RANDOM THOUGHTS

It appears, from Radio 4’s Today programme interview, that Liam Fox wants to hold US/UK trade deal talks in secret.

You might well wonder why.

Well, maybe it’s because it will allow corporate lobbyists to influence the talks while the UK public and parliament will have no idea what is on the table as quid pro quo.

What you reckon Mr Fox… Oh sorry, DOCTOR Fox, wants to hide from us?

NHS?

Workers’ rights?

Agriculture?

Environmental standards?

Fracking licences?

Foreign affairs?

Defence?

Is it because, if it is done in public, the “ordinary” people will see the UK fold its tent every time the US makes a demand?

What do you think?

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Also on the Today programme, the BBC out and out lied about Africa and trade deals. Mrs May is in South Africa to drum up support for a future trade agreement.

Mike Galsworthy pointed out:

Argh! talking crap about why we have “huge tariffs” on “African countries” & whether we can lower tariffs. This is ignorant. 33 African countries have ZERO tariffs to EU – coz they fall under “Everything But Arms” agreement.

Also, on top of this, the EU has various deals with African regions in development, aimed at helping Africa integrate into global trading system (EU is Africa’s biggest trading partner)

The EU has *huge* interest in the economic development & stability of Africa… especially given the proximity and immigration issues. With these trade deals, I understand EU even planning to invest to help African producers meet EU quality levels to help boost exports to EU.

Small wonder that the BBC’s “flagship” news programme has lost 800,000 listeners in a year.

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That’s £500,000,000 per annum, by the way.

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SOPPY SUNDAY

n or 6
Sometimes all the excitement of Soppy Sunday just wears you out.

n bat1
But not me. I’m raring to go.

N bath
Baths in Bath… how odd.

n bee
If I could just work out how to get this window open, or if Tris would just open it for me, I could be off to work polinating stuff again.

n kyoto
Kyoto, Japan.

n sete (Frank)
Sète, France (Les Vacances de Frank).

n horse
This is our field. I hope you weren’t thinking of moving in?

n moose the 2
The lovely Moose the Husky (Vestas). You might say there was a Moose loose about the hoose.  Or you might not…

n saltzburg
What a cool place to build flats, in Salzburg.

n tianmen china
How to get down a mountain in China.

 

n tre
They thought that when I blew down I would die, but I’m made of sterner stuff!

n pussy
Who’s a nice pussycat?

n whalesdolphins
Imagine having those two for cruising company?

n pine marten
Just like Tris at the gym, says Munguin (laughing up his sleeve)… Pine Marten. 

N mOOSE THE hUSKY
And now there’s a Moose loose about the gairden. (Vestas)

n rome
Rome.

n deer
How did you get up here? 

n wildcat
Scottish wildcat, looking, erm wild!

n or
Hope you enjoyed that.  See you all next week.

Some observations on Thursday night’s events

Wee Ginger Dug

I’ve only just heard that Alex Salmond is taking the Scottish Government to court over their handling of two allegations of sexual misbehaviour made against him. I know no more about the details of the allegations than you do, which is no more than has been revealed in the press, but allow me to make a couple of observations.

Firstly, Alex Salmond is taking legal action against the Civil Service because of the way in which they have handled this matter, not against Nicola Sturgeon or her cabinet, who have – rightly – no role in this. It’s also important to point out that anyone accused of an offence has the right to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law.

That said, we cannot make judgements about the guilt or innocence of anyone who is accused of a sexual offence on the basis of our…

View original post 262 more words

GETTING READY FOR APRIL

 

!£$M
Munguin and his new Personal and Executive Assistant, Fuzzy.

No one really knows what is going to happen next April when the UK will leave the EU.

If we had a government that knew the first thing about governing, we would already know the terms of our leaving. But we have a set of genuinely incompetent and ignorant fools “inebriated with the exuberance of their own verbosity” as Disraeli once said (of Gladstone, I think). So we know sod all, except that we know that they know sod all…about anything.

Of course, everyone will try to come to some sort of agreement on the most important aspects of trade and of mutual recognition of basics like driving licence and insurances, so that goods can move from Europe to this benighted island.

