Glenrothes by-election campaign warning

November 1, 2008

OK – the headline is a bit of a tease. The story is somewhat tangential but stick with it.

Just surfing the net I found this incredible story of a baggage handler in Atlanta opening up the cargo hold of a plane and coming face to face with a live cheetah!

Obviously the flight was delayed (whilst they wrote the sequel to Samuel L. Jackson’s Snakes on a Plane, I imagine):

‘”They told us a large animal had gotten out of a container in the cargo hold and they were having to send someone to tranquilize it,” said one passenger, Lee Sentell of Montgomery, Ala.

‘He said luggage was delayed, but baggage handlers promised to send his bags to him in Alabama.

‘The good news for passengers: The escaped cheetah didn’t damage any of their luggage.’

So I got to thinking? What if this had been Scotland?

Would John Smeaton have wrestled the big cat into submission?

“Aye. Cheetah’s may be fast, but they’re no match for Glaswegians. We’ll just set about ye!”

It prompted a bit more internet surfing.

And here’s where the Glenrothes by-election campaign warning comes in:-

Apparently there is a big cat prowling around the constituency!

Here’s a photograph from an actual sighting in Methil, from

Methil Mauler

They say:

‘We revealed in last week’s edition that the organisation Big Cats in Britain was keen to set up webcams around Fife in a bid to prove the existence of big cats once and for all – but for Ms Miller there’s no question.

‘”They definitely exist,” she says, “I think there’s more than one around here to be honest.”‘

So watch out they may be a Big Cat in Glenrothes.

So that’s the reason why the Labour minders operate a ‘shoot to kill’ policy!

And the reason why Gordon Brown hardly ventures far from his campaign headquarters door!

Black fur. No doubt yellow eyes. The cat must be an SNP supporter!

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Madrid plane crash tragedy

August 21, 2008

Tragic news from Spain where around 150 people have died in a plane crash as the McDonnell Douglas MD-82 was taking off from the runway.

The fifteen year old plane had passed its safety inspection in January of this year.

However, doubts must be raised now over the safety record of these ageing planes.

The FAA in America had enough doubts in spring this year to order American Airlines to cancel all flights of the MD-80 series planes; Delta also cancelled their flights of their MD-80 series – in total over 6000 flights were cancelled.

Hopefully any lessons will be learned and all remaining MD-80 series planes will again be checked for their safety.

An MD-82 Spanair plane regularly flies from Glasgow Airport.

And since I’ve mentioned Glasgow Airport, it seems that Ferrovial, another Spanish company, has been ordered to sell either Glasgow or Edinburgh airport by the Competition Commission. Ferrovial, the Spanish transport and construction company, who built the Bilbao Guggenheim Museum and own BAA, may also lose Gatwick and Stansted Airports that serve London.

It seems Glasgow Airport is the favourite to be sold among the Scottish airports.

And one of the buying frontrunners is the Manchester Airport Group.

MAG is owned by a consortium of Manchester and surrounding councils and currently own four airports.

But is it really in Glasgow’s interest to be owned by the Manchester group that would obviously favour Manchester Airport over Glasgow?

Already we see that Scots need to travel to Manchester Airport for many flights. This trend might increase if MAG owned Glasgow Airport.

Wouldn’t a better buyer be a similiar consortium of Glasgow, Renfrewshire and surrounding councils rather than a Manchester based bid?

That way Glasgow Airport would stand a great chance of maintaining and expanding its number of flights – and any profits be split amongst the councils to provide better services for us all.

It seems though that already Glasgow City Council have said they are not interested in the airport.

That seems a shame.

The deal that Ferrovial loses the airports is not finalised yet. BAA is sure to try and argue their case and it may take time before any handover is agreed.

Perhaps in the intervening time, Glasgow, Renfrewshire and other councils can meet and work on a joint bid.

Or is it only the Manchester area councils that have ambition nowadays?

UPDATE: Following this post urging the councils to prepare a joint bid it seems that they are now willing to put in a bid together with MAG.

Perhaps some councillors read my blog!

It still doesn’t fully allay my fears of Glasgow Airport run as second best to Manchester.

I suppose even a junior partnership is better than nothing, though.