Tuesday 1 September 2015


It looks like Mr Osborne has already decided that, no matter what conclusion parliament reaches next year about Trident, he's going to spend in excess of £100,000,000,000 on it anyway.

The only alternative to that assumption is that he's wasting £500,000,000 on upgrading Trident's facility at Faslane for nothing.

Some of the tweets I have read have suggested that 6,000 jobs will be created by this investment, but Mr Osborne himself said that there would be around 1,500 extra jobs over the renovation process.

Much was made during the referendum campaign of the number of jobs that were dependent upon the naval base at Faslane. Jackie Baillie went into overdrive and excelled herself with the lies, warning of 11,000 jobs being at risk in the event of Independence.

Figures released by the MOD under the FOI legislation, however, showed  that only 520 civilian jobs at Faslane and Coulport were directly dependent on Trident.

According to the MoD. “There are 520 civilian jobs at HM Naval Base Clyde, including Coulport and Faslane, which directly rely upon the Trident programme.

"Of them, 159 are employed by the MoD and 361 by the MoD’s contractors, Babcock Marine and Locheed Martin.

"Most of the workers – 310 - live in West Dunbartonshire or Argyll and Bute, with the rest living elsewhere in Scotland (103) or at unknown locations (107)."

So in fact, what we were really talking about appears to be 310 people living in the area and 103 living elsewhere in Scotland... that would be 413 (at the time of the figures being produced).

How many of the new jobs will be for residents of West Dunbartonshire or Argyll and Bute, or the rest of Scotland, and how many of them will be bussed in to camp on a Monday morning, and back out on a Friday afternoon?
I am happy that Mr Osborne wants to spend that much money in Scotland. It is an enormous amount of extra spending in our country, given the ever shrinking size of the Scottish government's income. I wonder though if it wouldn't be better spent on areas which are in dire need of investment. 

Labour and Tory alike seem at present to be extremely concerned about the lack of money available for colleges of further eduction. It is, in fact, a concern that I share, although I'd point out that England is having exactly the same problem. A lack of finance means that many 6th form colleges are under severe financial pressure!

We must find money for people who wish to pursue education other than that provided by universities. We need plumbers, bricklayers, hairdressers, electricians, plasterers, roofers, etc, etc... This £500 million could make a huge difference to college budgets.

But wait, Mr Osborne says that without Trident we would be in grave danger. It is our insurance policy. (I hope if there is danger lurking, it is a little more effective than the other insurance policy we all thought we had... National Insurance, but that's by the way).

You see, I'm concerned, having friends in many countries over Europe, Asia, South and North America, that you can only be safe if your country has nuclear weapons. I mean what about my friend Elizabeth who lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, or Dirk in Cologne, Germany, Dani in Gothenburg, Hristina in Bulgaria, or Daniel in Québec?

I wish someone in the mainstream press, maybe even the BBC, would ask Mr Osborne what these people are supposed to do to be safe? Come to live in Scotland?  No, maybe not. He doesn't want swarms of immigrants, does he?

The answer is that they are covered, in the highly unlikely chance that they might be attacked, by the USA. 

Now, of course, we could be accused of niggardliness in wanting the protection of the USA's nuclear weapons, but not wanting to pay for them. And that would be a fair criticism. But does Iceland, or Denmark, Germany or Austria, Finland or Norway currently pay for their protection? After all they are all infinitely richer than we are. 

Spo the question is, why does broke Britain pay out this vast amount? 

OK, we know the answer, or at least part of the answer. It's so that the likes of Cameron and Osborne get to sit at the top table and look down smugly on other more successful countries, safe in the knowledge that, as long as they keep bowing low enough, they have a special relationship with the USA.

I've always wondered if it would be acceptable that those of us who feel we need protection would make a small contribution to the financing of these WMDs. After all America has more than they could ever possibly need. OK, the top seat would have to go, but that will only ever affect a handful of people.

In the meantime, the great threat to all of us appears to be from terrorists, who fly planes into buildings or blow up railways and métros.

How is a nuclear deterrent supposed to sort that problem?

Any ideas, George? 



  1. If you are going to post pix of that hideous looking abomination, please alert us first. I nearly choked on my coffee when I scrolled down and saw Jackie's coupon. And its worse, I'm viewing on a 27" monitor. Halloween isny for 2 more months.

