Beyoncé concert in Scotland, review


This video from Scotland says about itself:

7 July 2016

Beyoncé Dedicates “Freedom” Song & Sings Acapella at Formation Tour in Glasgow (VIDEO SNIPPETS).

The lyrics of the song are here.

By Zoe Streatfield in Scotland:

Queen Bey rules in breathtaking show of black power

Wednesday 13th July 2016

Beyonce
Hampden Park, Glasgow
5/5

FACE veiled, at the show’s opening Beyonce struts on stage accompanied by a troupe of dancers and unleashes a set of breathtakingly executed moves.

Such is her power that as she reveals her face during opener Formation, the mostly female audience scream at their first glimpse of Queen Bey.

It’s the first track to be released from her latest album, which effortlessly covers issues ranging from police shootings of black people in the US and the abandonment of the black working-class by the political elite to what it means to be a black woman.

Referencing the failure of the Bush administration to help the black community during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, over the PA black rapper and activist Messy Mya demands: “What happened at New Orleans?”

In the song Beyonce celebrates her own mixed-race heritage, challenges Eurocentric beauty standards and puts down the hate she has received over her decision not to submit to white standards of beauty when it comes to her toddler’s hair.

“I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros/I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils,” she declaims.

Later, in a direct tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement, she holds a minute’s silence for the latest victims Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as the huge four-screen cube onstage is emblazoned with the names of other black people killed by the police.

As she delivers the Black Lives Matter anthem Freedom, her dancers do the iconic black power salute which caused so much controversy during her US Super Bowl performance last year.

It’s courageous of Beyonce to tackle such weighty issues and her commitment is such that she and her rapper husband Jay Z have donated $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and unobtrusively bailed out activists arrested during the Ferguson and Baltimore protests.

But money and fame as the main indicator of success has been always been a theme throughout Beyonce’s career and it undermines the issues she raises when she sings about race relations while also singing about paparazzi, her Givenchy dresses and flying around in her chopper.

Hers seems to be a life so far removed from the lives she seeks to give voice to and I wonder why, after celebrating the achievements of the Black Lives Matter movement, she delivers lyrics like: “I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making” and “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.”

I’d like to think that she’s singing about the Morning Star but she’s probably singing about money.

Donald Trump gets swastika golf balls in Scotland


Swastika golf balls prankster removed by Donald Trump's bodyguards

By Lee Moran today:

Donald Trump is not getting the warm Scottish welcome he was hoping for.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee arrived in Scotland on Friday to officially open his new Trump Turnberry golf resort. Protesters greeted him with golf balls emblazoned with Swastikas, a symbol of Nazi Germany, at the opening of the course. …

Dozens of Twitter users branded Trump a “moron,” “weapons-grade plum” and “idiot” — including British pop star Lily Allen, TV presenter Sue Perkins and comedian Peter Serafinowicz.

From the Daily Mirror in Britain today:

Donald Trump‘s fury at Brit prankster hijacking his speech with Nazi golf balls in Scotland

12:02, 24 Jun 2016

Updated 13:49, 24 Jun 2016

By Gemma Mullin

The US presidential candidate was about to take to the podium at his Turnberry resort when the comedian Lee Nelson began giving out balls to the crowd

Donald Trump was left unimpressed when a British prankster hijacked his speech with Nazi golf balls at the re-opening of the billionaire’s golf resort.

The US presidential candidate was about to take to the podium at his Turnberry resort when comedian Lee Nelson interrupted and began giving out balls to the crowd.

Trump could be heard telling his security guards “get him out” as Nelson, real name Simon Brodkin, began speaking to the gathered members of the press.

Nelson, who appears to be wearing the Turnberry uniform, could be heard jokingly saying: “The new balls are available from the clubhouse as part of a new Trump Turnberry range.

“I forgot to hand them out before, I’m very sorry Mr Trump, and thank you, I apologise.”

As he was being dragged away, he told the crowd: “If you want you can hand them out, they are available as part of the new Trump range.”

A heap of red swastika golf balls could be seen lying on the floor in front of the billionaire after Nelson was removed. …

Earlier this year Nelson, who also uses the stage name Jason Bent, took the mickey out of the VW emissions scandal at high profile car launch.

Dressed in a VW mechanic’s jumpsuit, he jumped up on stage as the new car was unveiled and – in a German accent – said: “No one’s going to find out about this one”.

In July last year he famously ran up to Blatter during a FIFA press conference and handed him a wad of fake dollar bills.

He then threw more money into the air above the 79-year-old and said: “Sepp, this is for North Korea in 2026.”

