Friday, October 24, 2014

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER (JUST SOME ARE MORE IN IT THAN OTHERS)... AND BREAKING NEWS, JOHANN LAMONT TO STAND DOWN

Can I be in this part of it together?
I'm probably more likely to be the hungry man...
Really can't have people of his class going to prison.
Where would it all end?
Sounds like the governor of the bank of England who said
unemployment in the north was a price worth
paying for stability in the City.
There's a lot of money in poverty and suffering
you know.
Note: English figures. You know the score
England... UK interchangeable.
Probably till 2020...roll up, roll up...
Good how Gideon has increased the standard of living of...
hmmm ...those on more than £1050,000
Please can I be reborn in  Monaco?
It's ok... the disabled can pick up the tab.
Something else when you are dying and that is
how you look back at your country.
Add to that all manner of roads and bridges all over England,
which we all subsidise.
Bless him, he doesn't want a job after politics
in North Wales does he?
With apologies to sheep, wolves and pigs everywhere.
Benefits to be capped at £18,000 for families
except this one.
Too good not to put in. But it is flattering him some.
If only they were this cute we might like them a little more.

Stop Press:



Apparently with immediate effect.

I'd like to be able to say something constructive and nice about her, but frankly I can't think of anything.

She treated opposition as exactly that and nothing more. Whatever the government proposed; she opposed. Her obvious hatred for Alex Salmond and the SNP pervaded everything she ever said. The leader of the opposition needs to be better than that for the money we pay them!

She performed badly in the chamber; she was appalling on television and she failed completely to make any kind of mark on the mess that she took over as leader.

She appears to be angry with London Labour for failing to understand that the centre of political life in Scotland is now in Edinburgh, and for not giving her power to deal with Scottish matters.

The trouble is it's too late to be saying that now. That should have been dealt with when the problems arose. In theory she was in charge of Labour in Scotland. MSPs, councillors, MWPs and MEPs... She came over as weak and ineffectual, cowed by Ed Miliband, for heaven's sake. She should have put her foot down with London and told them to butt out!

I can say that i respect her for standing down now, and giving her successor 18 months to bed in before the general election in Scotland. There, I've said something nice.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

DON'T TOUCH MY GIRLFRIEND...


Danny (Munguin's man in America) sent me this beauty... and I just had to share this with you.

I've always said that when Obama is finished with being president he should do stand up comedy. And I mean that in a nice way. 

Actually George W Bush should think about it too, but I don't mean that in a nice way!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DEPUTY LEADERSHIP...THE CHOICE

The SNP is about to elect a deputy leader.

Anyone who doubts the importance of the post should consider the contribution made in that role by Nicola Sturgeon.

Lallands Peat Worrier has offered the three candidates for the post an opportunity to write a piece setting out their thoughts on the future, at what is an exciting time in Scotland's story, the role they feel that can play in that future and what they can bring to the post of deputy leader-.

All three candidates, Keith Brown, Angela Constance and Stewart Hosie are estimable characters, which makes the choice difficult.

This blog favours Stewart Hosie for deputy leadership. 
Stewart, who has represented Dundee East at Westminster for 9 years, played a strong role in the referendum campaign, speaking to "town hall" meetings, and on television and radio, as well as knocking on doors and manning Yes stalls in the town. 

He is a strong performer for Scotland, with a formidable handle on his brief, which is finance and home affairs. He comes across on television as knowledgeable and confident, but without a trace of smugness. He is a strong debater. Next to him in a radio interview on the PM programme during the referendum campaign, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, sounded lost.

But Stewart also has a solid understanding of matters far outside his own area of expertise. He is a formidable organiser. I watched him manage the knock up team on referendum day. He handles people well and authoritatively without causing any disharmony... an important asset for a deputy leader. 

For these reasons and others I believe he is the best man for the job.

So I take yet another lazy day, direct you to Lallands, and invite you to read his piece... and, of course, those of the other candidates.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

EFFING TORIES....

