Friday, 16 April 2010


From: Holyrood magazine conferences []
Sent: 16 April 2010 10:06

Subject: Alcohol in Scotland - DETAILS ARRIVING NEXT WEEK

Next week you should be receiving details through the post for Holyrood's Alcohol in Scotland: Changing our drinking culture conference, which is taking place on Tuesday 18th May at the Grosvenor Hotel in Edinburgh. Please look out for the brochure and let us know what you think at
If you would like to register please go to
This one-day conference will consider the economic, health and social consequences of alcohol consumption and consider the Government’s strategy to tackle Scotland’s drinking culture.
Essential debate questions:
  • What strategies are needed to combat Scotland’s drinking culture?
  • Would minimum pricing be an effective strategy?
  • What about raising the purchasing age to combat rising alcohol consumption and associated problems amongst the young?
  • Has devolution contributed to the problem with the absence of a joined up strategy?  And, will minimum pricing in Scotland simply drive trade over the border into England?
  • What is being done in other countries to combat binge drinking?
  • How does our drinking culture affect men and women differently?
  • Is the drinks marketing industry helping or hindering the process of rehabilitation?
  • What are the social and economic impacts of Scotland’s drinking culture?
  • How can we create genuine behaviour change to create a more healthy relationship with alcohol?
Speakers include:
  • Chair: Ruth Wishart, Broadcaster and Journalist
  • Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, The Scottish Government
  • Dr. Laurence Gruer OBE, Director of Public Health Science, NHS Health Scotland
  • Janet Hood, Director, British Innkeepers Institute Scotland
  • Christina Borthwick, Youth Commissioner, Scottish Youth Commission on Alcohol
  • Dr. Evelyn Gillan, Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland
  • Professor Anne Ludbrook, Chair in Health Economics, University of Aberdeen
  • Michael Todd, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Advertising Standards Authority
  • Charlie Bryceland, Community Project Officer, Alcohol Focus Scotland
  • Alison Kerr, Chair, Community Action - Blackburn (Changing Attitudes to Alcohol)
For full programme details, and to register online, please go to
For organisations making block bookings please contact us on 0131 272 2175 or at for a discount.
Please feel free to pass this email on to a colleague.


Holyrood magazine Conferences
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Having learned his trade in the bars and bistros and  brothels of Westminster, Scotland's First and Fattest Minister, clever Alec Salmond, due, shortly, for a general election kicking, has the same arrogance of ambition as do Brown and Cameron and all the other meddling I-Know-Best bullies and gabshite control freaks, the self-styled national lifestyle managers who promote marriage or cycling or fish oil, with all the impertinence of a Jehova's fucking Witness banging on your door, enquiring after your soul. They are all cheeky bastards, over-reaching  both their job specs and their intellect, offering "guidance and "support". Arseholes.
Nicola Fishwife, MSP, below

is a Scottish lawyer, Salmond's deputy leader of the Tribesmen and resembles the  wifey,

 Mary, hen

whose life is blighted by being joined together in holy deadlock to lifelong claimant,  pisshead  and poet, Mr Rab C Nesbitt of Govan - Govan actually being one of Scotland's many open prisons -  or being one of the Crankys.

Nicola CodRoe is Health Minister, here in Scotland, best part of England and you know how in Midsomer Murders everytime the cops show up there is a fast and furious epidemic of slaughter by gunshot, arson, knifing, poisoning or garotte, whole villages being fed into combine harvesters, dropped down wells or thrown from church steeples?  Well, Nicola is like that, like those placid, mild mannerd   cops who trail Apocalypsean mayhem behind their Rover 75, Nicola's only gotta open her misshapen  gob and Jock starts dropping like flies, from heart disease, cancer, liver disease, leukemia, drug addiction, malnutrition or just stupidly falling over his own feet and bashing his brains out on the pavement.  

And that's not to mention the daily tally of domestic murders, sectarian murders, drug murders, pub murders and just SeeYouJimmy completely unprovoked murders of strangers.  It happens to the immigrants, too, perfectly law-abiding Poles or Lithuanians fetch-up in Scotland and immediately turn into serial killers, packing dismembered bodies in suitcases, under bushes, dumping handless and headless corpses on the beach and torturing old grannies for their pensions. And then there's the periodic outbreaks of CDIff and MRSA, none of which are Nicola's fault, she's only the minister and spends most of her time on Jock telly, talking belligerent bollocks, just like lawyers do. It's what we call Smart, Successful Scotland. Premature death and murder capital of Europe, average - natural causes - croaking age in Govan, fifty fucking four. 

