Monday 30 April 2012


According to the Daily Mail, Cameron has said that he was "furious" to be dragged to the Commons to answer questions about Hunt, the English Culture Secretary, the man who is ultimately responsible for the London Fiasco Olympics as well as the Murdoch bid for BskyB and who's in the soup at the moment over his relationship with News International.

Cameron had wanted to spend the day electioneering and the audacity of the Speaker demanding that he attend first to his day job, was obviously a bit too much for prime minister, whom we know operates on a fairy short fuse, as indeed do many people promoted beyond their ability. 

I just can't stand to watch of listen to him, or indeed any of the rabble at Westminster, so I haven't seen what happened, but by all accounts Cameron was tetchy all the way through, and made some remark to Dennis Skinner about it being time he retired (a bit rich from a bloke who is putting up retirement age and wants people to go on working for as long as possible, rather than take a pension...possibly because they won't have enough money to pay the pensions after they pay for the Olympics).
Now I happen to think that Bercow is an obnoxious little toad, way too full of himself for anyone's good. (He's been known to order people to clear the corridor for him and his entourage like some Middle eastern potentate.) But the truth of the matter is that, like it or not, the Speaker of the House of Commons is the blokey in charge of what happens in the Commons, and no matter what school Cameron went to or how many friends he has at Buck House, Bercow is his superior
It was, at best, amateur of Cameron to let it be known that he was furious, and it was,again amateur to snap an ageist comment at 80 year old Skinner. (Not that I think that the Beast of Balsover will be bothering much about it; it won't have hurt him.) But it was "un-prime ministerial". It was insulting to parliament and to us that he was angry at having to give up electioneering to do his job.

I wonder if he's worked out a way to get Jeremy off the hook over this, or if, as I suspect, he is going to look a proper Charlie when Hunt eventually "resigns".

Friday 27 April 2012


POOR OLD Margaret Moran is suffering from depression, so badly that she is not fit to plead in her trial for embezzlement or, if you prefer it, THEFT of around £80,000 of our money.

She did not attend the court case to determine her fitness to plead, but evidence was heard that she was suffering from a depressive illness and associated anxiety of moderate severity. A forensic psychologist gave evidence that when she was at home in Southampton (that would be the home of her boyfriend, for which we paid out £20,000 to treat the dry at least she doesn't have to worry about the floor giving way), when, for example, she was cooking or watching television, she might seem to be only mildly depressed, (as indeed probably around 3/4 of the population is). However, when the case has to be discussed, she becomes severely depressed.

Awwww, what a bloody shame. She shouldn't have been a thief then, should she?

And it gets better. She feels that she has been abandoned by the Labour Party. I mean, what on Earth did she expect? Quietly in the background, I'm sure that the Labour Party encouraged the use of expenses to make up salaries to what they thought they deserved, but she surely didn't expect that the leadership would support her when she was caught... or maybe she is really that stupid.

Of course she is depressed. She used to have a job which paid £65,000 a year plus incredibly generous expenses (the ones she abused), and for which she appeared to have to do very little work (she didn't do much in the way of constituency duties). She was known as 'The Hon Lady', she travelled first class, she had privilege and position. Now she's just a lag awaiting trial. She's fallen off a pedestal and landed flat on her lardy backside. 

If I were in her position, I would be so ashamed I'd never go out at all. I'd be spending my time in bed. In fact I'd probably be saving up my pills so that I could end it all. 

What I cannot understand is why she gets away with not being able to plead because she feels ashamed. Would this work for someone caught stealing a similar amount from social security? Any ideas?

Wednesday 25 April 2012


"It's a very tough economic situation. It's taking longer than anyone hoped to recover from the biggest debt crisis of our lifetime. The one thing that would make the situation even worse would be to abandon our credible plan and deliberately add more borrowing and even more debt." George Osborne,
Since Osborne took over running the economy 2 years ago, growth has been 0.4% and yet his entire strategy, the one with which he seems determined to continue,  is based on growth in the economy, which is simply not happening.  

The UK is back in recession. According to figures released today, two years of  pain for everyone in the country, except the rich, has ended in another downturn. 

Still it got Hunt off the top of the news, so it's not all bad news for the government. Twitter is telling me that there's another cabinet minister going to have to reveal some embarrassing stuff. ...Ho hum, just another week in Westminster.

