Monday 29 June 2015


...Shouldn't make up dossiers of people's insulting tweets to them...

They were begging for this.
I see Jackie Baillie has been tweeting tonight that Tory austerity will hit Scotland hard. It seems she's only just tumbled to it since some "experts" have pointed it out. 

The thing is, you see, Jackie, we knew that all along, without the aid of experts, and we hoped that by voting YES in the referendum we could avoid it. But as you know, you guys won the referendum and we are better together pooling and sharing austerity, and of course, nuclear weapons, Westminster renovations, pay rises for the people at the top, more Lords, Buckingham palace done up...and possibly English train lines, although there may be doubt over that seeing as they messed it up, and having got the votes and secured another 5 years of gravy train, all this crap about a powerhouse in the North (of England) can go fizzle!

Thanks a bunch, Jackie and all your mates.

Normally I'd say that it probably wouldn't affect the likes of you, but I wouldn't like to be you if you lose your seat next year. Iain Duncan Smith knows no mercy and even your poshness and ties with the Conservative party are unlikely to save you..

Saturday 27 June 2015



Warning: This post contains illustrations of strong language and abuse messages, some of which may offend.

The other day Nicola Sturgeon wrote a piece for the Daily Mail. That, for a start, brought a wave of criticism, Why was the First Minister writing for a low level Tory tabloid?

Surely the reasoning behind writing it for that paper was that the Daily Mail publishes story after story about Cybernattery of the worst kind. If your aim is to address that by telling their readers that, although, yes, there are some unfortunate tweets from SNP supporters, the process is two way, then there is little point in writing about it in the Sunday Herald or the National. 

Daily Mail readers who are swallowing the narrative that ONLY NATS are bad, don't read these papers. If you want them to hear your argument then you have to go to them.

Now, if I'd been one of the other party leaders, I would have jumped at the chance to show solidarity with the First Minister on this. After all, you'd really have to live in a Daily Mail bubble not to realise that people from other parties, most specifically Labour, are culpable too.

Amazingly, Ms Dugdale was, until Nicola enlightened her, apparently unaware that one of Labour's leading lights, Ian Smart, regularly, usually later in the evening, tweets about SNP Nazis among other insults. Mr Smart is followed by most of the leading lights in Scottish Labour. And, on at least one occasion, his tweets said that he was speaking on behalf of Labour. 

(It is fair to say that, although it took time, Mr Smart is now under administrative suspension from the Labour Party. But Mr Smart is hardly alone.)

Rather than express solidarity, however, Labour's response was to compile a 50-page document of SNP members who have sworn or used derogatory terms on Twitter. This is what Sir Humphrey would have called a "brave" move.

I note on James' post here that Kezia is capable of a foul mouthed rant, and we are reminded by Scottish Skier, in the comments, that no less a Labour member than Mr Bevan had nothing polite to say about the Tories. I recall too, that Mrs Curran said during the referendum campaign, that if someone ran over Alex Salmond with a bus, she wouldn't be asking the name of the driver.

Of course, the point of this post is that, instead of expressing solidarity as 5 party leaders in Scotland and asking people to be a little more temperate in their postings, at least Labour appears to have drawn up this list, which they want to publish on Sunday (but which has been leaked), of SNP members who have "swore" [sic] or used abusive terms on social media. 

This invites a similar list, if anyone can be bothered, of Labour supporters who have done the same thing, and I suspect that it would be a lot longer than 50 pages. Nopne of that, however, is likely to improve the mood on social media. 

People who swear, will, shock horror, continue to swear. And the very few people of whatever persuasion, who are downright abusive, will continue to be like that. 

It's life guys. We all do it to some extent. It happens in the pub, in the supermarket, at work, in the bus queue, at the races, and anywhere else you can imagine... Why would Twitter be any different? To some extent we all do it as does main stream media. Private Eye has made it a career...

The whole story may be that the whole thing is a wind up... but I wouldn't put it past Labour at the moment that they have actually wasted time doing this. They seem to be totally lost and with no idea of how to find themselves.

