No announcement yet.

Newsletter for 30th July 2021

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Newsletter for 30th July 2021

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News

    This past week we saw a new Governor-General for Canada installed. She is an Inuit women and the first ever indigenous person ever installed as Governor-General. She is of course a fluent Inuit speaker and also is a fluent English speaker but she has promised to work on gaining fluency in French as the other official language of Canada.


    Just wondering if anyone can help on a car matter? From time to time my trunk lid pops up and by the time I see this has happened my battery has drained. I just wondered if I removed the bulb in my trunk if this would prevent my battery being drained?


    I notice I am down to my last 10 Gbyte of storage on my server which means I'm going to need to get more storage from my web hosting company. I spend some CAN$5,000 a year to have my web sites hosted and am considering whether I should purchase my own server. Some of you may remember that when Steve May used to do my technical support he ran our own server but since he developed health issues he was unable to continue in that role and hence my move to my current web hosting company. I only mention this as if I do decide to go that route there may be some disruption while I make the changeover but will of course provide notice to you should I proceed in this direction.

    The problem I have is that I still use Front Page and most hosting companies won't let me use that platform to host my site. To ensure security is good I use a static IP address to edit the site.


    I notice with growing concern both China and Russia are threatening Nuclear attacks which involve the UK and Scotland and also Taiwan and Australia. China in particular is getting very aggressive in their foreign relations which also involves India. My concern is that the USA under Biden seems to be weaker and as this is a time of increasing tensions if the world I just don't see Biden as a safe pair of hands right now. Anyone want to reassure me on this front?

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.

    In a battle of values with China, getting good things built matters
    As Britain takes over a decade to even begin work on a new railway line, China has just unveilved a train that can do 600kph - using technology pioneered in the UK. This stark contrast should have us all worried, because in a battle of values with the world's emerging superpower, getting good things built quickly matters.

    Read more at:

    Advances in years? How Britain can lead the world in anti-ageing
    Given the huge medical and personal costs of ageing, it's remarkable how little we spend on studying and treatings its effects. The Government's renewed focus on this area is therefore extremely welcome - and there's every reason to believe that investment in this area could reap huge rewards for the UK.

    Read more at:

    Germany's bubble bursts
    Faced with declining vaccination rates and persistent scepticism, Germany is now preparing for another autumn of living with Covid-19. Despite its reputation for efficiency and competence, the story of the country's pandemic policies is one of failed dreams and burst illusions.

    Read more at:

    One in three who refuse to pay fine in Scotland escape prosecution
    ALARM has been raised over Scotland's soft-touch justice as nearly a third of all fiscal fines handed out by prosecutors that were rejected resulted in no further action.

    Read more at:

    Uist Virtual Archaeology Project
    This innovative digital project is creating an App containing Augmented Reality reconstructions of seven archaeological sites along the Hebridean Way in Uist and Benbecula.

    Read more at:

    More than 1,000 ferry sailings operated by CalMac have been delayed over the past five years because of mechanical problems.
    Executives scour globe for secondhand boats but fail to bolster ageing CalMac fleet as islanders warn of unfolding emergency.

    Read more at:

    Most powerful tidal turbine starts generating electricity off Orkney
    A tidal-powered turbine, which its makers say is the most powerful in the world, has started to generate electricity via the grid in Orkney.

    Read more at:

    How Scottish politics ruined Gaelic
    I DON’T SPEAK a word of Gaelic. That, in and of itself, may, to some readers, disqualify me automatically from having a valid opinion on the debate currently on the subject of the language.

    Read more at:

    Needless panic over the AstraZeneca vaccine has cost lives
    New research has found that you're considerably more likely to get a blood clot from Covid-19 than from the AstraZeneca vaccine, and that the safety profile of the much maligned jab is similar to Pfizer. Regulators quickly understood that the benefits of vaccines far outweigh the risks - others' failure to do so has cost lives.

    Read more at:

    British reindustrialisation is a reality
    Decades after Thatcher confronted British industry with the forces of the market, there are indications of a revival - not back to dusty mines, but towards a new era of green energy and clean tech. With UK GDP growth the fastest in Europe, and levelling up on the political agenda, manufacturing can thrive again.

