Monday, 2 March 2015

Dear Capita,

Thank you for your threatening letter suggesting that I am a criminal.

For the record, I am not.

Can I propose to you that in this day and age, when there are so many distractions, so much to do with one's time, the fact that a household does not use a television set should no longer be looked upon as so weird as to be probably untrue?

It is a fact that I had a television set for a brief period of time, after having not had one for many years. This was due to the fact that I had had surgery which had left me with severe nerve pain and restricted my ability to do the other things that I normally do to fill my life. 

I bought the tv set, paid for an aerial to be installed and took out a direct debit to pay my licence fee. 

I admit I found the whole idea of a licence fee to be ridiculous and anachronistic. It may have served well in the days of a BBC monopoly. It must have been less suitable once STV and Channels Four and Five arrived, but in the days of 100+ channels it is preposterous.

I found that I watched almost no BBC at all. In fact I watched tv very little, despite being indisposed, but when I did it was likely to be a channel that the BBC had no part in.

I didn't get my news from the BBC. That came far more conveniently and reliably on line where there was a choice of bias, instead of the British Establishment bias for which the BBC is now famed.

On a few occasions, I admit,  I would flick through channels in desperation looking for something that wasn't too unwatchable, almost invariably finding nothing.

Despite the fact that the tv sat largely redundant in the corner, it remained for a few years, attached to the aerial and I continued to allow you to take money from my account to fund your "activities". 

I am, after all, by and large, a law abiding Scottish citizen.

The crunch came for me during the Scottish Referendum campaign, where the BBC, predictably, took the side of the British Establishment against the Yes Campaign.

It didn't take academic studies to show that the BBC, the station I was paying for but not watching, was biased to a preposterous degree, although there were such studies. 

I decided at some point in July or August that I could no longer pay for a service that was, in my opinion, working against my best interests.

I emailed your organisation at that time and told you that I wished my licence fee to be discontinued and I explained why.

I received a polite reply telling me that my direct debit would be stopped and any monies due to me would be repaid, which they were. On that day I detached the tv set from the aerial and removed the coaxial cable from the room in which the tv set stands. (I still have a collection of DVDs which I occasionally watch.)

I was somewhat surprised then in December to have a letter from you telling me that my licence was due for renewal. Do you have no internal communications systems?

Since then I have been sent various "red" letters telling me that I can expect a visit for one of your enforcement people. 

This is my response to your threatening letters.

I hereby withdraw any implied right of access that you have to my property.

You are welcome to send one of your representatives, without any forewarning, but I warn you in advance that, given that you are a private profit making joint stock company and have no authority , you will NOT be allowed access to my house unless you provide me with the appropriate Scottish Court Order, and/or are accompanied by a member of Police Scotland with proper authority to search my premises. 

At that point, and only in these circumstances, will I offer you the opportunity to look at my television set, my computer, laptop and phone. 

I repeat that I expect no pre warning of your arrival, but remind you that you will require a search warrant granted and signed by (in Scotland) a Sheriff, which is only granted when you make a representation to the court, under oath, stating that you have real evidence that a television is being used

I am not the criminal you clearly take me for, and I will comply immediately to any action sanctioned by the Scottish legal system.

Other than than, please do not waste my time or your own with any further communications on this subject.

Yours sincerely


Sunday, 1 March 2015






It seems that the UK government has decided to show us how grateful we should be for their beneficence with our taxes.

We have long been told that our little northern land is heavily subsidised by the generous and kind remainder of the UK, despite figures which have shown the contrary.

Now we are to be treated like the foreigners they keep on telling us we are not.

Good things that come to us through our membership of the United kingdom are to be labeled with a UK flag in the same way that aid for the third world is labeled as being from Britain. 

According to the Daily Mail, "The use of the logo is seen as a small step in shoring up support for the UK north of the border, with the SNP set to make big gains in May’s general election".

Well, I wish them luck with that. Another daft blue Tory idea which will be promoted by the much loved Danny Alexander!!! 

I wonder how many of these things they can attach to bridges and roads in the nine weeks before the election. It goes without saying that they will anger as many people as they will cheer. 

And of course most people will simply not notice them, unless they are huge and obtrusive. Still, in these times when we have money to burn... why not?

The plan has been drawn up with Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude (wouldn't you know it?), who said, amazingly without a single "jolly well": ‘As part of our long term economic plan, this government is investing in our nation's physical and digital infrastructure.'

Erm... Francis, isn't that what governments are supposed to do, you know, when they aren't arranging lucrative jobs for themselves so that they don't have the indignity of having to live on between £70,000 and £150,000 a year, you know compared to a working class pensioner living on £114 a week!? 

Actually, I don't really have any objection to it, as long as they remember to label all the rotten filthy things they do to us with our own taxes.

For example: JobcentrePlus, killing sick people off every day, brought to you courtesy of the British Government with a large Union Flag on it next to the smiling face of Iain Duncan Smith. (And yes, we are sure you know how to make him smile.)

Friday, 27 February 2015

Random Thoughts

Natalie with Humza
In an effort to get Glasgow Man back on board, Labour has been whinging about how mean the Government in Edinburgh has been to Scotland's biggest city.

That's the same Labour that only a few years ago, when it was in coalition with the Liberals, managed to give back money to London at the end of the year, presumably because everything was so peachy in Scotland (including Glasgow) that the money was simply not needed. 

I'm not an expert on Glasgow but I'd lay money on it that there will have been some need that could have been fulfilled by that money that went back to London. After all you don;t have life expectancy rates lower than Gaza in a town that is all tickety boo!

Natalie McGarry, the SNP candidate for Glasgow East, Curran's seat, makes a good point .

Labour in Glasgow, she says, need to look to themselves for the perceived underspend in Glasgow.

The Government has had to spend half a £bn making the correct decision to mitigate the bedroom tax and other welfare cuts, but with a budget which has shrunk by 10% because of coalition cuts.

And let's not forget that the Labour Party at Westminster - and yes, that includes Margaret Curran MP - voted with the Tories just a month or so ago to a further £30bn of austerity cuts.

It's the circle of lies which annoys people. Budget cut at Westminster = budget cut at Holyrood = budget cut in councils. It's the inevitability of it which is damning. So if Labour vote with the Tories for increased cuts at Westminster, they are voting for increased cuts at Holyrood which essentially means they voted for cuts at council level. Some of them would like to correct the cuts by making you pay more council tax though. So, bankers cause the banking crisis, but both the Tories and Labour target ordinary folk to pay the price.

Well said, Natalie.
I may be wrong but I thought that Labour in Scotland wanted
to means test university education?
Well done, Gordon.
Not bad earnings for a humble son of the manse.
Makes Rifkind and Straw look like the paupers they
claim to be.

A much younger Murphy in his spiritual home.
I read that Murphy has announced that he will indeed stand as the UK Labour candidate for East Renfrewshire in the UK general election. 

Ruth Wishart wondered on Twitter what his constituents would think of that.

I'd say that they would, if they were thinking rationally, understand that they are being used to provide Murphy with a very generous salary and expenses for the next year and to provide him with the means by which he can continue to lead the Scottish branch office of the UK Labour Party.

In the wake of the scandals over Rifkind and Straw, it seems unlikely that Miliband will allow hiom to be both MP and MSP at the same time.
Munguin's mate Ted, met on line,
 would make a better FM than Spud.!
I'm not sure I'd bother if I were him. I reckon he has about as much chance of being first minister next year as Munguin's mate Ted... and he's not even standing!