Tuesday, 5 February 2013



This guy pretty much defies description. 

I've been pondering over what kind of Liberal Democrat actually thinks its a good idea for a badly off couple who for reasons, perhaps of ill health or age, need to sleep in separate bedrooms, to be hit with a 25% increase in their housing costs.

I wondered what kind of Liberal Democrat takes the notion that it's fair for the parents  of a disabled child who for various reasons cannot share a bedroom with his brother (or her sister), to be hit with this burden.

And I wonder if Mr Rennie had given any consideration to the couples with two children of different genders only a couple of years below the age at which they are required by law to have separate sleeping accommodation, who didn't want the financial (and school) upheaval of moving in 2 years' time and who took a house with an extra bedroom, or indeed the fact that the depleted pubic housing stock often has an insufficiency of single bedroom accommodation.

The Tory line, of course, as in all these "welfare" reforms is to grandly inform us that this is being done for the peasants' own good. Noblesse Oblige, as it were, says that they throw non swimmers in at the deep end of the pool in the hope that they will swim... if they sink, well, what can ye dae?

This may work in the Tory shires, but, I think, Mr Rennie, it will go down like a lead balloon here.

So too, among those with a little bit of brain and the ability to use it, will the latest rant about how the SNP hasn't thought about how difficult it will be to  arrange the unpicking of the Treaty of Union if and when a YES vote comes in 2014.

He has a list of the number of things that will have to be done, double counting as he goes and adding in some that don't exist. 

Why does he think that Scots and English, or the British, if you prefer, are so  incompetent that they can't manage to negotiate the split in 16 months. Other countries have managed perfectly well. 

Of course, with his connections in London, he may be aware of the kind of barriers they are planning to put up to the dotting of every"i" or "j" and the crossing of every "t".

Sorry Willie. If you don't have anything sensible to say, it's better to say nothing. John Swinney, Nicola Sturgeon  and Alex Salmond have proved over again their level of competence. It is, I think, highly unlikely that they have worked out how to get this far, but failed to take into consideration the job that lies ahead, don't you? Even if there is a lot of paperwork, they are up for it. You can't give up on independence because  "the paperwork will be a hassle"!

And finally.... on the subject of the Liberals....

Congratulations to the Right Honourable Chris Huhne for lying his way through the last few years. Right up to the end he maintained innocence, and tried to get the case dismissed. 

Congratulations too, to Vicky Pryce. Goodness me, the poor little timid international economist, was coerced into lying her backside off so that Huhne could get to the top of the greasy pole. When indeed he did, and far farther than either of them had ever dreamed, he dropped her for someone else, and left her to fall into the arms of the equally despicable cheat, Dennis McShane, and she suddenly felt less coerced, a new and liberated, educated, upper middle class, wealthy woman, so she dobbed him in. 

I hope they both go to prison for as long as is possible, and that they are made to pay the costs of this case, which must be enormous. I fail to see why the English taxpayer should be lumbered with it.

I feel nothing but pity for Peter Huhne. These texts, sent over months and years show a loathing of his selfish bastard of a father that will almost certainly affect him all his life. 


  1. Mr Huhne still isn't admitting the full scale of the wrongdoing and is claiming it was all "ten years ago" . Yet up until yesterday he was denying any lying or wrongdoing. So it's ten years of lying rather than lying ten years ago.

    To be forgiven he must first repent all of his sins. According to Christian beliefs. And the probation officer assigned to his rehabilitation into the community.

    All those useless windmills and rocketing energy bill scams that he's landed us with are much worse than any speeding carry ons he's done.

    1. Record Wind Power Generated From ScottishPower Renewables Windfarms

      So useless they only produce usable electricity with no waste to dispose of depleting the employment potential of dealing with at taxpayers expense!

  2. tris

    Yeah well why dont the bedroom tax apply to private housing
    after many are in receipt of various benefits surely the same
    sanction should in consistency should be given the same help
    of welfare.

