THE STATE OF THE STATE

 

amay
I wonder at whom that look of utter loathing was directed.

 

It’s always brought a smile to my face when British Prime Minister after British Prime Minister has trotted around the world in a self-important manner spouting off about democracy.

Surely, Britain is one of the least truly democratic countries in the West, I thought.

After all, we have an unelected head of state whom we were always told was ceremonial and had no powers at all. It turns out that in truth not only does she and her immediate family have immense influence, she and her eldest son, have real powers which they use to have laws changed.

 

aQueen-wearing-the-valuable-crown-562552
Who elected the woman with the expensive hat?

 

They also have the use of the Privy Council, which can make declarations in the name of Her Majesty. These are the law with no scrutiny allowed.

Next, the government can use Statutory Instruments, also known as SIs, a form of legislation which allows the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be subsequently brought into force or altered without Parliament having to pass a new Act. They are also referred to as secondary, delegated or subordinate legislation.

 

aThe-House-of-Lords-Getty
Ruritania.

 

Then there is the House of Lords, the second largest legislative chamber in the world (after the National People’s Congress of China… a country of 1.4 billion people). It comprises firstly of 90 hereditary peers, self-selected by the Earls, Viscounts, Marquesses, and Dukes (which we still have in this bastion of democracy). The rest of us are excluded from voting on who these people should be (and once elected by their peers they can remain there until death). Only other hereditary aristocrats have a vote.

A further two hereditaries sit as of right, because of positions they historically hold in the royal household. (It’s already beginning to sound like something dreamt up for an 18th-century comic opera, isn’t it?)

 

chol
The Marquis and Marchioness Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumly). His marquisness gets to sit as of right in the HoL. (I assume the metal containers are for vomiting in if all the bowing and scraping makes you need to upchuck.)

 

Next in this massive house, are archbishops and bishops of the established church of the state religion. Listen to that: state religion! Finally, there is a rag bag of who knows how many ex-ministers and failed politicians, rich people who have given money to one of the three main parties… and a few oddballs the reason for whose presence can only be wondered at.

 

amoan
The Noble Member for the Isle of Man? Classy!

 

Then there is the supposedly democratic part of governance. The Commons, elected by a ridiculous first past the post system which can give an absolute majority on a vote of around 35%, and in which two-thirds of the seats never change hands. And this all underpinned by a party whipping system designed to keep most MPs very firmly on message.

Under this prime minister, we have seen some rather odd and disturbing developments which further undermine the feeble democracy that we have.

 

boris-johnson-brexit
Boris bringing back control and giving it to the likes of Hunt and Rudd! Sheesh.

 

Ironically they have come about in the wake of Brexit, which was supposed to return power to parliament from supposedly undemocratic EU institutions, like the council of ministers (comprising of elected ministers from the member states) or the European parliament, elected on a proportional representation system.

The first happened when our ridiculously inept prime minister called a general election to prove that she was strong and stable, expecting to win a thumping majority, and in fact lost the small majority she had inherited from David Cameron. Looking more than a little ridiculous she reached out to someone even more ridiculous: the ex-First Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the DUP, currently under investigation for the mishandling of a large sum of public money, Arlene Foster.

 

£
Arlene cash for ash Foster.

 

The DUP agreed to use its 10 members to back the prime minister in certain matters (because of EVEL, Irish MPs cannot vote on any legislation that is England only) in return for £1.5 billion. Pretty much a bribe, using public money…our money!

Next, May decided to “fix” the committee system so that, despite not having a majority in parliament, the Tories would have a majority of members on every important committee in parliament.  (Somewhat ridiculously they have more members than any other party on the Scottish Affairs Committee)

ahit

Finally, May has brought in and had passed in the Commons, a Bill that will give ministers the right to alter the law without any reference to parliament. The powers have been nick-named Henry VIII powers, after England’s most authoritarian monarch, but many commentators feel that they resemble much more closely The Enabling Act (1933), which allowed Hitler to bypass the Reichstag and rule by ministerial (his) power.

It is a dangerous road to take, and as I said, all the more ironic because, apart from xenophobia, it seems to me that the biggest cries from the popular press were that British laws should be made exclusively by British representatives in a British fashion in Britain, mindful of Great British values (whatever they are). And of course that we keep being told that we MUST respect the  British people who voted for Brexit.

