Friday, 24 July 2015


I know that the Speaker of the Westminster parliament is the most senior "commoner" at least in England and Wales, and possibly in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but is it really necessary for him to spend £172 on a chauffeur driven limo to take him 0.7 miles to attend a function? I'm not suggesting that he turn up on a bus (although why not?) but there must be cars available in the Commons and he must be able to find someone who could drop him off.

This is not the first time that Mr Bercow has been lavish with his own comforts as this article suggests. It sounds like he's being pompous and self important to me.
More details about the pay of top people in the
UK government. As well as the fat £7,000 or 11% pay rise for our beloved MPs (which all SNP MPS will give to charity), I read last night that the Queen will get an 18% increase in her private income from crown lands in the Duchy of Lancaster as well as an increase in her Civil List. However, despite this she will still expect the repairs of Buckingham Palace to be paid for from peasants' taxes.
It seems that the Wilson Doctrine, whereby the communications of members of parliament are not hackled by police or secret service, may have been ditched for the Scottish, Welsh and NI parliaments. It may be that MI5 is reading Scottish ministers' emails and tapping their phones. The FM has rightly written to the PM asking him to confirm or deny this:

Dear Prime Minister,
I am sure you will agree with me that, excepting truly exceptional circumstances involving national security, the confidentiality of communications between parliamentarians and their constituents is of the utmost importance. I am sure you will also agree that it is just as important for MSPs as it is for MPs. This principle of confidentiality is what the ‘Wilson doctrine’ was introduced to protect.
You will therefore understand my concern at suggestions in the Daily Record and elsewhere – reportedly supported by documentation shown to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal – that, while GCHQ had been applying the Wilson doctrine to the communications of MSPs, that is no longer the case. The Scottish Government has not been consulted on any such matter. I would therefore be grateful for urgent responses to the following questions:
1. Are these reports correct in stating that there has been a change of policy and that GCHQ has ceased to apply the Wilson doctrine to the communications of MSPs?
2. If so, why was this decision taken, when and by whom was it taken, and was there any ministerial knowledge or approval?
3. Has there in fact been any interception of MSP communications?
4. Will you give an immediate assurance that this policy change by GCHQ will be reversed and that the Wilson doctrine will again be applied to MSP communications, and indeed to the communications of other devolved Parliamentarians and Assembly members?
5. Will you give an assurance that, with respect to the Wilson doctrine, MSPs will in future be treated equally to MPs by all of the intelligence agencies?
6. Francis Maude, MP, then Minister for the Cabinet Office, made a commitment in the House of Commons on 12 March 2014 to look at policy in relation to the Wilson Doctrine, along with the Home Secretary and yourself. Can you confirm what progress has been made in that work and whether its scope has included consideration of the position of Scottish parliamentarians?
I am copying this letter to the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Presiding Officer.
Nicola Sturgeon
Ah well...seriously what did you expect from his lordship? Something approaching socialism...?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Silly! Darling to Tory.


  1. Always thought John Bercow was a bit of a prat, the only thing in is favour is they really did not like himi in the Tory Part. Her Madge, well she won't spend a penny of her own money if she can help it. She needs it for running away. On the Wilson Doctrine, I have to say I have never heard of it, but there will be one law for some and one for the others.
    As for Darling, Darling, well we all knew he was a Tory, didn't we?

    1. The Wilson Doctrine protects MPs communications from being routinely monitored by security services. If it's needed, e.g for national security, the PM has to inform the HoC. Previously the devolved parliaments and MEPs were "covered" informally by the doctrine but now there are not meaning their communications with constituents and well anybody can be surveiled. That said, Caroline Lucas and George Galloway are to give evidence soon that they believe their e-mails were intercepted when MPs.

      Of course when folk were accusing the security services of interfering in referendum they were called paranoid nutters!

    2. It is rather shocking what the Tory Government are up to. Soon they will be wanting neighbours to begin spying on each other.

    3. Yes Helena, right on all accounts.

    4. Did Wilson not have MI5 or 6 or something spying on him because they thought he was in league with Moscow, PP? I have a notion it was something like that. Of course, MI5/6 do what they want anyway. So they can have all the doctrine's they like, they just carry on regardless.

      While some of it may be for the good of the country, I don't doubt for a minute a lot of it is as absolutely corrupt as the absolute power they have.

    5. They are frightening, Marcia.

      The Welfare Sate is being dismantles; Human rights are being dismantled; FOI is being dismantled and in England the NHS is being privatised.

      Frightening... as you say, there have already been campaigns to get you to snitch on people if you think they are cheating on benefits (but strangely no such campaign for those who think that someone is dodging tax!)

      Soon they will be getting children to report on what their parents say in their sleep.

      Nasty place to live. I want out.