    1. Perhaps you should direct your question to the MPs that voted the policy in rather than a blogger, albeit a good one. However I would suggest it is due to the three neoliberal parties NuLabour, Lib Dems and Conversatives doing what neo-liberals do i.e taking shafting the public sector and diverting the funds to their donors and voters in the private sector. NuLAbour started it with ATOS, Capita, PFI and the coalition are merely continuing in this Thatcherite tradition,

  3. Tris

    I tweeted Willie and he did send me the link to the treaties.Basically what he has done is add all the treaties and tweaks since Scotland was forced into this Union against the will of the people. So while he is factually correct it's all a bit boring really and just more scare mongering. I think the no campaign are getting more and more desperate.

  4. Oh well... if it was all ten years ago we should probably just forget it, Monty, don't you think.

    Does he get to keep the appellation Rt Hon?

  5. That's a pretty impressive amount CH. 67%. It makes our government's targets look quite achievable.

  6. No idea, Niko. Probably because of the uproar. maybe mr Rennie doesn't think that unemployed house owners deserve the government's help to sell their houses and buy a campervan or a tent.

    Probably that's it. The Liberals have decided to be a party of the poor.

    Bless them (sniff)

  7. PP has a good point Niko. It's not my fault and I don't know.

    Actually, if you discount Willie's running off tat the mouth about how it's good for people to have to downsize, so they can take any old job that comes along 4 hours a week at minimum wage on a zero hour contract, it may well be that if they did it to people who had their own homes, a load of them would sell up and that would know the bottom out of the housing market and that would affect MPs.

    Thank you for the compliment PP! :) Undeserved, buy more than welcome!

  8. Ha ha Bruce, I saw the list that Stu has put up... Oh...all THAT PAPERWORK....


    I mean REALLY. Most of this could be sorted in one fell swoop, and ratified by the Scottish government.

    Most of it would not need to be. The UK will still exist. And I'm sure we are not about to start a war over the border of Canada and Alaska, or the fact that Albania joined the EU military force in North Africa.

    Hassle, hassle, hassle. If ever there was a glass half empty bloke, it's wee Willie.

    Still it was good of him to point you in the direction of his morning's work.

  9. tris

    Willies view on the bedroom tax is just wrong whichever way you look at it. It's just all a game to them, the treaties, the poor, just all a game to keep us shackled.

  10. Tris

    It was nice of him to send the link, I bet he was wondering how often he would be doing that today lol.

  11. Yes Bruce. It's a pathetic and patronising way to treat poor people and I suspect that most THINKING Liberals will have seen it for what it was. If you live somewhere very very derelict you can afford to take a part time job at a very low wage...while I get a big fat pay cheque for spouting crap.

    That, folks is Scotland under the Libs. Fortunately, as someone said earlier on another threat, he's the leader of a party of 4 other MSPs,he doesn't have much influence....

    He didn't respond to Stu on WOS, though.

  12. Is Rennie acting or is he really that dumb? On second thoughts he would make dreadful actor.

    Thurs FMQs his question is something about the SG cabinet.

    FM We will be discussing how we can assist the Government of Canada concerning Transport Assistance by the Canadian Armed Forces to the Election Observers in Southern Rhodesia

  13. In 1980....?

    Rennie is just a joke.

    He keeps on trotting out the English policy. He must know that it will sink without trace. What's the betting that they will lose seats in the next election? 5 down to 3 is my guess.

  14. Question, who is that curly haired young chap in the last picture?

    I don't recognise him

  15. On the content of the blog post and comments:

    Surely the issue isn't the 'size' of the housing bill but the lack of rent controls?

    Even if you reduced the 'welfare' (hate that term, its social security actually) budget being spent on social housing costs - it doesn't solve the problem; namely the profiteering by private landlords!

    1. Dean

      Totally agree ,set private sector rents the same as social housing and you will suddenly see a social housing building policy. I worked in homelessness for four years and was always an idea we had.

  16. Peter Huhne, Dean.

    Completely agree that rents should be controlled.

    I'm interested that Bruce says the same, having worked in the that field.

    The trouble is, surely, that if property prices are sky high, you can expect the private landlord to charge more for rent. He has to recoup his building/buying costs.

    It really does come back to making the state the provider of homes for those that cannot, or do not want to, purchase.

    The trouble with that seems to be that the state has tended to build, for costs sake, sprawling ugly estates that have in so many cases, become dilapidated far too quickly.