Ho hum, funny old world.

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98 thoughts on “THE STATE OF THE STATE”

  1. The state of it, this manufactured imperialist drag queen of an auld slapper disguised in her threadbare rag-tag of “Cool Britannia” faux democratic threads with glaring holes and rips in her threadbare togs.

    Ayne decrepit, decaying shagger for hire with boot boys and gals to muscle her fading pretensions up.

    The fcuking state of it…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LOL … Yep, that sums it up.

      I’m thinking that May is very lucky that her brief period as PM is coinciding with a Tangerine being the president of the USA.

      Clearly, his tomfoolery is infinitely more important and more unsettling to the world, than the pathetic farce that occupies the crooked lot in London.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Does it make any sense to anyone else if I say it makes me think “Ruritania meets Mussolini”?

    It’s demeaning to feel any attachment to a State that has become so distasteful, so disreputable, so gratuitously offensive. I can cope with ignorance, but I have severe difficulties with wilful, blind, pig-ignorance. Ah well, I suppose that’s what the propaganda is for – propaganda, ignorance for the propagation of.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. P.P.S. And I forgot to say thanks for a very good article, Tris, which is what I wanted to start out with. Sheesh. I hate WordPress too… saving every typo and solecism, grammatical and social, for the benefit of all posteriority!

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Ah well, please excuse my evil twin Kevin – he was playing around with the language yet again, and he’s always liked “posteriority” since he heard Tony Benn use it in an interview about him renouncing his peerage in order to become a qualified House of Commons MP.

            The phrase “for all posteriority” does mean – oh, “for all time thereafter / hereafter”, rather than “for all posterity”, which means for all future generations, but I challenge anyone to read or hear the word without thinking “bottoms, bottoms, bottoms”.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. Tris
    That’s been the key, the 1% have convinced the UK that it lives in a democracy when it fact it never has and won’t as long as we are chained to Westminster, and an England that is up its own arse. Plus neither want democracy in any shape or form anyway, even today Junker has moved the EU closer to a superstate that will remove decision making further away from the people , all steps back in History and a huge mistake in my opinion.

    The world has gone mad and the UK and USA predictably are the first to erode the slight gains that many fought and died for. Things are going to get a hell of a lot worse before they get better and the analogy of what Hitler did and May are not far off the mark, check out the link https://www.quora.com/How-did-Hitler-manage-to-take-complete-control-of-Germany-when-the-country-was-effectively-a-modern-democracy and be afraid, I am.

    Bruce

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree. It is scary.

      But there seems little we can do about it.

      Een when we don;t give our government’s majorities, they buy them.

      And what do we do?

      Nothing.

      We probably deserve all we get.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Great article! I really enjoyed it.

    As a citizen of the Great Republic…..(need I say more?)……..I have often expressed my humble opinion that history has shown the British to be pathologically incapable of self government. The only acceptable democratic form of government is a republic. But when the British actually had one, they came unglued and made Cromwell a de-facto King. When he died, the panicked populace sent away for the son of the old King and asked him to please come back and reestablish the monarchy. Which he did. Seriously!

    Then they dug up Cromwell (whom they had buried in Kingly Raiment,) and cut his head off. Yes they did! Seriously! I am NOT making this up.

    One could stop the “making it up as you go along” style of government by simply writing down what you do in a constitution. But in written form, it would read so funny that no one would take it seriously.

    How is that state religion thingy working out for ya, BTW? Or the family that breeds heads of state?

    The Queen meets the Privy Council and they read the laws that they don’t want the House of Commons to have a crack at, and she just says “approved,” for every one. Seriously!

    And everyone stands because that’s the way Victoria did it. Seriously! It’s all on YouTube:

    If you want to see the way a republic with an elected head of state functions……just come to Washington. America has shown you the way. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Westminster waves the rules
    The Torys are being ruthless
    In clinging by the tips of their
    Fingers to powers .
    When as they will be they
    Are dragged by the electors /
    Mob out of Westminster .

