TRUMP…JEEEEZ

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It’s hard to find the right words to describe Trump…

I mean, he’s nasty, cheap, ridiculous. He’s dense, or at least seemingly unable to articulate deep thinking on any subject. Indeed even fairly shallow sentiment seems to be beyond his ability. He’s a vulgarian, and a proud sexual abuser as the “pussy” tape showed very clearly. (I’ll happily accept further suggestions!)

If he was the bloke in charge of your local supermarket he would be beyond the pale. As president go, he’s simply indescribable. Never has anything so ridiculous as his election happened.

If the American people wanted something different, they sure got something…erm, different.

I feel sorry for them. Personally, I thought that virtually everything he promised was pie in the sky… bringing back manufacturing jobs to the USA (to be done by people who expected salaries ten times and more than the current employees were getting with far higher conditions of employment), was never likely to be more than a dream. Muslim bans in a country with a constitutional requirement to accept religious freedom…silly. Walls across the southern border. Mad. Ridding America of affordable care. Horrific.

In any case, in his first year, he has achieved almost nothing except a few humiliations in the early days where his decrees were overturned by courts. Much of the rest of the time has been spent replacing members of his administration who walked, some after only days in post.

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I felt vaguely sorry for the Maybot today.

Vaguely.

Faced with Trump’s moronic retweeting of unverified hate messages from the utterly repugnant group ‘Britain First’, May was left with no alternative but to offer mild criticism of his actions. She would have preferred not to, but the demands from too many people in the UK were too great for her to ignore.

At the same time, of course, she is aware that she must keep in with him, because in the increasingly unlikely event that he is still president when Brexit occurs, she will desperately need his promised trade deal, no matter how injurious it is to the UK.

In this case, a bad deal will be better than no deal.

So given that he is a fractious, ill-tempered, childlike character, she doesn’t want to be seen to do other than flatter his ego and hope that he won’t be too demanding.  atrumpy

But of course, he doesn’t like being even mildly rebuked in the most polite and respectful way possible, so when she indicated in a statement that she thought he was wrong, he immediately, eschewing the normal channels of communication between governments,  tweeted a snarky comment back to her.

Unfortunately, despite spending about half his life playing on Twitter (the other half is spent on the golf course) he appears not to have got the hang of this tweeting lark and so he managed to send his message to another Theresa,  from Bognor Regis or somesuch place, who has 6 followers.

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And this is the man with a finger on the nuclear button!

Much has been made of the altercation today. Trump has been castigated by politicians from all major parties, and it has even been suggested that the invitation to a state visit should be withdrawn. That, of course, is almost impossible to do. Much though we might want it, that level of insult to a head of state of a nation that Britain desperately needs to keep in with, is a step or six too far.

Of course, the truth is that it should never have been issued within the first few weeks of his presidency. It never has been before, with presidents who were at least in some ways presidential. To issue an invitation to such a controversial figure within the first weeks of his incumbency was yet another of the Maybot’s idiotic misjedgements.

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Let’s hope that Trump is sentient enough to realise that even if the Queen has no option but to accept his presence here, the public is under no such obligation and that should he make the visit, the protests of ordinary people will be at a level designed to utterly humiliate him.  Hopefully that will be sufficient to persuade him to postpone his coming until his …erm…second term! Bwa, ha ha ha ha ha.

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CORBYN AND LEONARD NEED A COURSE ON SCOTLAND AND SCOTTISH POWERS

 

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When Mr Corbyn came to Scotland to welcome yet another new incumbent to the leadership of the Scottish Branch of the British Labour Party, both of them talked, frankly, a load of guff about ‘a far away country full of people about whom they apparently knew nothing’ to paraphrase Mr Chamberlain.

The massive clanger, of course, was the demand from Mr Leonard that the Scottish government must take back Scottish Water into public ownership. To do that of course, the Scottish government would first have to sell it off to private enterprise, something that wasn’t done before.