But, let’s be fair here, when you leave the golf club, you really can’t expect to be allowed to play a round from time to time, pop into the bar of a Friday with a few mates for a drink or six, and take your partner for dinner in the restaurant on a Saturday, all the while refusing to recognize the authority of the management committee.

Because, if you can, then all the members can do it too… and guess what happens then? Your golf club has ceased to be a club any more.

Munguin likes a lifestyle of some comfort and is most worried about the idea that he may not be able to lay his flippers on the high-quality goods to which he has become so accustomed. So our reader Kangaroo gave us an idea.

An occasional series where we will look at how you can provide for yourself (and your media mogul) with just a little forethought. Vestas has been telling up about growing your own tomatoes… and Munguin has a tree absolutely covered in apples. But what about one of life’s most important items of nourishment?

Kangaroo (not surprisingly) lives in Australia. He has been brewing his own. and here he gives a few hints on the process.

n kangaroo

He writes…
“It is a Coopers Dark Ale, brewed with light malt rather than the instructed dark malt, it takes 7 days in the fermenter and then it’s been in the bottle for 21 days. It is quite bitter for my taste and I would prefer it a bit creamier. All in all though its a 7 out of 10, a big success.
“Costs around $25 (Aust), that’s about £14, for 19 litres, plus you need the equipment which costs around $130 (£75) for the fermenter, bottles, sanitiser and cleaner.
“So from a financial point of view, it is a resounding success. I will try to find another Ale which gives me a taste closer to my liking.”
Here’s a tutorial.
Clearly there are other brands available.
If anyone has any tips on anything else we can do ourselves if we have to, feel free to drop Munguin a line.

 

TIMES WHEN IT’S BETTER TO JUST “HUD YER WEESHT”

Image result for jeremy corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has graced our humble country with a visit this week, and Carry on Dick is beside himself with joy. Rabbiting on about how only Labour can end the austerity that the Tories and the SNP have brought down upon us.

It’s interesting though, to see that in Wales, where labour IS in power, they don’t appear to have done much austerity busting.

They weren’t in favour of equal pay either. Indeed they fought hard against it.

And when it came to voting for Mr Cameron’s Welfare Cap, where were our trusty socialists? Well, it seems that most of them were in the lobbies with their Tory mates.

And here is a list of Labour MPs who didn’t vote against the Tories’ Welfare Reform Bill, reducing the Child Tax Credits, and imposing a benefits cap.

Yesterday Labour and the Greens jumped on a bandwagon, once again. This time it was about public money that had gone to an arms firm, Raytheon.

It turned out that the money, awarded by Scottish Enterprise (SE), was destined to help the company to diversify from weapons manufacture into other fields, thus retaining Scottish jobs, while reducing our dependency on weapons manufacture.

As  Craig Dalzell pointed out, it is important to ensure that the money IS indeed used for that purpose and not to subsidise anything else. We must demand that SE does this. (Having been involved in projects funded by SE, I suspect that this will be done. In my experience they are strict in inspections of outcomes compared, for example, with the DWP.)

It was certainly unfortunate that Labour got involved in this argument given the funding that the Labour government in Wales has been giving the same company.

Image result for carwyn jones and raytheon
Oh no… Is that a Welsh flag I see?

And lest we should forget, Labour Prime Minister, Tony Blair (yes, he was Labour) was the bloke who took us into an illegal war with Iraq to get rid of Weapons of Mass Destruction which everyone, except the stupid UK, knew didn’t exist (even Gordon Brown admitted that). And we know how that ended up, don’t we?

Hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed people; the destabilisation of Iraq; the rise of ISIS and terrorism, not just in Iraq, but all over Europe.

Bravo, Tony. Still, you got a Congressional medal and got to play with George W Bush.

So, if I were Labour, I’d stay clear of criticising anything to do with war.

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Image result for scotrail

John Major privatized railways all over the UK in a step that even Thatcher refused to contemplate.

