Saturday, 14 May 2016

Sophia's Eurovision Preview 2016



Happy Eurovision!




Thank god fer Eurovision eh? Thank god fer somethin tae laugh at... er... *wi*.

As the season started ah wis grabbed by Belgium, France, Iceland (oops!), Russia (obvs), Georgia (not obvs) an Malta, but as the weeks went by Belgium an Iceland faded, Serbia, Bulgaria, an Italy grew oan me, an ah wis astonished, frankly, tae find masel singin the UK entry in the streets an textin lyrics tae Mr P... love it tae bits an hope the lads dae well...

It wid please me jist as much tae gie Joe & Jake's English entry "douze points fae Scotland" as it wid tae see oor independent Scotland's entry beat them soundly in the Gran Prix Final...

Bring it on!


Belgium - What's The Pressure - This wis ma early favourite, love the song, an the singer's got plenty bounce an energy an she'll make a great opener, but too lightweight tae dae weel, probably bottom half ... 8/10

Czechia - I Stand - Great tae see the Czechs in the final, an it's no that bad a song, but wi sae many big female ballads this needed tae be at the end fer impact, so ah think it'll be admired an forgotten, mid tae bottom ah wid say ... 7/10

Netherlands - Slow Down - I'm going nowhere and I'm going fast... Ah couldnae care less where Douwe Bob's gaun, jist sae long as he goes. Ah dinnae mind a bit o country at Eurovision, but this plodder disnae dae a thing fer me, low doon ah think ... 2/10

Azerbaijan - Miracle - The dependable Azerbaijanis put in serious, quality efforts, ah like this, but ah cannae see us back in Baku next year... mibbe aboot half-way up the board ... 7/10

Hungary - Pioneer - This dis ma heid in frankly, ah jist cannae see whit they see in Freddie, an his singin jist gies me a sair throat... well ah say singin, if ye can count growlin an shoutin as singin... an the song's a bit pants tae, bottom end methinks ... 1/10

Italy - No Degree Of Separation - The first yin ah'm really lookin forrit tae, love this tune, love the singer. Sadly, as she's stickin tae Italian (which is fine btw) ah dinnae see it fillin its potential, should end up jist past half-way ... 8/10

Israel - Made Of Stars - Ah jist ignored this song really, fer weeks, didnae like it, didnae like the singer... but it came alive at the Semi-final, an ah can see it creepin oantae the left board noo... still far fae ma favourite ... 5/10

Bulgaria - If Love Was A Crime - Yay Bulgaria, way tae go! Ah cannae mind o a Bulgarian entry ah've enjoyed as much as this, it's a great dancefloor pounder, ah jist wish ah could pronounce the "Ah'm a loofer" bit properly, like a Bulgar ... 9/10

Sweden - If I Were Sorry - Well, if Sweden hae anythin tae apologise fer, it's fer no sendin us Ace Wilder wi "Don't Worry" cos that song is Ace! an is oan ma fave list. This song tho, is keich, an Sweden will be sorry oan Sunday. ... 1/10

Germany - Ghost - Germany jist arenae gettin it, they keep pittin in horribly contrived songs that jist arenae 'natural'. Black Smoke wis awful, an this is nae better... an really, dinnae get me started if she comes oot dressed as a Pokemon or whitever it is... we'll hae nae Manga in Leith thanks ... 2/10

France - J'ai Cherche - Fae zero tae hero, fae flunk tae hunk, fae ridiculous tae sublime... Yin o the favourites here, an nae wonder, it's cheerful, bright, irresistibly sexy... an so is Amir. Ah hae some doubts aboot his live performance, but he'll get points jist fer flashin that Gallic smile at me ... 9/10

Poland - What Colour Is Your Life - Ah wis shocked when Poland unearthed this song fae somewhere back in the 20th century an picked it ower Rihanna, but recently it's started creepin up oan me, in the same way Conchita did actually, they're quite similar... but this isnae a winner ... 6/10

