Thursday, 27 February 2014


MPs in the Royal Palace of Westminster to discuss their pay increase... of around £8,000 a year, about £2,000 more a year than an OAP gets in pension.
The Tories and the Liberals have standing room only.

Then when they were obliged to discuss the effects that the social security cuts have had on the sick and disabled, oh look, most of them have disappeared. 

I think I can see 5 people from the government side who give atos. The benches which were most empty last time, are the ones which are full this time.

What does that say?


Wednesday, 26 February 2014


The New Statesman has a Scotland special this week (available on Thursday). It contains contributions for a wide range of people like Andrew Marr, Kirsty Wark, Jack Vettriano, Kathleen Jamie, Tom Devine, Helena Kennedy and Judy Murray. 

Here is Alex Salmond’s contribution.

When the inconclusive result of the last UK general election became clear, there was considerable anger among some commentators – particularly from the right – that Gordon Brown was seeking to form a new administration. For our part, although we were not prepared to enter a formal coalition, I made it clear that I was open to exploring the possible involvement of the SNP in an attempt to construct an alternative scenario to what we believed would be the disaster of a Conservative-led government.

But the sense, from many both within and outside the Labour Party, was that although there had been no obvious winner, Mr Brown and Labour had been the clear losers – in England, at any rate. Although Labour had won 258 seats, many people believed that it would have been wrong to seek to form a government on that basis.

Imagine then how laughable and absurd it would have been if a party had won just a single seat in England but had not only sought to lead a government but succeeded in doing so. Such a democratic outrage is so far-fetched that it would not cross anyone’s mind as a reasonable outcome for even a second.

I assume readers in England would, rightly, refuse even to contemplate such a ludicrous possibility. And yet in Scotland today we are subject to a Westminster coalition government led by the Tories, who do indeed have the grand total of one MP north of the border. This affront to democracy gets to the heart of the independence debate. It cannot be right for a party that is overwhelmingly rejected in election after election (in the four most recent UK elections the Tories have returned zero, one, one and one MP from Scotland) to form a government pursuing policies that very few people support. In fact, for half the time since the end of the Second World War, Scotland has been governed from Westminster by parties with no majority here.

So when the Prime Minister agreed with his No campaign ally Ian Davidson, a Labour MP, that he shouldn’t come to Scotland to campaign against independence because he was “a Tory toff from the Home Counties, even one with a fine haircut”, both of them spectacularly missed the point.

I suspect both Mr Davidson and Mr Cameron know fine well that the Prime Minister’s choice of barber, background and nationality are utterly irrelevant. What is important is that people in Scotland – often the most vulnerable – are suffering from the impact of a government they didn’t elect and which cares little or nothing for their lives.

Scottish MPs have voted decisively against the bedroom tax, the welfare benefits uprating bill, means-testing for child benefit, cuts in capital spending, Royal Mail privatisation and many more coalition policies but all of them are being imposed on Scotland anyway.

Within the constraints of the Scottish Parliament, on many of these issues, there is nothing we can do. On others the Scottish government is working hard to soften the blow and to seek ways of mitigating the impact. But it makes a mockery of devolution for the Scottish Parliament to be told to divert money from other services to mitigate the impact of policies that had virtually no support in Scotland in the first place.

Because of the way public services are funded in the “devolved nations”, even policies under the control of the Scottish Parliament are under pressure from the marketising fixation at Westminster.

In 2011 I appeared on the BBC’s Question Time in Liverpool where I sympathised with people in England because of the destruction of their National Health Service that appeared to be taking place. I remarked that in Scotland we had gone down a very different route and had decided to keep the NHS in public hands. 

Now the shadow health secretary at Westminster is warning that the NHS is under attack and that the Tories are taking the first steps towards an American-style system. It was, of course, Labour that enthusiastically embraced the idea of competition and markets in the NHS and ripped off taxpayers by hugely expanding the ruinous Private Finance Initiative.