Security, who were slow to react, eventually hauled Brodkin off stage, at which point he added: “Cheers, Sepp – it’s all there.”

Scottish people’s anti-Trump racism solidarity


Mexican flag at border of Trump's Scottish golf course

Simon Usborne in Britain commented on Twitter about this photo:

Someone has raised the Mexican flag on the border of Trump’s wildly unpopular golf course near Aberdeen: 8:39 AM – 21 June 2016

By Lee Moran:

People Are Trolling Donald Trump’s Golf Course In Scotland

A Mexican flag has been hoisted nearby, just in time for his upcoming visit.

06/21/2016 08:23 am ET

A Mexican flag is flying high close to one of Donald Trump’s golf courses in Scotland.

The tricolor was hoisted on land next to Trump International Golf Links, near Aberdeen, on Sunday — just days before the presumptive GOP nominee is due to visit.

The individuals behind the stunt, which was widely reported to be in protest of Trump’s racist comments against Mexicans, were initially a mystery.

But it has now emerged that local residents, who have been engaged in a yearslong land battle with the billionaire businessman, are responsible.

The point of the flag is to show solidarity with the Mexicans and every other group that Trump has decried, derided, insulted and tried to marginalize,” David Milne told BuzzFeed News.

“We wanted to point out that while he seems to think he can say what he likes in one place and not hear about it elsewhere, he is wrong,” he added.

Trump has described the North Sea golfing resort, which opened in 2012, as “spectacular” and as having “the greatest links course in the world.” However, not everyone has been so thrilled by it. According to the Daily Record, the billionaire overpromised on the development and jobs the project would bring to the area.

Trump touches down in Britain on Friday to officially open the Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire, which he bought for a reported price of about $51 million in 2014 and has since been renovating. He is then scheduled to fly to Aberdeen to visit the Links, which may or may not still be bordered by the flag.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

This video is the 2012 film You’ve Been Trumped, about Trump’s golf course in Scotland.

Donald Trump’s New Evangelical Adviser Was Sure God Had Chosen Ted Cruz To Be President: here.

Donald Trump fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, on Monday, in a shake-up that saw his closest political aide marched out of Trump Tower by armed security guards. Lewandowski’s sudden departure was widely portrayed in the American media as a sign of severe crisis in a campaign which faces declining poll numbers and the drying up of financial support: here.

Donald Rumsfeld Endorses Trump, A Man Who Once Called Him A ‘Disaster’: here.

Racist Blairite smears Scottish Jewish Labour woman


Rhea Wolfson

By Rhea Wolfson in Scotland:

How a party faction is preventing party members voting for me for Labour’s NEC

1 June 2016

Over the past few weeks, I have been delighted to receive support for my candidacy for Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) from a broad spectrum of opinion within the party, including nominations from dozens of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). It is clear that many members want to see me elected to the NEC.

However, I am now concerned that a faction of the party are trying to take that option away from the membership. To appear on the ballot I needed to secure, amongst other things, the nomination of my home CLP.

Last night Eastwood CLP, where my family home is, met to nominate candidates for the NEC. It was proposed that, given I am currently a member of the CLP, there would be a straight vote for or against my nomination. I made my case and answered questions from the room. I was then asked to leave the room while they discussed my nomination further. Once I had left, the ex-leader of Scottish Labour, Jim Murphy,

Blairite Murphy lost not only his own seat at the elections, but also the seats of all other Scottish Labour MPs save one. With a little help from some other Blairites, but mainly single-handedly, Murphy managed to make Labour from the biggest party for decades into the third party in Scotland now.

Jim Murphy cartoon

appealed to the CLP to not nominate me. He argued that it would not be appropriate to nominate me due to my endorsement by Momentum, which he claimed has a problem with antisemitism.

Jim Murphy is a member of the extreme right Henry Jackson Society.

In the twentieth century, there was the late United States senator and failed presidential candidate Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson. Mr Jackson was corrupt, Jackson’s nickname was “the gentleman from Boeing“. Boeing being a military contractor getting lots of taxpayers’ money for killing and torturing people. Jackson was also a major supporter of wars, like in Vietnam.

Jackson was a strong supporter of the racist internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps because of their ethnicity during World War II.

The 21st century ‘Henry Jackson Society‘ seems to have substituted Muslims for Japanese-Americans in their racism. This society includes hard-line politicians from the USA. And from Britain: right-wing Conservatives, like David Cameron’s minister Michael Gove. And right-wing ‘new’ Labour Blairites. Like Denis MacShane, convicted for, and kicked out of the Labour party for, corruption. So, really similar to Henry Jackson. Also similar in being a warmonger, supporting war in Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever.

