Tony Blair

It seems that Tony Blair has put himself forward as a peace negotiator between Spain and Catalonia.  Apparently the Devil is too busy.


Oh noooooo… it seems to have happened


… there has been a schism in the UKIP. Anne Marie Waters is having a party!


All the talk this morning seems to be about Mrs May. The pound has fallen again, even against the Euro (which is damaged by the situation in Catalonia).



Grant Shapps appears to be the driving force in the “plot” to remove her, which must be a comfort to her, as, to date, he’s been spectacularly unspectacular in most of what he’s ever done. Govey is fighting her corner, reminding anyone bored enough to listen that 14 million people (slight exaggeration) voted for her in the General Election. I’m not sure that Govey fighting your corner is much of an asset, but then who have to remember how close Govey is to Mr Murdoch! And Mr Murdoch fighting your corner is an altogether different kettle of fish.








bre3 irlanbd










34 thoughts on “RANDOM THOUGHTS”

  1. In the words of Nye Bevan in 1948:

    “No attempt at ethical or social seduction can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”

    I am glad to live in a country that has seen through them right well, them and their New Labour hangers-on. The spectacle of so many Unionist commentators who apparently think of themselves as “left wing” coming out in favour of Rajoy’s Partido Popular regime is purely disgusting – do they not know that those people are Franquistas? We have to wonder if those Usual Suspects will applaud Westminster if it tries to shut down Holyrood and impose direct rule on us. Actually, I’m afraid that it’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. P.S. I have a gift for putting last things first. I meant to begin by saying thanks to Tris for that ace collection of imagery. The photies of the demonstrations throughout Catalunya are a particularly welcome reminder, and show us what we need to be doing and must be prepared to do. Pity our Scottish weather is so much less congenial than Catalunya’s!

      As a matter of policy, I have decided to stop using the exonym “Catalonia” for Catalunya. “Catalunya” has the virtue of being what the Catalans call the place themselves – and of not using the typically Spanish ñ. Readers may be familiar with my insistence on calling the amorphous mass of media outlets that pump out the pap and propaganda of the Unionist worldview “the meeja” (singular), and proper press and broadcast media “the media” (plural). They may also know about my principled objections to words such as “separatist”, and the confusion of the two forms of “nationalism” – Franquista-style nacionalismo and social-democratic independentismo.

      Even if they’re not familiar with those things, they are now well aware of my gift for going on at great length, and being a total nit-picking pedant and pain in the posterior.

      Liked by 4 people

          1. Coo, that must have been really obscene or something, as WordPress are obviously refusing to print whatever it was. Something about that Freeman fellow being particularly obnoxious if anyone is foolish enough to give his narcissism a stroke.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. I don;t think there is any doubt that the government will try to remove powers from Holyrood.

      Remembering that the Tories were against devolution.


      1. How could I forget that the Tories are the party of No – there’s an article in the National today about Lord Kerr (him wot wrote article 50), by the way, and his perception of and attitude to things Brexit. I approve, and as you know, our approval is not lightly given, unless, of course, there’s some money in it for us. But Lord Kerr speaks in full connaissance de cause (that’s your actual French for knowing what he’s talking about).

        Naturally, the article is spoiled by some twit calling himself Edward Freeman, who goes on at great length about something or other in the comments. This can safely be disregarded as yet more foolishness from the pen of a well-known dullard, dolt and dotard.

        I have decided I approve of His Lordship Kerr of Kinlochard, despite his lordshipness, because he strikes me as someone who’s actually earned the title (actually, I have no idea if he earned it or inherited it, and am too lazy to find out). Very nice, though, Loch Ard – by the way, has anyone ever spotted a singular Trossach, or do they only come in bundles of more than one?

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, I can see that he knows what he’s on about… (que ce soit en français ou en anglais).

          If you would be kind enough to provide me with a link I’ll pop over and read his piece… and maybe even glace at what Mr Freeman has to say too.


        1. I don’t think they know what to think. A bit of them probably thinks that it is horrific; and a bit thinks… let’s not give the Irish or Scots any ammunition.


    1. Not a bad idea at all – a neutral country that peacefully manages a confederation of 26 cantons. Definitely a better idea than Tony Blair. He’d probably just look for weapons of destruction at every opportunity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Seriously, Tony B liar as peace negotiator, must think we all devote our spare time to ‘Bake off’ & ‘Strictly’
    Hope you don’t mind but I’m borrowing your “apparently, the devil is too busy”

    Also, some great posters there as always – still have loads of them from indyref. (just need a bigger wall, don’t worry I won’t be asking anyone to pay for it!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL.

      I probably pinched it from my granny!! So feel free.

      I just feel that if you are looking for someone to promote peace, you probably want to avoid a man who went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      When he did have a job as a peace negotiator in the Middle East, he apparently spent almost no time on it, and made absolutely no progress whatsoever.

      You get the Mexicans to pay for your wall… if you can. May you have more success than the Belisha Beacon.