A common theme from Labour is that the Scottish government has done nothing to alleviate the effects of austerity imposed on the poor (but not the rich), by the British Tories [a party of government (in the UK) and opposition (in Scotland) you’d have been excused for thinking that two supposedly left wingers would have been anxious to ridicule, particularly given that they ARE ridiculous].

 

I’ve always excused Corbyn’s ignorance of Scotland (he didn’t for example, know that there was such a thing as Scots Law), because he is a London MP who has always been just that: a back-bencher mainly concerned with his London constituents (and from what a hear, a damned good one too).

On the other hand, although Mr Leonard is an Englishman, he has been resident in Scotland for some time. He has been a member of the Scottish parliament for a couple of years now and he has just become the leader of  Labour’s Scottish branch. It would be reasonable to expect him to know something of what’s going on here.

Perhaps Mr Corbyn and Mr Leonard might like to take a look at what Scotland has done with its limited powers and compare them with what the Welsh LABOUR government has done with their, albeit more limited, powers.

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And remember that the government here had to fight for the power to use money to help the poor. It didn’t just happen.

Justified opposition to government policy is essential, wherever it is from: Labour, Tory or Greens. Carping for the sake of carping is no substitute for it. Corbyn, at least, we know, is better than that. And the public deserves better than the current state of affairs.

Democratic governance works when a government is held to account by oppositions attempting to get the best for the country, rather than trying to score cheap political points, especially with incorrect information and lies.

I’m sure they don’t lie on purpose. They just seem not to know.

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A course of instruction from someone who does know how things work in this country and is aware of what has been done with the powers we have and what will be done with the powers we are yet to get, might be a good idea, because, at the moment, it looks like the blind are leading the blind and it’s more than a little laughable.

The SNP can’t go on in power forever. No party ever does. But the chronic lack of talent, ability and know how in the current Labour Party leaves us with the horrifying prospect that, when that time comes, it may be the Tories that replace the SNP. A fate to be avoided at any cost.

Lest you should be in any doubt about that, I leave you with this:

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RANDOM ROYAL THOUGHTS

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As most of you will have gathered, neither Munguin nor I give a twopenny damn about royals and indeed some English bloke marrying an American woman is a yawn to us. Frankly, I don’t much care when a member of my family gets married, never mind one of their family? But it has headlined in the news so much over the last few days, and it must have been a godsend to the Maybot, whose circuitry must be close to blowing a proverbial gasket, that Munguin wanted me to mention it here.

So, just after Kensington Palace announced the betrothal, the Brit government announced quietly that most benefits wouldn’t be raised yet again this year. With inflation at 3% and expected to rise, that is an out and out scandal.

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It seems that Meghan is a Tory.

Quick lunch break and watched David Cameron’s parting speech. What a class act 👏🏼👏🏼

Not really a class act if you have to live here as an ordinary person, Meghan (not like a duchess, as you will, obviously). He called an unnecessary referendum in an effort to save his backside from a possible rise in UKIP voters. He made a mess of tryying to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU. He mishandled the referendum campaign and allowed people like Gove, Johnson and IDS, Patel and others to tell the most egregious lies about, amongst other things, NHS funding and immigration.

He refused to allow the civil service to do any preparatory work for the eventuality of a Leave vote, because, quite simply, he believed that people like him never lose anything, so that when Brexit hit us, the government was utterly unprepared.

Having promised that he would stick around and continue as prime minister if he lost, he announced early the very next day that he was standing down, but he would remain an MP. Then he quit as an MP.

He’s left the most unholy mess. Whether you are a remainer or a leaver, it is impossible not to see that the whole thing is being unbelievable badly managed by an incompetent prime minister and a set of nut job cabinet ministers at war with one another and who seem incapable of getting a single thing right.

Class act is not a description I recognise.

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Staying on the subject of Harry’s wedding, I read in the Telegraph that they are to be married in St George’s Chapel in Windsor. I also heard that Meghan is a divorcee. Colour me perplexed.

Edward VIII had to abdicate to marry his American divorcee.