    All the party’s should return the
    Favour and destroy the Conservative
    Party for all time.
    This isn’t politics any more
    It’s life or death

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The government of Britain will not be set right until the Prime Minister forms a government without going to the palace. He can surely refuse to do so. Parliament can do anything. He simply refuses to recognize the Monarchy anymore. The republican revolution would not even require gunfire. (Although Americans found that it does move things along.) For all of the chatter about Jeremy possibly refusing to join the Privy Council, he caved in like all British politicians too. It’s apparently not even clear that he refused to kneel on the stool before her regalness.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/nov/11/jeremy-corbyn-did-not-kneel-for-the-queen

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Danny

      He bowed his head slightly which
      Is all that is required out of
      Politeness.

      One of the pitfalls of not having
      A written constitution is the
      Elected representatives can do
      Almost whatever it wants if they
      Can carry a majority at Westminster.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep, with an unwritten constitution, a majority at Westminster can do whatever they want. Which suggests that the real problem is the British people. They can do away with the Monarchy by simply ignoring it and doing away with the Civil List. They could even call it a Glorious Revolution. But of course they’ve already used that for one King deposing another. (The British idea of revolution.)

        The British are really no worse in principle than the other European monarchies I guess. It’s just that the Brits make a bizarre, hugely expensive Gilbert and Sullivan operetta out of it. The French had the right idea. Although they made a mess of it, there’s at least no King running around France anymore.

        Same with America in a sense. The problem is not Donald Trump. Sleazy con men and posturing demagogues are a dime a dozen. The problem is the people who vote for them.

        The Brits don’t even get a vote when they want a moron as Head of State.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, I think you are right, Danny. Although monarchy is an anachronism in the 21st century there are still many European monarchies.

          And the amazing thing is that they are, in some part, in the most modern and socially advanced countries.

          Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands. To a lesser extent, maybe, Belgium and Luxembourg. But also in Spain, Monaco, Liechtenstein.

          It doesn’t help that the queen here has been on the throne since the early 1950s. She is of another time.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. BTW, people who insist that Britain has an unwritten constitution invariably start yammering about Magna Carta. I saw one of the 1215 copies one time (on tour in the states) and it is definitely written. But it’s written in LATIN. So I don’t think it counts. Only Conan would be able to understand it.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. It is important for party leaders to be PCs. This is because, having sworn that oath (which needs to be updated), they can be party to secrets that they swear never to disclose.

        First Ministers in devolved nations are now PCs as well…even Arlene!

        But they really need to lose all the ceremonial nonsense that goes with it. Not only is it expensive but it’s embarrassing.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. There was some talk of that at the time, Danny, but it didn’t come to anything. Simply, to be a large party leader you need to be able to be briefed on top security matters.

            Along with all cabinet ministers, the first ministers of Scotland Wales and NI are PCs, for that reason, and Ruth Davidson is too because she’s a friend of Mrs May and is allowed to sit in on British Cabinet Meetings…erm…. just because. Well, in fairness it is probably because Fluffy is such a dunce that it is good to have someone who can understand the orders that the Cabinet hands out to Scotland!

            In the end Corbyn really had no choice. I’m certain that Nicola has no wish whatsoever to be a PC member but she would be letting Scotland down not to accept so that she can have all the facts.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. “You will not know or understand of any manner of thing to be attempted, done or spoken against Her Majesty’s person, honour, crown or dignity royal, but you will let and withstand the same to the uttermost of your power, and either cause it to be revealed to Her Majesty herself, or to such of her privy council as shall advertise Her Majesty of the same.

      “You will in all things to be moved, treated and debated in council, faithfully and truly declare your mind and opinion, according to your heart and conscience; and will keep secret all matters committed and revealed unto you, or that shall be treated of secretly in council.”

      LOL LOL LOL!¬!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Trumpy would like that a lot. He’s very big on personal loyalty to his orangeness, and once had a cabinet meeting that went something like that……although the wording was not so fancy. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  7. The system depends 100% on the vast majority of people being disengaged with the political process.
    This allows a small minority to control the many through media soundbites and propaganda.
    If people realised how they are being manipulated for the benefit of an elite then things would change but that will not be allowed to happen.
    One of the reasons that Brexit has been on hold for 15 months is that the elite would not be in control of the message and hence an unpredictable outcome.
    There will always be an England…..and their firelock tugging culture and of course us rebellious Scots to remind them of the error of their ways.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And of course most people are not engaged in any real way.

