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Stuck in 2nd gear

By Stuart Ballantyne - posted Thursday, 27 June 2024

Unkind critics used to say I had to visit Scotland for re-training after reportedly buying 2 beers in the same month

Reverting back to my pre-covid work routine of visiting Scotland and several other countries over several weeks, now on the final leg back to Queensland, I can report back observations from a simple sailor on the state of several nations.

My pal O'Brien, a long-term critic of bloated western governments had just arrived back a month earlier from a multination trip and advised me that all UK and US government departments had trebled in size, not at the coal face such as needed in hospitals, but in administration and creation of rules, regulations and fees. He had observed most of the new recruits were women, and, he assured me, if they were overweight, toothless and tattooed that seemed to secure them the job. He added that piercings and a bad attitude seemed to get them bonus points.


So it came as no surprise coming through security at New York airport, I was pulled up sharply by a "chubby" African American security lady after the scanning machine had done its thing. "Ah told you" she said loudly, putting her closed fists on her hips, elbows wide out exaggerating her already considerable girth, "That you had to empty your pockets!" and pointing to the Xray image that clearly showed a plastic comb in my trouser front pocket. "So what is that?" she demanded, smirking happily that she had a dopey looking white guy being publicly embarrassed under her absolute control. Doing my best Forrest Gump stance, leaning over, squinting my eyes and peering into the offending object on the Xray, I responded. "Ah do believe that is an erection!"

"Supervisor! Supervisor!" she yelled "Ahm bein' harassed here!"

The supervisor came over, rolling his eyes "What is it this time Mary Jo?". Within a minute he waved me on. Luckily it was a male supervisor or I could very well have been in a New York court alongside Donald on trumped up charges of sexual harassment.

My friends in New York had told me, as did my uber drivers, that the US legal system was stuffed, the economy was stuffed, and the illegal migration numbers were out of control. The approaching election was seen as a bright turning point.

Unanimously, they agreed that the New York based UN, was the epicentre of the covid madness, climate alarmism and another rapidly expanding bureaucracy with their new thought bubbles of spreading fear and controlling the great unwashed masses.

Next stop was Scotland and in meetings in the Orkney Islands and Glasgow with industry colleagues and relatives, the story was the same. The faltering Scottish National Party (SNP) government clearly on the way out after 17 years of abject failure in every policy area. As a fan of their propaganda many years ago and seeing them drop the opportunity of revitalising shipbuilding, this was disappointing. The SNP obsession with climate change directives, LGBT, too many migrants and waiting lists for everything, even the hospitals prioritising illegal migrants before locals, showed their lack of prioritising the needs of their taxpayers.


Visiting both Irelands the story was the same: too many people, too many migrants flooding in and waiting queues for everything.

England was exactly the same: bloated bureaucracies with many working from home (WFH) with its corresponding miserable productivity.

But hey! London Central is now the centre for protesting students. Yes it is a trendy place for students to live, protest and perhaps a bit of long term study if someone is paying the bills. Yes, in my younger days in London I went along with "Ban the Bomb", but Palestine??

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About the Author

Stuart Ballantyne is just a sailor who runs Seat Transport Solutions who are naval architects, consultants, surveyors and project managers.

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