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Anne got round the Church of England’s ban on marriage of divorced people who have a spouse living, by coming to Scotland where the Church of Scotland has no such ban. Charles got round marrying Mrs Parker-Bowles while Mr Parker Bowles was still alive, by getting married in a registrants’ office (although he sneakily got the archbishop of Canterbury to bless the wedding, making a bit of a fool of the rules, after all, it is about the fact that marriage is till death do you part).

I was wondering when the Church of England changed their views on marrying divorcees. Anyone know?

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Another royal who suffered at the hands of the English Church and the seemingly sometimes flexible unwritten constitution was Michael. He wanted to marry Princess Pushy an Austrian noblewoman, but because she was a Catholic, he had to give up his place in the succession, because it was unthinkable that a Catholic could ever get anywhere near the throne.

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I rather liked this picture of our Arlene meeting Captain Birdseye (alias Michael of Kent). I’m not quite sure what she’s doing, but it’s an embarrassing time to get caught short!

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Of course, the Daily Express couldn’t let the announcement pass without Diana popping into the office, presumably through a medium, and giving them her views on the thing.

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Anyway, as I would with any couple, I wish them the best. They will have it, of course. Many homes, paid for by us. First class transport, paid for by us. The best in clothes, paid for by us. Fabulous holidays, paid for by us. Servants, paid for by us. And presumably we’ll be paying for the blue blood transfusion as she becomes a duchess.

I was happy to hear that the royals have agreed to pay, out of their £60 billion fortune, some of the cost of the wedding. However, I suspect that the gigantic cost of security will be yet again borne by… you and me.

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WHAT IS THE INDY-APP ALL ABOUT

AND CAN YOU HELP?

By William Duguid (Blogger To September and Beyond) of Common Weal Perth & Kinross, Yes Perth City

Crowdfund Link https://chuffed.org/project/nyr-indyapp

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It was a bright July evening when the National Yes Registry Roadshow, in the person of the indefatigable Jason Baird, rolled into Perth to demonstrate IndyApp. For the small band of Common Weal Perth & Kinross and Yes Perth City supporters who were present, the abiding memory of the evening was Jason’s energy and enthusiasm, lifting the discussion beyond dry tech-speak into something that outlined real campaigning possibilities. It was a bright spot in what was, let’s face it, a fairly flat summer.

So what’s IndyApp all about? Well, it’s a free-of-charge networking tool that you can download from www.nationalyesregistry.scot to run on any Android or iOS device. As the name suggests, it’s been designed specifically with the Yes movement in mind, after consultation with a pilot group of pro-indy organisations from all over Scotland. Its aim is to help to bring together all the campaigning experience, creativity and organisational talent that’s been out there since 2014, and make it easy for new supporters to become involved.

The app’s been up and running since September 2016, and is growing steadily. At the last count, 131 Indy groups across Scotland had set up their ‘Front Door’ on it, containing all the information needed for individuals to contact them, discover what they’re up to and get involved. No need to search through social media, seek out a street stall or send off an e-mail to what you hope is the right address; the gang’s all here.

What if you’re a technophobe, fazed by new-fangled stuff on your phone? Nae bother: IndyApp’s a stress-free experience. Once you’ve installed it, to find a local Yes group all you need to do is type in the first half of your postcode and hit ‘Go’. The app will display the groups geographically closest to you, and a click on any of them will take you to its Front Door. There you’ll find a group profile page, venue with google map, meeting times, an opportunity to donate (if you wish) and details of any coming events or campaigns.

Most importantly, you’ll see a Contact/Join button, enabling you to become a member of the local group. Once you’ve joined you’ll be able to send direct messages to your fellow group members – individually, as a selection or all at once. Once again, there’s no need to keep up with e-mail addresses.

That’s individuals within local groups in touch with one another. What about the groups themselves? They’re connected via designated Editors in each group, who can also exchange messages with each other. It’s Group Editors who also ensure their group’s information is kept up to date, so it’s wise for each group to appoint two or, ideally, three editors and share the role.

