The Prime Minister says NO.
gove and the white stuff
Gove says no.

Image result for no no no no yes vicar of dibley

Ah yes, there was someone who said “yes” (if only when she thought it was an impossibility).

Image result for Mrs thatcher on scottish independence
Mrs Thatcher, she said yes. And now we have done it three times and won three general elections in Scotland, I’d say that was a fairly persuasive demonstration. Unless Mrs Thatcher was talking out of her backside, of course! What do you think, Tories?


105 thoughts on “NO, NO, NO…YES”

  1. I know that the doris letter meaning anything to nobody BUTT,
    The reply to his letter can be:-
    One of your previous leaders said’ a majority of SNP MPs is good enough’. that’s a promise made.
    When he gets to make the rules up as he goes along he wins in the short term.
    No one yet has won the 3 cup and pea game with a magician UNLESS he wants you to win.
    Wonder how the Cash for Ash problem was sorted out in arlene’s favour, a wee bung to move things along perhaps. Answer buried for 30 years initially.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Would be interesting to see how they reacted to Thatcher’s test.

        It was a majority in parliament, then when we got that it was a majority in a referendum and now someone is trying to make it 60% in a referendum.

        In the end they will be demanding that we would have to all choose to wear the same coloured shirt on the 3rd Tuesday of March.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It’s the same as the “States Rights” thing across the pond. It only gets invoked when the Conservatives lose in Washington.

          They’ll keep moving the goalposts, because they just want an excuse to say no. Any excuse will do, and it doesn’t even have to be consistent with the last one.

          Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, we all knew she’d get away with it.

      I think though that they should have an election. After all this time of there people sitting on their backsides getting paid for sod all, they really should go back to the people

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So right, IF doris can cite Alex and Nicola’s ‘promise’ as a reason not to agree to respect the referendum and the promises made by cameron, brown and what was that other guy/, the one with the headstone.
    Of course the catch 22 clause comes out, you can’t hold a new government to policies made by a previous incompetent pm.
    SO by the same criteria you can’t hold to account any historical promises, it’s all up for change by the catch 22 rule.
    Look on the bright side, doris will get kicked out by the people who sit behind him in parliament BEFORE we get a chance to have another election.
    His enemies are his ‘friends’ not the opposition parties.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I suspect that that may happen, but remember his current crop of backbenchers are hand picked loyalists.

      This wasn’t like a normal general election.

      Some of them are even more right wing that Mr Cummings… wqell, OK maybe not.


  3. There is now,within the UK state,no democratic route to independence.
    There probably never was but was held out as a possibility by Westminster only so long as they thought they could defeat it.
    2014 was the end of that possibility and along with it any notion that Westminster will ever agree to a rerun.
    So,where do we go from here?
    As long as Holyrood remains the focal point for Scottish political discourse,it will represent a threat to Westminster so I am pretty sure that they will,as a matter of urgency,seek to emasculate it’s powers.
    Important negotiations with the EU are pending and they will not want the threat of non cooperation over fishing etc to disrupt their dealings.
    Scotland is clearly seen as a captive nation by Westminster,and it is time No voting Scots realised that fact.
    We are a possession to be disposed with in whatever way London sees fit.
    There is no “union”,never was and certainly never will be now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I see that Johnson has moved to emasculate the Supreme Courts’ abilities to interpret the law regarding the rights of parliament and minister.

      He has also given MPs and extra month’s holiday this year reducing the amount of time that they will have to question him and his government.

      That along with having the Environment Secretary in the House of Lords.

      I’m sure that there is another example of similar tactics in Europe… hmmm,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Change of subject, people: wear a black armband on 31 January / 1 February (well, anytime you like, really) to celebrate the demise of our freedom to live and work in other EU countries, among other losses both economic and otherwise. We remainers really should mark the destruction of the last vestiges of EU restraint on the Tory Party’s worst instincts to soak and punish the poor and strip them of their rights, and on their back enrich and further favour the rich and privileged. I don’t suppose many people in Scotland will have a desire to put out more Union flags and have street parties, particularly at this time of year, but just in case, I have sent off for 10 black elastic armbands on ebay at £4.87 to hand out to my care assistants, because I don’t get out and about much myself. People may ask you who’s deid, and you can start up a conversation and make sure they know that the only way out – or the only way back in – is independence.

