Tuesday, 19 May 2015


When we were teenagers my brother and I used to fight about who got to sit in the front of the car with my father. We had very little else to fight about and we wanted to fight, so it served a purpose. Of course we all, front or back seat passengers, arrived at the destination at pretty much the same moment. But kids will be kids and something is better than nothing to fight about.

In the House of Commons, there are many other, more important things to fight about. There are food banks; there are sick people, within weeks of their death, being told to get a job; there are dangerous WMDs only 30 miles from the centre of Glasgow. It is, apparently dangerous to even be in the central belt of Scotland.  There is an endless list of important issues needing attention.

Seating arrangements are not amongst them.

If the Tories tell the SNP to go sit at the back, because that's where they belong, so what? It makes the Tories look stupid and petty, self important and stuck in the past. It confirms what we knew. 

If Labour wants to stop the SNP form sitting as a group we need to tell them to get lost and sit altogether, as we have always done. They only have themselves to blame if we sat behind Harriet Harman in full view after they insisted we couldnt sit in the place of the third party. 

But remember, our voices will be heard just as clearly form the back of the Commons as they will from the front, separately or together. Constituents will be served just as well from the back of the chamber as from the front.

The only thing that profits from a bottom sitting on the front row is the ego of the person who owns it. 

That's not why we are in Westminster.


  1. Quite frankly I couldn't care less where our MPs sit.

    But it does not seem unreasonable that they should sit together as a group in the seats that used to be occupied by the Lib Dems when they were not propping up a Tory Government. If the Labour Party wishes to indulge in some childish gamesmanship by endevouring to prevent them from doing that then they can hardly be surprised if our MP's sit behind their front bench.

    Instead of indulging in this purile tit-for-tat why don't they get together and agree among themselves where they are going to sit? That way they wont all have to get in there at first light with their prayer cards.

    As for Dennis Skinner! He doesn't own that seat and if the only way he can keep it is by getting some other Labour MP to disregard the instructions of the police to vacaqte the chamber while sniffer dogs do their work, then its a pretty stupid way to get it, the terrorists will certainly know where to plant their bombs wont they?

    Skinner should be told that these seats are now SNP but if he wants to sit with the SNP MPs so that he can go on being rude to black rod then let him, after all, that is about all he has done from that seat for the last 45 years....quite an achievement for a radical socialist!

    1. That's fair enough, Charlie.

      I just think that it would be nice to be remembered for something that mattered rather than an argument about who sits where.

      Everyone is in danger of being considered as petty and ridiculous, and I'd like to think that the SNP were not. As long as Angus Robertson get's his share of questions it matters not where he is sitting.

      Certainly if Labour wants to stop the SNP from sitting in a group, it mustn't be surprised if they sit on "its" benches and Mrs Harman has an SNP badge to right behind her face all the time she's on the telly.

  2. If they are forced to sit at the back,they should take a leaf out of Murphy's political modus operandii and arm themselves with megaphones.
    This will get their attention.

    1. I think they will definitely be heard, Bringiton , megaphone or not.

  3. You are right to state that there are more important things to be fighting about, however I think the 56 were completely correct to demonstrate the disregard and disrespect to Scottish representatives shown by the entrenched Westminster old boys.

    My brother always got to sit at the front when my dad was driving, because he made a point of throwing up if he was made to sit in the back. Good plan for the SNP contingent? The entire Labour front bench might be washed away on a tide of vomit, courtesy of the Scottish electorate.

    1. LOL HV... Good story about your brother. I wish I'd thought of that!

      I think it is fair to make the point, but point made, they should sit down, the whips together and make up their minds where each party is going to sit.

      This should be an end to it. Iain Duncan Smith is killing a thousand people a month. That's more important than where someone puts their backside.

  4. I shouted out " gone yersel'f son " reading that Tris.

    Time for a wee sit doon and a quiet cuppa ( sigh)

    All better now.

    Good on the newbies putting the wind up to the wasters in the HOC. It say we are not here to be ignored. Nice one guys.

