Sunday 5 October 2014


The Liberals have held their conference in Glasgow. It may or may not still be going on.

They talked about what they would do if they were in government. Danny Alexander took of his glasses and his tie and rolled up his sleeve to make his speech. Someone suggested he is making a play for the leadership. 

Wouldn't that be rather foolish given that opinion polls show that he is unlikely to retain his seat at the election?

In other news it has been unseasonably warm in September.

I don't have any time at all for someone who collects £40,000 worth of Housing Benefit by lying that they are living alone, when they are living with a partner. The money doesn't grow on trees. We have to pay taxes for it.

What I fail to understand is why one benefit cheat gets 6 months' prison and a criminal record for dishonesty which will make any future employment very difficult to obtain...and the other one gets to keep a £66,000 a year job, only losing his Cabinet Minister Salary for 18 months, gets no criminal record and spends not one micro second in the clink.

Fair? Decent? 

Class ridden?

Can anyone explain?


  1. tris

    ' The money doesn't grow on trees. We have to pay taxes for it. '

    Your such a silly billy Gideon and Cam have only last week shown it does
    grow on trees...............and you only have to reach out and pluck as much as you
    want (not need )

    Mind that's only for the £100.000 plus a year lot well what would the poor do with
    more money only spend on fags, beer , sky tv or snp membership.

    Can anyone explain?

    yeah ! its how democracy works under neo-liberal capitalism hegemony

    1. LOL That was very good Niko. :)

    2. LOL... I'll get the back garden to work...

      I'm a bit short this month!

    3. Niko, have to say I find the word democracy being uttered from any supporter of the NO campaign to be in really bad taste.

  2. To answer your question in the last paragraph it is because we never have lived in a democracy no matter what politicians or Niko tell us. We have at best a dictatorship heading into totalitarianism when both of the largest parties in the UK have similar policies.

    1. That's true. For a country that bangs on about spreading democracy over the world (and a population that swallows it, whilst accepting the close relationships that the UK has with Saudi, Bahrain and the likes), the UK is one of the least democratic countries in the western world.

    2. Too true, and it suited the politicals to have people disinterested. I think it was Macart who coined the Westminster Party to cover them all recently. I think that covers it or Slag.

    3. It is a Parliamentary Monarchy, not a democracy, just as France is a Presidential Monarchy.

    4. Yes, and in no way is it democratic. An hereditary head of state and members of her family who have the right to interfere in politics and do so (even though we were always told that they didn't. The fact is that they always had these powers. They fell out of use during Victoria's protracted bereavement leave of some 20+ years, but they never actually disappeared.).

      Then there is a Privy Council of appointed those and such as thoses. Then a House of Peers with unelected aristos, unelected bishops from only one religion, and people who are made life aristos in return for services (or money) rendered to the party of the day.

      Next we have an elected house, chosen by first past the post electoral system which, in many cases, leaves the same person in power for a lifetime and in which 2/3 of seats pretty much never change party. This same house which provides most of the members of the government, is populated by people who wish to impress their party leader for advancement. Coupled with a whipping system which will ruthlessly snitch secrets to one's wife or children, or the press, if one doesn't tow the party line, the prime minister more or less is a dictator in the house.

      Finally, when people do lose their seat, pretty much no matter how completely and utterly ridiculously useless they have been, as long as they have kept favour with their party leader, they are allowed to continue in parliament by being appointed aristocrats.

      Hence when the people of Bath decided that Chris Patten was no longer their choice of MP, his close friend, John Major made him a lord, and said "sod you" to the electorate. When Ian Lang lost his seat, despite never having been anything more substantial than Mrs Thatcher's milk sop in Scotland, he too was sent to the great sleeping room at Westminster with a noble title.

      So no matter how repugnant these people are, we are lumbered with them (and the expense thereof) until they fall off their perch.

      If we looked at a system like that anywhere else in the world we would criticise it for a lack of democratic accountability, unless of course its royal rulers were friends with the Windsors, or they bought large amounts of English weaponry.

  3. Yes, absolutely. I agree with a lot of that.

    It's much less about nationalism and much more about the utterly crap and totally corrupt way that the London or Madrid establishment runs things for their own good and to the detriment of everyone else.

    The Catalan situation is interesting inasmuch that according to the sovereign government of Spain, it is illegal. At least, give Cameron his due, he wasn't stupid enough to try that here.

    But what do you do if legal or illegal the people vote overwhelmingly for independence?

    Do you ignore them...? What kind of trouble do you store for yourself in that situation?

    Would the Council of Europe not have something to say

    Most people can see that the smaller countries are more successful at dealing with problems. The happiest nations are the northern Scandinavian ones of between less than a million and 8 or 9 million. The richest too, if you exclude Luxembourg and the micro states of Monaco, Andorra and Liechtenstein.

