Thursday 31 May 2012


Not only did the week not start too well for Cameron; it's gone on not being good for Cameron.

I'm not one to complain about u-turns. For sure there will be times when any government brings in a law that is at odds with the public's will, or is unworkable, or just plain silly.

And without a doubt, in cases like this, a u-turn is the right and proper thing to do, even if it means the less cerebral of opponents jumping up and down and waving their knickers in the air with joy.

Mrs Thatcher was stupid enough not to see the wisdom of climbing down from time to time when necessary. In the end the "lady's" refusal to turn was her undoing.
So it is good that Cameron's government u-turns on bad policies.  The shame is that there are so many bad policies for them to u-turn on. Buzzards' nest, pasties, caravans, secret trials, charitable donations tax... all in one week! It must be a record. The Telegraph has a full list of the u-turns (although they can only find 33, and I suspect that there are more).
To a certain extent it has taken the heat off Hunt, but I should think  it won't do him any good in the end. He really has to go. He's not just a failed minister, he's a complete laughing stock. The question is, will he take Cameron with him. The answer: probably not. Cameron has more front than Cannes and will brazen out the fact that despite knowing how biased Hunt was (he knew because Hunt had emailed him to tell him); despite knowing that Hunt used to work for Murdoch and that his wife still does; despite Hunt being friends with the Murdoch sethe appointed him to replace Vince Cable (who was removed for being biased) and to a quasi judicial role adjudicating on a massive bid by the Murdochs.
Added to all that he made a gut churningly sycophantic speech about the Queen saying that he depended on her counsel, because it was full of British common sense. If he has been acting on the advice of the Queen, and her good old British common sense (no other nation has it quite like the Brits), then all I can say is that her good old British common sense is about as dependable as the good old British Railways, or the good old Royal Mail. Because he's managed to get damn all right so far.
And there's still Friday to come!

Sunday 27 May 2012


"From: SWAYNE, Desmond
Sent: 16 May 2012 10:45
Subject: PMQs

..........I anticipate lots of LoL gags so let's have a protective wall of sound. If Ed even grudgingly acknowledges anything positive in to-day's unemployment figures then instantaneously bring down the roof 'yereyereyere...". Notwithstanding the unemployment figures I anticipate the main attack will be 'recession made in downing street ... eurozone avoided UK double dip ... etc' so can we have lots of positive endorsements of our strategy using local examples of export success/expansion.....
"....Last week we rather dried up as the half hour wore on, and comrades at the end of the order paper did not enjoy as vociferous support as they deserved … Please show sufficient stamina for full half hour.”
So...just in case you thought that the dreadful bawling and caterwauling of MPs, like drunks on their way home from a football derby, was natural sentiment, or excitement, it's not. The above are two excerpts from emails sent to every Tory MP from the prime minister's PPS, Desmond Swayne.
It appears that the stamina of the Tory Party, when it comes to supporting Cameron, is a bit lacklustre and has to be stirred, if not shaken up, on a weekly basis. Still, it's a bit embarrassing for Cameron because in victory speech after the last election his line on the Commons, like that of so many before him, was: "...“I’m fed up with the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster — the name-calling, back-biting, point-­scoring, finger-pointing.”
Well, not THAT fed up David, it would seem.
On the subject of the Tories, two other interesting items caught my eye this evening.
The first was the story of the fragrant Ms Warsi, who is now being investigated by the police for expenses fraud. And the other is that David Mellor, who was Culture Secretary for Britain in the last Tory government, has advised that the guy who took up the brief for Culture in England (including the Olympics), one Jeremy Hunt, will have to resign after the Olympics because he has lost all credibility. He goes on to make rather less than flattering comments about Dave Cameron too...
"But I think the real scalp is the Prime Minister – he won’t have to resign but his credibility is blown away.
“He has been exposed as a shallow, callow sort of guy who doesn’t have too many aims and ambitions and cant even get basic judgement calls right.”
That's his friends... I wonder what his enemies are saying!


