NO SHOW WITHOUT MUNGUIN

IMG_20170830_145024963_HDR

Munguin, being a modest animal, failed to notify me that he had been invited to have a run over the bridge before the queen opens it officially.

So, without any forewarning, I was summoned to “bring round the Rolls” today at lunchtime (just as I was about to enjoy my bread and cheese) and to chauffeur himself to Queensferry, whereupon he said a few words…

“OK, home, Tris”.

I’m willing to bet that her majesty will be far less inspired in her choice of words next week.

It was worth the trip though. The bridge is fantastic, more beautiful than photographs show it to be. It was sad that the BBC radio news at 5 pm  had it so far down in the running order (behind a company in the Netherlands that is making gas from stale bread, would you believe?), and even then, chose to highlight that there had been delays (erm, what did they expect?) and that a van had broken down. I wonder if there were a new bridge over the Thames, they would have been so negative.

Anyway, here are Munguin’s souvenirs for those of you not so privileged to be invited to be there on the first day.

 

IMG_20170830_150924529_HDR
There was a build up of traffic en route…

 

 

IMG_20170830_151524044
… then it came into sight.
IMG_20170830_151631782_HDR
Unlike the old bridge, it will be a motorway, but with no walkway. The 40mph restriction is only in force for the next few weeks, while people come to stare. In future, the speed limit will be 70 mph.
IMG_20170830_151641781
It has side wind protection, so you can barely see the other bridges when you are on it.
IMG_20170830_152553088_HDR
From under the bridge…
IMG_20170830_152804874_HDR
Munguin chose to say a few words with the backdrop of the three bridges.
IMG_20170830_153412954_HDR
I think he’d nipped off into the bushes to relieve himself here. (Champagne does that to one.)

 

Advertisements

WEDNESDAY IS BRIDGE DAY

abrige

On Munguin’s Republic, we are not of the type that thinks Scotland is perfect. Far from it.

We don’t get teary eyed about hills and glens and the bonnie purple heather. We love it, but there are bonnie hills and glens all over the world and yes, there’s even heather.

 

calluna vulgaris
Calluna Vulgaris grows all over Iceland

 

We don’t take the attitude that Scots are better, or friendlier, nicer, kinder, better looking or anything else, than other folk. We’ve travelled a bit and we know that is just nonsesnse. There are lovely people, and awful ones, the world over. From Albania (we remember the little boy who gave us a hand -painted scene on a piece of wood and refused to take anything for it) to Zambia (we remember the guy who we helped to get into work and who came around after his first pay day with a massive box of biscuits).

a11

But there’s something comforting in the knowledge that our government is trying to maintain good relations and as close ties as Westminster will let us with the rest of our continent, while the government in Westminster seems determined to pull the UK away into desperate isolation.

aTheresa-May-006

We’re content that while they sell weapons to whatever terrorist government will buy them, apparently no questions asked, and no eyes raised at the number of civilian and child casualties, and they rush to war to prove that they are important and punch above their weight,  we both metaphorically, and literally, build bridges.

aa£

Munguin looks forward to driving over the bridge in the very near future.

OH, JEREMY CORBYN

ac

You may remember that we at Munguin’s Republic were pleased when Corbyn won the Labour leadership over the bunch of Blairite Tory-lite contenders.

We were happier still when the disloyal ex- front benchers tried to remove him and first one, and then another, no-hoper, third-rater stood against him, and he not only beat them, but beat them by an ever bigger margin than his first victory.

We laughed too,  at Dugdale’s off on relationship with him. He was useless, then he was the leader and would lead them to victory, then he was useless again, and so on… Not quite sure where she is with him at the moment.

adu

We don’t rate and indeed have never have rated Dugdale from way back when she was the Noble ffoulkes’ assistant and ran a blog. We’ve no idea what she is like as a person, but as a political leader, she is worse than useless and she’ll never be the first minister.

However, we did rate Corbyn. A proper Labour man, we thought. And we laughed like a drain (even if he did win some seats from the SNP) when he overturned Mayhem’s expectations of an overwhelming victory in her humiliating 2017 General Election. The one she couldn’t lose, but that put paid to “strong and stable”, and left her even more weak and wobbly than before.

OK, we didn’t like his attitude to Scotland, but reckoned that with a bit of time, and given the chance to develop from being simply a North London MP into a supranational leader, he would learn about us, learn what makes us tick… and conclude that we’re not Englishmen with Mc in front of our names. We thought too that he might come to respect the SNP for the left of centre party it was. OK, opposition party but with policies worthy of respect.

a3

Wrong. He must get his information about the SNP from the Daily Mail.