Labour supporters must now be watching in horror, as the journey started by their leaders could soon be completed by the Tories, with the result that universal public health provision free at the point of use could become a thing of the past in England.

It saddens me greatly to see what is being done to this great institution, but it is no longer just a case of expressing sympathy. Within the Westminster funding system, the privatisation of the NHS in England could be deeply damaging for the funding of public services in Scotland.

That is because, under the (frequently misunderstood) Barnett formula, if privatisation leads to cuts in public funding for the NHS in England this will lead to cuts to funding in Scotland. So decisions taken in Westminster by governments we didn’t elect have damaging long-term consequences for people in Scotland.

In this respect, it is important to recognise the myth that an independent Scotland will make it impossible for Labour to form a government in the rest of the UK. In fact, in only two of the 18 general elections since 1945 (October 1964 and February 1974) would the largest party at Westminster have been different if Scotland had been independent, and even then, those two governments lasted for less than 26 months in total. So Scotland’s votes within the Union have little or no influence on the make-up of the Westminster government.

But Scotland’s values as an independent country could have a much more profound impact. We could be a progressive beacon for those across these islands who yearn for a fairer society. Even before the Tories entered office in 2010, Danny Dorling, then a professor at the University of Sheffield, calculated that the UK was the fourth most unequal country in the developed world.

In Scotland we do not have such extremes of wealth but the gap between rich and poor is still far too wide. The anti-poverty campaigner Bob Holman, one who was famously sought out by Iain Duncan-Smith, recently announced that he was supporting independence. He wrote: “I was born in England, though I have lived in Glasgow for 30 years. I am a member of the Labour Party, which is against Scottish independence, but I will be voting Yes in September. My decision is not because I have strong nationalistic feelings, but because I believe in democracy and equality.”

And he went on: “An SNP government in an independent Scotland would be committed to abolishing the punishment that is right-wing welfare.”

On this he was right. But I don’t believe such a commitment is confined to the SNP. I don’t believe any government in an independent Scotland would engage in the dismantling of the welfare state we see under way in Westminster today. I would never pretend that governments of an independent Scotland – of whatever colour – will never make mistakes. I don’t believe we have higher values than anyone else. As in all democracies, there will be differences of opinion and a lively policy debate.

But since 1999, the Scottish Parliament has shown above all that taking decisions in Scotland works for the people who live here. When free personal care for the elderly was brought in, the policy was supported by every party in the parliament.

Since 2007 the SNP has resisted the marketisation of the NHS, abolished university tuition fees and removed the means test from prescriptions. We have championed the universal ideal and recently we have worked with Labour to find a way to help the disabled and other people suffering from the cruel and inhumane bedroom tax.

In an independent Scotland with control of social security, I firmly believe there would be no place for the divisive language of “scrounger v striver” which is designed to undermine the welfare state.

Last year, I was honoured to be asked to give the Jimmy Reid Memorial Lecture. In that lecture, I recalled Jimmy’s celebrated Glasgow University rectorial address in 1972, in which he spoke of alienation as “the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It is the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision-making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies.”

When I recited those words I could not have imagined even then the scale of the rise in food bank use and the despair of those forced to turn to them because of the coalition government’s destructive attitude towards social security.

When David Cameron came into office, his big idea was the so-called big society. But what we see today is a shrinking society – one in which the third sector and private companies are being asked to become the public sector’s replacement, not its partner.

So Scotland could indeed be a champion of a progressive society – demonstrating a different and, I believe, a better way.

This does not mean an unreformed state. We have focused on prevention and early intervention. We have made some major reforms, such as the reduction in the number of police forces, and we have cut public bodies from 199 to 113. But we believe in a collaborative model of public services – not one based on competition.

