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The end really is nigh

Posted on July 18, 2015 by

This week, as the UK’s new Conservative government brought forward a bill to impose tax on renewable energy projects, just seven Labour MPs turned up to oppose it.

labrenew

You know these guys that you used to see wandering round the city centre with a sandwich board telling us “THE END IS NIGH”? It seems they were right.

A recent study from the University of Mexico shows the extinction rate of vertebrates is occurring 114 times faster than it would be if humans were not on Earth. It’s one of these rare episodes of history where the entire biological framework of life is being dismantled, they breezily explain. As a result, it seems we’re now in the midst of the sixth mass extinction (the fifth being the dinosaurs).

If the study is true – and other studies are saying similar – humans can die out before the end of this century. To help you visualise this, it means your grandchildren’s grandchildren will witness the end of our species. It’s almost within the bounds of possibility that the average current student in England will have paid off their student loans by the time we die out.

In short, if humanity was a political party it would be Scottish Labour.

Being a sci-fi geek with a particular penchant for apocalyptic movies, I can’t seem to articulate this beyond a hundred images from all the movies I’ve watched since my ten-year-old self got to stay up late to watch The Blob.

With most good apocalyptic sci-fi, scientists give us warning. At some point, Jeff Goldblum manages to get to the White House to warn the President. World leaders plead for calm and agonise over moral dilemmas about who should be saved in the underground bunkers and who’ll be abandoned to their grisly fate, before Bruce Willis grabs some nukes and the day is saved.

The reality is, though, that we’ve already heard all the warnings – for decades now, in fact, and responded with “Yeah, whatever, now shut up, I’m live-tweeting the X Factor final on my new iPad.” 

Sci fi movies tend – sometimes consciously and sometimes less so – to offer astute reflections on our political culture. We can see how our mindset develops, how we structure society and what we’re afraid of. (The Blob, as everyone knows, reflected a fear of Russian invasion and the loss of individual freedom.) Sci-fi can often articulate the taboo, and almost since the invention of film we’ve imagined our own apocalypse.

In a couple of million years when the cockroaches are using tools, evolving opposable thumbs and developing language they’ll study us, their giant predecessors, in the same way as we do the dinosaurs. “Armageddon” and “Independence Day” will be their cave paintings. The discovery that humans foresaw our own death will surprise and shock the new enlightened species.

My favourite apocalyptic movie is a lesser-known British effort from 1961 called “The Day The Earth Caught Fire”, in which the force of simultaneous large US and Russian nuclear tests throw Earth off its axis and sends it hurtling towards the Sun.

The powers that be come up with an ingenious plan to set off another couple of nuclear weapons on the other side of the globe to try push push Earth back onto its axis, and we witness the ensuing events through the eyes of a cynical and brash Daily Express reporter. The film ends as the people wait to find out whether the plan actually worked, teetering on the brink of the ultimate apocalypse.

It’s a powerful metaphor, showing humanity trying to solve a deadly problem with more of the same madness that caused it, much like our favoured solution to running out of atmosphere-choking fossil fuels is to pump hydrochloric acid into the ground to force out more gas we can burn. We chop down parts of the Earth that let us breathe and destroy the ozone layer that we know we need for our own survival. The ice caps are melting and parts of the globe are running dry, so we poison the remaining water with toxic chemicals and waste. Etc etc.

Humans are unfit heroes for even the most cynical sci-fi movie. We’re gorging like a rapacious monster that eats up everything in its sight, and one day very soon we’ll be re-enacting that famous Monty Python sketch with just one last “waffer-theen meent”. If we were the dinosaurs, the meteor would have entered our atmosphere by now and be plummeting towards us as we gazed up at the big fiery streak in the sky with dumb, uncomprehending bemusement.

As the sixth mass extinction on the planet nears, we’re reminded that our time as lead organism was never meant to be infinite. Species come and species go, though ours won’t be the only demise brought about from tying the noose around our own necks.

Labour, meanwhile, have left the cinema early to beat the queues at the kebab shop. We can only assume they already know how this one ends.

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      The end really is nigh | Speymouth

    144 to “The end really is nigh”

    1. Bruce Morton says:

      Outstanding. Sardonic, chilling and bleakly funny. Nice one Siobhan.

    2. HandandShrimp says:

      No one can accuse the Labour MPs of succumbing to a Protestant Work Ethic.

      As to the gist of Siobhan’s piece. I try not to think of it because I do worry that we may actually be too late to avert to serious climate change. I am not sure about total extinction. Humans are more adaptable than most creatures but it would be a very different world and I think unlikely to be a better one.

    3. Muscleguy says:

      The point is quite well made but all the sober climate scientists would wince at your end of days at century’s end as being very hyperbolic. Even if things get as bad as they did in the Permian mass extinction when it got so hot ocean circulation stopped and they became anoxic, toxic stagnant ponds we would still survive. Not many of us, true but some would.

      Meanwhile this week’s New Scientist has a piece on a new study that says the continental crust has been thinning essentially since Pangea was intact and there are currently not enough continent building processes to keep up. In a billion years there will be no continents. But there will still be land, island chains will still poke up above the waves and humans can survive on them, ask the Polynesians how. Forget metals though, that is a stone age culture, though an advanced one with many technologies. The Polynesians at the time Cook arrived in the Pacific could sail not just into the wind but across it. Ever wonder how European sailing ships moved from square riggers to those inline triangular sails that yachts still use? Pinched them from a stone age culture. That developed blue water sailing while our ancestors were still coastal hugging.

      It might be a bit like Waterworld but without the still floating oil tankers.

    4. fred blogger says:

      https://commonspace.scot/articles/1918/first-low-cost-zero-carbon-smart-house-built-in-the-uk this article says it all and a bit more.
      then add a touch of bill mollison perma-culture, and we’d shift some.
      work share, worker coops, food growing coops, self build, etc etc.

    5. Annette says:

      Very true. And the only party who takes this seriously is still the Greens.

    6. heedtracker says:

      Maybe we’re in the Matrix. I’m Neo and you can be Trinity Siobahn:D

    7. chris kilby says:

      Here’s Big Judith with the weather…

    8. R-type Grunt says:

      What a brilliant piece of writing!

      Thank you Siobhan.

    9. MrObycyek says:

      What has been going on with Labour can be summed up for me by a quote from my favourite ever sci-fi movie:

      “You’ve gotta be f##king kidding.”

      To think Alex Salmond once said Ghosts of Mars was his favourite John Carpenter movie! I still hope he was joking about that.

    10. David Smith says:

      Personally, I now think the human race is a complete bunch of wankers that allowed itself to be ruled by the species’ most out and out wankers.
      We deserve extinction for the good of the remaining species.
      Wankers.

    11. The Man in the Jar says:

      In keeping with this theme I recon that there is little difference between a Tory utopia and the movie Soylent Green.

