Thursday, 28 January 2010

“Unfortunately for the First Minister, patting himself on the back doesn’t count as PE”

First of all, I want to say that I am flattered that Subrosa asked me to cover for her today with FMQs. However, this is her baby and I’m sure you will be delighted to know that normal service will be resumed next week.

My first question is: does anyone know why on earth the opposition party leaders start their questions with the same questions every week, to which the First Minister gives the same replies? It’s a bit of a waste of time at their salary level.

But then again, why stop at the first question for Iain Gray. He really seems to have little appreciation, even after all this time, that he should ask questions for which the First Minister has no answer, and certainly ones that cannot be turned right back at him and at the Westminster Labour executive. So his questions were all about capital spending. Capital spending which is of course much governed by the amount of money that is given to Scotland by Westminster. Alex was able to point out that there are drastic cuts promised by London in the money available for public spending. Why then Gray thought it appropriate to blame the Scottish government for cuts was beyond me. Of course he wanted the opportunity to mention GARL, and SFT. But as usual his information was out of date, and he put so much into his questions that Alex was able to answer only the bits which showed the government in a good light.

Annabel was on form on the subject of PE in schools, but she too was out of date with her figures. The manifesto promised two hours of PE a week for children. Although huge progress has been made, there is a deal still to achieve. But Opposition leaders must remember that a four year term of government means just that. The Curriculum for Excellence starts this year, and results should be judged once it has been put into place. These questions gave Alex the opportunity to point out the dichotomy between the Tory’s desire to cut public spending and the demands that all schools have tennis courts (suggested perhaps by the exciting new of Andy Murray’s win, which had come minutes before). However, Annabel’s one liner that forms the heading here was a classic and had the whole House (and me) in stitches.

Tavish made a sensible contribution by asking about the increasing number of people being turned away from colleges. The First Minister responded by agreeing with him. He pointed out that the funding for colleges had increased in real terms and extra money had been made available for areas especially badly hit by the recession. Labour jeered at this exchange which gave Alex the chance to point out that when constructive points were made he would be ready to listen, but that that never happened from the Labour leader.Tavish sat down with a beam of pleasure on his face having been praised by the head boy.

Further questions from Christine Graeme and Mary Scanlon dealt with the horrific problem of children self harming. Jack McConnel looking stubbly, but with his tie on this time, asked about mental health facilities in his constituency, and from Angela Constance there was a question regarding support for prison staff, following a prison disturbance in her constituency.



  1. Goldie was more than on fire, her point about the SNP failue to deliver their promises is very important to the wider debate on Scots education.

    Firstly, there is simply too little control over priorities for rectors, parents and pupils.

    And secondly, the SNP pledge was rather too populist to ever stand a realistic chance of implimentation.

    ...but she was brilliant today. That one liner was splendid. Salmond got handbagged royally!

  2. Alex was slow off the mark today. He should have said she would lose a few pounds herself if she stopped taking taxis everywhere ( £10K in taxis so far this parliament - when she's not travelling first class rail of course ).
    I've never understood why Annabel is taken seriously. She inherited the leaders job from McKletchie when he resigned over taxi fiddles (sic). She has never won an election outright to the Scottish parliament. She's ignored by her masters in London yet claims at conferences that she will make the Conservatives in Scotland 'the official opposition party'.
    I'm not sure what she smokes but I'd give it a try. Not in a public place of course.

  3. Anon,

    So you think that it is good and responsible for Salmond, the First Minister to start slagging off overweight people? That is pathetic.

    And Goldie didn't "inherit" anything, she fought and won a leadership election.

  4. Annabel's one liner was excellent but her topic was confusing. Two hours of PE in primary schools has risen from 8% to 33% (although I may be wrong because I just tuned into the car radio) and then she wants pupils to play tennis etc in schools. How long does she think the school day is for goodness sake? Sport was played out of school hours in my day, PE was in the school hall or the playground.

    Dean, let's get our children reading, writing and doing simple numbers before we worry about how many hours of exercise they get. My answer of course would be to teach them all an hour of Scottish dancing a week then they wouldn't look so ridiculous when most English people out-foot them at weddings.