A guest post by Panda Paws


Channel 4 recently broadcast “The Mill” a drama based on the true stories of mill workers in Cheshire in the 19th century. It covered the Chartists fighting for universal suffrage and the Mill owners objections to the Factories Acts. Apparently outlawing children under 9 from working at all and limiting those over 9 to only ten hours a day would hinder their competitiveness. I saw it as a reminder of how brutal life used to be for the working classes. IDS and Gideon apparently saw it as “blue sky” thinking for their next manifesto!
 
The political centre is a movable feast. When Thatcher was PM many regarded her as an extreme right wing zealot. Today, she’s practically to the left of Blue Labour. In Scotland Tories are toxic so if you are a right winger with ambition the party to join is Labour as Jim Murphy and Tom Harris demonstrate. So why has this happened; why have people and the main political parties apparently moved rightwards?
 
Scotland has plenty of Tories/right wingers. I live in East Renfrewshire among a good number of them. Are they all callous swines? Some are but others use cognitive biases to help justify their views and depict the poor as “other”. These biases often overlap and thus cement apparently hard hearted views.
 

Firstly the “Just World Fallacy”

 
 
Basically this boils down to you get what you deserve. Therefore if you are poor it is your fault, you are lazy, stupid or not hard working enough. Hard work is rewarded and they are well off because of merit. Therefore most of the poor can be regarded addicts or wasters in sinkhole estates. It’s acknowledged that “good people” can fall on hard times – e.g. the genteel poor or those with disabilities, but mostly it’s a fault of the person and not society. Thus society does not need to change and radical politics is seen as being soft on welfare (sic). This leads onto another cognitive bias
 

The deserving and undeserving poor.

 
 
AKA Daily Mail land - “I don’t mind my taxes paying for the truly disabled but most are faking it. And as for the unemployed, pay them nothing. Work or starve” 
They acknowledge that there are SOME deserving poor but posit that most are faking ill health/disability or if healthy too lazy to work. It ignores the fact that while many with long term conditions could work, few want to employ them in a world where there are too many unemployed to choose from and not enough jobs for all.
 
Whilst there are always those who are “difficult to reach” or as Marx called them the “lumpenproletariat “, these are a small minority. Society has a duty to determine how to best to “cope” with this minority without punishing the majority who have fallen on hard times. At best, the aim would be to educate and help equip them to achieve their potential, at worst to give them just enough to survive on and not turn to crime or riot.
 

Stereotyping

 
 
Most people are aware of what stereotyping is. They may not realise that stereotyping leads to “divide and conquer” since one of its main consequences is “othering” whereby those who are different or even slightly outside the mainstream can be denigrated. If you voted Yes don’t probably need any further explanations! Seeing someone as “different” can lead to a lack of empathy towards them and their situation. This can be used, especially if the “strivers” don’t have any personal contact with people in the situation, to mould public opinion against them. Thus we have a situation whereby seemingly decent people are not up in arms about the treatment of disabled people or the use of workfare during a time of labour surplus.
 
So effing Tories (of all colours) - selfish gits or people that have been manipulated by spin doctors with more than a passing knowledge of social psychology? IMHO, the latter is why seemingly decent people can have very harsh views on the have-nots. What to do about it is a whole other article!

Monday, October 20, 2014

BIG AIN'T NECESSARILY BEAUTIFUL

Nothing small town about Vaduz
We were told during the referendum campaign that if we left the mighty United Kingdom, we would be nothing more than a tiny insignificant place in the North of Britain. 

Well, I was reading about this little country today and I thought... you know, being small doesn't seem to be that bad. 

Liechtenstein, officially the Principality of Liechtenstein,  is a landlocked German-speaking country in Central Europe bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east and north. Its area is just over 160 square kilometres (62 square miles), and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Shaan. 
Central station
Liechtenstein has the highest gross domestic product per person in the world when adjusted by purchasing power parity. Liechtenstein also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world at 1.5%.

