Thursday 30 July 2015

Fotos on Friday

We know he doesn't have much to choose from, and he had to
 go to the Lords, but recently rejected MPs?
How surprising!
I didn't vote for the banks. Why do they govern?
At last we found a use for him.
Don't hold your breath!
We told you so.
Good old Labour Party. Democracy for all.
At least in Italy they think we won.
10 years ago they murdered Jean Charles de Menezes.
Dick was in charge. She was promoted.
Dick by name...
No idea what he expected. He seems terminally dim to me.
Every town should have one, eh Iain?

Seems that there is only one choice here.
Evil witch. By keeping quiet about your weirdo ministers and officials you were responsible for the most inhumane suffering, and probably deaths of countless children. How could you? You were a mother yourself.
What if it had been Mark or Carole?
A prediction from McT is always a breath of fresh air...
I suspect it was he who suggested warning of attacks
 from outer space, although that was maybe a bit on the sane
side for him.
Why not?
He couldn't be much more of a comic figure than he already is.
The man whose lordly assistant  earns more than he does...
Well, you said it Gid.
You really are going to have to learn that we are getting sick of you people doing this. Now, stop it you ghastly little man.
And the Queen told is that in everything she does she is guided
by the word of Christ, who clearly would have preferred
decorating his house to feeding the poor. 
So I don't see any likelihood of rent controls in the near future.
Anyone know why we have to pay VAT when England, Wales and NI don't?
Thanks a million Labour.
No, you are right. You couldn't write a script with this in it.
They would turn it down as too fantastical
Go back and inject some reality...
The good old Daily Mail commentators.
Well known for their love of Scotland and keen intellect.

Wednesday 29 July 2015


Guest Post by Jason Baird

Hello everybody. First, let me thank Munguin, the Republic and Tris for very kindly  allowing National YES Registry the opportunity of this 'guest post'. It's greatly appreciated. [Note from Munguin: You're welcome, Jason.]

For those that have not yet heard of the National YES Registry project, our aim is simple. To build a collectively owned, mutually supportive, practical campaigning network from the existing grass-root activist groups still active across the country. We have been collecting members since just after the NO vote and already have 70 groups on the Registry. 

Before you hopefully watch our film or visit our website to read the more detailed articles on the specifics of the project, please keep in mind that these are just our proposals and are being put forward as a starting point from which the group membership can build, adapt, develop and bring their own ideas to the table. The 'collective' element of this project is absolutely central and built into its very structure.
We are, therefore, desperately trying to get our film (trailer above) seen and message spread as widely as possible among that enormous audience keen to help the grass-root movement grow, develop and succeed.  

It would be great if the readers of Munguin's Republic could take the time to view our project and assess our strategic goals. Then, if you like what we are trying to achieve, any contribution you could give us, or help in the task of spreading the word about the National YES Registry project and our crowd fund deadline would be greatly appreciated. 
The full film is here.
As spreading the word about the YES Registry is becoming critical, I will also be doing another interview with Independence Live tomorrow night (linked here) (Thursday the 30th) at 7pm.  So if anybody has any questions that they would like to ask about the project then please just submit them during the webcast and I will be happy to try and answer them while live on air. This will be a follow up to my previous interview with IndependenceLive alongside Ivan McKee  (YES Registry from 13:09) so it would be great if you could join us. 

Many thanks for taking the time to consider our project and if you find yourself in support, please spread the word, tweet, link and personally recommend our Indiegogo page as it has the full film showing on it as well as a full explanation of the project and links to both our website and Facebook page

We are currently less than 4 days away from our Indiegogo crowd funding campaign deadline (11:59pm Sat the 1st August)  and as yet only 37% funded. Hopefully, with your help, we can reach our goal by Saturday and save us having to pay the extra 5% in fees for missing the target. 

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Indyref2: The Four Way Split


In light of all the comments and discussions recently regarding a rerunning of the Independence Referendum and whether this should be included in the SNP’s 2016 manifesto, Munguin thought it would be interesting to air his thoughts on how most boxes could be ticked for supporters of both “yes” and “no” and how this could be included in the SNP manifesto and be almost impossible for the Westminster Government to withhold its approval.

Instead of just re-running the simple Yes/No vote. Why not restructure it as a Redefinition of Scotland’s Place in (or out of) the UK, and to that end have a multiple choice four way split where people are asked to choose between the following four options:

1.      Full Independence
2.      Devo Max
3.      The Status Quo
4.      Return to direct London Rule

Full Independence: This speaks for itself, essentially what we would have got had “yes” succeeded last September.

Devo Max: This time the term would be pre-defined by the Scottish Government in advance of the vote, and not some woolly vow cobbled together in desperation at the eleventh hour, where nobody knew what it meant and it was easy for tricky politicians to swindle us out of after the fact. As a definition, Munguin would suggest full fiscal autonomy and control of everything except Foreign Affairs and Defence.

The Status Quo: That’s simply what it says. Things stay as they are now.

Return to Direct London Rule: We abolish the Scottish Parliament and return its powers to Westminster and a beefed up Scotland/Scottish Office reporting to Westminster.

In order to make things totally fair we could run the referendum on a PR basis similar to the way London Mayors are elected, where everyone ranks their choices for a first round of voting. If no candidate receives over 50% at the first round, then the two with the least support are eliminated and their second choices re-apportioned until one of the remaining candidates gets over 50%.

Munguin doesn’t imagine the above scenario will appeal to everyone but it’s a fair compromise, allowing a choice of all four possible outcomes. It could easily be included in the SNP manifesto and it would be hard for the Westminster Government to say no to as it’s not a rerun of the first independence referendum but a redefinition of Scotland’s future.

