Monday, 2 November 2015

RANDOM THOUGHTS ...

Blairite, Tristram Hunt has told Cambridge student Labour supporters that they can best serve Labour by leading a campaign of dissent against leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He said to them that they were the top 1% and needed to show leadership in the party.

And there was me thinking that Labour wasn't all about what school and university you went to... but, it seems that unless you went to Cambridge, which probably means you went to a public school, you're one of the bottom 99%.

Hunt, who supported loser, fellow Blairite, Liz Kendal (remember her brief appearance in the news) in the English leadership contest, had thought about standing himself, but reputedly had difficulty getting  the 35 nominations required to put his name forward.

I can't help but wonder if Tristram isn't in the wrong party. He doesn't sound in the least like he belongs in an organisation in which 70% of the membership voted from Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
**********
I'm delighted, but bamboozled, by the Labour party's stance on Trident. 

Again that magic figure of 70% of the Scottish membership voted to get rid of it, despite known support for the weapons system from Kezia Dugdale and a rousing speech by Jackie Baillie demanding that it be maintained until all the nuclear countries agree to give their weapons up. 

Given that there is no point in spending £167 billion that you don't have and can't afford on weapons that you will never use (and her leader says he will never use them), hasn't she somewhat lost the plot?

The main plank of her argument for a weapons system that is capable of killing millions of people, is that she reckons that 13,000 jobs would go if they scrapped Trident, which is up from her last estimate of 11,000 made during the referendum campaign. MoD figures suggest that the number is nearer 600. 

But you know, for £167 billion surely we could create alternative jobs for the workers, whatever the number is: jobs that didn't involve murdering millions of innocent men, women, children and animals... and, let's face it, bringing about the end of the world as we know it. 

Maybe that's beyond Ms Baillie's imagination. It's not, however, beyond the imagination of Mr Corbyn.
**********
I am also delighted to hear that Labour in Scotland will restore the Tax Credits, they claimed their aristocratic colleagues had already restored when they all but caused a constitutional crisis and incurred the wrath of Gideon the Grim last week.

My take on working tax credits is that if a country cannot ensure that working full time pays enough money to afford modest accommodation, and basic costs of living...heat, light, food, clothing for you and your family... then that government must necessarily ensure that at least those with children are compensated through the tax or social security system.

It is basically corporate welfare...subsidising companies too mean to pay a living wage, and landlords too greedy to charge an affordable rent. But, wrong though it is, rather that any day than people who work all week having to go hungry, sitting in the cold, or being made homeless.

So well done to Kezia and her team for that. We realise that no one in the Scottish parliament can affect the minimum wage, so I'm happy that Scotland will do something to help those so unfairly treated by the UK.

Of course it is probably impossible to 'restore' something that Westminster has taken away. The power to do that does not exist.

However, as the bedroom tax in Scotland proved, the Scottish government can (at the moment with permission from Westminster, but by 2017 of its own volition) made substitute payments where it feels London has been wrong and unjust.

In the case of the bedroom tax, administered by local authorities (within the Scottish government's remit) it must have been relatively simple, and not too costly, to put in a system which would override the new demands from London, and substitute Scottish government money.

Tax Credits, administered by the DWP and HMCR will, I imagine, be a rather different, more complex and infinitely more expensive matter. How to pay for this will be a problem.

The SNP intend to reduce and eventually scrap Air Passenger Duty in an effort to make travelling to and from Scotland more affordable. The idea, presumably, to encourage tourism, and business, by improving communications. I imagine that John Swinney has identified how he will deal with the loss of the estimated £250 million a year that will be removed from the Scottish grant as a result of that. 

Labour intends to maintain that tax, but presumably still cut whatever it was that Mr Swinney was going to cut, in order to pay for the tax credit substitute.

I wonder if that will be enough.

I suspect, too,  that the Scottish government can look forward to a deal of awkwardness and a lack of co-operation from London. Nonetheless, if we can;t be independent of London, at least we can make every effort to have systems within the UK that suit OUR needs.
**********
I was in Paris in the weeks before the Iraq war. Every single person I talked to (or overheard in cafés, bars and restaurants) were totally opposed to France taking part in it and, although he was not the most popular of people, President Jacques Chirac was roundly praised when he announced to the country on French television that France would veto military action in Iraq at least until Dr Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector, was ready to report on the question of WMDs, estimated to be within the month. 