Liechtenstein is the richest (by measure of GDP per capita) country in the world and the only country to lie entirely in the Alps. It is known as a principality as it is a constitutional monarchy headed by a prince.

Liechtenstein is divided into 11 municipalities. Much of its terrain is mountainous, making it a winter sports destination. 
Border with Switzerland
Many cultivated fields and small farms characterize its landscape both in the south (Oberland, upper land) and in the north (Unterland, lower land). The country has a strong financial sector located in the capital, Vaduz. It is a member of the European Free Trade Association and part of the EEA and the Schengen Area, but not of the EU.

I'd not mind being that small and insignificant.


SCOTTISH LABOUR IS GOING LEFT, OR SO SAYS MRS CURRAN

So, according to Margaret Curran, Labour in Scotland is going to ditch the legacy of Tony Blair and return to its “socialist principles” ahead of the UK election next May.

Mrs Curran says Ed ­Miliband is going to stand up to big business.

In an article for Scotland on Sunday, the most junior member of the shadow cabinet appears to have been given the job reversing the direction of Labour, which is odd, given that at their recent party conference, far more senior members of the party were talking about more austerity than the Tories, being tougher on benefits than the Tories, and a minimum wage of £8 per hour by 2020, a laughable ambition when a decent living wage must be around £10 an hour in 2014.

By Margaret says, without a flicker of a smile:

“The socialist principles of equality, redistribution and ­social justice need to shape our politics as much today as they did when I joined the party.”

She is on tour… a bit like Nicola Sturgeon, laying out what she thinks Labour stands for. She will talk in traditional Labour strongholds that voted Yes in last month’s referendum in an effort to win back the party’s core support.

Around a third of Labour ­supporters voted Yes in the ­September referendum.

Curran’s piece trots out a load of words that actually say nothing at all:

When we see a country divided, we should not be satisfied" (erm no, we should not... so, what have we been doing about this division in our society Margaret?) "It should make us work even harder to bring our country together." (So are we going to start doing that now, after 40 years of division since Thatcher?  Oh well, better late than never.)

“We need to listen." (I've heard that before. Didn't Ed tour the country, listening?) "But what people say also needs to shake us into action and we need to change.” (Ah, well that would make a change")
 
Labour standing up to big business
 “We have a leader across the UK who has learned the ­lessons of Iraq and opposed military action in Syria" (but not Libya, and not Iraq again), "who refuses to kowtow to vested ­interests like the banks and the energy companies and who believes that politics is about building a movement of ­working people to change our country.” (No, you don't. You have a weak man with absolutely no ideas whose confidence is torn to shreds, whom few like, and who is generally considered to be weird!)

As usual Labour is fighting the wrong election.

Scottish Labour may feel that to save itself and the well paid jobs of its MPs, MSPs and other officials, it must move to the left to win back the votes of the people it was created to represent, but the problem is, and this is fundamental to the whole independence debate is… "Scottish Labour, so what?"

When it comes to the UK, what exactly is the importance of Scottish Labour? 

Well, of course in UK electoral terms they represent somewhere in the order of 40 fairly solid Labour seats. And given the current state of politics where there is little between the two major UK parties, that is the difference between 10 Downing Street, and mixing with President Obama adn the King of Saudi Arabia on the one hand, and back to the back benches, having failed for Ed, with the added embarrassment that his brother might have succeeded.

Labour’s problem is that in much of Scotland, the north of England and Wales, they should be representing the working classes. People living on poverty wages, among the worst levels of benefits in Europe, and the lowest pensions in the developed world (bar Mexico). They should be fighting tooth and nail for better conditions, more social housing, a living wage, lower rents, better and cheaper public transport, etc, but in the south-east of England, as peter Mandelson pointed out so long ago, they need to attract the votes of a very different constituency. A constituency that would have to help pay for all these upgrades to the way the poor live. And the “south east” has four times the population of Scotland! 
Someone who looks up to Ed... Novel.
In her article for SoS, Curran says that her “number one priority” as Secretary of State for Scotland would be a Scottish Jobs Guarantee and getting the country’s young people “back to work”. (Novel idea. No one has ever thought of that before!)