    Anyway, thanks for sending it. It was a good read.

  4. Remember how Labour were frightening people that the NHS would be threatened by voting Yes it seems that it was the complete reverse, now who would of thunk it.

    Labour NHS funding pledge unravels

    The disclosure sparked a row, with the coalition parties accusing Labour of deceit and “hypocritical posturing” over an issue it hopes will help it win the general election on 7 May next year.

    Now who is better together?

    1. I thought that the deal was that there was nothing to worry about with the NHS. That's what Alistair was telling us (where is Alistair?), while Andy Burnham was going on marches in England to save the NHS unaware that Scotland actually had television... and internet.

      Weird that.

      Now of course they are caught out exaggerating what they were going to do to save the NHS, although it didn't need saving.

      Mind at least you could say that they were thinking of doing something to save it. The Tories are doing their damndest to sell it to their mates before they sell the grounds that the hospitals stand on to other mates who can frack underneath them. I wonder, when the hospitals fall into the holes in the ground, who they can sell them to... I'm sure they will find someone. If not they will just have to resell their grannies.

      Meanwhile the Liberals ....(continued on page 3,467)

    2. I read somewhere that Police Scotland were not policing the even as it would be in Englandshire.

      The reason given is that the UK national parties annual conferences receive special police funding from the Home Office.

      The Home Office said, as this conference was in Scotland so it was the Scottoish Government's responsibility to fund the policing.

      I believe the Scottish Government said piss off and asked to Lib Dems to pony up.

      The LibDems are broke, fewer members in the UK and the SNP in Scotland, as pled poverty.

      So, the Polis presence was two Traffic Wardens and a couple of Community Support Officers.

      More that they deserve and anyway who could identify a LIbDem anywhere except on TV after being introduced.

      They are quite safe and qualify as Stalin's useful idiots, in the quest for independence.

      They'll be gone soon anyway.

    3. Absolutely.

      if they want to have their conference in Scotland they should pay for the policing.

      I'm told they had it in Scotland last year and still owe a vast sum of money to the police for the policing.

      I think the police should take them to court in Scotland for the outstanding debt.

      Why we should pay out for their party conference is beyond my understanding.

    4. Brilliant BtP.

      can't vote you up on this site .

      big smile reading thaat.

    5. Yes, it's hilarious.

      They are UK parties. If they are having a party conference the policing should be covered by the UK government.

      I can see the point in Scotland, Wales or NI forking out for these things if they bring in vast numbers of tourists, but, in honesty, the dribble of people who turn up for these things... Pffffff

      The royal protection squad should be looking after the nobs at the top of the party like Clegg, Alexander and Cable...

      They can hire G4S for the rest. They were good enough for the Olympics... Oh, no wait, they were absolute crap and the army had to be brought it....

      Well they can bring the Army is... Oh no, wait, they paid most of it off so that they can afford the nukes...

      Oh well. Who'd be interested in kidnapping Cleggy anyway?

    6. I forgot the 2 grief counsellors, the undertaker and his hearse.

      LibDems place placed on "suicide watch"

    7. Who's watching? Does anyone care.

      I was laughing when I read that Danny Alexander was likely to appointed the chief economic spokesman instead of Vince Cable.

      I was wondering if either of them would be in Westminster in 6 months' time.

      The same rumours (in the Guardian I think) suggested that Mr Carmichael would be replaced with Jo Swinson as Scotland Secretary.

      But does anyone really care?

  5. Tris,doesn't seem to bother the right wing stupid Governments what their population think, or don't as in our case. As long as the money continues to roll in who gives a damn, that is the usual short termism that works for them. I am sorry for the Catalan's but I expect they will weather this storm. Like us the situation has been brewing for as long.

  6. I suspect that Catalonia will vote overwhelmingly in favour of independence.

    I will be interested to see what the Spanish government makes of the clear will of the people and how they will reconcile that with the illegality of them holding the referendum.


    What will happen if the Tories need Cleggy again?

    I laughed at the quote form Tim Fallon : “They are indeed the nasty party that Theresa May said they were. They are trying to balance the books on the backs of the poor, something which is un-British and borderline immoral.”

    What on earth is un-British about trampling on the poor. They have happily done it all the time I've been alive which is why we have have the lowest benefits in the EU and the lowest pensions in the developed world, a minimum wage that no one could hope to live in and foodbanks doing the job of the government, not to mention over 3000 old people dying of the cold every winter.

    1. Well I suppose the equivalent of the Lords riding out in their great big horses and running down the peasantry is being run over by a new Land Rover. When I looked over some of the fences to the fields I noticed our Lordships, you know the ones who sold Scotland into penury have managed it again, and this time the peasantry voted with them.

    2. Exactly. It is though absolutely typically British, so I've no idea where that "un-British" nonsense came from. It's like banging on about democracy and fair play... Jeez why cant people see that there isn't any of either.