  2. It's outrageous that elected representatives of the devolved parlaiments and MEPs don't have the same protection from bugging from the security services as MPs do. That said, Mark McDonald SNP MSP for Aberdeen Donside made me laugh in his tweet

    "So far today I've only answered the phone by saying 'the package has been delivered' and 'the geese fly at midnight'. Keep em on their toes."

    1. Ha ha ha...

      I wonder if they are reading Munguin's Republic for subversiveness.

      Is it being subversive to hate Tony Blair with a firey passion?

      Any way, wink wink, nod nod... knock three times and ask for Munguin...OK?

  3. Sorry this isn't on topic here Tris but thought you and Munguin might enjoy reading this.

    Yes I was there, and I was interviewed by Daily Record ... and ITV Border News ... and BBC ... AND the Standard, one of the local newspapers. I'm worn out. LOL

    I have never been to any sort of protest before or rally so this was my first event ... and it was fun fun fun! LOL

    1. Oh you subversive you.

      Superstar, but subversive.

      Munguin's jealous of all the attention. I wish the Viceroy would come to Dundee to open a foodbank.

      Must have been wonderful to be able to shout at Fluffy when he could hear you. I just shout at him from Dundee when he's off in London.

      I bet he didn't even look bothered!

      Clips from teh papers will be appreciated!

    2. Your wish is my command oh great one!

      p.s. the bottom link is a photo taken of the female driver's response to the folks wanting a wee word with their M.P.! LOL

    3. Just a wee update for you Tris.

      The Trussell Trust who claim they invite the local M.P. to open their food banks invited .... the WRONG ONE!

      I jest you not. Mundell's constituency is Dumfries, Clydesdale and Tweeddale which does NOT go as far WEST as Friar's Vennel in Dumfries which is where the APEX Centre is located.

      If you zoom the map right in you will see Whitesands, From Whitesands there is a light GREY road going up and right that parallels Buccleuch Street and crosses Irish Street. the junction of Friar's Vennel and Irish Street is roughly where the APEX Centre is. This area of Dumfries is definitively in Richard Arkless's constituency.

      Let the s***storm begin! LOL

    4. Oh dear oh bloody dear.

      My understanding is....

      MPs aren't supposed to carry out functions in other people's constituencies.

      Ministers have to ask permission to do so, and are usually accompanied by the MP.

      Not happy with the Trussel Trust for that faux pas... but it's hilarious that the terminally thick Fluffy let himself in for it. What a dufus!

    5. Oh and Munguin thanks you for the clippings... Hilarious.

      If I remember Ewan Gurr had, in his past, a bit of a reputation for being a hard right winger. Maybe he's a fan of the Fluffy One.

    6. Glad to be of service to the great one! LOL

    7. Hope you don't mind Tris but I've asked the question about M.P.'s carrying out functions in neighbouring constituencies on Wings and Twitter to see if anyone can definitively confirm the ruling on this. We'll see if anyone comes back on this.

    8. Of course I don;t mind Arbroath.

      I'm pretty certain that somewhere in the midst of time I heard that.

      I'll be interested to find out if the not inconsiderable wisdom of Wings readers comes up with a definitive answer...

    9. Oh...'ll be remembered in Munguin's Birthday Honours list.!

    10. I'm honoured ... no seriously ... I'm truly honoured! LOL

    11. I'm honoured ... no seriously ... I'm truly honoured! LOL

  4. tris

    Well Bercow did at least tell Osborne to shut the F;ck up
    I agree with Alistair on the scale of challenge do you not realise
    or Care ?????

    The wery idea Labour members voting for the people THEY want to
    lead them and pray what happens to to self seeking money grabbing
    careerists who are expecting to jump aboard the Westminster gravy

    1. You agree with Alistair... yeah right you do.

      I can't believe Labour are going to elect Burnham or Cooper, but I suspect they are. Mediocre doesn't quite describe them, but it comes near.

      Unless the Tories do something VERY stupid (not just evil, but suicidal) I can;t see Labour in government with either of them in charge.

      They won;t get the traditional vote out, and no floating Tory is gonna vote for wishy washy red Tories like them.


    2. tris

      Democracy is alright but there is no need to abuse it voting the
      way you want...never heard of such a thing.........
      I blame the snp they started this vote how you want and not how
      our leaders expect...............Keep carrying on this way and the next
      step will be FREEDOM and thats how bad it is getting..

    3. I wondered how long it would be before you tumbled to the fact that it was all Nicola Sturgeon's fault.

      Cunning plan to make Labour voters vote for what they want.

      Actually, when you come to think about it, Corbyn would be most likely to damage the SNP, by putting some non-neo-lib policies into practice.

      They never thought of that, did they?

      Anyway, as Chukka hell with Scotland!