John Redwood‏ @johnredwood

Once out of the EU Customs Union the UK could unilaterally cut all tariffs on products we don’t grow for ourselves or could offer to do so in return for some free trade response from those who would benefit. Inside, we can’t do this as the others don’t agree with this strategy.

Yes, that would all be fine, Mr Redwood, but it would involve leaving the World Trade Organisation too. You did know that, didn’t you?



It appears that Fluffy Muddle wasn’t available for an interview this morning on Radio Scotland to talk about the EU withdrawal economic impact assessments from the British government, y’know, the ones that they had and didn’t have and then had again (or something).


I suspect he must have been on early morning tea duties at Downing Street (tea tray at 6 am, tea, milk, 2 digestives, open curtains). But I wonder where his blue-blooded aristocratic assistant was. Don’t we pay him to be available for occasions on which the Rt Hon blokey is otherwise engaged in beard cleaning …or domestic duties… or whatever it is he does?


And what about the Colonel, who assured us she attends British Cabinet meetings? Was she on manoeuvres somewhere with her rusty troops?

Why does no one want to talk about this stuff?

Murdo, oh Murdo????



A Fife farmer has had to let crops die in the fields because he can’t get anyone to pick them since so many Europeans have left for home, or somewhere else in the union with more stability.

This is before we have actually left Europe.

It is a bit worrying that we will be bringing back control only to find that it’s all got out of control.

Some quote the unemployment figures and ask why we are so short of people when so many are unemployed. However, government figures (1.4 million) show an unemployment rate of 4.2%, which by common consent, is considered to be more or less full employment.

A substantial section of this is made up of people simply between jobs. Starting a new job in a few weeks but left the present one and needing “NI stamps”. After a few weeks they sign off to be replaced by others in the same situation.

This figure also includes the ever-growing number of people who are over 50 and over 60 (and unless you’ve been used to outdoor, hard physical work all your life it’s unlikely [not impossible] you’d be able to start …and be effective… in that kind of work at that time of life).

Clearly, some older people have no problems landing a job.


Having worked in the employment business, I can assure you that it is harder for older folk to get into work. If it’s a physical job, employers are looking for younger people who will still be standing at the end of a hard 8-hour shift. If it’s office work, employers are looking for people whose IT skills are up to the lastest mark. In hospitality and retail, they tend to be overlooked too. When did you last see a barista in Costa Coffee, or an assistant in Next with grey hair

It also includes people who have disabilities but who are able to work if someone gives them the chance, but for some of whom a job bent over in muddy field wouldn’t be appropriate, or even possible.

Unemployment figures also include those who, for other reasons, are pretty much unemployable. (Michael Something of the Night Howard’s “prison works” may have been a cool slogan for the blue rinses and retired colonels, but the truth is it does damage people’s employment prospects in the future, one reason that Scotland’s government has tried to reduce the number of people incarcerated).

Then there are those who have drink and drug issues which render them unemployable. Not a small number.

So if, in the end, 2 million of the 3 million Europeans do leave, from what pool of labour will we recruit?

We need to remember too, that farm labour is a tiny part our problems. Perhaps even more important are the care staff for our old people’s homes, the highly trained medical staff that work in the NHS, doctors, nurses, radiologists, physios, etc, etc.



Oh and, I won’t tell you again…


40 thoughts on “RANDOM THOUGHTS”

  1. After yesterday’s “release” of figures showing how bad Brexit is going to be for the regions of corrupt and broken Britain is anyone really THAT surprise that the whole Tory party has gone on “manoeuvres” in the land of La La LA?

    Feartie and co. are running around like a bunch of headless chickens and are the laughing stock of the world but hey they don’t care cause we are leaving the E.U. They don’t want anyone from the Scottish or Welsh governments involved in Feartie’s wee “war chats” and I guess unsurprisingly this also includes Scruffy Fluffy. So I guess he is back to tea boy (Junior grade) duties … AGAIN!

    Please let there be a god today looking in on FMQ’s and if they are can they please make sure that a) Colonel Fu Manhu Rape Clause Ruth Davidson-Gadaftie is given the kicking of her life over the post Brexit figures and b) Richard I’m the greatest Labour leader since I dunno when Leonard is also given a kicking like he has never seen before over the ignorant Gaffney M.P.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It must be all the camouflage training Ruth gives her troops.