Chirac's speech was measured, clear and logical, as he set out calmly the reasons for his decision.

I remember hearing from somewhere that Mr Goldsmith, the English Attorney General, had advised the UK Cabinet, that to take military action without express UN clearance (and France had made it clear that that could not happen), would be illegal.

It was also rumoured that, having given that advice at a Cabinet Meeting, Goldsmith was pinned against the wall in the corridor outside the Cabinet room by one of Blair's enforcers and told to think again. I had no idea how much truth there was in that, but it was an amusing image.

Now it seems, it may not have been so far from the truth, according to an article in the Telegraph.

You know, maybe, just maybe, we will get to see Blair facing charges in the Hague. Just let's hope that he is accompanied by the rest of the weasels that backed him and Bush to the hilt and in doing so murdered and maimed so many people, ruined a country, opened the door to ISIS and the utter chaos of the Middle East and acted as a recruiting sergeant for militant Islam.

36 comments:

  1. Tris

    There is a lot there. Hunt, who cares, like many in Labour he is a Tory in the wrong party. Why his like don't just defect is beyond me, maybe the gravy train has something to do with it. What a sad bunch of losers, I have no doubt that they have their plans in place to attack Corbyn but can't move until the membership lose faith in him. I do hope the membership don't, I also hope the membership do a purge during their candidate selection processes because Labour right now are Tory light and unelectable. They may well be unelectable under Corbyn but at least they would have their dignity and who knows what will happen in four years of Tory war on this country.

    The Northern Branch are a joke, I couldn't bring myself to watch any of the conference, mainly because I was just not interested and a small part of me feared Jackie Baillie coming on and the tv getting something thrown at it. Jackie liar Ballie really annoys everyone who has ever met her, probably her family also. Dugdale and Trident , as pointed out on Wings, are just one huge ppowerless contridiction and if Murray abstains the membership should make his life miserable.

    Blair should be in prison and every MP who voted for the War should not be sitting in Parliament, pure and simple. Chilcott should be joining Blair, I have no doubt that the report when it comes out in 2030 will be a total white wash and a lot of crap.

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess he sees it as a more likely career path, Bruce. At the moment I can;t understand why. He really would be better off in the Tories. I can understand that all the party don't want the same things, broad church and all that stuff... but he's fomenting revolution here... He should be thrown out for that!

      I didn't watch any either. I enjoyed the Wings version of Kez's speech.

      I was amazed to see how empty the theatre was.

      I look forward to that miserable excuse for a human being rotting his life away in the Hague... but I'm not holding my breath. Maybe an out of work lad can;t get away with pinching a loaf of bread, but his class can murder thousands, pick up a fat salary cheque and walk off free.

      The incredible thing is that we pay taxes to provide him with security 24/7 while he wanders around making money. And I doubt if there is more than a handful of us who give a damn whether he lives or dies.

      Delete
  2. Firstly, the second picture; what happened to the warning?
    Secondly, "S******h" Labour will do feck all that their masters down south do not agree with.
    Thirdly, Blair should be in the dock, along with Murphy and the rest of the shysters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes, sorry about that. I thought after the rattlesnake you guys could take anything...

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. He's a mystery. A real posh boy... but then so was Blair.

      Delete
  4. I agree with most of your comments apart from trident . We cannot uninvent nuclear weapons . Only reason Scotland is against is because they know they would be safe because they rely on England to save them and meet all the costs . Canny Scots . Lived there as an English family and you have no idea how much they hate the English. ...shock to me .... I am a Geordie and was told often ....l was o.k . I was just a Scot with me brains knocked out .....let them fund their own defence.... The

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margaret. Surely the point is that, as we will never use the nukes, why doesn't NATO have some, looked after by America which is the dominant nation of the West.

      This is a good video which shows that although we have them, we can;t use them unless America gives us permission (quite apart from the fact that neither the UK nor France would DARE use them without permission from Washington). The fact is that although France hypothetically could, UK could not.

      Germany, Sweden, Iceland, Poland, Spain, Italy and indeed almost all the rest of the world don;t have them. Why would the UK, a small broke country with hungry people and broken infrastructure? It's Cameron's penis extension.

      I've only ever met one person in Scotland (although I'm sure there are more) who really hated the English, as opposed to hating Britain. I lived in England (Midlands) when I was a child becasue my father got a job there. I was blamed for "taking their jobs"... a bit like now with Poles. I had to change my accent and speak brummy to avoid being bullied for being a Jock. I wish we'd been in the West Country. The accent is much nicer!!