    Anyway. The reason they want the nukes is because the other Permanent Members of the UN have them. Since Scotland is unlikely to be a permanent member after we leave, we can afford to be a bit more pragmatic. All the prefects get ribbons on their blazers. Its to make them feel important.

    1. Ah yes, right. Apologies for lack of warning.

      Still with Gideon's name in the title I think you might have reached the conclusion that it was going to be distasteful...

      I'll try to find a way of warning in future so that those with health issues aren't frightened to death.

    2. I wonder how many holes one can dig and refill over 40 years for half a billion pounds is the true value of Trident? Gallows are cheaper.

    3. Just use the missiles.

      Course you won't refill the holes, but as everything will be radioactive, I suspect it won't matter.

      Seriously imagine how much employment you could get out of that money!

  2. Don't worry about Ozzy the Towel folder and his plan to spend £500 million on *ahem* upgrading Faslane to squeeze even MORE leaking nuke powered subs with nukes Tris. I have it on exellent authority that his most recent of recent announcements will not in any way affect the pocket money Scotland receives from Westminster.


    The Viceroy of Scotland has spoken and as we all know the Viceroy NEVER lies. LOL

    Never mind though if I ever attend a Holyrood hustings next year I'll try and get a wee question to the son of the Viceroy to see if he can, as Tory candidate for Dunfriesshire, confirm this fact.

    I jest you not about the son of the Viceroy by the way Tris HE really is standing as the Tory candidate, in between working as a researcher to the Viceroy of Scotland that is. Still I suppose he does need a second job after all £35,000 can only be stretched so far these days!

    Come to think about it he aint that good at being a researcher is he after all if he was ANY good the Viceroy would never be facing up to TWO complaints about his behaviour regarding the visiting of a particular food bank would he? LOL

    I have to agree with Annon Tris. That picture ... you know which one ... really should have had a prison number along the bottom of it! LOL

  3. Brilliant pic Arbroath. I'll use it if I may!

    I almost can't believe it about his son.

    Is his son as stupid as he is? Yeah wait, you just answered that. He's dim. He made a mess of the food bank.

    BTW, did you read Mark's book in which he is thinly disguised?

    LOL Love the prison number quip. Prisoner Cell Block H.

  4. Um, about that top photo...

    1. Oh dear Jon...it's not Chicago, is it?

    2. Afraid so.

      We're looking west from what I presume is the observation deck atop the Sears Tower and it appears that the bomb's actually gone off over Oak Park, the suburb where Ernest Hemingway grew up and where Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio are. From there, I'd have a few seconds before the shockwave flattens my neighborhood (assuming I wasn't vaporized) to finish this repl-

    3. LOL Oh dear. It was selected from a random number of pic that came up in a Google search.

      Rest assured though, the Scottish air force would be over there sharpish to pick you up and bring you back to Scotland before the blast got anywhere near you...

      Nice to hear from you again anyway. I hope things are good over there... Must be heading towards the first cold winds of winter by now...

  5. Tris

    Even before I took any real interest in politics I never saw the point in nuclear weapons, I just didn't get it then and don't get it now. They will never ever be used (thankfully), of course that is assuming the Americans don't have a remote control given they retain the codes and some mad American president like Trump doesn't decide to NUKE someone he doesn't like, Alex Salmond or something.

    The jobs thing is bullshit, it always has been and always will be lied about. I'm sure I read somewhere that many staff come up from England for a few days then go back and Jackie Baillie is a liar, pure and simple, she was at it last night as well on TV regarding the Scottish Governments plans for the next year. Between Baillie and the monthly Willie Rennie witch hunt you just wonder about who elects these people. They say they want this and they want that but they never say what they will cut to pay for them.

    Osbourne can go do one, he is only spending this money because he has no choice, even if parliament was to vote to not renew there are still over 10 of the bloody things rotting away in Scotland that will have to be moved at some point, no doubt when Scotland is independent and it costs us billions to get rid of them, but the work has to be done either way is my take on it. This Government are sick and rotten to the core, there must be many Liberals hiding when they reflect on being a part of that rotten previous Government.