    I got the idea from a comment on a story I was reading in the Indy about over a million or so EU citizens in the UK refusing to have anything to do with the Home Office’s registration scheme – well, they didn’t quite put it like that – and the Polish ambassador calling on Poles, who are the largest group of EU citizens in the UK, to go home to Poland. Another fact: the Home Office, that bastion of efficiency, fairness and compassion, have a backlog of 362,000 cases in what they advertise as a three-day process. Non-EU spouses of EU citizens are having a particularly hard time, because they will now be treated like any other immigrant from their home country, and may well be deported. Maybe they are not supposed to be treated that way, but who could expect the Home Office, arbiter of all that is good and right, to bother itself with such arrant nit-pickery and vexatious technicalities?

    I look forward to the Westminster regime rounding up over a million people for deportation; no doubt the facilities have already been constructed, probably in unimportant places such as the North of England, and Scotland and Wales, and the immigration tribunals and the English and Scottish court systems have been beefed up to cope with the hundreds of thousands of inevitable appeals. Of course, the whole process would be enormously simplified by abolishing the right to appeal, and obviously would cost much less. I haven’t heard news about any detention or concentration camps being set up, but I’m sure it’s all in hand. After all, that’s the Tory Party way: everything planned in advance, allowance made for contingencies, and a clear roadmap to achieving the desired goals. Just like the whole Brexit process, really.

    You can read the Indy article, “Why so many EU citizens aren’t applying to stay in Britain”, at

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks. I’ll read that.

      I doubt if Johnson wold allow the Scottish courts any part in this. He certainly wouldn’t trust them. I see he intends to remove some of the UK Supreme Court.

      And we can’t really look to Labour for any help. Some of them would have us beaten and imprisoned.

      Yes, it’s a black armband, and it anyone wants to celebrate bu ringing bells at that time of night they will incur the wrath of Munguin!


      1. Oh – I wonder how I managed to get into it, Tris! How very peculiar. The article is by May Bulman, and it’s in the Indy of today 16 January. Here’s the text:

        “How often does the government tell millions of people to do something and they all actually do it? Probably never, is the answer. Take voting in general elections – the turnout hasn’t exceeded 70 per cent since the 1990s. Yet when it comes to ordering EU nationals living and working in this country to apply to a new and unfamiliar settlement scheme, ministers seem to anticipate no problem, boasting about how “simple and straightforward” the process is.

        But however easy they make it to apply under the Home Office’s EU settlement scheme – which, incidentally, is not always easy – not everyone will. Research published by the Aire Centre on Wednesday proves this, showing that more than a million EU nationals and their family members – that’s around one in three – are yet to register.

        There are several reasons for this. The Independent has reported on concerns that many harder-to-reach people, such as the elderly, children in care and those who are being exploited, will inevitably slip through the net because the government’s communications about the scheme will not reach them, or they simply will not have the ability to apply on their own.

        We have also reported how many people have applied but are stuck in a backlog, which is currently 362,000-strong, of applications still being processed by the Home Office – despite the department stating that the process should take three days. Many spouses of EU nationals – who tend to be the group most affected by delays – have been waiting months, in some cases leading to them being turned away by employers and landlords because their previous visas have expired leaving them with no formal documentation to prove their status.

        And then there are those who are simply putting off filling in their settlement forms. Some feel bitter about the whole thing, unhappy about Brexit and unwilling to cooperate with the process. Others complain of a lack of guidance on how to do it, suggesting they are fearful of making a mistake and being rejected, placing their entire livelihoods in the UK at risk. Some may even be feeling compelled to return to their home countries – with the Polish ambassador going so far as to encourage Poles – the largest EU group living in Britain – to return home.

        Whatever their different reasons for not staying in the UK, if EU citizens fail to apply on time – or indeed choose to head back to their homeland – it will create a huge problem for the UK, as industries reliant on their contribution are left short.”