    Excellent post Tris.

  5. A Subrosa I waas always excellent at the gay gordans and the vienese walse at school! So I totally agree- MORE DANCING CLASSES!

    But in another avenue, I always did fencing at my old hunting ground. Surely it isn't all that much to ask schools offer up more choice in types of exercise, as I dare say a growing number of kids today probs dont like the choice of dodge ball or footie!

    A good bit of fencing I say!

  6. Dean: The question she asked today was about PE... (Let's be honest, when it comes to education in general there is much that is wrong, and much that is right, much that suits one and not another). However, the government has improved the provision for PE, which has to be taught by specialist teachers for safety reasons.

  7. Subrosa: I agree with you. I don't think it is necessary or even particularly desirable for kids to have 2 hours of PE a week, certainly not when they can’t read and write, although perhaps with kids doing less and less exercise out of school, because they are transported everywhere by their parents, and sit in front of tvs and computer, there may be a point.

    Anyway, it's a fair question to ask if it was in the manifesto.

    Certainly there has been progress made in the provision, but because of the high level of training required, rightly, for teachers, to make sure that kids don't injure themselves while doing PE and games, it takes some time to reach the target.

    Thanks for the compliment ....;¬)

  8. Anon: It would be a brave man that told Annabel to lose a few pounds... particularly if it was a guy who could afford to lose a few pounds himself!!!

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like her, and for me she is the only serious oppostition. Labour are a total joke by comparison....

    As for smoking what Annabel is'd better watch out... and whatever else you do don't blow your nose while you're in your car!!!!

  9. SR and Dean:

    I totally agree that there should be more choice about PE or exercise in school. If they are going to force kids to do 2 hours a week of it, at least they should have the choice of activities. A bit of fencing or country dancing would do people no harm and might be more fun for some people.

    However, a wide variety of activities will cost more money at a time when our pocket money from England is getting smaller!!

  10. Who did Annabel beat in that election to be Tory leader? A corpse perhaps?

  11. Should the Scottish Government really be paying attention to the toxic torys on P.T.

    Just how many school playing fields were the nasty party responsible for selling off during their 18 years of miss rule.

    Goldie has proved over the past few weeks that she is no politician (even Cameron does not rate her important enough to attend meetings when he visits North Briton) so it looks like she is trying to reinvent her self as a comedian.

  12. Dubbie,

    "Should the Scottish Government really be paying attention to the toxic torys on P.T"

    Because it is minority government, and you need our votes.

  13. Strathturret:

    Ms Goldie was "elected" unopposed. So she, er, didn't actually beat anyone (according to Wikipedia).

  14. "Just how many school playing fields were the nasty party responsible for selling off during their 18 years of miss rule."

    You suggest there was a systematic policy to hurt comprehensive education, the idea that the Conservatives are some kind of pantomime evil bad guys is childish.

    Every body politic requires both a healthy right and a strong right to arrive at a better centre.

  15. Dubbieside:

    Yes, that's fair comment, they did sell off playing fields under the direction of the evil witch Thatcher. I'm not sure about the second part of what you say. Maybe it's Cameron that needs a few lessons on how important Scotland is. I'd certainly rather have Goldie than Cameron, Brown, Gray or Scott or even wee Spud who is wetting himself with excitement about the Pope coming to Scotland in September. (Long after it will be anything to do with him.)

  16. Dean. The Tories sold off big school playing fields as a matter of policy to raise money.

    I don't think it was intended to damage anything... just to make money.

    Of course it's fair to say that Ms Goldie in not Thatcher!

  17. That was 30 years ago, before Dubbieside was probably even born- and before the new One Nationist Cameron leadership.

    To pretend Goldie is responsible for Thatchers activities is as silly and childish as is imaginable. But then Dubbieside seems the type that might get on with our good friend Peter Tris.

    Facts don't seem to come in the way of dogmatism in both cases.

  18. Dean. It may have been 20-30 years ago, but it's the image that the Tories have. It's all that most of us alive can remember.

    We simply cannot recall the Tories being anything other than downright nasty, greedy, divisive and self serving.