Scores of people were arrested and many more detained before the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last April, leading to claims that police were unlawfully criminalising legitimate protests before they had taken place.

Now protesters in England are asking for a judicial review of the police actions in arresting people who may (or may not) have protested peacefully.

In particular they are fearful that unless this behaviour goes unchallenged it will be the norm for the future, including at the jubilee celebrations and at the Olympics.
Of course these are English police and it is English law which apparently allows this, and as such it does not affect us in Scotland. But it will be interesting to find out what the law really says, in a country that wastes tax payers money by lecturing and harassing, and in the worse cases invading countries that do not allow peaceful protest.

I remember how the protesters and dissidents, not to mention the tramps and homeless, were rounded up from Beijing before China held its Olympics, and thinking what a dreadful regime they ran that allowed that police behaviour. Now, just because the eyes of the world will be on England in a couple of months, and Cameron will be running around playing host to "important people" driving around in "Zil lanes" and generally playing the part of a great ruler, it doesn't mean that people should not be allowed to protest. Foreigners should see what life is really like here. 

It might even solve some of Tessy's immigration problems!

Picture shows English police attacking a student protesting about the rise in tuition fees he had been promised would not happen. (Actually, all the Liberals said was that they would not double the fees. And they didn't.)

Thursday 24 May 2012


I make no excuses for shamelessly copying this from Dark Lochnagar. It's a great post and heart warmingly cheering now that the UK has slipped even further into recession with the loonie Osborne at the financial helm.

Life doesn't have to be like this. Things really don't have to be this awful... We have the opportunity to opt from independence, and it could be like this:
1 Scotland would officially be one of the world's richest countries - ranked 6th in the OECD compared to the UK's 16th place. We have 24billion barrels of oil remaining in the North Sea, according to industry body Oil and Gas UK. That's £1.5trillion in today's prices - half as much in value as has been taken out.

2 We also have around 25 per cent of Europe's potential offshore wind and tidal energy - and a tenth of Europe's wave power. An extra 45 per cent of renewable energy was generated in Scotland last year, according to the UK Department of Energy. It's more than we need and can be exported for cash.

3 Other countries want to invest here. The recent Ernst & Young UK Attractiveness Survey highlighted Scotland's leading position in the UK for job creation from international investment. With independence, we can make the country even more attractive to these employers.
4 Independence will allow us to keep services such as the NHS and the welfare state. In England they are being privatised and cut. Benefits are being taken from the needy and the Scottish Parliament can't stop that under present powers.

5 Scotland has five of the top 200 universities in the world. We also punch well above our weight in the number of research papers they produce. It means our historic reputation as a well educated nation is flourishing. We give our universities one of the best packages of support in Europe, with no fees for students from Scotland. With independence we can do even more.

6 We'll have more money in our pockets. If we got back what we sent south in tax, official figures show every Scot would have £510 more a year. The only tax the Scottish Government controls just now is council tax, and it's frozen under the SNP. Imagine if we controlled fuel duty, national insurance, VAT and income tax.

7 Our government would be more streamlined. Scotland, like Denmark, New Zealand, Norway and Finland, is a goldilocks country - not too big and not too small. The UK wastes money on bloated institutions bogged down by bureaucracy - look at HMRC, the tax authority. It's gone from one calamity to another. The rich get away with evasion while the rest are overcharged.

8 Mobiles would work and we'd all get high-speed broadband. Telecommunications are controlled in London. Westminster auctions licences to phone companies but only demands 90 per cent coverage of the UK. This means "notspots" in much of Scotland. Broadband is patchy too, and it doesn't help that Scotland's capital budget has been cut by a third by the Tories.
9 Our culture would get a boost. We'd have control over broadcasting and more high-quality programmes could be made here. Our news would no longer look hand-knitted compared with well funded UK offerings. We could export high-quality drama and our young bands would have a platform on the radio.