        There is a link in the article entitled “EU Parliament has ‘grave concerns’ about Home Office settlement scheme”. One key phrase: “… their approval of the Brexit deal later this month would depend on new assurances being given from the UK side”. The voting figures are rather telling too.

        The article begins:

        “The European Parliament has said it has “grave concerns” over the UK’s treatment of EU citizens after Brexit and has accused Boris Johnson’s government of putting them in jeopardy.

        MEPs on Wednesday backed a resolution by 610 votes in favour to 29 against with 68 abstentions criticising the UK’s handling of the situation.

        The resolution also stressed that their approval of the Brexit deal later this month would depend on new assurances being given from the UK side.

        The EU’s political groups united to accuse the UK government of failing to protect EU nationals from future discrimination by employers and landlords, and said Europeans should be “issued with a physical document as proof of their right to reside” in Britain.

        EU countries have watched the Home Office’s bungled handling of the Windrush scandal with horror, and worry that the same thing will happen to their citizens after Brexit.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Thanks, Ed.

          The UK government is hardly a shining light when it comes to efficiency. Particularly where computer systems are concerned.

          So it doesn’t surprise me that a three day process should end up with a third of a million backlog.

          And yes, the Windrush scandal should how they feel about people who aren’t of good solid English stock.

          The Home Office has been, for as long as I can remember, the watchword for inefficiency. Having Patel in charge can only have exacerbated that!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Priti Patel is an example of a type of person that horrifies me, frankly. Like Jack Straw before her, who put his name to and enforced immigration policies that would have kept his own parents from seeking refuge from Nazi Germany in the UK and probably led to their deaths and to his not being born, Priti Patel is in charge of an office dedicated to making life miserable for people like her own immediate forebears – I don’t know how many generations back her roots in England go. Surely her circle of friends and acquaintances with roots in the subcontinent must have told her about their travails with the Home Office and the pain inflicted by the Home Office on friends and relatives – but I’m all right, Jack, I’m all right Jill.

            Similarly, I cannot understand why any gay person – men in particular – would want to join a party or organization full of violent homophobes, such as the Faragistes and Yaxley-Lennon’s lot. Or like that Coburn UKIPper MEP, or wossname Louis Stedman-Bryce, the gay, black MEP who represents Scotland for the Brexit Party. How they got selected in the first place is pretty much beyond me too. Maybe they didn’t have many people to choose from.

            Some people are a mystery to me, but then I don’t suppose they follow my thought processes very well either.


    2. So Boris has a million people to round up and deport? That would be impossible enough, but Trumpy promised his fawning multitude of faithful followers that he was going to round up and deport all TWELVE million of the “foreigners” from south of the southern border who have no papers and are now “infesting” our nation, taking our jobs and what not. When asked how exactly he planned to round up and transport twelve million people, he was silent on the details. But no doubt as the election nears, he will just declare that the job is done and the idiot right wing back woods rednecked yahoos who vote for him will believe it. The same way they believe that the big beautiful border wall has been built and Mexico paid for it.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. 4.87 pounds for each armband?? I can get them made here in Bulgaria for the same amount of leva (exchange 2.20 per pound) and probably a helluva lot less. I know someone who’d be glad of the work at two lev a pop and I’ll happily pay the postage/freight costs to Scotland. You have my email address so just tell me how many you want, dimensions, specs and anything else that’s relevant.

      On nationality status, my son – born in South Africa but long-time London dweller – married a Sassenach and their offspring has full rights of UK residence. My daughter, also born in South Africa, married another second-generation Scot there , but their offspring hase no right of UK abode. My late wife – and mother of my children – was was born in South Africa to Scottish parents, so all grand-children have undiluted Scottish ancestry. Yet only one of them has unqualified UK citizenship rights!

      What hope for descendants of ‘lesser’ colonials who thought they were citizens of Empire? I’m confident that come independence my grandchildren will automatically be Scottish citizens. I know the Resident Sassenach bidie-in will be among the first to put her hand up, as will my daughter-in-law. Her dad is remarried to a Jockess and living in Edinburgh. He was a very active supporter there of “English for Yes” in 2014. So all is not lost. I have an extended family of independence supports – and I didn’t even need to persuade them.