Australia - Sound Of Silence - Much better entry than last year, an proof that it wis a guid decision tae invite Australia back, this fits right in. Gorgeous singer, great voice, should be up there, well intae the Top Ten... They'll win it yin year ye ken... 8/10

Cyprus - Alter Ego - Oh ah love a bit o pop-rock sprinkled oan ma Eurovision, jist tae prove that other folk in Europe take it seriously an the UK needs tae get a real grip. It's passable pop-rock, though ah think the jail-bars are a bit unnecessary ... 5/10

Serbia - Goodbye (Shelter) - This singer immediately grabbed ma attention, but that's only cos ah thought she wis haein a seizure o some sort, she should really tone doon the convulsions... This takes me back tae Molitva though, an that could be significant ... 7/10

Lithuania - I've Been Waiting For This Night - Out o the 3 Baltic Boys ah thought Donny the cutest, but the song disnae cut much new ground, ye've heard it afore many times... don't think it'll grab the voters either, right-hand board comin up ... 5/10

Croatia - Lighthouse -  This is a pleasant, innocuous enough, raither bland song, the video wis unusual in hardly haein the singer in, jist lots o clouds an waves... mid-board ... 6/10

Russia - You Are The Only One - Well it's the favourite, an frankly that's difficult tae argue wi, it's a spot-on stomper, Sergey's lovely, an the stagin is astonishin, him climbin that wa jist blew me awa at the Semi-final an ah cannae wait tae see it again, he's heidin fer the top ... 9/10

Spain - Say Yay Yay - Lots o fowk are gaun a bundle ower this, but there's somethin stoppin me, it's jist lackin that special somethin... an there's far too much La La Las in it, which Spain should ken is. not. cool. Ah see this floppin badly ... 5/10

Latvia - Heartbeat - Supposedly this is follaein Loic Notel an Aminata as the uber-coolest thing since sliced iPhones... disnae dae much fer me, an Justs jist leaves me cauld ... 4/10

Ukraine - 1944 - Ah'm no yin fer censorship, no way jose, but Ukraine pittin this in the Eurovision is jist stirrin things... That said, there's no a lot tae fault on this, it's a straight-fae-the-heart, honest-tae-god, look-at-me-like-that-again-an-ah'll-batter-ye, stanes-in-a-sock cosh o a song, beautifully delivered... an ah love the frock! It'll be up there ... 9/10

Malta - Walk On Water - Well, yince Malta had made their mind up, they chose the right song, this is quality modern dance, it's upliftin, an bein near the end'll dae it nae herm, ah expect a top ten placin ... 8/10

Georgia - Midnight Gold - Ah fell in love wi this the first time ah heard it, it's unsettlin, dark, kindae scuzzy, possibly quite inappropriate... excellent. Then, at the Semi-Final, it grabbed me by the hair an ah fell in love wi it aw ower again. I cannot wait tae see this again, it's murrdertastic! Top Five ... 9/10

Austria - Loin d'ici - Ah dismissed this a piece o fly-awa fluff initially, destined only tae get a few points fae France, mibbe... but then it blossomed oan stage, an Mr P reminded me that there's plenty fowk oot there like a bit o marshmallow wi their Eurovision... *shrugs...* It'll dae better than it should ... 3/10

UK - You're Not Alone - Definitely the best thing we've pit in fer years... many years... It's bright, positive, cuddly, smiley, the boys are cute, Jake's even cuter... Joe's actually no very cute at aw... it's aw Jake fer me... but they're cute th'gither, so... fingers crossed, great position tae play in, should make the top ten ah think ... 9/10

Armenia - Lovewave - There's nae doubt they've saved a corker fer the end, this will benefit fae aw the alcohol consumed by that point, it'll take fowks' heids an shoogle them shtupit... Whether that's enough tae take their votes we'll see... but ah think this is the dark horse in the race... watch thae televotes when they come in ... 8/10


Fer aw the spotlight oan Russia ye wid think it's a foregaun conclusion that we're aff tae Moscow next year, but ah widnae be buyin a fur bunnet too quick, bookies an opinion polls are aften gang agley... an fowk dinnae aye like bein telt how they're gaunnae vote... plus Sergey might faw aff his wa, there's risks involved... Ukraine's comin up fast oan the ootside, an ah widnae count Armenia oot either...

