Monday, June 26, 2017


Since posting two articles, one from the Sunday Mail and another this morning from the Daily Record I have been subject to a torrent of anger, indignation and (the usual) abuse. This is now the kind of reaction to which I have become accustomed since I began posting what have been described as 'anti-SNP' articles over the last month or so.
Before that practically all my articles were in praise of the SNP. Not because I was ever that star-struck by the SNP but as my contribution to giving solidarity to them and Indy. It was for the same reason I joined the SNP in September 2014. Indy was always the driving motive, not party politics.
I admired Alex Salmond for having had the courage to deliver a referendum when support for Indy was around 28%. With the tremendous support he received from a vibrant Yes Movement that support rose to 45% and 50% at GE2015. Credit for that success and the 56 SNP MPs returned to WM must go to Alex and all those thousands of hardworking, committed patriots in the Yes Movement.
But the day after Indyref1 the Yes Movement was shut down and soon forgotten about. Meanwhile all the kudos for the Yes Movement's efforts shifted to the SNP. Since then we have seen a new leader, Nicola Sturgeon, treat Independence like a bargaining chip, something to duck and dive with and where the goalposts keep being shifted: first it was about EU membership, that was changed to Single Market membership. And now, after the SNP's heavy political losses, it looks very much that Indyref2 is going to be 'parked', 'kicked in the long grass' from which it'll never be retrieved.
My reason for posting the two articles were because they are very much in line with what we have been hearing from senior SNP figures (Swinney, Blackford and Sheppard) over the last week. If the UK were to go for a 'soft' Brexit and stay in the Single Market there would be no reason for Indyref2. End of.
Now what we hear is that while Indyref2 is 'parked' indefinitely Our Leader is going to concentrate on Brexit negotiations. What this really means, when all her initiatives are studiously ignored by the Tories, is anyone's guess. Anything could happen. Jeremy Corbyn could well be the new PM with a more conciliatory approach to Scotland. Who knows?
But to dilute the SNP's constitutional commitment from fighting for Indy in every election to a referendum, and then to further dilute that referendum twice more before finally putting even that into suspended animation is ...
The politics of expediency? Fudge and mudge? Dodging the issue? Take your choice. Whatever has brought Our Leader to this one thing is clear: to play fast and loose with a mandate given to her by our sovereign Parliament is grossly irresponsible and a dereliction of her position as Party leader as well as FM. Despite all her claims to act on behalf of the country the decision to dispose of Indyref2 in this way is about her party's electoral losses and has nothing to do with the aspirations of Scots for freedom.
To do this to us all is an act of irresponsibility and cowardice. It is also a great betrayal.
Although I could see this coming I still feel sick in the pit of my stomach. The shock this will cause in so many of us who put our trust in the SNP and its leadership will take time to play out. Some will cling to straws and refuse to accept the truth, reacting in anger and disbelief. How could this happen?
In the coming weeks we will read all manner of articles attempting to analyse and rationalise. But one thing to me is clear: those of us who will not so easily give up on Independence and who want to see the revival of a popular Indy Movement must never again make the mistake of entrusting the future of our country to any one political party or leader. We are learning the bitter lesson of what happened when we did.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's becoming  clearer how employees from the Aberdeenshire Council have colluded in the abduction of my dog, Frodo, by a small, Scottish charity. Please visit my Facebook page, Help Save Frodo the Dog and give Frodo and me your support! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Dog has been Abducted

My beloved long-haired German Shepherd, Frodo, has been abducted by a man who is using the shield of a small Scottish charity to justify this crime.

Left with no choice, I have been forced to take legal action in the hope of retrieving Frodo. But the wheels of the law grind slowly and it is nearly five months since Frodo was stolen from me.

The Police have been absolutely useless. They are indifferent to the affair. "It's an ownership dispute. Go and find yourself a solicitor," they say. Yet it is not an ownership issue. There is no question that I am Frodo's owner and I have the paper-work to prove it.