    Say ‘Tory’ to most of us and we think, obscenely rich people flaunting it; selling off the family silver so that they could get their greedy paws on the cash; a bossy woman with thin blonde dyed hair and an irritating voice lecturing us about how we needed to change and alternating between that low slow patronising tone, and the strident hectoring. We remember her saying “We in Scotland....” like she was one of us.

    Now, it’s hard to rid a nation of that sort of memory. She may not have been Stalin or Pol Pot, but she is disliked as much as they were. The Tories have a HUGE mountain to climb, and possibly a lot of people to die off, before they can get back to where they were before she destroyed your base in Scotland.

    And Cameron might begin to win some people over, but he’s walked all over the Scottish leader. It’s like she doesn’t count. One nationism it may be, but he seems to forget the Scottish element of that nation... Some people may not like her, but Goldie is the Scottish leader, and he disrespects her. He’s not doing the right thing here.

    LOL Peter, bless him. I wonder where he is today Dean. Not here at least thank goodness... Maybe bothering you?

  19. He has appeared on my blog, here soon no doubt. He seems to have taken to hating you as a tory scoffer"... LOL

    Is comment on new-right was priceles!!

    As for maggie being a bitch, well yeh. I agree.

    But times change, and so must our perseptions.

  20. Maybe Dean... time will tell. At the moment all we have is a politician's word... and no proof whatsoever. None of us is likely to take a politicians's word at face value.

    He's a cheeky old sod is Pete... Tory scoffer?

    How very dare he!?!?!?!

  21. LOL.

    I really wonder about Peter. I honestly do.

    But with respect Tris- what about the Scottis Tory towncentre regeneration fund? That is evidence that we have changed in reality, not just in rhetoric.

    And then there is the ringfencing of our NHS.

  22. Was would be North British Ambassador to Malawi Jack McConnel that gruff when he was First Minister? He looked like he had had long night on the sauce.

  23. Small steps Dean, but I imagine that Mr Cameron will get a chance to demonstrate his centrist, one nation policies, because in England (where, at least in many places, Mrs Thatcher is considered only to be a daft old fool and not the very devil), they will elect a Tory government.

    So Mr Cameron will get his chance to show his inclusivity. He should start by respecting Ms Goldie.

    PS. I'm reliably informed that in England there are a few who actually like Thatcher.... no don't laugh: it's true.)

  24. Munguin: Nah, when he was First Minister, the extra salary carried enough for him to buy razors... and then he had expectations of the gravy train that is High Commissioner (laugh at that... I wonder if there is such a thing as a Low Commissioner). Poor old Malawi. Just used by the British Prime Minister like it didn't matter at all.

    Anyway, Jack took to being awfully cool for a while with his "designer" stubble. I remember I stood next to him in the canteen queue at parliament and he looked really rough close up. Gray isn't a good colour for stubble.

  25. Jack may have been mediocre, but he is still the best man Labour in Holyrood have currently...which is saying something.

    ...that is until skeletor loses his marginal in East Ren and moves ship to Holyrood.

  26. With that I can pretty much agree. I've met him a few times through work and he's a nice guy and very good with people.

    I imagine that the Spud will probably want to take over. Personally I don't rate him. I've never met him, but I've seen him so often be demolished in arguments. His insulting behaviour to Ireland and Iceland were unbelievable. To have a First Minister of that quality is incredible. of course he's better than Gray, but then, who wouldn't be?

    I've been watching Jackie Bailley recently, with growing respect.

  27. I wonder if Jack did a Maggie after the Scottish people stabbed him in the back (like the Tory party did to her) and dumped him. And took to the Water of Life. That would explain his dishevelled appearance.

  28. Munguin: If you had to spend a lot of time with Kirsty Wark, would you not take to drink?

  29. If Malawi meant nothing at all to Gordon then what did Jackie mean?

  30. Tris that is too horrible to contemplate. I cannot imagine spending any time with that shrivelled up harpy.

  31. "If Malawi meant nothing at all to Gordon then what did Jackie mean?"

    What do you mean Munguin..... ?

    PS, but you're right about Wark....

    What do you agree with Dean... about Wark, or that post that I don't understand?