    12. The Man in the Jar says:

      Not strictly “sci-fi” but hasn’t the movie “V for Vendetta” got the best ever closing scenes. I can watch it over and over again. It cheers me up anyway! 🙂

    13. Legerwood says:

      And what was Labour’s excuse for not turning up?

    14. heedtracker says:

      I’m an optimist, voted YES after all, so we can maybe change. Imagine aliens landing in late 1940’s Russia, Poland and Germany, trying to get to grips with humanity.

      If only there was some way of humanity not be ruled by obscenely rich, insanely greedy warmongering elitists, or even likes of Bush/Obama/BLiar/Cameron/Brown/Flipper Darling…

    15. JLT says:

      A nice article, but I can’t see it being the end of the world. This is assuming mass starvation, crop failure, flood defence failure, perpetual wars …would all have to continually happen under a world regime that just goes on concentrating on making money for the very few, while the rest of the world lives in economic and social blight.

      I just can’t see that being the future. Very far from it.

      As an example, we are beginning to see the rise of people power again. Greece has kind of shown the way. Hell! Even half of Scotland has shown that there is another way! The point is, that sooner or later, people are going to rebel on mass once they perceive that it is not only just a piss-take by the world’s establishment in being greedy soan-soas, but that Mother Nature has also got severely ticked off with the human race as a whole. Once the people cotton on …the gigs up for those in charge.

      Eventually, people will become disenfranchised with their nations main parties. They will seek alternatives, and believe me, alternatives will be found! Don’t underestimate the human capacity to rise up to the challenge if it appears that we have made a horrendous mistake that badly needs rectifying. It has happened before, and it will happen again. People will surrender wages, savings, livelihoods if it means that the next generation will prosper in better times. If we were all told tomorrow that the Amazon rainforest had 10 years left and badly needed re-cropping …we would all contribute, and gladly too!

      As a further example, sooner or later, the refugee crisis in North Africa will be resolved. It will come about when the Western World finally realises and agrees that vast sums of money will need to be invested in Northern and Central Africa as well as Western Asia to improve conditions and livelihoods there. There has been very whispered talk of inviting North Africa and Western Asia into the EU, thus ending suspicion, inequality and bitterness. For vast tracts of desert which will be used for vast solar panel installations that will power Europe, Africa and Asia, the countries of North Africa and Western Asia get a jump in technology that allows them to skip ‘dirty’ industries, and thus brings them closer to the standard of living like their European counterparts. And if this were to happen, the world stabilises in so many ways!

      I understand that the article started off condemning Labour, and quite rightly so …but the slight jump to the ‘end of the world is nigh’ line was probably best left out of what was a pretty decent start of an article.

      Basically …have faith. Yeah, we can be a pretty nasty species half of the time, but when faced with major challenges, man has always shown his greatest attributes when the need for the greater good is required. And for those who believe that they are in charge, well …governmental power is just a false illusion. Real power lies with the people.

    16. michael diamond says:

      Sort of agreeing with you david smith. And only consolation is all the unionists, governments, bankstas, and corporate thieves will be extinct as well.

    17. chris kilby says:

      @ MrObycyek:

      “To think Alex Salmond once said Ghosts of Mars was his favourite John Carpenter movie! I still hope he was joking about that.”

      They Live, surely:

      “Ah huv come here tae chew bubblegum and kick ass. And ah’m all ootae bubblegum…”

    18. scottieDog says:

      What do labour actually believe in?
      How much they can extort I expenses?

      On subject of the 6th mass extension Dr Guy Macpherson pulls no punches on his site nature bats last. He has been ridiculed but much of what he has referred to has been showing signs of taking place…
      http://guymcpherson.com/

    19. Blair paterson says:

      O.t.surley Cameron and Fallon must resign after they went against parliament and the people over the descion not to get involved in Syria they should be banned from politics for life and face criminal charges for decieing the whole of Britain surley this is a reason for,a second referendum after all by their actions Scottish boys could be killed in an other illegal war by lying unionist politians

    20. Nuada says:

      Brilliantly written, hugely questionable premise.

    21. heedtracker says:

      End of Labour, the ultimate Bliar/Brown/Darling legacy. Rancid’s vox pop’s pretty damming too, but did red tory Graun have Scotland region blind spot? Too real probably

      https://archive.is/t0zLU

      “Labour may never win back its former supporters who jumped ship to the Conservatives.”

      May?

      Sounds like another Crash Gordon “important intervention” heading our way.

      Was there a dino Gordon Brown watching that meteor heading for earth?

    22. HandandShrimp says:

      As a matter of interest does anyone else have problems with the Guardian web site. It makes my computer work really hard then everything slows down to dial up speed. Close the tab and everything else works absolutely fine again. It is making the Guardian a no go area for me.

    23. G H Graham says:

      So, when this apocalypse is nigh, does that mean that high street banks for example, will only be open for a few hours a day, offering meagre, over the counter services to cash strapped customers?

      Like they do now?

    24. Mealer says:

      What are the odds?

    25. tinyzeitgeist says:

      This is an excellent documentary from Michael C Huppert on the challenges the human species now face and it is very sobering. We need to act now not kick the can down the road, we may not have the time we think we do.
      http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/apocalypse-man-2014/

    26. heedtracker says:

      Re. rancid The Guardian issues HandandShrimp, just turn off your raging hypocrite, lying gits with silly tash filter.

    27. Thanks for this Siobhan for alerting me to this. I’ve thanked you on my blog for the heads up.
      http://www.welshnotbritish.com/2015/07/did-your-mp-vote-against-applying.html

      For those who don’t want to click through the link to the full vote is here.
      http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-07-14&number=47&display=allpossible&sort=party

      Only Clegg was absent for the Yellow Tories so Carmichael managed to attend to vote no. All SNP except for Dunferm & W Fife attended and voted no.

      Next up will no doubt be a vote to apply a minimum price to alcohol free drinks.

    28. desimond says:

      ‘Game Over Man, Game Over’ as Bill Paxton once said in Aliens..or was it Blair McDougall in SECC?

    29. Illy says:

      “We chop down parts of the Earth that let us breathe and destroy the ozone layer that we know we need for our own survival.”

      Point of information: The trees aren’t actually that important to our survival, the algea is.

    30. Mealer says:

      O/T
      I’ve just seen historian Andrew Roberts on ch4 news giving an opinion on the nazi salutes given by the queen and her uncle Edward,whom he described several times as “the future king of England”.He was,of course,technically correct.This happens regularly and the presenters never pick the experts up on it.Its quite normal and acceptable,but can you imagine Messers Oliver or Devine,on that programme,talking about him as “the future king of Scotland”.Or even “king of Scots”? Such things used to annoy me but,now,I just think England.Britain.Same thing.As they do.

    31. heedtracker says:

      https://archive.is/6vDOZ

      Its ok, world saved by The Guardian. Mhairi Black’s all fine and dandy but really hasn’t a clue and Labour saving this Union with England is the only way forward, like last time.

