Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Smacking to be outlawed in Scotland as ban is backed

This opening section probably sums up most of the relevant points, and shames those NOT supporting the passage of this bill.

Legislation to ban the smacking of children in Scotland is being published at Holyrood.

The bill, lodged by Green MSP John Finnie, has been backed by the government and looks certain to pass.

Mr Finnie said children should be given “the same legal protection from assault that adults enjoy”.

Other parties are expected to give members a free vote on the issue, with MSPs from across the political spectrum voicing support for the move.

However, the Scottish Conservatives said present legislation “works well because it is based on common sense, and reflects what the majority of parents want”.

Adopting a ban would make Scotland the first part of the UK to outlaw the physical punishment of children, with parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland currently allowed to use “reasonable chastisement”.

At present, parents in Scotland can claim a defence of “justifiable assault” when punishing their children, although there is a bar on the use of any “implement”, shaking or striking a child on the head.

Mr Finnie, a former policeman, is seeking to change that with his members’ bill, which would scrap the legal defence and give children “equal protection from assault”.

Smacking ban bill published at Holyrood

Smacking to be outlawed in Scotland as ban is backed

I still see nothing to change my view that those opposing or campaigning against this bill should be watched or investigated – for reasons I hope are obvious. There can’t be ANY good reason for opposing a law that protects children from violence from ANYONE.

And I still pose the question of why it is seen by such people as acceptable to use physical punishment of children under the guise of “reasonable chastisement”, yet (fortunately) is not acceptable for the same solution to be used by those looking after the elderly, who may display similar behaviour to disobedient children if suffering from dementia.

From the numerous moronic comments which follow the article given above, it seems that it’s fine for children to be beaten into submission or obedience (by fear) as it is quick. The commenters ask what a parent can do if they can’t beat their children.

Some might suggest parents take the time to find out why they are misbehaving, and address the issue – but that would take time, and detract from valuable drinking time!



08/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Sad new about Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary near Oban

Sad to see that declining visitor number mean the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban can no longer carry on, and has announced its closure.

Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary to close at the end of October

The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary has been educating and entertaining local families and those visiting the area since opening in 1979.

Sadly visitor numbers to the attraction have been in decline and after comprehensively reviewing every possible option, there isn’t a viable way to sustain the significant investment that is required in order to keep the sanctuary open.

Therefore we have come to the sad conclusion to close the sanctuary on the 31st October 2018.

The closure announcement in full

The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary

No doubt the ‘animal rights activists (aka ‘loonies’) will be dancing with joy at the news.

I don’t think I ever made it along to the centre in the days when I used to be a fairly regular visitor to Oban.

Just bad timing, as I don’t think it got a lot of publicity at the time (and don’t think it ever did, more’s the pity).

Sea Life Sanctuary Pic

Sea Life Sanctuary Pic

08/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

James Watt and his condenser at the People’s Palace

It’s almost embarrassing to think of how many times I must have passed this statue without having any idea who it was or what it depicted.

Trouble is, the most useful path through Glasgow Green passes just behind it, so although I’ve seen the back of the character many times, there’s no obvious indication as to its identity or significance.

In fact, the only reason I did identify was when I saw a pic from the front, which also showed the name.

It is our own James Watt, shown with his invention (NOT the steam engine!), the steam condenser.

It was only while watching a short film about (static) steam engines that I learned just how significant his invention was.

In summary, until Watt came along, all steam engines (Newcomen) were horrendously inefficient with respect to heat efficiency, and wasted most of the heat/fuel that had been used to raise the steam which moved them – they basically threw it away in the exhaust stroke by just exhausting the steam straight to atmosphere AND by cooling the cylinder in order to start the next power stroke.

It was stated that steam engines were probably coming to the end of their useful life in this country as so many forests had been cut down to provide wood to fuel them, and coal was needed for so many other purposes, not just fuelling them. Importing wood by sea was maybe a short term solution, but was both expensive and took up space on boats.

It seems Watt arrived with his condenser just about the right time, and his device allowed steam to be reused in the same engine, and improved efficiency by moving the cooling to the condenser, so the engine itself could remain hot, eliminating the need to heat and cool almost the whole thing with every stroke.

No wonder he was able to get every buyer of his device to pay him a royalty, but it seems he wasn’t that financially adept, and although he became a wealthy man, that was probably thanks to his partnership with Matthew Boulton. They did have to go to court to enforce patents, and in current terms (2016) had just short of £2 million owed. They did win, but probably never collected it all, and the court was, of course, expensive. Still, if that was the disputed amount, you can imagine what the properly paid up figure might have been.

James Watt and Condenser at the Peoples Palace

James Watt and Condenser at the Peoples Palace

Wonder why he’s holding a pair of nutcrackers?

Getting ready to visit the people who owed him money?


After noting a comment about my ‘nutcracker’ joke on Twitter (have they never tried to get money from clients?), I tried to find a definitive reference to the measuring device Watt is holding, but came up empty. There’s a couple of possibilities, but the detail is insufficient for me to risk stating any particular one (and being shouted at for being wrong), although I think it’s safe to assume it is a reference to his background in mechanical engineering .


I did learn that this statue once resided in Dassie Green, not far away, where it ended up neglected and headless.

Removed for restoration around 2003, it was reinstalled at the People’s Palace around 2006 – when it looked a lot better than it does now. I’m not a great fan of weathering and neglect, but he has his head, so I’m still happy.

08/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment


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