Robert L.D. Cooper  Author, Historian, Freemason.

Independent Scotland would not have fought in WWII

June 6th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

Today I watched on television the various events to commemorate the D-Day landings. They were quite moving but many young people in Britain today have little understanding of why that event was, and is, so important to us today.

There are many, many, reports and comments on this the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and I need not cite them here. However, I wish to highlight how history, and a particular historical event, can be ‘hijacked’ to promote a particular point of view. Immediately below is an article in the ‘Metro’ free newspaper of today, 6 June 2014. The spelling and grammar is reproduced exactly.

‘Disrepect’ on D-Day

‘It feels disrespectful to the many Scots, English, Welsh and Irish, who fought bravely and gave their lives, that on the anniversary of D-Day Scotland is considering breaking away from a union which has served well Scotland, its people and the world.

Operation Neptune, the largest amphibious operation ever, was a magnificent example of what the British can achieve together. It was planned by the British, commanded by Adm Sir Bertram Ramsay (whose family were Scottish) and equipped by the British (who provided 80% of the vessels) and Americans.

The combined coordination of English, Welsh, Scots, Irish, Americans, Canadians and other nations ensured success.’

William, Coldstream’

This letter to a ‘free’ newspaper ‘The Metro‘ demonstrates the ignorance (in the original sense of the word) of the writer in pursuit of a political agenda. The implication is that  if Scotland was then independent it would not have stood side by side with England, Wales, USA and Canada to fight for freedom and democracy.

Of the six ‘nations’ mentioned by name three of the six (America, Canada and Ireland) were, and are, independent nations. To suggest that Scotland would not, in similar circumstances, have supported the fight against Nazism is an insult to almost all ‘non-political’ Scots.

NOTE: Although Ireland did not fight as a nation against the Axis many Irish people found on the side of the Allies.

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Scots the best educated in Europe

June 6th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

In a report issued yesterday by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveals that Scotland is the best educated country in Europe.

The report shows that 44% per cent of people in Scotland between the ages of 25 and 64 have received some form of tertiary education which includes university degrees and further education. This places Scotland ahead of Ireland, Luxembourg and Finland these being only other countries to have scored more than 40%.

Joe Grice, chief economic adviser at the ONS said: “In terms of the proportion of the population going into higher and tertiary education, Scotland actually has just about the highest in the world,” And: “Scotland also does very well in terms of people in the working-age population group of 16 to 64 years olds that have got a qualification at NVQ4 or above.”

The UK scored 39.6%, placing it fifth, followed by Cyprus, Estonia and Sweden. France scored 32.1 % and Germany’s 28.5%.

The term ‘UK’ implies that the figure of 39.6% also includes those for Scotland (44%), Northern Ireland (32.5%) and Wales (36.1%). Does that mean that the figure for the UK is bolstered by those for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales? Without separate figures for England only we will never be sure.

NOTE: The report is entitled: Figure 6: ‘Population aged 25 to 64 with tertiary education attainment, 2013’ (Excel sheet 28Kb) and can be downloaded from the Office of National Statistics web site.

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Father’s Day

June 5th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

This year Father’s Day is on Sunday, 15 June.

A special day to recognise the contribution of fathers was suggested by a Mrs. John B. Dodd, Washington State, USA.  Her father, William Smart, was a veteran of the Civil War. As a widower he raised his six children on a farm in the east of the state. Mrs. Dodd came to understand what her father had sacrificed in raising his children as a lone parent and this realisation led to her suggestion that a special day be set aside to recognise all fathers.

President Calvin Coolidge (1872 – 1933) supported Mrs. Dodd’s idea but it was not until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 – 1973) signed a presidential proclamation declaring that henceforth the 3rd Sunday of June would be known as Father’s Day.

Exactly why the UK adopted this American inspired celebration of fathers and father figures is not known. For more information see: The Father’s Day Celebration web site.

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Edinburgh Tram Line

June 4th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

I have lived and worked in Edinburgh long before the Tram was first mooted in 2007. I have watched the drama unfold and it has had more twists and turns than the most complex ancient Greek labyrinth.

The cost has gone up and up and the length of the Tram line has become shorter and shorter. The cost of the 8.7 miles (24 kilometres) line, which starts near Edinburgh airport and ends in the city centre, presently totals £776 million ($1300 million at today’s generous (in favour of sterling) exchange rate). Most of that money came from Scottish taxpayers and an additional, smaller, amount from the citizens of Edinburgh. A couple of years ago a Public Enquiry was promised to fully investigate the decisions made and costs involved in bringing a tram line back to Edinburgh. Recent calls for that Public Enquiry have been ignored and there is a suspicion that the local and national ‘political class’ do not want to come under any scrutiny.

In light of that an Edinburgh solicitor, Daniel Donaldson, decided to set up a public petition calling for an investigation, in great detail, of the entire project. 10,000 names are required for the on-line petition to be recognised by our politicians. To sign the petition, where ever you live, go to: www.tramsinquiry.org.uk (you will be re-directed to a legitimate on-line petitions web site) If 10,000 people sign the petition then, at last, the citizens of Edinburgh might get a few answers.

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Tikker

June 3rd, 2014 by Robert Cooper

Perhaps it is due to the funereal humour of the Scots but was taken with the idea if Tikker – a watch that counts down the remaining days of one’s life.

How then does it work. Details of your lifestyle, date of birth, weight etc. are input and the watch calculates (presumably using actuarial tables) one’s anticipated lifespan. Obviously it deduces the time from birth to the present day to arrive at the date of death. The watch then provides a mili-scecond, second, minute, hour, day, month countdown to one’s expected date of demise.

