Showing posts from July, 2020

Lake Marie - John Prine

Lots of really great songs don't tell a story, in the old-fashioned sense of having a beginning, a middle and an end. Yet they can still stir the emotions with powerful moods and memories, as is this case here with my favourite song of the moment - 'Lake Marie' by the late, great John Prine.        Lake Marie by   John Prine We were standing Standing by peaceful waters Standing by peaceful waters Whoa, wah, oh wha, oh Whoa, wah, oh wha, oh Many years ago along the Illinois-Wisconsin border There was this Indian tribe They found two babies in the woods White babies One of them was named Elizabeth She was the fairer of the two While the smaller and more fragile one was named Marie Having never seen white girls before And living on the two lakes known as the Twin Lakes They named the larger and more beautiful lake, Lake Elizabeth And thus the smaller lake that was hidden from the highway Became known forever as Lake Marie We were standing Standing by peaceful waters S

The Story of Lake Marie

John Prine, RIP.     Never Gonna Let Him/Her Go! (09/04/20) John Prine and Iris DeMent have great fun explaining how some couples stick together 'in spite of themselves'.   John Prine - 'Sam Stone' (09/04/20) John Prine, the American songwriter, has just passed away as  a result of complications from Covid-19. I can still remember the words of Sam Stone, one of the first songs to make a really big impression on me as a teenager. The song is about the aftermath of the Vietnam War - a conflict which Donald Trump avoided, of course. Not because of any principled or conscientious objection on Trump's part, but because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and the infamous drafting-dodging 'bone spurs' in his heels.           Sam Stone by  John Prine Sam Stone came home, To the wife and family After serving in the conflict overseas. And the time that he served, Had shattered all his nerves, And left a little shrapnel in his knees. But the

Hypocrisy On Public Sector Pay - Who Gets What And Why?

Last year the Scottish Government found the money for a pay deal which gave school teachers a much better pay increase than other public sector workers - an extra 4% over three years at a cost of £120 million a year.  One year on and the Scottish Government's decision   is even more difficult to justify as much lower paid, front-line council workers have been right to the fore in keeping essential services going doing the Coronavirus epidemic.     So I hope Minister's are now suitably ashamed   of their behaviour because the cost of living for low paid council workers - the cost of bread and milk - is just the same for them as it is for their school teacher colleagues. Because there was no logic or justification in going the extra mile to find extra millions for school teachers while treating other groups of workers, such as council care staff and refuse workers, so much less favourably. The Scottish Government likes to 'talk the talk' when it comes to equality

Glasgow Councillors - Full-Time, Part-Time and Second Jobs

I shared this post about the behaviour of two Glasgow councillors during lockdown back in May 2020. But the most interesting thing for me was that after looking at the City Council's register of interests it seems that both Cllr Wilson and Cllr Morgan have other remunerated employment in addition to their councillor salaries. Now the basic salary for a 'backbench' councillor is currently £17,854 (from 1 April 2020) but this was set, quite deliberately, as a part-time rate because the role of backbench councillor was not regarded as a full-time job. The original salary was set as a 'two-thirds' rate by SLARC (Scottish Local Authorities Remuneration Committee) having taken evidence from a whole range of interested parties and given recommendations to the Scottish Government - which agreed with SLARC. So the full-time equivalent salary for a backbench councillor is really £26,781 a year (ie £17,854 divided by two = £8,927 x 3 = £26,781) for the purpose of comp