Thursday 25 June 2015


Presumably the story was started to deflect from the news that, while more and more people visit the food bank to feed their kids, regardless of the number of hours they work, and despite the fact that we ARE all in this together, the Queen is to get a pay rise and her house is to be repaired at our expense.


When I became First Minister I said I wanted to lead one of the most accessible governments in the world. My personal use of twitter is an important part of that accessibility.

Since I joined Twitter, I have sent over 10,500 tweets and I have received thousands more.  Some of those responses are enthusiastic, engaging positively with my views on politics, books, tennis, the X Factor and a whole range of other issues besides.

Others disagree with me. Sometimes that disagreement is measured, polite and thoughtful. On other occasions it is abusive, and sometimes it is simply vile.

Frankly, the level of abuse directed at me on-line on any given day would make people’s hair stand on end were they to see it. I choose to simply ignore it, but that doesn't mean that on-line comments which cross the line of decency are acceptable.

Where political disagreement is passionate and robust, open, honest and conducted with respect it is welcome.  Even where views are expressed using language that I wouldn't use, I accept that - after all, that's in the nature of free speech.

But where people use twitter to threaten violence, or hurl vile abuse, or seek to silence the voice of others through intimidation, that is not acceptable - and we must all say so loudly and clearly.

Just like every other politician, I volunteered to be in public life and with that comes an acceptance of public criticism.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with me - it would be a dull world if they did.  Robust political debate is part of our public life and we must cherish it, even when it takes place in terms or in language we might not personally use.

But what simply cannot be tolerated is the lowering of our political debate to threats of violence, or to insults and abuse based on misogyny, homophobia, sexism, racism or disability.  No one should be subject to threats or abuse of that nature as a result of sharing their views - whether they do so in a parliament, a pub or on the internet.

A few months ago appalling homophobic and misogynistic comments were made about Tory leader Ruth Davidson.  They were unacceptable. I said so publicly and my party acted against the person responsible.  And we will not shirk from those decisions in future.

Obviously, I can't police Twitter single-handedly. I follow 3,500 people and am followed by almost 230,000 - I can't personally keep track of everything that is said, but when tweets or postings from SNP members that cross the line are brought to our attention, we will act - as we have done before.

That is why I am making clear today that the SNP will take steps to warn those whose behaviour falls short of the standards we expect - we will tell them to raise their standard of debate, to stick to issues not personalities, and to ensure robust and passionate debate takes precedence over abuse and intemperate language. And I am also making clear that, where appropriate, we will take disciplinary action.

In the SNP we have a code of conduct and on-line guidance for our members - where that code is broken, members should have no doubt that we will use our disciplinary processes.

Of course, anyone who suggests that Twitter abuse is one way traffic is wrong. It spans the political spectrum. That is why, across all parties, we must send out a clear message that politics in Scotland will not be sullied by this behaviour. 

We must ensure that as politicians we set a good example and debate the issues not the insults. Raising the standard of debate is a responsibility across the board and I urge all parties to do as we have done - to say clearly that crossing the line will not be tolerated.

And then we should all stop feeding the trolls. The fact is that internet and social media is a huge positive for our political culture - and a tiny minority should not be allowed to destroy that.

Amid the stories of cyber-bullying and abuse, the lurid headlines and the partisan outrage we must remember that the opportunity the internet provides for a broader range of opinions to be heard is something precious.  Just as the first print press in the 15th century opened up opportunities for learning, debate and democracy so the internet has brought fresh opportunities for the 21st century.

From pro-democracy movements in the middle east to campaigns like "everyday sexism" here at home, the internet provides a platform to share experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. It has the power to change our society for the better.  Let us all aim for that.

Sunday 21 June 2015



I'm determined not to waste a second in delivering our manifesto commitments.

So since the election, we have:

1. Brought forward plans to help families who want to work hard and get on by giving 30 hours' free childcare to working parents of three- and four-year-olds

2. Announced new plans to turn all failing schools into Academies and to make sure all children study key academic subjects, so they get the skills they need

3. Carried on backing businesses so they can keep creating jobs - with 2 million more people in work since 2010

4. Announced important measures to cut down on waste in the NHS, so that every penny goes on getting patients the best possible treatments

5. Continued to help people secure a home of their own, with over 100,000 families now helped onto the housing ladder through our Help to Buy scheme

6. Introduced the Referendum Bill to Parliament to give everyone in Britain a say before the end of 2017

We will keep working through our plan to create more security and opportunity in our country - and, with your help, we can secure a brighter future for everyone in Britain.