      As a recent commentator said,if all of you in Scotland could win over just one switherer each, we’d be home and dry. Ed, if my armband offer can help with that, just shout.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. There are people in tears on Twitter and presumably other social media because they can’t afford to become British citizens. Came to UK as kids, went to school, college, got jobs, bought houses, had kids and they have to pay £1300.

        I know so many people who have just decided to leave. Doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers. Some of them in Scotland. We need these talented folk, but they are going becasue the UK government makes their lives so hard.

        This person I was talking about said…”well, i’m not paying £1,300 because I can’t afford it, So deport me!

        Money grubbing Tories would make cash out of anything.

        I hope those of you living in other EU/EEA/EFTA countries don’t meet up with the same kind of hateful racist greed.

        On the subject of Brexit, did anyone see the display from the Britnat MEPs today. I don’t know what they were chanting, but they reminded me of a bunch of racist 8 year olds.

        If I were British I’d have been embarrassed.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Correction: ‘Undiluted Scottish ancestry.’ Bar wee Fergus in London who has one set of Sassenach antecedents. His name might be a giveaway as to where collective sentiments lie, though.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’ll stick this somewhere else as well to make sure people can see it – I should have put it in to begin with, of course. Here’s a link to the 10 black armbands for £4.87:

        John, sorry I didn’t make it clear, but it’s actually £4.87 for 10, not each, so it’s a pretty good deal.

        About the citizenship thing: I know, it’s crazy. Like you I blame successive Westminster regimes* and the ever- and ultra-competent, compassionate and fair Home Office with its beautifully transparent operations and notoriously even-handed, consistent treatment of offenders, sorry, I meant illegal aliens, no, foreigners in general.

        I am not hoping, I am expecting us here in Scotland to operate a citizenship system using the same sort of criteria the Irish do. If the government of independent Scotland does not, I shall be extremely displeased and disappointed. I don’t think I have anything to fear, though: here in Scotland we need new citizens, and everybody knows it unless they have some disease or other, such as reading the Daily Mail, being a member of the Ludge, or agreeing with that nice Ian Duncan Smith and isn’t Her Majesty wonderful for her age? No, it’s the Faragistes and other mainstream extreme right-wing, Brexiteerish Tories (blue, red and yellow) who want people who aren’t like them to go away. That is the huge difference between us,really: we want only the people who want other people to go away to go away.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. * I call them “Westminster regimes”, because you can’t really call a government that your country didn’t elect but imposed itself on them anyway a “government”, really, especially when their commitment to democracy is only skin deep and made up almost entirely out of lies, lip service, hot air, hypocrisy, self-dealing, opportunism and careerism.

          With a seat in the House of Lords or a gong or two as a reward for your slavish political hackery, brown-nosery, volte-facery, turncoatery and backstabbery.

          I could go on, but I’m sure you would all rather I didn’t.

          Liked by 3 people

  5. Hmm do think freman has a
    point maybe not an armband but a suitable music 🎶 etc
    Wery sad one

    To mark our forcible ejection from the much respected and
    Liked European Union.

    So we can all post on social media to counter the false narrative of happy Big Ben bongs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought I heard that Big Ben was not for bonging. Coz if you do it once, you’d have to do it all the time. Wouldn’t be good for the workmens’ hearing, the ones who’re trying to stop it toppling into the Thames.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ed…..”Toppling into the Thames” brings to mind what I learned from Jake in a recent discussion on Munguin’s Republic:

        “A massive bell was required and the first attempt (made by John Warner & Sons at Stockton-on-Tees) cracked irreparably. The metal was melted down and the bell recast in Whitechapel in 1858.
        Big Ben first rang across Westminster on 31 May 1859. A short time later, in September 1859, Big Ben cracked. A lighter hammer was fitted and the bell rotated to present an undamaged section to the hammer. This is the bell as we hear it today.”

