WE’RE GONNA HAVE A PARTY

Dear, benevolent, caring, kind Mrs May has decided to grant us a little reward for …well, not quite sure what for, but for something. She’s like that. All erm… heart?

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Despite the figures here showing the expected drop in UK GDP (depending on the kind of exit), Mrs May remains cheerful, not least because her husband is very rich and, once she is dumped she can do a Lord Lawson and bugger off to pastures new within the EU. (Note from Munguin: Why does she not do that NOW?)

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At a cost then, of some £120 million pounds, she’ll be glad of the good old Magic Money Tree, which she has been tending with what passes in Downing Street for loving care, and guarding it against encroachment by Mrs Arlene “Sticky Fingers” Orange-Foster, every time she drops in at Downing Street to ensure that no heathen practices have been taking place in her absence.

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There are so many events already planned for the day of joy, which I assume will be held in London, the capital city of what she calls our precious union (me neither), the highlights of which you can see laid out below.

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It is intended to hold this “celebration” in 2022, which coincidentally is the anniversary of another thing that I couldn’t care less about, the accession to the throne of the queen, 70 years before, always assuming we don’t have King Charles and Queen Mrs Parker Bowles by then.

Frankly, I doubt Mrs May will be there to join in the joyful celebrations of her fellow Englishmen based on the fact that even the incredibly Tory-friendly Andrew Marr on the Tory-friendly BBC, left her stuttering over the Northern Ireland border situation this morning as he pointed out that the WTO will demand a border, by law. Either she is incredibly thick, or she just believes that Laws are things for other countries.

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Replying to   and 2 others

It’ll be Lend Lease and a couple of packs of hydrated mashed potatoes. Children running after trucks in the hope of buns. Old people, cankerous sores bleeding and pustulating, cry out for jam and the rest of us pretend the BBQ is not supplied by Battersea Dogs Home. Oh, joy!

Here’s someone who is clearly looking forward to the event with enthusiasm.

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If by chance there turns out to be a large number of us Jocks hoping to make our way to see if the streets of London really are paved with gold… or paved at all, for that matter, Munguin might consider lending you his tandem.

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Thanks to BJSAlba for the cartoon…

SOPPY SUNDAY

Image result for baby orangutan
Morning all… Just having a leaf for breakfast, unless you have some porridge you’d like to share with your hungry little cousin.

n whale
Splash.

n trasn
Hitching a ride with mum.

n tirana
Skanderbeg Square, Central Tirana.

n temple of hathor, dandra
Temple of Dendera.

n snow
Snow? Oh, that stuff…. Who cares about that?

n shower
The things a dog has to put up with to keep old fusspots happy. Like there’s no such thing as carpet cleaner…

n samatran rhino
Kiss for mum?

n shenandoah national park Va
Shenandoah National Park.

n milk
Some cats are just lucky.

n lion tm
Oh no, it’s the Tories conference in England. GRRRRRRRRR.

n lake superior
Lake Superior.

n flam
Pretty Flamingoes… Manfred Mann?

n coatbridge, drumpellier gerry
Coatbridge. Thanks, Gerry.

n budapest may 8
Budapest, May 2018.

n jap
Japanese Garden, Fife…

n japg.jpg
Well worth a visit…

n table mount
Table Mountain.

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Well, I’m off into the jungle until that Tory stuff is over and done with. See you next week… after your march, if Tris still has any energy…

 

 

 

CAKE, MORE CAKE… AND HOLDING ALL THE CAKE, I MEAN CARDS

RATION CARDS, I MEAN

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Mrs May’s red lines have left the only two possibilities open to the UK, the so-called Canada style agreement or no deal.

Other options, the Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein option; the Swiss option; the Ukraine option; the Turkey option are seen to involve too many intrusions into the Tory/DUP (and to be fair Labour) view of what an independent UK should look like.

Hang on tight. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Let’s hope that the train stops at Independence Station before the whatsit hits the fan.

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Ah, to live in a country that cares about its population.

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Does anyone know why AUOB has been denied the use of Holyrood Park next Saturday? And who it was that issued the order?

A general view of Arthur’s Seat, at Holyrood Park.

It’s owned by Historic Environment Scotland and as far as I can see it is a public space.

Can they stop us going there?

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3eu
Aye Ross. It’s like the evil SNP are doing it on purpose. You know, the will of the Scottish people thing? Oh sorry, of course, you don’t.

 

That was then and this is now

I know the print is small so I’ve strained my eyes in your service.

