Friday 30 May 2014


It was the day for political yesterday's men to be interviewed on the Today programme which I half listened to this morning. The "star" was John Major, on the EU and Ukip threat interviewed by John Humphries.

But earlier we had the pleasure of the views of Lord Sir David Steel, ex MP, ex, MSP, ex presiding officer, and current member of the retirement home chamber, on the independence referendum, with the more junior Justin Webb.

So what did his nobleness and beknightedness bring to the table? Anything of interest?

In a word, nope.

The excuse for having him on was that he’s hosting a meeting tonight, in company with his colleague from the days of the Liberal/SDP marriage, Shirley Williams as she once was.

He says that the Liberals want, as they say they have always wanted, federalism, or devolution max. A Scotland that raises the taxes it spends.

I’m not sure if David Steel knows that his party is now in government and that the days of wanting things but not being listened to are (at least for the next few months) over.

I’m wondering if he is aware that it was a Liberal Secretary of State that went with Cameron to Edinburgh to agree the terms of the referendum. 

I’m wondering if it ever occurs to him that the time for settling a devo max, federalist option might have been back then, when his Liberal Secretary of State at the Scotland Office was sitting with the Prime Minister, First Minister and Deputy First Minister agreeing terms. 

I’m wondering if he knows that that’s not really what Willie Rennie is arguing for. I even wondered briefly if he knew who Willie Rennie was.

His arguments are, of course, the benefits of the union, and although he may have more up his sleeve for tonight, among the ones he trotted out this morning was that we were a fabulously successful union (and from his point of view one cannot argue that. With his K and his elevation to the aristocracy, it’s certainly worked well for him.).

He also repeated that we fought together in the world wars (but neglected to mention that we also fought alongside many other countries which don’t have their pensions, taxes and social security set by London.

He bemoaned the fact that this discussion had been going on for 3 years, although the official campaign was just starting. No-one of course pointed out to him that from the moment that the SNP majority government, with a referendum in their manifesto, became reality, the unionists never ceased demanding a date for that referendum, and that his coalition’s prime minister and his party’s Secretaries of State (all three of them) never talked about Scotland in terms other than the referendum.

Same old, same old, with no counter arguments from Webb, who had tried to hijack the interview before it even started, for something that clearly he thought was of more interest than Jockland (more of which later). To his credit Steel was snippy with him and pointed out that he had come on to talk about Scotland.

The interesting thing was Steel seemed to be rather less than interested in the finances of the matter and maybe, given Alexander's faux pas of this week that's not surprising. It was, he said, going to be expensive. Divorce always was. But it was not about the money; it was about the kind of country we wanted to live in, and no one wanted to live in a country that would want to break up a union…well, that’s what he said. Lady Steel anyone?

And so now we know the views of a man who has a pension from being an MP; a pension from being an MSP, and a Presiding Officer, a state pension, and £300+ a day tax free and as much subsidised food and drink as he wants for sitting around in a royal palace being referred to as milord. 

It’s not about money, eh David, erm I mean your grace and your sirhood.

No one thought to ask him what he thought of Danny's invented figures nor of his possible future in the House of Lords when he doesn't get himself re-elected.

But Justin did want to talk about something that his English listeners were interested in. Namely Lord Rennard and his mealy mouthed and obviously insincere apologies for his inappropriate behaviour. (As in…”OK OK, you’ve been going on and on about it for ages. I’m sorry I touched up the women. It was totally accidental. I didn’t mean it. Now can I be reinstalled in the party with my old position?”).

It seems that aristocrats are better sticking together, because Mr Steel thought that mr Rennard had apologised and should be given back the whip. Lord knows what he'll do with a whip. The mind boggles.

But then, you have to remember that this is David Steel we're talking about. ? Cyril Smith anyone?


  1. What a slap in the face for a politician when he can't even convince his wife, far less the voters, to vote No.

    1. To be honest, he's not a very convincing bloke. I was reminded today by my dentist of his Spitting Image puppet. A tiny little man with a squeaky voice , in the pocket of David Owen.

      Sharing a stage with Mrs Williams is going to make him look like the midget that he is.

