This is the sun falling into the sea, photographed from Scapa Beach at 3:15 on Saturday afternoon, and this is a kite surfer, making landfall before the night pushed all the light away.
Orkney - best part of Scotland. Here's the waterfall, cascading from the fields around the Scapa Distillery into Scapa Flow.
Once you're north of Dundee, Scotland is utterly beautiful - it's a failed state, none the less. Under the control of the Scottish National Party since 2007, and of Nicola Sturgeon since November 2014, it has become a failed state - or would be, were it not for its big friend in the Union, England, which subsidises Scotland to the tune of £38 billion a year. The arrangement is that for every £100 per head that the UK Government spends in England, Scotland will be given around £129 per person. This is the result of the Barnett Formula, intended to reflect the additional costs of delivering public services in Scotland. The SNP is a nationalist, centre left, social democratic party which campaigns for Scottish independence. Should they ever succeed, England would be the richer and Scotland the poorer. This simple financial fact is continuously obscured by the SNP in all its publications and campaign polemics. Their continued political existence - their jobs - rest on convincing sufficient Scottish voters that independence would create a wealthier, happier, fairer and healthier country. All bollocks, of course - and the probability is that they know it is a con job that they don't themselves believe in, whilst in their privy closets they pray that independence is never achieved so that they can continue to campaign for it and never suffer the utter ruin and catastrophe that separation from the United Kingdom would visit most awfully upon pretty little Scotland. This week saw the decision of the Supreme Court ( all five Justices agreed), that the SNP cannot legally hold a referendum to ask Scottish voters if they would like to leave the United Kingdom without the consent of the Westminster Government. It is a reserved matter. God, you should have heard the outcry, the sulking, the outrage, the indignation.
And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boys!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
She chortled in her joy.
Not that easily slain, however. As if her job depended on it (it does), Gnasher Sturgeon has transitioned to Plan C - that the next election will be a de facto referendum, as the SNP will campaign on one issue only - the independence of Scotland. A very exasperated Martin Geissler cross examined Keith Brown, the Deputy Leader of the SNP, on The Sunday Show this morning.
What do you mean, you ridiculous over-dressed popinjay a de facto referendum? What the fuck are you talking about? Don't you always campaign on Scottish Independence? And are you going to be counting in Alba's votes and The Greens' votes? Do they know? Have you asked them? Look, pillock, if you want an election, you could do it tomorrow. Tomorrow. Why wait? I'll tell you why - because you'd lose. You need months and months to convince the turkeys to vote for Christmas. You're going to waste billions on the project. Meanwhile, NHS Scotland is crumbling - your think-tankers even discussing making the better-off diseased and injured pay for their treatment. And now you are fantasizing about a National Care Service. Which you can't pay for and can't staff. Ah, whisht, awa and boil yer 'eed.
Scotland has a massive demographic problem which is not being addressed. Easier to blame it on Westminster and whip up anti-English sentiment. 17% of people living in Scotland in 2011 were age 65 and over. 16% were aged 15 and under. In 2038, there will be 25% aged 65 and over, and 16% aged 15 and under. The working age population - the ones servicing both young and old, will constitute only 59% of the population in 2038. One in three women will die of dementia. There are 90,000 people in Scotland living with dementia. So, calloo, callay for long lives - but boo hiss for long lives with dementia - and all the other ills that flesh is heir to.
This is why the NHS and care services are falling apart. The present model simply doesn't work. Too many leaking and dribbling old gits, too few working age people to look after them, far too few babies being born to redress the situation going forward. It's a temporary problem - as the baby boomers pop their clogs, fall off the twig, shuffle off their mortal coils, presumably the young/old ratio will right itself. But it will be a while yet. And there's no European slaves to pick up the slack and do the (literally) shitty jobs. Which is one demographic reason that Scotland is so furious about Brexit.
NHS Scotland could just about work if there was a functioning care system to decant the leaking, dribbling and demented gits into. As there isn't, hospitals have been turned into de facto care homes - bed blocked by people who have no medical needs, but can't look after themselves, whose families don't want to look after them and don't want to pay for them to be looked after. It is not sustainable. There are some possible solutions. Take your pick:
By the way - Scotland today, the UK tomorrow - the demographic time bomb is just ticking a bit louder in bonny Scotland.