  3. Whatever happens from now on,a way has to be found to give Catalunya much more say over what happens in Catalunya.
    Remaining under Madrid rule is clearly not going to be acceptable after the violence dished out by the Madrid establishment.
    Why should the Spanish state be “indivisible” within a European Union and for what purpose?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently the Spanish constitution (which unlike the Brit one is written down, which makes making it up as you go along a lot more difficult) says that the state is indivisible.

      Of course, constitutions are alterable if that is what people want.

      At the end of the day, it is hard to keep a country together when a sizable proportion of them do not wish it. The Spanish government and its king have done everything they could to make the situation worse and nothing to be conciliatory. I suspect they will regret this.

      The Brits have had the same sort of problem in Northern Ireland, and may be about to have it again.

      It will end in tears unless they afford them at least full fiscal autonomy because they are sick of being treated as second rate while they prop up the rest of Spain.


  4. Thanks for the pics and witty comments, Tris – a Funny Friday now to join Soppy Sundays. I particularly liked the cartoon of Corbyn playing EU Twister. Of course, he’s still to get to the final position where he’ll have his head jammed up his arse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. It’s not a bad idea, andi.

      I still haven’t got a clue what either Labour or the Tories have in mind for the future of the EU, despite them both setting out their plans for government in recent weeks.

      You’d think that the very biggest change in our lives, which split the UK very nearly 50-50, would have deserved something a bit more detailed.

      Seriously, no wonder Barnier is bewildered. After all this time neither of the two British Parties seems to have a policy on Brexit.


  5. The EU may be unable, by legal or constitutional constraint, from doing anything about the Spanish/Catalunyan situation. But member states can.

    Whilst I understand that diplomacy means that officials and ministers are unlikely to use the vocabulary that I might choose for this, I can’t help thinking that the Brits got this altogether wrong.

    Oh for a government with some guts to stand up against thugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid it’s worse than that, Tris: the Westminster regime is not going to condemn anything Rajoy does because (a) it agrees with his approach, and will attempt to do the same to us uppity Jockanese when the time comes – if by some mischance it is still unopposed in Parliament by the Labourites; and (b) Gibraltar.

      For (a), it is also not beyond the bounds of possibility that They will ignore a vote in parliament that doesn’t go Their way – They’ll invoke Their Henry VIII powers, and the Cabinet will become Her Majesty’s loyal junta “for the duration of the present emergency”, as they used to say in WWII (I wasn’t there; my auntie told me). The “emergency” will consist of us Jockanese getting uppity and – how very dare we! – demanding the right to a vote on national self-determination, as is our right under the UN Charter, among other things. The Usual Suspects in the UK are, of course, not condemning Spain’s treatment of it Catalan citizens, they are acting as apologists for the Rajoy regime and basically saying ‘And a good thing too’. Such people have no place in a civilized society.

      It will also become an “emergency” if people in other parts of the UK start being altogether too disrespectful of their betters too. However – if there is no reporting of any public display of opposition, if there is censorship by omission, then the impact is significantly lessened. That is why authoritarian regimes, and their friends in high places, always aim to control the media. It is another reason why Scotland absolutely needs to have control over its own broadcast media, and it why Westminster will absolutely not let us have it.

      The realization is painful, but we really do have fascist regimes in both Madrid and London. Unfortunately, we have them in – oh – Poland and Hungary too. In other words, the threat of fascism in Europe is at the highest level it has been since the 1930s – the Putin kleptocracy in Russia and the Trump kleptocracy in the US, of course, very neatly bracket us.

      Just the anti-“immigrant”, anti-refugee rhetoric rhetoric and behaviour that we are seen in the UK is enough to tell us what trouble we are in, even without the vainglorious rhetoric and the red, white and blue Brexit, jingoistic flag-waving. The whole right-wing narrative of “taking back control” is just a cover for reacquiring the freedom to behave as despicably as they like: why else would anyone want to junk human rights legislation, and refuse to accept the jurisdiction of a court?

      Common decency has been thrown out the window – in fact, it’s been gone for quite a few years now. It crept up on us. The treatment of children and of disabled people is par for the course. I do hope that They will be hoist on the petard of their own incompetence, though, but I’m not holding my breath.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. OK. You just cheered me up.

        Widely travelled as you are, have you any suggestions about where Munguin and I could go live, that isn’t a hell hole?

        Greenland is nice this time of year…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry, Tris, that was a serious downer, wasn’t it? Scotland will still be the best place to be, not least because we are starting from a better place, and I know that the resistance will be strong. Where indeed could and would we run?

          I don’t know how many of us agree with me, but one of the great ironies is that here in Scotland we have tried, and significantly succeeded, in holding on to what was best about the old UK after WWII and before saving graces such as common decency, fair play and a degree of social and economic justice were swallowed up by the heartless neo-liberalism of Thatcher and her spiritual heirs. There has also been a lot of progress made since then that has not so far been walked back: things are significantly better in the human rights area. I am old enough to remember when it was actually legal to put up a notice offering rooms to let that said ‘No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish’. They didn’t even need to say ‘No Queers’.