Tuesday 24 April 2012


This week's cock up for the Tories seems to be centred on Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary, and his almost daily emails with the offices of News Corporation, while he (Mr Hunt) was acting in a quasi-judicial role, deciding on the future of the company's bid to purchase BskyB.

Interestingly, this work was originally the remit of the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, but was taken away from him when he made the catastrophic error of assuming that two young ladies who had come to his constituency surgery were who they said they were. You may remember that Vince, thinking himself a bit of a lad, and imagining that the girls were captivated by all the power he weilded, or perhaps even his sexy if somewhat ragged good looks, told them that he had 'declared war' on Mr Murdoch. The young ladies were, of course, undercover reporters and Vince's war led in the next day's Telegraph.

Cable should have lost his job over it, of course, but one presumes that the idea of Cable, a less than enthusiastic member of the coalition, on the outside of the tent, doing what people on the outside of the tent tend to do, was more that Cameron, and more particularly Clegg, could imagine being able to cope with! 

So Vince kept the Business role and poor old Jeremy got that part of the job that Vince had shown himself incapable of conducting in a responsible  unbiased way.

Hunt was already known to be a strong supporter of News International and the Murdochs, and his appointment to this role was one that a brighter prime minister might not have made. So what now of another minister, clearly not up to doing the job fairly, and too stupid to see that his bias was bound to be made public at some stage?

Gotta love the second photograph. It's Jeremy and that icon of culture Victoria Beckham at the Oscars or some other self congratulatory lovie bash, each trying to be weirder than the other... and both succeeding nicely.

Monday 23 April 2012


Talking of austerity (as we were in the last post), it seems that whist the rest of us are wondering what the hell Osborne is going to cut next to save the next tranche, Mr Cameron is considering an "austerity" version of Air Force One to transport him or the Queen around.

The idea has been flagged up by Airbus's boss in England, said that Mr Cameron had been let down by the aerospace industry when he arrived in the Far East on a plane built in America and owned by an Angolan company. Downing Street is said to be bet your life it is.

The plane wouldn't be the flying palace that the president has, but presumably it would be done out to a standard that would be suitable for a man of Mr Cameron's breeding.

So... I read all this in the Telegraph, and of course it is always a laugh to glance at the comments in that paper, so I read down at a few of the usual right wing blethers, and then I came across this piece from Sticky2TheMan, which I thought was hilarious:

Cameron really is the Heir to Blair, isn't he?

Didn't His Toniness claim that the Queen's aeroplane was as much his as hers and steal the keys to fly off to Cliff Richard's paradise island or some such nonsense?
Is it not a tradition now that as soon as a prime minister comes back from playing with the Americans, he puts out feelers to see whether 10 Downing Street can be tarted up to look like the set of West Wing?
However, perhaps we should be less churlish and let our dear leaders have their way.
Perhaps we should allow them to have  their own chamber orchestras dressed in monkey costumes like Louis XIV.
Or - since Cameron has or had his own private photographer funded by the taxpayer - their own propaganda film-maker, like Leni Riefenstahl, with a fully-equipped Hollywood studio.
Maybe a private theme-park and zoo, like Michael Jackson. After all, he was a mere popular music crooner, not a global statesman.
How about a continuous stream of teenage prostitutes, like Silvio Berlusconi?
Or perhaps a private bakery producing nothing but the finest Cornish pasties, to which Cameron is known to be utterly addicted?
Why shouldn't our prime minister show how completely and utterly detached he is from the lives of ordinary people?
The only problem with trying to ape the POTUS is that there is such a vast gulf between the power of one and the other.
After Obama met Cameron, it is said that he asked one of his minders:
"Who was that lard-arse with the comb-over?"


There are yet another £16 billion in spending cuts to come (so shortly after the daft budget in which Osbum got everything wrong). The Treasury has ordered government departments to save another 5% of their budgets as the economy continues to go down the sink.

Danny Alexander will be warning us all (aren’t you glad we’ve got him and his financial genius?) of the need for even greater austerity measures today as he tells all departments to put aside more money. 