Those IndyApp connections, on their own, represent a pretty significant grass-root communications breakthrough compared to 2014. But they’re just the beginning. The next round of development, already planned and currently being crowd-funded, is where the real fireworks will come.

On the agenda for IndyApp 2.0 are Local and National Forums. In a group’s Local Forum members will be able to post and comment on campaigning ideas and whatever else is going on, keeping everyone in the group informed and thinking about its next move, even between meetings and events. The National Forum, visible to everyone but with designated members of each group posting on its behalf, will do the same on a grander scale, helping to spark national campaigns from successful local initiatives or popular ideas.

Also planned are Resource Buttons, allowing each group to list its local resources: membership skill sets, equipment, suppliers, venues, media contacts and the like. For its local membership, this will encourage and simplify self-starting campaign ideas. Nationally, each group will be able, if it wishes, to share local resources, either as an alternative source of supply for other groups or to be available for national campaigns.

Taking these two ideas a step further, there’ll be national Committee Rooms, where representatives of each group will be able to get together to develop ideas proposed in the forums or elsewhere. They’ll have several other practical applications, too: perhaps organising mass orders of merchandise, so as to achieve economies of scale; or distributing the future equivalent of Wings Over Scotland’s ‘Wee Blue Book’; or setting up national tours for speakers, musicians or film screenings. Endless possibilities!

These features, and a few others that remain under wraps for now, give IndyApp the potential to be a real game-changer in Indyref2. At its heart is local autonomy, with each local group free to select and adapt whichever ideas or strategies it feels are best suited to it, with little or no dependence on a centralised ‘Yes HQ’ that might turn out to be another pinch point as the heat of the campaign builds up again.

Of course, as with any tool, it’ll be only as effective as we make it. To realise its potential we need to ensure that as many Yes supporters as possible sign up for it, start to engage with it and fully understand what it can do. Jason Baird is still touring round, putting in appearances at The National Roadshow in Perth, the Build2 SIC Conference at the Usher Hall and various local venues. But it’s not a job solely for him; we all need to spread the word and get people excited about what IndyApp can do.

And, most importantly of all, we need to ensure the project is funded.

Building in the features planned for IndyApp 2.0 will cost a total of £24,000. Half of this sum has already been privately pledged by pro-indy business people as “match funding”, which means that, in order to release it, the rest of us need to raise £12,000. If we can achieve that, the new features will be in place within four months – in good time for a September 2018 referendum, if that’s when it happens.

To raise the £12,000, Jason and his National Yes Registry colleagues have started a crowd-funding page at https://chuffed.org/project/nyr-indyapp. But time is short: the window closes on 6 December, and there’s still some way to go.

I’m sure that, whenever the referendum’s called, we all want to give ourselves the best possible chance of winning it. Used effectively, with all its planned features in place, IndyApp will take us a long way towards that goal.

Please do take a look at the IndyApp crowd-funding page, and donate whatever you can.

SOPPY SUNDAY

 

n resized-little-one
I’ve been waiting for you. Coffee’s on and I got French Fancies
n arctic fox, siberia
Arctic Fox
n bertie2
Bertie the Blackbird
n banana
Are these bananas?
n blaze bro
Blaze’s new wee brother… Laoch.
n bif sur calif
Big Sur
n bridge
The best bridge in the world.
n cowcaddens
Where are we and when…?
n dog1
They say if you catch a falling leaf it means happiness…
n pine marten
Pine Marten
n tasmanian devil (iain kangaroo)
Tasmanian Devil.
n dave. kar
From Dave…any car experts know?
n trunk hugs
What a job… cuddling elephants.
n Quiraing Skye
Skye.
n venice1
Venice.
n eleph
Cute and they know it…
n penguins
The Walk of the Penguins.
n rannoch moor this week
Rannoch Moor, this week!
n 55
So we can guess where it is, but when?
n14
Grandad Dog.
n orang4
And so say all of us Little One. 

OK, see you call next week, same time, same place.