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13 Black

Have you ever tried an honest day’s work

Neither a borrower nor a lender be is a phrase that does not site comfortably with modern attitudes. Its origin is Shakespearian and is evincive of the perils of not cutting your coat according to your cloth. The satisfaction of not sleeping with the usurer can only be achieved by hard work and personal sacrifice. In a supposedly caring society, there are wolves that scavenge upon the financially unwary and they come in many colours.

A plethora of parasitic hope merchants prowl the media offering from the sickingly called payday loan to the false hope of success through gambling from bingo to poker, from roulette to horse racing et cetera ad nauseam, trading on the hopes and misery of those who believe the Jones’s have a better life, the irony being that some of the well-heeled Joneses have achieved their envied status by milking the legions who march unswervingly deeper into debt. 

Keep The Faith 

There are some radicals in our land who believe that one day their flag will fly above Downing Street, whether you believe this or not it appears to be on someone’s wish list. Many of our Churches have closed and converted to places of worship by other faiths.

Judging by the attendance at recent events in our own Church it appears that despite vigorous efforts to fill the pews with those presumably Christened, Confirmed or Married in such places the faith seems to be suffering a spiritual malady.

I know that I am not alone in believing that traditional Christian values are under threat as never before, largely by putting the noose of complacency around our necks making it all too easy for others to kick away the chair from under our feet.

Consider the equation of an eighteen-year-old soldier slaughtered in a hail of bullets on a war time battlefield, giving his life so that youngsters of today can stab each other to death on our streets often as a result of ridiculous gang warfare or murder children at a pop concert out of hatred for western society, the very society that offers refuge for all. 

Why A Maverick?

There are incidents in life that not only shape your character but shape your future too, often in a profound way.

Recently whilst watching my flock of homing pigeons flying in a cloudless sky apparently for the sheer joy of it, I had a flashback to my youth.

My dad was a keen pigeon fancier and I have fond memories of him and his pigeons on the council estate where we lived.

He lived for his birds and enjoyed the sense of freedom they gave him as he waited for their return from a training flight.

One day he received a letter from the council stating that a neighbour had complained about the pigeons sitting on their roof, the letter went on to say that dad must get rid of his birds or face eviction, the news hit him hard and caused him great heartache.

When I came home from school one day the house was unusually quiet, I went to look for my dad and found the pigeon loft empty, I feared the worst and looked into the dustbin, there was a sack, the bin was full of water I opened the sack and there were all his beloved birds drowned.

Each had a name, each was loved, all were dead, no more blue skies, no more freedom, and no more joy.

Dad was distraught but thanks to the “compassion” of the council we still had a roof over our heads. That was over fifty years ago but petty officialdom and petty neighbours still exist today.

I hope dad is watching his birds through my eyes now as they fly far above the reach of others.

David Otter

The Wind of Change

Did you know that another environmental villain has been spotted by the none so blind brigade, believe it or not it is the old codger in his cottage trying to keep warm on a winter’s night in the glow from a log fire, they have just caught up with him after ten thousand years on the run! There has been little or no mention of the nine thousand commercial aircraft circling the globe on a daily basis using an average of ten tons of fuel each, every hour of their ominous flights.

I tried to work out the tonnage on my computer but smoke started to come out of it so I did the right thing and turned it off. It seems odd that few people have twigged that it is more important to keep warm than show their half-naked backsides by a pool in Benidorm.

The none so blinds are also suggesting we cut down on meat and eat more veg so as not to add the anal gases of cows to the toxic mix polluting the earth, so it’s goodbye burger hello the blame game. Maybe some bright spark (forgive the pun) will invent a method of trapping our own gasses in order to keep warm as the cure for the world’s ills.

I can see people fleeing venues like theatres and restaurants as human flatulence takes over where cows left off.

I made a New Year resolution or two and one is not to freeze to death as a favour to Thomas Cook.

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

The recent referendum in Ireland on the thorny subject of abortion is of course a matter for the conscience of the voter and is of considerable consequence to those involved.  I was not surprised at the outcome of the vote, Favid but I was surprised by the reaction of the women on the streets of Ireland who demonstrated their joy at the result in the party spirit, cheering and whooping, singing along to the rhythm of the guitar and shouting slogans such as “we have got our way”.  I did not expect that, for the essence of their victory celebration was not exactly edifying.

Perhaps the first and third verses of a poem by William Ross Wallace may eloquently convey my sentiment.

Blessings on the hand of women!

Angels guard its strength and grace.