      “But the rise of the SNP is a consequence of Labour’s decline; the SNP is not a helpful friend at a difficult time. I think Mhairi Black is wonderful. But you don’t join a nationalist party because you want to help the union that your party exists to dismantle.

      Rhetoric is a fine thing. But it doesn’t feed hungry old men or hungry young children.”

      So shut it Scotland, forget Black’s rhetoric, vote SLab for the starving people in the UK, run by red and blue tories, for ever and ever, purr purr, sieg heil.

    32. Very witty piece of writing,Scarey,but witty.But I must admit I am biased,the writer is my daughter.
      But I have always liked a happy ending.The thought of falling headlong to eternity holding the hand of some rich tory would qualify as a happy ending for me.

    33. Graeme Doig says:

      Welsh not British

      ‘re snp attendance

      Mr Chapman. Hope you have a good excuse for your absence.

    34. Dr Jim says:

      Common mistake by all Doomsters the Sea’s Algae is the lungs of the planet Not trees
      The whole of the Amazon and Papua New Guinea put together couldn’t provide enough breath to blow up a balloon each

      Ban Diesel, remove all transport that uses it, Planet almost saved in one go

      By comparison petrol’s not too bad, at least it doesn’t kill you when you breathe in whereas Diesel Droplets stay in your lungs “For-Ever” killing you nice and slow

      That’s why people who live in towns die quicker than country living folks
      Stand next to a bus stop every day for ten years breathe deeply and you’re a goner
      Ride a bike to work? are you mad? makes you breathe even deeper, thus more lovely diesel pouring down your throat invading your poor wee lungs faster, but Hey! you’re keeping fit they tell you

      Plus we use really clean fuel for buses now ( Really!? ) of course we do

      The only Martians from outer space coming here will probably be looking for medical help because the fuc..d up their own planet

      Don’t get me wrong, trees are really good, just how many are they going to plant then?

      Once India, China, and the whole of South East Asia really get going
      What we’ll need are great big huge giant fans all around the Yookay to blow all the pollution away ( They’ll tell us)
      And we’ll all believe it

    35. msean says:

      Labour don’t want to be seen losing and seem not to be bothered anyway. Looks like neither main unionist parties who could provide the Prime Minister care at all. Not a good sign for future green policies by the UK government.

    36. Dcanmore says:

      Great post Siobhan, thank you.

      The Day The Earth Caught Fire is a little gem of a movie. I would like to draw your attention to another often overlooked British eco-nightmare film, Phase IV (1974). Basically Earth enters an event called ‘Phase IV’ where rapid evolution takes place particulary affecting a certain creature that scientists begin to notice and observe, only to find the truth about mankind’s future existence on Earth.

      This is a fine quote from the movie: ‘We knew then, that we were being changed and made part of their world. We didn’t know for what purpose, but we knew, we would be told.’

      The human race will die off sometime, in the timescale of Earth’s existence it will probably be soon, many other species will go too. Who will inhabit the Earth in a million years time is guesswork but I hope it will be a pristine place once more and the cycle of life will continue in one shape or form.

    37. Paula Rose says:

      The transpiration of the Amazon rain forest transfers water to the Andes and returns it as the Amazon river system – it is important to understand the environment as an interconnected system, it is not a case of we can do without this bit or that bit. Think of a ship held together by many rivets – each species is a rivet.

      What happens if a certain number of rivets are removed?

    38. Josephine Mackenzie says:

      To Muscleguy:
      “they became anoxic, toxic stagnant ponds we would still survive. Not many of us, true but some would.
      A perfect description of the Tory government.

    39. Clootie says:

      Siobhan

      …that fairly cheered me up 🙂

      Thanks for a well written article on a topic that the consumer world of the right is trying to get us to ignore…unfortunately WE are letting them succeed in that aim.

    40. john king says:

      I only wanted a burger.
      Ah’ll eh get ma barbecue apron. 🙁

    41. maxxmacc says:

      The planet heating up is a good thing, shame it hasn’t for the last 17 years running. The only thing which threatens the human race (apart from nuclear war) is the next ice age, which is due. Don’t fall for the global warming, ahem, climate change scam to ultimately allow govts to tax your very breath!

    42. Dr Jim says:

      @Heedtracker

      Heard Siobhon Synott parrot that same drivel on Shereen Radio Scotland this morning
      SNP useless

      The more they cannae haud it in the more we’re winnin

    43. Alan Weir says:

      Mealer: Andrew Roberts, the Tory Historian who thinks the Shetlands are Hebridean islands, is not ‘technically correct’ to say that Edward VIII was King of England. There’s been no King of England (nor of Scotland) since King Billy in 1702. Just Kings (or Queen’s) of Great Britain and then, of the United Kingdom. (Look up Elizabeth the self-style Second’s website if you don’t believe me.)

      Of course English people almost universally refer to the head of the UK state as the king or queen of England indeed, until quite recently, they referred to its prime minister as Prime Minister of England. And they are politically right in the sense that, given its numerical preponderance, England no more disappeared in 1707 than we did when we acquired the Northern Isles or Canada did when Newfoundland joined. It just changed its official name, to be used on Sundays and in formal legal documents.

      But he is definitely not legally correct and we shouldn’t let the BritNats forget it (Whereas they are correct to refer to the Central Bank of the UK as the Bank of England, that’s its legal name. The SNP should make a big stushie about that and demand it be changed and that all its notes be changed to ‘Bank of UK’ notes. It would be worth it to see the veins bulging on the Tories and Daily Mail readers’ necks.)

    44. Dave says:

      Go vegan: for the planet, for the animals, for the people. Nonviolence. Compassion.

    45. Paula Rose says:

      This should be a fun thread – popping out for popcorn.

    46. HandandShrimp says:

      Heed tracker

      Maybe it is a tache filter that I need 🙂

    47. @Paula Rose says:

      This should be a fun thread – popping out for popcorn.

      With an algae dip!

    48. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Funnily enough, I posted the following link to O/T t’other night.

      It’s Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor, better known to most of us as the great tune in the movie Gallipoli. Good ‘apocalypse’ music!

      (Please do not watch it if you are easily upset by super-realist imagery of famous landmarks about to be struck by very big waves.)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuh3WyfVL2M

    49. John from Fife says:

      O/T
      I read recently that there will be a mini ICE age in the next 15 years. Global warming anyone ??

    50. MrObycyek says:

      @Chris Kilby

      It is a great line that. Probably one of the best of all time. Another one I like from that movie is when the main character accidently bumps into an elderly woman, who is revealed to be a hideous alien and after she complains he comes back with: “You know, you look like your head fell in the cheese dip back in 1957.” A great movie but not a patch on The Thing.

      @DrJim

      That will be the same Siobhon Synott who recently said she saw no reason why Alistair Carmichael should resign on the same show a while back. A total waste of space. In an independent Scotland with our own BBC let’s make sure we get rid of dead wood such as the likes of her.