The UK, then, is an unbalanced and unequal society in many ways. It concentrates an extraordinary amount of economic activity in London and the south-east of England. Shortly after he came to office the Prime Minister warned of the consequences. “This really matters,” he said. “An economy with such a narrow foundation for growth is fundamentally unstable and wasteful – because we are not making use of the talent out there in all parts of our United Kingdom.”

However, since then the imbalances have got worse. A recent report said 80 per cent of private-sector job creation was taking place in London. Before Christmas, Vince Cable spoke of London as “a giant suction machine”, draining life from the rest of the country. In Scotland, we have seen an improvement in economic performance since devolution. In fact, even without any revenue from North Sea oil, GDP per head is almost the same as for the UK. With oil and gas revenues our economy, per head, is substantially larger.
Far from being the oil-dependent economy depicted by those opposed to independence, Scotland has diverse strengths and our public finances are healthier than the UK’s.

We have more top universities, per head, than any other country and a food and drink industry aiming to turn over more than £16bn a year. We are major players in the life sciences, financial services, creative industries and other growth sectors. Despite the UK’s neglect of manufacturing, we still have significant manufacturers of international standing and we have enormous potential in renewable technology.

So, the issue for people in Scotland is not if we can afford to be an independent country – after all, we are one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. The issue is how best we can build economic security and create opportunities in the future. The choice is whether to continue as an economic region of the unbalanced, unequal Westminster model, or take on the powers of a national economy in an independent Scotland.

As with all countries, we will have challenges to overcome. The proximity of a world city such as London can be a great advantage but we need the powers to give Scottish business a competitive tax edge to counter the suction effect identified by Mr Cable. Expanding the working population is an important goal. But we are suffering from an immigration policy driven by a Westminster establishment in fear of the UK Independence Party.

Both the rhetoric and the policy are deeply damaging. The decision to abolish the post-study work visa is already having an effect. In the Scottish government’s white paper on independence – Scotland’s Future – we set out how an immigration policy can be designed for Scotland’s needs within the Common Travel Area.

In Scotland’s Future we also set out phased transformational plans for childcare, which will open up much greater opportunities for women in particular and boost the workforce. This, in turn, will boost tax revenues. Crucially, with independence, that tax revenue will stay in Scotland, rather than being sent to the London Treasury, which will allow us to reinvest to fund the policy. If the SNP was to form the first government of an independent Scotland, it will be this expansion of childcare that will be our priority, so we will not go ahead with the married couple’s allowance planned for next year.

We also propose a collaborative social partnership model to boost productivity. Our Fair Work Commission will have a remit to increase the minimum wage at least in line with inflation, and we will bring together employers and employees in a convention on employment and labour relations to look at a range of issues such as a living wage. By taking these and other measures, Scotland will become a more resilient economy. Other, comparable European countries have achieved higher growth rates and more equal societies, so we know what is possible.

And for the rest of the UK, a strong Scotland will act as a counterweight to rebalance the activity so concentrated at present in the south-east of England. These, of course, are SNP proposals. But the first government of an independent Scotland will be the government that wins the first election in an independent Scotland in May 2016.

Before that government takes office, a Yes vote this September will trigger the start of negotiations with the UK government to ensure the transition to independence. Both the Scottish and the UK governments have signed the 2012 Edinburgh Agreement, which commits us to respecting the outcome of the referendum and to working together constructively in the best interests of the people of Scotland and the rest of the UK.

On the issue of currency, the Scottish government has accepted the advice of the Fiscal Commission Working Group that a sterling-zone currency union is in the best interests of an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK. The pound is not the property of George Osborne or Ed Balls, nor even Danny Alexander. It is as much Scotland’s pound as the rest of the UK’s.

When Mr Osborne flew in to Scotland to pronounce that he would not accept such an arrangement and would refuse even to discuss the matter with us, the Chancellor chose to misrepresent the fiscal commission’s proposals. He chose also to misrep­resent the size of the Scottish financial sector and the impact of oil-price fluctuations, and offered misleading comparisons with the eurozone.