Thank you,

Ah what a joy to get a "Dear Peregrin" letter from the prime minister of  the UK, even if this time he left off the "dear". (I fear he may be coming a little cross with me, as I have despite many letters, resisted the temptation to either send him money or join his party.)

As far as the points in the letter are concerned:

Numbers 1, 2 and 4  have nothing to do with Scotland. Why would I want to fund them? In any case, employers have recently called for people to study more practical subjects at school. Not every job really requires "academic" qualifications. And it's fair to say that most commentaries that I have read on the health service suggest that there are not enough doctors or nurses to staff the English health service, and not nearly enough money for what is required. Additionally the government seems hell bent on selling it off to anyone who wants to buy it regardless of their competence. 

Number 3 is hardly an achievement of this government. The 2 million he claims is a (dubious) result of the coalition. In any case, time after time that figure has been disputed. Many of the jobs are for nothing more than a few hours per week, or are commission only; most of them are low paid posts that require tax credits or housing benefits of some sort to make them at all viable. At the same time they have rid us of many highly paid jobs.

Number 5 again seems to me to be an achievement that dates back to the coalition. They haven't got 100,000 families buying houses in the last month.
Note to Miliband: This is how to eat poor people's disgusting
food in an elegant fashion.
Finally the referendum bill is undisputed, and a good thing too. I congratulate them on its introduction. Just remember though, all the things they said about a referendum in Scotland going on and on and causing uncertainty.  What did them call it? 'Neverendum' wasn't it? I'd just remind them that the end of 2017 is a long way off.  

The Conservatives might add to their list of achievements that they are about to cut another £12 billion from the most vulnerable people in the country. We don't know how that will impact, because IDS has managed so far to get away with keeping secret how many people his current cuts have killed.

Maybe he'd like to come to the food bank with me tomorrow and see how much of a bright future he is creating for some of Britain's population!
Perhaps something a little more approaching reality, is this?
Or maybe we are just viewing the achievements from a
non-Eton and Oxford viewpoint
I'm wondering what it is he thinks that his party and my money can build together in "this country" (presumably England). Crematoria?

Final Note: The letter is copied verbatim. Errors are the author's, not Munguin's.


He should join the progressives on that bench.
He's so out of place in Labour.
Hold the front page. Jackie Baillie lied.
Pretty much sums up the London Government
Hi there Dave.
THIS is the BIG SOCIETY and we want a word with you.
"Man" might be a bit flattering in this case.
Well, OK, a lot flattering.
Remind me, why is he the secretary of state?
Oh yeah... Duh.
Back to their old tricks.
English Labour is hiring staff for Scottish Labour.
How fraternal.
Well, at least one part of their government listens.
Like that's gonna happen. Give up a seat in the big boys' club?
There'd be no point in being a politician unless you could shmoose Obama and be seen in the White House.
Talking of which...d'you remember how proud Dougie Alexander was
when he was there with Miliband. Awwww.
They have Michael. They just can't contemplate obscurity
Well, old boy, they're British. It's quite different from being foreign
don't you know. What!

 If you can't work that out you dumbass,
I'm not sure you should be let out alone.
Isn't that place falling down? Wouldn't it be dreadful if it slid into the Thames with all these fine people in it?
Thank goodness that these great minds are pouring over the legislation, picking out all the flawzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Just shows what a meritocracy the UK is though.
Even oinks like this long haired beardy rebel
can get his fat butt on a red bench
for being a greasy 
establishment lick-spittle .

Got it.
Move parliament to Buckingham Palace
and find a council house for the Windsors.

That pretty much sums it up.
So yeah, Francis, Scotland is on it.

Yep, of course you will, but no one believes anything you lot say
any more, so take your millions and sod off.
Thank goodness you're nothing to do with our policing. It's in enough of a mess without your interference.