In the tweets on the right-hand side, Nigel says that Britain will be:

1/ safer and better off;

2/ more prosperous:

3/ better off:

4/ better off.

Now he says that, in fact, he never said it would be a beneficial thing, just that we would be self-governing.

!!!!!!promises proises

Now I can understand the desire for self-government. Most of us here can. But there has to be a bigger objective than just that. I want to be self-governing because…

Well, we’ve discussed this before. Personally, I’d like to live like the small, rather unimportant, peaceful, democratic northern European country that we actually are, one that puts its citizens first, rather than the “punching above its weight”, nuclear weapons holding, sad little joke of a poodle appendage to the USA, basking in a long-forgotten glorious empire and generally being laughed at… that the UK is today.

I mean how much difference will we notice when the UK is “independent”. After all, the EU didn’t poke its nose into that many things despite what they try to tell you.

It didn’t set our personal taxes or taxes on businesses. It didn’t interfere with our education systems throughout the UK. It didn’t poke its nose into our health services either.

It didn’t tell us when we had to go to war, or what size our armed forces should be or that we should spend money we don’t have on nuclear weapons we can never use and that aren’t a deterrent to anyone.

Image result for state pomp in England

It didn’t interfere with our constitution, no matter how dubious our “democracy”. No one told us you have to have to have an elected president, an elected Senate, a proportional representation system so there should be some semblance of democracy in your government. Oh and get rid of that privy council nonsense. No sir.

Nor did it set our minimum wage, our social security rates, our retirement age, our pensions (if it had we could have looked forward to a much more prosperous retirement), or the way we treat our sick and disabled people with ATOS and the likes.

It didn’t interfere in law and order, policing, prisons, courts, nor our railways or buses, or the generation of our electricity and our gas networks. It didn’t poke its nose much into our water (only to ensure that it met a minimum standard on beaches may be… you know, keep the sewerage down).

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It didn’t even demand that we treat living returning military personnel with any kind of respect. It hasn’t insisted that we ensure that they don’t die homeless and penniless as a result of the traumas they have suffered.

Most of what it did poke its nose into had to do with trade, employment, making Europe a reasonably level playing field in the four competencies, and for many of us that was probably a good thing, as we are probably about to find out. Who needs health and safety at work anyway?

Yes, it is true that with a dire shortage of labour in this country and a rapidly ageing population to support, had we had no access to foreign workers the labour market would have had the upper hand in wage negotiations. Employers would have to pay more.

Image result for immigrants coming to england

Simple case of supply and demand. (I’ve heard it said that in previous times of economic boom when there was almost no unemployment, workers would start a new job on a Monday morning, but be poached by another company on the Wednesday with a higher wage and finish on the Friday.)  So maybe wages will go up after March, but as prices are likely to dramatically increase too, that may be rather a double-edged sword.

Mr Rees Mogg tells us that it may be around 50 years before we feel the benefit of being out of the EU and Mr Farage said he never thought it was a great idea, except for the independence bit.

Ever get the idea you’ve been had?

 

STILL, THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE IN LABOUR WHO SEEM TO HAVE A CLUE

Not many perhaps, but a few…

As shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Mr Pound seems to have a rather better grasp of what the Irish border question is about than the actual secretary of state, who probably couldn’t find it on a map.

“In September 2018 she (Karen Bradley) was criticised for admitting in an interview[14] for House magazine, a weekly publication for the Houses of Parliament, that she had not understood Northern Irish politics before being appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. “I didn’t understand things like when elections are fought, for example, in Northern Ireland – people who are nationalists don’t vote for unionist parties and vice versa,” she said.”

The word “duh” comes to mind.

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I wonder how many people in the London bubble actually care enough about Northern Ireland to learn about the incredible complexities involved in the Good Friday Agreement.

Clearly, a government minister didn’t know or care until she was promoted into the post of Secretary of State, at which time she must have been briefed by civil servants. (You have to ask, in the light of that disclosure, if May made the right decision there.)

And the rest of them, sitting around the cabinet table discussing the future of the province, it seems, may not have a tiny clue.

That is scary.

IT’S ALL ABOUT SNP BAAAAAD

IT WAS THEN, IT IS NOW…

AND THE TRUTH IS, IT’S LABOUR THAT’S CRAP

It’s really no wonder that “Scottish” Labour, back there in the day, the government, first became the opposition and then became the third party.