I believe the indifference of the Police is more likely to be because they were complicit in the events which finally led to Frodo's abduction. Now they're trying to cover-up for themselves. After making a lot of fuss, I managed to persuade the Police to make an investigation into the affair. Now they're dragging their feet, and with good reason. On 1 April the regional Scottish police forces will all disappear when they are reorganized into one, large unitary force. What happens to complaints like mine after that is anyone's guess!

For legal reasons, I cannot go into too much detail here about the manner in which Frodo was abducted. But a supporter of mine has published a slightly-fictionalized account in the first-person here, so I recommend you all read it.

I am an OAP with next to no savings. But I am determined to fight this case through all the courts and, if necessary, take it to the European Court of Human Rights. I need others to help me set up a Defence Fund. If you believe you can help, please contact me at

Thank you everyone.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The psychedelic secrets of Santa Claus

Modern Christmas traditions are based on ancient mushroom-using shamans.
Although most people see Christmas as a Christian holiday, most of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe.
The sacred mushroom of these people was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom, also known as "fly agaric." These mushrooms are now commonly seen in books of fairy tales, and are usually associated with magic and fairies. This is because they contain potent hallucinogenic compounds, and were used by ancient peoples for insight and transcendental experiences.
Most of the major elements of the modern Christmas celebration, such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, magical reindeer and the giving of gifts, are originally based upon the traditions surrounding the harvest and consumption of these most sacred mushrooms.
The world tree
These ancient peoples, including the Lapps of modern-day Finland, and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes, believed in the idea of a World Tree. The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the "middle earth" of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.
The amanita muscaria mushrooms grow only under certain types of trees, mostly firs and evergreens. The mushroom caps are the fruit of the larger mycelium beneath the soil which exists in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of the tree. To ancient people, these mushrooms were literally "the fruit of the tree."
The North Star was also considered sacred, since all other stars in the sky revolved around its fixed point. They associated this "Pole Star" with the World Tree and the central axis of the universe. The top of the World Tree touched the North Star, and the spirit of the shaman would climb the metaphorical tree, thereby passing into the realm of the gods. This is the true meaning of the star on top of the modern Christmas tree, and also the reason that the super-shaman Santa makes his home at the North Pole.
Ancient peoples were amazed at how these magical mushrooms sprang from the earth without any visible seed. They considered this "virgin birth" to have been the result of the morning dew, which was seen as the semen of the deity. The silver tinsel we drape onto our modern Christmas tree represents this divine fluid.
Reindeer games
The active ingredients of the amanita mushrooms are not metabolized by the body, and so they remain active in the urine. In fact, it is safer to drink the urine of one who has consumed the mushrooms than to eat the mushrooms directly, as many of the toxic compounds are processed and eliminated on the first pass through the body.
It was common practice among ancient people to recycle the potent effects of the mushroom by drinking each other's urine. The amanita's ingredients can remain potent even after six passes through the human body. Some scholars argue that this is the origin of the phrase "to get pissed," as this urine-drinking activity preceded alcohol by thousands of years.
Reindeer were the sacred animals of these semi-nomadic people, as the reindeer provided food, shelter, clothing and other necessities. Reindeer are also fond of eating the amanita mushrooms; they will seek them out, then prance about while under their influence. Often the urine of tripped-out reindeer would be consumed for its psychedelic effects.
This effect goes the other way too, as reindeer also enjoy the urine of a human, especially one who has consumed the mushrooms. In fact, reindeer will seek out human urine to drink, and some tribesmen carry sealskin containers of their own collected piss, which they use to attract stray reindeer back into the herd.
The effects of the amanita mushroom usually include sensations of size distortion and flying. The feeling of flying could account for the legends of flying reindeer, and legends of shamanic journeys included stories of winged reindeer, transporting their riders up to the highest branches of the World Tree.
Santa Claus, super shaman
Although the modern image of Santa Claus was created at least in part by the advertising department of Coca-Cola, in truth his appearance, clothing, mannerisms and companions all mark him as the reincarnation of these ancient mushroom-gathering shamans.
One of the side effects of eating amanita mushrooms is that the skin and facial features take on a flushed, ruddy glow. This is why Santa is always shown with glowing red cheeks and nose. Even Santa's jolly "Ho, ho, ho!" is the euphoric laugh of one who has indulged in the magic fungus.