"These new controls are not just a tweak to the Whitehall machine," Mr Alexander will say according to advance reports of a speech he is set to make to the Institute for Fiscal Studies today. "They are another signal of our unwavering determination to deliver the fiscal consolidation we promised. When we look at the mess Britain's finances were allowed to get into, we say: 'never again'."

Never again? Funnily enough, that’s just what we were thinking, Danny

I wonder if this even greater austerity will be hitting the Westminster glitterati in any way.

I mean, will Lords’ allowances go down? 

Will canteens, sorry dining rooms, be subsidised less? 

Will bars start charging commercial prices for the drink that they clearly all consume in such vast quantities (how else to explain the drunken way the whole government operates)? 

Will MPs’ pensions reduce in line with the devastation of ordinary people’s pensions (and lives)? 

Will some of the expense of the Jubilee be reigned (see what I did there) in?

Will some of the frills for the Zil class at the Olympics be cut? 

Will they reverse the cut in the 50% rate of tax? 

Will they sell the crown jewels to some Chinese, Arab, Indian, Brazilian or Russian trillionaire and spend the money on infrastructure renewal?

Will they admit now that Britain is too wee, too poor and too stupid to have nuclear weapons and sit as a permanent member on the security council?

Nope? None of these? Thought not.

But, in an admission that the London executive is worried that Whitehall will be unable to keep spending down to the new levels of austerity, all departments will from now be required to report their figures to the Treasury on a monthly basis. (Not that Dan doesn't trust the useless cabinet members or anything, you understand.)

I would say that the UK is a bankrupt state as well as a bankrupt idea. Let's start splitting it up now, so that Scotland can deal with the financial pressures of the 21st century with a proper finance minister at the helm. I'd trust John Swinney any day over the buffoon at number 11. If we had been left in his hands, I suspect that, like Iceland, we'd be well over the worst of this.

(Click on illustration to enlarge.)

Sunday 22 April 2012


Some cartoons I've found amusing over the last few weeks.... (click on images to enlarge)

Friday 20 April 2012


That David Starkey has once again  made a fool of himself by going off on an immature rant, this time about Alex Salmond and his likeness to Adolf Hitler, is no real surprise. 

A few years ago I used to enjoy "The Moral Maze" radio programme (discussions on questions of moral philosophy, where 'witnesses' were invited to answer questions on issues of the day, and panellists summed up their views in light of the expert witness testimony they had heard).

It was always stimulating listening, but was invariably spoiled by Starkey (one of the panellists, who had far too much to say for himself, and insisted on insulting the opinions of anyone who disagreed with him in the brashest of terms. In the end I had to stop listening because I found him an embarrassment, out of place on a programme of this nature.

Since then he has popped up from time to time being unpleasant about a variety of people from the Queen (who apparently failed to show sufficient interest in an exhibition he had curated, thus earning his derision as an intellectual lightweight; I suspect she may just have found him a boring old git) downwards. He has frequently been unpleasant about Scotland and Scots such as here: In 2009, then the Scottish Government minister for culture and external affairs Mike Russell, called on him to apologise for his declaration on the programme that Scotland, Ireland and Wales are "feeble little countries".He replied 'It was a joke! The question was did I think the English should treat St George's Day the same way the Scots and all the rest of them treat their saints' days - St Andrew, St Patrick and my answer was no. That would mean we would become a feeble little nation like them and we're showing every sign of doing just that. H.G. Wells has this wonderful phrase - "the English are the only nation without national dress". It is a glory that wedon't have such a thing.'

A strange little man from a working class northern English background who by dint of brains and effort made it to Cambridge on a scholarship, Starkey has always seemed to me to be bitter about almost everything. So there is no great surprise that he is bitter about Scotland, and Alex Salmond.

What is interesting is this,  from the Press Association. It outlines the opinions of Starkey's outburst by a spokesman for Alex, and other people in the leadership of the Scottish Conservatives, Scottish Greens and Scottish Liberal Democrats. It appears that no one from the Scottish Labour party was available for, or wished to, comment. Where on earth is Lamontable hiding these days?

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Random Thoughts...

