About McPherson's Rant


McPherson’s Rant is an old Scots Folk Song about a Robin Hood Type Character who was hanged.

There is no connection, unless you count the “rant” part.  The world’s a strange place and sometimes a “rant” at absurdity and unfairness is just what’s required.

Here you can expect to find examples of stupidity, irony and idiocy , especially relating to Hong Kong, and with particular attention to the SCMP, and its’ letters page. A common problem with many blogs is their failure to find something new to say, I find the SCMP, and it’s letters page, provides plenty of ammunition on a daily basis and will reference them frequently. If you have your own letter not getting published, put it on our comments section.





Monthly Archives: June 2010

A New Beginning

“An unleashed lust for wealth and power turned them into aggressors…society had evolved too many elites, all demanding excessive baubles, a culture wobbling under the weight of an excess of desire, nobility is expensive, non productive and parasitic, siphoning away too much of society’s energy in frivolous cravings…”

Close your eyes and you can imagine this quote referring to the excess of the super rich, those with mega yachts, private jets, Caribbean Islands etc etc.  Or it could refer to a decadent corpulent west gorging on Welfarism and trash TV.  A declining, increasingly illiterate society, who prefer the images of illusion over critical thought processes.

Open your eyes now.  It’s actually from a book called: “The World Without Us.”  I bought it on impulse. A misanthropic impulse of course.  I enjoyed it!  The author is referring to the decline of ancient cultures,  the  Mayans or the Easter Islanders.

Do you have to be a misanthropic pessimist, part Malthusian,  part Hobbesian, to see the parallel here, or did I just smoke too much at University?

I don’t know why, but the idea of a new beginning appeals to me, I know it appeals to most of us, fortunately, most of us don’t get a chance to exercise our impulse for clean slates.  Most religions are about a new beginning, as are  Fascism, Stalinism, Communism and dare I say it, James Lovelock, darling of the Green Terror.  I think it puts me in bad company.  Fortunately I only want to be like Greta Garbo… why won’t they all just leave me alone!

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The “Lying” Whisperers?????????

It’s a strange thing.  Every day, we are assaulted by the intimations of companies who would have us believe they are doing their utmost to be ‘friends of the environment.’ Whither HSBC, who stamp every piece of junk mail with some environmentally friendly logo, or SCMP, claiming to be environmentally friendly while offering me another piece of glossy crap advertising a new development that will transpose my living environment from Hong Kong to Monte Carlo… if only I’ll buy into their concept of what Monte Carlo living is like… but we know it’s all shite… and today it was perfectly illustrated to me.  There was a review in SCMP on Sunday for a book, I’m susceptible, they said it was a good book, I bought into it, and bought the book. It was “The Whisperers” by John Connelly.  It was shit, to me, but only because I dislike genre hopping.  If I buy a crime/detective novel, I want a crime/detective story… not a fucking ghost story, but that’s neither here, there, nor limbo.  What really got my attention was the following disclaimer:

” Hodder & Stoughton policy is to use papers that are natural, renewable and recyclable products and made from wood grown in sustainable forests.  The logging and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.”

Expected? EXPECTED? Ex-fucking-spected!!!!!!!! So there you go, thats simple.  Translated… “Yeah we know all you arseholes are concerned about the environment but we just print books, we have no intention of checking the provenance of our paper sources but our disclaimer makes us one  of the good guys. So up yours.”

Hodder on a moment Hodder & Stoughton… do you not have an obligation to check?  Wankers!

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Scots Abroad

Someone famous, or perhaps not so famous, as I can’t remember the name, actually I can barely remember the quote but it went something like: “Of all the races, the Jews and the Scots have had the largest impact on the world economy, per capita.”  I have no idea why this should be so, I’m sure the Armenians and the Dutch should get a mention but I’ll ponder that later.  Suffice to say I am going to a lecture on Saturday by Professor Tom Devine, an incomparably smart individual from Edinburgh University. The lecture is entitled: “An Empire of Commerce: Three centuries of Scottish Enterprise in the East.”  Here is an introduction, at the bottom is a link to reserve tickets:

By 1914 the British Empire could claim dominion over 750 million people or around a quarter of the earth’s population. Yet, remarkably, much of the governance, commerce, banking and military engagement of this vast worldwide enterprise was managed by Scots, a nation of only 4 million at the time. Scotland in fact claimed not simply a reasonable but a quite indecent share of the imperial spoils.

Nowhere was this more true than of India, South Asia, Hong Kong and China in the centuries after 1700 where such giant businesses as Jardine Matheson, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, the Mackinnon Group, Guthrie and Company and the Burmah Oil Company were all of Scottish origin.

This lecture, employing the fruits of recent scholarship and research, will seek to describe the extraordinary scale and impact of the Scottish commercial empire in the east, explain its expansion, especially in the Victorian era, and finally account for its relative decline in the twentieth century.”


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