    Read more at:

    Vaccines and the Coronavirus Crank Crisis
    When I last wrote about the rise of the coronavirus cranks for Quillette on January 16th, there were 37,000 people in British hospitals with COVID-19, and 1,411 COVID-related deaths on that day alone.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - the 25th day of July 2021
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:

    Memoirs of 4 Canadian Armoured Troops Workshop
    Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Prepared by members of the unit at Enschede, Holland, September 1945, as a memento and to commemorate their life and activities from mobilization in Toronto, Canada, on 12 May 1942, throughout their training and active operations, up to the cessation of hostilities on 8 May 1945, at which time the unit was in the above location. (pdf)

    You can read this at: 2_to_1945.pdf

    Traditional Healing Practices Among First Nations Students
    Traditional Native healing practices are an important aspect of the First Nations peoples' conception of health and well-being. The purpose of this study was to assess post-secondary First Nations students' attitudes toward traditional Native healing practices. First Nations adult volunteers were surveyed in several adult educational settings to appraise their attitudes towards traditional healing practices in terms of their interest, valuing, and participation. The majority of subjects reported having participated in a diversity of Native healing practices. Implications of the prevalence of these beliefs and practices are discussed and recommendations for counsellors are offered. (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    First Nations, Metis and Inuit School-Community Learning Environment Project May 2007 - Promising Practices (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    Beth has another video for you for July 28th - Things to think about

    You can watch this at:

    Added two more jigsaws to our Pictures of Scotland - "The River Cononish at Dalrigh" and "Ben Lui from the West Highland Way north of Tyndrum"

    You can play these at:

    Modern Statesmen
    Or Sketches from the Strangers' Gallery of the House of Commons by J. Ewing Ritchie (1861) (pdf)

    This includes an interesting account of Prime Minister Gladstone which you can read at:

    Clan Leslie Society International
    Got in their August 2021 Journal which you can read at:

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Got in Section 1 of the August 2021 issue.
    You can read this at:

    Skye and the Napier Commission
    Article by Malcolm Campbell

    You can read this at:


    Scotch Beef and the Aberdeen Slaughter-Houses
    (From our Special Sanitary Commissioner - The Lancet, Dec. 20, 1902)

    Aberdeen is the principal centre for the Scotch beef trade and a great part of the Scotch beef sold at Smithfield to the London butchers comes from Aberdeen. Therefore the manner in which cattle are slaughtered and meat is inspected at Aberdeen is a matter of importance not only to the inhabitants of that town but also to the consumers of Scotch beef who live in London and elsewhere. Considering that there is thus a double responsibility weighing on those who control the meat trade of Aberdeen it was to be expected that special attention would be devoted to this matter. At first it would seem as if the local authorities had realised that they had special duties to perform, for so far back as 32 years ago the town council bought some land for the purpose of erecting a model public slaughter-house. In 1870 the need of such institutions was not so fully appreciated as it is to-day, and by its action at that date the town of Aberdeen placed itself well in the vanguard of progress. But what can be said now when it is generally known that though the land has been at the disposal of the town council for 32 years nothing has been done except to allow difficulties and obstacles to accumulate? When purchased the site situated in the Kittybrewster district, now known as the Central Park site, was well away from the town in an uninhabited open country. No one would have complained if a public slaughter-house had been built there at that time. But since then the population of Aberdeen has increased and to meet the growing demand for house accommodation some fairly good houses have been built on the Clifton-road near to the site selected for the slaughter-house. There is also a school near at hand frequented by some 1200 pupils, as well as a park where football and other games are played. In a word, a residential suburb is growing up and the owners of land and houses in this district are bitterly opposed to the proposal that the original idea of building an abattoir there should be carried out. On the one side, the land and house owners, it is urged, knew all along that the site was reserved for this purpose, and, on the other, the house owners retort that as the scheme had been abandoned for so long they were justified in concluding that it would never be carried out.