  8. When I was eighteen my boyfriend at that time went of to the Costa Brava with his mates. Well as lads were in those days they made friends with some Catalonia's and because they all came form the same part of Edinburgh as Sean Connery the somehow got onto the Nationalist conversation. I should say way back then in the late sixties we were all Nationalist. This is how I found out about the situation in Catalonia, it wasn't talked much about in those days but it was simmering. I hope the people get their way, not hopeful but I know one thing they had a head start on us, they have their own broadcasting service. Shame we don't, because we would have won, and just think we would have had the pleasure of watching Niko vanishing into the haze.

  9. Why are you so willing to accept that this woman was "lying"? How can you be so stupidly biased against someone without knowing the facts? Even the newspaper reports of the time mention that she lived with someone "intermittently" with someone. What dos that mean? Benefit claimants are allowed to have visitros staying with them. Unfortunately, many, especially young, uneducated women, don't understand that having a boyfriend stay with them from time to time is not a crime. They are tricked into "confessions" by DWP staff, signing away their rights on the threat that things will be worse for them if they don't admit guilt and that their children could be taken away from them. The test is did her boyfriend normally live elsewhere. It seems that he did and didn't have the status of full partner and cohabitee. It is more than disappointing that Munguin decides to denigrate a woman who in all likelihood has done nothing wrong. These shabby attitudes to benefit claimants are what we expect of the worst part of the Labour Party, not the progressive movement for an independent Scotland.

    Check the story here:-

    1. I've read the piece. It seems that she admitted that the bloke lived there and that he paid very little to household expenses. And that if she had owned up to his existence then she wouldn't have been able to afford to feed her children.

      I don't judge her. It was a court which judged her. Even her solicitor wasn't trying to plead that she was innocent. He just put extenuating circumstances up as a defence. There are, I suspect many many useless partners who refused to contribUte to the household's income. It seems to me that if everyone used that excuse, many more would take advantage of it and no one would report circumstance changes.

      I make no bones about it, I may be pretty left wing, and I realise that the system is harsh, but this wasn't done over a few weeks when a visiting boyfriend stayed overnight on a few occasions and retained his own address.

      This took place over many years and they managed to stow away around £45,000 worth on benefits. She had also been previously found guilty of making false statements.

      It's all well being progressive, but that doesn't include allowing people to rip the state off. And a progressive Scotland will have to make sure that its decency isn't an invitation to people to cheat.

      The DWP staff may be culpable in some cases of forcing people to admit things that the didn't do (although some DWP staff are great people working in a horrible system, run by a psychopathic liar,...I know, I've worked for, and with, them), but as I said, the woman's solicitor couldn't find much to say in her favour.

      Having a boyfriend stay from time to time is not a crime. But this was over a 5 year period, and before they would have brought that case they must have had reasonable evidence that he was there the bulk of the time.

      Whatever you argue, if you are in receipt of means tested benefits you must make sure that any change of circumstances is reported. It's the law. It's made very clear.

      My argument is that whilst I agree with that law, I think it should apply to rich influential upper class people as much as it does to the lower classes.

    2. Another eye opener .

      thank you for that.

    3. Just my opinion Richy. I believe in being fair to everyone, but fair mean fair, in every sense.

    4. Just because her solicitor was unable to offer a reasonable defence means nothing. Most solicitors won't take the time and trouble to find out about benefit law, even if they had the basic ability to do so, which many of them lack. That she "admitted" anything means nothing. She in all likelihod didn't know what she was admitting and probably quite innocently co-operated fully with the authorities, which means she would have done exactly as she was told by them, signing a confession which the solicitor would regard as the end of the story apart from pleading some sort of mitigation.

      As for DWP staff, it's not just that "some of them are culpable" it's that all of them are told what to say and what to do according to departmental guidance and they never get to see the actual law. The law is the law, whatever it is, but it is rarely applied. Instead, DWP staff will routinely terrorise women into admitting all kinds of things. Volunteer rights workers with a basic training are able to help claimants against this sort of systemic abuse but unfortunately few women get access to basic advice.

      it should be no surprise that this poor lassie had some sort of previous. She was probably terrified on that occasion too, into signing some sort of "confession".

      You say that 'they' managed to "stow away" £45,000. Are you saying that they were both involved in a crime and that 'they' had actually stashed this miney somewhere? I would assume that, as its housing benefit, it would have gone towards the rent.

      You say "before they would have brought that case they must have had reasonable evidence that he was there the bulk of the time."

      That isn't a fair or safe assumption at all. It is more likely that she had an on-off relationship with the guy who might have spent some time at her place but was otherwise a separate household for benefit purposes. DWP staff, many of whom are themselves psychopaths who take an unusual interest and enjoyment in frightening women into making "confessions", regularly take cases to court on the basis of their own twisted morality, rather than on any real understanding of the law.