      There is a fantastic comment in the reader section of The Daily Record that actually had me howling with laughter. It comes from a reader called K Graham and in it they state how they are going to do something they have never done before: vote Labour!
      It is all because of those evil SNP, according to future first time Labour voter K Graham.

      Here is the comment in full taken from the Saturday edition July 18 2015 just in case someone thinks I am making it up:

      “In the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, I am going to do something I have never done and vote Labour. The SNP think they can do what they like now, both here and in England, so the only way to stop them is to vote tactically. I see that younger people are more likely to vote SNP – but they will get a nasty shock if an SNP government are returned, so I urge as many people as possible to vote Labour in 2016 and wipe the smile from Nicola Sturgeon’s face.” K Graham

      This utter drivel is apparently worthy of top billing in the comments page! I cannot help but wonder who K Graham voted for in previous elections if they never voted Labour?

    51. Paula Rose says:

      @ cynicalHighlander – guacamalgae!

    52. @Paula Rose

      Are you into anaerobics?

    53. Mealer says:

      Paula Rose 9.41
      Oh,how very Mandyesque.

    54. Croompenstein says:

      I always remember when I was wee the local minister used to come to the school and give a wee lecture to us weans. One of his lectures was about the submarine base at Holy Loch and how, in the event of an accident or an attack, we were in the blast radius.

      Kept me awake for years worrying about it, always like Bob Dylan though in that it was always me who survived and everyone else was dead. Part of growing up in the West of Scotland was worrying about nuclear disaster. Better Together you imperialist fuckers..

    55. Mealer says:

      Alan Weir 8.38
      I stand corrected on the royalty thing.As for the renaming of the Bank of England,I can’t wait to see them fume!

    56. thomaspotter2014 says:

      The Labour MP’s are only doing the bidding of the unspoken Grand Coalition agenda which basically means Con/Lab/Libdem/Ukip
      MP’s against anything and everything SNP.

      Instead of the deceased Slab retoric,(though I must admit their cold dead hands are still playing the BBC Scotland SNP BAD violin from beyond the grave)the anti-SNP bludgeoning mantle has now been desperately grasped by ALL Unionist troughers.

      Nothing on this earth binds them so completely as the threat of an end to the expenses and t roughing.

    57. FiferJP says:

      There may be a bit of a tongue in a cheek here, but the crux of this article is the new lunacy that mankind is responsible for a mass extinction, seeded by this:

      “A recent study from the University of Mexico shows the extinction rate of vertebrates is occurring 114 times faster than it would be if humans were not on Earth.”

      Try the source rather than some tree hugging press release paster from the Grauniad.

      http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253.full

      There you will see the usual ‘science’ of estimates, assumptions and possibilities. (29 uses of Estimate/Estimated/Estimation)

      Nice example here: ‘In this way, the background extinction rate estimated for mammals was estimated at 1.8 E/MSY, here rounded upward conservatively to 2 E/MSY (that is, 2 extinctions per 100 years per 10,000 species). ‘ Two estimates, one estimate a formula which itself is an assumption;

      ‘ … the background rate has been assumed to be somewhere between 0.1 and 1 species extinction per 10,000 species per 100 years (equal to 0.1 to 1 species extinction per million species per year, a widely used metric known as E/MSY).

      Take a look at the data they are using:

      “To estimate modern extinction rates, we compiled data on the total number of described species and the number of extinct and possibly extinct vertebrate species from the 2014 IUCN Red List (17).”

      To be clear, they are making assertions and statements from an examination of a list.

      “About 1.8 million species have been described since 1758 (when the current nomenclature system was developed), of which 1.3 million are animals (3, 17). Of these animal species, about 39,223 (of the currently counted 66,178) vertebrate species have been formally assessed and reported in the 2014 IUCN Red List (17).”

      According to the Red List website there are assessments of over 75,000 species in the red list, that’s not much of a sample of 1.3 million, especially not much of one to make scare stories about.

      http://www.iucnredlist.org/info/faq#List_of_all_RL

      The ‘study’ is such a shambles I half expected to see Kevin Hague as an author.

    58. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Croompenstein (10.25) –

      Good point.

      Has anyone ever bothered to try and assess the impact of that fear on whole generations since 1945?

      From approx 12 to 18 yrs old I had frequent, vivid nightmares in which I witnessed mushroom clouds ‘slowly’ appearing on the horizon – from my bedroom window, that was looking East, towards Edinburgh, so it doesn’t make any geographical sense, but it didn’t lessen how horrible they were. And the worst thing about them was that there was no ‘sound’, no shakiness, no drama – just distant billowing (and beautiful) shapes, way way beyond a sunny, blue-skied Glasgow, and a realisation that the game was finally up.

      Those who have never really experienced the fear that many of us grew up with might catch a flavour of it from watching this:

      ‘Tsar Bomba’

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwlNPhn64TA

    59. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Siobhan.

      An interesting piece, which raises more than one issue.

      The first thing that jumped out at me was “The Day The Earth Caught Fire”. In 1961, I was an avid cinema-goer; on Saturday mornings, the Gaumont club, and in the afternoons, sometimes the same cinema for the usual two film, ads and newsreel offering.

      Onnyhoo, it was one of those Saturday afternoon excursions that led me to be shown the trailer for “The Day The Earth Caught Fire”. I remember being captivated with the concept defined in the trailer. Unfortunately, it was an “X” and, being 9 at the time, I didn’t actually see the film until the late 60s – can’t remember which third division fleapit it was.

      So thanks for that link. Now downloaded for me and son to watch next weekend.

      Secondly, “mass extinction”. Strangely enough, I am about 3/4 the way through “Inferno” by Dan Brown, which is based on a similar premise, where a wayward scientist sees that mankind will be extinct in a 100 years, unless there is a mass extinction event. So he decides to release the Black Plague, or whatever. Hasn’t fully been revealed in the book yet. A good read though.

      So thanks for your Wings input.
      _____________________________________________

      Hi John from Fife.

      It’s simple.

      Over the past 2.5-odd million years, there have been regular ice ages, each of which work on a 100,000 year cycle. Roughly 90,000 years of glaciation, and roughly 10,000 years of ‘interglacial’.

      We are now 11,500 years into this interglacial period, ie, since the end of the last ice age. We are due the onset of another ice age, if precedence is anything to go by.

      In the past, the trigger point for flipping from interglacial to ice age was an atmospheric carbon concentration of around 310 parts per million. We are now at 370+ ppm, mostly generated in the last 50-100 years.

      Maybe this web site will be of interest:-

      http://iceagenow.info/

    60. heedtracker quoting Deborah Orr in the Gruniad: “But the rise of the SNP is a consequence of Labour’s decline; the SNP is not a helpful friend at a difficult time. I think Mhairi Black is wonderful. But you don’t join a nationalist party because you want to help the union that your party exists to dismantle.

      Rhetoric is a fine thing. But it doesn’t feed hungry old men or hungry young children.
      .