He came to Scotland this summer to tour marginal seats that Labour might hope to take from the SNP. (Taking seats from the SNP will NOT reduce the number of seats the Conservatives hold… and at the next election they may have a proper leader, a real challenge and not the chaotic, stupid, weak, uninspired and uninspiring waste of space they have now.) But no, Jeremy only wanted to take seats from the SNP.

Unfortunately, he seems to have learned nothing about Scotland.

He seems to think that we are a nation of England.

He appears to be unaware that we have a separate legal system and totally separate laws. He is clearly also unaware that parts of the Kingdom of Denmark are members of the EU, and other parts are not.

He has criticised the SNP for failing to nationalise the railways. This despite Labour in England failing to nationalise the railways in 1997 when they fought an election campaign on the matter, and for the following 13 years in which they were in power and could have done so at a stroke.

aa

He seems not to know that it was against UK law (including in Labour’s 13 year governance of the UK)  for railways in Scotland to be privatised, until very recently (after the last franchise was awarded). Nor did he seem aware that since that law changed, the Minister for Transport has been working on a plan of how to do this. (NB, I’m not entirely sure why the Herald would call ScotRail troubled, given that it is the best performing rail service in the UK. Odd how the press just hates the Scottish government.)

He doesn’t know about Scottish Water still belonging to the people instead of being a money making concern as in England and Wales.

It would seem that no one told him about the Scottish government mitigating some of the worst of the Conservative’s harsh social security policies. More than £100 million of relief for young people who need housing benefit; for anyone forced to live in homes with a bedroom they do not want or need, due to a shortage of housing, for example.

Angela-Constance

He gives the impression of knowing nothing about the setting up of a social security ministry in Scotland that will not operate sanctions that apply in Tory England and Labour Wales.

And he is either ignorant of, or has chosen to ignore, the fact that from next year, carers in Scotland will be £600 a year better off than they are in the UK. And that there will be extra help for the poorest parents.

Free prescriptions, eye tests, bus passes, elderly care all seem to have passed him by.

In all that he has been saying, Mr Corbyn has failed to explain why the Welsh government, a Labour government, has seemingly failed to mitigate Tory cuts. I challenge Mr Corbyn to suggest these changes to Wales, and to pledge them for England should he be their prime minister.

abre

And his volte face on the single market and customs union, is singularly unimpressive.

I had great hopes for Mr Corbyn. I feel a bit let down.

His motto does seem to be, Tories are a pain, but SNP, no matter what they do, are plain BAD and must be expunged, even if the method of achieving this is to lie through one’s teeth.

Shame.

SOPPY SUNDAY

 

n joss orph
Hello, my name is Joss.
n kerry
Kerry.
n govan 1890s
Govan 1890s.
n hitching a ride
Sometimes you just need a lift.
n hk to macau
Bridge from Hong Kong to Macau.
n king
Kingfisher.
n Kinderdijk, Neth
Kinderdijk, Netherlands.
n olympic national park
Olympic National Park.
n or
I’m getting bored waiting!
n panda
Panda.
n pawalan, philippines
Pawalan, Philippines.
n pig
I’m as happy as a human in… Oh, sorry, it’s Sunday, I can’t say it.
N queensfery 1887
Queensferry 1887.
n sea eagle or golden
Golden Eagle, I think.
n tala reservoir borders
Tala Reservoir, Borders.
n em
Hi, Mum.
n culross
Culross, Fife.
n sheep
Mooooooooooo
n blaze
Blaze fae Skye. (Hopefully this time.)
n bridge
Our bridge at night.
n or1
OK tired now, I’m going to have a sleep on Mum.

 

WELCOME TO LIBYA YOUR QUEENNESS

It’s my favourite rendition. Somehow the enthusiasm of the players matches my feelings of pride when I hear it, and the uncertainty of where exactly the music is leading us to reflects perfectly the atmosphere of “lost and abandoned” that a lot of us feel.

aab

But the question is, do the Libyans know that the mad mop head that just arrived from London isn’t actually the Queen of England?

And are the Libyan people suitably grateful for the intervention of Britain (and France and the USA) in their affairs?

**********

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS

££

It sounds a bit like “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”, but I remember my father saying something about politicians which went… “you play ball with me, and I’ll hit you over the head with the bat.”

That seems more likely to me. Be wary.

