Tuesday 9 December 2014


“Fuel prices rose by an inflation-busting seven per cent in 2013, pushing more people into fuel poverty. The fact that this is happening in an energy-rich country is scandalous." - Housing Minister Margaret Burgess.

In fairness I very much doubt that by any measure the UK is the
6th largest economy in the world,
but by anyone's standards we are relatively rich as a country.
Why, then, do people have the indignity of begging for food thrust upon them?
This is because he is a Tory. The Conservatives in Scotland
who accept that they have no chance of forming a government
want to see Gentleman Jim as the leader.
I suppose there are always food banks ma'am. Although it is rather infra dig, and
there are a lot of MPs who would think that you were faking it.
Ah, yes, the horrendous cost of keeping this OAP home for toffs open could have been reduced just a little, had they agreed to share catering with the Commoners along the corridor. However, this was rejected by their Erminenesses on the basis that the vintage of the subsidised champagne would not have been of sufficient quality for the taste buds of aristocrats, and well, one couldn't have that, could one?
Ewwwww. UGLYYYYYY Bastards
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, largely responsible for the misery of hunger
gets a photo opportunity at a food bank, and shows just how detached 
from reality he is.
I suppose there must be trickle down in some way. After all the hyper rich have to eat, have their cars driven and
their houses cleaned, but they are so incredibly mean that they pay for it all at the bottom possible rate, leaving the
recipients unable to let the money trickle any farther.
In one of the top 20 countries in the world...
Makes you so proud to be British.
Who can argue that?
Not seen many poor councillors though...
Well, we couldnt have a Westminster government frightening
away their friends who will give them directorships when they retire to the Lords
Socialism... what's that then?
Well, otherwise he wouldn't get home in time to see his little prince get off to bed
like hundreds of thousands of other fathers all over the country.
Maybe the DWP could provide helicopters for all of them on the social security?


  1. WE, are robbing the royals, ffs, they have been robbing from the people for centuries.
    Those stiff upper lip, unionism types must be nervous, if that's the kind of rubbish that they come up with.
    Totally disgusting, that we pay for these parasites, when people are forced to go to foodbanks.

    1. I'm a republican, Jim, although I can accept that some people seem to like the show biz world of the royals. Particularly some older people seem to think that they are almost superhuman. Once maybe, in another time, when their privacy to behave the way that they do, was respected, the people felt they had something to look up to, but they seem not to have caught up with the fact that we find out stuff now. And we know how debauched, greedy and selfish they are.

      My preference is to get rid of the hereditary aspect of the head of state. They can call the person at the top what they like, but they should be in some way elected.

      In the meantime we have to be rid of all the hangers on. Why we have dozens of them being housed, fed, clothed, entertained and carried around all over the world at our expense is beyond my understanding.

      I'm 100% behind the government if they want to keep the proceeds from the Crown estates. Elizabeth and her family are obscenely wealthy already. If they wish to continue in their out of date position, they should do so at their own expense. If they can't or won't afford it they should downgrade.

      We can't afford them any more.

    2. I too, being from the republican, would be glad too see the back of them. If we must have an hereditary head of state, they should be reduced in number. I'm not suggesting a cull but, the immediate family only. Not living in sprawling palaces but, modest easily protected accommodation. The palaces would still draw tourists as do empty palaces the world over. As that seems to be the main argument for keeping the royals.
      They should also pay tax, just as the rest of us do, and work for a living as other European royals do.
      They should also pay inheritance tax, this would in time reduce their overall wealth. This tax, was first introduced to ensure Knights of the realm, could not ever be more wealthy that the monarch. That seems to have worked pretty well, for Betty and co.


    3. republican persuasion....... Doh

    4. I'm not suggesting a cull but You might not be but lets house them all in Buck house without any servants, but plenty of hidden cameras, and let them form their own commune. Might be worth the licence fee.

    5. I agree. If we have to have them,; if that's what people want...specifically to guard against the likelihood of President Thatcher or President Blair, then I'm all for your suggestions. They got their money by stuffing the people at some point or another. They never worked for it. Tax them till it is well reduced.

      Modest accommodation in an estate somewhere so that their protection could be secured... and no protection from the hangers on like Air Miles' daughters. If he wants them protected he must pay for it himself. Of course they are kidnap risks, just like kids of any rich person. Rich people pay for their own protection against the poor being jealous of their wealth.

