Tuesday 30 August 2016


...To point out, in case you missed it in the side bar, that Mark Frankland is fundraising urgently for First Base in Dumfries.
Fund raising is a 24/7/52 job. Isn't it heartbreaking that in the supposedly 6th largest economy of the world we feed millions by charity, otherwise they would starve to death. Proud?
I know that some of you have supported Mark in the past and I'd hate you to have missed it. Here's the link to the story, and here's the link to the appeal page.
Aye, well... hard question and I'm only a government minister, not programmed for hard questions from ordinary people. Where's the exit and my ministerial car?
If you can publicise the appeal on social media, it would be hugely appreciated too.



  1. I think it is too simplistic to 'blame westminster' for ingrained poverty. The causes have all sorts of contributing factors. The UK operates a rather generous system of social payments, support benefits into work, and disability allowances.

    The problem goes deeper than 'it's all westminsters fault' or the even more childish explanation 'the tories'.

    1. I didn't.

      I'm not apportioning blame here. I guess what I'm saying is if, like me you are about to sit down to a reasonable dinner, from which you will rise feeling sated, it might be an idea to read this story and make up your mind if you can afford a fiver or a tenner, or maybe more to help those who for whatever reason, are not in that happy position.

      Blame? Loads of people's. Some times the people themselves.

      Shame? Undoubtedly.

      I'm not saying it's the Tories fault becasue it clearly isn't just their fault. The massive crisis in the financial sector upon which we all so desperately depend, was caused by the history graduate, Brown. The mess was made infinitely worse by the towel folder who was recently shown his P45.

      I'd venture to suggest that the British social security system is NOT particularly generous and far too many people fall down holes, particularly those with mental health problems, which, Scotland or England, are seriously underfunded. I wonder why in the 6th largest economy in the world.

      But people make bad choices too. Things can't always be blamed on governments, Scottish or English. Right or left.

      I included a picture of Mundell becasue he went along to the big business food bank (every town should have one), not in his constituency despite having turned down a similar invitation to attend First Base, presumably because Mark has been an outspoken supporter of independence. When he was asked (by two female members of Mark's volunteer staff) why he had refused Mark's invitation, but accepted the posh one with a finger buffet and well paid executives, his reply was "Aye, well" after which he bolted to the door and his chauffeur driven government car.

      But this is not the place for an argument about the inadequacies, or otherwise, of David Mundell.

      For this moment, I repeat, I'm saying, if you have enough money to help out an incredibly good man doing an incredibly hard job with incredibly unfortunate lives, then please do it.

      The End.

    2. No Dean the UK DOES NOT operate a rather generous system of social payments and anyone who believes that it does is in for a very BIG shock if they ever need to avail themselves of it. It is particularly bad if you are single with no children which I believe is your status.

    3. It's particularly unpleasant too.

      Unlike most continental systems there is no built in safety period for the short term unemployed or ill. Here, if you find yourself unemployed or sick, immediately you are cut to a small weekly sum. There's no earning related payment, which if you are only going to be in receipt of benefits for a short time (which most people are) can ensure that you don;t have to sell up, get rid of the car, and cancel everything.

      Additionally the retirement pension is the second lowest in the developed world when compared with the countries average wage. Mexico is worse, but we are beaten by Romanian and Albania.

      And then there is the sanction regime which penalises people dependent on public transport, or long walks for being minutes late for appointments, when they are often kept waiting to be seen.

      I've worked for the DWP. It was the most depressing job in the most disorganised chaotic mess I've ever had the displeasure to come across.

    4. "The UK operates a rather generous system of social payments, support benefits into work, and disability allowances."

      Compared to your neo-liberal heroes in the USA perhaps.

      Not to civilised people.

    5. First time I've heard it described as generous.

      I suppose it is if you are used to the system in Zimbabwe.

  2. I will donate, as I have done in the past.
    Mark's a great guy, I went to Dumfries just to meet him, and give some cash.

    Its not all the fault of the Westminster Tories, Dean, but they ain't helping much, too busy punching above their weight.

    1. I was just saying to Munguin that we should go to Dumfries with a bag of Dundee food. He says we'd have to stay overnight, but I guess that means we could visit that nice animal sanctuary too...

      Plans!!!! :)

    2. Seriously amazed to see above that someone has put "disagree". How can you disagree with helping hungry folk?


    3. Well there is that. Anyone seen Roden?