  32. The "too horrible to contemplate. I cannot imagine spending any time with that shrivelled up harpy." line.

  33. LOL OK...

    The wee furry one has a way with words, does he not?

  34. I mean that they promised Jack a plum job in Malawi and then pulled the carpet out from under him making him look like a complete na na and having to rethink his promise not to stand for the Scottish Parliament again. After all all Labour politicians need a gravy train.

  35. Oh absolutely Munguin. Jack was used badly, but may well be rewarded with a seat in the House of Whatsitis.

    I was confused because you called him Jackie, and I had been talking earlier in the thread about Ms Bailley.

  36. Dean

    I have told you before on Blether with Brian that I am retired and also a grandfather.

    Yes the torys sold off school playing fields in Scotland, and anything else they could that was not nailed down. Goldie, and all the clowns behind her, would I have no doubt fully endorsed that position.

    My memory of the toxic torys is still vivid and a large part of why I am an SNP activist is that I want to do whatever I can to make sure my grandchildren live in an independent Scotland.

    I want Scotland to control its own destiny and never again be ruled by Westminster. Labour are bad enough but a repeat of the toxic torys should be enough to further increase the demand for divorce from Westminster.

    P.S. Dean your reply re the torys fixed poll, either Brown or Cameron, that it was right to only include the two as the torys were mainly targeting Labour was disingenuous to say the least. What about Perth and Angus? No Dean keep on kidding yourself with doctored polls, someday you may believe them, but you can be sure that very few others do. 11 mps dream on.

    P.P.S. Dean you appear to have turned full circle on Thatcher, it seams like only yesterday you were telling me to "grow up" for daring to criticize her on B with B.

  37. If they are going to do that they better hurry up there is not much left of the Brown Presidency.

  38. Retirement Honours List Munguin....

    I expect you'll be on it......

    First Munguin of Scotland......

  39. Tris

    I think both Cameron and Goldie could do with being reminded about how important Scotland is.

    Both would appear to think that the peasants should shut up and do what their told. Our colonial masters will tell us what is good for us.

    Goldies idea of democracy is if we do not get the result in Scotland that we want we will just ignore the vote and dictate anyway. How very tory.

    Mind you toxic for 18 years before, but not this time in Scotland. A few years of Cameron trying to dictate will increase the demand for independence.

  40. Tris: I am a republican, saying things like that will give me a bad name.

    But on the other hand how about Lord Munguin of Republic, I would love to see the Queen say that. Did you know that Queen Victoria refused to name a battleship HMS Oliver Cromwell, as if it had been a member of her family he beheaded.

  41. Dubbieside: I'm sure that Tory rule will increase the case for independence. I look forward to that.

  42. I dont even give Cameron 1 year before the clamour for that referendum is deafening.

  43. Sounds OK to me Munguin...

    No, I didn't know that. You are a mine of .... information though

  44. To Dubbie, Tris and all,

    Cameron could very well hold a referendum on independence...there is talk about it frankly. That way we can avoid the risk of a fixed question..

    At the very least I think the expected swing to the SNP and independence once the Conservatives is over stated.
    Not least because;

    a] people will be pleasantly surprised [I think]
    b] Labour will take a more 'Scottish' line- as it did in th 80s and 90s...this will undermine the SNP.

    But it is all to play for.

    And Dubbieside,

    I do not agree with the vast bulk of Thatchers policies, but some of your claims about her are not justifiable. And be fair, even she did some things right. Though I prefered Heath and MacMillan.

  45. "Dubbieside: I'm sure that Tory rule will increase the case for independence. I look forward to that."

    It really depends upon the level of hate and political contempt between Labour and SNP. As it will require tactical voting against my lot to see such a thing happen, and to win on as massive scale.. may I put it forward that it is a mistake to trust in an anti-tory factor to win such a plebicite for you?

    Instead make the case! Believe me, if I wwere convinced by the argument then I would be voting independence...I was once [extremely briefly!!] an SNP membership card holder...but that was another life, and I was extremely young and foolhardy...all romaticism and no pragmatism!