    See already i have had my vote for paid back. Pissing off middle England is and the HOC is worth more than just mine :)

    1. Cuppa Richy?


      Maybe it's a wee bit early for a dram.

      I'm really pleased that the SNP members are causing some waves. It's hight time the idiotic time wasting traditions went out the window, but having made the point, maybe their whips could get together with other whips and the Speaker and sort this out.

      I think that if they want Scots in the Commons, and they told us that they did, it's time they treated us with a bit of respect, and, of course, we should reciprocate adn start getting rid of a load of the nonsense.

      But first lets get rid of some of the ghastly policies that they stand for..

    2. Well Tris

      This is just the start. Give it a couple of months and the anti-Scots pish will runneth over.

      With Labour and Libs in a mess, the only cohesive opposition to the Tory bench will be our guys. And the MSM will use there powers to paint the SNP as disruptive and rowdy.

      Things will get worse when the cuts come in.. Bad times ahead for almost everyone.

      We might have a shield in Scotland but the rUK have no where to turn. I was angry when i saw the Tory's in. And stunned because we had secured a landslide and broke records everywhere.

      My family down south are in shock. They are in decent shape compared to many but they recognise the damage being done and are pissed. You have to ask how they could vote for ED. What a toe rag of a man. Shouting out nationwide that the Scottish voters were to be ignored even if it allowed the Tory's in. Most Labour folk never voted.

      Mates in NE says UKIP got all the protest votes and no one believes anything the Libs say so there you go. Cameron gets to rule with a small portion of folks vote. Scotland votes the complete opposite and here we are at the crux.

      Interesting times ahead Tris.

      i believe indi is coming sooner rather than later. Folks now know England gets the Govt it votes for. We have only one option and many are saying independence could never be as bad as another 5 years of Tory rule. So what's stopping us eh ??

      The SNP must have a referendum mandate in SE2016.

      If not they lose me and many members . Put it to the people of Scotland . demand a third choice of FFA/FFR but voting any party in the SE 2016 for the staus quo will be a huge vote loser.

      Tris things are changing so fast the unionists are scattered and beaten. Now we get our country back.

      56 seats. That;s a majority mandate. Labour never got that many. That is too big a number to be ignored. And check the numbers. 1.4 million voters. How many where YES voters and how many were too young this year ??? Add their numbers and they are mostly pro YES and suddenly you can see the balance has tipped way over now.

      Or wishful thinking ;) .... lets see.

  5. Tris

    It's all a bit tedious like the many traditions that MPs have to sit through in the so called palace. Basically it's all bullshit, they should spend more time trying to govern with humility and wisdom rather than privilege and entitlement. I've actually been disappointed with the MP's going back, selfies everywhere, diaries, Cameron photo calls, Labour rubbish blah blah. As you said they should get on with trying to sort out the mess this country is in and get ready for the fight of sadly the rich v poor. My only consolation is that the poor far outnumber the rich and push comes to shove big time my money is on the poor.


    1. Worth reading.

      The more that the HoC is shown up to be the utter farce it is the better as it will put pressure on providing substance rather than outdated ceremony. In fact maybe we should offer a challenge to our MPs to sit in as many different places as they can to unsettle the unionists.

    2. Time a load of these traditions were binned. They waste a lot of time and vast amounts of money as highly paid people prat about preserving the traditions of another time in their wigs and britches and buckled shoes.

      I saw a programme on it recently, and the number of things that they do dating back to the 1700s is horrendous. And always a huge cost to us. They play at games.

      You'd not mind this so much if the rest of the time they got on with governing the country, but the mess we live in indicates that they don;t do that part of it very well.

      Maybe they should stick to britches and wigs.

  6. Anonymous at 4.24pm
    In case you haven't noticed the Tories won a majority.

    Mind you, if this is the way Labour would have behaved if there had been a hung parliament maybe it is for the best......

