Monthly Archives: May 2013

Parisienne Walkways

Les amis et les lecteurs

Car nous sommes tous les frères et les soeurs Europeens ensemble a la Communaute europeenne afectuesue d’amusement nous ont mis en march ce courier en Francais.

Once you language buffs have translated the above, please take your time you will get the jist of where we are going with this continental post. While the French have the delights of the Rue Barbie, the left bank, and such other crafted walkways, we have similar if not exactly the same crafted walkway in the romantic lovers lane that is Pennywell Road.

Surely the envy of crafted walkways everywhere. North Edinburghs very own Royal Mile, if not quite that distance as the police seem to drive up it in seconds as they chase the little charmers that run off through the rabbit warrens that connect Pennywell Road. Almost but not quite Venetian in design  Pennywell road offers little in grandeur but much in bad design so we have the worst of both worlds.

But dear friends let us not dwell on such minute detail just sit back and breath in the gentile tranquillity of the duel carriageway from hell. We shall enter from the Ferry Road end, walking of course and the first sight is the red bricked Pennywell Health center, there to serve the needs of the local punters, and a great job they do as well. Next is the overgrown gap site on which stood at one time Craigroyston High School who’s claim to fame is it had Scotland manager Gordon Strachen as a pupil. On we trot and as you glance to the right you can see the array of trees that stretch all the way down the street with it’s uncut grass and hidden dog poo-where’s Cammy when you need him- Then almost like some black magic trick we are faced with the delight of the Muirhouse shopping center or is it precinct, will someone please tell us.

All of human life can be seen here, why go and see the pandas when you can see the real thing for free. Much has been said and written about this shopping heaven. Dogs of all breeds both four legged and two can be seen running about muzzle free as can the humans who are also muzzle free. You can if you are brave enough stop off for a strawberry tart at Greggs washed down with a delightful can of Red Bull, makes you tingle just thinking about it, certainly the Red Bull will make you tingle.

Slightly dizzy we venture on and with our Klingon cloaking device in place we pass the Gunner Public house, not on the heritage trail and we really can’t understand why. The Gunner has been witness to many dubious things over the years and has a unique history all of it’s own, certainly nobody else wants it. As you cross the ever so slightly pot holed road of Muirhouse Parkway with it’s sprinkling of broken glass you venture past the new Craigroyston High encased behind high wire, reminiscent of the H block in Northern Ireland. So that’s it the end of Pennywell Road, well one side of it, the other side is just as dull minus the shopping center or is it precinct. It has public transport going both ways, cars both owned and stolen, lit up at night by both street lights and blue sirens, nice contrast.

Not yet on the ramblers trail but we think soon.

 

Mad Hatter

Friends and readers

The popularity of pilton sucks version 1 was such that we received complaints if certain individuals were not mentioned. To protect the guilty we won’t mention names, we’d love to but we shall show restraint.

So dear friends we have a new character and reader, new to the political cat fight comes Vicki [the hat] Redpath.  Vicki is 50% of the Labour representation in sunny Forth the other 50% being our very own dog fouling czar and with a natty line in slightly squint ties Cammy Day. Vicki’s millinery collection of hats we are told is vast many of which have come from charity shops something that almost made Prada Hinds faint as she would not be seen even walking on the same side of the street that happened to have a charity shop.

Prada’s idea of charity apart from beginning at home is the boxing day sale at Harrods. Pilton sucks as always likes to give our new characters a welcoming introduction so Vicki can breath easy for the time being. Cammy’s new partner in fraternal comradeship has some big shoes to fill but we are sure she will do her best not to trip up as pilton sucks will be there to pick her up, and you don’t want that.

Vicki’s introduction into the hotbed of political infighting that is the Forth Ward has been relatively banana skin free, but that’s bound to change in fact it’s a certainty. She now as one of her remits has to try and deal with Pete [the perm] Strong. Rumour has it that Pete thinks he’s in for an easy ride, we think not, should be an interesting joust,  Pete with mace and Vicki with sword and shield and of course hat. Vicki has a hat for every occasion, rain hail or snow you can rely on Vicki to have just the right headgear, we wonder what hat she will don when the roof falls in.

As always Pilton sucks wishes Ms. Redpath well and hopes she brings pilton sucks some juicy titbits with which to tempt the readers. We would advise our new character Vicki to grow eyes in the back of her head, and that’s just to deal with her own comrades. Good luck Vicki you will need it, and we are watching.

