Thursday, 23 September 2010


Fresh from their wee break last week, hobnobbing with the rich and lecherous ... sorry famous.... the party leaders returned to the fray this week at FMQs and kicking off, as usual, for the away team was Elmer Fudd, proof positive that a break doesn’t always do you any good. Instead of concentrating on the task at hand, and leaving enough room for backbenchers to ask questions that actually matter, Elmer was concerned about the poster on the wall of St Andrew’s House which he described rather grandly as North Korean, and then spoiled it by referring to the "great", rather than the "dear" leader.

Eventually h
e got round to the question, or series of questions about economic growth or not, in Scotland, in which he got his figures wrong, cherry picked the Rowantree Foundation’s report and stuttered, on at least one occasion prompting Mr Ferguson to remind him that it was First Minister’s QUESTIONS, and could he come up with one, please? Eck as usual wiped the floor with him, quoting good news about more house building and renewable energy jobs coming up. As Eck pointed out, the Scottish government could do a deal more if only it had the power; something Iain Gray’s party was happy to deny it. He ended with a rousing piece, Salmond at his best, recounting with ever rising hysteria and obvious relish, and to the delight of the chamber, advice given to him on election strategy by none other than Hootsman jouro Bill Jamieson..... the two words that strike fear into the heart of every Scot...."Iain Gray".

Annabel was next up for a turn, refreshed and somewhat flushed, pre
sumably from her encounter with El Duce, and showing off her superior education, she started off with a quote in Latin (someone should tell her Philip is Greek!!) "Via, Veritas, Vita", she intoned somewhat superiorly, and, knowing that no one else in the place would have a clue, she translated; "the way, the truth, life".

This was the posh way to introduce the question of university funding and a speech made by Anton Muscatelli , principal of Glasgow university. The good professor, it seems thinks that his university will soon be broke and urgently needs government to look at ways to ensure that his massive salary can be maintained. To be fair he had been quite complimentary about the SNP government’s funding over the years, a fact Annabel in her Roman flush, neglected to mention. But it was a fair question for all that. It’s serious and Eck took it seriously. There was to be a green paper on ways of funding, but the government did rule out upfront fees. So, it seemed, did Annabel. She was for a graduate tax, possibly forgetting that it is not in the Scottish government’s remit to impose that!

And so to Farmer
Tavish and his eminently sensible questions about the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, to which Mr Salmond gave perfectly sensible answers. The Scottish team has a delegation in India and can inspect the accommodations for themselves which puts them in a better situation than many other teams. Tavish was rightly concerned that some of Scotland’s top athletes were unable to compete due to other commitments. The FM explained that the climate in Delhi has meant that the games have had to be moved to a time in the year different from the usual one. Glasgow, with no such climatic problems (it’s cool and damp all year round) will have no such issues and the Games should not clash with other major events.

See Elmer, if ask sensible non point scoring questions, like we pay you to, you get intelligent answers.

Jackie Bailey was put in her place over public enquiry into the C Diff outbreak; Alec was asked about prisoners’ votes by several MPSs. It was suggested to him, and he agreed that our elections should be run by the Scottish government; there was a question about European human rights in an independent Scotland, one on teacher numbers, and on public sector pay and bonuses.

Too few, I fear, from back benchers because Iain Gray takes up too much of the half hour wittering round and round like a crazy carousel, and the PO is too busy doing an imitation of Joyce Grenfell in her nursery teacher role "Don't do that George" to shut him up.

And so to lunch ..............




    Lard Foulkes seemed to be quite sober at First Minister's Questions!!!!

  2. WHAT?

    LOL Nah; you're a right wind up merchant brownlie. You had me nearly believing that for a minute.

  3. Tris

    even if Iain Gray wore a monkey suit with a red rosette stuck up his arse whilst reading out loud the MCcrone report...

    He will still be the next First Minister of Scotland and Alex Salmond will be replaced by Nicola Sturgeon after the next election(snp slaughter)

    A FACT!!

  4. Thank you for letting me that FACT Niko.

    I shall cherish it.

    If it is true, how long to you think it will be before the intellectually challanged Labour group leader is replaced by someone who can string a few words together and make some sort of sense?