    1. It's not so much who's in government. It's more the old traditions fossils versus folk from this century... I can;t tell the difference between Tories and labour these days.

      That link from CH is superb.

  7. tris

    whats with the we this and we that......you said you werent a member of the snp ??

    Dennis Skinner is 83 years old need i say more even if he was a tory i would
    give up my seat for him or indeed any elderly person. but then i was born in a
    different time and clearly have different ideas on respect .

    1. We, as in Scottish MPs, Niko.

      I don't anyone was bothered if Dennis wanted to go on sitting there. I understand that Chris sat next to him and they had got on just fine.

      But the Tories wanted the SNP to "sit up at the back where they belong". I suppose that would be like the servant classes in the local church with the Lord and Lady and their children in the front, The senior servants in the middle and the junior and outdoor staff at the back.

      As for Labour they appeared to deny the SNP the right to sit on the front benches. I presume they want them kept for the Liberal Democrats and their 8 MPs.

      Maybe they would be happier if the Scottish MPs sat in the cellars and let them get on with their Gentlemen's Club antics.

    2. And in a different time Skinner was a socialist, now he's part of the furniture; that needs replaced by something new from Idea (not a typo).

    3. tris

      i would be happier if all MPs treated elderly people with common courtesy .

    4. 83 is he? Then it's about time the doddery old git retired and let somebody a bit sharper have a go.

      Barney T (retired pensioner)


    5. I'd be very happy if they treated everyone with courtesy.... actually, if everyone treated everyone with courtesy, the world would be a better place.

    6. LOL How can you retire from being a pensioner Barney :)?

  8. An old man wandering around the Olympic Games looking for a seat was jeered at by the crowd until he reached the seats of the Spartans, whereupon every Spartan younger than him, and some that were older, stood up and offered him their seat. The crowd applauded and the old man turned to them with a sigh, saying "All Greeks know what is right, but only the Spartans do it."

    1. It's a while since we have had a classical reference from you Niko.

      Btw, when are you leaving for sunnier climes?

    2. its an ancient source but is as relevant today as in antiquity .

      Life is in a bit of turmoil and have become a reluctant father
      to two small boys due to daughters relationship breakdown.

    3. Sorry to hear that Niko.

      I hope things work out. It's hard time, most especially for the kids.

      Get Taz to help out. Dogs are such wise companions for kids.

    4. It will be good for you you auld fart.

      I'm loving being a grandfather to the youngest three of mine. tris will be horrified, but I'm teaching them to shoot, and their uncle is teaching them to fish.

      Silver linings.

    5. There you are, Niko. Advice from an expert.

      Tris is duly horrified, but he's imagining clay pigeons!

    6. conan

      Granddaddy is great being more a father is not what i want
      Ill never be free

    7. Niko. It won't last forever. people move on and kids tend to recover from break-ups. These days it's hardly unusual.

      it must be miserable just now, but hopefully that won;t last.

      You'll get your retirement.

    8. Niko, I was also brought up to give the elderly my seat, I was offended one day in being told to do so whilst a bunch of children sat, I was 20 at the time and just done a very hard day's work and was on my way to my Gran's house to collect the dog, my parents were on Holiday. I still did it and looked at the smug kids and their parent's and thought this is the next generation, god help us!
      My sympathy to all concerned, you in losing your peace, your Daughter on losing her marriage, your Grandson's on losing a resident father. You may turn out to be the winner in the end. A new generation to educate, to watch grow, look on the positive side Niko, imagine how worried you would be if you were abroad.

  9. Pete Wishart ‏@PeteWishart 21h21 hours ago
    Instead of fighting over where we sit why can't Lab agree to usual arrangements for 3rd parties and jointly we can then take on the Tories?

    1. The right wing press seem to be controlling this wee storm in a demi-tasse Tris.

      The Times correspondent has Mhairi scraping out Dennis' eyes...even though there is pictorial evidence to the contrary...