The makers are keen to point out that the idea is that by ‘knowing’ when one is going to pop one’s clogs you will be energised to make the very best of the time left. I think that is why it has been called ‘The Happiness Watch’!

I wonder refund one is entitled to a refund if the watch miscalculates the time left?…..

The watch costs $59.00. For more information have a look at: MyTikker

For those who rather have the watch on their iPhone an app is available in the iStore at about $4.

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Edinburgh City Parking

May 30th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

I suppose it had to happen… The City of Edinburgh Council is to impose parking controls in Edinburgh City centre on Sundays although ‘only’ after 1.00 PM.

Is this another blow to the nicest city centre shopping in the UK? Certainly Prince’s Street has to be the most picturesque with only one side of the street (north side) having buildings with the south side of the street dominated by Edinburgh Castle and with the delightful Prince’s Street Gardens along the base of the huge volcanic ‘plug’ on which the castle sits.

Of course the public use of Edinburgh Trams starting tomorrow will solve all the traffic problems of the city including the politically motivated and deliberate creation of congestion by the narrowing of roads to vehicular traffic, widening pavements (side-walks), ‘interrupted phasing’ of traffic signals, introduction of high priced parking places with the imposition of blackmail fines for over-staying one’s paid for parking space – even just one minute.

The tram line, not a ‘network’ not a ‘system’ but merely a line that only goes from A to B! This tram line might be extended in future using private investment – thank goodness! If so that means I won’t be expected to pay any more taxes to pay for a politically imposed enormous White Elephant that I, nor the citizens of Edinburgh wanted,  – OR WILL I? Do my my fellow Edinburgers know anything about the future plans to extend the tram line? Do the council tax payers of Edinburgh know what any future plans will cost? Will any extension of the trams line be put to a vote of Edinburgh citizens? When will the long promised public enquiry take place? The unanswered questions go unanswered and will, no doubt, continue to remain unanswered until the local political elite get their way using Edinburgh citizen’s money…

For more information regarding the new, wonderful, people-transporting-problem-solving method of moving the citizens of Edinburgh to where they most want to go: Hospitals (NOT), the Central Railway Station (NOT),  the National Museum of Scotland (NOT) and the Scottish Botanical Gardens (NOT). For the latest on this see:

The Edinburgh Evening News

One can only guess as to the date when Sunday mornings are also subject to city centre parking charges. One can hear the argument now… ‘Well the citizens did not barricade the streets when we started milking them for even money to park their already hugely taxed vehicles on Sunday afternoons so they’ll not object when we impose a 24/7/ parking fine (sorry, fee!)

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Bilderberg Conference

May 29th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

This year’s Bilderberg Conference is to be held this week in the Marriott Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark.

This annual gathering of prime ministers, chief executives and military chiefs is, according to conspiracy theorists, to manipulate global affairs without any democratic oversight. The Bilderberg Conference has its own web site: http://www.bilderbergmeetings.org/index.php

There is a lot of other material available on the internet. See, for example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilderberg_Group and there are numerous press reports.

See for example:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/is-it-the-bilderberg-conference–or-conspiracy-9449477.html

The point of this post is to highlight the claims that secrecy equals dubious, if not illegal, activities. Conspiracy Theorists often make this claim usually along the lines of if you nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. This is a sweeping and grossly misleading comment. Everyone has something to hide more often than not everyone has multiple matters they do not wish to be made public. Groups also often have matters that they wish to be kept private for a whole host of legitimate reasons and individuals who are not members of that group have no right to know what the group discuss because they are not members of the group. For example, I have no right to attend board meetings of a company such as Shell or Microsoft because I am not a member of those boards. For the same reason I have no right to known what was discussed at a board meeting, other than that which the board decides to make public.

The actual meaning of words used in this context also requires to be considered and one in particular. ‘Secret’ means unknown, that is, no one other than the members of the group concerned knows anything about the group or its activities. Clearly ‘secret’ does not apply to the Bilderberg Conference as its existence is well know as it is where and when it is to be held, who is going to attend and even what is to be discussed. Instead the term ‘private’ would be a more accurate word to use in these circumstances but the word private, although accurate, does not have the sinister connotations so beloved by conspiracy theorists!

Finally, it should be borne in mind that the phrase: ‘if you nothing to hide you have nothing to fear’ was coined by Joseph Goebbels Nazi Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and we all know where that led.

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FaceBook Pages

May 28th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

FaceBook is one of the best ways to disseminate information, keep in touch with friends and relatives and also to create private (or public) discussion groups. The latter is the subject of this post.

I ‘like’ the Operative Masons’ page and the Edinburgh Freemasons’ page.

More to follow…

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Wet, wet, wet – no not the band!

May 28th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

It has again been Wet, Wet, Wet!

On Sunday last we had to switch on the house lights at 3.00 PM because it had become so dark due to heavy rain and clouds with a lot of thunder and lightening. In fours hours more than two weeks of heavy rain was dumped on Edinburgh.

Today was similar although without the thunder and lightening. At 4.00 PM it was so dark that I could not read a book or newspaper and had to again switch on the house lights.

I have been commissioned to photograph a building for a publication but to get the best possible shot there needs to be some sunshine not near darkness! Hopefully the weather will improve over the next few days.

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Online Conundrum

May 25th, 2014 by Robert Cooper

As well as having this site as part of my ‘online presence’ I, like many others, also have  a FaceBook page. The problem is that finding the time to update one, let alone two, sites is difficult. My Linkedin page languishes for want of attention and I have not ventured into my Twitter account for ages. What then is the best one to try and maintain on a regular basis? As this site costs me money whether it is updated or not some would say that the choice was obvious!

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