  5. I suppose we can be thankful that Annabel did't show us her tartan knickers fresh of the washing line.

  6. I think Sophia gave them to the Pope CH... although I'm a bit confused now. Ask brownlie; he was there, I believe.

  7. What an excellent summary and so quick off the mark - well done Tris.

    I've put up the video at my place for those who can't access it.

  8. Thanks SR

  9. Why is Auntie Bella, in the photo, reliving the gesture the Chook made towards her?

    Niko, you've been having wet dreams again!

  10. Niko is right though ... once the SNP lose Sallie they are finished electorally - we can all remember the dysunity of the Swinney interim!

  11. Can you explain that Dean? I said that Annabel asked a sensible question. In what way is that anti-Tory? In what way is it anti-Tory to point out that the Scottish government doesn't have the power to raise a graduate tax? And is it anti-Tory to make a bit of fun of something that she made fun of herself?

    If you mean the fact that I had a bit of a laugh at the Latin...well surely that is what Annabel intended? Otherwise why not say: “to ask the First Minister what he intends to do about the funding of tertiary education”, without the classical preamble?

  12. Ew er Brownlie. I didn't notice that. I just asked her to pose in a normal fashion and...well, that's what she did.

  13. Erm Dean:

    I could say anti-SNP rubbish.

    Of course it would be more interesting to ask why you think that and who you think would benefit if it were to happen...

    I suspect it wouldn't be the Tories at any rate, and I further predict that the liberals won't be making any huge inroads.

    But I think the important thing is that it's simply not true. Alex Salmond is a good leader and he's a remarkable man, but he's not the only person that could lead both the SNP and Scotland, just like Annabel isn't your only asset and Iain Gray isn't Labour's only liability

  14. I hope Iain Gray is the next FM, just look at the cack handed mess he makes of being in opposition. Alex should stay as leader if the SNP lose the election, I have never agreed with the Tory mantra that leaders who lose elections should fall on their swords. I certainly hope the SNP does not emulate that practice.

    The SNP does better when it concentrates on its key aim: an independent Scotland and does not take on the role of a caretaker minority government. Its part of the establishment it wants to end and it gets lambasted for not being able to implement its programme because the unionist all vote against often without reading it. The minute that Alex Salmond gets too cosy and complacent in Bute House is the minute he should go. Also compared to Iain Gray the term of the SNP will seem halcyon indeed he is so rubbish. And lastly Iain will no doubt have to call upon a reduced no doubt Lib Dems to prop his government up the FMQ fun that Alex will have with that should make FMQs watchable again instead of the painful spectacle of Alex putting Iain out of his misery all the time, lets see what happens when Iain gets the last word!

  15. Oh Lord that would be really funny, if Gray is the next FM. I might well emigrate. A complete loser, a total drip, with the personality of a wet floor cloth (comes from being used to wipe the floor on so many occasions).

    I see no reason for a leader to resign if the election is lost. Unless it was very clearly his fault that they lost. As was so evident in the case of Brown.

    Brown was right to stand down as leader, but he was NOT right to stop working as an MP whilst being paid.

    If he is too embarrassed to take his place on the back benches he should intimate his desire to step down and give someone else the chance to represent that constituency.

  16. I have watched First Minister Questions before and its a bit like playing parcel parcel with the fool and it's always the same fool that gets caught out. Sorry Tavish.

  17. The SNP should campaign that a vote for Labor will make Iain Grey First Minister. That in it self should deliver independence.

  18. To Alex Salmond from all the snp slaves on Munguins Blog

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
    I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
    My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
    For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
    I love thee to the level of everyday's
    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
    I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
    I love thee with a passion put to use
    In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
    I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
    With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
    Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
    I shall but love thee better after death.

    poutsokefalo the lot of ya

  19. Allan, that was more or less what Jamieson's advice to Eck was...

    We have to remind people that frankly the Tories, Liberals and Greens.. and other minorities have no chance of forming a government. A vote for anything otehr than the SNP is a vote for Gray as First Minister and four years of being ashamed to be Scottish as he makes an idiot of himself (and us) on the world stage.

  20. Awwww Niko. I've just been to the theatre to see a dramatic reading of Jerome K Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat, and "The Importance of Muffins" a short play about the value of life and the way that we waste it.

    All very intellectual stuff. So I was just delighted to get home and continue my evening of culture.....

