RANDOM THOUGHTS

🚨 second referendum klaxon 🚨 May tells Sarah Wollaston: “Any second referendum, should that be the case, would not be able to held before March 2019… We’d need to extend Article 50”

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Say what you like about Theresa May, but she’s shit hot at remembering heavily rehearsed stock responses she can dole out whenever faced with a slightly challenging question. She’s now achieved the same level of competence as an answering machine

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Off the topic of Brexit, I suspect that most of you will have heard of the horrible incident in Yorkshire where a 16-year-old schoolboy thug follower of Tommy Robinson assaulted a younger Syrian lad, because…well, he was Syrian.

Image result for tommy robinson naked

The boy had been assaulted before and was wearing a plaster cast on his arm from an earlier attack. Additionally, his younger sister had been bullied so badly that she had allegedly tried to kill herself. This time someone filmed it.

I know I’m preaching to the converted here, but I am reminded that when people in the public eye make racist statements it seems to justify innate (if there really is such a thing) racism in the hard of thinking. (I’m disinclined to actually believe in “innate” racism, but I think that it can be implanted at an early age.)

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So people like Tommy Robinson and his message of hate, and the equally awful Katie Hopkins, who I suspect does it for publicity and self-enrichment rather than any kind of “principled” dislike of foreigners, can reasonably be blamed for stirring racial hatred. I’m not saying that Hopkins or Robinson (real name: Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon) intend people to be beaten, or driven to suicide. But they unleash or free up and make semi-respectable harassment in the eyes of their followers. And that includes idiot prime ministers who accuse people of queue jumping to get British jobs. (I’m not sure if she knows how interviews work!) Or other idiot prime minister who promote slogans like “British jobs for British workers”.

Image result for gordon brown british jobs for british workers

Someone started a Just Giving page for the lad and his family, with the aim of raising £10,000. The last time I looked it stood at over £130,000. Now that is a British value I can relate to.

PS: Time for an Offstead inspection at the Almondbury school in Huddersfield, I think.

 

LIGHT RELIEF

On the day that Tess comes to town and bars the National newspaper from her press conference in Glasgow (not sure where, for anyone who wants to go along and protest, but all information welcome in the posts below), I thought we might start the day with a smile of admiration for these guys.

LEAD US, DON’T LEAVE US… HA HA HA HA HA, etc

NOW, GET BACK IN YOUR BOX. HOW DARE YOU ASSUME THAT YOU CAN TAKE PART IN A GREAT BRITISH DEBATE?

Let me translate:

“Well, if the Scottish branch office broadcasters want to arrange a debate between the First Minister and that beardy specky guy, who makes the PM’s tea and serves those delightful butterfly cakes at Cabinet, it’s up to them. We don’t really care. It makes no difference to us what you people do. We shan’t pay any attention to the outcome, anyway

“Remind me, is Scotland the little one on the left or the bigger one up the top? We know it’s not the one with the sharp-tongued leaderette we’ve had to bribe with loads of dosh, which we won’t be able to get back now even though she stabbed us in the back.”

Almost a quote from David Livingstone, who, for those who don’t know, is some wee chappy who works in the imperial cabinet office in faraway London, although according to his photo he’s been dead for more than 100 years. A perfect qualification for a Tory minister.

It occurs to me, though, that if we are going to have a debate here, wouldn’t it be better to have Scottish leaders debating about Scotland, rather than that Muddled blokey, who simply says, nay stutters, whatever London tells him and who couldn’t find Scotland on a big map of…erm, Scotland.

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Although to be fair, it would be fun to watch the FM’s sharp legal brain wash the floor with Muddle’s fluffy one. Come to that it would be fun to see Nicola and Patrick wipe the floor with Carry on Dick, Wee Wullie and Jackson Carlot.

But wait, a horrific thought has just struck me. If we had a Scottish debate, we probably also have to sit through the awful prospect of Tweedle May and Tweedle Corbyn boring each other and everyone else, to death as well?

Image result for may and Corbyn debating cartoons

There seems almost no point in us watching the two Westminster leaders debating as neither has acknowledged the vast difference in the voting intentions in our country in the Scottish parliament, in the central parliament and most specifically, in the European referendum.

They are hardly likely to address any issues that would interest us and if they did they would almost certainly know nothing about them, and care even less.

All of that misses the main point that, if you are not going to allow a people’s vote on your half-arsed deal, what is the point of debating it for the people who can do damn all about it?

It’s the politicians who will make the decision. Maybe May and Corbyn should just bore the backside off THEM, till they agree to vote whatever way the whips tell them.

OH STOP IT

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Richard Leonard said that the Scottish government should mitigate the 2 child policy in its next budget.

Nicola Sturgeon asked him to co-sign a letter with her to the Brits asking for ‘Welfare’ powers to be devolved to Scotland.