In the palace, cottage, hovel,

Oh, no matter where the place;

Would that never storms assailed it,

Rainbows ever gently curled,

For the hand that rocks the cradle

Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission,

Here upon the natal sod;

Keep—oh, keep the young heart open

Always to the breath of God!

All true trophies of the ages

Are from mother-love impearled,

For the hand that rocks the cradle

Is the hand that rules the world.

Never Say Never

In the afternoon of Christmas Day millions of people will sit and listen to the Queen’s Christmas Message.

Monarchists like myself will as usual be gladdened by her words of peace and reconciliation and marvel at the resolute and phlegmatic aura she is world famous for, her style of leadership to my mind may never be equalled.

In the light of recent events many may say that the days of the monarchy are numbered and if this is to be then one word will sum up the cause “disloyalty”.

We tend to think that the privileged in society should be beacons of propriety as a token of respect for the rest of us, but it seems to have slipped from the grasp of some and Britannia may yet be enslaved by its own moral bankruptcy which has on more than one occasion shook the foundations of the House of Windsor.

I will still raise a glass to Her Majesty, I will wish her the very best and hope that God does indeed save our Queen.

Do have a peaceful Christmas and a productive New Year.


If the words that come from your mouth are not yours, you have no voice.

If the direction you move in is not of your choice you are going nowhere.

If these are the markers of your life you will never be free.

One of my greatest disappointments has been my own gender.


Congratulations macho man another trail of broken hearts and broken bones, how good those tattoos look on steroid pumped up muscles as you strut the nightclub door.

Well done Mr Tough guy as you meat out rough justice to a drunken teacher, can you spell hypocrisy?

Good show education dodger as you strum your bottom lip in the crap quartet.

How many more battered women, kids and blind coppers do you need to be a hero?

Is there a cure for stupidity?


One of life’s nastier shocks is undoubtedly the arrival on the doorstep of an ashen faced policeman bearing the news that one of your loved ones has met their fate in the mangled wreckage of a vehicle.

It is of no consolation that the perpetrator has been caught or how such a disaster came about but the appearance of this most unwelcome messenger is nearly always instigated by irresponsibility.

How often do we see people using a mobile phone either talking or texting as they drive along?  We are told by those who know about these things that using a mobile phone whilst driving is as dangerous as driving under the influence of drink.

I wonder if a mandatory year’s ban would curtail such activity, it seems to have thinned out the boozers!

It gets worse…..


The revelation that some of our children have endured depraved abuse at the hands of organised gangs of men is bad enough, but when it is discovered that those with the power to have stopped it did not do so and turned a blind eye for fear of causing offence to the kin of the perpetrators then the whole episode becomes sinister.

How low has our society stooped beneath the thumb of political correctness allowing the irreversible ruination of young lives for the appeasement of monsters?

The writer and philosopher Edmund Burke said that all that is needed for evil to prosper is that good men do nothing.

It seems that good men are few and far between.

and worse…..


On Saturday the 11th of April Karen Buckley a young Irish student at Glasgow Caledonian University left a city nightclub and would never be seen alive again by her family and friends.  A twenty-one-year-old male named Alexander Pacteau has been charged with her murder by clubbing her with a spanner, strangling her then dumping her body in a barrel of acid.

This shocking scenario brought home to me a great sense of empathy as my daughter attended the same university to obtain her Master’s Degree and had a lovely Irish friend there called Kelly who was about the same age as Karen.

The constant nagging fear that such a thing could happen to your daughter as she makes her own way in the world never goes away.  It seems that this sort of attack is all too common, when the dust of one story settles another woman is killed and on it goes.  The predators are out there, and they are many, and I know why.


Imagine that our world and everything in it is really an enormous test tube and beings far beyond our intelligence are studying the results of their experiment with humanity.

There is a possibility that despite their enormous advantage over us they may be scratching their heads in incredulity at the way things are panning out, for despite adding the best ingredients for a perfect environment the results are showing that one out of two tube brains will get cancer because they are stuffing their faces with chemicals in an orgy of politically correct dietary as the food they waste must not rot too soon.

Another queer manifestation of tube brains is the inability to twig that tens of thousands of their ilk die from the effects of contaminated air year on year, caused by for example flying to a hot spot on the other side of the world because the weather forecast for ‘Skeggy’ looks a bit grim.

Tube brains conveniently forget that they may need the fuel for an ambulance to get them to a hospital overcrowded by fools.

The chance of those who watch over this experiment smashing the test tube to put it out of its misery is probably imminent.


The last hare I shot will be the last hare I will shoot unless I hunger for his flesh with a passion.  Lepus capensis, to give him his zoological alias, is a creature of mystical proportion and I often think of him as a spiritual missing link between Mother Earth and the selective faculty of humanity.