10 Imagine the goodwill. Scotland is held in high regard around the world - by those who know us. But being buried in brand Britain means sometimes we don't get to shine as we should. Independence would generate global interest. We would be the new kid on the block - young, modern, and happening.

Tuesday 22 May 2012


Megrahi is dead. There are those who rejoiced at that news.

I did not.

I've never thought that he was guilty. I've always been of the opinion that they needed a scapegoat; The public demanded that they find someone to pin it on. But they didn't have anyone, so they fitted someone up.

Having taken the opportunity to use his death to reiterate his entirely unwanted, and irrelevant opinion that Megrahi should never have been released, Cameron has made it clear that he wishes there to be no further investigation into the matter, which immediately tells me that there is something that he wants to hide...

The other day I read a piece on Wings Over Scotland, written by a sometime commentator on Munguin's Republic, Doug Daniel. He was deeply incensed that Lamont had taken it upon herself to apologise on behalf of Scotland to god knows who... the world possibly... for Megrahi's release. Given that she was elected by around 0.2% of the population of Scotland, and that her party was given the mother and father of kickings, it is some leap of faith for her to believe that she speaks for Scotland.

Anyway, I digress. One of the commentators on there, Morag, wrote this post, which I think more or less sums up all the things I knew or felt...much better than I would have. With her permission I post it here.

Many have said that Megrahi was “probably involved in some way”, but nobody has ever been able to produce any evidence other than what was presented in court.  What was presented in court showed that he was catching a plane from Malta to Tripoli on the morning of 21st December 1988, and was in Tripoli at the time the evidence (presented in court) showed the bomb suitcase to have been smuggled into the baggage container waiting at Heathrow airport.

The court chose to go with the fairy-story dreamed up by the investigators that the bomb suitcase had somehow been rendered invisible and levitated on board an Air Malta flight, despite months and indeed years of intensive investigation failing to find any evidence at all that this had happened – or even that it could have happened.  They simply ignored the concrete evidence from witnesses at Heathrow that the security there was abysmal, and one witness in particular who actually saw the suitcase in question in the container before the feeder flight allegedly carrying the “suitcase from Malta” had landed.
Thus they reasoned that Megrahi had been present when this magical deed was done, thus he must somehow have been involved in it.  Why?  Because he bought the clothes packed in the suitcase with the bomb.
But hang on, the evidence that he was the person who bought these clothes was beyond tenuous (and later proved to have been linked to a $3 million bribe to the clothes sellers).  So why did the judges decide this tenuous “resemblance” haltingly attested to by Tony Gauci was enough to say Megrahi was definitely the purchaser?  Why, because he was at the airport when the bomb was smuggled on board the Air Malta flight!
You couldn’t make it up.
Megrahi didn’t buy those clothes.  The man who bought the clothes was about 50 years old, dark-skinned, heavily-built and over six feet tall (Tony’s original description before the cops got to work on him).  Megrahi is 5′ 8″, light-skinned, of normal build, and was 36 years old on the date in question.  And he wasn’t even on Malta that day, either.
Megrahi was in Tripoli at 4pm on 21st December 1988, the time John Bedford went for his tea break at Heathrow, after which he returned to find an extra suitcase in the baggage container he was loading for Pan Am 103, a suitcase perfectly matching the description of the one that blew apart because of the bomb inside it, and which did not match the description of any of the luggage that might legitimately have been in that container. That suitcase was within a few inches of the position later determined to be the centre of the explosion, if not actually in that position.

So no, there is no reason at all to suspect Megrahi was “involved in some way”.  He had no other connection to the bombing at all, that is known about.  Since all the people who are in the frame for having something to do with it are connected to various Palestinian terrorist groups, and have no connection at all with Megrahi, it’s nothing but a leap of faith.
I can very much sympathise with those who feel they need someone to blame for the disaster, but one has to go with the evidence.  And there is no evidence that Megrahi was “involved in some way” other than the evidence used against him in court.  And that, looked at rationally, actually provides him with an alibi for the crime.