Ah've gied ma 9/10s tae Russia, Ukraine, France, UK, Bulgaria an Georgia... so ah'd like tae see thae six in the Top Five... Ah'd say Armenia, Malta, Serbia an Australia will likely fill oot the Top Ten...

Bottom end, ah see Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden an Hungary gettin flushed awa... ah widnae miss them...

Money whaur ma mooth is - Of course ye cannae count Russia out, but ma waters are tellin me that Ukraine will pit up a guid fight against them... but they'll baith be pipped by Armenia.

There, ah've said it, Surprisin ye aw at the end, it's Armenia tae win.



Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Have ah got this right?



Right, bear wi me, ah'm jist workin this yin oot.

It looks like, gaun by the polls, that Labour could get wiped oot in the constituencies in May...

So aw the constituency MSPs are fightin tae get tae the top o the lists...

Which they'll manage cos they ken everybody, they hae clout in the party...

So aw the list MSPs are oot the door come May...

Tae be 'replaced' by aw the 'constituency' MSPs...

Some o them oan their fifth term, 17 years an countin...

So, Kezia's rejuvenation o Scottish Labour is gunnae depend oan the combined energies o a diminished bunch o agein party insiders that hae jist been rejected by the voters, individually an en masse...

Have ah got this right?



Monday, 22 September 2014

Mibbe ah'm deid, mibbe ah'm no...



Mibbe ah'm deid, mibbe ah'm no... but ah am only a character in some puir sowel's addled heid, born oot o ower much whisky an no enough guid sense, so dinnae greet, jist heave awa lads, ah'm no deid yet... or mibbe ah am...

Onyway, if ah am deid, ah'm the only yin. The indyref's ower, the lies were selt an boucht, the votes cast an counted, an fer the time bein we Scots hae been pit back in oor box. Actually, we climbed in, but the point's the same, naebody's deid. It wis a noisy battle, a messy yin, but no a bloody yin. Noo that it's ower, an we lost, oor priority is ta protect oorsels, oor kin, an oor nation. We hae tae build a wa tae defend whit's oors...


The bells are tolling fiercely,
And the cry comes louder in,
Mothers wailing for their children,
Sisters for their slaughtered kin.
All is terror and disorder,
Till the Provost rises up,
Calm as though he had not tasted,
Of the fell and bitter cup;
All so stately from his sorrow,
Rose the old undaunted chief,
That you had not deemed to see him,
His was more than common grief.
'Let them cease that dismal yelling
It is time enough to ring
When the fortress-strength of Scotland
Stoops to ruin, like its king.
Let the bells be kept for warning,
Not for terror or alarm;
When they next are heard to thunder
Let each man and stripling arm.
Bid the women cease their wailing:
Do they think that woeful strain
From the bloody heaps of Flodden
Can redeem their dearest slain?
Bid them cease, or rather hasten
To the churches, every one,
There to pray to Mary Mother,
And to her Anointed Son,
That the thunderbolt above us
May not fall in ruin yet,
That in fire and blood and rapine
Scotland's glory may not set.'


Noo look, ah ken it's a tad dramatic, an ah'm no suggestin fer a meenit that we send aw oor wummen tae the Kirk tae pray, no when the wummen o Scotland are some o oor best fighters, an fer the life o me ah cannae see whit guid prayin'll dae, but taen aw in aw, it fits wi whit ah'm feelin. We've lost, we've aw got wounds tae lick, but sae long as there's fight left in us, even if it's only a hundred o us, we're no aboot tae roll ower an show oor bellies, we're a fightin bunch, an Scotland's glory will not set, no yet...