The Treasury further argued that the UK is the continuing state in international law, and so Scotland is not entitled to a share of the Bank of England, among other things. As a campaign tactic, it seems as if the UK government is insisting on the sole right to determine what the assets are and which are the liabilities.

Despite the UK Treasury’s position, the Scottish government is continuing to be constructive. Even though the Treasury has accepted that it has the legal obligation to pay back the UK debt in the event of a Yes vote, we are willing to finance a fair share. This is dependent, of course, on receiving a fair share of the assets. It is the UK government that curiously seems to be insisting, through its line of argument, that the rest of the UK must shoulder the whole debt burden.

As Christine Bell, professor of constitutional law at Edinburgh, has pointed out, “Legally under international law the position is clear: if the remainder of the UK keeps the name and status of the UK under international law, it keeps its liabilities for the debt. The UK took out the debt, and legally it owes the money. Scotland cannot therefore ‘default’.”

This is just one reason why I believe that, despite the destructive rhetoric of the No campaign, common sense will prevail and a fair share of assets and liabilities will indeed be agreed. Besides Mr Osborne’s announcement, the No campaign has seized on comments by the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, about Scotland’s EU membership, including a preposterous comparison between Scotland and Kosovo. We have always accepted that it is for the member states to decide the route for Scotland to continue its membership of the EU as an independent country. We have also always accepted that negotiations will have to take place.

But there is nothing in any European treaty that allows for the removal of five million EU citizens against their will because they have taken part in a legal, democratic vote about how they should be governed. Mr Barroso’s comments were followed by a range of experts setting out why he was wrong.

Sir David Edward, a former British judge at the European Court of Justice who describes himself as a moderate unionist, has said there is an obligation to negotiate Scotland’s membership between the event of a Yes vote and Scotland becoming independent.

Yet even more than the legal position, we need to be clear about the EU’s very purpose. It is founded on the principles of democracy, freedom and solidarity. It is in the business of enlargement. To remove Scotland would involve turning its back on these founding values and it is entirely unclear why any EU state would contemplate such a step.

Our vision of an independent Scotland is one of a country engaging fully with the EU and the broader international community, co-operating closely with our friends and neighbours in the UK.

The close cultural and social ties across these islands will continue and, I believe, will be strengthened. We can learn from each other in a partnership of equals based on mutual respect. I passionately believe that an independent Scotland will be a more democratic, fairer and more prosperous country and that is why I believe the momentum is so strongly with the Yes campaign and why on 18 September the people of Scotland will vote Yes. 


What is the point of debating with a Scottish politician who says: "We are not genetically programmed to make political decisions in Scotland?

I presume that she really meant: "We, in Scotland, are not genetically programmed to make political decisions". The alternative would suggest that once outside Scotland, Scots would be able to operate effectively, but then that would rule out the genetics element (you take that with you), so we'll assume that the ex-English teacher had a momentary lapse!

Is it worth then, maybe, making the point that she and all her colleagues are drawing their salaries under false pretences? What is the point of them sitting there in Holyrood, all genetically incapable of making a political decision.

Is she aware of the provenance of Keir Hardie? Does she know of Jimmy Reid, or Ramsay MacDonald, John Smith, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, or even Johann Lamont? I wonder if she had a moment of doubt about the country's safety when Mr Cameron announced that, although he was not Scottish, his grandfather used to live just outside inverness.

Maybe it's just me, but these few words made my flesh creep. It's almost like she felt that some sort of apartheid was justified. There are Scots and there are political masters, that is to say the white men, like David Cameron and George Osborne, whom, I suppose, she considers to be genetically programmed through their aristocratic and royal connections, to make political decisions.

Now I know why the No campaign don't want to see Scotland independent. They see themselves and their fellows as an inferior breed, of lesser political ability, there to be ruled by their betters.

I'm beginning to empathise, rather than sympathise, with native Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Indians and other races across the world who found that Britnats considered them inferior and unqualified to rule themselves.

