Thursday 27 January 2011


The First Minister announced that he would be having meetings about the *dualling of the A9 during the afternoon. He knew that the whole chamber would be delighted! He was wrong. No one much, except the SNP members, even smiled.

Elmer, aptly nicknamed “the snarl” by blogger James Kelly at Scot Goes Pop, was suddenly very worried about redundancies in Aberdeen Council: 900 of them, including teachers, who, even in Thatcher’s day, snarled Elmer, had been safe from cuts (something to do with fewer children, you half wit?). He was, apparently, concerned that Aberdeen had been let down by the SNP.

Of course as usual he had only half the facts. Eck pointed out that under a local government funding formula initiated by the Labour/Liberal “Executive” Aberdeen had received only an average of 84% of the funding per capita of Glasgow. When the SNP had tried to correct this, one Glasgow politician (a certain Steven Purnell), had publically called it a bribe! Seems you can’t please Labour.

The encounter took 11 minutes, and somewhat unfairly I thought, before the last answer, the Presiding Officer asked the FM to be brief, although he had neglected to ask Snarly Fudd to be brief in his question.

And so to Annabel, and although I may disagree with her politics I have to say she is a professional politician. She asked about the lack of availability of cancer drugs in Scotland, which are available in England. The issue, as Alex pointed out, is incredibly sensitive. Decisions are made independently by the SMC... doctors, who have to balance effectiveness against limited resources, despite the NHS budget being maintained. You could see that she listened carefully while Alex gave the answer, and then asked if he would meet with her to discuss the matter further. Alex agreed.

That’s the way to handle FMQs Gray, you idiot.

Poor wee Tavish asked about bonuses in the public sector and got an answer to his last week’s question about salary increases... It seems that the Liberals thought they had found a £50 million saving that could be made, but Alex was able to point out that to achieve this they would have to sack 450 consultants. It was a bit weird if you hadn’t seen last week’s questions. The FM pointed out that on bonuses, they were obliged to honour contracts which had been instigated by the Lib/Lab Executive, but that teh Health Secretary had asked for voluntary restraint from bosses.

Joe Fitzpatrick asked the FM about the Digital Network report, and whether it brought a “Scottish Six” closer. (A question close to my own heart as I tire of seeing English regional news on the BBC’s main news, and then a magazine programme of insultingly puerile nonsense which is offered as the BBC’s best efforts on Scottish news.

Alex agreed with Joe that it indeed did bring a Scottish 6 closer, and pointed out that it was a cross party desire to see a proper news programme on a channel funded by the licence fee in Scotland. He also paid tribute to Ted Brocklebank, the Tory Broadcasting spokesman (who used to be a tv presenter), for his assistance and expertise. In response to concern from Labour’s Pauline McNeill that money for existing BBC Scotland could be reduced, Alex suggested that BBC’s spend on Scotland ran short of the per capita equivalent in the UK.

Richard Baker (Labour), Robert Brown, who the FM acknowledged had been helpful in assisting the government to pass laws helping reduce crime to a 30 year low, and Sandra White, asked about domestic violence. The FM told them that it was totally unacceptable and that there had been a 40% increase in the budget to tackle it, with more help going to a wide range of agencies.

And so to lunch.

Alex, who agreed to meet Annabel behind the bike sheds. Snarky Elmer, who nobody wants to meet. Annabel, who could show him how to make friends and influence people. Joe, who represents Dundee West as a superb constituency MSP. Richard who doesn’t know the difference between the EU and the Council of Europe...

* Greatful thanks to my proof reader (on minumum wage) for pointing out the difference between dualling and duelling... Touché!!


  1. Yep tris no doubt Iain Gray will make the stupidest First Minister ever........that will be just after he boots Alex out of holyrood and the snp knife Alex in the back in not to many days now.

    not long

    not long

    and the snp

    will be gone gone gone

    by Rabid Burns

  2. Brilliant Niko.

    Now we have two poets on the blog.

    Well you could be right. Labour are on a roll elsewhere; it's bound to reflect on Scotland.

    So maybe he'll be first minister.... and Richard Baker might be justice secretary; Kerr might be in charge of money and Baillie of health.

    You have to admit that they are not an inspiring bunch.

    Tony worried about Donald Dewar, Ed, who's not a patch on Tony, must be worried out of his mind about who Gray will insult and how wrong he'll get everything

  3. I’m very much looking forward to Iain Gray’s first outing as FM at FMQ! It will be like the toys have taken over the nursery with Andy Kerr and Richard Baker as Sooty and Sweep, Iain as king of the Woodentops, Jackie Baillie as Loopy Lou and Johann Lamont as the invisible woman who doesn’t speak very much! It is all going to be great fun at playtime with crib sheets and dum-dum cards all round. I’m sure Alex will be given the good dressing down that he deserves and if all else fails they can simply pull the string in Iain’s back and he will wet himself and say mummy!

  4. It then really will become a [Puppet Parliament] run by the goons no offence to Spike and friends. Parenthesis deliberate as that is how the Scottish branch of the London Labour party need to be contained in a secure wing at HM pleasure, mentally unstable.

  5. Monty the real poetJanuary 27, 2011 11:16 pm

    " Poor wee Tavish asked about bonuses in the public sector"

    That slimeball is about to trouser £100K of our money when he sells the house he bought with our money. Heck these troughers should be turned upside down and their pockets emptied of our hard earned wedge.

  6. Yeah Munguin. It will be like the Muppet Show, without any talent.

  7. Carstairs is going to be busting at the seams CH

  8. I didn't think they could keep that money for themselves Monty...

    Perhaps you should do a verse about it....