      Ah yes, Deborah Orr, Yoda-like sage – the sound of one neuron clapping.

    61. Croompenstein says:

      Defo Ian, I remember watching ‘The Day After’ and ‘Threads’ and it was fucking awful. I always remember wondering why we were a target for people I never knew or had any gripe with. We just get on with our lives because if you sat and dwelt on it for long it would send you round the bend.

      I never know how to take what the minister did with us, as it is something that is hidden in plain sight and nobody talks about it but he highlighted it to us at such a young age it had a big impact on me and still does.

      The recent whistle blowing by the sailor hasn’t helped. I tell my wee boy about what is stored at Coulport and Faslane as I feel he has a right to know but I try and explain it in such a way as he doesn’t have the nightmares that I had when I was his age.

    62. Rock says:

      Paula Rose,

      “This should be a fun thread – popping out for popcorn.”

      Why did you fail to make a stand on the fox hunting issue?

      For the record, I am delighted that the SNP decided to vote against, forcing Cameron to abandon the vote, for the time being anyway.

      On the foxhunting issue, I am totally against Ken500’s view that the SNP should have abstained.

      Preventing barbarism to animals comes first, even if it delays independence.

      On the contrary, the SNP voting on English only issues which benefit the plebs will make the establishment wish they had not rigged the 2014 referendum and let us become independent.

    63. mike cassidy says:

      So Labour are now to blame for the coming apocalypse!

      Well at least the coming ice age will counter the coming global roasting age!

    64. Rock says:

      Dave,

      “Go vegan: for the planet, for the animals, for the people. Nonviolence. Compassion.”

      In principle, I agree with you 100%.

      I am sure Paula Rose and her Green colleagues would agree as well.

      I think Ghandi was vegan.

      In practice, it would be extremely difficult to convince our society.

    65. Rock says:

      Annette,

      “Very true. And the only party who takes this seriously is still the Greens.”

      Is it a condition for a Green party member to be vegan or vegetarian?

      Are most Green party members vegan or vegetarian?

    66. heedtracker says:

      Christian Wright says:
      18 July, 2015 at 11:16 pm
      heedtracker quoting Deborah Orr in the Gruniad:

      She’s such a union jock red tory she’s boring, like the Graun creep show. Although this guy I would vote for. Thank FCUK Jim Murphy, currently backpacking in Nepal, was nothing like him. I thought Bomber Bliar, Crash Gordon and Flipper Darling had purged Labour of actual human beings with brains bigger than peanuts.

      https://archive.is/0Bo6B

    67. One_Scot says:

      I don’t know if I have slight dyslexia or I read too fast, but when I read the front page heading, ‘Scotland stands against the cuts’, the word ‘cuts’ had an extra ‘n’ in it.

    68. HandandShrimp says:

      Christian Wright

      But I also find it irritating that Black’s sincerity seems to include a sincere failure to understand that the SNP is not Labour’s most natural ally in Westminster, but Labour’s most insidious opponent.

      Deborah’s piece is incredible and I am at a loss for words really. Is it any wonder that Labour are screwed.

      If the SNP are not a potential ally (given the numbers the only serious potential ally) and are in fact Labour’s most insidious opponent then what the fuck are the Tories?

    69. thedogphilosopher says:

      Sci-fi has its many critics but if you can see past the daft costumes (why, in Star Trek for instance, do alien societies always share the exact same tailor?) and the ropey premise, then there is much to be had in the way of politics, sociology, philosophy as well as theoretical science itself.

      They are mostly about ideas and speculate about what might come to be, given a specific circumstance. Dystopian visions are usually always highly allegorical. How many times has Orwell’s 1984 been referenced on this site?

      Recently I’ve been pretty taken by the amount of Gaia/Apocalyptic-style films that have been made. No doubt influenced by the 9/11 attack on the American psyche but also pulling on the theories and ideas of James Lovelock and others who point to the meagre timescale of human existence in relation to other lifeforms and the age of the planet itself. The way these guys describe it we already exist within an interglacial (warmer) period of an existing ice age.

      The outlook, if humans keep multiplying and using up finite resources, according to guys like Lovelock and philosopher John Gray, is pretty much summed up by Ripley in Fincher’s rather downbeat Alien 3: ‘We’re fucked.’

      But life, in some shape or form, will continue.

      As Kurt Vonnegut was wont to say: So it goes.

    70. ronnie anderson says:

      Good morning People or should I say Hola,sitting here melting in Majorca, if this is what it is at this time of the morning God help me during the day.

    71. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Rock –

      IMO you make some valuable contributions here, but your vendetta against Paula Rose is as inexplicable as it is pointless.

      Like Paula Rose, I am not an office-holder in the party I belong to, but I dare say the high-heid yins in the Greens and SSP are always open to constructive criticism. Personalising debates about party policy – as you have been doing for some time – is far from ‘constructive’ and does the broader Independence movement no favours.

      I’m not having a go at you specifically – other WOS commenters have, recently, challenged me to ‘put up or shut-up’ regarding SSP policy on this or that issue. I don’t respond to that kind of baiting for the simple reason that I don’t know what’s going to happen from one week to the next, and I’m not a spokesperson for the party.

      That’s why I won’t even acknowledge such rudeness from people I’ve never crossed in any way – it’s also why your Green-related barbs should be directed towards Caroline Lucas and Patrick Harvie rather than ‘Paula Rose’.

    72. Paula Rose says:

      Hello rock – your starter for 10

    73. Paula Rose says:

      Still dancing – stop now – where’s chunky rock?

    74. Paula Rose says:

      Hungry ravenous eater of steak here – where’s wee Rock?

    75. Croompenstein says:

      @ronnie – remember and drink plenty of water Ronnie and watch how you wave in case the locals think Franco is back 🙂

    76. Paula Rose says:

      Rock dolly come and play xx

    77. Ben says:

      Interesting stuff. Has the ring of truth about it. When we talk about green policies people often think it’s about the planet. Over the long term , the planet will recover. We aren’t that important. It’s people that will die out. The way things are going, we deserve it

    78. Paula Rose says:

      Serious topic.

    79. Roughian says:

      I saw the Day the Earth Caught Fire and the Bedford Incident in the Mosspark Cinema. Both films still etched in my brain. I hope I can sleep tonight!!!!!

    80. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @ronnie anderson –

      God help Majorca.

      By the time you leave, they’ll be out on the streets demanding Scottish independence, without really knowing why.

      🙂

      Have a guid yin Big-Yin.

      XXX

    81. Paula Rose says:

      Is it possible that there is anything more beautiful in the world than hunky sexy brilliant dancer – ronnieanderson?

    82. Paula Rose says:

      No Rock – anyone else want to defend fracking the planet?

    83. Paula Rose says:

      Rock – honey back from other parts of Scotland – been awa, love to skirmish again xx

    84. dakk says:

      Entertaining article Siobhan.

