Jacinda is the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Jacinda is the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Thanks to BJSAlba.
From singing (in Welsh) in the pub at her grandparents’ village in Wales in 1938 at the age of 6 to singing “Mighty Lak a Rose” on the BBC in 1942, through the 50s as a slightly twee English “popular” singer and into the 60s as France’s “*Pétulante Pétula” rocking and twisting her way into charts all over Europe and beyond, then on to the Downtown girl of the USA, Las Vegas, and films, musicals and more and more albums, in English and in French.
Still recording; still charting… and currently playing the Bird Lady in a new London production of Mary Poppins. 80 years in showbiz and still rocking.
Nous t’souhaitons une très belle journée, Pétula.
* Pétulante translates as lively, full of life, vigorous…
PS: And, of course, the highlight of her international career:
(The above three images borrowed from William Brown on twitter.)
It would be fair to say that there are many other areas in which Scotland excels.
Our law and order record is better than England’s due to our government not having made the drastic cuts to police over the past 10 years that the Tories have. In particular, knife crime is decreasing here, whilst it has reached epidemic proportions in England.
Our prison service, not having been privatised, still works reasonably well, as does our probation service for the same reason (stand up and take a bow Mr Graying).
Our trains are better and more punctual, although, to be fair, there are far far fewer of them to be late…
have ignored repeated calls to intervene from myself &
. Please remember this when you go to vote.
I’m pretty sure you can (and will) add to this quickly-compiled list.
We’re not perfect of course and like every other government, sometimes ours gets things wrong.
But a good number of the areas in which we could do better are controlled from, you guessed it, London, by, you guessed it again, the Tories.
We know that there are far too many drug-related deaths here, but that is a matter, for some strange reason, reserved to London. The London Home Office has repeatedly refused to devolve any responsibility for this to our government.
On our own, we could follow the examples of the Portuguese or Swiss or Nordic countries’ policies in dealing with the drugs deaths crisis. (Incidentally, the worst area in the UK is not in Scotland, but in the North East of England and the Scottish government collates drug deaths differently from the English one.)
But we could have good policies on this, as we have shown in the past. (After all, we were the first country in the UK to ban indoor public place smoking which is now bearing fruit. And as I understand it there has been a drop in alcohol consumption in Scotland since minimum pricing.) Our government has repeatedly asked for powers to make changes to drugs policy and it has been repeatedly knocked back with a “we know best” attitude.
If we weren’t helping the UK to punch above its weight in world affairs, Scotland would have a lot more money to spend on domestic issues.
Britain somehow feels the need to pretend that it is still a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. In reality, it’s just not. It’s a medium-sized country with a great deal more in its past than in its future.
Scotland would take its place in the world with other small northern nations like Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Finland and Sweden. Important in its own way, yes, but with no desire to be deputy to America’s sheriff.
I remember Cameron announcing (I think it was after Russia invaded Ukraine) that he would be phoning Putin to register his protest. I remember thinking… Well, that’s gonna make him think twice, eh? Putin will be fair shaking in his shoes… the UK objects.
If Obama or Xi had protested that night, Putin would probably still have done nothing, but it wouldn’t have been so laughable.
Cameron? Not so much.
But it’s not just pretending that we are important, respected and powerful. There’s much more that is unfair. We spend a lot of money on infrastructure in London (after all, supposedly “our” capital) and its surrounds from which we get next to no benefit. Sewers and Crossrail come immediately to mind, not to mention HS2. (OK, I accept that if I’m in London I might need Crossrail…supposing they get it built before I die… and I’ll certainly need the sewers. But the same could be said of Paris or Berlin or Shanghai and none of their governments has come to me for taxes!)
And if they think we are too wee, poor and stupid to manage self-government despite all the signals that we are not, how can they explain that so many other members of the EU and EEA around the same size or even smaller, manage so much better than Britain?
Something uniquely incompetent about Scots?
Well after 300 years of this union…
Chris Davies, you might remember, was recalled by his constituents in Brecon and Radnorshire after being convicted of fraud in relation to parliamentary expenses.
Clearly having more front than Rothsay, he stood in the by-election that followed… and lost.
It seems, though, that you can’t keep a bad man down, and on November 11 we discovered that he had been selected to stand for the Tories in the constituency of Ynys Môn (one of the seats where the Liberal Dems and Greens have stood down).
However, today we discovered that he has decided (or it has been decided for him) that he will, in fact, not be standing after all.
I’m not sure about this, but I can’t remember another election where so many people have been obliged to stand down from candidacy.
It will come as no real surprise to anyone that Daily Telegraph columnist and ex-New Labour MP (and one-time candidate for the leadership of the Scottish branch office), Tom Harris, is voting Tory in this election. I’m not sure I’d thank him for advertising it if I were the Tories. He’s pretty well forgotten or disliked around these parts.
The floods in Northern and Midland England are horrific. Initially, of course, the prime minister said that there was no emergency, presumably because neither Downing Street nor Chequer found itself under water.
However, in the last few days, it appears that someone in his entourage who has remembered that there is an election in the offing, has decided that it is, indeed, a national emergency deserving of a COBRA meeting. Johnson was dispatched to do some campaigning in the areas concerned complete with wellies and a bucker and mop.
He’d have done better to stay in his palatial surroundings, dry and safe from getting any more rotten because the reception he got was far from what he would have liked. He’s really not very good with ordinary people.
I read this morning that the SNP would consider court action if, after a successful election campaign and a majority of SNP MPs, they were still refused a Section 30 Order by Johnson.
As Doctor Paul Monaghan points out, being found against by the courts would be a huge risk for Johnson to take.
Awwww…. lead us don’t leave us, eh?
Never mind, think of all the teacakes they’ll be exporting.
The inimitable Murdo Fraser, the scourge of, well, nothing much really… has commented on the decision of the Green Party to withdraw their candidates from the North East Fife and Perth and North Perthshire elections, in order, presumably, to give Steven Gethings (majority 2) and Pete Wishart (majority 21) a better chance of winning.
It was a very generous gesture, but also a sensible one.
There was no realistic chance of the Green candidates winning and a vote which was split along independence/dependence lines could well have let in a unionist.