**********

ar

I see that after a protracted period of donning camouflage gear, hiding in the shadows and being uncustomarily camera shy, Ruth Davidson has emerged to explain to the BBC, and to us, why she has allowed the reinstatement of racist councillors.

 

arutha
Ooooops….

 

She says that everyone must be given a second chance; a chance to change their behaviour. I agree with her. People need a second chance. Even people who are late for m Jobcentre interviews. But it seems to me that the councillors are mature people and that to change their outlooks on race and homophobia, not to mention what is appropriate behaviour online, may take a little time.

aruth00

I think, had I been Ruth, I’d have seen how the training was going before I welcomed these people back into the fold. But that’s me, and I’m not a Tory.

Oh, and now Ruth, then there’s this MP chappie who made a racist comment today about Travellers and inspired this email from a young traveller. Best get him in for a session on views… and while you’re on it, there’s always Murdo.

a£

You’ve got some right charmers in your party, haven’t you?

**********

a!

She might, while she’s in the mood to speak out,  like to apologise for this. After all, Scots voted to stay in the UK union and to stay in the European union. I certainly know some who changed their mind about independence for Scotland when they were told they would be thrown out of the EU and would find themselves a small country on the edge of Europe, all alone, with no trading partners, apparently waiting in a (non-existent) queue for EU membership.

Then, because we were not independent, Scotland’s substantial vote to remain in the EU was overturned by a very marginal vote in England to leave the EU.

br1

The broad shoulders of the union spat that one back in our faces. We’ve got Darling’s “best of both worlds” sitting here alone and scrambling around for a trade deal, any trade deal, with Donald J Bloody Trump.  Still, Alistair is now a right honourable and noble aristocrat with a great job for life. So all the travails won’t bother him. Privilege of Peerage, don’t you know?

Thanks, Ruth. Your lies facilitated this.

**********

a thick

These broad shoulders don’t half cost a lot when it comes to getting about. So grateful to be part of the United Kingdom.

Labour seems to be determined to blame the SNP for the fact that we have a privatised railway system in Scotland. And that ScotRail is operated by a Dutch company.

alab-cant-public1

The Scottish government, following the Smith Commission, was granted powers to award rail franchises to public sector organisations in the 2016 Act (too late for the last bidding process). Humza is preparing a government bid for a future bidding process.

It strikes me, though, that Labour’s 1997 manifesto for the Uk contained a promise to renationalise the railways which never came to pass when they won… and in the 13 years that they were in power.

Odd that! But in the meantime:

a!

**********

bre7

In view of recent discussions about GERS, I thought you might be interested in this article that Iain sent me.

**********

brex

**********

Oh and lastly, but not leastly, this gem…

aboris

But, but….

IT’S …YAWN… GERS TIME… YAWN… AGAIN

aaaaSo, once again, we’ll say it with a quote from an article in the Herald from some years ago:

<<Gers was conceived as a political, not as a statistical, exercise. We know this because the original correspondence from the then Secretary of State, Ian Lang, was leaked some years ago – he wanted it to “undermine the other parties”, saying “this initiative could score against all of them”.>>

Ian Lang was working hard against his own country when he was John Major’s Secretary of State. His intent was to undermine “the other parties”, including Labour. (Note to Labour. Given that Lang designed GERS to make you lot look bad, your fixation with them now is a little silly.) 

The figures, as far as I can make out, are incomplete and take no account of UK borrowing (a not insubstantial and ever-growing amount). The figures are calculated by the Scottish government based on incomplete evidence provided by the UK government. It is little wonder that they put Scottish finances in a poor light.

So GERS gives a false impression of Scotland in its present situation as part of the UK (as indeed Lang intended). It gives no indication at all of what the financial situation would be were Scotland to be independent and free from the financial responsibility of “punching above its weight” on the world scene; playing in some ridiculous way, at being one of the Big Boys, like China and the USA, instead of one of the small fry, like Denmark or Norway.

That the soon to be unelected MP and now Noble Baron, Mr Lang, was encouraged to concoct something so treacherous suggests that the Major government feared and was determined to stamp out any notion of devolution in the early 90s.

alan

That Lang had to concoct a fiction to do it says all we need to know about the situation.

And the fact that he was prepared to work against his own country in that way, says all we need to know about him as a person. He was, I believe, the one who said, in a debate in the House of Lords, that the creation of an independent Scotland would ‘dishonour’ the memories of all those Scottish soldiers who died fighting for Britain during various wars.

I was pretty close to vomiting when I read that!

Right HONOURABLE??????

Still, he’s ended up doing well out of it… and that’s probably all that matters to him.