Click to enlarge
In an appeal to the party to fight hard outside its heartlands in the south of England, Cameron said the Tories are "the proud party of this one nation", able to speak for voters in every part of Britain. And he managed to keep a straight face throughout!
"I cannot recall a budget that has unravelled as completely and as spectacularly as Mr Osborne's latest effort. It is one thing to raise taxes, quite another to do so while attempting to disguise your budget as a tax-cutting affair. It tarnishes the entire enterprise with deceit."

Alex Massie, Spectator -

It appears that while the festivities for the Queen’s jubilee (this is a good article btw) will be in full swing south of the Border, Scots will not so readily be reaching for the bunting. Only three organisations have applied to hold a street party in the country's major cities during the weekend of the Diamond Jubilee. Apparently in England, Cameron has been encouraging people to make a big showing for the festivities, and remarkably at a time when the Health Service in England is throwing people out of hospital in their pyjamas in the middle of the night with no money for a taxi home for the want of funding, Cameron has actually made grant money available for festivities.  Funny old world under the Tories; weird sense of priorities, huh?
Oh yeah, and with weird priorities in mind, Ed Davey’s special advisor, Chris Nicholson, has called for the coalition to slash Winter Fuel Allowance, maternity pay and free bus passes. Why not? If the idea (per the last post) is to kill off all the sick people, why not get rid of old people too? Then they could reduce the top rate of tax for billionaires even further.

Talking of bus passes, I note that the bus companies are whining because of changes to the bus operators grant from the Scottish government. These bus companies would do well to remember that, if it were not for the older and disabled people to take advantage of their services, thanks to the generosity of the government, there would be hardly anyone on any bus apart from in rush hours. Quite apart from the social implications of this for the elderly, this would mean that the companies would only be able to run the barest of services for the rest of the day, greatly inconveniencing the few passengers that they would have, and hugely reducing their profits. They really can't have it all ways, although god knows that's what they appear to want.
Again talking of buses, what the hell is it with National Express drivers? I've probably mentioned this before but it does seem that a condition of employment for bus drivers in this company is that they must be sour faced, miserable, bad tempered, social skill lacking, asses! And while we're on the subject, does this company employ cleaners? If the answer is in the affirmative, do they provide them with hot water, cloths, brushes and detergent? I ask because to describe the buses as clorty would be praise indeed. The buses run by Stagecoach, by comparison, are clean and the staff presentable. polite and cheery. If anyone from National Express management reads this I'd be glad of a hint as to why your service is so bloody awful, your buses are so bloody filthy and your staff so bloody disagreeable!  (PS, before I get slated, I know that there are a few notable exceptions.

Monday 16 April 2012


George Potter has a particularly interesting post here, about the horrific number of deaths among people who have either completed, or are in the process of completing the ATOS assessments. (Between January and August last year, 1,100 claimants died after they were put in the "work-related activity group", where they have reduced benefits and are given help to find work; 1,600 people died before their assessment had been completed and 5,300 who were put in the "support group"  -  the most unwell, also died.)

Of course, as George points out, some of them may have been hit by buses only a matter of weeks after being declared fit for work, or indeed while the tortuous process of the assessment is taking place, but surely not thousands of them.

The article is based on information sought by The Daily Mirror from the DWP by way of FoI request. Interestingly,  according to the Mirror, 'We don't know how many people died after being found "fit to work", as that information was "not available" '. I wonder why, Mr Grayling? Any ideas?  It surely couldn't be that it was just too embarrassing, could it? 

Or could it?

Yes, of course there are people cheating on sickness benefit, and we need to find ways of dealing with this, but there are very very many more who are not cheating; who are in fact seriously and horribly ill, and ATOS clearly seems to care not a whit about this or the consequences of its cavalier attitude to what is, after all, life and death to the clients, as long as it reaches its targets. 

Incredibly, when people appeal against ATOS decisions 40% of the decisions are overturned, and when appellants have legal representation at the hearings, which are conducted according to English Law by the English Department of Justice (even in the Celtic countries), the number of overturned decisions rises to 75%, and as high as 90-95% in some (geographical) areas, where clearly ATOS is employing work experience children, or possibly their pet cats, to do the assessments.

Despite this seemingly astounding level of  incompetence (which would surely not be tolerated anywhere else), ATOS managed to make £42 million profit out of us in 2010, and its boss was paid £800,000. (What was it Pickles said about people not being entitled to more than the prime minister if they were working for the government? Just another pile of hypocritical crap from the government, was it?)