I think that there should be a full review of the case anhd the evidence that was being prepared for Megrahi's appeal, when it was stopped because of his ill health. I'm sure Mr Salmond or Mr MacAskill have the power to order it. And they have nothing to hide.

Sunday 20 May 2012


A report from Adrain Beecroft, venture capitalist woth £100,000,000, the man behind such classy organisations as, which lends money at up to 4,000% interest rates, and a friend of David Cameron, as if you wouldn't have guessed, has come up with a report containing a series of suggestions to make business more competitive.

Cameron is reported to be right behind his friend's suggestions, and will lend his (light)weight (when not playing computer games or being photographed with important people) to the report. The idea is to remove as many of the obstacles to sacking people as possible and making life easier for bosses. The proposals include:
* An end to a mandatory 90-day consultation period when a company is considering redundancy programmes. Mr Beecroft recommends a 30-day period and an emergency five-day period if a company is in severe economic distress. (So tough luck  if the company decides it is in a serious situation... and won't they all?)
* A cap on loss of earnings compensation for employees who make successful unfair dismissal claims. Payments can often total hundreds of thousands of pounds. (Well... that is what they would have earned if they hand't been unfairly dismissed, god knows directors and senior civil servants, not to mention MPs and cabinet members seem to enjoy that perk... will they be affected?)
* Major reform of the rights that workers are allowed to “carry” to new employers when they are the subject of a takeover. Currently, the rights, called transfer of undertakings (TUPE), can leave people in the same company working in the same job with different levels of rights for many years. (Jeez, I can see the fiddles in this one, specially coming from a venture capitalist)
* An end to provisions in the Equality Act which make employers liable for claims from employees for “third party harassment” — for example, customers making “sexist” comments to staff in a restaurant. The Government has already begun a consultation on the issue. (I guess that that might be fair enough, but staff shouldn't have to take sexist or racist crap from a customer; they should have the immediate right to take their own call the police, or give as good as they get, without fear of retribution from the employer.)
* Moving the responsibility to check on foreign workers’ eligibility to work in Britain from employers to the Border Agency or the Home Office. (That's it get the small state to do all the work... just remember the Border Agency couldn't find its backside with both hands...)
I hear an awful lot of complaints and moans about the 'human rights' that people have. But I've travelled quite a lot, and in quite a few cases to countries where people have very few human rights. Watch the next move to get rid of the minimum wage. The Tories did it before, which led to people working for as little as £1 an hour.
I'd caution to be very careful about letting the likes of Beecroft make government policy. He's interested in two things only. Himself and money...his.

Saturday 19 May 2012


Excitement is growing. All over these islands last night people could hardly sleep.

Was this because of the Euro crisis from which we are told we will never recover? No. Was it then because the Queen's diamond jubilee fandango had commenced? 


It was because a plane carrying the Olympic Torch, Coe, Nick and Anne had landed on Cornish soil to be met by no less a personage than Tessa Jowell (I wonder where Olympics minister Jeremy Hunt was?), and was due to make its way around these islands bringing the Olympic spirit to each and every one of us, who, after all, have footed the bill, and who won't be allowed to use the Zil lanes!

Well, of course, it got off to a stunning start today as does anything that Locog organises.

'A dozen disabled patients confined to wheelchairs were left bitterly disappointed following a mix up in the route of the Olympic torch relay. Residents of St Theresas were allocated a special council approved area on the roadside at the southern end of the beach near St Michael's Mount but their excitement at waving golden streamers and Union Jack banners for the torchbearer was quickly replaced with confusion. The Locog torch relay convoy of sponsor trucks and official vehicles whizzed by, but so too did a bus containing the torch and torchbearer. "It was more than awful to see, it was bitter, bitter disappointment," local resident Veronica Taylor said.' From the Telegraph.
So.... that's fine then. The "sponsors' trucks and official vehicles" of the "People's Games" whizzed by ignoring disabled residents and leaving them disappointed. Bravo Coe!