- Impose hotel charges for NHS bed blockers at the same rate as care home charges - thus reducing the incentive for families to leave their "loved ones" in hospital.
- Pay women to have babies and provide free child care so parents can care for someone else's parents on a paid basis.
- Accept Jeremy Cunt's plan to enter into a "Swiss-style arrangement" paying the EU for open borders and free movement of labour.
- Throw more money at the Care System - increase numbers of beds and increase wages of workers above inflation, effectively poaching them from better paid industries - that will, of course, move the problem on.
- Bring in the army.
- Deploy illegal migrants into care homes. Never mind the language barrier and the inherent racism of our elder population.
- Do something different. Deploy the huge resource of the advertising industry to persuade the population that multi-generational households are normal and desirable, all year round and not just for Christmas. If you live in Inverness and your old parents live in a Glasgae tenement, a burden on the State, then social opprobrium should be your lot.
Religion used to hold all this together and still does in poor Catholic countries, where the black clad nonnas look after the bambinis whilst boiling up vats of pasta. We know better in the potato-eating Protestant countries, where even the priests (particularly the priests?) have no belief whatsoever in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, but do like dressing up and doing deep thinking. Like Junior Research Fellow, Joshua Heath, whose PhD
was supervised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, better known in these columns as Archbishop Beard.
Josh seems to have looked at the Pieta with the Holy Trinity by Jean
Malouel, a 14th century devotional piece, and immediately seen a vagina on Christ's body. Look for yourself. What d'you mean, you can't see it? Obviously not thinking deeply enough. The Pietà is a specific form of the Lamentation of Christ in which Jesus is mourned by his mother, the Virgin Mary, after his death by crucifixion by the occupying Romans. His death was confirmed when a Roman soldier, wanting to move things along as a holiday was coming up, inserted a spear into Christ's side and water and blood were seen to flow from the wound. For believing and practicing Christians, this is miraculous and sacred. For Josh, who seems to be seeing vaginas everywhere, not so much. In his Sunday sermon to the devout at Trinity College Chapel, he claimed: 'In Christ's simultaneously masculine and feminine body in these works, if the
body of Christ as these works suggest the body of all bodies, then his body is
also the trans body,' The congregation was more than a bit upset by the suggestion that Christ had a transgender body, never mind the tangled syntax. The Dean of Trinity College, Dr Michael Banner, stepped in to support Josh, saying that it was legitimate to view Christ as transgender.
A Trinity College spokesman said: “The sermon explored the nature of religious art, in the spirit of thought-provoking academic inquiry, and in keeping with open debate and dialogue at the University of Cambridge.”
So where's the vagina? you may ask. It's the wound in Christ's side. Now I know mediaeval religious painters probably didn't have a comprehensive working familiarity with vaginas, but surely Josh has seen some and can see the difference between the Pieta and the miraculous portal from which all babies make their difficult and painful journey onto the shores of time.
And it isn't in the side.
Josh also called in aid Henri Maccheroni’s 1990 work 'Christs' - which seems distinctly blasphemous and a lot more like a vagina.
No wonder the congregation were in tears. One woman wrote to the Dean: 'I left the service in tears. You
offered to speak with me afterwards, but I was too distressed. I am
contemptuous of the idea that by cutting a hole in a man, through which he can
be penetrated, he can become a woman. I am especially contemptuous of such imagery when it is applied to our Lord,
from the pulpit, at Evensong. I am contemptuous of the notion that we should be
invited to contemplate the martyrdom of a ‘trans Christ’, a new heresy for our
I'm not a Christian, haven't been for decades, but I used to be, and I understand the depth of pain that this nonsense has caused people of faith who sat in a church with their embarrassed children and listened to blasphemy. The Moslems, who seem to have a far more robust faith, wouldn't put up with it for a moment. I can't imagine that the Russian Orthodox church would give it the time of day. March the perpetrators into a cellar and shoot them.