Production Distribution And Exchange

Friends and readers

Is capitalism still capable of developing the productive forces on a world scale and of leading mankind forward. This dear friends is a fundamental question. It is of decisive significance for the proletariat of Europe and for the oppressed peoples of the entire world.

If it turns out that capitalism is still capable of fulfilling a progressive historical mission, of increasing the wealth of the peoples, of making their labor more productive, then we’ve knocked it off. As Marx explained, no social system disappears before exhausting all the possibilities latent in it. Confronted with the economic situation unfolding before us at present, with the ascendancy of China over all capitalist mankind and the radical shift in the correlation of economic forces, we pose the question, has capitalism outlived itself or has it still before it a perspective of progressive work.

Marx once remarked that the realization of surplus value in one place requires it’s extraction in another. By this he meant that the accumulation of capital was not an individual question, but a social process.

Let us widen a bit this whole question of is capitalism in crisis. Over the past 30 years the United States has been in economic decline, first relatively and now absolutely, an economic fact made apparent by the financial collapse of 2008. Friend Trotsky drew out the explosive implications of the rise of American capitalism. Does he have something to say about it’s decline? Most definitely.

Around 80 years ago Trotsky noted. In the period of crisis the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly, and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom. The United States would seek to extricate itself from the maladies at the expense of it’s rivals, above all in Europe, whether peacefully or through war. Today we can add it’s rivals in Asia as well. The deepening conflicts over trade, currency levels, balance of payments deficits, as well as increasingly aggressive military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan to name just two, and now the open diplomatic, as well as military moves against China, point to the fact that a new convulsive and revolutionary period of world history has begun, driven forward by the same contradiction between world economy and the nation-state system that Trotsky placed at the very centre of his perspective.

Taste Buds

Friends and readers

As you know from time to time pilton sucks likes to delve into something different and do we have a little beaut for all you discerning punters out there. Coffee yes dear friends the price of and the taste of in various outlets that one of our readers has kindly told us about.

Where to start, ah yes Costas in the Craigleith shopping center. On entering this dimly lit haven of delight we are met by what always seems to be an eternal queue, and it’s only when it comes to your turn to choose your personal favourite that you realise why, the bloody awful service. Slow is not the word for it and they make ordering coffee feel like working out a complicated maths equation. Don’t whatever you do be tempted by one of their overly sugary treats you will need a mortgage to pay for it.

The seating is passable if you clean the tables yourself, that’s an extra, and last weeks papers are always available, well bits of them anyway. The coffee is quite good and makes up for the other short comings. Next door is the always reliable Marks an Spencers and their café is up the stairs is well lit and you even get a little biscuit on the side of your saucer, how quaint. The seats nearest the windows are the best as you can sit and watch the frustrated motorists trying to find spaces without taking the side off someone elses car. As for their coffee it’s better priced than Costa’s and it’s not to bad a taste either if you can stand the screaming little darlings who run between the tables just marginally avoiding a calamity. On the down side if you are a punter that likes their coffee in a paper cup then Marks and Sparks is not for you.

On we travel to the shopping complex of Ocean Terminal and a wide choice of drinking delight. We will mention two Starbucks and Frankie and Bennys. Starbucks yes we know they don’t pay their taxes, has undergone a couple of makeovers but they still haven’t got it right, should have left it the way it was. The permanent grinning assistants, must be a job requirement, ask you your name when you order coffee, must be frightened you will run off without paying, bit like Starbucks in general. They have paper cups so our fussy punters have scored.

Again be careful when asking for their oddly looking Lemon cake or giant size chocolate chip cookies, even sounds dreadful, as they too are eagely priced and might make you choke with fright. the coffee is pleasantly nice but the seating if you don’t get the soft ones will give you a sore backside. The toilets sometimes work which is handy and all in all it’s quite pleasant and reasonably priced.

However if you are daring and are flush then step this way to Frankie and Bennys were a cup of coffee is a watery eye opening experience. Quite simply don’t go it’s far to expensive nearly 7 quid for two small cups of coffee. the music is quite good if you can stand the happy birthday chorus which blasts out every two minutes. They too don’t have paper cups so watch out for that one dear friends.