        As it turns out, that Whitechapel outfit was the same company that in pre-revolutionary times manufactured and shipped to the American colonies our soon to be re-named “Liberty Bell,” which is now also cracked “irreparably.” Since repairing the irreparable Big Ben is apparently not on the agenda, I’d suggest it’s prudent that you no longer bong that bell at ANY time in the future. If American experience is any guide, there’s a likelihood that at some time it will crack in two and the bell or a goodly portion of it will crash out of the tower onto passersby or into the river.

        Americans have been reduced to lightly tapping their big revolutionary bell with a rubber mallet on ceremonial occasions.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. PS Ed……Your comment about the workmen’s hearing being damaged by the ringing of Big Ben brought to mind yet another more or less off-topic thought about DEATH as a bell ringing hazard.

          I read the Peter Wimsey murder mystery “The Nine Tailors” and am still pissed off about it. Yes, it’s as slowly (one might say “glacially”) paced as are most British novels (and films,) but more importantly, it has a cause of death that’s almost surely factually impossible. Namely, death in a belfry caused by the ringing of bells! Nine Tailors is said to be one of Dorothy Sayers’ best works, but the literary people who decide such things apparently don’t feel that a monumentally improbable cause of death in a murder mystery is an artistic defect.

          One critic wrote that he considered “the means of death to be “Novelist’s licence,” I am afraid. But a trifle like that cannot spoil a good story.”
          And “HRF Keating said that the author “incautiously entered the closed world of bell-ringing in The Nine Tailors on the strength of a sixpenny pamphlet picked up by chance—and invented a method of killing which would not produce death, as well as breaking a fundamental rule of that esoteric art by allowing a relief ringer to take part in her famous nine-hour champion peal.”

          So the point would be that British mystery writers are to have us believe that bells can be dangerous to more than one’s hearing. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

          1. LOL. I still say let Marque Frankoize do it.

            The plot is certainly complex and convoluted (as murders should be). Death by a loud noise, though?

            Oh well, if an aristocrat says it’s possible, and his Lordship is certainly that, then it must be possible….eh?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I last read that one again relatively recently, and it’s very atmospheric… I seem to remember that there’s a few people in it who pop their clogs, or nearly, from the flu. No flu vaccines in them thar days, and I suppose the memory of the post-WWI Spanish flu pandemic was still fresh in people’s minds; I think it would have ratcheted up the tension among contemporary readers, because nowadays we have forgotten how virulent and deadly the flu can be.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Ed…..Actually now that I think about it, although I was surprised at a cause of death that didn’t really seem plausible, I think maybe the victim was perhaps rendered unconscious by the bells and may have suffered from exposure to the cold temperatures.

              I also read “Clouds of Witness,” from 1926, where I discovered that there was a time when a peer could be tried for a crime by the House of Lords sitting as a judicial body. Lord Peter was a younger son of a noble family whose oldest brother was a Duke who was tried for murder by the House of Lords.

              I enjoyed the reruns of the TV series from the 1970’s starring Ian Carmichael, and bought the DVD set.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. PS Ed……It occurs to me that the US Senate was sworn in today as a judicial body which will conduct the trial of the President for high crimes and misdemeanors starting next Tuesday. The Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, came over from the Supreme Court building just across the street to himself be sworn and then do the swearing in of the Senators. Then they all signed a book. Almost as much ceremony as Parliament. 😉

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. Yes Tris, it loses a lot without the costumes that the Lords still use for big occasions in Parliament’s upper house. 😉

                    At least Roberts wore his black robe which is a custom for most judges in American courtrooms. But Roberts’ predecessor as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist….who presided over Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial…….decided that the CHIEF Justice needed something special. So he had gold stripes sown on his black robe.

                    Where did Rehnquist get the idea for gold stripes you may ask. Well…….wait for it…….he took it from a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Iolanthe.” I am NOT making this up. The Harvard Law School says so:


                    Everyone laughed at Rehnquist’s gold stripes of course, and John Roberts went back to a plain black robe when he took over at the Court. 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Oh brilliant, Danny…

                      What next, Trumpy taking the lead role in The Pirates of Penzance?

                      Oh, I am the Pirate King;
                      Hoorah for the Pirate King,
                      For it is, it is a wonderous thing,
                      To be the Pirate King.