This wis a message fae the other side...


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sophia's Eurovision Preview 2014...



Happy Eurovision Week!


*pits oan a funny hat, lets aff a party-popper an blaws a...* er, whit dae ye cry thae things ye blaw? Party-blawers? *shrugs, an blaws yin in yer face onyway...*

Ah'm aye gratified when we get tae this pairt o the year, Eurovision Week, cos tae me it means ye've survived anither winter, an ye've made it through tae the summer weather when ye can chuck open yer windaes, blaw yer cobwebs awa, an gie yer rugs a guid beatin...

*looks oot the windae at the low-slung damp greyness...*

Ach weel, ye cannae hae it guid every year, that wid jist spoil ye intae expectin guidness when, like aw things, the weather can be gey uneven at times. Ye cannae hae "Taps aff!" unless ye've had "Christ it's Baltic oot there!", nae dry withoot the soakin, nae calm withoot the wind knockin yer perm aw skellie...

An ye ken, *pits oan a I. M. Jolly face...* in a funny way, Eurovision can be the same sometimes. Ye cannae hae a Fairytale withoot a Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley, there's nae Jade Ewen withoot a Scooch, nae... get ma drift yet? Whit ah'm tryin tae say is that some Eurovisions are great, an some arenae... well this yins no yin o the greats, it's yin o the isnaes...

Mibbe that's cos there's nae stand oot winner, there's a couple vyin fer a lead, but nae sure-fire, unlike the past couple o years. It feels a wee bit like nae country's tryin really hard tae win - ah'm sure aw the artists individually are, but ah'm no sure winnin is whit maist o the participant backers are wantin. Mibbe it's cos, efter a couple o really contemporary winners everybody seems tae hae updated their styles an there are fewer comically parochial entries, tho yin or twa come close. Ah dinnae ken, mibbe it's jist me...

Anyhoo, oantae the previews an predictions. This year ah've pit aw ma mini-reviews up oan pearltrees. They're in three trees, Semi-Final 1, Semi-Final 2, an the Grand Final. (The Semi-Finals are in performance order but the Grand Final pre-entrants arenae)

In Semi-Final 1, ah'm hopin that Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belgium, San Marino an Portugal get the bum's rush, maistly, tho no purely, fer musical reasons. Ah'm a bit worried aboot Russia an Portugal tho... an if they scrape through ah'll only be really upset if it's at the expense o Sweden or Netherlands really, an ah think they should baith be safe enough...

In Semi-Final 2 ah'm hopin that Israel, Lithuania, Belarus, Macedonia an Slovenia get their mairchin orders. Sadly tho, ah imagine that Belarus will get through an Georgia willnae. Ma favourites here are probably Greece an Romania, tho tae be honest, ah'm no gaunnae be too fired-up oan Thursday... ah hope Conchita Wurst's frock cheers me up...

Strangely, ah think the best entries are awready through tae the Grand Final this year. France, Spain an the UK can be pleased wi their efforts this year, though Germany really need tae go hae a wee word wi thersels...

Oot o aw 38 entries then, here's me pittin ma neck oan the line... In nae particular order...

CLUNKERS - the yins that sound like stanes bein rubbed th'gither...

Lithuania - This wis obviously written by a committee, it's got awsorts o noises shoved in an battered aboot, which is how ah felt efter listenin tae it. Ah wis like aw "Make it stop! Make it stop!"...

Portugal - Aw Naw, aw naw hen! This is jist like aw the worstness o Eurovision crammed intae 3 minutes. Portugal hae been hopin tae win this thing fer centuries noo, an yet they keep pittin in a Portuguese entry! Ye'd think they'd learn... Weel, ah'll no be Wah-wah-wayin we ye come Tuesday, an ah sincerely hope ye'll no be Wah-wah-wayin wi us come Saturday!

