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Gus Binnie
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Love your readers? Stop breaking my fucking browser with your ads, then! 
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First post on G+ for a while. I'm still here, but been a bit quiet lately. How's everyone else doing?

This is what I'm currently listening to, which may give a clue to my mood...

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Surely "sausage" is a generic term, and merely describes a collection of foodstuffs minced up, without or without herbs and spices, and contained within some kind of "skin" that is used to hold it together. None of these ingredients need to be meat based.

Are they going to get tough on pies too? Should pies be strictly made with puff or short-crust pastry? What about Shepherd's Pie that doesn't use pastry at all?

And don't get me started on puddings.

Somebody clearly has far too much time in their hands, and that probably includes me as well for bothering to comment on this bloody nonsense!



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Chairman Keith Hellawell, a former police chief constable who has been widely criticised by shareholders, said an “extreme political, union and media campaign waged against this company” had damaged its reputation, influenced customers and had a negative impact on the morale of Sports Direct’s staff. He added: “I begin to question whether this intense scrutiny is all ethically motivated.”

You reap what you sow. Customers found out about their sharp business practices and voted with their feet. As for the negative impact on staff morale - they did that all by themselves with zero hours contracts and trying not to pay staff the minimum wage. These people really do have no shame. 

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Oh, FFS. Here we go again. Another grand scheme to "transform" Union Terrace Gardens.

I'm not opposed to improvements that would make the space more accessible, and I understand that there are some who view the Gardens as being somehow unsafe. However, it doesn't take a major infrastructure change to facilitate this. Boots on the ground, whether it be those of a dedicated park warden or the occasional police officer on foot, would probably suffice.

Let's just see it for what it is: a small park in the centre a city. It doesn't have to have bells and whistles. It just has to have grass, a few trees, some nice plants and the occasional bench for people to sit on. Why do some people feel that it has to make its own economic case for survival? It's a bloody park - please leave it alone! 

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Oh dear.

Walsh’s grievance over his doomed HQ has been compounded by the prospect of being effectively charged for the compensation bill.

While all properties in the path of the runway will be compulsorily purchased at 25% over the market price, the way Heathrow’s charges are set by the Civil Aviation Authority means that airlines are likely to pay more to operate from the airport as expansion costs grow.

Walsh said: “That compensation goes into the regulatory asset base and we end up paying 56% of that.

“We can’t have a situation where I end up paying for the destruction of my own head office.”

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Drivers of heavy large goods vehicles and passenger service carrying vehicles are restricted by law. If you run out of hours, you have to park up and rest. A gadget in the cab records your hours, and if caught flouting the law, you risk a fine at least, and possible loss of your licence.

Why don't we have the same restrictions for smaller vehicles too? I watched a recent Panorama programme that highlighted the pressures that were faced by drivers who were contracted to work for Amazon. Routes are mapped out and timed by digital devices, with no time factored in for a pee break, never mind the opportunity to actually stop and have a meal.

This is the zero-hours economy at its very worst. It's bad enough that we expect people to pick orders in a warehouse under such horrendous conditions, but these guys and girls are on the public highway and pose a danger to everyone when they're fatigued and under pressure to meet targets. Sure, they'll be charged and punished for violating traffic laws if caught breaking the law, but those at the top will simply view them as a malfunctioning part of the machine, and if it breaks down, it's quite easy to replace.

Then again, if anyone gets hurt, it's still okay. We're all supposed to have insurance, right? 

So far I haven't commented on the results of the US election, but:

You assholes You need to get a better electoral system.

And to be fair, so do we. This first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all nonsense has to stop. Clinton got slightly more in the popular vote than Trump, but what about the other voices out there? There is a Green Party movement in the US, but I've heard absolutely nothing about how they did.

Over here, I remember the days when the Greens weren't even acknowledged in election results. We were lumped in with the Monster Raving Loonies and UKIP as "others". Nowadays, we have a small representation in the Scottish Parliament, and while it's nowhere near enough to form a government, it's aligned enough with the biggest party to provide support when necessary, but we're different enough to oppose when needs be. Not everyone likes it, but a proportional system ensures that even the smallest voices can be heard.

When I did O Grade History, it was the Whigs and the Tories. Then it became the Liberals and the Tories. Then the Labour party came along and shook things up again. When I was young, there used to be a thing called the SDP/Liberal Alliance, but it never won. Our electoral machinery was only really built to handle a two-party system. Democracy isn't just about hearing the two loudest voices, but about learning to listen to the needs and views of smaller groups too.

Our machine is more than 100 years old. It's out of warranty and I don't believe there are any more spare parts. We desperately need a New Machine. 

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I still miss the wee bugger. 
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