  2. You really DID have to bring up that Rennard Lordshipness and whips in the same sentence didn't you Tris! You do realise that I'm now going to have an image of Rennard whip in hand and.........well let's not go there, let's just not go there all right! LOL

    1. Oh dear, oh dear. I hope you don't think I did that on purpose, do you?


      I hope you sleep ok tonight (but I'd a have a few drinks if I were you!!!)

  3. niko batshit madMay 30, 2014 5:30 pm

    And so now we know the views of a man who has a pension from being an MP; a pension from being an MSP, and a pension from being first minster and a state pension .....

    That would be Alex two jobs salmond

    1. Yes. I agree Niko. He'll be well off when he retires too. As will they all.

      And, if I'm not mistaken, they get the FM/PM pension from when they stand down too. No waiting till they are 68.

      If so Henry McLeish got a pension in his 40s after being in the job for an indecently short period of time.

      They all have fabulous pensions, and the ones that tropt off to the Lords make a fortune.

      But Salmond hasn't said that being better off doesn't matter. Mr Steel has.

    2. Love the new name Niko, sums you up to a T.
      One thing A. Salmond will not have is access to the Retirement Home otherwise known House of Lardies. Show me one SNP Lord.

  4. Honest John Major thats the one who was sleeping with Edwina Currie (yuk !) behind his wife's back whilst prime minister ..still he said it was "the most shameful event in his life". (properly not )well thats alright then.

    wots wrong with these people they live on completely different planet
    Tony Blair the other day said about the EU

    ' we cant turn our back on the modern world '

    Meanwhile the UK under the Tory Lib Dems reinvents Dickensian Britain

    1. What's wrong with them is that they inhabit a different world.

      A world where they get paid between double and 6 times the average wage and something in the order of between 6 and 20 times the minimum wage.

      They travel first class; they have incredibly generous allowances and expenses; they still don;t have to show receipts for everything they buy and they are used to being treated with respect.

      They work in a royal palace and aren't subject to the ordinary laws of the land.

      Vast numbers get themselves on to all sorts of boards and inquiries and get extra money for that. They get trips abroad subsidised food and drink.

      Unholy numbers of them get honours, and FAR too many are made aristocrats and wave their ridiculous titles around like the idiotic old farts that they are.

      And they seem to be allowed to take unlimited time off work to cope with the nervous breakdown they have when they get caught stealing of interfering with people, male, female, adults and children.

      Even spending time in prison doesn't mean them losing their salary or pensions.... or titles.

      We are mad to allow it.

      We are mad.

    2. I would not refer to his greatness Tony Blair in any way Niko, not popular with the thinking folk.
      Now I am no fan of the Tories in any form, Lord Prescott. oops I missed out a T in his name, Lord Martin. All good working class Socialists, aye right.

  5. We wait ages for a 'niko' post and two come along at once.

    Whoopy Doo!

    1. And both are not going anywhere.

    2. Just like British public transport then...

      Thanks heavens he doesn't charge twice what a French Niko would charge!!

  6. LDs are a bunch of charlatans who got elected under the false promise 'we are different', bullshit.

    1. They are just Tories. That Alexander is more Tory than most Tories. Disgusting pompous little nobody.

  7. OT

    Have you seen this weirdly disturbing picture of "Alex Cameron and David Salmond"?

    1. We would never know the truth without photoshop to protect us from the lizards.

    2. Marginally more disgusting than the thought of Lord Rennard with a whip, and nearly as foul as the thought of Cyril Smith spanking boys.

  8. I do wonder where his teensie feet dangle sitting in his pumped up hairdressers chair?No barber shop for that bouffant.I know where I'd like to dangle my size 11's.Now where's that other son of the manse?

    1. Him?

      Who knows?

      It's a good bet we know where he won't be though. That's much easier.

  9. Oops,apologies.Meant Lord Stalin,eh Steel.All for animal rights,except for stoats.The chappie has a known furry ermine fetish.Incurable in re-tread Lib/Lab politicos.

    1. Well, he seems to enjoy dressing up in a variety of comic costumes. Perhaps when he became David Owens puppet he got used to playing a jester role and rather liked the bright colours and feathery hats.

      How anyone could demean themselves by dressing like a character in a Ruritanian opereta, whilst not on stage, I have no earthly idea. They just make me giggle uncontrollably!