So is Jim Murphy, an enthusiastic lover of nuclear weapons.

Murphy’s Henry Jackson Society makes propaganda for CIA torture.

And now this Murphy smears candidate Rhea Wolfson behind her back, spuriously linking her to anti-Semitism by association with the non-anti-Semitic Momentum movement, one of many organisations endorsing her. Who is the anti-Semite here: non-Jewish hatemonger Murphy or Jewish woman Ms Wolfson?

The constituency has a large Jewish population. The CLP then voted to not endorse me, before re-inviting me back into the room.

Needless to say, this is hugely disappointing. It is disappointing because I am the only Jewish candidate in this election, because the wide range of organisations endorsing me includes the Jewish Labour Movement, and because I have a long record of challenging antisemitism and have in fact faced it on a daily basis since my candidacy was announced. But above all, it is disappointing because I know there are many members who want to vote for me, who could now have lost that opportunity. I am considering my options going forward.

Black-billed cuckoo in Scotland


Black-billed cuckoo

This photo by Jacquie Bridges shows a black-billed cuckoo on North Uist island in Scotland today.

Black-billed cuckoos are a North American species.

Scottish 17th century lady-in-waiting’s gown discovered off Texel


Painting by Sir Anthony van Dyck, on the occasion of the wedding of William II and Mary Stuart

From Leiden University in the Netherlands:

Texel gown belonged to member of royal court of Queen Henrietta Maria

20 April 2016

Archival research has revealed that the wardrobe discovered near Texel belonged to the royal court of the English Queen Henrietta Maria. In March 1642 the queen was travelling to the Netherlands on a secret mission when one of her baggage ships sank in the Wadden Sea. This discovery was made by cultural historians Nadine Akkerman from Leiden University and Helmer Helmers from the University of Amsterdam.

Divers had found the gown in a shipwreck off Texel in 2014.

The 17th-century dress, photo Kaap Skil museum on Texel

Scottish lady-in-waiting

The now famous silk gown is still remarkably well preserved and is the showpiece of a larger archaeological find near Texel. It probably belonged to Jean Kerr, Countess of Roxburghe (approximately 1585-1643), lady-in-waiting and confidante to Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1669). There was also a younger lady-in-waiting whose clothes were being transported in the ship, but the more outdated style and size of the gown indicate strongly that it belonged to Kerr, the elder of the two.

Elizabeth Stuart

Cultural historians Nadine Akkerman and Helmer Helmers are experts on the British Royal House of Stuart. Their findings are based on a letter written by Elizabeth Stuart (1596-1662), the Stuart princess who found refuge in The Hague after being exiled from the Kingdom of Bohemia. In this letter to the English diplomat Sir Thomas Roe, dated 17 March 1642, Elizabeth describes how her sister-in-law lost a baggage ship during the crossing. In addition to the clothing of two ladies-in-waiting and their maids, the queen herself lost the chalices from her private chapel in the shipwreck.

A secret mission

The official story behind Henrietta Maria’s trip to the Dutch Republic was one of royal connections: she was delivering her 11-year-old daughter Mary to the court of William II, Prince of Orange and future stadtholder, whom the girl had married the previous year. This was only a ruse, however: her real mission was to sell the crown jewels and use the proceeds to buy weapons. These were essential for King Charles I to take on Parliament in the English Civil War. According to Akkerman and Helmers, the find at Texel represents a tangible reminder of the strong Dutch involvement in this conflict.

Winter Queen

Akkerman, Assistant Professor of Early Modern English Literature at Leiden University, and Helmers, Assistant Professor of Early Modern Dutch Literature and Culture at the University of Amsterdam, were able to solve the mystery of the unknown owner of the gown reasonably quickly. Akkerman: ‘Once Helmer alerted me to the find, it took us about five minutes to unearth the relevant letter, as I remembered transcribing and deciphering it in 2006. We are still finding even more references.’ Akkerman is the editor of the Correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, while Helmers is the author of The Royalist Republic, on Anglo-Dutch relations in this period.

Unnecessary speculation

The mystery and speculation in the Dutch press surrounding the origin of the wardrobe were unnecessary. With the discovery of the family crest, the evidence quickly started pointing towards the Stuarts. Helmers: ‘It’s a pity we weren’t consulted sooner – the puzzle would have been solved much earlier. The archaeological experts have focused primarily on the material side. That’s important, of course, but the historical texts also tell a thrilling story.’

(CvB)