I wonder if she refers to Cameron as "sahib", or "massa", or if she just curtsies and stays quiet for fear of embarrassing her lesser self.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Home sweet home: Benyon's manor and with fellow Tory fatcat landlords
 Earl Cadogan, Sir Richard Drax and Lard Cavendish

When the Tories spew their bile about benefit claimants receiving £20,000 a year in benefits people should always keep in mind that 70% of that figure is in housing benefit and the claimant does not see a single penny of that money it goes straight to their landlords.

The Tories have a lot of MPs, aristos and important donors who are mass landlords and they receive an awful lot of taxpayers’ money in housing benefit whilst pointing the finger at their tenants, when they are the ones who have pocketed the majority of their tenants’ benefit claims!!

Some unemployed may get thousands of pounds in benefits but unless they are defrauding the system they still only get £73 pounds per week to live on and pay their bills and eat, the majority of the claim goes to the landlord.

So next time the Tories get you to hate on the poor just remember who the ones are that are getting very wealthy out of our benefit system and just why the Tories refuse to build social housing in England.

Remember no one gets rich off of somebody living in social housing.

Pardon the spelling in the illustration.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Camergoon and the Morons on Tour

They came; they made asses of themselves; we laughed; they left.
They didn't even bother to learn the language. Tourists, huh!
Roll on September.


Too ill to go on his own, he was taken by his brother, Charlie, but during the medical examination his condition deteriorated even further and had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. 

He died the next day. 

He was 48.

His brother said: “He said he felt terrible and didn’t think he could leave the house. But he was worried they’d take his benefits away if he didn’t go. When he went in, he sat down with a young woman who started asking him questions. I pointed out that he needed an ambulance, not a medical.

“They put us into a room next door and lay him on a bed. We waited more than an hour for the ambulance without anyone coming in to even ask how he was.”

What? Just What? This is an office full, one imagines, of medical staff who are paid to make decisions on people’s lives, using their medical knowledge (however scant that may be), and not one of these highly trained staff bothered their lazy arses to come anywhere near him to find out how he was when the ambulance took an HOUR to get there?  

Terry had a blood disorder, polycytheamia (having a high concentration of red blood cells in your blood, making the blood thick and less able to circulate through the vessels to the organs). The reduced blood flow can cause complications such as blood clots, bleeding (such as nosebleeds and bruising) and gout. Blood clots are, of course, particularly dangerous as they can put you at risk of a heart attack, pulmonary embolism (blockage in the lungs) or stroke.

So given that the woman who was examining him would have known all this information, and anything else he was suffering from (she would have his paperwork in front of her), and will have been medically qualified (at least to first aid level), I'm rather surprised that the call to the ambulance service said that it was not an emergency. That decision, made in a building full of medically trained people, may well have cost this man his life.

Charlie, from Glasgow, said: “The girl who was supposed to be doing the examination never brought out a stethoscope or anything. They just put him in the room next door and that was the last we saw of her.”

An Atos spokesman said: “We would like to express our condolences to Mr McGarvey and his family. As soon as we were made aware that Mr McGarvey had taken ill, we offered our assistance and called for an ambulance.”

Wow… We’re impressed, but not very.

Perhaps as IDS is in Scotland telling us how pathetic we are, he might like to offer the family his condolences and maybe an explanation for why no one in Atos Offices seems to have enough medical nous to apply a sticking plaster.

Cost cutting, I’ll be bound.

In an urgent memo obtained by Benefits and Work, the DWP have told staff that due to a growing backlog at Atos all current employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants will be left on the benefit, without further medical checks, until another company can be found to do repeat work capability assessments (WCAs). The memo, dated 20 January, goes on to say that this will reduce the number of claimants moving off ESA, but that there are no plans to inform claimants or MPs about the change.

So another plank just fell off IDS's building. Has this man got anything right? How many people have died because of him and his Labour predecessors?