      To expose a woman on a public forum like this, especially since the alleged offence took place two years ago, shows a contemptable disregard for ordinary people. That is the sort of thing you expect of the Daily Mail. It's an English, Victorian way of doing things that has no place in a progressive modern Scotland where we identify with the victims of the British state.

      In any case, what strange morality sees it as a crime for a woman to provide a home for her kids?

      What "change of circumstance" was she obliged to report? That she'd found a boyfriend?

    5. Oh really. That is too much. The case was public knowledge. You yourself directed me to a piece that wasn't particularly favourable to her. It was not an alleged offense. It was an offence of which she was found guilty.

      You may assume if you wish that she had an on off relationship with the person involved. In my work I've come across many people who have two households but live in one of them for the purpose of defrauding the social security system. They tend to come unstuck when they are sent on courses and are entitled to claim bus fares, which they wish to do from where they actually live rather than the address registered with the Jobcentre. In fact this is doubly bad because it often means they are taking up a house for no reason, while living with their partner, thus depriving someone of that house.

      Solicitors aren't stupid. If the guy had been living there only occasionally that would have been the defence.

      She was required to report that she had another adult living with her even of only the majority of the time.

      If the authorities didn't insist on this vast numbers of people would claim for benefits to which they were not entitled, leaving less money for those who need it.

      I'd be the first to agree that the benefits system in the UK is the worst in Europe and that people on benefits are left with barely enough to live on. Something needs to be done about this. But the way to solve it is not to take the money illegally. That's what MPs did when they felt they were being underpaid. They are thieves.

      I know that many men and I suppose women, do not contribute to the household's income, because they use the money for themselves. This includes married couples, and people who aren't on benefits. It really is down to the couples to sort this out. It's not an excuse for taking money to which you are not entitled from the state.

      What I am saying is that there are very clear rules about getting the benefits and that it is everyone's obligation to comply with these rules.

      She didn't. Nor did Laws.

      I repeat that my point was that she broke the law and was punished with jail whilst he broke the law and got away with it, only losing his top up payment (admittedly generous) for being a Cabinet secretary or whatever they call them in England.

    6. When it comes to benefits law, solicitors are stupid. And when claimants have already been tricked into signing their rights away in a contrived "confession" often under the threat of having their children taken off them, solicitors can feel that there isn't much they can do except ask for leniency.

      Staff who work for the DWP never get to see the law. They use the DWP guidance. They don't actually know the law that they claim to be enforcing.

      Benefit convictions are rarely safe. Very few people set out cynically and deliberately to commit benefit fraud.

      The main point is that you shouldn't act like the Daily Mail and heap moral disapproval on some unfortunate person in another country who is likely a victim of the system.

      It suggests, or maybe reveals, a set of shabby, English, Tory, Victorian attitudes to poverty and to people you perceive as somehow having less worth than yourself. That's the sort of thing we've come to expect of the Labour party.

    7. Sorry I can't accept that. Solicitors are not stupid as a rule on any subject. I have a few in my circle of frineds. They are by and large, very clever.

      It doesn't matter what DWP people see. If you are living, even most of the time, with someone who is another adult, it affects your benefits. You are obliged to report this. It's black and white. No ifs, no buts. Simple law.

      In my 20 years' experience of working with LTU, only briefly with JC+, but mostly with companies working with, but not for, the Jobcentre, I have come across hundreds of cases of people who fiddled. Mostly to do with housing benefit, where boy moves in with girl, but retains own home so both of them claim housing benefit. Boy then turns up on course and demands travelling expenses, but isn't entitled as his JC registered address is only 5 minutes' walk away even though his girlfriend, where he lives, is a £3 bus ride away. This causes him real hardship. I've seen it so many times it is incredible. It is not my job to report this kind of thing to JC+ and I don't, partly for my own safety, but I am aware of it.

      With respect I don't think I do act like the Daily Mail. However, if you think that I do, then you are at liberty to not read my blog.

      I'm not going to go on arguing with you. There is no point. We don't see eye to eye on this and we never shall.

      This discussion is now closed.

  10. Yellow bastards ( there's a bit of a theme starting).

    1. You mean matching the pinkish and the dark blue bastards?

    2. I'm seeing the theme.... :)

  11. broadcasting should be devolved. The BBC shamelessly disregarded its obligation to be even handed and it's certainly true that if they had been anything like a decent state broadcaster, they would have reported the lies that people like Brown were spouting about everyone losing their pensions, not being able to access blood or any kind of cross border heath care.

    It's the old school tie. Robinson is an Eton boy. You never let another old Etonian down.

    Good luck to Catalonia.

  12. Replies
    1. LOL no... this is pretty good stuff for yes.