    Either way no one in their right mind can justify this spend or these weapons and just give us the money, get rid of them and I'm sure we can find jobs for the actualy two low paid women that work in the canteen, you know the ones that Baillie doesn't care about.


    1. I don't understand weapons, Bruce.

      I can;t understand why it is that nations, presumably led by some of their brightest and best, have to resort to bombing each other in the 21st century.

      It just seems primitive to me.

      When people are quite literally starving; when we don't have money to ensure that folk with severe disabilities can be looked after; when our roads, education, rail, and health services are left standing by our neighbours, why oh why would we want to buy weapons we won;t use?

      Oh yeah, that seat on the security council; the press conference/photo opportunity with the President.

      Silly me.

      As for Jackie Baillie.... ye gads......

  6. Naughty, naughty Anon for bringing up the subject of the gorgeous Jackie's coupon! Difficult to justify spending all that money on WMD when we do not even know if the damn things work or not? In the same manner as they test uranium tipped ammunition I suspect that if they are testing them it will be in areas like mine.

    Anyway, I'm off over to Wings to add my contribution to the hornet's nest the very Reverend has opened with his remarks about Gaelic. To be fair, with a name like his, his forebears helped attempts to eradicate the Gaelic language but it seems to me that those who object to Gaelic road-signs would, arrogantly, wish every country to have road-signs in English rather than in their own language.

    1. It's a thought. Apparently the Brits buy their WMDs from the USA.

      I wonder how they quality control test them.

      Well, obviously they don't.

      So we could have spent £100,000,000,000 on something that will go "whizzzzzzz...phut!

      Ah well, it's the kind of thing that would happen to the Brits.

      I was just thinking about the Gaelic thing this morning. All this obsolete language garbage. As I recall from my visits to the North West, there are a lot of people who simply speak that language on a day to day basis, and use English as a means of communicating with the outside world. A bit like Icelanders, Faroese and people of other small countries do. You';re right though, the people who object to this would arrive in France and demand that everyone speak English...and properly!

      It all seems to have started with the photograph of the police helicopter with the words "Poileas Alba". No one seems to have bothered that the motto of the police in these parts , printed on all their cars and all the paperwork, was "Semper Viligo", which of course everyone immediately understood, the population of our area being, almost to the man, fluent in Latin. And what about "Honi soit qui mal y pense", or "Dieu et mon droit" which are liberally plastered about the place.

      Folk talk about the importance of "our" heritage, and explain that that's why children at school must read Shakespeare. Of course Shakespeare has nothing at all to do with our heritage, and is written in a language that none of us understands adn which, in many cases puts kids off reading for life. But that's OK, because it's not Scottish.

      As Stuart Campbell pointed out, the actual cost of the road signs is a big fat ZERO. Road signs require to be renewed on a reasonably regular basis, what with them being made of metal and being outdoors 24/7/52 in all weathers. The alternative is that they rust and one day, in a bit of wind (not unknown hereabouts) they blow down in front of your car, go through the windscreen, and you die. So when they are replaced (hopefully before they do that) they have Gaelic added. There is no "translation" cost. The names are known. It's not like they are putting the Iliad on the road signs.

      I understand that the Brits did their best to eradicate the language, as we know that they tried to do elsewhere in the world when they invaded and took over. I recall reading stories of people like (I think it was) Donnie Munro from Runrig, telling how he was strapped for using his native language as a small kid when he fell over in the playground and skinned his knee. And the Brits call other people bloody savages.

      I notice that the barely sentient Jackson Carlot managed to make a fool of himself, sharing a graphic, full of lies, from a Facebook site called "Smash the SNP", with a subtitle of "Stick your independence up your arse". And he's the deputy leader of the Tory Party in Scotland! Stay classy Jackson!

      As I said, barely sentient, he seemed unaware that the policy of the Tory Party, is, or was before the Daily Mail started hating Gaelic, to encourage and foster the use of Gaelic.

      One final thought on this rant. We are told over and over again how much money the queen and her family bring into the UK, clearly largely London (but that is the UK to a lot of them). So she's an anachronism; she's incredibly expensive and her ever growing family costs us all a fortune, but she brings in millions with foreign tourists flocking to see her hanging out a window in Buckingham Palace.