Sunday, 23 February 2014


Yesterday's front page of The Sun. The main feature with emotional response instructions in red block capitals was: £120 a week benefits claimant whose state funded obesity 'will make your blood boil'. Horror of horrors. Just imagine if she had been getting £130 ...she'd have burst!

Single column side story: Multi millionaire state employee in £1m tax fraud. Nothing much to see there then. Just someone who works for the state managed to steal many millions of your pounds. Nothing to get excited about. At least not when compared with a fat bird.

Tiny third story: Multi millionaire footballer who dodges £600k a year in tax gets new £70m deal, tax unmentioned. Again, hardly damaging to the economy that someone has been dodging tax to the tune of £600,000 a year. Not when some woman has been getting fat on £120 a week. Goodness me thats around £6,000 a year...  

Let's remember too that at the moment some of the newspaper's stablemates' executives are in prison for hacking people's phones; bribing the police and other public officials and using a dead girl's phone to access information, in doing so giving the parents the hope that she was still alive.

Fortunately, there is a photograph of 46 year old Kylie Minogue's backside to raise the tone of the issue.

Very sadly, this is the biggest selling newspaper in Britain.

Makes you proud, eh?

(with thanks to Yes Dundee)

Saturday, 22 February 2014


Priti Patel said the Prime Minister should demand the country starts to “pay for itself”. (Instead of paying for itself and a bit of the rest of the UK, I presume she means.)

Patel said Scots get a better deal than the rest of the UK due to policies like free prescriptions and tuition fees. (I wonder why that would be... something about good governance maybe?)

And in a speech organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs – Maggie Thatcher’s favourite think-tank – she said the independence debate provided a “good opportunity” to slash spending. (Well, there, don't say we weren't warned.)

Her outburst will embarrass Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and undermine the Better Together campaign to keep Scotland in the UK. (It should embarrass her and the right wing of the Tory Party too, so steeped in ignorance as it is. But the BT campaign and Davidson are not easily embarrassed, have no fear.)

Patel said: “There are many areas such as elderly care, tuition fees and prescriptions where Scots are basically getting a better deal than the rest of the country". (She should delve into why England doesn't have these things. They were brought in by either Labour controlled or an SNP government. The right wing governments of England don't care about the elderly or the sick.)

Patel claimed the latest figures showed the public sector in Scotland cost billions. (I don't know where she got the figures from, but as the bulk of the UK civil service is in England, and in London, I am wondering. She might also remember that Thatcher and Major did send some Civil Service jobs to Scotland as compensation for the many thousands that they destroyed in our heavy industry.)

“So there is a good opportunity now for the UK Government to actually start having discussions to make sure that Scotland actually pays for itself.”

(A recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies showed public spending per head in Scotland was £1200 higher than the rest of the UK but noted that oil revenues more than make up for this.)

Patel’s comments were last night seized on by the SNP. MSP Jamie Hepburn said: “What unbelievable claptrap from this top Tory. (She's not a top Tory in fairness. She's a backbencher, and not a very bright one, otherwise she'd have made the bottom ranks of minister by now.)

“Once again the mask has slipped and we see the true attitude of the UK Government towards Scotland.

“Scotland more than pays its way – generating 9.6 per cent of UK tax revenue in return for just 9.3 per cent of expenditure.

“But who can doubt that the Tories would cut Scotland’s budget even further if the referendum result was No?”

A Scottish Tory spokesman (unnamed) said: “Priti Patel obviously does not understand that while Scotland benefits from free prescriptions and free personal care, we have 2000 less (SIC(fewer) nurses – and patients with rare cancers go without life-saving drugs, unlike in England. (WHAT? NO WONDER THEY DIDN'T GIVE THEIR NAME! The Tory spokesman must, or at least should, know perfectly well that there are drugs available in Scotland that are not available in England and vice  versa. These low life just can't help slipping in a lie to make their case sound better.)