She tells whoever is listening that for working Scots, the party would seek to “improve their conditions so they don't have to work two or more jobs just to make ends meet”. (I'm sorry Mags, that means putting wages up to a livable level and you won't do that, not in 10 years you won't.)

She insists that “That means ending exploitative zero-hours’ contracts and starting to ­increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour". (No, it means increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour pretty much right away, and that could never happen, not even under the SNP! Companies just wouldn't stand for it, prices would rocket and those without wages would starve unless benefits and pensions were dramatically increased...like that's gonna happen!)

She goes on: "And we will show exactly whose side we are on by freezing energy prices and reforming the energy market once and for all. Even with less money, we will change the country for good.” (You mean renationalise it? No, I thought not. So how can you regulate it? It's in a market.)


Maggie, it's all words. They sound pretty but unless you're 18 you've heard them all before, every 4 or 5 years.  

Most of your suggestions are unworkable and in any case, the minute you have these 40 MPs to bolster your chances of forming a government every single policy will be ditched in favour of keeping the bankers and the City happy.

Nice try, but we aren't all muppets.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

LABOUR'S PLIGHT

1. Labour begs Gordo to take over from Jola (and someone at the
Daily Fail has a go at Nicola because of her clothes and hairstyle.
How intellectually incisive).
2. Labour grandees (if you could call Jock or Henry grandees)
are beginning to see what the rest of us saw for
the last 10 years. Labour has failed its core vote.
3. Gordon says no. He prefers to be worldwide envoy for education.
He's too old for a proper job at 63.
Not quite sure why they all think they can put retirement age up to
70, when a man of 63 is too old for a full time job.
Anyway, what Labour needs is someone with a little bit of the socialist about him. 

Gordon is new Labour.



Friday, October 17, 2014

THIS SHOULD FRIGHTEN LAMONT...

It's probably a small subsample with a huge margin of error, and, as such, not a true indicator, but even near parity with the Tories in Scotland should give Ms Lamont, and her boss sleepless nights. The moral, as Nick Clegg and Tavish Scott will tell you is avoid the Tories at all costs.

YOUGOV Scotland SNP 41% CONSERVATIVES 20% LABOUR 19% LIBDEMS 9% UKIP 6% GREENS 5% Who'd make best PM? Cameron 31% Miliband 19% Clegg 7%

MARK STEEL HAS A WAY WITH WORDS

In Orkney, where Zebra crossings are
for Otters!

From the Independent.


Even by the standards of political leaders, the speed and scale of the broken promise about Scotland has been glorious. Two days after signing a “vow” to hand over “extensive new powers”, David Cameron announced he would indeed act swiftly to ensure Scottish MPs had less power.

You couldn't help applaud, like if the groom at a wedding reception began his speech by saying: “You all heard me make those vows of lifelong partnership to my wife a few hours ago. That’s why I can declare I’ve already given the bridesmaid one in the graveyard behind the church, a task I was committed to seeing through and will carry out again and again until I am fully satisfied. Now are there any questions?”

Cameron, Clegg and Miliband didn't just promise. They might have made do with a pledge, but Clegg had already ruined the meaning of a pledge. With his record of doing the exact opposite of what he’s pledged, by now he’d have abolished Scotland altogether, or reclassified it as a species of insect.

So they made a “solemn vow”, the sort made to God by monks in the 7th century, and now that’s worthless as well so next time they’ll have to raise it to a sacrifice. Before the election, David Cameron will kneel before an altar and chop a goat in half, then as he smears its blood on his face he’ll say, “I will raise the minimum tax threshold”, before talking in tongues and fainting.