      Whenever the enemy approaches, hide yourselves.

      I’m sure Richard was his usual incredibly efficient self today, doubtless knocking the FMs feet from under her with the perspicacity of his forensic questioning.

      Is he still the leader? Goodness, he’s lasting well.


  2. Agreed. Having said that intellectual nutter Rees-Mogg as PM might just be the complete disaster that gets the f wits of this island to see commonsense, and beg to stay in the EU. A lot of the old farts who voted out are dead now, so a second ref. seems logical.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I think he’s a bit buuy doing a non job as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Queen is the Duke of Lancaster. Always thought that was odd. What with her being a woman an’ all.


  3. Well excuse me, there I was just sneering at a British blue passport and someone comes along and tells me not to.

    I rather liked “randpom” and am sorry you changed it, Tris – thoughts of random poms – why not!

    Brexit is like slavery: as Lincoln said, those who are in favour of it should try it sometime (and leave the rest of us to get on with our lives the way we prefer). Brexiteers are perfectly free to bar their doors and not go out in case they hear a foreign language or spot a brown face, and go through the non-European immigration lines in every country (that isn’t Ireland) which they travel to. More importantly, the rest of us wouldn’t have to put up with their general nastiness.

    To anyone who is both a Scottish Independentista and an EU Leaver, I have only one thing to say: get real. Actually, I lied, I have more than one thing to say.

    (1) It seems not to occur to some folk who are anti-EU but pro-independence that they are getting their anti-EU propaganda from the same sources they get their anti-independence propaganda, and should therefore be treating it with the same degree of scepticism, i.e., absolute – false, in the absence of proper evidence to the contrary.

    (2) Scotland – the Scottish people – cannot make a free choice about EU membership as a country, as a nation, while tied to a UK that has vast numerical superiority and claims absolute sovereignty over us, in defiance of the sovereignty of the Scottish people themselves.

    (3) Anyone who believes in the principle of popular sovereignty cannot be in favour of the Union. Absent a proper Constitution that guarantees the rights of its constituent countries, anyway.

    (4) An independent Scotland making a free choice of its own would be able to use article 50 – and would do so in a far more democratic, planned, sane manner than anything that the Westminster regime has or is likely to come up with. A Scottish Government would minimize the harm leaving the EU would do us, not, as the Westminster Tories are doing, maximize it. Does anyone seriously doubt that? No, I thought not.

    (5) There was never any European requirement for our passports to be burgundy – it was just a recommendation. We can have nice Saltire-blue Scottish passports if we want.

    (6) The phrase “burgundy passports” always makes me think of that old Ealing comedy “Passport to Pimlico”.

    (7) Do you seriously think that the government of an independent Scotland would threaten to deport a refugee back to the country which he fled from because he would have been killed if he had not? Even if were not the heart surgeon who saved my life.

    (8) Some may think that that last has nothing whatsoever to do with the EU, but they’d be wrong: the Westminster regime is already in breach of many international conventions and norms, including European ones. I am sure the Europeans would be making more of a noise about it, except there is no point in doing so at the moment. The UK Government is hell bent on destroying several generations’ worth of progress in the area of human rights.

    (9) That’s quite enough bloviating for today.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah, you must have been an early bird there, Ed. I actually corrected it, then published, and lovely lovely WordPress ignored my correction so I had to do it again.

      I like the quote about (Brexit and) Slavery, and of course I knew you’d have more than one thing to say.

      I think that the referendum result is symptomatic of the whole British situation. NO matter what we vote on, we have no say. There is no point in Scotland voting in a referendum. or indeed actually being in parliament. 59 members out of 650.

      In fact added to all the other stuff that is undemocratic… y’know, queens and privies and lords, fptp and what have you, Scottish people really don’t have a say in how greater England is run.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Oops, I forgot something -so what else is new – let’s call it (3 bis).*

      (3 bis) Proper democratic countries have the relationships between their constituent parts and the central authority, and the powers of and limits on each, set out nice and clearly in the proper form in a proper constitution that post-dates Magna Carta, or even the sixteenth century. The nearest we have to that in the UK is the devolution settlements.

