Sunday 17 February 2013




"It may look like a load of bull, but this image makes a serious point. For many years, since the days of the BSE crisis, the Scottish meat industry has worked tirelessly to make its products totally traceable. Every steak or sausage on a butcher's shelf can be traced back to the farm, and even the animal, from which it came.

Scotland has long had a reputation for producing the finest meat products on the planet and now it (rightly) has a reputation for producing the safest too. This of course comes at a cost and Scottish meats carry a premium over lower quality equivalents.

Large retailers, including many in the UK, have been moving away from Scottish producers, in favour of other cheaper sources, in a drive to reduce prices for consumers. This 'race to the bottom' has caused many corners to be cut and has even promoted widespread fraud, as we have seen in recent weeks.

Scottish butchers have seen increases in sales of over 25% since the 'horsegate' scandal began, as consumers have returned to buying higher quality and safer products. Now we should all begin to put pressure on the supermarkets to source their own products from traceable Scottish sources and stop using 'dodgy' ingredients of uncertain provenance."
(From Yes To An Independent Scotland)

The butchers' shops around our way have certainly had queues out the door this weekend, but we need to remember that not everyone can afford to do that kind of luxury. 

There was a government minister on QT who was all for shopping locally, but of course she collects £300+ tax free every day as an aristocrat (incidentally, one which was dumped by her Commons constituency and promptly sent to the Lords to show that no matter how much the stupid voters didn't want her in parliament, they were going to get her one way or the other). Then she has her ministerial salary on top of that, so exorbitant prices probably don't phase her much. 

When you feed your kids value burgers, because that's all you can afford, I'm not quite sure where you go once you find out that they are dodgy and quite possibly lethal. 

When you sit in the House of Lords, the answer is probably ... your local high quality butchers.

Once again while the aristocrats are safely shielded from the misery, ordinary commoners find themselves badly let down.


  1. Tris

    The horsemeant scandal is just a symptom of all that is wrong with our country and politics. Did the goverment know of this scandal, I think we might just find out that they did. That they were warned a few years ago and did nothing. They pay poverty social security so having cheap horse available to the unwashed on poor house budgets is a good thing. It creates an illusion that at the very least the kids can still eat a little meat. As for that bloody Liberal Tory woman , don't get me started.

  2. You know, Bruce, once upon a time I would have though ... no, they couldn't possibly know and do nothing about it; not in the UK.

    Now of course, I would be surprised if someone didn't know, but said nothing because they though that a directorship would be quite handy in the future.

    George Galloway was quite amusing, and bang on. And that Maria Whatsit just wouldn't answer the question about sacking 700 agency workers...

  3. QT is often populated by posturing idiots, I think it serves to demonstrate just how out of touch some (most) MP's are, the idea that people in Britain can all afford to frequent boutique butchers and farm shops? Its laughable.

    The idea that we all flounce around in beret & scarf combos sooking on humous or cous cous is a nonsense, people buy cheap food because they have no choice, when I hear any MP (or MSP) go on about what people 'should' be doing I'm instantly turned off, especially if its bookended by some pithy remark from the marble-sucking Dimbleby.

  4. I tend not to watch QT because I can't stand the BBC/Dumbleby bias, and the fact that the people who appear on there just tow the party line regardless.

    Their opinion on what ordinary people should do is of course completely useless to the ordinary people, because they long ago ceased to think of themselves as average, ordinary people. They are paid too much, treated too much like royalty and live far to much tin their own little bubble to have any knowledge of what life is like to 95% of us.

    Idiotic women telling us that we must try to shop at, as you call them "boutique butchers" just make me want to smack them.

    How on earth do you do that on £150 a week, with £80 rent, £20 council tax and gas and electricity rising at 3 times the inflation rate?

  5. errr! Scuse me but dont the snp msps and MPs eat at the best eateries for free or near enough

    Alex Salmonds food bill for one month would keep a normal family in eats for many a year
    plus him and all the snp big wigs manage to scoff at all the very best restaurants now they have become troughers.

  6. New euro czar 'will cost Government thousands

    No doubt the snp will ensure he wont have pay for his expensive food

    Once again while the 'SNP' aristocrats are safely shielded from the misery, ordinary commoners find themselves badly let down.

    Sounds about right

  7. Nicola and hubby clear £ 250000 r a 1/4 of a million quid between them a year that a million quid in only four years.


    Once again while the aristocrats and the snp leaders are safely shielded from the misery, ordinary commoners find themselves badly let down.

  8. Totally agree, Niko. All MPs have the same treatment.

    Different in Holyrood though. They have a restaurant, but most of them just go to the canteen/cafeteria, where the food is reasonable, and if it is subsidised it's not much subsidised. I've eaten there myself and it's ok without being spectacular.

    It's self service and you have to take your dirty dishes back whether you are a clerk, a window cleaner or the Cabinet Secretary for Finance. Tables have no clothes and cutlery is bog standard.

    To Labour's credit, Holyrood is much more egalitarian.

  9. If he is working in parliament he will pay for his food the same as any one else.

    Every government has advisor ... Spads, they are know as in London.

    What blunders? I see it was just "Labour" that said it, which is of course nonsense. Clearly the paper made it up, otherwise they would have elaborated and there would have been a name that we could have gone to for further information.