    It does, indeed, seem strange that a project which was partially executed should have remained in suspense for more than 30 years. One explanation is that in Aberdeen there is a survival of the old guilds of the Middle Ages. Among these guilds the Fleshers’ Incorporation is a powerful institution. All the master butchers belong to this guild and they agreed to construct a large slaughter-house for their joint use. Consequently there are not so many small slaughterhouses at Aberdeen as might otherwise have been the case. There are only seven small private slaughter-houses and three of considerable size where several butchers are accommodated on the same premises. The large slaughterhouse belonging to the Fleshers’ Incorporation brings in some profit after the working expenses have been paid and this is employed in support of a widows’ fund instituted by the guild. But if a corporation slaughter-house is built and consequently all the private slaughter-houses are closed the Fleshers’ Incorporation would lose a source of income which has served a very laudable purpose. This is a grievance which appeals to others than the members of the trade. Besides, the Fleshers’ Incorporation is associated with the other trades that are also incorporated, and together they possess a hall near Union Bridge where they hold meetings, and have dinners and other gatherings. Thus, if one trade is assailed it can command the influence of other trades to help in defending its particular interests. Consequently, whenever an effort was made to move in the matter of the public slaughterhouse all manner of difficulties were raised and opposition was systematically offered so that these projects were defeated time after time. Year after year the medical officer of health and many other competent authorities on questions of hygiene have urged the need of a public slaughter-house, yet nothing was done. In his annual report for the year 1900 Dr. Matthew Hay, the medical officer of health, says it is obvious that “the arrangements for slaughtering and for inspection in Aberdeen are, to put it plainly, disgracefully out of date and unsatisfactory and that the one remedy is centralised slaughtering, with complete and systematic inspection, as is now the practice in almost every town of importance and even in many towns with not a fourth part of the slaughtering done in Aberdeen.” In his report for the year 1901 Dr. Hay says: “A public slaughter-house is the most pressing sanitary requirement of the city and its absence is the chief defect in our sanitary administration as compared with that of the principal towns of the kingdom. ”

    At last the town council has revived the old scheme. The borough surveyor was called upon to draw up a plan for building a corporation slaughter-house on the Central Park site. This site consists of a part of the ground acquired by the Police Commissioners in 1870 for the erection of a public slaughter-house for the city. The plan has been completed and exclusive of a hide market, offices, and workmen’s cottages, the slaughter-house, it is estimated, will cost 22,000. Therefore the town council was called upon to approve this scheme and to raise a loan of 30,000 to carry it out. Deputations, protests, and eloquent speeches in opposition were, as on previous occasions, forthcoming, but this time the opposition was defeated and last October the town council approved in a general sense of the proposal; but it was carried by only 16 votes against 12 for one amendment and 2 votes for another antagonistic amendment. Therefore the advantage gained does not rest on a very solid basis and there is many a slip between the cup and the lip. In these circumstances it is necessary to show the imperative need of the proposed reform and this cannot be better demonstrated than by visiting the slaughter-houses actually in existence.

    The most important of these is that of the Fleshers’ Incorporation. This is situated in a street, and is overlooked by inhabited houses, not far from the centre of the town and in a poor, populous district. Whatever objections may be raised to the site for the proposed municipal slaughter-house similar objections apply with greater force to this and other private slaughter-houses, for they are surrounded by a much larger number of inhabited houses and there are more numerous and larger schools. The Fleshers’ Incorporation slaughter-house with a hide market adjoining occupies for a considerable distance one side of a street, and on the other side at a distance of but a few feet are ordinary small dwellinghouses. Entering by the main gate, I found to my right a large oblong ill-paved courtyard, with slaughter-houses facing each other on either side. At the two extremities there were cattle-pens. The slaughter-houses might just as well have been coach-houses. With the exception of a beam or two to suspend the carcasses there was nothing about them to indicate that they had been built as slaughterhouses. There were no modern appliances. As for the floor, which is so important both from the sanitary and from the slaughterers’ point of view, it was of concrete, but it was worn out and was split and cracked in many places, so that it no longer protected the subsoil from contamination. Nor was there any effective method to check the slipping both of the cattle and the slaughterer which is the cause of much inconvenience and of some accidents. The cutting open and cleaning out of the animal are done in the open air immediately in front of each of the slaughter-houses and here for a few feet the ground is also covered with concrete. This, however, does not suffice, for the blood and offal are not confined to this narrow border but are allowed to stray on to the paved centre of the yard. Here the blood and liquid faecal matter sink freely into the soil between the loose paving stones. The sheep pens were very filthy; they have but cobble pavement and the blood remains on these round little stones or sinks in between them. Beyond there was an open drain leading to a square aperture protected by an iron grid which was supposed to keep out solid matter. Nevertheless this catchpit was full of blood, offal, and manure. There are other small catchpits in various directions, where in spite of the grids fecal matter and solid pieces of offal get through and reach the street sewer beyond. One of these catchpits is more than a yard square. Lifting off the lid I found that there were below four inlet pipes and one outlet towards the street sewer. As the outlet was on a higher level than the bottom of this pit there is always a deposit of offal and blood, the top part of which is washed off and is carried to the sewer with every fresh inrush of water.

