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   Atop the Mound in Edinburgh for seven days in May the Kirk more formally known as the Church of Scotland meets for its annual meeting known as the General Assembly to plan the way ahead for the Church and indeed act on   occasions as a court to deal with problems or problem ministers in the Kirk.   

Saturday 20th of May 2017: General Assembly of the Church of Scotland:

photo courtesy Church of Scotland.

     This year 2017 the Kirk is probably facing its most critical problem for the future since its establishment nearly 500 years ago.  It is worth wondering what John Knox its founder  would have though said and more likely done in the current climate.  The country he lived in and founded the reformed church became in time the land of the Book.  The book in question being the Bible. frequently it is said by commissioners they feel the Kirk is in a land that no longer is a Christian country.  With the growing  population increasing from differing ethnic and religious backgrounds it is little surprise that the members and ministers feel under much pressure.   In the past decade many Churches have closed and been sold often turned into apartments and houses.   It is not what some feel the biblical words In my father’s house are many mansions! is about.  Some 700 plus commissioners comte to debate the issues facing the Kirk.  They are from the Highland to the Lowland and everyplace in between.   They are a wide range of theological views to from evangelicals conservative to the much more open liberal views who see need for change and adaptation to modern1491729702559

photo courtesy sninternational


     This year the agenda included a celebration of the Balfour declaration Centenary,  The need for allowing older people to train for the ministry or in other words a U-turn from when they shut the door on anyone over 55 being trained for the ministry.  The development of new types of ministry too has taken place but with reservations among some in the congregations.

princess in gallery

photo courtesy Church of Scotland.

        Some fear the diminution of the value of the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in such changes.   The idea of Hub ministries is gaining ground as is closer ecumenical ties the lack of funds in all denominations seems to encourage best use of  resources and the ability to share with each other.  Those in the Ecumenical area seem to feel this is changing the tide towards more ecumenical work over Scotland and the wider world.

During General Assembly there used to be much erudite speeches some key arguments put well and some memorable lines and quotes for the press who covered the issues closely indeed until devolution and a Scottish Parliament in 1999 the Kirk was the voice of the Scottish People.   It is perhaps fitting that the first Parliament meetings pushed the Church of Scotland General Assembly aside they held it not in the Assembly Hall but in the Conference centre in Edinburgh while the Parliament met in the newly refurbished Assembly Hall.!  since that time the Kirk’s assembly has seen a marked diminution of its import to the Scottish Society.

    The Kirk always invites delegates to attend from all over the world from Church partners around the Globe.  Among those this year was Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan.  He was invited to address the General Assembly by the new Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland the Rt. Rev. Derek Brownning of Edinburgh. Prince Ghazi’s speech proved to be  words of warning to .  the kKirk AND THE WORLD. He painted a bleak picture and one of violence and tragedy in the wake of the MANCHESTER BOMBING many may feel he is right to be concerned about the future and about the rift between the west Christianity and Islam.


photo courtesy Church of Scotland.

    However, it was not doom and gloom and much waas there to be clelbrated including the work of the Guild, the Youth General Assembly and many other projects including one to tackle the pay day loans companies who charged astronomic rates to the poorest in society.


general Assembly Hall

There is one thing for sure over the week long Assembly the Kirk is not pessimistic but full of faith and ideas which the next General Assembly will undoubtedly discuss, argue debate and discard as well as wholeheartedly embrace to ensure a future of faith for the faithful few though they are at present.

To be or not to be..SCOTLAND THE BRAVE.

To Be or not to be…SCOTLAND THE BRAVE!

IT is  fitting title for a puzzling time in the U.K.  what with BREXIT and perhaps the exit of Scotland from the Union?  The first part of the title is from the English Bard Shakespeare while the remainder of the title id the bedt known Scottish song!   The answer is multi level and far more complex.



There are several Nordic countries smaller populations yet survive and even thrive.  However, more younger Scots feel they are Scottidh before British unlike 50 years ago!  The last referendum result was narrow and some suspect was rigged.  It is no surprise a SECOND referendum is needed. THE  SNP  are simply keeping to thier manifesto promise due to BREXIT result. Unlike the Chancellor who had to make s sharp ordered U TURN!!!  Under internstional law and treaties PM May will be unable to stop it. As cameron was reminded and came to Edinburgh with Blank paper to sign!  😅  according toa reliable source.


oil industry in Aberdeen the Oil and energy Capital of Scotland


The real question is the economy and the constitution. Well a written one has been dtaftef by a thonl tank prior to first referendum and as for economy well Maggie Thatcher destroyed the mining and steel industries and was convinced of Friedmans  market driven model which even Friedman admitted eas WRONG AND RUBBISH!  What of Oil. Well despite recent politically low pricrs to try tp damage the Russian economy.  In reality prices must rise. In the medium term maybe little but in far future some predict high demand and smaller reserves $200  a barrel!