  11. You will see Niko, that these people are paid nicely. Not nearly as much as Westminster MPs, but good salaries.'_salaries,_expenses_and_allowances

    Should it be less? Yes probably.

    Can someone who earns 3 or 3 time the average wage, know what it is like for someone on less than £10,000 a year?


    Can Nicola know?

    Of course not.

  12. I would also add, that story from the herald is another puff piece, criticizing the SNP for employing an adviser on EU matters when the UK government has just spanked how much money on EU advice? We don't know do we, like we don't know how much this EU Czar will cost either. Here we have the Herald lauding advice 'gained' by Westminster but pouring scorn on Holyrood when it tries to do the same.

    Its risible, as is suggesting an MSP from what ever party dines extravagantly without supplying any supporting evidence just to suit your argument.

  13. One of your regular posters has a very unhealthy fixation on the First Minister. I expect he gets aroused at the sight of the First Minister.

  14. More magical thinking from Nicola

    she says

    Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government was arguing for a "continuation of the status quo"

    and obviously all those who before had to jump through all kinds of hoops will joyfully
    allow the snp a favourable advantage and let them in on a nod.
    I wont even mention the Spain and Catalonia conundrum

    After the recommendations from Brussels and Frankfurt, a final decision will rest with the eurozone governments,

  15. Ah, Westminster can do no wrong it appears.

    It can spend anything it likes on fighting wars in the Middle East or Maghreb; it can kill at will; it can put aside a hundred billion for nuclear weapons of mass destruction; it can sew the seeds hopefully of its own destruction by ordering social security cuts that will put hundreds of thousands on the street at a cost of hundreds of billions to the taxpayers; it can spend vast amounts on EU advice and spads in general...including one minister appointing his chauffeur and friend who had no knowledge to offer except as a chauffeur.

    But if the Scottish government pays an academic to provide best advice on how the EU situation should be taken forward, it is ripped to shreds.

    I note that no one has come forward to point out what the blunders were, as I asked above. I do remember that Labour said there were blunders but that it was found that the government had acted correctly. Still why would Labour let the truth get in the way of bashing the Scottish government.

    Interestingly, the UK government could ask for a decisive ruling on Scotland's situation, but it won't, because it knows perfectly well that it is far better publicity for it to suggest, and for the anti-Scotland newspapers to suggest that the EU will chuck Scotland out, and the UN won't want us, and neither will anyone else...

    After all, we only have oil, water, fish and renewables... Who'd want Scotland?

  16. Anon: Strange you should say that. I've noticed it too. Can't work out why, but there is no accounting for taste!

  17. Niko: The others before had to jump through hoops because they didn't meet EU standards on a massive range of stuff from economics to human rights, employment conditions heath and safety, food standards (not the Britain can brag much about most of these).

    The time taken to get these things in alignment is the time taken to join the EU

    As Scotland is a member as a county of England, we have all these things in place. They cannot be faulted. There are EU offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We already have projects all over Scotland with the 12 stars on them. We don't have to align.

    It's simple. Either they accept us, which they have never refused to do with a country, or they don't.

    The actual terms have to be worked out. Do we get the same rebate as the UK got? Well, we don't want it, because we had to give up all sorts of agricultural and fisheries benefits to get it. it ran out during Blair's time and he wanted to keep it, otherwise he would have looked soft, but to keep it he bargained away things that most of the population don't give a stuff about.

  18. Shrewcoo is the not Scottish beef animal.

    Niko has a childish crush over the SNP he'll grown out of it and start to respect them in the end.

    Scottish Labour is suddenly all about poverty, but it looks more like a means to attack the SNP than a realisation of past errors. Credibility comes from action, not PR.

    So if Labour thinks that more self-righteous attempts to tell the media pack that it is ‘reclaiming the left’ is the same as reclaiming the left, it remains a Party deluding itself. We’ve heard you cry “wolf!”. Now shed some tears of repentance and show us a thought-through alternative to inequality. Or stay where you are.

  19. That's a good article CH.

    They are pretty balanced in their praise and criticism. They've often criticised the government, but they are pretty dismissive of Labour tearing up socialism.

  20. The left wing is seeing the wood from the trees tris and can see the shallowness of the Labour party of being full of me me me creeps.

    The tide is turning and when the Big Brother Corporation is shown as Labour's mouthpiece then the tsunami will flow in full force.

  21. I really hope so, because whatever the future for Scotland, as a country or a county, we need to make sure that we can shed these dreadful right wing policies of London.

    Wait for this summer when we start seeing the result of the bedroom tax in Scotland too, and the cut in the housing benefits pot to the England. Hundreds of thousands of people homeless. At VAST cost to councils around £25,000 per eviction!... and then anyone vulnerable will have to be rehoused, and, presumably because there are very few single bedroom flats, will be evicted again, and then rehoused.

    I mean, honestly... what a load of cack-handed morons.

    (Phew, this is my blog, so Caron can't tell me I'm not allowed to call government ministers morons... which is just as well, because that's praising them up!)

  22. Lib Dems 'clinically insane' says psychiatrist it was quite funny re caron as I have been moderated twice on Lib Dem voice the last time when she was defending Ashdown's support for drone bombings and I accused him as a warmonger, charlatans.

    People voting YES have nothing to lose and everything to gain as the UK is offering bugger all except more of the same and worse.