      You get some amazing opinions taken straight from the front page of the Sun or the Mail which have absolutely no connection to the part of the country that the speaker is from.

      I listened to a rant from a particularly obnoxious neighbour about the kind of people now living in our street. He blamed the EU. I pointed out to him that the drunk who lived next door was Scottish; the drug dealer was Scottish; the girl that came out for a fag in her dressing gown at 2 pm was Scottish, and the guy who stole flowers from the garden was Scottish.

      The nice lad who carried their shopping was Hungarian; the guy who gave them a push when the car wouldn’t start was Bulgarian and the lad who gave them a lift into town when they were waiting for the bus was Polish.

      And yet, all the problems of the street were caused by the EU?

      Thick. But then the Daily Mail said it so it must be true.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’m all in favour of freedom of speech, but oof, I keep wanting to make certain exceptions! Those barstewards cost us our independence in 2014, and I’m not going to be forgiving them for it anytime soon. And no, I wouldn’t win a criminal case over it where the criterion is no reasonable doubt, but as for a civil case – balance of probabilities… I think we all know that the Britnat propaganda has the desired effect on far more Scots than the 10% or so it would have taken to reverse that 45:55 ratio. I’m not sure how you could find out for sure, though I’m sure there must be some interested experimental psychologists and pollsters out there who’d like to give it a go.

        Tris’s obnoxious neighbour is a good example. The propaganda continues to make people hatefilled and hateful, building on the usual fear of the Other that so many people seem to have, in denial of both reason and experience. I wonder where they get it from, originally… it doesn’t seem to bother wee kids when another toddler has different hair or a different skin colour. Racism, xenophobia, homophobia – it’s not right to call them phobias, really, because they’re not phobias, it just means that the person is an a*sehole in some particular way – sectarianism, bigotry of all kinds – all aspects of the same thing.

        They’re all mental garbage, and people are better off and generally lead better, happier and more fulfilling lives without them. I am always glad to assist, but oh – Hercules had an easier time of it with the Augean stables than anyone trying to dislodge that crap from people’s mindsets if they don’t want it dislodged – see brick wall, now bang head.

        The Cringe is the same – but there’s an identity between the object and the agent. Which is a poncy way of saying that the Cringe is self-hatred, it’s shame about who and what you are. We gay people frequently have rather more direct experience of this, even if no one has told the Honorary Colonel about it yet. In a nutshell, internalizing negative propaganda negatively affects the mental health of far too many of our people. I won’t be forgiving the Usual Suspects in the Establishment and the meeja for that either anytime soon.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, good points.

          When I pointed out the facts to Ron the Obnoxious he argued that he had found a few discarded lager cans in the park, and that they were Polish! Thus all foreigners were just bringing the country down.

          I pointed out to him that I drank Polish or Czech lager, and sometimes Italian, French or even Chilean wines, and I was Scottish. It was just possible that, given that their lagers were rather better than ours, that Scottish people could have left them in the park.

          This apparently hadn’t occurred to him, intellect not being his strong point.

          Liked by 3 people

      1. ….continued, I have no idea what happened!

        Mainly because ‘no’ seemed to me to be a bitter pill to swallow, and, when I thought about it, an incredible pill to swallow. I kind of live in this country, but I fail to find a sane ‘no’ voter that can justify their vote.

        We see it dripping into Westminster Elections where the North East votes for their own destruction.

        It is only explicable through stupidity.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Well, we were all bitterly disappointed, because we had been ahead before Cameron brought out the vow and got Clegg and Miliband to sign up to it.

          I doubt anyone really though Cameron would keep his word. The notion that an English gentleman’s word was his bond seemed highly unlikely in the case of the Bullingdon set.

          It’s ironic that the areas of England that may well suffer most under Brexit, are those who voted most firmly for it. Ford looks like closing its factory at Dagenham, and it is still uncertain what the Brits can do to bribe the Japanese to stay in the North.

          I doubt they will find Nissan and the likes as cheap as the DUP.

          They’d better start cultivating that magic money tree and getting ready to do some shaking… and then they have to find the £350 million a week for the NHS.