      Delete
    2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbiE-U7Zijw&feature=em-uploademail

      Sorry forgot to attach video!

      Delete
    3. Margaret, we do not want England to have then either. We will be safe enough without England defending us, as we won't be playing at having an empire, and poking our noses in other people's business.
      Now take your not so shrouded bigotry an keep it to yourself, we here are not bigoted, we just want self-determination.

      Delete
    4. It's certainly true that Scotland doesn't want to pretend to be important and play at being America's deputy.

      No one here sees themselves on the Security Council, or standing shoulder to shoulder with the American President as his deputy as he goes to war in another non royal middle eastern dictatorship.

      I suspect that the likes of Cameron don't wake up sweating in the night worrying about what would happen if they didn't have their nukes primed and ready to get the codes from the American government if Kim Jong Un decides to send his weaponry over to Britain.

      He will though wake up sweating about the possibility of no longer being considered a world power.

      No small country should have nukes. And certainly not one which can't feed its own people. Not one that can;t look after its ex servicemen and leaves them to die with no food and no money to keep the fridge going to keep their medication cool.

      No, if we can;t do that, we really have to leave running the world to those better equipped to do it.

      And let's be honest, there must be people far better equipped to do it. I mean, would anyone call Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya massive successes?

      I don;t think it was necessarily bigotry though Jim. just a point of view.

      It may well be that Margaret has met with anti English bigotry in Scotland. It does happen.

      Delete
    5. Maybe, but it's not how it comes across. "canny Scots" Disney Land label, "let them fund their own defense"; who are these them, I do believe them are us. We do take care of our defense, by sending our youth to die in WESTMINSTER'S wars. N.B. not England's.
      Sorry Tris, but I have no patience for the attitude displayed. This, your, blog has at no time displayed anti- English sentiment, as is right and proper, so to be traduced in this manner is unacceptable.

      Delete
    6. On closer inspection, Margaret is just a made up troll (click on the name), what I said still stands.

      Delete
    7. Hmmm very strange.

      No. There is and will never be anti English sentiment on this blog. I lived in England, some of my favourite people are English, and England (at least in parts...like anywhere else), is a beautiful place.

      I don;t care for London, but there are many fantastic places and lovely people in England.

      What I loathe is the United Kingdom. I loathe its inequality, and I detest its attitude of superiority.

      I know that there are people in both countries who hate each other, but then, that's human nature.

      Kids from Fintry in Dundee can't be seen in Whitfield, or they get battered, and I once made an appointment to see a job seeker in Kirkton community centre, only to discover that because he was from lower Kirkton, it was more than his life was worth to be caught in upper Kirkton...where the community centre was situated.

      And even within these estates the people who went to the catholic school fight with the ones who went to the proddy school... It's the way of things.

      Anyway, we don't need England to look after us. Iceland doesn't expect that; why would we? We just don;t need weapons that we don;t control, can't afford, wouldn't use unless we were told to, and which would end the world as we know it.

      I don't mind anyone expressing these opinions, but they must be prepared to take back as good as they give.

      Delete
    8. The human race, will always find excuses for not getting along; sadly it's in our nature.

      Delete
    9. Now that is a strange one, my Husband and I, god I sound like the Queen, well we have known quite a few Geordies, in fact one is a carer for my Hektor. He originates from there as well. I may be a Nationalist but I am a Scot and therefore a Celt and regard people living in my country as guests and should as such be treated with courtesy. The Margaret's of this world seem to look for trouble and if her attitude is as she describes us, then she will find it. I do wish those from the South would be consistent, both my Husband and I have been abused, separately and singly by the English, none has been sought and not I assure you in England. I have to agree with Jimnarlene, this is your new troll, if it is not, I would be surprised.
      I am sick to death of this, England pays for everything attitude, it says we pay no tax, no Vat no Income tax, we are all beggars when it may turn out they are actually doing the begging.

      Delete
    10. I used to work with a Geordie lady whose husband had come to Dundee for a job with the university. She reckoned that they should be in Scotland as Edinburgh was far nearer to them than London was, and London seemed like a foreign country to her anyway. In no way attached to Newcastle.

      Delete
  5. Tris is the top photo not Zac Goldsmith?