    And we can see that in England anyway, the idea of treating one of these state houses as a HOME, has been knocked on the head, with housing ministers telling people that they have to be prepared to move when their circumstances change (regardless of whether they are collecting benefits).

    In one way fair enough (so that the state maximises the use of its properties), but in another way bad, because you can be torn up and transplanted at the drop of a hat, because your circumstances have changed, leaving behind a house upon which you may have lavished a good deal of your time and effort, and moved into a house which has been let run to seed.

    Not much incentive to do the garden, or redecorate...etc.

  17. A tod off-subject but it seems they have managed to put a face to Richard 111 since his sketeton was dug up. Subsequently, ATOS has classed him as being "fit for work"!

  18. Tris

    Housing is a huge debate but a part of it is what do you believe in. Housing and the private sector is a cash cow, either the company that builds a few hundred at a time or the individual who rent their flat to pay for their new house. While being legal is it moral, I think that charging sky high rents for huge profits or to pay for your next house is not a public service, it is the market. I'm all for a market place but an ethical one, I'm all for banking but an ethical system. People can make profit but ethically, take away the excessive profits and maybe we would all have a better country to live in, at least a starting point. We could go on to the redistribution of wealth.
    If we are to have a private rented sector then it has to be strictly managed, if we are going to allow people to register as a social landlord as if they are providing a public service then the local authority should set the rent taking into account all costs including the investment of the provider, but not allowing the provider to set their rent if not linked to housing benefit. The private sector don't want HB tenants in the main because it restricts their profit but they know they have a cash cow due to the state of housing in this country and what we have allowed it to become. Homelessness is a crime as far as I am concerned, anywhere in the world.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. I agree with Bruce.

    How can anyone claim to be progressive in their politics if the wink at homelessness, and exploitation for profit in the housing sector?

    Honest question here, is power to legislate for rent control a devolved issue?

  21. Might there be more money in the SNP budget for housing?

    Labour pressure working for the vulnerable! :)


    1. Dean

      It sure is. Labour pressured the sick and the disabled by employing ATOS to hound and vilify them.

      Labour pressured the unemployed by forcing them into unpaid "work" or lose their already low benefits, by setting up Welfare to Work.

      Labour pressured the low paid by doubling the starting rate of tax from 10p to 20p.

      Yes you are correct to say that Labour are pressuring the vulnerable, and they have been doing it for a long time.

      A lifelong tory supporting Labour, well no surprise there as their policies are identical.

  22. Now there's a wee problem for the DWP, John. How are they going to get him into work.

    I'd say send him to Tesco on one of these work-for-nothing contracts. He'd be as much use as some of the staff that were in teh shop the last time I went there.

  23. Bang on Bruce. Housing, power (electricity and gas) and water, seem to be things that are utterly vital.

    I'd like to see more proper council housing, but built with care and a bit of artistry. In short attractive places to live, and places you can take a pride in. Set a t a reasonable rent. Anyone else who provides social housing should be restricted to the same level of rents as are charged by the council.

    And homelessness is a crime, Bruce. I agree with you. No one should be homeless.

    I noticed that Alex Salmond suggested that the right to a roof over you head should be enshrined in a Scottish constitution. I'm inclined to be for that.

  24. I don't know if Scotland has the right to legislate for that, Dean. I'd like to know. And if they do, I'd like to see it done.

    To be fair to the current government they have stopped the sale of council houses and started building them again. In Dundee they have started rebuilding an area in which the houses had become derelict. They are building beautiful town houses, some with a view over a tree filled park and a small river.

    I hope that there will be a lot more housing built. Selling off the stock was a disastrous experiment and goes a long way to explaining the mess we are in housing-wise.

    In England there is, of course, no point in building council housing, as it can still be bought up.

    I'm pleased to see the government listening to the Conservatives and Labour. I'd much rather have some sort of consensus than this continual squabbling.

    Before the last election (and the arrival of Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie) it seemed that both the Liberals (despite their leader's passionate hatred of the SNP) and the Tories (because they were led by one of the most sensible leaders the Tories have ever had) worked closely with the government in a wide range of projects from drug and drink issues to policing and housing.

    I liked that kind of approach. Unfortunately Labour has rarely taken been prepared to do this.

    One additional benefit of providing council housing is that it has to be built, giving work to a fair number of people in the process.