      I’ve long since lost faith in humanity who I think will just seriously damage the planet but not totally self destruct.

      The biggest threat to lfe as we know it is the SNP,and Scotland being an independent nation would be the catalyst for Armageddon.We have learned that from all the great and the good since time immemorial haven’t we,so don’t worry about ecology.

      @ronnie

      It’s 13.8 degrees in Knightswood and hammering down rain,so enjoy your San Miguel or meths and milk or whatever your tipple is !

    85. Paula Rose says:

      I chose a long time ago not to have children – many of you did have kids, what are you doing to preserve their future?

    86. Democracy Reborn says:

      Interesting new Panelbase poll, particularly on Brexit:-

      Holyrood voting intentions (constituency):

      SNP (53%)
      Labour (22%)

      Should the UK remain a member of the EU?:

      Respondents in England
      Yes 49%
      No 51%

      Respondents in Scotland
      Yes 66%
      No 34%

    87. Paula Rose says:

      Shall we have another wee blether about something or other or shall we ignore this post?

    88. dakk says:

      Paula Rose. 1.27

      I have one 20 yr old daughter whose well-being is the main driver of my actions and perspectives.

      To help preserve her future I have told her to trust no one and that people will stamp on you to get where/what they want.

      Cynical ? Perhaps .

      I would call it the union dividend .

    89. CameronB Brodie says:

      As thedogphilosopher suggests, we’re currently coming out of the Earth’s fifth ice age, called the Quaternary glaciation.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaternary_glaciation

      As such, the climate is warming as a product of many interactive factors, as described by Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin Milankovi?.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

      The current mass extinction event is the sixth to occur, and is referred to as the Holocene extinction.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

      I’m banking on Lurg’s sensitive side. 🙂

    90. Bert says:

      @ HandandShrimp
      Re the Guardian website – it is full o’ scripts- if you get the noscript add on for Firefox you can see that there’s 20+ ‘Trackers’ running,

      Good writing on this blog piece, but I agree wrong premise – we’re no gonna die oot that soon…..

    91. ronnie anderson says:

      The day the earth caught fire,Majorca must be closer tae the flame than Scotland ha ha

      @ Dakk an that that San Miquel 2pints was lovely.

      @ Ian Brotherhood met a auld couple fae Wales I hiv them voting plaid cym,they do like Jimmy Shand & Andy Stewart , the view of the modern Scotland.

      They,ll get ah taste of Gerry Cinnimmon.

      @ Paula Rose you play nice when Im away I don’t want any reports of abuse from Rock,an theres nae dancing, dirty or other wise.

      Be good childer & if you cant be good , try harder
      All the breastest to everyone.

    92. ronnie anderson says:

      Towels on sunloungers Saltires of course. Had a nice chat to the Night Porter lol, what do you,s know He,s a Idependenista for Majorca & Minorca,who,s got a friend lol.

    93. john king says:

      Have you no been to bed Ronnie?

    94. cearc says:

      Ronnie,

      Glad to hear you’ve found a local independence movement to enhance your holiday.

      A bit less comment on that yellow thingy in the sky (can’t remember what it’s called but I believe it may still exist above the cloud blanket).

    95. Ken500 says:

      Looks like Scotland could keep the rest of the UK in the EU. Nige will not be best pleased.

      Frack the Greens. The untrustworthy Greens renege on their own policies collude (secretly funded) with Unionist/landowners against the majority wishes and the public interest. They even call the Cops on people. Anyone who objects get cuffed, photographed, swabbed, finger printed and threatened with cells. They believe in a Police State. Wee sleekit, cowering, timorous, beasties. Some support nuclear the most dirtiest, dearest and deadly. What do they want 111WW. They waste £Million/Billions? of public money which could be better spent. Eg On electric cars, 4 times cheaper to run and solar.

      Support children’s future vote SNP/SSP/Tommy Sheridan.

      Foxes kill animals. When dinosaurs ruled the world there were not many people. The dinosaurs ate them up. Medical sciences invented the Pill in the 1960’s. Free contraceptives. The ‘end of the world is nigh’ cliimate change, came in the 1970’s. 10 years too late.

      The underlining population trend is down. In all Western democracies with reasonable healthcare populations are declining. China, largest (1.2Billion) pop is in decline. ‘One child policy’ There is now 33 million males more than females. Many men will not get a partner or a wife. Les children? It might improve the status of women. { : > ) Freedom of choice over reproduction would have brought a less traumatic solution. The Middle East has been illegally culled by the West for the last 70 years, supporting apartheid States.

      When people have a heart attack do they call 6 figure salaried journalists, The way to help the NHS is to put a tax on ‘loss leading’ drink, fags and less sugar in processed food. Holyrood doesn’t have the power. Working class students get student loans to qualify as more Doctors/nurses in Scotland. Labour/Unionists were mean testing loans. The Uni places were being taken up by the wealthy from elsewhere.

    96. pete the camera says:

      Mhairi Black got a full 5mins report on the BBC breakfast program this morning, pacific quays censors must still be in bed caught napping again

    97. pete the camera says:

      They are looking for a new face for the BoE note anyone want to suggest Nicola

    98. pete the camera says:

      Sorry can’t have Nicola as she is still well and truly with us

    99. Ken500 says:

      Swimming and steam room cures asthma. Doctors get no training on drink/drug/addiction problems (unless they specialise). 10%+ of Doctors and patients will have drink/drug/addiction related problems. 10% of Doctors training should be on drink/drug/addiction, It would help the Doctors and other patients.

      Teacher have no training in additional needs (unless they specialise). 10% of pupils have additional needs, 10% of teacher training should be on additional needs. It would help the teachers and the other children.

    100. john king says:

      Oh dear,
      the Bank of England want us to nominate who should appear on the next £20.00 note,
      this could be interesting. 🙂
      http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/characters/nominationform.aspx

      And before you all clamour to get on there and nominate Alex Salmond bwahahahahaha the criteria is they have to be an artist (Visual artists include architects, artists, ceramicists, craftspeople, designers, fashion designers, filmmakers, photographers, printmakers and sculptors.) and no longer alive,

      But surly we can come up with a Scot we can rub their noses in it with.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P526n6wfP4

    101. Stoker says:

      @ Siobhan Tolland
      Thank you for a very enjoyable article.
      Here’s a wee tune for you which i previously posted in Off Topic.
      Melissa Etheridge – I Need To Wake Up
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUVqUz8m2PQ
      🙂

    102. pete the camera says:

      Charles Rennie Mackintosh is in the running

    103. DerekM says:

      what about scam artists John or is two of them on one note too much.

      I bet they try to put Thatcher on it.

    104. Dorothy Devine says:

      One_Scot,think you are suffering from visual Tourettes!

      Ronnie , the first person I met on Majorca in May was an independentista!We had long conversations and I left him my SNP and YES Frisbees not to ention a wee saltire keyring and a pack of cards with Scottish views!