Our last port of call is MacDonalds and for proximity our friend called in at the one in Telford Road. Surprise Surprise not only is their coffee quite passable it’s by far the cheapest of all the ones we mentioned, again that’s if you can stand the madding crowds of kids high on whatever they put in these hamburgers, and according to our friend they let anybody in these days.

Complexity Embraced

Friends and readers

There is estimated to be in excess of 20 trillion dollars stashed away in offshore accounts. Information is leaking out to show how this has happened and who the guilty are.Information available shows cash transfers that illustrate how offshore financial dodges have spread aggressively around the world allowing the wealthy and well connected to dodge taxes and fueling corruption and economic woes in rich and poor nations alike.

The vast flow of offshore money legal and illegal, personal and corporate can destroy economies and pit nations against each other. Europe’s continuing financial crisis has been fuelled by a Greek fiscal disaster exacerbated by offshore tax cheating and by a banking meltdown in the tiny tax haven of Cyprus, where local bank’s assets have been inflated by waves of cash from Russia.

Offshore secrecy undermines law and order and forces average citizens to pay higher taxes to make up for revenues that vanish offshore. Flows of global proceeds of financial crimes total between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion a year. The anonymity of the offshore world makes it difficult to track the flow of money although it can be estimated that the amount of money tucked away in offshore havens is probably equivalent to the size of the U.S and Japanese economies combined.

While the world economy has stumbled the offshore world has continued to grow. Offshore secrecy has a corrosive effect on Governments and legal systems, allowing crooked officials to loot national treasuries and providing cover to human smugglers, mobsters, animal poachers and other exploiters.

Our own noble Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to use his leadership of the G8 a forum of the world’s richest nations, to help crack down on tax evasion and money laundering. This dear friends can be taken with a pinch of salt given the role played by key G8 members the U.S, UK and Russia as offshore remains a zone of impunity for anyone determined to commit financial crimes.

AGM

Friends and readers

We have been asked by a reader to remind people that the Granton and District Community Council will be having it’s AGM  Wednesday evening 29/05/13.

We are told that the AGM will be held at the Royston Wardieburn Community Centre in Pilton Drive North between 7pm and 9pm and all are welcome.

Gotta Serve Somebody

Friends and readers.

The 24 hour throw away society we now live in can sometimes leaving us scratching our backsides wondering who exactly is running the show if indeed there is anybody at the helm. We in Scotland have a devolved executive which should bring Government closer to the people, we leave you to decide that.

Social networking has allowed those who wish to get involved in a seemingly meaningless activity access to the lives of others to the point where we can find out almost everything about someone elses life. Financial mis-management on a massive scale pushing the world to the brink of financial Armageddon. Government by coercion, covert decision making designed to inflict maximum discomfort and thereby control.

Nobody answering for anything and the buck passed down the food chain. Working peoples rights being slowly and deliberately eroded overtly threatened and told to work longer and harder for less. The Orwellian world of total control by stealth and faceless individuals is all but here and we are powerless to do anything about it. The justice system is stacked against us, for example just ask the poor individuals who have suffered the torment of domestic abuse under our very noses and have tried and failed to get the law to help them.

Yet if you don’t pay your parking fine you will be hounded till kingdom come. Outside forces beyond our control buy and sell our lives on the turn of a card and then turn away blaming those who have no seat at the decision making table. If we just stop and examine who is exactly running what and who is called to account for it, it’s a difficult thing to do. The Country went to the polls a few years ago and the result was a coalition of lobotomised wonders. Clegg is at a loss to figure out what day it is as the Bullingdon boys plunder the pockets of the poorest and create Ghettos of poverty and destitution.

They stumble from one policy made on the hoof to another while protecting their band of crooked nonentities. Their desire to destroy hard fought employment rights knows no bounds and sell off what’s left of the family silver to their pals. The continuing dismantling of the NHS is criminal by any other name, and the protecting of the banks is criminal. These bonus cushioned termites who instead of being ordered to invest in the country they so nearly destroyed are allowed to pay themselves obscene amounts of money for failure.

What does the bumbling Chancellor Osbourn do? why nothing of course, who elects these people. We the mug punters are the front line fodder of their blunders and point blank range hits at our living standards. There is always lots of money for our destruction but little or nothing for our salvation. We serve at the pleasure of our betters or so they believe, but what comes back for our subservience, more pain and misery. The fatcats have thrived on the misery of others and these bloodsuckers have an insatiable appetite for greed. There are so many laws to keep us at bay that we can barely breath without someone slapping a fine on us. Late with your mortgage/rent, late with your fuel bills or anything else and some faceless machine controlled individual will write to you issuing you threats and warning you of the dire consequences of not paying.  We live today in a society controlled by god knows who subject many to constant threats.

