My February Column Published Today

Jesus carries his cross to Calvary

Jesus Carries His Cross

My latest column is published today in the Scottish Catholic Observer. The Way of The Cross. This month I look at the Second Station – Jesus caries his cross. What more is there to say about that? Get your copy this weekend in your local parish and find out.

Full text here next week for those who miss the rush and can’t get a copy.

Free Book Offer – Lenten Reading

Suitable Lenten Reading

Suitable Lenten Reading

My latest Kindle publication “My Journey of Faith” is on a free offer promotion on Kindle.

The free offer runs from Friday 28th February 2014 ’till Sunday 2nd March. The book is normally priced at 99p.

Clicking HERE will take you to the book.

This will make good lenten reading, or, if it doesn’t live up to expectation it could provide you with a suitable Lenten Pennance.

Is It Time For Football To Go Away?

A goal

Ball in the net – so what?

There is much speculation about the imminent ‘Second Administration’ of Glasgow Rangers. It raises the question “Would you be sorry to see them go?” Many Celtic supporters would be sorry to lose their big hitter opponent. I would not be sorry.
Actually I would not be sorry to see Celtic and all the other football ‘clubs’ go. You might ask why a football agnostic would bother to comment. Well, it’s quite simple. I think football has become a major threat to our world. It could be described as the poor man’s Scientology.
What is football about? It’s about kicking a plastic ball into a nylon net. It’s also about stopping the other guy kicking a plastic ball into a nylon net. What’s so bad about that? Well, what’s so good about it? Football has gone beyond any rational game. It has become the focus for all sorts of tribal nonsense. It has become the home for all those who need to belong to something; preferably something that doesn’t require any difficult beliefs, specialist knowledge or understanding.
You can go along and join in the singing and feel part of the community. It’s almost like a religion, but less complicated. Well, so what? What’s so bad about that? Was it Karl Marx who said that religion was the opiate of the people? Well now it’s football. The papers are full of it. The television must show it. And, all the time, the real issues in our world can be sidelined. The economy is in the septic tank and we can happily pay a potato over £300,000 per week to kick a ball (or so I’m told).
Our government is knocking seven bells out of the poorest in society and it’s football managers who get the sack. Keep people concentrating on trivia as if their lives depend on it and you can get away with murder. Football is escapism; but there’s no escaping the reality that we have lost all sense of proportion and we are allowing ourselves to be kidded.
Look, there is a housing shortage! Why not build houses on all those stadia and give people a place to live? If you like football, then take a ball down to the park and kick it about. It’s as simple as that. Now I realise that these views might offend. That’s not my intention. I’d just like to inject a small slice of reality into an imaginary world.

Fings Aint Wot They Used Ta Be

Freak waves

Storms hit the coast

I don’t know if you’ve noticed , but the weather has been rather unusual recently. Storms have lashed the south coast and have destroyed the railway line to Cormwall. There are so many flooded areas in England that emergency services are stretched beyond their limits. Even the army is overstretched.

That’s not all. The East coast of the USA and Canada has been suffering a winter like no other. Some places have seen snow for the first time. Travel has been almost impossible at times. Meanwhile California is suffering its worst ever winter drought. I was in San Francisco over a year ago and my cousin Matt McGhaa was explaining that their summer water supply is dependent on the winter snows on the hills melting and topping up their reservoirs. Not much hope of that this year.

Australia has been on fire again.

Do you think the climate may be changing?

Do you think it might not be for the better?

Do you think the government has taken this seriously?

I don’t really want to be a prophet of doom, but the way things are looking I think we should start considering some changes around here. We could start with a government that seems to have missed the predictions and gut the money for flood protection.

The 50% Line

The clowns

Boris and Dave; who should resign first?

London Mayor, Boris Johnston has complained about the current Underground strikes in the capital. He argues that it is not right for a union to call a strike without the backing of 50% of the members, not the voting members but 50% of the membership.

There is a certain logic to his demand. It does sound democratic. It sounds absolutely reasonable. Who could refuse such a request. It is, in fact, a very democratic principle. There would be no need to demand that the unions adopt this principle if it became an integral part of our democracy.

General elections would seen to be more than fair if the winner had to poll 50% of the electorate; not 50% of the votes, but 50% of those eligible to vote. There would arise a slight problem; fewer than 50% of the electorate regularly vote. It might be impossible to elect a government then. You might think that would be no bad thing when we consider the amateur bunch (Boris’ pals) who are running the show now.

Well done Boris! another load of absolute, unconsidered nonsense put out as political speak.