Santa also dresses like a mushroom gatherer. When it was time to go out and harvest the magical mushrooms, the ancient shamans would dress much like Santa, wearing red and white fur-trimmed coats and long black boots.
These peoples lived in dwellings made of birch and reindeer hide, called "yurts." Somewhat similar to a teepee, the yurt's central smokehole is often also used as an entrance. After gathering the mushrooms from under the sacred trees where they appeared, the shamans would fill their sacks and return home. Climbing down the chimney-entrances, they would share out the mushroom's gifts with those within.
The amanita mushroom needs to be dried before being consumed; the drying process reduces the mushroom's toxicity while increasing its potency. The shaman would guide the group in stringing the mushrooms and hanging them around the hearth-fire to dry. This tradition is echoed in the modern stringing of popcorn and other items.
The psychedelic journeys taken under the influence of the amanita were also symbolized by a stick reaching up through the smokehole in the top of the yurt. The smokehole was the portal where the spirit of the shaman exited the physical plane.
Santa's famous magical journey, where his sleigh takes him around the whole planet in a single night, is developed from the "heavenly chariot," used by the gods from whom Santa and other shamanic figures are descended. The chariot of Odin, Thor and even the Egyptian god Osiris is now known as the Big Dipper, which circles around the North Star in a 24-hour period.
In different versions of the ancient story, the chariot was pulled by reindeer or horses. As the animals grow exhausted, their mingled spit and blood falls to the ground, forming the amanita mushrooms.
St Nicholas and Old Nick
Saint Nicholas is a legendary figure who supposedly lived during the fourth Century. His cult spread quickly and Nicholas became the patron saint of many varied groups, including judges, pawnbrokers, criminals, merchants, sailors, bakers, travelers, the poor, and children.
Most religious historians agree that St Nicholas did not actually exist as a real person, and was instead a Christianized version of earlier Pagan gods. Nicholas' legends were mainly created out of stories about the Teutonic god called Hold Nickar, known as Poseidon to the Greeks. This powerful sea god was known to gallop through the sky during the winter solstice, granting boons to his worshippers below.
When the Catholic Church created the character of St Nicholas, they took his name from "Nickar" and gave him Poseidon's title of "the Sailor." There are thousands of churches named in St Nicholas' honor, most of which were converted from temples to Poseidon and Hold Nickar. (As the ancient pagan deities were demonized by the Christian church, Hold Nickar's name also became associated with Satan, known as "Old Nick!")
Local traditions were incorporated into the new Christian holidays to make them more acceptable to the new converts. To these early Christians, Saint Nicholas became a sort of "super-shaman" who was overlaid upon their own shamanic cultural practices. Many images of Saint Nicholas from these early times show him wearing red and white, or standing in front of a red background with white spots, the design of the amanita mushroom.
St Nicholas also adopted some of the qualities of the legendary "Grandmother Befana" from Italy, who filled children's stockings with gifts. Her shrine at Bari, Italy, became a shrine to St Nicholas.
Modern world, ancient traditions
Some psychologists have discussed the "cognitive dissonance" which occurs when children are encouraged to believe in the literal existence of Santa Claus, only to have their parents' lie revealed when they are older. By so deceiving our children we rob them of a richer heritage, for the actual origin of these ancient rituals is rooted deep in our history and our collective unconscious. By better understanding the truths within these popular celebrations, we can better understand the modern world, and our place in it.
Many people in the modern world have rejected Christmas as being too commercial, claiming that this ritual of giving is actually a celebration of materialism and greed. Yet the true spirit of this winter festival lies not in the exchange of plastic toys, but in celebrating a gift from the earth: the fruiting top of a magical mushroom, and the revelatory experiences it can provide.
Instead of perpetuating outdated and confusing holiday myths, it might be more fulfilling to return to the original source of these seasonal celebrations. How about getting back to basics and enjoying some magical mushrooms with your loved ones this solstice? What better gift can a family share than a little piece of love and enlightenment?
The Hidden Meanings of Christmas, Mushroms and Mankind, by James Arthur
Who put the Fly Agaric into Christmas?, Seventh International Mycological Congress, December 1999, Fungus of the Month
The Real Story of Santa, The Spore Print, Los Angeles Mycological Society, December 1998
Santa and those Reindeer: The Hallucinogenic Connection, The Physics of Christmas, by Roger Highfield
Fungi, Fairy Rings and Father Christmas, North West Fungus Group, 1998 Presidential Address, by Dr Sean Edwards
Fly Agaric, Tom Volk's Fungus of the Month for December 1999
Father Christmas Flies on Toadstools, New Scientist, December 1986
Psycho-mycological studies of amanita: From ancient sacrament to modern phobia, by Jonathan Ott, Journal of Psychedelic Drugs; 1976
Santa is a Wildman, LA Times, Jeffrey Vallance
Mushrooms and Mankind, by James Arthur
Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, by Gordon Wasson
Mushrooms, Poisons and Panaceas, by Denis R. Benjamin