  46. This was a good thread. Personally I don't see much difference between any of the parties these days. They've all drifted to a hazy corporate centre where nothing is sacred - not playing fields, Post Offices, or Scottish Water. Oh - and we're all Europeans these days - just ask Dave.

  47. Dean

    Care to tell me which claims I made about Thatcher that are not justified.

    I would also appreciate a list of what Thatcher did right. I anticipate that it will be a very short list.

  48. "I was extremely young and foolhardy...all romaticism and no pragmatism!''

    That's a wee bit insulting to us Independence supporters Dean. I consider myself to be a mixture of romantic and pragmatist.

    You cannot seriously suggest that the current Scottish government is run on purely "romantic" principles?

  49. Yes Scunnert. It was a good thread, although it's kind of deviated from the original topic, but what the heck...

    Someone said the other day that our politics had become Americanised. We have two right wing parties, one slightly more right wing than the other. (Actually, this morning I heard Blair described as a neocon.)

    The sad truth is that bit by bit they have learned that UK elections are won in the centre ground. So now we have a right of centre and a ‘just’ right of centre party.

    No one cares what Scotland votes. It's too small to make a difference. The population of Scotland is about half the size of the English capital’s population. Why would it be important?

    We have to accept policies made for England, and in particular for the south of England.

    I can absolutely see why people don't bother to vote when what you get is a "same sh*t, different bucket situation.

    But, I would imagine for all their calls to the contrary, they are happy with that. The less we are interested the more they can get away with.

  50. Dubbieside,

    I am not trailing through all of your B with B quotes.

    "I would also appreciate a list of what Thatcher did right. I anticipate that it will be a very short list."

    Democractising the Trade Unions, so the power over decision making passed the the members as opposed to being exploited by the radical Skargillites.

    One man, one private ballot vote.

    A thoroughly decent reform, one which Mrs Thatcher did get correct to my view, however I do feel the 1986 trades union act did go too far in curtailing TU freedoms.

    Secondly one which has already been discussed between myself Munguin and Tris- the shift in the tax system from one focused on income to one focused on spending.
    Controversial I know, but still- I do support this shift of tax emphasis.

    Thirdly there was her contruction of nuclear power stations, I am a supporter of neuclear energy, so I feel that this was a positive step towards a more sustainable energy production base. Again, I appreciate this one will be controversial!

    Forthly the Falklands war. I just feel that when one state invades anothers sovereign territory- no matter how disputed the territory is ths is against the spirit of diplomacy, the purpose of the UN. It was a war of aggression that Mrs Thatcher was correct to confront, the military Junta in Argentina subseqently fell from power due in part to their loss of the war.

    Fifth, she did manage to remove a very unhealthy dependency on subsidy that British industry had in the post war consensus years. Again, she went too far, but the fundamental emphasis on removing large scale tax payers subsidy was fundamentally good. British Leyland for example.

    And naturally she did much wrong, but you only asked for a list of what she did right!

  51. "That's a wee bit insulting to us Independence supporters Dean. I consider myself to be a mixture of romantic and pragmatist."

    LOL, sorry Tris, it was meant as a comment on my own state of mind, remembering that I envisioned back then a Jacobite Scotland and the lot...I was merely referencing my own personal state of political mind! It is not a comment on wider Scots nationalism!

    Sorry for the 'mispeak' as Hillary would say!

  52. Dean

    So closing down British industry, and nuclear power are achievements! I knew it would be a short list but that is some legacy for 18 years of misrule.

    How can you say that some of my claims about Thatcher are not justifiable, then when asked what the claims were you do not know. You were not trailing through all my B with B quotes. How does that work Dean?

    I did not ask for a list of what Thatcher did wrong. I lived through all that Thatcher did wrong, as did a lot of Scots, and that is why the torys are as toxic today as they always were. Their arrogance was only matched by their ignorance.

  53. LOL... OK Dean..... small misunderstanding.

    I think you're on a hiding to nothing Dean trying to support Thatcher against people who lived under her government.

    The things you mention are, as you admit yourself, matters of opinion.

    Some think that increasing nuclear power was utter stupidity; something that what she did to the unions was to emasculate them and leave the pathetic management to walk all over people's rights....remember she did away with minimum wages. (There were different levels for different industries before the Tories decided that it was OK for a company to pay as little as £1 per hour, and that the state would have to make up the difference.)