In view of the fact that even on the “Yes” side of this debate there is division on the ‘ifs and whens’ of running a second referendum, it might be the best compromise possible.

Munguin personally does not want to wait till yes is guaranteed to win, as seems to be the view of Lallands Peat Worrier.

When is that going to be? When “yes” is at 75% in the polls?

It is a perfectly understandable view that running a second referendum and losing it could spell the death knell of the whole independence movement.

But there is attraction for  Scot Goes Pop’s  proposals that we strike while the iron is hot, and the SNP is on a roll, and go for the second referendum sooner rather than later.

Stalling for a protracted period of time might squander the momentum we have, and who is to say the SNP will continue to form majority administrations at Holyrood given that the system is stacked against that outcome?

Clearly in the above scenario the Devo Max option is probably the most likely to triumph. And naturally that is not to the taste of those who want independence. But it is Devo Max on Scotland’s terms and it can be viewed as another step on the road to independence.

Once Scotland has control of almost everything, and has proved that it can run efficient democratic  government for all its people, not just the few,  we could look at the possibilities of  referenda  on individual matters…for example to make Scotland nuclear free,  or to not send Scottish troops to fight in wars unsanctioned by the UN.

Eventually in the fullness of time, it would seem natural for there to be another referendum in which people would be given the opportunity to cede from the union altogether and take responsibility for foreign affairs and defence.

Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

Monday 27 July 2015


Mr Sewel in his Lordly costume... Note the hat...
It has been suggested that the Sun on Sunday yesterday, and the Sun today, reporting that Mr Sewel, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords has been caught in a sting, snorting cocaine, going with prostitutes, and wearing a bra, was motivated by party political revenge for the revelations that ex-Tory grandees from the Thatcher era, were indeed involved in child molestation and possibly murder in their murky pasts.


Let's be honest about this, taking cocaine is illegal (although as Niko points out on his blog, it's maybe something the Tories wouldn't be overly keen to make a big fuss the video shows). 

I'm not sure what the law in England says about prostitutes, but I suspect that it's probably not legal to pay for sex. So there. He broke the law on two counts. 

As far as I remember there is nothing illegal about wearing a bra, no matter how silly it makes you look. We are told that he was unflattering in his comments about Tony Blair and David Cameron. Well, find me someone who's not... and, at least for the moment, that is still not against English law. (It never will be a crime in Scots Law.)
Another get up and another hat...goodness he does like dressing up.

On the other hand, the revelations that the Cabinet Office has been hiding papers which confirm a list of deviants in the Cabinet of Mrs Thatcher, and in the Establishment that surrounded her, is a very much more important and worrying thing...not least for the fact that people knew about it at the time and have done ever since and they did nothing, hid the papers, and lauded the miscreants plying them with highly paid jobs and titles. Although, I admit, the word 'miscreants' is such an understatement that it sounds ridiculous. 

By comparison a little old man from the middle reaches of the Establishment who snorts cocaine and who has to pay for sex is as of nothing. 

Of course, it's unfortunate, but utterly typical of what we're continually discovering about the UK Establishment, that the head of a committee on probity in one of the houses of parliament is rather less than squeaky clean when it comes to probity himself. 

But we're used to that sort of thing by now, and in the end, he has done no one but himslef any harm.
Or dressing down...
On balance I preferred the ones with the silly hats.

I don't know, or much care, whether he will face prosecution for drug taking or paying for sex. What I do know is that he has lost an £80,000 a year job, and will almost certainly have to retire from the House of Lords, although I understand there is no mechanism for relieving him of the title. Into the bargain he must know that hundreds of thousands of us all over the UK have been falling about laughing at the pictures, and will never hear his name or see his face again without a fit of giggling.

But, no one at all, or at least no one sane, will ever be laughing at what some of Thatcher's cabinet and its friends were up to.

No comparison.

Sunday 26 July 2015


Dear Jeremy Hunt MP,

I am a newly appointed NHS Consultant and receive £313.54 for my on call supplement per month. My on calls per month add approximately 120 hours of work in addition to my normal working week. This is made up of being on call one day per week and one weekend in 5 - 5pm on Friday to 8am on Monday. Simple maths says that works out as £2.61 per hour - significantly less than the minimum wage let alone the living wage.

I have never looked to opt out, even though financially it would make sense. I am genuinely offended that you have openly questioned my professionalism and vocation or that of my colleagues. I am no different to the thousands of Consultants, Junior Doctors, Nurses, Physios, Pharmacists, Secretaries, Speech Therapists, etc. We don't go on strike, we don't hold the country to ransom, we don't compromise patient care because we were meant to go home 2 hours ago, instead we go above and beyond, understanding the true meaning of professionalism and being exemplar to any health service in the world. Without this silent and diligent commitment, the NHS would have crumbled many years ago.

Would you mind enlightening me as to the percentage of Consultants within the NHS who have actively opted out of weekend work? I have looked on the Department of health Website, on NHS England and can find no details on this, or further information regarding your plans for implementing 7 day working.

It is self evident that either your expert advisers are missing or your speech writers incompetent. As a workforce we are very understanding and forgiving. We are often verbally and even physically abused by people who are confused and clearly don't understand how they got into such a state; we forgive them and do our best to fix them. I would urge you to simply apologise for the language you have used, and look to engage in a conversation rather than an ultimatum.

I,  my colleagues and the Royal Colleges and agree with the principle of the NHS working efficiently every day of the week. The NHS has spoken clearly that the current proposals do not address the problem, and are not a viable solution.

Yours sincerely

Karan Kapoor
ENT Consultant
For further information on how completely inept Hunt is, see this coverage of his history in government.