He refused to do that.

Jeremy Corbyn has now tweeted:

. is calling on the Scottish Government to use its powers in the interests of the many, not the few. needs to listen and scrap the two-child cap in the upcoming Scottish budget.

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I saw an excellent comment from Cameron Archibald.

Labour: The SNP should mitigate the two-child cap policy!

SNP: Sure, join us on calling Westminster to devolve welfare powers to Holyrood.

Labour: …

SNP: …

Labour: …

SNP: Well?

Labour: …

SNP: Hello?

Labour: …

SNP: Are you ok-?

Labour: The SNP should mitigate…

Come on Labour. What’s the problem? It’s not like some welfare powers are going to make us totally sovereign. It would, though, mean that we would be able to run out own social security system, hopefully, a good way from the despicable English Tory welfare misery which, only last week, prompted damning criticism from the UN Rapporteur.

SOPPY SUNDAY

Image result for mum and baby orangutan
Morning all.

n swiss
Swiss railways react to snow on the line. Pfffff.

n ac
From us little acorns, who knows what will grow?

n baby
Snuggle time.

n bearded dragon
Bearded lizard.

n black bear
Just having a little salad before the fish course.

n camel
What you think about this for a coat?

n fox2
You’re my best friend.

Image result for mum and baby orangutan
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

n hercules beetles
Ah, Hastings, mon ami, call me Hercules Beetle Poirot.

n dg1
Leaves is fun!

n sun
Summer seems so long ago now.

n what
What?

n peacock phesant
Peacock Pheasant.

n mexican mole lizard
Mexican Mole Lizard.

m stretch2
S-t-r-e-t-c-h

n em
Best time of the day…

n iceland
Rugged Iceland.

n Hrensco Czech
Hrensco, Czech Republic.

Image result for mum and baby orangutan
Some babies are just SOOOOO lazy. 

What was your experience?

“Teachers should not have to buy pens and pencils for their own classrooms. Our schools should be properly funded by the SNP government.”

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At  First Minister’s Questions yesterday, Mr Leonard complained that some teachers had had to provide pens and pencils for kids who could not afford them.

Indeed, he was to an extent, right. It is terrible that teachers are having to do this and, in fact, more. Some teachers of my acquaintance are having to provide food for kids they have found raking in bins shaking with hunger.

Of course, they don’t actually have to, but being human beings, some of them try to help where they can. Who could possibly refuse a hungry kid something to eat?

But wait, when I think back to my school days, in Scotland and later in England, I always had to provide my own pens and pencils, not to mentions rules, compasses and protractors. To the best of my knowledge, the state never provided anything like that.

So it is a valid point. Teachers should not have to provide these items, but it’s not the headline-grabbing “SNP government BAAAAD” that is responsible for this. That’s childish nonsense and I suspect that the intelligent Mr Leonard knows that.

Why are parents too poor to provide for their kids?

I’d suggest that a pitifully low minimum wage, zero-hours contracts, part-time work, the utter chaos of the current benefits system (PIP and UC), and rampant inflation, may be the cause.

All areas, you’ll note, over which the Scottish government has no control.

So we have a situation where parents are finding it hard to provide basic necessities for their children. And that these are areas of policy retained at Westminster. And Mr Leonard chose to blame the SNP government. Not the Scottish government, you’ll note, but “this SNP government”.

Not that I’d presume to talk for Nicola Sturgeon, but I suspect that if Mr Leonard was minded to, the First Minister would happily sign a joint letter to Mrs May asking for these matters to be devolved. Then maybe together we could do something about this instead of trying to make petty political points out of kids’ misery.

 

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One thing that the Scottish government might be able to do without asking Westminster, though, is to remove the obligation for children to wear uniforms at school. Uniforms are expensive and nowadays they’re not used for anything except going to school.

Kids grow out of clothes so quickly and it is expensive to replace them. Not having to provide separate wear for school would be a weight off the budgets of some hard-up households. (You know, the “just getting by” ones so favoured by Mrs May…well, for the first ten minutes of her prime ministership anyway.)

If there any good reasons that escape me for making kids wear clothes they don’t like, that aren’t particularly comfortable and that cost a lot of money and have to be dry cleaned, please let me know?

Jeans, trackies, t-shirt and sweaters work ok in schools in the USA, for example.

Image result for Pocklington School

In fairness to Mr Leonard, who had the benefits of a scholarship to a private school, he may have had to find his own pencils. You would think, though, that someone on his staff might have gone to an ordinary school and been able to advise him in advance that he was about to make yet another howling out-of-touch faux pas.

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Reader Polls:

1/ Were your stationery requirements provided by whatever government(s) when you went to school?

2/ Would you have any objection to kids going to school in jeans and t-shirts instead of shirts and ties and dry cleanable blazers?