      (3 ter) States’ relationships with Europe, and the powers and limits to those powers of each, are set out nice and clearly in the proper form in proper, and properly exhaustive, treaties. The differences between that sort of arrangement and the relations and relationships between the constituent parts of the UK and the central Government, could not be starker.**

      (3 quater) With the UK lacking a proper constitution itself, and its political and philosophical underpinnings wedded to quaint notions that go back to the days of Empire and beyond to the Divine Right of Kings, UK administrations have always had a collective failure of understanding regarding certain principles of customary (and other) international law. Couple that imperial, colonial, monarchical mindset with the similarly quaint notions that the Westminster Parliament has unlimited sovereignty that does not necessarily derive from the people, or that the Queen sitting in some particular chair in that Parliament embodies that selfsame sovereignty to which we, Her Majesty’s grateful subjects must bow – well, you’re just asking for trouble, aren’t you?

      (3 quinquies) The fact that successive UK administrations have made a bugger’s muddle of putting euroregs and guidelines into UK law, and then blamed everything on Europe, is typical of the BSE disease*** suffered by Tory administrations in particular. Their preferred modus operandi has always been to bung everything from Europe into domestic law without due care and attention, in as restrictive and oppressive a manner as possible, usually, and then bitch about it constantly forever after.

      (3 sexies) I only did the bits before this in Latin so I could get to sexies, because I’m puerile that way.

      (3 septies) Just about everything you may hear or read about Europe from the mouths of Unionist / Leaver – and even Remainer – politicians is false, whether by reason of sheer bad faith or sheer ignorance.**** The same goes for stories in the Unionist meeja, of course.

      (3 octies) The constitutional arrangements of European States both internally and within the EU are clear. The UK is the exception. The UK is almost unbelievably archaic and ramshackle in its structure. Remember those famous Henry VII powers, which could never have been exercised in Scotland at the time because he wasn’t the king of Scotland? Can you seriously imagine the Government of France announcing that it was going to use powers dating back to the time of Louis XII to override the Assemblée Nationale? Or the Spanish Government announcing that it was going to use powers dating back to Emperor Charles I to override the Cortes? No, I can’t either, but that is where we are in the UK – and our people are so brainwashed that they look on it as if it were something normal! Hell, even Rajoy looks no further back than Franco!

      (3 novies) The constitutional and political wheels have well and truly fallen off the UK ship of State this time. When we become independent, the Scottish Government would have to work very hard indeed to match Westminster’s record, as Westminster’s ability to wreak havoc in everything it touches is rivalled among modern, economically developed States only by Trump’s America.

      * I lied again, quite outrageously. So sue me. Do please feel free to reorganize my screeds however you like, by the way, if you can be bothered, which I can’t.

      ** There are democratic deficits in the EU system, sure – for example, the people who did what they did to Greece need their ars*es given a good kicking – but if you care about it, as a European citizen you could, join Diem25, say. Varoufakis is in that one, which is itself a recommendation.

      *** For those readers without the undoubted advantages of grey hairs and sagging, wrinkly skin, during the Thatcher years in the ’70s and ’80s, an epidemic among cattle occurred, thanks to the apartheid-supporting Iron Lady’s dogmatic hatred of regulation which saw her government dispense with rules preventing cattle being fed dead sheep. The cattle developed a form of encephalitis from prion proteins in the nervous tissues of sheep with scrapie, and occasionally humans became infected by consuming tainted beef, developing the human form of the sheep / cattle prion disease, Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). The cattle disease was called Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis, or BSE. The Tories reacted in their eminently predictable manner, and we irreverent wags in opposition circles began to refer to it as Blame Someone Else disease.

      **** BoJo in particular has form as a font of anti-Europe propaganda cooked up in the form of fake news and opinion – he was fired as a journalist a couple of times for making up quotes and stories, and just plain lying, when he was a correspondent or a stringer in Brussels on EU matters. £350 million a week for the NHS was only par for the Johnson course.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ha ha…

        You almost used the name of Jacobs recent son.

        Of course it’s all true… and quite amusing!