    I forget how poetic you can be at times.. and how cultured.

    Thank you. I enjoyed that.

    I was wodnering if you have a silmilar rendering for your beloved leader Iain Gray.

    I hear that teh name of his new boss will be announced tomorrow afternoon.

    Are you excited?

  21. Niko is as frightened as we are that Iain Gray might cross the threshold of power showing how impotent he will be.

  22. I should imagine they all are CH.

    They must be wondering how they can get rid of him.

    Lord Gray of Yawn? Won't be so easy now that they don't have Gordon in Downing Steet, but Labour will need working peers.

  23. "He will still be the next First Minister of Scotland and Alex Salmond will be replaced by Nicola Sturgeon after the next election(snp slaughter)

    A FACT!!"

    Niko, you have been drinking expensive bleach again

    A FACT!

  24. Mister MixedPickle I don’t ordinarily point out spelling mistakes as I often make them myself. But Munguin would very much like his apostrophe back!

  25. Ooo Poetry!
    Ladies and gentlemen I give you “The shooting of Dan McGrew” by Mister Robert W Service:
    A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
    The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
    Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
    And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that's known as Lou.

    When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
    There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
    He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
    Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
    There was none could place the stranger's face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
    But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

    There's men that somehow just grip your eyes, and hold them hard like a spell;
    And such was he, and he looked to me like a man who had lived in hell;
    With a face most hair, and the dreary stare of a dog whose day is done,
    As he watered the green stuff in his glass, and the drops fell one by one.
    Then I got to figgering who he was, and wondering what he'd do,
    And I turned my head — and there watching him was the lady that's known as Lou.

    His eyes went rubbering round the room, and he seemed in a kind of daze,
    Till at last that old piano fell in the way of his wandering gaze.
    The rag-time kid was having a drink; there was no one else on the stool,
    So the stranger stumbles across the room, and flops down there like a fool.
    In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
    Then he clutched the keys with his talon hands — my God! but that man could play.

    Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
    And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
    With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
    A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
    While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
    Then you've a hunch what the music meant. . . hunger and night and the stars.

    And hunger not of the belly kind, that's banished with bacon and beans,
    But the gnawing hunger of lonely men for a home and all that it means;
    For a fireside far from the cares that are, four walls and a roof above;
    But oh! so cramful of cosy joy, and crowned with a woman's love —
    A woman dearer than all the world, and true as Heaven is true —
    (God! how ghastly she looks through her rouge, — the lady that's known as Lou).

    Then on a sudden the music changed, so soft that you scarce could hear;
    But you felt that your life had been looted clean of all that it once held dear;
    That someone had stolen the woman you loved; that her love was a devil's lie;
    That your guts were gone, and the best for you was to crawl away and die.
    'Twas the crowning cry of a heart's despair, and it thrilled you through and through —
    "I guess I'll make it a spread misere", said Dangerous Dan McGrew.

  26. The music almost died away. . .then it burst like a pent-up flood;
    And it seemed to say, "Repay, repay", and my eyes were blind with blood.
    The thought came back of an ancient wrong, and it stung like a frozen lash,
    And the lust awoke to kill, to kill. . . then the music stopped with a crash,
    And the stranger turned, and his eyes they burned in a most peculiar way;
    In a buckskin shirt that was glazed with dirt he sat, and I saw him sway;
    Then his lips went in in a kind of grin, and he spoke, and his voice was calm,
    And "Boys," says he, "you don't know me, and none of you care a damn;
    But I want to state, and my words are straight, and I'll bet my poke they're true,
    That one of you is a hound of hell. . .and that one is Dan McGrew."

    Then I ducked my head, and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark,
    And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark.
    Pitched on his head, and pumped full of lead, was Dangerous Dan McGrew,
    While the man from the creeks lay clutched to the breast of the lady that's known as Lou.

    These are the simple facts of the case, and I guess I ought to know.
    They say the stranger was crazed with "hooch", and I'm not denying it's so.
    I'm not so wise as the lawyer guys, but strictly between us two —
    The woman that kissed him and — pinched his poke — was the lady that's known as Lou.

  27. Erm... thanks you for that, Munguin (with the apostrophe).

    Dame Margaret Rutherford if I'm not mistaken, and a damned good tale!