The BBC woman who was with Jowell last night waiting for the specially painted plane to land was almost manic with excitement, which bodes badly for the actual games. If they get this excited about the lamp (which after all doesn't date back to ancient Athens, or even to the start of the modern games, but in fact (embarrassingly) to Adolph Hitler's 1936 Berlin games (it's being nicknames the Nazi flame) the BBC will surely explode when the first event takes place. (Now wouldn't that be a pity!).

Ever eager to provide a service to its readers, and so that no one misses out on the overwhelming excitement of the occasion, Munguin's Republic links here to a map of all the exciting places that this exciting Nazi torch will visit, in order that you can be prepared with your bunting (handily also useful for jubilee street parties in the rain).
Meanwhile I understand that David Cameron, who has, of course, we understand, nothing at all to do with handing out honours, has instructed civil servants that athletes who win golds will not automatically get gongs. They will have to prove that they have put something back into sport before that will happen. (Suddenly remembering about legacy, Dave?) But I wonder what honours will be heaped upon those who have "organised" this shambles.  Lady Tessa? Sir Boris? and heaven knows what we can give Seb. He's got everything bar membership of the royal family.

I'm reminded that, when asked about the GB football team to be playing at the Olympics and the fact that the Scottish and Welsh FAs were very dubious about be subsumed into the English FA, Coe said:   "Yes to 2012 GB footy team – The Scots and Welsh? F*** 'em". (Footy!!!!... don't you just love it when posh people try to be common. Anyway, right back at ya Seb!!!

Well, there you go. The People's Olympics for all the people's of these islands.

Pics: (1) The authorities won't be happy that two Cornish flags and no butchers' aprons appeared in this photograph. BTW, has the fire gone out in that pic? (2) Dear old Annie carrying the flame off the plane, with Cleggie, Coe and Becks (surely Sir Becks after this). (3) Apparently this is British Airways' "moment to shine" (click to enlarge the pic). If so, all I can say is I hope they have a lot of polish, because it is, without exception, the worst airline I've ever flown, added to which, it's half owned by the Spanish!!!! 

Friday 18 May 2012


Well queen Elizabeth embarrassed us all by welcoming at several odious tyrants to Windsor Castle, England,  today for lunch.

She apparently invited all the monarchs of the world to have luncheon. Hopefully she was paying personally for the food, but the the accommodation, staff and the security was down to you and me.

And it seems that her majesty thought it would be bad manners not to invite, for example, the king of Bahrain, despite the fact that he is a murdering b*****d who only holds on to power by subjecting his people to torture.

Of course the king is very close to the Sau'di royals, and they spend billions on British arms, so that makes the him welcome in the UK. When selling weapons there is no time for sentiment about poor people who have no rights, and who are routinely subjected to violence. We don't seem to bother much either about the imprisonment of medics who treat them, except maybe for Hague stuttering something about it would be very nice if they didn't do that, and could we persuade them to buy more tanks!

In other jubilee news the queen of Spain was stopped from attending the luncheon by the Spanish Government, who are less than happy with the insult of Liz sending prince Edward and his grasping bitch of a wife to visit Gibraltar. What I'd say to the Spaniards is they should think themselves lucky Fat Eddy is only going to Gibraltar. The UK could have wished him on Spain too. Then they really would have had something to moan about.

The king of Cambodia was, as usual, too busy getting on with his job to bother with all the froth and bubbles of yet another Windsor occasion. So at least someone has some sense. Or maybe it is just that as a Buddhist, he would find being in the same room as ملك البحرين, the Swazis and the Kuwaitis.  I know I wouldn't much fancy eating with them.

Still the queen should be happy that, despite the company she keeps, she is more popular than at any time in the past 20 years. This can be attributed to amount of favourable coverage she is getting in the tabloid press and the indecent amount of money this broke country is forking out to congratulate her on the fact that she actually HAS a job, and is setting an example to everyone by working on at it until she dies. Also of course everyone seems to be in love with prince Willie and Kate Middleton. Lovely.