          You know, when I think about it, I’m not surprised that no one has challenged the dictator for the top job. Who the hell would want it?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. That ‘morning after’ feeling was not helped by Cameron quite brazenly seeing a vote against Scottish Independence as an opportunity to re-establish hegemony. It was, perhaps, that that made me soldier on. Cameron and May shared a Cabinet which is dislocated from the electorate and feeds on lies and cheating. The blessed Theresa can’t even do that right.

            I don’t think – absent Thatcher who was just nuts – that I have seen a more abjectly stupid government in my lifetime.

            Liked by 2 people

  8. Talking of Royal interference and Oliver Cromwell. Winston Churchill (of all people) as First Lord of the Admiralty twice proposed that a battleship be named HMS Oliver Cromwell (seeing as Crowell founded the English Navy). King George V objected on both occasions because Cromwell had, had his ancestor’s (Charles I) head cut off. The dispute between Charles and Crowell was ostensibly over who rules the country. Cromwell and Parliament by right of the people or Charles by the divine right of kings. On the occasion Cromwell won. In the dispute between George and Churchill the King’s divine right trumped all!

    Interestingly Churchill also proposed HMS Pitt after the Prime Minister of that name. Again the King objected and got his way. This time though it was nothing to do with personal objections to how Pitt had treated his ancestors or indeed anything to do with divine rights. The King objected because sailors had a propensity to find scatological nicknames for their vessels and Pitt was an obvious corker. Ah how the Royal mind thinks! Divine right one moment and scatological nicknames the next!

    Liked by 3 people

        1. There was a whole Hunt class of escort destroyers in WW2….. Btw, it was proposed that one of the big gun set up on the south coast of England in 1940 should be named after Churchill – which it was, although shortened to “Winnie” – but the military showed a sense of humour – or maybe something else – by naming its partner gun “Pooh”. But nobody called the ships anything other than Hunts.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I suspect his actual title is “The Wales Office Minister for screwing Wales” which is, pretty much, just a crazy rip off of Mr Mundels title. Just out of curiosity who’s title is “The Northern Ireland Minister for re-starting the Troubles”?

      Last one was a step too far, but, not unbelievable.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think restarting the troubles is May’s job, ably assisted by Davis and Johnson.

        I’m wondering how the Noble Lord can be in Scotland and Wales at the same time, serving two masters from his lordly place in the House of Our Betters.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Goodness. These initials ring a bell.

            Kozy Kute Kittens? Nope

            Klean Koated Klepomaniacs?

            Nope…

            Oh I know. They’re the guys that dress up as ghosts and scare the crap out of everyone…

            Like

        1. I don’t recall hearing very much from Mundell lately – maybe he’s been told to put a sock in it to save Them the trouble of having to flat-out contradict him every time he opens his gob? As in the billion-pound bung for the fragrant Arlene, and him saying that of course Scotland would be getting more dosh too. Hm. That really went spectacularly well for him, didn’t it? Actually, I wondered why he wasn’t replaced as Governor-General the minute they had a pool of other candidates to choose from… the only explanation I can think of is that the Honorary Colonel wants to keep him where he is, and even as leader of the Scottish Tories at Westminster, because he’s the one most likely to do what she tells him.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. He probably makes a reasonable cup of tea for her while she’s busy planning her next military campaign.

            I suppose she’s not too fussy about the quality of the tea, her being a soldier an all…

            Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah yes, ‘the mother of all parliaments’. Britain (great or otherwise) does have an admirable place in the history of the evolution of democracy but just because ‘we’ ‘invented’ it doesn’t mean, by any stretch of the imagination, that we are the epitome of democracy. I mean, I love my mother to bits & still trust her opinion & advice on many issues but she is, quite frankly, wrong about all sorts of things & hopelessly behind the times in others. Thankfully my mother, unlike the mother of all parliaments, does not consider herself to be infallible.