San Marino - Wid somebody tell Valentina Monetta tae go an get a proper job, an stop abusin her faither, who obviously owns the San Marino telly...

Belgium - No. No. No...

Germany - Ah really don't know whit's possessed the Germans this year... ah could join this bunch oan stage an make fartin noises fae ma oxters an it widnae sound oot o place... really, ah ask ye...

DARK HORSES - Me bein awfy perceptive an predictive, or me hedgin ma bets..?

Austria - Ah didnae rate the bearded lady tae begin wi, ah thocht aw here we go again, as a Eurovision phenomenon it awready feels sooo last year, so whit she's got a beard? it's the flamin 21st century! an aw that manufactured outrage feels even mair tired than the 'bearded lady at a circus' gig dis! Tae tell the truth, ah didnae rate her that much that ah didnae even notice the song creepin up oan me, much like ye'd expect James Bond tae in fact. It's a sinister song that's perfect fer a lady wi a beard in a bath fu o rose petals that ah imagine'll turn up in a big frock, somethin tae dae wi flames... she'd better!

Belgium - Europe, jist dinnae. please, dinnae...

Armenia - Ah suppose ah should stick this here, seein as ah dinnae rate it an it's the bookie's favourite... search me why...

CLINKERS - the yins that sound like gold coins bein rubbed th'gither...

Sweden - Painful an raw, ah love a sair song, an this yin's stood up tae a guid amount o rubbin an pokin ower the past few weeks. If Sanna can haud her nerve at the quiet bits an pour aw that emotion intae the wails, she'll be a difficult wumman tae beat...

France - Even ah want a moustache noo, an it's no aften ye'll hear me say that! As usual the French add some joie de vivre tae Eurovision, an ah'll hae some o that...

Spain - Probably the maist straight-doon-the-line trad Euro-ballad in the show, but if Ruth Lorenzo can inject some o her personality an gie the vocals laldy she should gie Spain their best showin fer years...

Greece - Jump around! Jump around! Fight the economic slump with dance! Keep smilin! Pour me anither!

Romania - Second bites at the cherry dinnae usually work, but ah'm gled OVI an Paula came back fer mair, cos fer some reason ah really like them. Ah hope her throat's up tae the high note, cos ah'm no sure ah'll be able tae help...

An regardless o whit onybody else says...

Georgia - This song is a miracle in itsel, cos ah'm sure it's an entire concept double-album squeezed intae 3 minutes. This complex, multi-layered music's too guid fer Eurovision, an ah wish mair countries wid try that, try tae outflank ithers, try tae come up at their soft underbellies, try tae attack oot o the musical sun, try tae confuse them... er...



Friday, 17 May 2013

Sophia's Eurovision 2013 preview...


Ah wisnae gaunnae this year, but... ach weel why no?



Ah hae tae say ah've no been as excited this year as ah usually get, maist years there's nae livin wi me in the weeks runnin up, but listenin tae this year's songs ah wis mair Meh than Yeah if ye get ma drift...

Untill the semis that wis. It jist goes tae show ye how great performances can transform mediocre Eurovision songs, an efter haein ma appetite weel an truly whetted ah'm gettin masel intae quite the tizzy fer th'morn's night. So here's the deal, ah'll quickly run through them, then ye can watch me stick ma neck oot an nail it tae a mast, er...

Nothin much tae see in the first half-dozen...

France - fairly forgettable...
Lithuania - underwhelmin...
Moldova - musical run-o-the-mill, but a lovely frock an great hair, awfy arrestin...
Finland - Trash. Next...
Spain - Completely uninterestin...
Belgium - No great, an the dancers made me feel a bit no weel...
Estonia - Really auld-fashioned balled, heard it afore...

We get a bit mair uptempo, an nearer the meat...