And the even better news is that royal jubilee whisky went on sale today at only £120,000 a bottle.

Life just gets better and better in the UK.

Thursday 17 May 2012


For a nausea inducing few minutes of "we're just ordinary people" you'd go a long way to beat the right honourable Justine (the only pretty one in the cabinet) having a "good old walk up to cabinet".

And if that doesn't do it for you, a bit later there's the jolly old right honourable Francis the minister for creating crises, and this time he's dusting off the jolly old bike and pumping some air into the jolly old tyres and getting his chauffeur to pick him up, no sorry... he gets a bit out of puff, ho ho ho, but it's jolly good for the old circulation, what! 

So what is the purpose of all this carry on, I hear you ask... Well, I don't but I'll tell you anyway...

Well, you see, the muppets who are supposedly organising the London Olympics, in addition to:
* not considering the need for security in the whole of the last 8 years since they were lumbered with, I mean of course, since they took to London the honour of hosting the Olympics and beat the Frogs; 
* not considering that Heathrow couldn't cope with the inevitable influx of passengers;

also took until now...about 6 weeks before the whole thing kicks remember that some people don't have chauffeured cars to get them around and that London's public transport, which was falling to pieces 20 years ago, still has had almost nothing done to it.

So the jolly old wheeze is that they are asking Londoners to get up early, go to work in the middle of the night to avoid the rush hour when the roads and trains will be needed for the Olympics. 

Alternatively they want Londoners to work from home (difficult when you flip burgers for a living, but they probably didn't think about that). And, failing that, they want people to walk to work, or cycle... or swim up the river, or any other means of travel, as long as they don't block the metro and the buses and show the world what a chaotic mess they have made of the whole thing.

But Londoners, have no fear, you are not are all in it together, and, just to prove it, your betters are showing an example. If these important and highly bred people can walk or cycle, or turn up at 6.30 in the morning, then so surely can you. It's for London, for England and St George...and the Queen!


Oh, and the bloke at the end, yeah the one with the... erm...uh, 'interesting, and somewhat daring'... orange tie... yeah you...if you're reading this, it's a good idea, just before you go on camera, to make sure that you brush the dandruff off your suit.

You see, you'll find that once people notice that you have dandruff on your jacket, they lose interest in what you are saying and concentrate on 'les petites pellicules'. Specially when you're terminally boring.

Wednesday 16 May 2012


Stop bragging about giving the pensioners a "record £5.30" a week increase. 

Let's get it clear, it was the amount you were obliged to give them, given that it was the "official" inflation rate at the moment which, by law, these things are settled. 

We all know that the "official" inflation rate is unlikely to be the real inflation rate, especially for the poor who spend a disproportionate amount on food and heat. Given that gas increased by about 17% and electricity by 11%, and that food inflation has been running at around 10%, the £5,30 has not even brought the pensioners back to last year's income.  

You could add (because pensioners are) that to pay for the very rich receiving a reduction in tax on the money they earn OVER £150,000 a year, pensioners will no longer get that little extra tax relief that they have had since Mr Churchill introduced it in 1925. 

It's estimated that this will hit 5 million pensioners and cost them up to £250 a year.

While you are thinking about this "record £5,30", you might also like to remember that, with interest rates at their lowest ever level, pensioners get less and less money from their savings. I never hear that mentioned by the government.

Why not also mention that you reduced the winter fuel allowance by £50 and by a massive £100 for the over 80s. That's £1 and £2 a week respectively. Seemingly that has slipped your collective mind. Strange, given the promise Cameron made to keep all these benefits at the same level as he inherited.