However the opposition tp the SNP paint it oil is a bonus not the bread and butter that is thibgs like tourism and  agriculture and Whisky currently put performibg oil sector on i come.  Interesting that Cameron visited Shetland just before the teferendum vote day and failed to announce BP’S largest westof Shetland basin find which will produce millions of barrels daily. BP afmit it is larger than the forties find whichkicked off the oil bonanza!



Highland Mary still looking for a proper ferry!


So if the people of Scotland the brave dare to say YES!  then they will simply return to being a more active Nation in Europe with thier own currency to boot they could be all but debt free! That is for another blog.


it may come on a midnight clear!  That elusive quality of peace. where Palestine and Israel learn to live together and Western governments stop the policy of regime change!  

Since Blair &  BUSH  LIED about WMD and plunged Iraq into mayhem for over a decade destroying a country’s infrastrcture not to mention the millions killed and maimed for life.

NATO with more lied from CAMERON PM! DESTROYED  Libya and plungef a stable country into all out civil war still raging today. neither of the puppet governments have any controle or authority and even adversaries of Colonel Muamer Gadaffi  long for him and ehat he presided over rather than the anarchy and violence.  while the west is concernef at the tidal wave of migrants from Africa trafficed by the people smugglers now thriving rathet tjan being contained and executed by Quddafi.

in 2017 LET US PRAY for a new political broom to TRUMP the warmongers and encourage the Builders up.  more saints than sinners. Less DESTRUCTION more care love and Construction.  More work for architects and none for armaments.

Kerry and Lavrov real statesmen.


The efforts of John Kerry as Secretary of State for America has shown how he should

have been President.  Working in the worst of circumstances he has found moral ground and has outlined that Daesh and Alnusra and all terrorists are just that al quaeda etc.

He has pointed out a ceasefire may happen on September 12.





It  is some time since I blogged been ill and in hospital so now im back and hopefully will get back to a normality a new blog per fortnight.  The range of topics is likely to be wide ranging as usual.  

When I got home I was in time to see the Tennis from Wimbledon and a range of matches  ending with the winning Mens Singles on the Sunday won by Scotland’s own Andrew Murray.      I  also  was treated to the politial mayhem from the run up to the referendum   on the 23rd and then the brexit aftermath shock of the media.  They really have to stop being so hide bound and controlled by thier political friends.   They seem to be totally flumoxed when Brexit won south o fthe border.

Prestwick beach


However,  there is  now everything up for grabs a shocked PM resigned and the ship of government in UK became rudderless and people lined up to be the new PM.   in the end there was a single person came through the mayhem = Theresa May , Home Secretary who is not the new PM.


Forth Bridge.

So now we could be ready for the Brexit Mayhem.  Scotland want IN  England Wales want OUT and Northern Ireland like Scotland want in. over all the UK votes were a narrow Victory for the OUT brigade led by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson who now ended up as Foreign Secretary.   The challengers Gove ended up being fired as was Osborne the chancellor.  As the government did the hokey kokey pushing some IN and other Out and others reeling at the result.  We now are ready to dance with the EU but not as partner.


leaving the Clyde  

With the USA election on the horizon and the two main contenders being Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton  the future is possibly more Mayhem!

The  future is probably more uncertain than usual but with careful planning and a lot of good will on all sides it can turn  out even better.  My heartrate was out of rhythm but so was our politics and indeed so is world politics at present we live in interesting but dangerous times.  and even more surprising the Chilcot report is published AT LAST!   it concluded Blair Lied, there were no WMD in Iraq and yes they not interested in looking at the PM BLAIR!  but have the temerity to suggest some soldiers may be prosecuted not before BLAIR AND BUSH PLEASE!








      The month of February is coming to its short close with 24 extra hours as it is a leap year!   It has been more like a month of death than love!   The middle east is in an unstable situation thanks to the WEstern Governments and NATO interference in places such as Libya, Syria, and Iraq and Afghanistan.  

The death toll in Syria is massive and unknown in real terms at the moment.  The US regime  change policy – get rid of Saddam,  of Qadaffi et al now Assad is something of a disaster and in an Presidential election year we have the rise of Donald Trump. promising to build walls!   What next!



casualty one of thousands

The idea and spin of suggesting all this is done in the name of spreading democracy is spurious and people are beginnin to see it.  What is ironic is that hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the death and destruction are heading for what they see as the promised lands of the west particularly Britain!   The European union and the easy borders agreements have now been put under so much strain that the whole project is creaking at the seams as well as the economies sorely tested.   Even the Strong Germany is having a rise of the right wing facists very worrying indeed.  Sweden always once a welcome open border is shutting the gate to stem the tide of those seeking a better life for them and their offspring.