      Have a good holiday and if you feel up to it take a trip to the caves of Drach , fantastic!

    105. DerekM says:

      @ Siobhan Tolland

      Thanks for the great post Siobhan a little dark and gloomy but then you are right these are dark and gloomy times.

      I do have some faith in humanity however, we are not all total rockets, have we left it to late only time will tell,but we are a clever ape sometimes too clever for our own good.

      There is a fragmented movement through out the world for and end to the evils of plutocracy,every day more and more people will come to realize they can make a difference,it has already started and as long as we dont blow ourselves to kingdom come or get wasted by a big flying rock or those damn aliens dont think we are ripe for the taking then we have a chance lol

      The big problem i see is that our era the age of nuclear power has already killed the planet and unless we somehow get rid of the waste and scrap nuclear as a really bad idea then we as a species and every other species will face extinction and sooner than we think ,how long does a lump of concrete last at the bottom of the north sea not as long as the deadly radioactive waste inside it.

      We should take a big gamble and put all the waste we can find in to lots of rockets and fire them at the sun and hope one doesnt explode on take off.

      It reminds me of and old friend back in the bonnybridge UFO sightings ,who laughed and said “aliens why the f*** would they want to come here its not exactly San Tropez ye ken”

    106. scottieDog says:

      @john king
      Regarding the £20 note. How about George foulkes? He’s a piss artist and sums up the uk establishment nicely

    107. caz-m says:

      Ronnie

      Watch out for the Germans getting their towels on the sun loungers before you. And I don’t mean Queen Lizzie.

    108. caz-m says:

      John King

      What’s a £20 note?

    109. caz-m says:

      The Sunday Express tells us that the Queen was only waving.

      “So, we’ll hear no more of this Nazi nonsense, now shut up and move along”.

    110. Ken500 says:

      In Spain watch out for the lizards, the snakes, the fake watches, the currency exchange and the bag snatchers ripping folk off. Just like home. There’s nae place like hame under the sun. Enjoy the stay, happy holidays.

      ‘Yer no awe ta bide awa, yer no awa ta leav’ us, yer no awa ta bide awey, ye’ll aye come back tae see us’.

    111. Grouse Beater says:

      Heedtracker: Its ok, world saved by The Guardian. Mhairi Black’s all fine and dandy but really hasn’t a clue

      Yes, I read that article and wished I hadn’t.

      You can only shake your head and wonder at the reasoning. The columnist, Orr, denigrates humanitarian sentiment if it rejects the useless and corrupt union that is causing political alienation, poverty, and anti-democratic practices.

      But then stand back and you realise because she lives in England and sees the world from a colonial perspective she wants Scotland to continue making the sacrifices to help her nation get back on track while we remain a second-class nation. So, what’s new?

      Hasn’t that always been the English mentality?

    112. Effijy says:

      They won’t want a Scot on their £20 note, so if WoS participates and we agreed on the wonderful works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh
      who revolutionised European Architecture with his futuristic designs and by taking design down into the finest of details, he encouraged and commissioned female artists when their works were generally ignored, and today he still brings in tourists from around the world to see his works.
      We also need to make people aware of the fund to re-build his Fire damaged masterpiece the Glasgow School of Art.

      http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/characters/nominationform.aspx

      Thank You!

    113. Famous15 says:

      @ken500

      Great point! What if Scotland keeps UK in EU with England having voted to leave?

      Mundell on GMS whimpering that the SNP better hurry up and tell us what they are going to do with their.fantastic new Welfare cuts/powers. He clearly has a Labour spin doctor but his delivery makes him appear a naughty little boy. Why oh why does Scotland vote in such wretched excuses for humanity?

    114. Helena Brown says:

      Funny thing I have been reading a series of Apocalyptic Books where the majority of humanity die of because of a virus which is followed by an invasion of Aliens. Like many others I can only think that should there be any aliens in the vicinity they are keeping their heads down and their powder dry as we seem to be able to manage the Apocalypse very well ourselves. If anyone is interested called the Breaker series first three are free on kindle which is how I started. Written by Edward W. Robertson, am awaiting him finishing his number 8 now.
      Mr Chapman is my MP and I think knowing Douglas something must have come up that he did not make the vote, even our MP’s are human, I hope all those Labour ones have as good excuses.

    115. Mealer says:

      Ronnie Anderson is allowed a passport???

    116. Effijy says:

      caz-m says:
      19 July, 2015 at 8:41 am
      The Sunday Express tells us that the Queen was only waving.

      Yes she was!
      She was waving to Adolf along with the rest of the family.
      The Queen and Philip are both from German families but their ancestors came here as it was the best gig in the job centre back in the day.

      Never mind an immigrant getting a free council house, how about
      a few Palaces thrown in. They are not allowed proper jobs, they don’t carry the money we give them, and they get series of
      Limos and golden carriages rather than a bus pass.
      Of course they are not affected by the Bedroom tax for having 100
      bedrooms more than they require.

      If I practiced hand shaking, waving with the back of my hand, and
      tapping Tories on the shoulder with a large Wilkinson Sword, could I apply when they go? lol

    117. Ken500 says:

      Wings is flying (on twitter) it’s gone down under, via Spain

      Put Jimmy Saville on the pound. Represents the BBC, secretive and abusive just like the UK gov.
      Dirty hands. Oot dark spot Oot. Lady McBeth. Kill twa birds with one stane. Or just Lizzie.

      Foulkes claims to be here.

    118. Ken500 says:

      Some Borderers should hang their heids in shame. What representation, Mr Tumble. New tax raiding powers? Scotland is already taxed more than the rest of the UK by Westminster (Oil sector at 55%) Folk still losing jobs. On Westminster spending plan. Scotland has no power over spending or Westminster vetoes. No taxation without representation. Scotland taxed twice.

    119. Ken500 says:

      Neil Findlay wants to ban Scotland from world sporting events, at which they excel, including world cups. Dubious Labour. At least the SNP don’t support illegally bombing, starving and killing innocent people. Lying Labour hypocrites. Have they no shame.

    120. Tinto Chiel says:

      @ Grouse Beater: Deborah Orr is from the M’well area originally and is married to Will Self. He seems more pro-independence than she does. Says it all really.

      First time I’ve felt sorry for him.

    121. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Mealer Aye an whi no,only wan drawback wie ma passport is its British GRRRR.lol.

    122. ronnie anderson says:

      @ caz-m Wha dares meddle wie ma Saltire Towel is gittin ah rite good drooking,they aw hiv tae pass under ma balcony , guardi loo,! ma chanty poos under the bed.lol

    123. Tinto Chiel says:

      @ Ronnie Anderson.

      You behave yourself abroad wi’ your independence movements.

      The Scottish Garibaldi!

    124. Grouse Beater says:

      He seems more pro-independence than she does.

      I knew that but forgot till I posted she was Scots – but it’s the same for them all. Live in London or nearby long enough and your whole outlook alters to Westminster. She’s generally sympathetic to Scotland’s political deficiencies but somehow feels only Westminster can solve them, as if 300 years to do something is too short a time.