    It’s fair to say that she was right to defend the Falklands, although how she did it (Belgrano) leaves a deal to be desired. If she were not British, and a close friend of the American President she might have been sent to The Hague as a war criminal.

  54. Dean as far as the Falkland Islands are concerned the timeline goes like this: in July 1979 the new Conservative government led by Mrs Thatcher sent Minister of State Nicholas Ridley to visit the Islands. After his visit Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington put forward three proposals. His starting point was that 'Fortress Falklands' was not feasible on the grounds of cost - Britain could not afford to maintain a sufficiently powerful military presence on the Islands to deter an invasion. The first option, 'Sovereignty Freeze', whereby both sides agreed to disagree and take no action to further their claims for a specified time, was seen as unacceptable to Argentina. The second option, 'Condominium', a joint government, would see the Argentine flag and Union Jack flying side-by-side, with two police forces, two governors, two official languages, but this was seen as unworkable.

    Nicholas Ridley was sent back to the Islands in November 1980 to try to persuade Islanders to accept the third proposal for 'leaseback' whereby nominal sovereignty would be given to Argentina but British administration would be maintained for a fixed number of years until the final handover.
    In February 1981, with the support of the Islands' Councillors, the British government met with Argentine representatives in New York but the British proposal for a sovereignty freeze was rejected by the junta. In July 1981 the British Joint Intelligence Committee reported that the most likely Argentine response to the lack of progress on sovereignty talks would be to take punitive economic measures against the Islanders (disrupting transport links, food and fuel supplies, or medical aid arrangements) or even to occupy uninhabited parts of the Falkland Islands Dependencies along the Southern Thule model. The view was that Argentina would invade the Islands only if it was convinced there was no prospect of eventual transfer of sovereignty.

    Ridley advised that leaseback remained the only feasible solution and recommended that Britain initiate an education campaign to persuade Islanders, but this proposal was rejected by Lord Carrington who felt that any attempt to put pressure on Islanders would be counter-productive. However, the cumulative effect of stalled sovereignty negotiations, the British Nationality Act 1981 which would deprive many Islanders of their rights as full British citizens, the announced withdrawal of HMS Endurance, the shelving of plans to rebuild the Royal Marine barracks at Moody Brook, and the proposed closure of the British Antarctic Survey base at Grytviken on South Georgia, was to convince Argentina that Britain had no future interest in the Islands

    The Argentinean were, therefore, led to believe that the Falkland Islands were a problem to the UK and that Mrs Thatcher wanted rid of them. Which to all intents and purposes she did. She caused that Falkland war.

  55. "I did not ask for a list of what Thatcher did wrong. I lived through all that Thatcher did wrong, as did a lot of Scots, and that is why the torys are as toxic today as they always were."

    I cannot agree that 'all' of what the then Conservative government did was wrong. That seems too dogmatic for me.

    Yes, the industrial reforms when far far too far, where a whole generation of unskilled manufacturing workers were left on the side lines...but to generalise these mistakes as you do is unfair.

    I would point to the right to buy, where over 1 million Scots benefited from having the opportunity to purchase their own home. A great act of redistribution. This is perhaps why the Scots in 1983 voted in 22 Scots Tory MPs, they wanted to protect some of these 'Thatcherite' policies. The people spoke.

    That said, the arrogance of the government is another matter. That is where you have the advantage of over me, as you did have to live through these people in government, I didn't until I was born in 1989.. so I won't refute your interpretation of certain politicians tones.

    "How can you say that some of my claims about Thatcher are not justifiable, then when asked what the claims were you do not know"

    Well if you so desperately want an example of one of your unacceptable statements, how about the one you have made on this threat- where you call the lady, and all [quote ALL] 'Tories' do realise that the Conservative Party is more than just one woman?

    You do realise that Tories like Heath, MacMillan and all of the 'wets' violently disagreed with 'Thatcherite' ideology with as much passion as you do. They are still Tories, yet not dare I say it toxic. Your positon is too generalising, and is totally unacceptable as you seem to paint every 'Tory' with the same brush.