Because where a few weeks ago the party leaders were making speeches such as, “Scotland, Scotland, Scotland, together we fought evil and invented fish and created the sun, oh beloved Scotland we are bound by the heavens, I would gladly have my buttocks sculpted to resemble the mountains of Glen Coe to secure our togetherness”, this week they didn't even mention Scotland in a debate about Scotland.


Many MPs, including Alistair Darling, didn't turn up for it, and the debate in Parliament was all about which votes to exclude Scottish MPs from. Gordon Brown begged the Conservatives to think about introducing the measures they’d got him to absolutely guarantee they were absolutely introducing, to which they replied: “Oh shut up going on about Scotland.  It’s typical of the unfairness that this Scotland debate has only once mentioned Hemel Hempstead.”

So the main part of any new law will  be to ensure Scottish MPs can’t vote on English matters because, as some English MPs say: “This unfair situation makes  many people angry.”

You can see why it has to be dealt with, if it’s making many people angry. There aren't enough anger management therapists around to deal with the anxiety of so many people punching trees in rage and climbing to the tops of gas works to yell: “Why, why, why can a law, in theory, that alters, say, building regulations in my area be voted on by some bastard from Stenhousemuir when my MP can’t vote on building regulations there. Aye? Why, Why, Why?”

All of us who live in England know the heartache of begging our MP to vote about the proposed ring road in Stranraer, just for them to clasp our hand and tearfully tell us they have no say.

Maybe they’ll ease the concerns by making another vow, to give Scotland even more extensive powers, and then take a bit more away. Then they can keep doing this until Scotland is owned by a Saxon warlord, and Glasgow has to provide 200 knights a month to fight the Normans.

William Hague has assured the SNP the timetable for the vow is still on schedule, but it seems likely there’ll be an imaginative definition of “extensive new powers”. Most likely is they will be:

a) Falkirk gets mentioned on the BBC weather map every Tuesday, and;

b) water from English seas will be allowed to flow past Scotland, if the tide’s heading that way.

And in return Scottish MPs will only be allowed to vote on issues relating to shortbread.

Whatever you think about Scottish independence, this system of doing the opposite of what is pledged or vowed appears to be the rule now. Over the next few months, party leaders will film themselves with their parents, and say “I supervow on their souls, that I will never raise VAT and will hand them to the Devil personally if I so much as consider putting it up.” Then a year later they'll say they have to be realistic and need to put it up to help hard-working families, and make their mum Minister of VAT and the Devil, Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

The Liberal Democrats combine this technique with a surly sorry, that appears as heartfelt as when a teenager breaks a promise about vacuuming the living room. So whenever the issue is raised of how they trebled the tuition fees they pledged to abolish, they say: “Oh for God’s sake I said sorry didn’t I? I’ll say it again shall I? Sorry! There. Happy Now?”

Then the party leaders puzzle as to  why their support slips away to a new bunch of parties.

Maybe one way they can reverse this is to try a more forthright approach, and to start with they could say: “If the Scottish are so daft as to believe our vow, maybe that proves they're not fit to run their own country anyway, the idiots.” 
**********

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fotos for Friday

You certainly did, Gordon.
Still Slab wants you to follow on in the footsteps of such
luminaries as Iain Gray and Johann Lamont.
They're not really representing us any more.
I see no reason to fund them, or watch them
Just don't break the law people; don't watch live tv.
Pooling and sharing misery.
Lord Fraud said:
 "We can't have people loafing about doing nothing
expecting the public to pay for them.
Ooops

Poor old Ed...
Good of you to own up mate?
I didn't know you'd done that...
You really look like you're enjoying that...
Did you pay one of your underlings to actually bite it?

Don't seem to be able to give it away these days.
Ahhh nice... rewards for  telling Jockland that you'd put prices up
if we weren't pooling and sharing with the UK?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WE SHOULD TRY TO STOP THEM FRACKING SCOTLAND

It's only part of Scotland, at the moment.
I just had an email from Greenpeace.
It seems that David Cameron’s plan to allow fracking firms to drill under our homes has been rubber-stamped by the House of Lords.