It seems to me that if you are monstrously incompetent, unlikely to get results and have very little regard for people or human life in general, the DWP is a good place to pitch up for contracts. After all, as well as the apparently criminally useless ATOS, we have the simply criminal A4E, which appears to believe that if it just says it got people into work (along with the magic words) and claims the fee for having done so, a good wizard will come along like the tooth fairy and make it so. 

And no one at the DWP seems to give ATOS (a toss).

Don't you just wish that they would take their vile Department for Work and Pensions and bugger off, and leave Scotland to deal with its sick.

Thursday 12 April 2012


This is 'The Scream' (Der Schrei der Natur) which is one of a series of paintings, pastels and lithographs by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, produced over a period from 1893-1910. 

The works, described by art critics as 'masterpieces', were inspired by a walk just outside Oslo taken by the artist with some friends in 1892. He describes the moment of inspiration thus:

"I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."

One of the pastels, executed in 1895 and currently owned privately by a Norwegian businessman, is to be offered for auction in New York in May. It is thought that it may sell for as much as $80 million.

I can see nothing in it. I don't either like or dislike it. I doubt that I'd want to hang it in my house (although clearly, and for obvious reasons, I wouldn't say no to one of the originals). 

I wonder what it is that makes it worth $80m... Any ideas?

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Voulez-vous jouer au ping pong monsieur le Président?

When Cameron arrived in Tokyo yesterday, there was celebration at Nissan's investment in north-east England, a rare success for the Tories “oop north”. Historic arms deals have been signed (you might know’s all the UK has to sell). And the gift from Botox Boy to the Japanese Prime Minister was a British-made bike. 

Does anyone know why we have to go through this ridiculous handing out of gifts? It Camermug has enough money to buy presents, he might try buying them for some poor British people instead of rich Japanese ones. I mean some unemployed working class person could have got on that bike and gone to look for work in t'south! (While we are on the subject, it seems that the ping pong table that the fool gave to Obama was made in France. C’était, en effet, une table de tennis  française. What an ass!
Anyway... I digress.

UK trade with Asia is tiny and exports to China are just over 2% percent of the total. (Why would they want stuff from us when they can make it themselves?) So when they brag that the Prime Minister visits to other countries makes trade leap with them by 20%, that means in the case of China a rise of 0.4%. Big deal!

However, on this occasion, there will be no leap in exports to China and no photographs with the world’s second most powerful man...because David Cameron isn’t invited. He wanted to go to China; he asked Beijing if he could, but apparently the Chinese said ‘bu shi’, or ’no’. The Beijing authorities were quite angry over the lecture on human rights abuses which Cameron delivered on his last visit, and which will have made absolutely no difference at all to human rights, but which may well have cost a lot of UK jobs.

We do business with Saudi Arabia and many other Middle and Near East countries, which have appalling human rights. We do business with Asian countries and African countries which certainly don’t allow their populations the kind of freedoms that Europeans enjoy. But we simply cannot go around telling everyone in the world how to behave. And if we do we should expect them not to like us, and therefore not to do business with us.
I’ve always said, if you are prepared to back up your lectures with actions, fair enough. If not, shut up.
The visit by the Dalai Lama to the UK  in June has also annoyed the Chinese leadership. This is bad news for Scotland, as the First Minister is scheduled to meet His Holiness during his visit to Scotland. It’s only polite as Queen Bess would say.
Pics: (1) Cameron indicating how much good his jolly to the Far East will do, but he may be able to pick up some more of that cheap Botox substitute and Beeswax to do his forehead. (2) The Chinese and American Presidents. (Cameron was washing the president's plane down at the time) (3) HH The Dalai Lama. He'll need to wrap up warmer than that if he's coming to Edinburgh. These winds can be gie cald in June month!

PS...Doesn't Michelle Obama scrub up well?

Tuesday 10 April 2012


The Bank of Scotland was the first bank in Europe to print its own banknotes.

Ben Macdhui, Scotland's 2nd highest mountain, is haunted by the Grey Man, an apparition that frightens walkers when it looms out of the mist.

At the narrow neck of Mavis Grind on the A970 north of Brae in Shetland it is possible to throw a stone from the North Sea to the Atlantic.