You could, of course, brag instead that, because the law says you have to do this, you were also obliged to pay all the "dole  scroungers" and "sickness benefit cheats" (including the 500,000 that Mr Duncan Smith is going to have off that benefit and back to work in the next four years!!), exactly the same percentage increase? But that doesn't tug at the heart strings of the public, does it? And it's difficult to paint people who are sick or unemployed as demons while bragging that you gave them record level increases, isn't it?

And people might get to thinking that the only reason that there are "record" increases is that there is "record" inflation....

I only warn you out of the goodness of my heart because every pensioner I know gets so angry when they hear it trotted out again and again as if there is some sort of beneficence involved. Even Tory voting pensioners are sick of being used. I fear a rash of heart attacks and pensioner deaths if this bragging continues. And you wouldn't want that, would you?

Monday 14 May 2012


A £1.4bn coalition scheme to boost the economy has failed to achieve value for money, according to the government's official auditors.


Because the scheme is spending as much as £200,000 generating a single job.

Needless to say, Dave and Nick praised the initiative when they visited Essex earlier this week. 

And previously, Nick has said the fund would lead to half a million jobs. But that was a lie. The report forecasts that it will create only up to 41,000 jobs.

Then there's they claim that the fund would help rebalance the economy. It hasn't, has it, Nick?

'£1.4bn regional growth fund not value for money, says finance watchdog.

Back to the drawing board.

PS... the pic is nothing to do with the story... but it's really good. Click to enlarge.

Thursday 10 May 2012


But, they've done it. 

Please, please, before they return us to the 1910s, can we be a separate nation with a social conscience and a care for people outside the the top 2%?

Tuesday 8 May 2012


In the news today I noticed so many things that make living in Britain today what it is...a pain in the ass.
First story to catch my eye was about the committee of MPs who have looked at government plans for the railways, which will, at least in part, affect Scotland (not that we have that many trains). The findings are that trains will become more crowded, more expensive and that there will be fewer of them. Just what we wanted to encourage us out of our cars and on to the public transport.

An early day motion from MPs has noted that the cuts to funding the railways will "worsen passenger services through the loss of thousands of frontline workers from trains, stations, ticket offices, safety-critical infrastructure and operational roles", and "will result in higher fares, cuts in services and more crowded trains". So good news for us then!

Then I noticed that while the rest of the country's workers are getting rises of around 1%, the FTSE chief executives, most of whose companies have lost a vast amount in the past few years, are hauling in rises of around 11%. With inflation at around 4-5% (at least officially), they seem to do rather well out of their failure.

The next story that I read won't affect me personally, but it will affect friends of mine. It is that the cabinet of the UK government, operating as the English government (and therefore I hope that Scottish MPs didn't vote), have decided that they will NOT publish the risk assessments involved in their semi-privatization plans for the English Health Service. 

Lansley's excuse for the veto, after a 19 month campaign by the public to be told, is something to do with allowing officials to give ministers candid opinions, but of course the real reason is that in making vast amounts of money for the companies that will bid for this business, there are going to be huge risks to people's health. When cutting a corner can result in turning in a bit better profit, let's not be in much doubt as to which the private sector will chose. God help the poor English under the Tories. Still, I imagine it will cut the number of people making it to pension age. So that should please them.

It was depressing reading about the incompetence and insensitivity of the DWP writing to families with disabled children warning them that their benefit would be reduced, when it won't.... and I was about to give up on the news when I saw a few cracking good laugh stories...
It seems that Dave and Nick decided to relaunch the coalition today. And they chose as their theme, the economy... you know...creating more jobs and that sort of stuff... unfortunately they chose to do it in a company which is outsourcing jobs to China, from whence executives had to rush in order to meet up with the prime ministers. Nobs or what?

And then there was yet another community leader saying that the good old Big Society, better known by most of us as BS, was a complete shambles. And this was reportedly the reason that Cameron came into politics. Struth, don't you wish he'd not bothered.

So it wasn't all doom and gloom after all.

Saturday 5 May 2012


Aye.....what a day!