As a political force, you really have to have more in your store cupboard of ideas than “the exact opposite of what the SNP says”. The Willie Bain principle just won’t cut it. (In 2012, Bain stated that the Scottish Labour MPs have a convention of not supporting motions put down by the Scottish National Party, which became known as the “Bain Principle“)

In short, no matter how good a policy was; no matter how it would help people, Labour would simply vote against it. The alternative, I suppose, would be to admit that the SNP had had a good idea, and that was out of the question.

Article here on Wings.

Now, of course, an opposition party is supposed to oppose. The clue is, after all, in the name. But a good opposition party doesn’t oppose for the sake of opposing. It opposes out of principle.

Richard Leonard wrongly states there is no case for an independence referendum, completely ignoring that there is a mandate for a referendum from the Scottish people who returned a majority of MSPs to the Scottish Parliament. Time to accept reality & the democratic right of Scotland.

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And Ross Greer’s tweet (below) seems to show that Labour has scant regard for democracy. Pro-independence parties were elected on a platform of “if Scotland is dragged out of the EU against the wishes of the people, the Scottish parliament should have the right to call another referendum on Scottish independence”. Having then put that proposition to parliament and it having passed, it seems to me, the government has an obligation to the electorate to do just that. 

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So if Labour wins an election in the rest of the UK they will block an independence referendum, even when the people of Scotland have elected parliamentary majorities for one? Way to prove why we need independence folks.

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According to Nick Eardley (BBC), Labour seems relatively sure that there won’t be another referendum. Although, of course on their massively inflated salaries, I suppose  £1,000 is not that much.

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A (young) Labour MP just offered to bet me £1,000 there won’t be another in their lifetime (I’m not allowed to gamble on politics)

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So, it’s not been the best day for Labour. Richard obviously wants to talk about “class”, which, in my opinion, should be consigned to the dustbin of bad history.

Image result for richard leonard

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Tricia Marwick here, replies, referring to the gaff by Andy Kerr, who, upon seeing the person that he has chosen to put a question make the sign of a cross, indicated that perhaps he shouldn’t have chosen her. Protestants’ questions only, maybe?
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Maybe it is about time you united people regardless of religion, creed or colour. The sectarian remarks today against Catholics by your Chair Andy Kerr in an open session of your Conference were disgraceful. What are you going to do about that?

Image result for chair of labour's NEC Andy Kerr

Andy Kerr, Glaswegian chair of Labour’s NEC, called a woman to contribute to the conference debate on party democracy, then ‘joked’: “Did you cross yourself, there? In that case I might not.” Er …

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 What a bloody mess for a once respectable political party.

SOPPY SUNDAY

n or10
What kept you?

n albno squirrel
Albino squirrels

n bear
This’ll go nicely with some chips…

n bed
Perfect bed for a musical dog.

n bibi jawindi's tomb Pakistan
The tomb of Bibi Jawindi, Pakistan.

n dinner
What’s a dog to do to get some dinner around here.

n cccat
What was that dog doing?

Image result for baby elephant
I’m weeding… look.

n goupil Zeb Soanes
Goupil, one of the London foxes beloved by BBC man Zeb Soanes.

Image result for geese
If they were marching would it be called “goose step”?

Image result for swiss valley
Il n’y a rien d’aussi beau, qu’une vallée a l’abri du temp, où les oiseaux font leurs nids dans les coeurs des arbres géants. Et court la rivière à l’ombre et la lumière. Douce vallée, Sweet Swiss Valley. Il fait bon vivre chez toi.*

Image result for Black panther animal
I’m not part of a terrorist group, honest.

Image result for rattlesnake
Oh come on, admit it, I’m as cute as a button. Albeit a very poisonous button.

Image result for luxembourg
Luxembourg.

Image result for baby elephant
You lot are funny looking elephants…

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Baby wildebeest saved by lioness.

Image result for african jungle
Don’t suppose you’ve got a banana?

Image result for nile
Nile.

Image result for Bhutan
Bhutan temples.

Image result for ulaanbaatar city
Ulan Bator, Mongolia.

Image result for snail
It’s one way to keep them from eating your plants!

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That’s it then. We’re off to school, even though it’s Sunday. I want to get a PhD someday so can’t afford to slack.

*There is nothing as beautiful as a sheltered valley where birds make their nests in the hearts of the giant trees, and the river runs in the shade and the sunlight. Sweet valley. It’s good to live in you. (Song Pet Clark wrote about her home in Switzerland.)