    That is a bit unfair, and completely unacceptable Dubbieside.

  56. "The Argentinean were, therefore, led to believe that the Falkland Islands were a problem to the UK and that Mrs Thatcher wanted rid of them. Which to all intents and purposes she did. She caused that Falkland war."

    I am familiar with the events leading up to the war. However, no matter what 'smoke signals' the Argentine junta read- the hostile invasion of another sovereign country is totally unacceptable.

    Was there a failure to make the British position clear? Perhaps, but then Lord Carrington did take responsbility and resign, as was the correct thing to do.

    But is it acceptable to invade, when ongoing negotiations were underway- no matter how stalled- no. But then I believe this is not all that controversial a position to hold frankly.

    "I think you're on a hiding to nothing Dean trying to support Thatcher against people who lived under her government."

    Tris, I am not defending the Tory government, come what may. Merely attempting to point out that it is totally dogmatic to say 'everything' the then government did was evil and wrong.

    I do not believe it is all that controversial a position to hold.

  57. Dean

    The right to buy was a classic example of what could have been a half decent idea that failed due to tory dogma.

    The right to buy took stock out of social housing provision, funnily enough the really good houses in the good estates. If the houses had been sold at proper market values to sitting tenants, and the councils were allowed to reinvest the proceeds in further social housing then it would have been worthwhile.

    The torys only interest in the right to buy was to substantially reduce the stock of social housing trying to reduce the influence of councils who provided the housing, which is why they were sold at massive discounts, and the councils were not allowed to reinvest any proceeds in new housing.

    In their quest to reduce the stock of decent social housing they succeeded.

  58. Dubbieside,

    You may be totally surprised by this- but I agree with some of what you said.

    The funds raised from right to buy should have been reinvested into new social housing construction. The fact that it wasn't is proof; as you say; that where there ought to be pragmatism dogma and ideology can distort.

    But, the principal of allowing longstanding council house tenants purchasing the home they have spend a life in, to leave in to their children is a principal I fundamentally approve of.

    It is all part of the asperation towards equality of opportunity.

  59. Dean:

    "the hostile invasion of another sovereign country is totally unacceptable"

    I am assuming then that you do not agree with the actions of that other one nation Tory Sir Anthony Eden when he attacked Egypt? ;¬)

  60. Dean:

    I think you're doing well, holding out against all the anti-Tories on here LOL.

    I know you don't think that all that they have done in the past is right. You've made that clear over many posts on many threads...

    But trying to defend Thatcher, or anything she did on a Scottish blog is a hard job!!!!

  61. LOL Tris, it is very hard. But I shall persist!

    But Munguin, your correct. I do not approve of what Eden did. That was why he had to resign, and when he did so he made way for one of the greatest prime ministers of British history- Harold MacMillan!

    ..[come on Tris, you expected that didn't you?]..

  62. I'm beginning to anticipate it Dean......

  63. Dean: what about Churchill then when in 1953 his government removed Prime Minister Mossadegh of Iran (the first and only democratically elected leader of that nation) and installed the Shah as a dictator because Dr Mossadegh had threatened to nationalise the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company?

  64. If only Goldie had something to pat herself on the back for, it would be a sight worth seeing!

  65. LOL, Brownlie- she has if you ask me [but you didnt!]...towncentre regeneration funds is a good start for an opposition party.


    Churchill by the time of his second government spend most of his time ill or half cut. That entire second term was an ego trip. A sad state of affairs.

    Indeed MacMillan in the end picked up the pieces of both Labour and previous Tory leaders in 1959, by constructing over 2 million social homes for the needy..and excellerating the decolonisation agenda [which Churchill slowed down].


    I bet you are! :P

  66. Brownlie: I think they shoud pat each other on the back... Nothing to do with politics though, just less of a strain for the larger lady and gentleman.....

  67. A sad state of affairs indeed when a major political party permits a four year ego trip followe by an incompetent disaster.

    Did MacMillan not also implement the disaterous Beeching cuts and lie about the fire at Windscale?

  68. Lets not forget the Profumo affair either.