It's in the culture. It is the culture, Melancholia, inebriation and a fathomless sea of grievance, 

fed to Jock by the same  bluff, tweedy Edinburghian toffs who pass poor wee Hollie Grieg around amongst themselves, noncing their presbyterian arses off, the same Criminals Incorporated so bravely exposed  by Scotland Against Crooked Lawyers, judges, briefs, MSPs, cops, journalists; rotten to the core.

The culture is A Wee Dram and Death To The English, the culture is boozeocentric  and booze is a depressant but while Salmond and the bent cops and lawyers and bankers will sip a twenty year old single malt bought for them by the taxpayers  in an oak-panelled Georgian drawing room, Jock will be off his heid on tonic wine in some miserable windswept shithole not fit for man nor beast.  

You remember the young Maestro, Dylan's, unpicking of the White Supremacists' Deep South strategy, Only A Pawn In Their Game - " the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool, he's taught in his school, from the start by the rule, that the laws are with him, to protect his white skin, to keep up his hate, so he never thinks straight, about the shape that he's in, but it ain't him to blame, he's only a pawn in their game." is just exactly how Jock is used by the rich and powerful Anglo-Scot ruling class.  As long as he's pissed-up and hate-filled he won't be wondering too much about how comes it that the lawyers and bankers and media tarts have so much and he has so little. He can always have a wee dram, Scotland's best known product, deadly poison, especially the cheap stuff, which is all he can afford.

And now Salmond and his gang of jumped-up councillors and solicitors wish to grasp Scotland's ferociously barbed nettle, wish to regulate, regularise the by definition unruliest of habits, vices, dependencies, upon which the myth of his tartan-and-shortbread backwater kingdom  is based, wants to sober-up, to detox, the  raucous, steaming, fighting drunk Bravehearts, bare-arsed, charging the Hanoverian's muskets; bare-arsed, their mad pipes skriking as, incoporated docilely into their Auld Enemy's armed forces, they strode, cross-dressed,  into Paschendale's Maxim Gun hurricane or blinded by sand, chased after Rommel's
Afrika Corps. 

Fat Alec Salmond, former banker-economist, bloated and piggy-eyed,
smirking, self-congratulatory, greedy and furtive, sticky-fingered ponce, scoundrel-patriot and lardy narcissist wants to take the men who made the Black Watch and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and turn them into responsible consumers of GlobaBooze's products; beguiled by his own impossibly cheesy,  blame-shiftin, rabble-rousing  rhetoric,  he wants to deny Jock his Jockness, deny him what he has been taught to do, conditioned to do, these last centuries, he wants to take the Scotland he claims to love nearly as much as himself and put it, like Amy Whitehouse,  in Rehab.

In F Scot FitzGerald's A Diamond As Big As the Ritz nestles a gem of a paradox - take me out of my turbulent waters and you extinguish my flame.


Alan the acoholic said...

My name is Alan and I was an alcoholic and you're talking shite.

call me ishmael said...

Writing, Alan, writing shite, unless you're hearing those voices again.

Anonymous said...

The bit about Holly remineds me of Carch 22 when Yossarian sees a man being beaten by the police and smiles when he hears him cry "Help police" until he realises that its a warning.

call me ishmael said...

Aye, thanks, I remember, now you mention it, mr anonymous; you have to laugh to keep from crying.

Anonymous said...

I know the police in the UK are a lot more efficient than the Keystone cops wannabes here in Thailand but these are much more entertaining. Yesterday they arrived mob handed at a hotel in BKK with a warrant to arrest a leader of the redshirts. They helpfully announced this a few hours before on the TV. So while the old bill was at the front of the hotel they lowered him on a rope 3 floors down all filmed on TV. I doubt if Joseph Heller could have wrote it better

Edgar said...

My name is Edgar and I am not an alcoholic, nor do I see why I should be trammelled with regulation, rule, and legislation because a righteous piss-head, like Alan, feels he can foist the blame for his miserable weaknesses onto the rest of us. Fuck off, Alan, how and how much I drink is none of your business, nor is it the business of rule-makers, who use benighted sots like you for reasons you probably could not understand.

woman on a raft said...