Marischal College in Aberdeen is the second-largest granite building in the world. Only El Escorial in Spain is larger.

According to the census conducted in 1909, the Scots were the tallest race in Europe.

Shortest river in Scotland is River Morar. It is only 500 meters long!

St Andrews golf course is the oldest in the world

The 1st Airship to cross the Atlantic the ‘R34’ was built in Scotland, built by William Beardmore in Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Galloway is the home of Bruce's Stone (where King Robert defeated the English by rolling boulders down on top of them).

The farthest you can be from the coast in Scotland is about 50 miles.

Famous as it is, Loch Ness isn’t the deepest Loch in Scotland. In fact it's Loch Morar, which also has a monster, dubbed Morag by locals.

‘Tapadh leat’ means ‘thank you’ in Gaelic. ‘Thig a-staigh’ means ‘come in’; ‘an-diugh’ means ‘today’, and ‘mar sin leat’ means ‘goodbye’.

TV, the telephone, video cassette recorder, finger printing, tyres, tarmac and penicillin were all Scottish inventions.

The buttons on the sleeves of Highland dress originate in military uniform. They were to stop soldiers wiping their noses on their sleeves.

The first recorded alcoholic drink produced in the country wasn’t whisky, but heather ale, believed to have been made by the Picts.

The shortest English language place name in Scotland belongs to the village of Ae, in Dumfries and Galloway.

Bagpipes aren't Scottish – they were invented in Iran.

The oldest 'football' pitch in the world is in the Roman Camp at Callander.

The Australian National Anthem, ‘Advance Australia Fair’, was written by Glaswegian Peter Dodds McCormick.

Lower case letters were developed by Gaelic monks.

Nine of the first 13 Governors of the US were of Scottish ancestry, as well as 11 US Presidents (not counting Barack Obama).

9, 10, 11, 12, er... 11

Sorry, the sound on this clip is very bad...fortunately you can enjoy it with no sound at all. Doubtless George's ...erm... "mind" was elsewhere, Henley, Wimbledon, Glyndebourne, Cheltenham Gold Cup, Ascot, Lords... some place like that. 

This is dedicated to "somepapfaedundee" (reader and occasional contributor) who enjoys a bit of Osborne tomfoolery.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Another little joy for British citizens to come from the London Olympics. The Border Agency (whoever heard of not being actually totally in control of your borders but handing the responsibility out to an agency) has said that it will roster all staff for the period of the games. But after the festival is over, all the staff who didn't get leave during the 6 weeks of "sport" will want to grab what little is left of what passes for summer. There will be a desperate shortage of staff, at the same time as controls are stricter and the government is demanding a reduction in staffing. Well duh! One way to get you to stay at home.
Tory Minister for Drought Richard Benyon, who is the great great grandson of Lord Salisbury and who lives in the house shown (yes, that's all one house, not a block of flats), has been accused of leaving a hose running for two hours, the day after a hose pipe ban was introduced, presumably by him! He denies it, and insists it was a plot by a  newspaper to stitch him up. The house has extensive grounds including ornamental gardens which are normally open to the public at this time of the year (for a fee), but mystifyingly they are not this year. I wonder why...
For some reason the mother of these two little ducklings abandoned them only hours after their birth. But as luck would have it they were found by two animal lovers and taken to a wildlife centre where they are pictured swimming around in a sink. They will be looked after and returned to the wild when they are ready to fend for themselves. [I thought we should have a story with a happy ending for Easter!!]
The fact that the toffs' race, Oxford and Cambridge's boat race had to be  stopped yesterday is a matter of supreme indifference to me. I didn't even know it was on or indeed that it had happened until I saw the incident at tea time. What is worrying is the way that this London government is driving wedges between people more than I've ever seen in my lifetime. The haves and the have nots; the toffs and the plebs, are being marked out in a way most of us haven't experienced before. (Mrs Thatcher managed to divide, and cause misery in her doing of it, but it wasn't a Downton Abbey kind of split; a class thing.) What worries me is that those 'beneath stairs' are hardly likely to take this lying down for very long, and the boat race incident is, I suspect, just one of many protests against the elitism that the government of Old Boys. I suspect that protests may make this a very difficult year for the Botox Toff.