      Gaelic culture also brings in millions, and as a person who has taken many foreign guests around the country, I can confirm that they are always delighted and fascinated by the evidence of the use of Gaelic, which is a bloody sight cheaper than the Saxe-Coburg Gotha clan, and a bloody sight more useful too!

      Rant over.

      I'm off to Wings to see what you said.

    2. Strangely enough, Tris, my comment has vanished despite the fact that I said more or less the same as on here. However, perhaps I should not have pointed out that the Reverend's surname was of Gaelic origin and, perhaps, I should not have translated into English...

      Excellent rant, 'by the way' as we say in Gaelic!

    3. Odd that.

      I would have thought, that Stuart takes criticism and slams it back at the critic in no uncertain terms.

      It's not like him to resort to removing it, but I couldnt find it either.

      Thanks. I feel strongly about language and culture.

    4. Oh yeah... I know what the name means in English!!!

  7. I think we would find out how "Independent" the UK's Independent Nuclear Deterrent is if ever some lunatic in 10 Downing St decided to try it out.

    All the codes would be entered into the big red box, the right keys turned and finally the PM would press the final big red button unleashing hell etc........only nothing would happen........repeated pressing of the big red button....still nothing.

    Moments later the phone would ring and an american voice would say..."er this is the White House - is there a problem?"

    1. Yep, as I understand it the Brits use an American firing system. Before these weapons can be fired, a code has to be supplied by the Pentagon or White House or whoever it is that holds the key.

      Of course neither France nor Britain would use nuclear weapons without America's permission, but at least the French president does have the capability. The Brit PM does not.

      Technically, I believe that the American military count the British warheads as theirs. But the British taxpayer pays for them, and the Scottish people host them at about 20 kms from Glasgow.

      In return people like Cameron and Philip Hammond get to pretend that they matter.

      Deal, huh!

  8. Then there's this to think about: http://tarffadvertiser.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/osbournes-nuke-in-poke.html

    1. Ho ho ho ho...

      Interesting article Brian.

      I can imagine that the Americans would want our money spent on things they could actually use, but I've always thought that they wanted to keep us on teh security council too, to back them in whatever they wanted to do.

      They can't guarantee France will do what they are told. It depends on the President. Chirac = non. Sarkozy = oui.

      It's going to be interesting.

  9. Hi Tris and friends, just back from what I can determine is mainly nuclear free Europe, you know the sensible bits, mostly, The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, I also went to France but they are as stupid as those who rule us. Now I have yet to see a pothole in any of those four countries, even not so sensible France. They all look reasonably well cared for, at least the bits I was in. I do think the French bits were a bit less well cared for though.
    Then will we get to the TV, yes I always watch a bit even though I have no skills with language, funny how the ads from here are the only ones with ones for payday loans.
    As for Trident, well I caught the bit about the cost rising, who would have thunk that. I am old enough to remember many of the armaments costs rising like a Tsunami so how anyone imagined that the price would stay the same, Only in Britain would we give money away hand over fist for what, not much that I can see, maybe we should as our nearest neighbours, well maybe not the French, how they manage so well without nuclear.

  10. Welcome back Helena.

    I'm always hugely impressed when I go to Europe. No where is perfect of course, but the basic necessities of life do seem to come first, unlike in Britain where bombs and wars and prestige come first.

    I'll be visiting, for the first time, Denmark and Sweden later this year or early next year (Scandinavian winter!!!) as one of my best mates is at uni in Gothenberg. I'm looking forward to seeing what they are like.

    I suspect pot holes are relatively unknown.

    1. Was in Gothenburg in 2012, lovely place with strong connections to Scotland and was in Copenhagen the same time, beware cyclists, as bad in Amsterdam. If I had the money I would run trips from Scotland to Europe for education if nothing else, how the other half live. The comparisons are terrible and I cannot for the life of me understand people coming here unless it is to see how not to live. Maybe we should have been showing pictures of what an Independent Scotland could look like, how things could have been improved with no money going on trash like above. Had a wee word with Niko on his blog about how things could have been better for people had they voted for Independence rather than continuing hardship, too late Niko, you were so easily fooled.

    2. Agreed. I am trying to think of somewhere I've been in Europe that was worse than here, and I can't, although I was in Albania once and ...well, there were compensations...

      Niko may yet come round.... well, stranger things have happened.