Belarus - Gaun fer the Greek vote this year, but no the greatest Greek entry...
Malta - Nice enough, but a bit twee...
Russia - Big happy song wi a peace thing gaun oan, should dae awright...
Germany - Actually really unimaginative, an their 'big name' disnae bring big chances ah fear...
Armenia - How did this get through? Wet pants so it is...

Purple patch comin up...

Netherlands - Beautiful song, as deep as ye get in 3 minutes, hope everybody sits doon an listens...
Romania - Whit can ye say, crazy song, crazy guy. 11/10 stagin an a bit o a Lordi-dark-horse...
UK - Weel we aw love Bonnie, even if she is singin a ditchwater-dull song...
Sweden - Great uptempo tune, no a winner, but should end up near the top...
Hungary - Yin o ma fave songs, but ah dinnae think it translates tae a stage, sadly...
Denmark - The favourite, but no mine. Disnae stand repeated listenins...

Then the last section starts low but builds tae a nice climax...

Iceland - Another surprise qualifier, gey depressin tae hear an tae watch...
Azerbaijan - A pit-ye-tae-sleep song, but the choregraphy weel worth watchin...
Greece - Ach ye've got tae let the Greeks hae a wee laugh this year, it's only fair...
Ukraine - Cannae understand this bein a favourite, an the giant cairryin her oan, er, whit?
Italy - Anither quality ballad entry fae Italy, if ye like that sortae thing...
Norway - Ah think she'll win the frocks stakes, an it's a bangin, if hollow, song...
Georgia - Huge ballad cut fae the same pattern as Azerbaijan's Running Scared...
Ireland - Great placin fer a top dancer that ends things oan a high, as gay as it gets...


This year the producers decided the order, barrin a first-half/second-half draw, an ah think it shows, guid pacin an variety should help aw the songs tae stand oot. Kindae obvious tae me that the winner's gaunnae come fae the last few, maist likely Norway or Georgia, wi Italy no a kick in the erse aff it...

Ma Top Ten (pre-performance mind, that can be crucial) in the order that they sing...

Moldova
Russia
Netherlands
Romania
Sweden
Denmark
Italy
Norway
Georgia
Ireland

Clunker at the bottom - Belgium or Iceland

Special mentions tae - Netherlands, which might dae surprisinly weel, an Ireland comin up oan the ootside...

And the winner is - Georgia by a nose ower Norway...

An there ye hae it, neck firmly nailed... ah hope that disnae interfere wi ma drinkin th'morn... ;-)




Monday, 6 May 2013

Cast yer mind back...



Jist cast yer mind back fer a meenit, tae the Sixties if ye can, an mind how different life wis, fer abody. Mind coal fires, mind men at work an wummen daein messages, or spendin an entire day washin claes, mind weans gettin hammered, mind makin parritch the nicht afore, mind... weel mind yer ain life, whit wis it like fer you personally 50 year ago? How different wis it fae the life ye hae noo?

Ah'll bet, like me, it wis a different world, an no jist oan account o nae washin machines an haein tae soak yer lentils, it wis hugely different oan a political level an aw. We were at the height o the post-war British welfare state project, we were still bein reminded daily o whit we'd been through tae get that, aulder fowk had seen real sufferin baith afore an durin the war,  an how if we worked hard fer the country, through times that were hard, it wid gie us somethin that fowk really valued, it wid gie us security..

It's the mark of the enlightened society ah want tae see that offers that tae abody that bides here, basic security. An that's whit's bein whittled oot o the system since Maggie took office an steered this country taewards bein a neurotic 51st State. Every man fer hissel an deil tak the hindmaist, untrammled markets, makin money oot o money, an haein fowk in unemployment an underemployment, in poverty an ignorance, in worry an anxiety an fear, bein judged a price worth payin, so's that the same corruptin greedy interests can stack their profits withoot a care... That's no the country ah want tae bide in.

