Looking at Christopher and Jonathan Nolan’s best work, a clear pattern emerges. Memento, The Prestige, and Inception have all been finely crafted puzzle-boxes. It’s not much of a surprise, then, that when they decided to pay homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey with their hotly-anticipated science fiction epic Interstellar, they decided to treat Kubrick’s masterpiece as, itself, a giant puzzle in need of a solution. Visually stunning, the film is a marvelous technical achievement that rightly praises human drive and ingenuity, but never quite connects with our sense of wonder.

We start on an Earth that is more clearly becoming inhospitable to human life than our own is. One crop after another succumbs to a blight; the population falls dramatically as the dust-bowl deepens. Society has become small-minded and timid, even denying our former achievements in one scene that feels lifted from a bad rip-off of 1984

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A gut decision.


It’s such a struggle now to find something new to say about the Independence debate. It’s a struggle for the leaders of both camps too when we watch them repeat all the same half-truths and soundbites on every channel every day of the week. It gets boring. I have struggled too with my decision and I am by no means certain but I have to vote or my future will be decided by someone else. Let’s be honest with each other here and admit that certainty is impossible when experts are lining up on both sides of the argument. In the end there is too much information and it’s impossible to know what biases it all comes with so if your eventual decision is different to mine then I truly understand that and accept the majority democratic view. On Friday we must all move forward together. In the end it is a gut decision when we weigh up everything we have seen and heard for our whole lives and subconsciously feel our way to a decision. That’s all we can do and hope for the wisdom of crowds. For what it’s worth I am voting YES and here is why…..

I have watched both sides of the debate with interest and one thing is clear to me and that is that the YES campaign offers at least the possibility of being something different whereas the NO campaign has reinforced my long held view that Westminster is now a political monoculture where the full spectrum of millionaire opinion is displayed. When I look at Salmond, Harvie, Sheridan – and eventually Davidson & Lamont – I realise that in a PR Scottish Parliament there is a real spectrum of opinion there to shape a different future for Scotland. Maybe eventually we will discover that corporations really do rule the world and we’ll be back to square one but if we stay in the UK I think we’re all circling the drain anyway.


The Archie Macpherson effect.

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about this powerful Archie Macpherson speech that’s rocking the Better Together camp’s world. Have you actually watched it? It’s just 8 mins and 24 secs of an angry man railing at YES voters for abandoning both their brothers (And sisters) down south and the spirit of 1945. That’s about it. (And a couple of football jokes.)

Now I don’t know much about about Archie Macpherson but if he’s a sincere Labour Party member making a moral argument about togetherness then I get that. I’m both a Trade Unionist and a Labour Party member too and I also have friends and family down south. I bet lots of Scottish people have and also in the 66 other Countries that used to be part of the British Empire but aren’t any more because they realised that they were getting the shaft.

The Westminster set have finally realised that they are about to lose another large chunk of their Empire and they only have themselves to blame. Why are they so worried? Well imagine if you used to own half the World and have been living it large for a few centuries but now have only one wee group of islands. You wouldn’t want to lose any more would you? Well maybe if that part was full of feckless wasters you would?

Have you ever wondered why Westminster are so desperate to hold onto Scotland? Could it be that any kind of instability is simply bad for business? Maybe. I think it’s more likely that it’s because our tiny wee Country actually amounts to 32% of the land area of the whole UK and 61% of the sea area. We have 90% of the surface fresh water, 46% of the UK forestry and 62% of the timber production. We have 92% of the UK hydro electricity, 40% of wind, wave and solar power, 60% of the fish catch and around 20% of all the farm produce of the UK but only 8.3% of the population. The UK is imbalanced but it is Scotland that holds the trump card. They need us more than we need them. Notice that I made no mention of oil whatsoever there but while we’re at it Scotland also has about 80% of the remaining UK coal reserves too.

Archie then makes a couple of fatuous points about the NHS being a product of the whole of the UK and he hates seeing it used as a political football by the SNP. Well I hate seeing it sold out from underneath the UK by the Tories and I think that’s more important.

He also makes another point about having 65 million people in the UK to back our pensions up rather than 5 million in Scotland missing the rather obvious point that Scotland won’t have to pay out pensions for anyone outside Scotland.

And that’s about it. 8 mins and 24 secs of passion but absolutely no substance except the assertion that it is our moral duty to stick by our brothers in the rest of the UK.

He does make one point I will concede. There is no certainty. He demands certainty from the YES camp. I do not. I realise that this is a red herring. I could equally demand certainty from the NO camp. Tell me what the UK will be like when I retire or when my kids are of working age. No-one has a crystal ball. The next UK Government could be another Tory one or a Tory/UKIP coalition. It could be an ineffectual Labour one or a Lib/Lab coalition. Who knows.

I have been saying for a dozen years that I am sick of the government of the UK whether Labour, Conservative or now Lib-Dem too. I have no other options. I must vote YES in order to escape them and if the rest of the UK feel the same then they’ll have to do something about it too.

Scotland is not like the south of England. Neither is the north of England come to that. We don’t value the same things but we are constrained by their policies which do not serve us well. We are temperamentally different, geographically different and politically different. Ask yourself this: Why did all those other 66 Countries gain their Independance and celebrate it every year? Because any benefit they got was outweighed by the price they had to pay. David Cameron’s big mistake was the veto on Devo Max on the ballot paper. If that choice was there then there is no doubt in my mind that would have won hands down but it is not so we have to decide whether to stick with a Political System where 77% of the MPs are Male, 78% are millionaires and the majority went to Oxford or Cambridge and have never had a real job. That is The Establishment and getting rid of them is the best reason to vote YES and the rest of our brothers in England should get rid of them too.

The logic of Richard Dawkins


I’m beginning to suspect that Richard Dawkins might be an alien. Either that or the world’s first fully functioning android. After all he’s constantly telling the world that his way of thinking is guided purely by the principles of logic which gives him more in common with Mr Spock from Star Trek, or Data if you’re more into the Next Generation, than it does with the rest of us mortals. It must be very difficult for him living in a world where foolish imbeciles allow their emotions to have any influence whatsoever over their opinions or decisions. That’s why he’s forever upsetting people and causing an uproar on social media. The poor man. We just can’t keep up with his superior intellect. Just yesterday he’s created another storm by replying to a woman on Twitter who said that she’d find herself in an ethical dilemma if she found out a…

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Ending the War on Fat


The taste of my childhood was the taste of skim milk. We spread bright yellow margarine on dinner rolls, ate low-fat microwave oatmeal flavored with apples and cinnamon, put nonfat ranch on our salads. We were only doing what we were told. In 1977, the year before I was born, a Senate committee led by George McGovern published its landmark “Dietary Goals for the United States,” urging Americans to eat less high-fat red meat, eggs and dairy and replace them with more calories from fruits, vegetables and especially carbohydrates.

By 1980 that wisdom was codified. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its first dietary guidelines, and one of the primary directives was to avoid cholesterol and fat of all sorts. The National Institutes of Health recommended that all Americans over the age of 2 cut fat consumption, and that same year the government announced the results of a $150…

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