Is the drinks marketing industry helping or hindering the process of rehabilitation?

Translation: Diageo has lots of money and they'll give it to us if they know what's good for them.

Assuming one accepts the definition of there being a problem, this lot will never solve it because the problem is their life, so if they did solve it, they wouldn't have a job.

I therefore confidently predict that the problem, if it be such, will only get worse and they will expand accordingly.

In effect, it's this lot which drive people to drink, because that's how they collect their money. The best reason for not drinking commercial alcohol is that it denies them tax money and that is the only way you'll starve the buggers out.

PT Barnum said...

"My name is Alan and I was an alcoholic".

You either are an alcoholic or dead, you cannot stop being an alcoholic. Not taught you well on your 12 step have they? And Edgar has it exactly right - and I can't even drink alcohol.

PT Barnum said...

This War on Drunkeness reminds me only of the fate of the rural poor in England (since Scotland I know little of), who, broken, penniless, sick or old, were dispatched to the dry Workhouse or the dry almshouses by the Great and the Good with their red noses and hard-won paunches.

Tis the rich that takes the credit,
And the poor what gets the blame,

as my elderly father has been known to sing.

Anonymous said...

Tis the rich that get the pleasure
and the poor what gets the blame,
The same the whole world over ain't it a bleedin shame.

mongoose said...

Why can't they just fuck off and leave poor Jock alone with his Bucky? Jeez, in five minutes, it'll be winter again up there. A wee glass to keep the cold out is little enough for the poor heathen beggars.

Dick the Prick said...

Booze is a tricky one. I've been taking the piss a bit at work and bless, i've to go and see some occupational health lass who'll say 'you're drinking a lot' to which i'll bullshit my way through as per usual.

I'm definately a believer in 'quality' booze because the hangovers are much less painful - these ciders and vodka things are fucking poison. I guess it's not much of a slide when down to the last £2 as to whether to continue drinking some ethanol infused piss or just get a couple of cans of normal stuff and calm the fuck down.

I used to work at the National Treatment Agency and it was only 2 years ago that anyone gave a fuck about booze - almost as if it was a strategic plan to fuck pubs, fuck boozers, claim it's to do with health and successfully increase supermarkets & the major drink firms (loss leaders in supermarkets) so everyone gets fucked apart from them.

Most pubs don't sell shite but because the tax in pubs is so great, most pissheads don't drink in pubs. Catch 22 - my arse, Heller was an amateur compared to these fucks.

Anonymous said...

Of course the biggest problem that is never mentioned is when they pop thir clogs and are cremated. It takes three days to put the fire out. Not only do not pissheads drink in pubs nor do smackheads. How many pints equal one syringe ?

call me ishmael said...

on't know where mr alan wandered in from and I am sorry that the welcome he received was so abrupt and unequivocal but as the Chinks say of the righteous man, he should, when having shit thrown in his face, look within.

The retailing and consumption of alcohol is indeed a complex and sophisticated issue, the attack on the pubs may be as much to with dispersing any future ad hoc revolutionary committees as with obeisance to GlobaCorp's retail arm but attack it certainly is and the acloholism to which this JockReich riffraff are referring is largely that of the homeless, the poor, the so-called offender and the otherwise de trop. The conferencees will continue in their dry white wine consumption, like there was no tomorrow, wilst urging responsible abstinence on the poor, rather as did Mr PTBs Great and the Good with their red noses and hard-won paunches.

I know these po-faced bastards and they are all pissheads or, as in the case of Mr Steven Purcell, formerly |Leader of Glasgow City Council, worse.

richard said...

"melancholia, inebriation and a fathomless sea of grievance?" sez me to the missis 5 mins ago. "the scots?" she replied. Great writing: William Hazlitt meets Hunter S. - if I'm going to read about ruin, this is where I'll do it.

call me ishmael said...

Too kind, mr richard; this, such as it is, is what it is only because people like you read it, and your mrs, bless her perpicacity, is read it aloud.

You know that thought - if a tree falls in the forest and there is no-one there to hear it, does its fall make any sound? - it's like that.

You might be interested in The Book Page, which will be posted shortly.

richard said...

Will keep my eyes peeled for it, cheers!