Monday 20 January 2014


The UK is a terrible condition, largely as a result of this and the preceding government’s duplicity, mismanagement and incompetence. I thought the following story most apt. 

A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost and spotted a woman on the ground…

“Excuse me”, he shouted. “Can you help me? I promised to meet a friend an hour ago and I don’t know where I am”.

The woman replied: “You’re in a balloon, 30 ft in the air, between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and 50 and 60 degrees west longitude”.

The man replied: “You must be an engineer”.

“I am”, replied the woman, “How did you know?”

The balloonist said: “Everything you told me is factually correct. But I have no idea what to make of it and I’m still lost. Frankly you haven’t been of much help!”

The woman responded: “You must be a politician”.

“Yes, I am”, replied the man. “How did you know?”

Said the engineer, “You don’t know where you are or where you are going. You got where you are on a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you cannot keep, and you expect people below you to sort out your problems. You are in the same position you were in before you met me, but somehow now it’s all my fault!” 


  1. Brilliant ;-)

    A perfect description of Westminster politicians.

    With independence everyone will have a map and compass so we know where we're going, we won't need to ask.

    1. Yeah, I thought it was pretty accurate.

      I don't exclude Scottish politicians from it though, although some are better than others!

  2. Malcolm Wicks autobiography: 'I took what I regarded as an ethical decision'

    But I do not think that, as a 29-year-old civil servant, I would have claimed the right to take further action. In the circumstances, however, I took what I regarded as an ethical decision. My view was that if a Labour government was to abandon its policy, having connived and misled, then I had a duty to leak what happened to the papers – knowing full well that this would have repercussions – so that people would see the truth.

    Westminster like the BBC are dishonest organs and need removing pronto.

    1. Hats off to him for what was effectively breaking the law. I guess sometimes you have to work out whether the law is right or where morality is right.

      When you have a PM who lied to parliament and top the Cabinet, as Wicks had, I think you do what he did.

      Well done to FF for keeping the secret.

    2. I have a nice set of logic for cases like this:

      If the law was perfect, it wouldn't need changing.
      The thing politicians seem to do most is change the law.
      Therefore if the law doesn't need changing then we don't need politicians.

      So either breaking the law is sometimes ok, or we should fire all the politicians.

      Basically: Do what's right, and don't worry about the law catching up. And remind people about the concept of "jury nullification".

  3. tris AKA the snp cheerleader

    Whats your explanation/opinion given your and the snp
    constant deification of Norway.
    seeing as even in Norway income inequality has soared
    since 208.

    1. I'd probably say that given the choice of being at the bottom end in Norway or the UK, I'd still chose the UK, where the poor are despised, newspapers and government combine to demonise them.

      As was being pointed out this morning by the YouGov bloke. All the figures about the poor that people "know", and that inform their attitudes to them, are false, and yet both the Tories and Labour continue to perpetuate them.

      I think life is better in Norway than it is here. I think Norway doesn't owe £1.6 trillion in state debt and even more in household debt.

      I think in Norway the pensions are funded and when the oil runs out, long after you and I are dead, they will have a MASSIVE fund to lean on, mainly because they don't have any desire for WMDs, nor do they have a fetish for killing Muslims all over the world.

      They do have good education and good health care though.

      That's why I like them.

      You'll have to ask the SNP for their opinion.

  4. "Politics is the art of looking for trouble,finding it everywhere,diagnosing it incorrectly,and applying the wrong remedies."

    Groucho Marx.

  5. well one can be forgiven ( knowing the bias that has taken over the republic ) for concluding the politician comment only applies to those outside the snp.

    wee shame reality as ever intrudes.


    I rather everyone have a decent morality, map and compass not needed

    1. Wrong again Niko, as I have told you before.

      You're a bit like old Johann. No matter what anyone says to her she sticks to her script. Bless her.

    2. Well Niko, can you point out an SNP campaign commitment that the SNP didn't follow up on?

      There's a thing called *integrety*, otherwise known as "not being a lying, power-hungrey scumbag who will say anything to get elected".

      I don't agree with the SNP on everything, but at least I know what they're going to do if I vote for them. I can't say the same for any other major party except the tories.

    3. True Illy. The Tories you can trust to hurt to poor and hep their mates. Anything else they promise is rubbish and will almost certainly be overturned or U-turned. The were are and will always be the exceedingly nasty party.

      The SNP you can trust to fight for Scotland's corner.

    4. That wasn't quite what I was getting at.

      The Tories, Labour and LibDems have all made promises to get themselves elected, and then promptly forgotten about those promises as soon as they got their butts into the seats at Westminster.

      I don't think I remember the SNP ever forgetting one of their promises.

      It's not so much that they'll "fight for Scotland's corner" but that they don't often renedge on things they've said that they'll do. And when they do they make sure that they're open about the reasons why (like the Scottish currency).

      Which means that you can believe them when they say that they'll do something, which is more than can be said for Labour.