“Politics is all about choices and she would do well to take this into account when making future speeches about the devolved settlement in Scotland.” (Well at least they got that right. We could note that in France everyone does get whatever drug they need, and cancer patients are treated within days of diagnosis, but in fairness they do pay a great deal more for this service. They also have almost twice as many doctors per head as in the UK, but they pay them very much choices is the name of the game.) 

Patel, the MP for Witham, Essex, since 2010, also demanded Cameron target funding for trade unions and foreign aid to cut the deficit.


THE leader of Scotland’s trade union movement has said that his members are “more attracted” to the pro-independence campaign.

Grahame Smith, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) general secretary, said the union was “disappointed” in the case being made for staying in the UK by the No campaign.
He made the stark claim as the umbrella trade union body launched an analysis paper on the referendum “a just Scotland” today.
Some things just come back and bite you
 on the bum. Don't they, Johann?

The STUC, which represents, 630,000 workers, includes some of the UK’s biggest trade union such as Unite and Unison - that are affiliated to Labour.

Mr Smith said that STUC members had so far been “more attracted by the vision offered by the Yes campaign and the Scottish government” through their “social agenda on welfare and addressing inequality”.

“It’s fair to say that they've been largely disappointed by the lack of vision from the No campaign.”

Meanwhile, the STUC paper said that none of the currency options for an independent Scotland were “wholly compelling”.

It said that there were a “number of disadvantages” for the UK in agreeing to a currency union, but that a new Scottish currency under independence would “allow most discretion over fiscal and monetary policy”.

At least 39 bills have been subject to royal approval, with the senior royals using their power to consent or block new laws in areas such as higher education, paternity pay and child maintenance.
Is that what peasants eat?

Internal Whitehall papers prepared by Cabinet Office lawyers show that on one occasion the Queen vetoed the Military Actions against Iraq Bill in 1999, which aimed to transfer the power to authorise military strikes against Iraq from the monarch to parliament.

And we were always told that she had no power at all... and it's not just her, Charlie, for some reason, has the same power even though he's not King.
I note that the government in London isn't happy that Atos has announced that it wants to pull out of the contract it has to kill off as many sick people as possible.... or whatever else they are contracted to do.

They say that staff have received threats on their lives. The best one the BBC could come up with was "If there's someone who works for Atos, kill them", which was, I think, tweeted. Wrong, I grant you, but not really very scary. 

Anyway... if another company takes over, which I suppose it will have to if IDS's (and Labour's) plans for the sick aren't going to sink without trace, will they not also need staff? 

It seems to me that DWP staff and all the people that have worked for that department in all its guises over the years have always faced this kind of threat.

I think, though, that this is an excuse.  It is more likely that they are worried that their worldwide reputation is being damaged by their involvement in this small time project for the UK.

Interestingly, the BBC couldn't get a minister to make a comment on that on the tv, although the next item on the news was to do with the reduction in the number of people unemployed or somesuch other lie perpetrated by IDS, and, miracles of miracles, a spokesman for the DWP said, "blah, blah, blah". He must have been in the toilet when they were looking for a quote on Atos.

However, the BBC website says that the government is furious, because this was commercially sensitive information, and knowing that Atos no longer wants the contract may make it more difficult for them to find other companies willing to bed for the job.

As Spook is want to say on these occasions: Wee shame!
Yes. That is what we are suppose to believe. Funny huh?

Friday, 21 February 2014


Blinky lies and stutters and then lies again... Note that he says ''independence'' and then changes it to ''separation''.

Is he really the best they could find to stutter his way, you know, through, you know, the No, you know, campaign.