This is the impact of his death at my hand and upon my conscience; his great eye, though lifeless, stared straight through my soul unto a place beyond my capacity of thought and accused I surely felt.

How could a man not be stirred by the dying screams of a pitch that could penetrate outer space and, in some fanciful scenario, fall upon the ears of a planet of hares that shoot men for sport?  But I think our furry fellow travellers have a different set of values.  Being in the right place at the right time seems to have become a habit with me.  Small mercies of observation can have great impact upon those beneficiaries of such recollection.

Some years ago, I saw two men slip a couple of greyhounds to a hare in a vast field of winter wheat.  My eyes followed the pursuit over a great area, the hare using every trick in his nature’s book to evade death with sudden twists and turns intended to throw his assailants off course. Once smaller-hedged fields were now turned into a prairie and stamina was his only hope.  In a great arc the trio headed straight towards me, a primeval rhythmic beat of paws on frosted clay giving the scene a surreal atmosphere.  I thought for a moment that the hare may leap into my arms, raw nature and compassion blended into tears of hope beyond hope.  I will never forget the desperation in the eyes of the hare, so much in contrast with the demonic glare of unstoppable intent in the eyes of the hounds, and within the next quarter of a mile a short scream signalled the end.


This is no time for pulling punches.  We must face up to being the bunch of bastards that we are.  Thousands die every year from air not fit to breathe, polluted by the engines of idleness that usher us to climes of fantasy.  Millions of trees are wiped from earth’s face to feed the polluters and fatten the purses of the blind-eyed gluttons of commerce.  Beautiful denizens of earth become extinct on a daily basis, murdered by you and me; does that not make you feel sick?  What is the point of tenement living in concrete jungles whilst bees pass into history?  Unguarded sexual pleasure delivers another set of jaws to munch away at the fabric of the natural, yes natural, world.  Every commandment in the Christian bible is broken, ensuring faces are hidden in shame, banned by guilt from condemning any wrongdoing by others.  Let the first stone be cast by the repentant; start now to heal the wounds of self-imposed blindness; we were given paradise to nurture so that it could nurture us, so simple is the concept, so disgusting its keepers.


I make no apologies for my apparent disregard for what some term “political correctness” for in many cases the slavish adherence to it often masks the truth and as far as I am concerned the truth should always out.

The recent news that some six million people between the ages of forty to sixty fail to manage a brisk ten minute walk a month reminded me of once being approached by a rather large lady who said that if I guessed her weight she would give me a kiss, when I ungallantly suggested around half a ton she said “that’s near enough sweetie” and threw her arms around me, I thought I was going to die but at least I felt wanted.

Obesity of course has become no laughing matter as we try to avoid being run over by the convoys of mobility scooters that have invaded the shopping precincts of our towns, piloted mainly by overweight people who hurtle down the street in determined mode as if they have precedence over fitter pedestrians.

We are told that we are all generally healthier than we were fifty years ago (what a load of rubbish).

A health specialist told me that because we have developed drugs to help control largely self-inflicted illnesses, the self-infliction goes on.

If the NHS fails by way of bankruptcy and we end up paying for our health care, the result will be no laughing matter either.


Scanning the Sunday newspaper recently I came across an article that spoilt my day, let us see if it spoils yours. It reads: Britain is in danger of being forced by European judges to allow US-style political advertisements to be shown on television. The European Court of Human Rights is due to rule on a test case brought by a British based animal rights group. Insiders fear the verdict would go against the Government, meaning any political group can buy time on British television. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling last night vowed to resist the threat.  Any change would mean that organisations and individuals ranging from rich businessmen with outspoken views to unions, animal rights groups and campaigners on both sides in the abortion and climate change debates could win airtime to promote their views, win votes or change the law.

I thought I lived in a democracy, freedom of speech being a corner stone; it appears that I may be wrong.

As Voltaire famously said, “I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. Long live the sentiment.

Yet again a young man bereft of seasoned judgement embarks upon a murderous mission to destroy the lives of those he chooses not to understand.

The killing of nine worshippers in an American Church is the continuity of that country’s inability to rid itself of outdated reasoning.

For my twenty first birthday my father gave me an electric razor, Dylann Roof’s father gave him a revolver for his, not a good idea even if remotely suspicious of his son’s paranoia.

It is said that Americans have little concept of irony a view reinforced by the screams for the death penalty for a kid brought up in a mongrel nation that doesn’t seem to know its arsenal from its elbow.

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