scots, interesting man. Runs a good deal of the New York Scots theme. Or rather did when I last spoke to him about ten years ago.

    1. Read the link Max – full speech there

  5. Craig Miller says:

    The only country in NE Europe that allowed another country to build up an ethnic cleansing /emigration fund between WWI and just after WWII…every other country saw an increase in population we were bereft …the ratio at union was 1:6 as it had been since records were kept to be extrapolated .the english have by a murderous military attrition winnowed us , and then …we sent hoardes of bright enterprising Scots to pioneering lands that gobbled them up thankfully ….just as well we can make more …..but les face it , it hasn’t helped

  6. e.j. churchill says:

    Nice Rant, Man.

    Not shabby, at all: 156 words-exemplar of Post Hoc fallacy. ‘Why, YES, the rooster DID crow before the Church Bell rang. By jove, I sense both correlation & causation …’

    Aside from the clear fact that you are being an snotty asshole about fully discounting TM’s completely clear, evident and full sincerity in the belief a United Kingdom is the very best path to 2100 and beyond; a presumptive journalist ought not to generate a-historical ignorance of the history of science and the substantive changes in patent law, since Watt was building fires.

    Perhaps you are/were (inexplicably and inexcusably) ignorant of Charles Durell’s utterance that “everything that can be invented has been invented.” (1899). Since then, a Google-ish estimation of Scot-related patents in UK & USA P.O. is in excess of 20,000.

    Durell WAS correct in general theory: all the ‘big stuff’ had been addressed and was the future fodder for several million bites (bytes?) of incremental improvements (not counting ‘tricks’ to add 25year ‘bricks to the patent wall’ (apologies to Roger Waters).

    If you need ‘Names’ of old heroes to be proud of Scotland today … the rooster has nothing to do with the bell, in either direction.


    1. Craig Miller says:

      It was Rooster Coburn you were thinkin on …..John Wayne…mibbes ?…..eh ken a Simmie Bell ..but aw he invented wis excuses no tae get aff his erchie an dae summthin …..tea towels Mannie ! Hae ye ony stories aboot tea towels or the like ?

  7. Smeddum07 says:

    Only one to google irn bru doughnuts are they only available in Fife

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