      And one palace, or castle for state events, just as the Spaniards have, adn containing the offices of the administration.

      Of course we could always sell them off. The Tories like that sort of thing, Privatise them and let the Chinese and the Germans run them as a business.

      Lord CH I wouldn't want to see what that bunch of toffs get up to... but I doubt it's Happy Families.

    6. Forgot to add, what about all the money, they rob off us Scots day in day out. You're never going to see that in the Daily Fail.

    7. No. Dacre wants a knighthood.

  2. I must congratulate Nicola Sturgeon for standing up to the Royals and no kowtowing to the parasitic family who've drained the UK for, well centuries.

    I would prefer Scotland to become a republic, and be shot of all the Ruritanian upper class Royals, and Lords.

    Nicola and her courageous stance makes me proud to be a nationalist.

    1. Nicola made it clear in her speeches on the tour that that she has no desire to see the royal family disappear, but by the same token I think she has a more Scandinavian view of what monarchy should be.

      Small, and not in the least grand, except on special occasions, when a little grandeur is expected to make it an "occasion".

      It's not my ideal situation but I could live with that.

      The fact that the state provides the Windsors with Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, St James's Palace, Kensington Palace and Holyrood House, not to mention places like Hampton court, where there are grace and favour residences for high ranking servants is an absolute scandal.

      That Air Miles can use flights to come play golf in St Andrews is a scandal.

      I accept that it's not as bad as it used to be, when the likes of Margaret used the royal train to take a party of friends to Ascot, closing the line to scheduled trains, or when she demanded police escorts to take her through London closing traffic down, so that she could go to the ballet... but the greater family still expect, and get, vast amounts of public money spent on them.

      I was shocked to read that mrs Parker Bowles once married to Charlie, decided to keep her own home not far from his country home Highgrove. Fine, you might think; that's her business... but it's also our expense becasue as the wife of the future king, she is considered to deserve security, and her house, although rarely used, is guarded, at our expense, 24/7/52.

      Time all that nonsense stopped. Especially given their accumulated wealth, which they never get the chance to spend, as we fund their lifestyles.

  3. I would like the biggest foodbank to be closed down - the one at the House of Lords.

    1. I'd certainly go along with that.

      I understand that the renovations of the Palace of Westminster are going to cost billions. Apparently it is sinking into the Thames. Shame, huh?

      They will ahve to be provided with suitably grand accommodation while the work is done, and the work itself will take years.

      I hope that we don;t have to pay for that... that is to say I hope we are away by the time these self serving troughers need the billions.

  4. https://grumpyscottishman.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/subsidies/comment-page-1/#comment-1055

    Please make time to read Bruce's piece on poverty and food banks in Dundee...

    It's one of the best I've read.

  5. tris

    Enfin je me rappelai le pis-aller d’une grande princesse à qui l’on disait que les paysans n’avaient pas de pain, et qui répondit : Qu’ils mangent de la brioche

    as wuz said

    I always remember the quote from a poor African American in response to
    President Johnson's "War on Poverty" ...........

    Great were do i surrender !

    1. It was, I think, the Queen,... Marie Antoinette...who said that.

      To be fair to her the accepted translation in English from "brioche" to "cake" isn't quite accurate. More like let them eat bridge rolls!!!! (which, I suppose, might even be worse).

      Either way nothing has much changed. They simply haven't a notion what it's like. I think that not many people, except those suffering, can imagine what its like to be hungry as a rule rather than an exception.

      It's hungry kids that I cannot bear the thought of. It breaks my heart when I read about it and makes me all the more determined to do what I can to help.

      But you know. on my visits to the local food bank I'm stunned at how generous people are. If this is the Big Society, then no thanks to Cameron, it works in Dundee.

      I'm hoping to do an interview with the manager, when he has time, and take some pictures (if he'll let me) for the blog.

      Generous though people's donations are... and they are... the need is growing all the time.

      Can you fill me in on President Johnson's War on Poverty. I don;t know anything about it, so the quote is a bit lost on me.

  6. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Poverty


  7. A couple of points requiring consideration, before forming any opinions:

    1. Are we spending far more than we can afford?
    Yes, both household, individual and national debt is unsustainable. There is nothing progressive for the baby boomer generation to saddle my generation with their excessive tabs.