This makes a total mockery of Cameron’s claim that UK fracking regulations are some of the most stringent in the world. And it clears fracking firms of any responsibility for clearing up the mess they create. 
We all know that neither the government nor the fracking firms give a stuff if your pets are poisoned or your kids start being sick.
The only thing that matters to them is the bottom line, and making a massive profit.
Lord Smith of Kelvin (where have I heard his name before)
wants to bring fracking to Scotland
The fracking industry has already been mired in accidents and mistakes. In April 2009, cattle were discovered dead near a drill site in Louisiana. An investigation later found fracking fluid had leaked from the well pad and run into an adjacent pasture. And in July 2013, US fracking firm XTO Energy was forced to shell out $100,000 in compensation after a spill of contaminated wastewater in Pennsylvania. 
Despite claiming that the UK has tough regulations to prevent disasters like this, the government is now rushing to remove obstacles by pushing through laws that will put the interests of shale drillers before the safety of our environment, our climate and most important, our people.
Mr Ordinary doesn't want to bring fracking to Scotland
Greenpeace has a petition which you may be interested in signing.
Remember the people who are set to gain from this are mates with the likes of Osborne and Cameron. They are not the kind of people who care what happens to your house, your family, your possessions or you if you are anywhere near being an ordinary person.
Sensible countries that give a damn about the environment, or the people who live in it, have put fracking on hold. The Uk of course wants to press ahead as it seems to think there is a massive amount of money to be made, and money is their god. 
Fergus Ewing our energy minister, thinks that the power to issue or not issue licences should be held in Edinburgh, closer to the people, not London where they simply don't care about Scotland, but it's too late for that now. We blew the chance to rule our own country It's a done deal and London has the power.
We didn't vote for this bunch of SPIVs. We mustn't let them frack Scotland.

THERE'S NOTHING MUCH TO PICK AND CHOOSE AMONG THEM...

When will he be sacked?
Wait and see, sweetie...
Where else would someone that thick get a job like this?
Redistribution of wealth. That's what I like to see, Jim.
I thought he was Lard Prescott
Tough love would see this bloke sacked before
 he ruins the Labour party any more. It's only fair.
At least with this lot you are forewarned that they don't
give a damn about anyone who isn't titled
or prepared to pay heavily to shortly be so.
Proud boasts for Tories
Sorry for the language, but it is perfect.
The wee lad is bang on.
Dunno about you, but I can see his face as
he lays this on Cameron.
I admit it does look like the party of the workers.
They do exactly the same thing.
You wouldn't mind SO much if he amounted to anything himself
but he is a lying sack of manure who never got anything right in his life.
You'd think with his father in law's money he could afford a dinner jacket
that didn't date back to the 1920s
or is that what the well dressed pondlife is wearing now?
OK, we exaggerate a little, but only a very little.
And this is true
And according to Oxfam, so is this
They do make you laugh, the Brits.
But Frankie makes you laugh a lot more.
We tend to leave the Liberals out of a lot of things, but just to show that
we care, here's a greedy Liberal bitch whining about  how £300 a day
tax free isn't enough for her sorry ass to live on, while she's in a government that
expects OAPs to live on the lowest comparative pension in the developed world, less than 5% of what she stuffs in her bank account.
**********
Ah, yes. The broadcasters have said that it would be impossible to have all the party leaders in a debate.

It would just be too complicated for them.

Isn't it odd how the Scandinavians manage to do that kind of thing. Here they are:
... in Norway
...in Denmark
... and in Sweden.
Still, I suppose their chiefs get a lot more than a piddling £450,000 a year!
How does he manage. Oh yeah, he gets something for being in the HoL.
I said I would look out for information on companies that distorted the truth or said they would leave the country if Scotland were independent.
You may wish to make your own judgments about how much support you wish to give them.