      That's why I prefer Cameron to Blair, Cameron's honest about being a rich idiot, out to make money for himself and his mates by bleeding the UK dry. Blair claimed to be on the side of the working classes, but had essentially the same policies as Cameron.

      And for what it's worth, the SNP have their hearts in the right place, but I'm not sure about their strategists.

    5. Yes...I take that point too.

      And I agree, even to the point where I prefer Cameron, whom I loathe, to Clegg or Blair/Brown/Miliband, on the basis that, with the Tories, you get what it says on the tin: Spoiled rich brats of indeterminate origins ranging from royalty to spiv lowlife, but with one thing in common. They hate the working classes and their avowed intention is to keep themselves where they are and the rest of us where we are.

      On the other hand Labour is funded by the trades unions to work for poorer people, but their leadership blows the money on looking after the City and making war.

      So I agree.

      But I still say that none of the parties other than the SNP works for Scotland first and foremost.

      Lamont and Davidson are far more interested in keeping London happy than they are in bothering about the likes of us.

      God only knows (or much cares) what the Liberals are about.

  6. tris

    Ohh that hurt....just like Johann !!!!!!! crikey

    Anyway...Just answer truthfully

    Are you now or have you ever been a supporter of Capitalism..

    the problem with your interpretation of a future Norway ignores
    the reality of increasing inequity over time means the outcome
    for Norwegians will be a lot more grimmer then you believe.

    1. Dear Lord Niko, were do you get this stuff from? Please tell me you have not been breathing in UKIP brainfarts again?

      A snide aside to infer Tris must be a communist & then despite all the evidence to the contrary, you project the failings of the UK on to a future Norway. You offer not one single piece of evidence. Just the conviction that it will go the way of the UK...Because it must. You think it must fail because you think of it as being communist? Any country that invests wisely must clearly be communist? All the while the irony of you claiming to be a member of a political party that professes to be "Socialist".

      Its a bit rich for a country that saw its national debt spiral out of control from 400billion to 1.7 trillion, to scoff at a country that has close to a trillion in the bank. Norway didn't win this money on a scratch card. They used their oil wealth wisely. While the UK pissed theirs up a wall. They used the theories of social capital and made the markets work for them. The UK looked the other way will the markets took every advantage they could get.

      And you want us to vote no, so that very same gang of clusterfucks in Westminster, who have piled so much debt on to us, can remain in charge of Scotland's future?

    2. Oh very good Niko...were you at the McCarthy hearings???

      I'm not really a supporter of either in that neither works.

      There are bits of communist theory I like, but I accept that it doesn't actually work, because of natural greed. Everyone is equal, but not me!

      On the other hand capitalism doesn't work,either as the last few years have shown us.

      I think there is not a perfect system, and that includes the Norwegian model.

      But for my money the Scandinavian or Nordic model is the best that I am aware of. Clearly these countries aren't perfect, but if you were offering me a country to be born in now, I'd certainly chose one of them. I'd just hope I'd be well enough off to escape for the worst of the winter!!!

    3. I really wish we had Norway's lack of involvement in world affairs well as its sound financial management.

      I can't help thinking that when people used to play at being world rulers, they managed to pay for it by stealing other people's wealth... spices, minerals, people, whatever.

      Now when Britain plays the big shot, and pays through the nose for it, there is no income to offset the costs.

    4. Niko... did you notice that Ed Balls has asked for a meeting with Alex Salmond to discuss sterling sharing after independence...

  7. Tris, you have to remember that a lot of Labour folk are really Tories.
    When their blue party died in Scotland, the red one was an easy switch.
    No point in debating with old Tories like Niko.

    1. Isn't all of "New Labour" really Tory?

      I thought that was their whole spiel that got Blair elected.

    2. Well, I think you are both right...

      Heath's big mistake was taking the Scottish identity out of the Unionist Party adn making it the Tory Party, and it wasn't that long after that Labour started showing sins of moving to the right, away from the Jimmy Reid kind of Labour Party.

      Blair marched Labour into the Conservative Party's territory and these days the two seem pretty indistinguishable.

      But, to be fair to Niko. He left the Labour Party some time ago in some distress at the route it was taking, and has even received begging letters form Mrs Harman (showing just how much Johann is in charge of in Scotland...Not the MPs, and not the voters... ).

      So, I'd definately not say that Niko was a Tory. He's felt very let down by Labour.

      But in the way that happens I guess, when I or we attack the party he grew up with, he is defensive of them. More out of sentiment for days gone by, and a proper Labour Party than for the rather bedraggled pathetic bunch of second raters we see before us today.

    3. second raters? Methinks you do give them too much credit, sir!


    4. I'm generous to a fault, Eck!

    5. There seem to be a lot of Labour folks in that "What happened to my party" denial.

      If only there was a party that had the same values as "Old Labour" and a history of following through on it's campaign promises...