This pursuit of identitarian politics, this whole silly business of declaring the sun is the moon, an old lady a fair young maid, this Petruchio-led conspiracy to deny reality in the name of fairness and inclusivity - no wonder Putin considers the West to be decadent. Well, even if he doesn't, we've handed him an easy target.
mr ishmael,you will recall, also had robust views about organised religion. Here's a short piece I found in the drafts, so you won't have encountered it in this form. The state visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom was held from 16 to 19 September 2010, on the invitation of Gordon Brown, at a cost to the tax payer of £10 million, excluding policing costs.
ishmael smith 22/8/2010
Nervous, eh? poor Padraig. Not as nervous, I'll venture, as infants confronted by tumescent menbeasts in frocks; not as nervous as superstitious believers, threatened with excommunication and Satan's fiery Eternity, should they continue to protest the violation of their children's bottoms and mouths. Such are not events isolated, rare, confined to Ireland, this is pan-global, historical and current organised crime, involving, through commission or omission, all in this organisation, either actively and viciously lifetime noncing or wickedly turning a blind eye to protect, what is it, now, Holy Mother Church; how, in the name of God, can it have been otherwise?
Ratso, in the mid-nineties was JayPee2's consigliere, charged with burying this shit, making it all go away, so's il Papa might continue slobbering all over airport tarmac, delighting the believers and filling the front pages and screens of skymadeupnewsandfilth, Popes and Circuses, no business like show business. Ratso declined to bust - or defrock, as they call it, as if losing a job was adequate punishment - countless brutal career nonces - instead, shifting them to other parishes and dioceses - go away, my son, and sin elsewhere, suffer some other little children to accommodate your engorged Holy Ghost. Ratso it was, further, who advised dioceses confronted with massive compensation claims from hundreds of victims, to seek US Section 11 bankruptcy, protecting the Church's assets from legitimate, compensatory seizure. It was entirely predictable that qualities such as his would result in Ratso occupying the highest office, that of Vicar of Christ and Nonce-Protector General.
Dawkins is neither here nor there, he and religion are two cheeks of the same AlphaMale arse, both insist: Don't believe that other shit, just believe in what I tell you. And his TeeVee shows are a remorseless battering of elderly narcissism masquerading as scholarship. Vanity, thy name is Dawkins.
Large numbers of people are appalled by the imminent Papal visit, not on theological grounds, not as part of a sexual-orientation agenda, nor from a contempt for people who need a blessing from the Invisible, in order to deal with Life's ultimate, unavoidable betrayal. Lots of people just look at what is known, incontrovertibly, of the Papacy's part in organised crime and say to themselves:
Jesus fucking Wept.
Editor's note:Retired Pope Benedict XVI admitted to giving false testimony in a German sex abuse case. A report from law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese criticizes the way the former pope, whose original name is Joseph Ratzinger, handled four cases of sexual abuse by priests in the 1970s and 1980s when he was archbishop there. The report was commissioned by the archdiocese to investigate sexual abuse between 1945-2019.
Thanks to editor mr. verge, there are now three books of the collected works of ishmael smith:
Honest Not Invent, Vent Stack and Ishmael’s
Blues all available from Lulu and Amazon. If
you buy from Amazon, it would be nice if you could give a review on
Ishmaelites wishing to buy a copy from lulu should follow these steps :
please register an account first, at
lulu.com. This is advisable because otherwise paypal seems to think it's
ok to charge in dollars, and they then apply their own conversion rate,
which might put the price up slightly for a UK buyer. Once the new
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hardback) or type "Ishmael’s Blues" into the Lulu Bookstore search
box. Click on the “show explicit content” tab, give the age
verification box a date of birth such as 1 January 1960, and proceed.
Link for Hardcover : https://tinyurl.com/je7nddfr
Link for Paperback : https://tinyurl.com/3jurrzux
checkout, try WELCOME15 in the coupon box, which (for the moment) takes
15% off the price before postage. If this code has expired by the time
you reach this point, try a google search for "Lulu.com voucher code"
and see what comes up.
With the 15% voucher, PB (including delivery to a UK address) should be £16.84; HB £27.04.