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mark Steel: Hands off our greedy bankers

It's the right of every Englishman to have his country robbed blind by the banks

You can see why, after 50 years of putting up with Europe, this was finally the issue where we couldn't take any more. Because the bastards were insisting we impose a vague regulation or two on our bankers and speculators, those brave and tireless souls who invest round the clock to keep us safe with not a thought for themselves. Well, the French had the audacity to suggest someone kept an eye on them from time to time. Haven't bankers suffered enough?

So, just like in 1940, we stand alone, and hopefully at every bus stop, you'll hear the plucky British saying: "Blooming Krauts, who do they think they are telling us our bankers aren't allowed to rob us blind? That's the right of every Englishman, to have his country robbed blind by bankers. Now Frau Merkel wants to make them only rob me nine-tenths blind until they get themselves straight. Well, we fought off the Luftwaffe, so we'll see off this lot an' all."

Soon we'll hear heartwarming stories of national pride, with old-age pensioners on the regional news saying: "I had £20 put by for a new hearing aid, but instead I've sent it off to Goldman Sachs to let them know I, for one, am willing to carry on getting fleeced by them, whether the Frogs say I can or not." And charming letters from children will be published, saying: "I wanted to stop those Europeans make nasty rules for our banks, so I sold my rabbit to the butcher and gave the money to Fred Goodwin. It might not be much, but it's all I've got".

There are many reasons to be suspicious of the European Union, but it seems the ones we're supposed to be annoyed about are when they pass rules stopping employers from making people work longer hours than anywhere else, or insisting on extra holidays.

And the City of London wasn't necessarily the most loved institution, so it's taken quite an effort for the Government to present an attempt to tax them slightly as a similar act to Hitler's invasion of Poland. So maybe other unpopular groups ought to try a similar strategy. Paedophiles should issue a statement saying: "Would you believe what they're suggesting in Strasbourg? They want a law regulating our porn sites across the whole European Union." Then the Daily Mail will scream that we simply can't tolerate this unconstitutional bullying.

And anyone caught going berserk in a public building with an axe can spend all week debating whether a European axe law would destroy our sovereignty and what the Hungarians were offering and whether we're isolated outside the Euro-lunatic zone, and, with a bit of luck, they'll have half the country in a state of confusion and the other half screaming, "At last! An axe murderer prepared to defend Britain!", while it's gently forgotten that decapitation shouldn't, on the whole, really be celebrated at all.