    2. Well, we knew that no matter what we did the right wing press would make a fuss and tell it's usual lies.

      They hate us, as they hate all foreigners...but they want us to stay. How difficult life must be for them. Take satisfaction from their discomfort!!

      I like Dennis Skinner. I admire the fact that he kicks sand in the eyes of people like Jacob Rees-Mogg and the Eton cronies. I realise of colurse that he is an elderly man in years, but not in spirit. I wish he wasn't so violently anti Scotland having freedom though. You'd have thought that he and Mhari would have had a lot more in common than that which separated them.

      I'm sure he can see anyone off. He made mincemeat of David Owen when he wanted to sit in his seat.

  10. Trade Expert and TPP Whistleblower – “We Should Be Very Concerned about What’s Hidden in This Trade Deal”

    So here are some of the things, I think, our global Over Class would like to achieve and how they intend to achieve them.

    1) The Over Class must retain and consolidate their control over the global system of debt.

    2) The power to regulate must be taken from nations and effectively controlled by corporations.

    3) Professionalize governance. Democracy can be and must be neutered, and an effective way of doing this is to insist that amateur, elected officials MUST take the advice of professional (read corporate) advisors. Expand current law to enforce this.

    4) The financial system badly needs un-encumbered ‘assets’ to feed the debt issuing system. A new way must be found to prise sovereign assets from public ownership. Such a new way is suggested.

    5) In order to facilitate the political changes necessary, the public mind-set must be changed. National Treasures such as the NHS in Britain must be re-branded as evil State Monopolies.

    6) Effective ways must be found to convince people that democratic rule is no longer sufficient to protect them.

    7) An alternative to Democracy must be introduced and praised. That alternative must be the Rule of International Law as written and controlled by the lawyers of the 1%. People must be told that this is all that stands between them and an increasingly hostile and anarchic world. But that it can only keep them safe if it has absolute authority over democracy. People must voluntarily bow to it out of fear and its decisions must be as absolute and unquestionable.

    1. That is truly scary stuff... but didn't I read that the USA had pretty much given up on TIPP now?

  11. Seat wars? The whole lot of them involved should bloody well grow up and concentrate on fighting the Tories. We don't pay them 60+ grand a year to play frigging musical chairs. I don't give a toss about what party is saying what or to whom. Sit on your arses, shut up and listen (as a teacher of mine once said many years ago).

    The Tories are sitting on the other benches have a good guffaw at those ruffians in the opposition.

    There are more critical issues to deal with.

    1. Seat wars?

      Is sticking two fingers up at the establishment hierarchy as there is no business until after the queen's speech next week and that is what the no voters wanted us to continue in so blame them not the 'insurgents' trying to bring democracy onto these shores for the first time ever.

    2. I think you're both right.

      I have no problems with them poking a stick at the idiotic nonsense that is parliament in the UK, but once they haver done that, they need (all of them, particularly on the opposition benches) to get on working together to stop this bloody awful government from carrying out its plans to return Britain to the 19th century.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry clicked post in error before I had finished my wee comment

  13. Well I think our 56 are a breath of fresh air in an outdated, fusty gothic horror.
    And Niko, yes, I too was brought up to respect my elders and stand up to give them a seat but if Dennis is able to be an MP then surely he is able to find himself a seat. I also think Dennis and Rees-Mogg cancel each other out lol

    1. I'm pretty sure that Dennis is more than capable of standing (or sitting) for himself.

      I think that people like Chris Law (who was sitting next to him) and he will ahve a lot more in common than they have differences.

      We need them to work together.

  14. All 56 would rather not sit in Westminster at all. If they don't want us there they should dissolve the Union and let our representatives come home.

    1. As Winnie Ewing once said... We're not there to get on; we are there to get even.

    2. I thought Winnie said she wasn't there to settle in but to settle up.

    3. You're right. I got the quote wrong... Thanks for correcting it.

      As I recall it was: "We're not there to settle down, but to settle up".

      Much much better.