    I’m so pleased to see the Scottish Parliament taking inspiration from parliaments around the world, though they do, too often, still look to Westminster for their guiding principles & practices…

    I must say, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Great Britain but the last three to four years (has it only been that long?) have been a real eye-opener regarding the true nature of the British State. Ugly. Very ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they just made uup the mother of parliaments:

      The title of oldest continuously functioning democracy is more hotly contested. Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the Isle of Man all have local parliaments founded in the ninth and 10th centuries, when Vikings pillaged, plundered and set up legislative bodies on the sea-islands of far northern Europe. Iceland’s national parliament, the Althing, dates back to A.D. 930, but it spent centuries under Norwegian and Danish rule. Man and the Faroes, meanwhile, remain dependencies of the United Kingdom and Denmark, respectively.
      The United States is among the oldest modern democracies, but it is only the oldest if the criteria are refined to disqualify claimants ranging from Switzerland to San Marino. Some historians suggest that the Native American Six Nations confederacy (Iroquois), which traces its consensus-based government tradition across eight centuries, is the oldest living participatory democracy. Others point out that meaningful democracy only arrived at a national level in 1906, when Finland became the first country to abolish race and gender requirements for both voting and for serving in government.

      http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/what-is-the-worlds-oldest-democracy

      Our parliament is a great improvement on teh British one, but it was set up by Brits, so it is similar in some ways to Westminster.

      W”e should be learning lessons for Nordic countries with whom we have far more in common.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dammit Tris, there you go bringing facts & history & stuff into the argument. Won’t do at all, I’m afraid.

        As a half-New Zealander, if also like their parliament to get an honourable mention as the first to allow women to vote on an equal basis with men. (Unless I’m historically mistaken, again…)

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, there you go. One of the mos progressive coun tries in so many things… and yet lagging behind on that.

            Suisse also shocked me. I’ve always thought them very sensible, but universal suffrage wasn’t allowed throughout all the cantons until 1991.

            “Women in Switzerland gained the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum in February 1971.[1] In 1991 following a decision by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, Appenzell Innerrhoden became the last Swiss canton to grant women the vote on local issues.[2]” Wikipedia.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ll take the Iroquois claim to being the oldest living democracy very seriously, and Leif Ericsson as the first European “discoverer”.

    Change our point of view a bit, and we can see clearly that the European invasions were disaster heaped upon catastrophe for the indigenous inhabitants of the Americas – an example being the Iroquois and their democracy, and before you know it this bunch of killjoy fundamentalist theocrats arrive from England, and before you know it they’re slaughtering people like DAESH does today and spreading murder and mayhem everywhere they go…

    Just as a for example. Same sort of story everywhere the Europeans went. I don’t and won’t take any responsibility for it myself, as there’s nothing that can be done about the past and it’s the present and the future that interest me. I find it truly disgusting to see the same toxic and obnoxious constellations of attitudes prevail that were responsible for, and used in defence of, Europeans’ appalling behaviour towards other human beings in the past – including other Europeans. The perpetrators are throwbacks, atavisms. Anathema upon them (including aa those yarpin Yoonatics an bykes o Billy-boys).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh absolutely… Mind you, certainly in my case, the way ot was taught and indeed WHAT was taught, was so inaccurate and biased, as to render the whole exercise utterly pointless.

        You’d have though Union Jackie Bird wrote the history books.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. One of the advantages I had spending half of my childhood in NZ was learning Scottish history from my mother rather than at school. Subsequently I’ve read quite a bit of history (Scottish & otherwise) too. Also, growing up in a former colony gives one a certain perspective that is lacking in the British educational system.

          Liked by 2 people

              1. Did you know that putting “t=” at the end of a YouTube link makes the video begin at that point…..as in t=1m50s……..and the video starts at 1 minute and 50 seconds.

                Liked by 1 person

        2. My memory of Scottish history classes is dominated by the psychopath who was in charge of them (and also ran the school corps), who used to punish anyone who scored too far off the median in his twice-weekly history tests. That’s right, you got belted if you did well too. I didn’t let it happen more than once. You got belted less often if you joined his sodding corps, of course.

          Yes, Scottish history – it seemed to stop at crannogs, so nothing was touched upon that could possibly excite or distress our little Scottish hearts in any way. I imagine it would have been more of the same if I had chosen to go on studying history at school – but strangely enough, I didn’t fancy being taught by that bastard ever again.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Indeed. Oh well. I never had my bottom spanked, mind you, not at school, anyway, though there was one teacher who rather enjoyed fondling it in Latin class while he catechized me on my semi-deponent verbs in front to the class. I expect it was the kilt that was the turn-on.

              I just noticed that I managed to like myself on the last thing I posted. Oh well, never mind, it is a far, far better thing than self-hatred, I’m sure you’ll agree.

              Liked by 1 person

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