    Ode to a Useless Plank

  9. Monty the real makar.January 27, 2011 11:51 pm

    I read they were trousering their ill gotten gains in The Daily Torygraph so it must be true..

    Might pen a few lines to this scandal.

  10. Monty the real makarJanuary 28, 2011 12:17 am

    " Ode to a Useless Plank "

    Proud Tavish Scott
    He poses and preens
    But take off the mask
    And he's not all he seems
    He quietly sells.... his designer pad
    While poor skinny kids look on so sad.
    But care not poor kids
    For everything's clear
    In a few short months
    They'll be out on their ear.

  11. Respec Monty

    U is da man, innit.

  12. Monty is totally correct, I did a blog on exactly that, it is more widespread however than Tavish...all parties have been using the Edinburgh housing allowance to gravy-train their nests.

    Watch that space! Nicol Stephen is even worse offender than Tavis by the numbers!

  13. p.s I look forward to hearing about the results (if any) from that meeting between matron and head boy!

  14. p.s I look forward to hearing the results of the meeting between matron and head boy!

  15. Iain Gray First Minister................hahahahahaha..........oh shit.......*weeps weeps weeps*

  16. I honestly thought that about 5 or 6 years ago Edinburgh had put the lid on that sort of nonsense Dean.

    I know that they are a lot stricter on expenses than London.

    Stephen seems to have done well out of things in the pass when he traded up, but I was sure that around the time that that Labour woman who was the mother of one of the NatWest 4 made a killing, they tightened it up.

    False hopes I suppose.

  17. Yes Dean, I would imagine that it will be interesting. It's a really serious subject and cross party trust in the body that decides is an absolute essential.

    Because it is so emotive, it is important that it be based on medicine and not politics. I hope the other two parties into that meeting.

    I wonder if it was co-incidence though that during his answers Alex took time to recognise the input of a Tory and a Liberal to legislation of, respectively, broadcasting and law and order. Was it that there has been no Labour co-operation or that no question gave Alex the opportunity to mention it?

  18. LoTF...

    LOL. I'm sorry to have mentioned that possibility. It appears to have made you well it might.

    Seriously, there are many reasons why being out of government would be good for the SNP (it's hard to fight the establishment when you ARE the establishment, etc) but for the sake of Scotland what we do NOT want is that buffoon in charge.

    He might be well enough suited to be convenor of sports and leisure in a small council somewhere, but First Minister of the country is beyond being a joke. I would be a catastrophe as his lack of a grasp on the facts and his ill chosen words have proved so many times in the past.

  19. tris,

    Nice picture of the chamber during an Iain Gray speech. Is that Lord George lying on the floor in the back row?

  20. John,

    Has he got an elderly woman clasped to his bosom?

    If not it must be someone else. But there are plenty candidates.

  21. tris,

    Must say I'm looking forward to the duel on the A9 that you mentioned in your first para. I might even have an each-way bet on the winner.

  22. The pedant is mightier than the sword!


    What a tube.....Perhaps I should send all my manuscripts to you for proof reading...


    But I dunno if I could afford you...

  24. One fine day in the middle of the night
    Two dead men got up to fight,
    Back to back they faced each other
    Drew their swords and shot each other.

    circa last century.

  25. Lord Fulks ... every court needs a jester, and he is Alex IV of Nat's jester ;)

  26. Thank you CH. U is not just quite da man bein' as 'ow u like copied it, innit?

  27. Pity he couldn't afford a real one Dean.


  28. It will be good if Labour do get back in as it will be the final nail in the coffin for them here in Scotland.

    Just look at how they have been gettng worst with every Scottish Parliamntary election they have won before, their leaders have been getting worst, the standard of their MSPs is shocking and they have never did anything significant for the benefit of this country.

    Even their friends in the press slate them when they are in power because they are usually so bad. Things are going to get so much worst - let the Labour numpties make it worst!

  29. That's why I put "circa..." I never laid any claim I suppose unknown should of been included or used parenthesis.:)

  30. Dean,

    It's just as well it was you and not Tris who posted regarding the matron and the head-boy - he might have spelt "meeting" as "mating"......

  31. Billy:

    There's certainly a part of me that would like them to win and have to take the flack for the awful cuts that the Tories will force on them.

    It would be fun to watch Gray struggle with FMQ, and the pathetic bunch of "convenors" try to cope with their briefs....but then the other side of me says that we need a decent (and I mean decent) government to look after our old and our sick and our poor while the Tories cut all around us.

    The SNP will do their best to protect them from the worst. Labour will leave them to sink or swim, whilst building nuclear power stations, and PFI nonsense all over the place, leaving us with a legacy of decay.

    We've never seen the Tories and Labour in power together. God only knows the damage that would do.

  32. Och CH, we knew it wasn't you from the date...

    We know yer not THAT old!!!


  33. JB: I very nearly "met" Mrs Goldie, and there was no confusion there at all. When I say "met", she swept past me in a corridor (with a smile I must say); a vision in pink.

    Mind you, I'm not a good judge of these things. I once took Margaret Curren on a tour of a factory and found her quite agreeable company!!

    I expect I must have been drunk!

    You beter bea karefull you dont macke a spalling mistoke antyime ni teh neer feuteur oethrwize I'l bea doun oan you lick a tun of brikz. innit!

  34. tris,

    Sorry, old chum, did Niko rite the last para for yew? I was going to rite ewe but enough about my proclivities.....

  35. John:

    I should have told you...Niko writes all my stuff for me... I'm far too busy.

    I pay him well and it keeps him from other, less savory activities ...wink wink...

    (No John, that's not a spelling mistake!)

  36. LOL Brownlie - body swerving minefields like that is always good!