    They do look very similar though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't know him from Johnny Rotten Panda, but I got him from this page... so I guess it is him.

      http://www.debbonaire.co.uk/education_q_a_with_tristram_hunt_mp

      Delete
    2. LOL. I bet in real life you couldn't tell them apart.

      Delete
    3. Well when they are so closely bred what can you expect Panda, may well have been cloned pity they missed out the brain.

      Delete
  6. I don't think there is room in the Tory party for all the Oxbridge PPE graduates so some of them are having to find a career vehicle elsewhere.
    Seems some of the Labour variety don't like their future prospects under Corbyn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL That's true.

      It must be an easy course because some of them are really thick.

      Looks like some of them are plotting to get rid of him, so that they can wheel in some more like them who enjoy a good port with the Stilton.

      Delete
  7. tris

    Anyone named Tristam is probably a wrong un ! no doubt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly what Munguin said Niko... can't imagine why!

      Delete
  8. Don't know if anyone caught "Dispatches" tonight on Ch 4.

    Apparently the next targets for sanctions are people who have jobs but are having to claim Tax Credits.

    They will be asked to provide evidence that they are actively trying to get more hours (if they are on zero hours contracts) or that they are actively seeking a better paid job if they are in full or part time work at the moment. Failure to provide proof will result in benefit sanctions being applied.

    Please tell me I was having a bad dream.

    On a different but related topic on the thread topic my avatar is not meant to do anything but state.
    1. Scotland and England are two separate countries.

    2. They are close neighbors and should therefore be friends (ok, but if that's asking too much they should at least try to not be enemies)

    3. I'm at least half English. (clue is in the name)


    Take yer pick.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That sounds like torture for people. If you are zero hours you can;t afford to upset your employer at all, or you get none.

    If you have a part time job, and they require you to be flexible, how can you take a second part time job?

    Of course proof will be whatever the local office decides that it is. In short it will depend how their other sanctions are going, because we all know that the main target in JC+ is sanctions. getting people a job is secondary.

    Please don't let me ever be really poor in this cruel and horrible country. You're better off dead than poor.

    England and Scotland should be friends. I'm sure Sweden and Denmark are...

    I'll try to check out despatches tomorrow.

    Good luck for this week Gerry!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree with most of your comments apart from trident . We cannot uninvent nuclear weapons . Only reason Scotland is against is because they know they would be safe because they rely on England to save them and meet all the costs . Canny Scots . Lived there as an English family and you have no idea how much they hate the English. ...shock to me .... I am a Geordie and was told often ....l was o.k . I was just a Scot with me brains knocked out .....let them fund their own defence.... The

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Déjà vu, all over again, go and eat your cereal.

      Delete
    2. If at first you don't succeed...

      I'm intrigued by the last "the"

      Delete
    3. Is this on a loop?

      On the subject of Jackie Baillie, let us hope she loses her seat next year, will make the Labour benches a bit easier to look at and should we get rid of the other bench warmer, easier to listen to.

      Delete
    4. Yes...she deserves to go. She's pretty useless, and she's been caught out time and again lying.

      If she seriously thinks that saving 13,000 jobs (which is a gross exaggeration) is worth spending £167 billion on a weapon that could end the world, then she's no friend to Labour.

      It doesn't seem to occur to her that that kind of money could pay for 13,000 jobs relatively easily. And that if that part of the world which is absolutely beautiful, but incredibly run down (who wants to live that close to nukes?) didn't have the burden of that abomination in it, it could redevelop as for example, a tourist area.

      Delete
  11. I would like to offer a hypothesis concerning Tristam Hunt, namely that, like some other Blairites, he is an agent of the Establishment, whose mission is to ensure that Labour can never be a threat to the interests of the Establishment.

    I do not really believe that this hypothesis is true, and I hope that it is not, because it implies that the Establishment acts as a well-organised conspiracy, rather than as a class of people out to keep as much power as possible in their own hands and to put as much money as possible in their own pockets. However, Hunt's speech does nothing to disprove the hypothesis, except that if he were deliberately trying to undermine the Labour party, I would expect him to be a bit less blatant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well anything is possible. I don;t think he is though. I think that Labour in the big city just got so far away from what Labour was supposed to be about, so seduced by the money and the power, that they simply stopped being for the working classes.
      Hunt and Corbyn just don't belong in the same party. They will have to split.

      I think Hunt wants rid of Corbyn and his sort and the re-establishment of the Blairite faction leading the party to ever more Tory policies.

      Delete