Wednesday, 19 February 2014


Shortly before she was arrested for bribing government officials and police; shortly before she was picked up for hacking into people's phones from pop stars to royalty, from politicians to reality "stars"; shortly before she was done for using a dead girls phone and giving false hope to the parents that their child was alive, David Cameron's friend and neighbour was offered support and assistance from Tony Blair. There are some things you support your friends through. There are somethings that you do not. I wonder what's in it for him?
Well another day, another Tory on the fiddle. What worries me is that bitch got a tut tut for claiming £90,000 she wasn't entitled to, but a student who stole two bottles of water from a looted shop got 6 months in prison. All in it together, Big Society.  We've not been so divided for 70 years.
Oh look. Sterling that is not English.
Oh look. Sterling that is not English
Oh look. Sterling that is not English.
Oh look. Sterling that is not English.
Oh look. Sterling that is not English.
Oh look. Sterling that is not English.
Who'd have thought it, eh...? All these countries that use the pound sterling, with the queens head on it because they are associated with the crown, although not with England, or Wales or Ulster or Scotland.

Surely must me some mistake.
At the risk of being a tad on the boring side... Oh look!
No, I'm joking. These are not official.
No wonder, no one much lives there.
The man who raided people's pensions won't need to worry much for himself.
Quite apart form the massive ex prime minister pension he gets, plus a fund to run an office, plus security, he clearly gets rather well paid for his speeches. Not sure why, because he's a boring old git that got more or less everything wrong all the time he was in office.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


IDS, wouldn't know the truth if it bit him on the ass
Bless him, the vomit-inducing rat Iain Duncan Smith has been strangely absent from these pages for over a week… mainly because we've been laughing our heads off, here at Munguin Towers, over the mad antics of David Cameron’s Valentine Message, followed by what Gideon clearly thought was a kick up the ass, followed by an elderly aristocratic relative of Jim Callaghan telling us that in the event of a yes vote, unless we comply with what Westminster wants, they will turn nasty, and we won’t get independence. Then just when we were all laughed out, good old José Manuel Barroso tells us that it is highly unlikely that Scotland will be accepted into the EU because Spain will block it.

So, with all that going on we stopped counting how many people Mr Duncan Smith had managed to get off the sick by killing them off or causing them to have heart attacks while they were being interviewed by the Atos nurse, and having their benefit stopped for failing to complete the assessment.

But the monster’s name cropped up today in another story. Apparently the UK government is paying strip clubs and massage parlours to take on staff from the dole. Yes, that’s right young unemployed people are being sent by jobcentres to work in the sex industry and the companies employing them are getting government grants.
That is about how much I care about the thousands of you
I have 'freed' from unemployment and ill health

Of course we are assured that the young people who are sent along to act as receptionists, cleaners, admin staff, bar staff, camera operators, etc, are not supposed to be directly involved in the sharp end of the business, but let’s be honest, I've never seen a job description that didn’t say “and any other duties as directed by line management” or words to that effect, included in it. Mr Duncan Smith’s department says that they would not get the subsidy if they were employing topless waitresses, stripogrammers, or cat fighters.

Labour MP Fiona MacTaggart has highlighted the fact that sex industry employers can receive £2,250 under the “youth contract”.

The Huffington Post asked in an FOI request, how much money the taxpayer had subsidised these industries, which may include pornographic filmmaking, strip clubs, massage parlours, etc, but they were unable to answer, saying that they didn’t count that kind of thing.

They did say that they acted to ensure that jobs which took advantage of jobseekers did not appear in jobcentres, however, they apparently missed this one.
Full on sex operative
The pay was a startling £10 an hour. But at least you had a drop down menu to say why you didn’t want to apply for it. I wonder what the options were!

Jobcentre said that this ad shouldn't have gone in, but refused to say whether ads were checked before they went live.

Good to know that in Dave's big society we have the welfare of our young people at heart.

Fortunately people at the DWP are doing their best to bring down costs for taxpayers
....well, all except the troughing pigs of ministers.
Here's a French "sondage" or opinion poll on whether or not you approve of the desire of Scots for independence. It seems the old alliance is holding up well.