        I’m not going to even attempt an answer to it, but I do wish we lived in a democracy … and a 21st century one would be an extra bonus.

        Things just got worse:

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Keerist – that last thing, about EU citizens not having the right to work in the UK – that is just plain mad. Does it never cross their tiny minds that they are putting at risk the livelihoods of the very large number of UK subjects working in Europe? Oh – silly me – but they´re British, and therefore special, and Johnny Foreigner wouldn´t dare get uppity over them, now would he…

          I look forward to reading what Terry has to say about it.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Eedjasfreeman
        Wow! Bet you feel better.
        I suggest a deep breath and a long walk around the block.
        Not that I disagree with any of the above.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I feel a song coming on in honour of May (clue). First one to guess the title and why it’s relevant gets a prize (not you Eddie – you ken to much).

        Femina certa est omnia fulgenta aurum esse.
        Et scalas ad caelum emit.
        Cum illuc venerit, si taberna clauserint,
        Illa verbo haec quaesita adipisci poterit.
        Oh, oh atque scalas ad caelum emit.

        In muro signum est, illa tamen certa esse vult.
        Vides enim duas significationes habere.
        Avis canens in arbore ad amnemst,
        “Omnes nostras cogitationes nonnumquam nos fallunt!”

        Oh, hoc mirabile est.
        Oh, hoc certe mirabile est.

        Affectus est quem adipiscor cum ad occidentem aspexi,
        Atque meus animus abire desiderit.
        In mente per arbores fumes voluntantes
        Intuentum vocesque vidi.

        Oh, hoc mirabile est.
        Oh, hoc certe mirabile est.

        Atque susurat, si omnes cantamus,
        Tibicinem igitur ad reationem adducturum esse.
        Ac novus dies diu stantibus illusciscet.
        Ac silvae risu resonant.

        Si festinatio in saepē sit, noli perturbari!
        Haec enim solum in verno res Nonarum pro regnae est.
        Ita, duos tranmites sunt quos transire potes,
        Demum tempus tuam viam usitatum mutare manet.

        Atque hoc mirabile est.

        Tua caput non murmurare desinet.
        Si nescies, tibicen tibi se comitari advocat.
        Domina cāra, potesne ventum flantem audire ?
        Nescieesne tuas scalas vento murmuranti incubare ?

        Per viam euntes,
        Dum nostrae umbrae animo altiores sunt,
        Mulierem notam vidimus
        Qui lucem candidam nitet et confirmare vult
        Ut omnia adhuc aurum fiat.
        Si audis diligenter, demum ad te adveniet.

        Cum omnia unumst et unum omnia est.
        Saxum esse et non volvari!
        Scalas ad caelum emit.

        If you got this far, well done.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Well, me old hearty, several lines in Stairway apply, actually, but the thing that popped into the old brainbox was “I can’t get no satisfaction”!

            I suppose it has to be “Demum tempus tuam viam usitatum mutare manet”, or, in the original English, “There’s still time to change the road you’re on.” Actually, two lines: “Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run / There’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

            Anyway, when you look at the scurvy crew currently manning and womaning the British ship of State, well – ooh, it really makes you wonder, dunnit?

            Liked by 1 person

    1. One of these days Tank Girls going to do one uturn too many. She’ll Turn around so fast that her past and future self will simultaneously inhabit the same place in the space time continuum thus creating a quantum singularity which we will all be sucked into screaming, against our will.

      A bit like Brexit, only a wee bit worse.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think physicists call it The Big Crunch – the end of times, when Ruthie’s spinning universe implodes and we all end up in a ginormous Black Hole. Now where have I heard that before? Oh aye. Scotland’s already got one, according to Ruthie, SLab, A Neil & Co, unlike any Black Hole anywhere else in the yooniverse.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. It is extraordinary that politicians who have staked their entire career on the sanctity of the WTO have failed quite so badly at understanding how it works, even at the most basic level. Even today, prominent politicians fail to understand MFN status, anti-dumping rules and countervailing duties. Last week it turned out that Nadine Dorries didn’t really know anything about the Customs Union and was taking whatsapp advice from a politics teacher on reasons to oppose it. What a mess.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seriously, has anyone ever known such a government/party of incompetents?

