Mike Vickers' Blog

July 3, 2019

Bexiteers at the EU Parliament – Despicable

Filed under: Brexit, European Parliament, Scotland, Westminster — derryvickers @ 8:42 pm

I find the Brexiteers’ action at the European Parliament despicable; they by implication bring loathing on the UK as a whole and Scotland in particular.

I compare Sein Fein with this lot; Sein Fein are honourable in comparison, they refuse to take their seats in Westminster on policy grounds.

But this lot take their seats,  claim their salary and yet are totally against Europe.

Why doesn’t the Scottish Government formally disown these Brexiteers’ action?

Fiona Hyslop as Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs at the Scottish Parliament should issue a formal statement that Scotland repudiates the Brexiteers’ action

The Brexiteers at the Opening of the European Parliament

?

June 7, 2019

The Magic Flute – an Opera for Our Time?

Filed under: Brexit, Mozart, Opera, Scotland — derryvickers @ 8:41 pm

If Beethoven is the greatest all round composer; Mozart is THE greatest composer of Opera. Of course, Puccini has his moments, particularly in Tosca and La Bohème but Mozart is at times funny with it even in Don Giovani.

On Thursday we went to see Scottish Opera’s performance of the Magic Flute directed by Thomas Allen. Mozart’s music is enchanting and here was under conductor Tobias Ringborg. Sitting on the front row of the stalls with Ringborg just a metre away I got all his facial expressions singing pointedly to the orchestra and urging them on not only with his baton but more so with his body language. It’s great sitting on the front as I can watch all the music being played. I have learned a lot on the sounds each instrument makes and how the nominally the same instrument varies from one to another – the double base is a good example, and the horn is continually evolving.

OK, the singing was excellent as was the theatricals, singers have long since sung on the spot and are taught to act their parts. And I have no idea how the complicated set is readily ported to six theatre across the UK, 4 being in Scotland. Allen has incorporated his background of the Glasgow shipyards where he was brought up into the set.

The singing is in English, but we still have the sub-titles which I like as they help my deafness.

The libretto is nominally around the Masonic Ritual, but it is in tune with the problems of UK politics emphasising the need to work together and opposes the attempted dominance of the Queen of the Night – the Brexiteers such as Johnson.

For those who wish to get a feel of this performance go to

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-pty-pty_extension&hsimp=yhs-pty_extension&hspart=pty&p=scottis+opera+magic+flute#id=5&vid=cf06998f5380b2bb83ff4729100e2db2&action=view

June 6, 2019

The Only Man in any Semblance of Conrol in Westminster

Filed under: Bercow, Brexit, Europe, Westminster — derryvickers @ 5:32 pm

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has said it is “blindingly obvious” that the new Conservative prime minister will not be able to suspend parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/06/next-tory-pm-will-not-be-able-to-suspend-parliament-bercow

 

June 5, 2019

Britain must not turn its back on the world made possible by D-day

Filed under: Brexit, D Day, Europe, Personal, War — derryvickers @ 10:59 pm

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/05/britain-d-day-commemoration-trump-brexit-war

Martin Kettle

I cannot emphasise more clearly Kettle’s message

My primary school lessons were paused to hear a live broadcast from the landing on the D Day morning.

75 years in Europe without a major war. Brexit is at best an anachronism.

May 27, 2019

Brexit Party and the European Parliament

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, European Parliament — derryvickers @ 1:14 pm

I take it that the Brexit Party elected members will NOT take their seats in the European Parliament?
Just as the Sein Fein members do NOT take their seats in the UK Parliament.

However I do understand that Farage was a hyprocrite, took the salary and seldom turned up.

Don’t Cry for Me Argentina

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Immigration — derryvickers @ 6:24 am

Could be a Swan Song for Theresa May.
Well not quite!

More like a Swan Song for the Tory party as a whole today.

May 3, 2019

Beethoven’s 5th

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, RSNO — derryvickers @ 10:05 pm

 

Beethoven’s 5th Symphony: The most triumphal music ever written.

Music for the EU. Luckily it will be still available should we leave the EU: But why should we?

A spectacular performance this evening by the RSNO (Royal Scottish National Orchestra) in the Usher Hall Edinburgh.

Conducted by Sharon Roffman, Lead Violin. The orchestra all stood to play (except Cellos and Double Basses) just like the Scottish Ensemble.

A rapturous reception. Just read what the Scotsman hade to say not only about the 5th Symphony but the whole concert including Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto with Katherine Bryant on flute and Pippa Tunnell of harp; both regular players in the RSNO.

A nice touch, she led her team off the stage and back again (as a play).Review of Concert

.

April 30, 2019

An Alliance Made in Heaven?

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa may — derryvickers @ 9:04 am

Well perhaps not!

A Heavenly Alliance

April 27, 2019

New Sleeper – forget Brexit and arrive refreshed

Filed under: Brexit, Personal, Railways, Scotland, Travel — derryvickers @ 8:28 pm

This post is purely personal.

Scotrail, after months of work, have now got their Sleeper Fleet together and the first journey north is from Euston tomorrow evening.

The Sleeper is the way to travel for that full day’s meeting in London or Edinburgh or Glasgow. Forget the Red Eye flight where you have to turn up at the airport at 6 am. The sleeper gets you there in comfort by 8am in plenty of time for the 9am meeting. Some may say the journey is uncomfortable and I admit I occasional wake up going through Rugby when the train slows; sometimes it has even stopped for ½ hour so as not to arrive too early but that has been the exception. But the real benefit to me is that you can board the train at 11 pm and the new service offers 10am and just go to sleep and just sleep knowing that you will be at your destination on time effortlessly.

The new service offers full Scottish Breakfast rather than the current ‘packed breakfast’.

The service is extended to Fort William and Inverness during the Summer months; which means that you can enjoy crossing Rannoch Moor from the comfort of the buffet car and even an early dram ; and if you want you can travel on from Fort William to Mallaig and Skye on the steam hauled Jacobite. Alternatively, you can go to Skye via Kyle of Lochalsh via Inverness; not so, glamourous but beautiful scenery all the same, and over the highest mainline railway at Drumochter.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-pty-pty_extension&hsimp=yhs-pty_extension&hspart=pty&p=fort+william+to+mallaig+by+steam+train#id=1&vid=9dfef8efa0bf7896e073328f8d515555&action=click

Anyway, just get a flavour of the benefits of the new sleepers at:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/27/london-scotland-revamped-train-sleeper-romance-revival

End of Personal Blog – Brexit free

April 26, 2019

The Good Friday Agreement resurrected – we can only hope on this Friday one week on

The British and Irish governments have reached an agreement to establish a new round of talks involving all the main political parties in Northern Ireland, starting on 7 May.

Theresa May and the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, credited the public response to the killing of Lyra McKee with the announcement on Friday of a fresh attempt to restore power sharing in Northern Ireland.

But see the small print

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/26/northern-ireland-fresh-attempt-to-restore-power-sharing

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