          Thatcher was, I believe, mad: when the rest of us looked at our manufacturing industries, we thought of them as necessary pillars of the economy, lifeblood of the nation, sort of thing; when Thatcher looked at them, she saw hotbeds of leftist Commie agitators who were a threat to her personal power, and the power of the Establishment, and must therefore be severely punished.

          It’s a millennial tradition in England: if you have pretensions to gentility, heaven forfend that you should be associated with anything so vulgar as “trade”. No, in the high Tory playbook, the only sociably acceptable way to make money is as a rentier, so making the peasantry pay you for the privilege of living is only to be expected, both then and now.

          Looking back on the Thatcher era, it seems only too logical that she would aim to turn England into a rentier State – there are two definitions of that term, and when you remember the sovereign debt crises of the period, it’s possible that both definitions apply! It’s no wonder Thatcher was so opposed to Scottish devolution – it might have prevented her from having a completely free hand to use the income from Scotland’s oil to fill the hole in the government’s revenues that resulted from her destruction of manufacturing industry, and the mass unemployment that it led to.

          At this point, my alert readers, who must be about nodding off about now anyway, will be relieved to know that I don’t feel up to going on and seguing seamlessly into one of my usual diatribes. Instead, I’ll leave you with a link to the Wikipedia article on ‘rentier State’ for you to ponder. http://tinyurl.com/yc68undj


          1. The Thatcher thing was something that even a sleeping frog could ahve worked out.

            Let’s close down that dirty industry that houses all those reds, and replace it with call centres. When many other countries looked at outdated industrial practice and went for modernisation, she went for shutting it down.

            This left her with a lot of people whose background, education, skillsets and temperament didn’t really suit sitting in a call centre being polite to endless callers, frustrated with not being able to speak face to face with people. Or maybe it didn’t.

            Of course, she needed Scotland’s oil to fund the enormous unemployment she caused. When that became a monthly embarrassment (as the figures were made public) the Employment Service was instructed to do its best to get people off unemployment benefits and onto sickness benefits, the numbers for which were not made public.

            However, a bit like their madcap “prison works” nonsense, which left people with massive problems trying to find employment on release, it left people on sickness or invalidity (later incapacity) benefits with a record of ill health and suspicious future employers wondering if they would get sick again.

            She destroyed communities and she destroyed people.

            And the queen gave the bitch a state funeral.

            Even typing that makes me want to vomit.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Tris, thank you for completing my screed for me! You’re quite right to imply that many, many others worked out / saw through Thatcher much better and sooner than I did, but many of your readers must be so young and sweet that they did not have the misfortune of suffering under her rule, but only under her legacy (she once described Blair’s New Labour as her finest creation, I believe but am too lazy to check, so I expect that my thoughts are even more random than usual.

              I disagree about the frogs, though: many of your actual Scottish Tory Unionists still worship the great she-elephant, so – newts? Dung beetles? It took me rather longer to work out the why of it, because it is so difficult, for me at least, to model – to get into – such an alien mindset. I remember identifying her as an enemy right away, and found what she was doing despicable; it was incompetent, it was destructive, it was doctrinaire, but why was she doing it? The ‘sado-monetarism’ epithet, for example, described but did not really explain.

              May is worse. Perhaps the qualification for becoming a mad female Tory Prime Minister is marrying a gazillionaire… whether or no, one was and the other is profoundly stupid, at least in their inability to perform the normal mental operations that allow us to empathize with others in an abstract sense… just trying to think of a good ‘for example’… Yes, MT telling the General Assembly of the Kirk that Scottish values were Tory values in, apparently, all seriousness, and May saying just the other week that the UK has never felt ‘at home’ in the EU. It’s normal to be – immediately just a trifle miffed – when They come out with things like that; it takes longer to work out why They actually believe(d) such ridiculous things. Because it’s not just them, of course, it’s your actual Tories as a type.

              It’s important for us to understand why they have this enormous defect in their understanding of reality, particularly other people’s realities, and not only because it lies at the root of their incompetence, though of course it’s not the only factor.

              I have finally tracked down the mental alarm bell that was ringing faintly in a distant corner of the musty old archives – it was Charlie Booker, writing in the Guardian, who wrote “The Conservative party is an eternally irritating force for wrong that appeals exclusively to bigots, toffs, money-minded machine men, faded entertainers and selfish, grasping simpletons who were born with some essential part of their soul missing.” Can’t say fairer than that, guv.

              When it comes to opposing people to the max, we have to have the best understanding of them we can manage – ‘know thyself’ is vital, but ‘know thine enemy’ comes right after it. … Another alarm bell just went off in the archives. It was Sun Tzu who apparently said ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles’.

              Here’s Charlie Booker’s article: http://tinyurl.com/y76neb8a

              Liked by 1 person

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