Like most other things that were privatized, (health services, prisons, probation, water, telecoms, electricity, gas, etc) they have met with varying degrees of “success”, mainly “very little” and in some cases “catastrophically little”.

In 13 years of power “New” Labour didn’t reverse any of these Tory privatizations: indeed it added to them.

But that didn’t stop their Scottish branch complaining that the SNP hadn’t re-nationalised Scotrail. Until recently, of course, Edinburgh didn’t have the power to do that. (You can never be sure that Labour actually knows any of this stuff, or says it in the hopes of getting some SNP baaaad headlines.)  Now, although the current contract has some time to run, the government is looking at nationalisation after it runs out.

However, one ex-Labour stalwart is against it.

Struth, what are they like?

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Image result for george foulkes

PS: Do you remember the time that The Most Noble Lord George ffoulkes, Baron Cumnock, fumed at the Saltire livery of ScotRail, introduced in 2007, just after the election of the SNP government?  It was apparently designed to brainwash people into becoming nationalists.

He had to be informed that it had been agreed by a Labour-Liberal Dem government (Liberal Democrat Transport Minister, Tavish Scott) long before the SNP were in power.

Duh!

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Hard to take this in. But apparently, it’s not that unusual on the streets of London, where, according to Mike Dailly’s Tweet, a homeless person dies on average every couple of weeks. This, as the post says, in supposedly one of the richest and most advanced cities in the world.

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Much has been made of the fact that in October one of Andrew Saxe-Coburg Gotha’s daughters is getting married. She is styled and titled Her Royal Highness, Princess Eugenie of York. She is apparently 9th in line to the throne and has absolutely not the remotest chance of getting it. She does no public duties at all. She does, however, go on a LOT of holidays. It is her claim to fame.

However, she has decided that she wants an open carriage procession through Windsor, just like her cousin Harry (5th in line) got.

As far as I’m concerned she can have open carriage processions through Bratislava, Nuuk, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Oymyakon (Siberia) if she wants. Just the same as anyone else can if they have the money. The trouble is that this princess and her pushy father, Airmiles Andy, the Fat Old Duke of York, wants us to pay for all the security that will involve, at a cost of around £2 million.

I have no idea how much the royal family is worth but I bet that they can afford to pay for this nonsense themselves, and when people are dying of poverty on the streets of London, I find it offensive that the government is prepared to spend that much money on some spoiled posh girl whose claim to fame is going on holiday.

The usual, “oh, but think of the money that it will bring in in tourism in London” won’t wash with this one. I doubt if many people have even heard of her and I shouldn’t think that most people are in the least interested in her nuptials.

What do you think?

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I doubt many people would argue that Theresa May is the worst Prime Minister in living memory… and probably a good deal before.

She’s a dithering, wobbly, weak, croaky, cartoon character, who has no control of her party or of her MPs or of her orange-coloured bedfellows in the DUP.

She’s at odds with everyone, here, in Europe and in the USA.

She is utterly USELESS. My granny’s cat could do a better job and he’s dead.

And yet, despite all that, Corbyn comes in a poor second to her in a Yougov poll for the best person to be prime minister. It’s interesting that the most popular vote was NEITHER of them.

And just when we needed leadership more than we have needed it for 70 years.

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!cartoon1
Thanks for BJSAlba for this one.

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It’s disappointing to see a second EU referendum being sold as a “democratic right”. If these groups care about democracy they’ll listen to the voice of the people, clearly expressed in 2016- to leave the EU!

Stephen Kerr is Conservative MP for Stirling, in Scotland.

Scotland voted 62% -38% to remain in the EU. Stirling voted 67%- 33%.

That’s two-thirds of his constituents.

Still, the English and Welsh voted to leave so … sod the people of Stirling.

Image result for steven kerr mps

Mr Kerr’s other claim to fame is, as a high-ranking member of the Mormon Church, yes, I know we’re not supposed to call it that any more, he outed gay members. The Mormons are homophobic, it seems, except, of course, when they use a gay person to get elected to a high paid job.

I hope Stirling remembers that when the next election comes along.

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!apension

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