    The place set apart for pig-slaughtering is very small and insufficient and there were traces of slaughtering outside as well as inside. In a pit hard by stable manure was overflowing on to an insufficiently paved yard, and near to this were three filthy pail closets for the use of the men. These nuisances are at the right hand extremity of the central yard and behind the pig slaughtering shambles are some fearful stables, where the cattle are allowed to wallow in their manure, which it would seem is but rarely removed. In one stable I measured that the chaff and manure mixed formed a solid layer six inches deep. The terrible features of this slaughter-house are the leaking on all sides that takes place, thus contaminating the subsoil, and the facility with which offal can reach the street sewer. The condition of the stables is even worse.

    At the opposite extremity of the central yard is the Aberdeen Hide, Skin, and Tallow Company’s hall. This is a broad, low-roofed, and rather dark place. Fresh hides were lying about on the ground and the approaches were far from clean. On one side there is the tripe, tallow, tongue, and head depot, and beyond is the meat-selling depot, where there is also a small refrigerator. The whole place is gloomy. Wooden pillars and rafters abound and these are thick with grease and dirt. There is nowhere any trace of a scientific conception indicating that anyone concerned knew how such markets and slaughter houses should be built. It would seem as if the members of the Fleshers’ Incorporation had never seen a model slaughter-house or market for perishable goods. That small private slaughter-houses should present such defects is not surprising, but this is a slaughter-house constructed, not for an individual, but for a guild and for men who, being all of them butchers, should have known better. From this place I went to see some private and small slaughter-houses, where I found much the same defects. There was no attempt made to prevent blood and liquid manure from soaking into the subsoil. In West Hutcheon street I found shambles with very slippery floors and wooden partitions caked with blood, awful stables, and an abominable smell of stagnant liquid manure. Then there was gut-cleaning going on in a little unventilated passage barely three feet wide, from which the most appalling stench escaped. There were no drains in the stables: all liquid stagnates or gradually finds its way to the yard, where it percolates into the soil. As for ventilating the stables this is effected by removing one of the wooden boards of which the roof is made. In one of these slaughterhouses there was a carcass of a bull covered with tubercles. The inspector who accompanied me remained here to see that it was taken away and destroyed. But if he had not happened to call that day the tubercles could have been removed and the flesh sold. Indeed, one of the principal reasons for insisting on a public slaughter-house is the necessity for facilitating the inspection of meat. Such inspection can never be relied upon unless all the cattle are slaughtered in one place and no butcher is allowed to sell meat that does not bear the stamp of the slaughter-house inspector. This is the general practice abroad. When a carcass has been examined it is stamped in various parts and the purchaser sees that his butcher only exposes for sale in his shop stamped meat. All this is quickly and easily done when the various services are concentrated on the same premises. All the butchers being submitted to exactly the same regulations and expense there is no longer any temptation to gain an advantage by resorting to some unscrupulous or unfair form of competition. When once the change has been effected all private slaughterhouses being abolished, and the butchers being compelled to avail themselves of the scrupulous cleanliness, the improved mechanical appliances, and the greater safety and wholesomeness of a public abattoir, they are generally well satisfied. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the town council of Aberdeen will persist in its determination to carry its project forward. They have waited for 32 years; that is surely long enough, and the present state of the old slaughter-houses in the town is a scandal that should at once be dealt with.


    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend.


  • #2
    Al, just a comment on the Governer-General's lack of fluency in French. She was born in Quebec and because she is Innu she was not permitted to learn the language


    • #3
      That's pretty pathetic Sandy... does that still happen today?



      • #4
        Al, I do not know if that is still the case, but it would not surprise me.