    2. Is the current welfare system fully funded?
    No, we are spending far more on welfare than we are covering from general taxation.

    So what to make of this?

    We could significantly increase taxes to try and cover the current spending levels. But that doesn't solve our debtedness.

    In fact tax increases on households will make economic growth slower, and increase debt levels. Tax people more, they have less to save, pay off debts, or spend (thus supporting our economy via the services sector).

    The only solution is spending reductions, on a major scale to balance the books.

    And if you need to blame someone, why not New Labour? They allowed the city of london to do whatever it wanted. They actively encouraged unsustainable debts as they arrogantly claimed to have 'abolished boom and bust'.
    Austerity is necessary. And yes, that means many hard luck cases.

    But I ask you all: what alternative is there?

    Answer: none.

    So let's just swallow this bitter pill, and solve the debt problems that 13 years of irresponsible Labour governance has saddled us with.

    1. Dean, you have swallowed the lies hook line and sinker, Firstly this is a country which when I was your age was having it's difficulties. Three day week etc. All the things which have happened since then are an illusion. This is the fag end of Empire and we no longer have the luxury of having spongers, aka the Royal Family, we no longer should be tolerant of those who want to tell the majority how to live our lives whilst they thieve from us. There are a whole 800 plus spongers in the House of Lords which we could do without. There are another 650 members of Parliament playing silly sods with expenses and telling the rest of us to just get on.
      As for the Baby Boomer generation, as I have frequently said, sorry my Mum and Dad were other wise occupied and did not get round to November 1946 to make a baby. Should I an my Husband consider ourselves fortunate. We struggled for everything we have. Nobody paid for us to go off the Antigua to get married. We furnished our first flat (New Town) our selves, we bough our first mortgage after 6 years of marriage, quarter villa. We both managed fortunately to always be in work, just lucky, or at the very least astute. Lived through Thatcher, I watched many lose jobs. We survived John Major and boy that was a tough one, we had moved back to Edinburgh from Linlithgow with a mortgage we were quite honestly struggling with, in fact we were so down on our uppers that if my Hubby was not good at spotting five pence coins I would never have managed to go on courses as I could not afford the fare. So now we own the house we are living in. No thanks to Gordon Brown, we have lost parts of pensions we paid for.
      So yes we certainly are living off your largesse.

    2. Dean

      Check your facts . it's not hard.

      Read this and tell me where they need to make cuts.

      And the alternative is an independent Scotland with policies to help employment. A wage that doesn't require state benefits to make up the slack of employers paying a pittance.

      Save a fortune NOT re newing Trident , or the HOL, or foriegn wars for the sake of US business.

      But no you swallow the WM line and "bitter pill" because theres no alternative.


      Spouting WM lies does you no credit.

    3. The ordinary Baby Boomers aren't having a great time, Dean.

      I have relatives that are looking at their pension age going up to 67 to help pay for people who were born in the 1920's and 1930s. That's the way of it. Some Baby Boomers won't retire until they are 70.

      People paid for private or company pensions, Gordon Brown ruined them, folk and are getting only a portion of what they expected... indeed were promised.

      Equitable Life anyone?

      There are old people, and have always been, who struggle to stay warm in their homes. Live with it. You may be one of them too one day. There are folk who are too ill to go out and keep warm in libraries or shopping centres and who have to stay in bed to keep warm.

      There are kids turning up at food banks hungry becasue their parents don't have enough to feed them.

      Of course on the other hand there are people who have so much money that they can still light their cigars with £50 notes, and there are London establishments which sell champagne for £5,000 a bottle.

      A student friend of mine working in a posh hotel in St Andrews has served bottles of wine that cost over £2000... Imagine a couple sitting there drinking £2000 of wine, being served by a lad at 9 pm (who will work until 2 or 3 am...) on £6.50 an hour.

      The rich are richer and the poor are poorer...

      This is not a well run country, and its not a happy country.