      I don’t think it matters a toss what side you’re on…in or out…shake it all about… they are a dismal bunch of losers.

      May is held to ransom by Arlene Foster, the hard line Brexiteers in her party Fox, Patel, Grayling, Gove, Johnson, Rees Mogg, etc and by Paul Dacre, Dirty Des and Murdoch who could finish her in weeks. She’s a joke up against Merkel or Macron.

      Frankly, I never rated her. I could never understand why Cameron didn’t ditch her as Home Secretary, but hell’s teeth, she’s become a bumbling joke. Strong and Stable will be a joke for ever more.

      The thing is that none of them seems to KNOW anything, about anything.

      As you say, they don’t understand the single market, customs union, or WTO. They don’t understand Norway and Iceland and Liechtenstein and they don’t understand Switzerland or Canada.

      They haven’t started building their customs posts or setting up the dozens of organisations that they will need to keep the UK functioning.

      They just don’t understand anything.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never known anything like this. In some ways it is the job of minor opposition parties to engage in flights of fancy (we’d do it better, we’d make different choices etc) but this is the actual government with all data and expertise on tap. They are trying to tell us that day is night and around 50% of the population believe it.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. They don’t need an opposition (which is handy because they are in league with the DUP, and the Labour Part agrees with most of what they are doing; Plaid, Liberals and the SNP make up fewer that 60 people). They oppose themselves. In the cabinet with Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd on one said and Fox and Johnson on the other… and on the backbenches with Cash and Mogg v Soubry and Clarke.

          No wonder 50% of the population believes it. Telegraph, Star, Sun, Express, Mail…

          Liked by 1 person

  5. So the Mirror buys the Express and the Star, plus some mags like OK.
    Simon Fox says it’s a great deal, we can get rid of excess journalists, only need to send one reporter to a football match instead of 3.
    Just as well Maybot and the EBC are making places for them in the local papers, couldn’t lose their ability to put out the real truth to the population, not that web based anti establishment rubbish.
    But in a basement in auld reekie we have the brexit papers, must be very old not to beallowed out into the sunshine lest they evaporate, due to the invisible ink.
    The newspaper industry is losing sales , 10% each year, their figures. Why would you buy a newspaper publisher?
    The only newspaper to increase its sales last year was the Times, 2%, but they included in sales!!!!!!! 100,000 issues they gave away free, actually a 6% fall in cash sales.
    Funny old world this delusional grand Great britain enterprise.
    Wondering what the good folk in Newcastle will be saying when Renault export the Nissan factory contents to France, since they own its contents, 65% of the output goes to the EU.
    Roll on Scottish Independence

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently there is no change intended in the political content of the papers. So the Mirror will still be Labourish, and the Express will still be Fascist and the Star will still be “Freddy Star ate my Hamster… oh sorry if hamster is too big a word for you, still look at page three.

      Not sure how the same person is going to be able to write a piece that will satisfy all three, still I’m sure they will do something, and as you say, the circulation will continue to plummet.

      From day 1 I was amazed that a region so dependent on the EU would be stupid enough to vote overwhelmingly to bin it.

      But that’s what they did.

      I imagine that the car companies will disappear to France, and the area will become even more depressed.

      Anyone with any real get up and go will do just that leaving the old and the unemployable to muddle through somehow.

      That was what the British people voted for…so they say!


          1. ” A Spirit employee, she told the newspaper, suggested she let Pebbles go outside or flush her down the toilet. Aldecosea thought it would be inhumane to let the animal freeze outside and decided to flush her in an airport toilet, she told the Herald.

            “She was scared. I was scared. It was horrifying trying to put her in the toilet,” Aldecosea told the newspaper. “I was emotional. I was crying. I sat there for a good 10 minutes crying in the stall.”

            Obviously, phoning a local pet shop was unthinkable. The Richard Gere Alternative probably wouldn’t come to mind either…

            Liked by 2 people

  6. The National Hamster Council must bring a case against her for dimwittedness in charge of a Cricetus, and unwarranted small mammal-flushing … depending on the gender of said hamster, she may have been breaking one of America’s silly, silly Bathroom Laws…

    Liked by 1 person

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