  15. I watched the opening ceremony on iPlayer and could hardly believe what I heard and saw in the House of Lords. It wasn't even a ceremony worth watching for its entertainment value or symbolic value and indicated quite clearly that it's time the Lords were abolished and the archaic traditions (really just a means of asserting power relationships) in the Commons also abolished. They do nothing but waste time - and don't politicians always remind the commoner that we have to be more efficient and productive. It's time they started by updating their own procedures and setting an example.

    1. The whole thing is a pantomime, and I know they say all the tradition is good for tourism, but a huge amount of it is stuff that people never see.

      It has always been that way, so it still is.

      Wigs and buckled shoes ... what nonsense.

      The place is falling apart. There is no way we should spend £2-3 billion repairing it for a couple of thousand people.

      Let it fall down and build them a new one in Bradford.

  16. Niko, your best friend the Spook used to play for the Spartans which is probably why they were so polite and courteous........

    1. Spook has beautiful manners... (erm most of the time)

  17. Whilst understanding you frustration Tris/Munguin, we have to realise that whilst we sent the 56 down to make our voices heard the only way it is going to be heard is make a nuisance of ourselves. Let us say we are the Gnats of Parliament, the Scottish Midgies sent to remind them that over that bleeding wall sits a whole lot of civilised Barbarians. We can make a difference but only if they cannot ignore us and the way to do this is to bite them hard.
    A good wee while ago I read Lesley Riddoch on Newsnet saying that the Scottish Government should stop trying to behave as one, it isn't, it is an Administration, yup we administer Scotland for our Betters in Westminster and the sooner we get out of there the sooner we become a Government. So if the seats situation is annoying you, what do you think it is doing for those who detest us in Westminster. Mair Power to their elbows.

    1. I'm not really having a go at the SNP Helena. I'm having a go at all of them.

      Parliament is not where people fight over where to sit.

      Not when there are so many hideously unfair things going on.

      I don't mind them being a pain to the establishment.

      I'd rather though, that they did it by making life hard for the Tories than arguing about where they want to sit.

      I just think Helena, that in the end that will be a more effective way of dealing with them.

      I may be wrong.

    2. It has to be niggle niggle niggle, we cannot try and do a Bannock burn on them, that was a one off. The Vietcong won a war against the biggest opposing army in the world next to the Chinese by guerilla tactic and sadly we cannot go at them in any other way. It may seem petty but boy did we get mentioned in dispatches.

    3. I take your point Helena, But playing silly buggers is counter-productive after a while.

      Saying that............ PMQs is going to be interesting. Wonder if we'll get a Paul Gogarty moment. He's the Irish TD who told someone in their chamber to "f*** you". Funny as hell and something similar would liven up proceedings no end.

  18. I doubt 21 will work, her out of Scandal, or her out of Outlander, or her out of can't remember, Halle Berry anyway, are going to find the competition too intense. They'll all leave me and I'll be bereft. AndI'm supposed to pay you to increase my overall unhappiness? The No vote already did that.

    23. There is a reason I lost my long lost family and I want to keep it that way!

    A salesman should always look at his market.

    Had he or she said:

    24: A future election win.

    Then maybe,just maybe, they would have engaged with their audience in a way that would have shamed a certain Jim Murphy (politics fail).

    Or perhaps it is a true gift from heaven.

    Here, ladies and gentlemen is the Labour manifesto for 2016!

    May 20, 2015 2:51 p.m.

    1. Sorry Douglas. That looked like spam to me so I removed it, which makes your post a wee bit redundant...

    2. tris, it was spam.

      We were just having a bit of fun with it.

    3. LOL OK Sorry. I was doing it under a bit of time pressure and I really didn't have time to give it much consideration... management breathing down neck!!!

  19. I'd think 3 was positively scary. I definitely don't want men or women running after me!

    Och, I've had my fun, perhaps others see anomolies in the saccharin here.

    Wouldn't we all like to be as free of reality as a snake oil salesman! I found the lack of an eternal life option to be why, as your which correspondent, I cannot recommend this to you.