  8. Ah the liberal, making an attempt at, justifying austerity his party along with the blue Tories brought in. Yes the red Tories ran up massive debt and followed the the USA in not regulating the banks, thanks to George double-ya repealing a 70 odd year old law, designed to prevent such reckless behaviour.
    If austerity is working, why does every organisation outside of the London centric bubble; disagree. I'm quite sure laying off tens of thousands of public sector workers, then paying them benefits, instead of them paying taxes was a masterstroke. Similarly, the down turn created by your friends in Westminster, effected the collapse of the building trade, which in turn leads to less material manufacturing, transportation of said materials, less household goods (people like stuff in their new homes), the workers lost and businesses lost has cost billions to the economy.

    Austerity, like Tories of all hues, ain't working for the people but, the rich still get rich. And the dynamic duo of yellow and blue Tory, will make damn sure it'll always be thus.
    Aided and abetted by the red tories , now and then.

    So basically, don't talk pish.


  9. "I'm quite sure laying off tens of thousands of public sector workers, then paying them benefits, instead of them paying taxes was a masterstroke"

    Jim, if that was what was happening I'd be inclined to agree with you.

    But with 2m new jobs, falling unemployment; it doesn't support your claim that thousands of people are being moved from public sector work to unemployment.

    Plus tax receipts are only lower than anticipated by HM treasury 'cos the coalition has raised the income tax threshold. And letting people keep more of their own money helps, not hinders their ability to pay off their debt, pay their mortgage.

    So sorry, I don't see how the evidence is supporting what you claim.

    1. What 2million new jobs? Zero hours contracts? The manufacturing sector is down, construction is down, even the lauded service industry is down. As I work in construction I know that, wages are lower by at least a third of what they were pre-crash. Unless you stay in the SE of England, where a friend of mine lives and I can verify that, this is the case.

      Raising the tax threshold but, cutting taxes for the uber rich. Targeting those on benefits and letting rich tax avoiders, get away with it; especially if they were a party donor...Mr Barlow etal.

      I don't see how the evidence is supporting what you claim. Then open your eyes.


    2. Firstly, Dean, I absolutely agree with you that the Labour years when Tony and Gordon tried to prove to the people of the South East that they were even more Tory than the Tories as far as business was concerned, encouraged everyone and its dog to take out as many credit cards/store cards as possible encouraging personal debt, allowed an ever rising house price to make people feel that they had wealth behind them... and generally ended, for a very short time, boom and bust... were disastrous for the British economy.

      The personal debt is horrifying. I've had people in their late teens telling me that they can't get a job at under £350 a week take home pay, because when they start earning, they will be obliged to pay back the horrendous debt that they built up on credit and store cards.

      The price of housing is ridiculous. Few people starting off can afford a house, particularly in England, where the prices are even more ridiculous than they are here, and when kids start life with horrific student debt. (And yet there are no houses to rent.)

      PFI is completely unaffordable.

      But you cannot blame it all on Labour. Blair and Brown may be have been disasters for the country, but the rot started a good deal earlier than them.

      The unfunded pensions of the civil service and public workers are a scandal and the retirement pension paid from current takings... what folly. No one seemed to notice that between 1946- 1955 there were a lot of babies born. No one thought that in 65 years these babies would become retirees, and no one noticed that people were living longer over all these years....? They must have been looking at Glasgow figures for longevity. "No need to worry Cuthbert, old chap. They are all dead by 55 anyway!"

      And what of Mrs Tahtcher and her destruction of manufacturing in a country renowned for its industrial skills... ? Why was it that as she did that, her arch rival, Helmut Kohl, modernised the German manufacturing economy.

      As she closed everything in her way to a City of London economy, and laid waste to entire communities, he brought German engineering to new heights.

      And why, Dean, is there always money for those things that matter to THEM?

      Bankers need money... Give it to them.
      America tells the UK to go fight another war against a Muslim nation (where they make things worse rather than better)... right there with the troops.
      Trident can be renewed at a cost of £100,000,000,000 plus. Not made in Britain of course. Money spent abroad.
      Mrs Tahtcher wants a state funeral, like she was Winston Churchill or Queen Victoria, and the money is found.
      Olympics, costing 25 billion, are paid for.
      Parliament is to be renovated at a massive cost.
      MPs wages are increased and the Lords are allowed to continue to have the very best subsidised vintage champagne.

      Meanwhile kids are turning up at foodbanks hungry because their mum only got two shifts at Poundsavers this week...

      And the jobs that went in the civil service, and are still going as Osborne plays fast and loose with people's lives, were decent, full time, reasonably paid jobs. They have been replaced, yes, but with jobs in McDonalds, ASDA and the likes. Part time, some Zero hours, much self employment and of course unpaid work.