Even those is Libya who were anti Gadaffi wish he were beck in control!! that tells you it all and to make it worse it is where ISIS is seeking to headquarter.  The global political secene is too unusual   Putin is  out of favor as is Russia Iran is in favour with the WEst. However time they looked around !


the man the new world order people hate.

todays Kremilin Press info:-

Mr Putin and Mr Rouhani noted the importance of continuing their joint efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis, including by continuing the resolute fight against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other groups on the UN Security Council’s list of terrorist organisations.

Should they all not be singing from the same hymn sheet as the US keep telling us they want peace and democracy but you dont get that at the barrel of a gun!


Lebanon may well end up in turmoil.

Let us hope that as we go into March we get more peace and democracy!

In the west wishe Presidential elections and in Scotland a Scottish Parliamentary Election as well as a referendum on in or out of Europe! it will be a time to vote for one and all able so to do.   Ballot papers is what is needed in the mid east while the bullets fly little or no democracy can follow.   We can keep our eyes open in these elections in the U.K for the new political kids on the block in Scotland the SDA !


logo of the new political organisation on the scene






In Scotland the title is what many would say to friends wishing them a good new year and indeed the coming of this year is going to be a busy political one what with the Scottish Parliamentary elections, the possibility of an early Referendum on Europe and at the end of the year no less than the  United States of America’s Presidential Race while just around the corner are the Primary elections for those in the race for nomination of their party.

logo of the new political organisation on the scene

logo of the new political organisation on the scene



In the USA electoral battle there is the wildcard of Donald Trump amongst the most outspoken of all the Republican Candidates.   The more wild the outburst he makes the higher in the polls he seems to rise.  However,  it does not follow that he will atomatically end up as the choice for the Republican Party nor is it a shoe in for Hillary on the Democrats.  Late entrants and underdogs have been know to come to the fore just in time.  There are a couple of dream tickets possible for those more socially minded in the Democrats .  Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren  while on the Republicans it is harder to find such a ticket but Jeb Bush aint finished yet and remember if he does become nominee you heard it here first.

looking towards Gourock.

looking towards Gourock.

In Scotland there is all to fight for in the Parliamentary elections with a landslide victory in Scotland which left the major parties south of the border with just one candidate each!!  the battle to get more representation for the Conservative Party and the Labour and Lib Dems will be crucial if there is to be anything other than a yellow coloured parliament and i aint meaning liberal!!

The key issues will be the economy and indeed the amount the UK government give to increase funds to ensure local authorities can function well.   The Oil revenues  will although down be a talking point.  Remeber the Forties Field came on stream when the price per barrel was in the teens and twenties  only reaching the thirties much later.    The massive spike in oil prices were a massive bonus for the UK government which kept all but 7 or 8% of it ..  The Meager remainder going to Scotland.  In recent days David tries to be magnanimous to Abereen announcing a billion for  the city peanuts when set against the 2 million barrels of income to the UK Government.

The health service is a key issue and not well funded in line with the amount of work there is  to do there.    I  also think that the transport infrastructure  is in need of a bonus influx of money if we are not to totally fall beind the rest of Europe.

     The membership of the Eu is also high on the Parliamentary agenda  as the UK government seem to want to pull the referndum into this year.  although it would be  a suprise if all the protocols can be completed in time for a referendum in June.

Indeed it is  the EU membership which may well trigger another Scottish Independence referendum in Scotland.  The first Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made no bones about in recent times.    The negotiations between Cameron and Sturgeon recently at No. 10 would have been worth being a fly on the Wall the young First minister is no pushover Cameron will have found out.

So with Trump picking a fight with former first Minister and being less than flattering and in view of the suggested Ban on Trump called for in UK after his outburst on Muslims  he is far from Popular and the same goes for his neighbours  at his Scottish North East Golf course.  He has picked a fight he lost when one neighbour could not be bought  out.

Indeed his attack on the former First Minister was seen by some Republicans as an attack on Scotland a place dear to them.   It may have damaged him more than he realises.  Scotland is in some way finding a greater interest in Politics with not just one but two new political kids on the block.  They are in their embryo stages but the Scottish Democratic Alliance formed back in 2007 is now slowly developing into a small but interesting force.    It clearly scared the powers that be were scared enough to try to break it up with agent provocateurs.

I hope to develop  coverage of the elections from a slightly different angle but none the less informative.  I will let you know what the polls say too.

it is going to be a guid political new year indeed!