We gotta serve somebody but who?

Just Another High

Friends and readers

The silly season is fast approaching some even believing Hibs might win the Scottish cup. We have even been told our old pal and regular sucks reader Pete Strong our illustrious Neighbourhood manager and Labour Party fund raiser is thinking about a new hair style, a perm indeed now that’s silly. Our friend Pete has at last got his way as the Forth Neighbourhood Partnership becomes a need to know Partnership as long as you flash your party card the Labour kind.

Pete has always hated communicating with the punters it brought him out in a sweat which gave the impression he was always running, yes usually the other way. The action groups have all but vanished which leaves Pete’s pals to make and take the decisions with little or no accountability. Decisions taken in smoke free rooms are now back and even the dog fouling initiative-where’s Cammy when you need him-is laughed about behind closed doors. The day’s of community participation is but a memory unless you are a member of the nod and twitch club.

We understand Pete has a signed photo of Cammy on his wall alongside Stalin and Pamela Anderson, one wit commented that they didn’t know who the biggest tit was. It rests with the excluded ones to force answers from Pete and his gang as money is spent on pet projects to shore up the Labour vote. In a previous life Pilton Sucks made great play of the overtly corrupt practices and openly named names. For a while things started to improve under the Lib-dem SNP coalition and decision making started to be made locally. But dear friends that has been binned in the name of democracy. We urge Pete and his pals to grab the nearest dictionary and look up the word democracy, might get a fright at the actual meaning comrades.

Evening All

Friends and readers

Once again the Labour Monthly and propaganda broadsheet the NEN have been caught out. It appears that their latest request for public dosh will be declined. Apparently our pals at the NEN didn’t disclose that they already had a few quid of public money stashed in the bank doing nothing, naughty naughty.

Did they forget, or slip their mind or just plain tried to conceal it, we will leave that up to our readers to decide. We reported how former councillor and Met officer Stuart McIvor was quite rightly pressing for answers but has yet to get a straight one. Mr. McIvor has to be applauded for his efforts and we hope he continues in his quest for answers. We also reported about an investigation into the NEN’s financial activities which is ongoing.

However dear friends it is to the Pillar of the Community Eddie Thorn we briefly turn our attention to. Mr. Thorn who presents himself as whiter than white is knee deep in the NEN’s murky activities. Mr Thorn a former banker and that on it’s own say’s it all. He presents himself as a Community leader, is a Labour party activist, lucky him and dear friends is a Sessions Clerk at the Blackhall Parish Church, and last but not least he is on the NEN board.

We ask the question as might the parishioners at Blackhall Parish Church, What exactly does Mr. Thorn know about the goings on at NEN. We have tried to contact Mr. Thorn and get his comments but as you can guess without success. What is abundantly clear is Mr.Thorn  has some questions to answer. It might be he would like to pray for divine guidance, and he is in the right place to do it.

Told You So

Friends and readers

Pilton Sucks broke the news to you of the Tram Fiasco’s Requirement for a passenger carrying licence, a necessity to provide a track record and of course the ludicrous amount of money being paid to gravy train passenger Ian Craig.

The Edinburgh Evening news picked up our scoop as did Scotland today and asked our old friend and regular sucks reader Lesley Prada Hinds on council Telly these very questions. Our Pal Prada and Chair of everything was unable or more like unwilling to answer any of these questions.

So allow Pilton Sucks to answer for Prada as she clearly is at a loss to come up with any kind of answer. There will be no fare paying passengers until at the very earliest 2014. In the meantime the mug punters through the increase in bus fares will cope for the cost of them lying idle. On top of that we reported about the wrong type of track gauge which made some of our lovely Trams difficult to hive off to some other poor sucker. On top of that all the internal furnishings including the LRT logo will have to be ripped out before at our expense they are transported to whoever draws the short straw.

Our Pal and chair of everything Prada is clearly not going to be open and forthcoming about the reality of Edinburgh’s own personal white elephant. That leaves the job to Pilton Sucks. So come on Lesley stay out of Harvey Nic’s and play straight with the punters, oh and while you are at it remind everyone how you wanted to stop the Trams at Haymarket another great idea.