But think back again tae whit that meant fer us aw, fer a while we aw committed tae the same consensus. That pact wis broken in 79 an hasnae been fixed. We've had a generation o right-wing governments pursuin free market policies an their thirst isnae yet sated. Gied free-rein the Etonian cabal we've currently allowed tae sit in government wid turn this country upside doon wi neo-liberal outrages, think aboot it, an the best that can be said o the Westminster alternative is that Milliband probably widnae dae much but he'd slow the process, he's certainly no a socialist, an oan the sidelines there's a pale-blue Liberal rump wi twa faces an a brass neck haudin the coats...

er... ah lost ma threid there... ah wis thinkin, oh aye, ah wis jist thinkin aboot how much has changed in 50 years, it's like anither world really int'it? An whit we've got tae think aboot noo is the 2060's... we've got tae think aboot how we pit oor mark oan the future, whit sort o a country we want tae gie the 60's weans tae bide in, the yins tae come. It'll be as hugely different tae them as the 60's wis tae us, er, is tae us, er... d'ye get whit ah'm gettin at?

We cannae influence everythin, ah've nae doot there'll be mair channels oan the telly pumpin oot mair keich, fowk'll no ken a twin-tub if it came up an hit them, an aw stovies'll come in a wee sachet, but we can influence the things they write in the history books. We've  got a choice tae make atween twa futures. We can stick wi a system that's gettin dragged ever further right, where a bunch o fruitcake teapartyists can get a quarter o the vote an the Tories reaction is how far wid ye like us tae lurch? An an opposition that frankly breaks yer heart, where goeth the Labour party? ... We can stick wi that, or we can choose a different path, an we can build a new consensus, tae tak the powers that we can wi independence tae build a better nation...



Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Are we hell...

Somethin that's been botherin me o late, an it wis brocht tae ma mind again by the post fae Bonningtom Mill jist roond the corner fae me yesterday, lookin at the creaky an frankly undemocratic apparatus o the dyin state we find oorsels in, is a thocht ah've lang been mullin ower anent oor representation in the Palace o Fools oan the Thames. Anne lays oot the lie o the land perfectly an so ah'll no repeat her. She refers tae oor representation as bein 59 oot o 650 MPs, or 9% oot o the entire Hoose o Commons, roughly in line wi oor population share. But that only tells half the story...

See, back afore the war, Scotland sent 74 MPs tae Westminster, oot o a total o 615. By ma reckonin that's 12%. That fell efter the war tae 71 oot o 630, or 11.2%, 72 oot o 659 in 1997 or 10.9%, then doon tae the 9% it is noo. The plan wis tae further cut that tae 52 oot o 600, or 8.6%, a plan currently abandoned, but mark ma words if we say nae they'll be back at that again gied half a chance, they, an ah mean ony an aw o the three anti-independence parties, 4 if ye count UKIP, they wid aw love tae cut Scotland's numbers further. Noo, ye may say 'Weel, that's cos we've got Holyrood where we didnae afore' an ah can see where ye're comin fae an aye, Holyrood's daein great an the mair powers tae it the better, takin the hit oan the chin o sendin less MPs doon tae London, weel we'll jist hae tae manage an onyway they figure less in oor minds noo onyroads, an they'll hae less tae dae, jist the reserved powers really, that cannae tak aw their time, so they're really jist part-time MPs (ah nearly said party-time MPs there... D'oh!) in fact we'll jist club them aw th'gither like hale-time equivalents an cut yer numbers slap bang wollop...

But that's Defence... That's Foreign Affairs... an Welfare... an the Economy... an the 'Constitution'...

That's big issue stuff, real man-the-barricades stuff... an we've let oor representation in the Mither o Parliaments, that's bound us in sic a lovin an big-bosomed embrace fer 3 centuries, we've let oor representation oan aw the Great Matters o State faw fae 12% tae 9% in the last century (that's a decline o 25%, ah'm gettin guid at this eh?) at a time when we're supposedly #bettertogether?

Are we hell...