    125. caz-m says:

      Effijy

      Next thing you will be telling us is that Lord Louis Mountbatten liked wee boys. Or that Jimmy Savile was a close friend of the Royals.

      Surely not!

    126. Tackety Beets says:

      Sorry O/T now.

      Marcia , Sunday Herald tweet has thon Doh Ball ” Eunis Jassemi still blabbering on about cuts to Colleges.
      Perhalps he missed Peter Bell’s explanation !
      Or is it more likely EJ decided to ignore it as it did not fit his agenda ?

      Ronnie , just oot o interest ( and coz av no been there for a while) are the police armed there these days ?

      I ask this after listening to Tim FF Farron giving it SNP Bad ” The Police in the Highlands parading about tooled up ” on AM today.

      I will firstly declare that I know one of the ” Armed response ” bobbies , not well, only enough to say hello to .
      Pre the press reporting I met said policeman in the street . I knew he was usually in his Armed response vehicle so I teased him ” has you stint in the AR Team come to an end or have you been de-moted to the streets ?”
      He replied ” No , I’m still part of AR , actually I am armed ”
      As I walked towards him and now standing beside both Officers it was not evident to me they were armed .
      My point is that if you recall ALL press pics of the Officers are taken from the rear to illustrate & give the impression it’s a terrifying thing for the public to be faced with an armed officer , when in fact from the front it is hard to detect whether they are armed or not.

      The other thought is do we pay these guys to swan about in a high powered vehicle ready to speed off in the direction of a ” firearms ” event. Or should they participate in policing on the streets where they are more likely to be effective ?

      In a time of cutbacks everywhere , which offers us , the public, better value ?

      I’m not so sure about the decision that these guys needed to retain the weapons on their person whilst on the streets .
      We have to remember these guys would routinely be ” Tooled Up” when going on duty as standard practice with ALL members of the AR Team .

      I do not want to add scare mongering, but over the years ,Inverness has had its share of Armed Robberies . In fact about the time the press took the matter up , an alleged chap had come up from Liverpool and robbed a city centre bookies whilst brandishing a gun .

      I am not trying to defend Police Scotland as I believe Mr House should stand up and explain his decisions on matters like these . There are many other odd decisions too.
      He has a lot to explain as discussed on WOS on prev threads.

      Mr House’s failings to make a proper response actually leaves the door open for folk like Farron to attack and blame SNP.

    127. ahundredthidiot says:

      Feeling all John Connor after reading this

    128. Legerwood says:

      If you want to see what is happening to the world now then get the video ‘Home’. By Yann Arthus-Bertrand. It is real and not sci-fi and will shock you rigid.

      Re Mhairi Black and that speech: it has now been viewed 10.5 million times according to a report in today’s Sunday Herald. How stupid does that make Reporting Scotland and their non-reporting of her speech. Is Ms Orr read as many times?

      Finally, the Royal family and German ancestry, as well to remember that George I was the great grand-son of James VI and I.

    129. caz-m says:

      As well as Mo Farah, here is another English success story.

      “Tour de France leader Chris Froome has claimed a spectator threw a cup of urine in his face and accused him of doping.”

      LOL,

      Rule Britannia!

    130. ahundredthidiot says:

      (husky voice)

      If you’re reading this……

    131. ahundredthidiot says:

      You are the……..shit, I better not say the word resistance, bloody spooks will be homing in on my posts…or swear…..shit!

      Damn dog going crazy with that chopper above the house

    132. caz-m says:

      Why does Mr Farron, the new Lib/Dem leader, feel the need to tell us what religion he is by putting it in front of his surname?

      “Tim” Farron.

      Do you think he is after the Catholic vote in Scotland?

    133. Fred says:

      It’s as well to remember therefore that George I, who was a murderer before he won the British lottery & crossed the German Ocean, was one eighth Scottish? 🙂

    134. HandandShrimp says:

      Bert

      Thanks. I will look into the Script thing. I was aware that Guardian was playing merry hell with Java I just wasn’t sure how to stop it.

    135. Tackety Beets says:

      Happy Birthday to Nicola.

    136. Andrew McLean says:

      Just a point about global warming, the name is a bit of a misnomer, for a start some think this is about sunbathing in the western isles most of the year, it’s not. What we are taking about is power, like a pot of water on a hob, as you turn up the heat look at the swirling water currents, that is life now, hot air being distributed and cold air moving downwards, now turn up the heat, look at the water moving faster, like the wind and storms we will experience, as this continues to happen on earth we will see the fertile farmland becoming desolate, we wouldn’t be able to feed the first world the way we are!
      Life is changing, we will not stop global warming, too late, what we may be able to do is survive as a species, but that is not certain, anyway the next big asteroid to hit, and it’s long overdue will wreck the party anyway!

    137. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      On the £20 note and artists for it Henry Raeburn was the greatest portraitist and superior to England’s best in Reynolds, Romney and Gainsborough. He was also years ahead in technique and style

    138. Barontorc says:

      ‘caz-m says:
      19 July, 2015 at 10:51 am
      Why does Mr Farron, the new Lib/Dem leader, feel the need to tell us what religion he is by putting it in front of his surname?

      “Tim” Farron.

      Do you think he is after the Catholic vote in Scotland?’

      Well, bang goes his chances of ever becoming PM!!! Proddies only.

    139. Iain More says:

      Like most sci-fi I have read it is chillingly dystopian. I do however live in a land that is dystopian enough on its own, it is why I gave sci-fi, the reality of permanent Tory rule from London is bleak enough.

    140. Paula Rose says:

      I would think that the skills and technology developed to extract oil are those needed to exploit wind and wave powered energy generation.

    141. Rock says:

      Ken500,

      “Frack the Greens. The untrustworthy Greens renege on their own policies collude (secretly funded) with Unionist/landowners against the majority wishes and the public interest.”

      I too am of the opinion that the Greens are total hypocrites.

    142. Rock says:

      Ian Brotherhood,

      You can judge for yourself. No other poster lowers the quality of debate as Paula Rose on almost every thread.

      One question, ten responses but no answer:

      Why did you fail to make a stand on the fox hunting issue?

      Paula Rose:

      “Hello rock – your starter for 10”

      “Still dancing – stop now – where’s chunky rock?”

      “Hungry ravenous eater of steak here – where’s wee Rock?”

      “Rock dolly come and play xx”

      “Serious topic”

      “Is it possible that there is anything more beautiful in the world than hunky sexy brilliant dancer – ronnieanderson?”

      “No Rock – anyone else want to defend fracking the planet?”

      “Rock – honey back from other parts of Scotland – been awa, love to skirmish again xx”

      “I chose a long time ago not to have children – many of you did have kids, what are you doing to preserve their future?”

      “Shall we have another wee blether about something or other or shall we ignore this post?”



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