      To be fair the only party that can take no responsibility for the mess until the present government is the Liberals. But for all Danny may be decrying Osborne now, he was right behind him in the past. And Dave and Nick may be at war now, but not so long ago they were building wardrobes for Cameron's new kid.

    3. And yes, Jim...

      As the graphic above shows, it is far more important to the government in London to chase people who are fiddling their dole than those who are fiddling million in taxes...

      ...And of course Lords and MPs who fiddle their expenses ... and who get a smack on the wrist for it and asked to pay some of it back please... Maria Millar...

    4. Tris,

      "And what of Mrs Tahtcher and her destruction of manufacturing in a country renowned for its industrial skills... ?"

      I refer you to my reply to Jim. Manufacturing has grown steadily since the 1970s, and has never been more productive.

  10. Jim,

    "he manufacturing sector is down,"

    Not true, manufacturing is up. And has increased steadily since the 1970s. It may not be the mass employer it used to be, but it has never been more productive, and growing strongly:

    So again, the facts don't support what you're saying.

    1. Dean,

      Firstly, whilst I'm not in a position to argue with figures provided in that journal, I can remember hearing that Britain used to be the workshop of the world, yet virtually everything I buy these days is made in India or China if it's cheap, or Germany or Italy if it is expensive, so I'm finding it hard to believe the figures shown there particularly given that their providence is the government's office fro statistics.

      Of course there are the illustrated car factories which will pretty much disappear when Britain leaves the EU. And many of the jobs are pathetically low p[aid... particularly in the food manufacturing industry.

      There may well be many factories in parts of Britain that I never visit. But they employ far fewer people and that doesn't put money in ordinary people's bank accounts. It probably puts lots in the bank accounts of the owners though, as they pay their workers so badly that tax credits have to be given to keep them alive.

      In Scotland there is vast potential for green industries but there is such a limited amount that Edinburgh can do, given the waste of resources on defence, and the pretence that Britannia is a world power.

    2. And , Dean, Mrs Thatcher still did devastate with her policy of closures and her war against the trades unions.

    3. The fact is Dean, Westminster has since the 70's pushed for a "service industry" economy, low wages and skill. Manufacturing is nowhere near what it was, the manufacturing that you refer to is the putting together of foreign made components, then stamping made in Britain on them. As a way of selling the finished product in the EU. This makes team GB pocket money, in comparison to home grown, design and manufacture of goods. It is not a success story it is a lament.
      Coming from Ayr originally, a town that made world class steel products for the car industry, the mod, the fishing industry, had it's own fishing fleet, made textiles, had mining communities and high tech manufacturing; A town that has naught but low paid services industries left, your facts do not tally with the evidence on the ground and I am sure there are many other towns that could paint the same sorry picture. The pill for you and your ilk to swallow is that, the union is rotton and dead, Westminster is just beginning to smell the stench.


    4. Hear hear...

      Dundee had shipbuilding (Caledon), journalism (DC Thomson) (in the days when printing was a trade), jam and sweets manufacture (Keillers), jute (Cox's, Baxter's etc), engineering (NCR and Timex employed somewhere in the region of 7,000 people).

      It's got some call centres now and a lot of Tescos. There are very few factories left.


  11. Well its a proven fact the Torys under Thatcher wanted to destroy the trade unions
    and the necessary prelude to this was with malice aforethought to destroy British
    manufacturing industry.............job well done the Torys would say.
    As for your manufacturing bigger and better than ever is pure fantasy

    Manufacturing makes up 11% of UK GVA and 54% of UK exports and directly employs 2.6 million people.

    Despite the decline since the 1970s, when manufacturing contributed 25% of UK GDP,

    Manufacturing’s share of total UK
    economic output has been in
    steady decline for many decades,
    from more than 30% in the early
    1970s to 10% in 2013


    You knobheid

    1. Well researched Niko.

    2. I'll stick with the journal than some random search that our Niko came up with. Especially since he signs off all so eloquently with 'knobheid'.

      It's that approach to making friends and influencing people that's destroying SLAB credibility. How to alienate voters, lesson 1... by Niko.

    3. LOL. I thought you unionists stuck together?

    4. Only to @#!? Scotland.