Firstly, I'd like to say congratulations to Labour and Johann Lamont. According to a friend of mine in England, who sent me a commiserations email, Labour won in Scotland. So that's good, isn't it? He was astounded when I sent him a copy of figures which the Rev Stu had taken the time and trouble to research. All the press, it seems, down his way (Yorkshire) was concentrating on the "fact" that Labour had taken Glasgow and handily defeated the SNPSo congratulations to Labour; they have this huge advantage in that the state broadcaster is on their side. The final figures, which I shamelessly lift from James at Scot Goes Pop are below. I see that the BBC may have been slightly mistaken in their conclusions:

SNP 424 (+61)
Labour 394 (+46)
Conservatives 115 (-28)
Liberal Democrats 71 (-95)
Greens 14 (+6)
SSP 1 (-)
Others 201 (+8)

Willie Hague, Cameron's Foreign Minister (well, he's from Yorkshire too), was pointing out on Friday morning, that half way into a term (it's obviously slipped his sharp old mind that his government legislated to make this a 5 year term; either that or his arithmetic is faulty) it's not usual for a government to be punished, especially in hard times. I just wondered if Mr Hague would like to comment on the fact that our government is a year into its second term and won 61 new seats!

Massive congratulations to the Dundee SNP who put up 16 candidates, won 16 seats, and will form the next administration. A lot of hard work, by a lot of people, went into that victory. I look forward to life getting better in Dundee, which is SNP administered at local and Scottish level, and with one of its two MLPs. 

I believe that the Liberal Democrats were beaten by a man dressed as a polar bear in Liverpool, and by a man dressed as a penguin in Edinburgh. I don't mention this to poke fun or make cheap points. That's been done already. I'd just say that it emphasises the necessity for the Liberals to look at how on earth they are extricate themselves from this mess that the coalition has brought them to. It's no use saying that things will get better; I doubt that they will. Even if the coalition policies were to be the right ones for dealing with the economic meltdown, they aren't going to be showing any kind of result that people can feel in the next three years. So what to do now...

Don't you just hate, and at the same time love, listening to politicians explaining away the woes of their defeats and spinning them as 'successes really'. Warsi and Alexander and some woman from Labour (who admittedly didn't have to do much of that) were particularly sickening and yet amusing with Dumblebum on BBC 24. Please note it is not the fault of David Cameron, or Nick Clegg that things went wrong, although it would have been down to their magnificent leadership had things gone right. Strangely, although it wouldn't have been the fault of Ed if Labour had lost, it's all down to his inspirational rescue of the party that Labour has done so well. Pfff.

And on that subject Johann Lamont is safe for a while, which is good news for everyone, except presumably the Honourable Paul Martin who may (or may not) be the next Labour leader. Oh what a change from the dour face we had from hera year ago. She actually, maybe for the first time in the last few months, managed to crack a smile. I hardly recognised her. I wonder if she has yet unfollowed her ass of a Facebook friend who suggested that it would be nice of the FM's father would die?


Thursday 3 May 2012

When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I answered "happy". They said that I hadn't understood the question; I answered that they hadn't understood life. 
John Lennon

True, isn't it?

Wednesday 2 May 2012


This morning I heard on the radio that in England there had been an investigation into prescribing by GPs which had found that a totally unacceptable number of errors, some incredibly serious, ie wrong medicine, wrong doze, wrong instructions, were being made. It concluded that many GPs needed to take a course in prescribing and in using the computer system which presumably has drop down options...

It was somewhat surprising to find that the Scottish Daily Express covered the same story as its front page lead, without making  mention (at least in the initial paragraphs: I read it in a shop) of the fact that this was an England only audit.

They surely wouldn't want, just before elections, to give the impression that the Scottish Health Service was falling to pieces? No. That would be dishonourable. And heaven knows the Daily Express would never be knowingly dishonourable.

I expect the journos there are just too stupid or too lazy to have bothered with a separate story for their Scottish edition..


Our Man in America, Danny, sent me this... Hilarious.