                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. LOL Tris……love it!
                      Some Gilbert and Sullivan would make for a much more entertaining impeachment trial. 😉

                      I’m cutting tax, I’ll build a wall, I’ll take away their medicare
                      You can trust me ‘cos I’m orange and I have the most amazing hair.
                      So with my total ignorance of matters heterogeneous
                      I am the very model of a Very Stable Genius!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I’m sure the sly rumour that the fabric care label on Judge Rehnquist’s stripey robe read “Tailors by Appointment to Albus Dumbledore” was no more than that, a rumour. Besides, it was before Harry Potter was even born.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    4. Ed…..I see the resemblance….LOL. Poor Chief Justice Rehnquist and his gold striped robe! It was the source of much amusement and just never caught on. 😉

                      The article on “Court Dress” is interesting. I see that the very early Supreme Court followed British practice……”red robes with ermine trim and full-bottomed wigs.” But this died out in the early 19th century, the best efforts of Rehnquist notwithstanding.


                      Liked by 2 people

                    5. I see that ours are different from the English and Welsh ones. Not any less fancy unfortunately.

                      I’m always a bit suspicious of people who like to dress up for stuff.

                      I read somewhere that the judges and advocates wear them to make them less recognisable in the streets lest there should be retribution by criminals or their associates.

                      But what about the witnesses and police officers?

                      Or indeed jurors?

                      Liked by 2 people

                    6. Tris…….I hadn’t thought about court dress possibly being related to appearing less recognizable outside the courtroom. It does seem that it might reasonably apply to more than judges and lawyers.

                      I thought that this was interesting:

                      “Members of the old Judicial Committee of the House of Lords (or “Law Lords”) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council never wore court dress (although advocates appearing before them did). Instead, they were dressed in ordinary business clothing. Since the creation of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 2009, the Justices of that court have retained the Law Lords’ tradition of sitting unrobed.” (Although they wear special robes for ceremonial occasions.)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    7. Yes, I saw that, Danny.

                      And recently I’ve watched them deliver verdicts in plain clothes… Lady Hail with her spider brooch on a black dress.

                      I’d recognise her in the street!

                      and in fancy dress…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    8. Tris…….I thought about the spider brooch lady when I read that…..LOL.

                      And our Chief Justice Rehnquist would have LOVED that fancy dress ceremonial outfit. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    9. LOL….LOL……Maybe that too. The perfect fashion accessory to complement the gold on his sleeves. As it was, Justice Rehnquist was sometimes ridiculed for impersonating a naval officer…..or an airline pilot. 😉

                      Of course modern Americans of Rehnquist’s time had long forgotten when the Supreme Court Justices dressed like English jurists. William Cushing was one of the six justices on the first Supreme Court appointed by George Washington, and apparently the last one to wear a wig. Thomas Jefferson may have played a part in that. He was famously opposed to “any needless official apparel,” and contemptuously described “the monstrous wig which makes the English judges look like rats peeping through bunches of oakum.”

                      We can thank long-serving John Marshall, who fought in the revolution and served as Chief Justice until 1835, for the adoption of a simple black robe for Supreme Court attire. The first woman on the court, Sandra Day O’Connor, didn’t show up until 1981, and established the custom of female Justices wearing a white judicial collar with their black robe.

                      Yes, Rehnquist’s infamous gold stripes do show up in an official court photograph, with the ladies wearing white collars. White collars are OK, but they’re NOT spider brooches. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                1. Yes, I even enjoyed hearing Lady Hale read a judicial opinion. 😉

                  BTW, the lady who’s seated in the Supreme Court picture is Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, who established the practice of women on the court wearing judicial collars. The woman standing on the left is Ruth Bader Ginsburg who made judicial collars a THING. Among her large and varied wardrobe of collars, is a bejeweled item that she wears when she reads a Majority opinion from the bench, and a different one that she wears when she reads a Minority opinion. So when she’d scheduled to read from the bench, you can see which way it’s going to go before she even says a word. 🙂

                  The “Majority Collar”:


                  Liked by 2 people

              2. Not one of my favourites, that one, Danny: I remember little about it except an important piece of paper being found stuck in a sash window where it had been put, evidently to stop it rattling in a gale, and Lord Peter bursting into the House of Lords in full 1920s motoring gear to exculpate his dimwitted brother who had been bonking someone he didn’t oughter and was prepared to die of an excess of gallantry rather than Ruin the Lady’s Reputation.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Ed…..Those are some of the the details that I recalled too, and that Wiki confirms. Considerable drama was involved in his flying the Atlantic to get back to the House of Lords just in time to save his brother.
                  The book was written in 1926. Although the Atlantic had been flown, that was the year before Lindbergh did it.

                  Wiki Quote: “My lords, at this moment this all-important witness is cleaving the air high above the wide Atlantic. In this wintry weather he is braving a peril which would appall any heart but his own and that of the world-famous aviator whose help he has enlisted, so that no moment may be lost in freeing his noble brother from this terrible charge. My lords, the barometer is falling.”

                  Apparently critics feel that the character of Lord Peter is not as well developed as in the later novels.


                  Liked by 2 people

                1. Jake……I’m always amazed at the huge body of law and custom that the English have kept track of over the last thousand years or so. Heaven forbid that they would just forget about some of the old obsolete stuff. 😉 Maybe someone understands the difference between the Privy Council and the Parliament, but it’s not me. Then there are the Great Offices of State and the Great Officers of State, and they’re not exactly the same thing (according to Wiki.) No wonder the English claim they don’t need a written constitution. How could anyone write it all down?

                  Anyway, it’s interesting that only three privileges of peerage survived into the twentieth century, and that the trial of peers by their fellow peers and not by commoners (which was formalized in 1341) lasted until 1948…….OR 1936 depending on how you look at it.

                  Wiki: “The last trial in the House of Lords was that of Edward Russell, 26th Baron de Clifford, in 1935 for manslaughter (he was acquitted); the following year the Lords passed a bill to abolish trial by peers but the Commons ignored it. The right to trial by peers was abolished when the Lords added an amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 1948, which the Commons accepted.”

                  So the Lords wanted to do away with it before the Commons agreed to it.
                  The two remaining privileges of peerage seem to be on shaky ground these days.

                  Liked by 1 person

              3. The House of Lords used to contain the “Law Lords”. Well, of course they still sit in the Lords, but Blair started the Supreme Court… I suppose so that he could be more like America.

                Ordinary people could only get as far as an appeal to the HoL if they had completed the expensive business of local courts (different in each of the countries of the UK). However, I imagine to avoid the unimaginable situation where a person of aristocratic birth would be tried by ordinary people, the blue bloods could go straight to the top and be tried by their own superior kind. Anything else would be unthinkable. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

                1. LOL Tris……The rationale for the trial of peers by their own kind was written down by Parliament (according to Wiki) in 1341:

                  “Whereas before this time the peers of the land have been arrested and imprisoned, and their temporalities, lands, and tenements, goods and cattels, asseized in the King’s hands, and some put to death without judgment of their peers: It is accorded and assented, that no peer of the land … shall be brought in judgment to lose his temporalities, lands, tenements, goods and cattels, nor to be arrested, imprisoned, outlawed, exiled, nor forejudged, nor put to answer, nor be judged, but by award of the said peers in Parliament.”

                  BUT it didn’t immediately apply to women peers. That was sorted out in 1442 by a witchcraft case:

                  “The privilege of trial by peers was still ill-defined, and the statute did not cover peeresses. In 1442, after an ecclesiastical court (which included King Henry VI of England, Henry Beaufort and John Kemp) found Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester, guilty of witchcraft and banished her to the Isle of Man, a statute was enacted granting peeresses the right of trial by peers.”

                  My view is that if English law and government didn’t exist, we would have to make it up, just for the entertainment value. 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. Actually, Tris, I think it was the Europeans (I’d need to check whether it was the Council of Europe or the EU, but I am currently a bit under the weather) who put on the pressure for the UK to set up a supreme court. The rationale is actually quite sound: it’s separation of powers. By stripping the Lords of their role as supreme court and court of last instance in the UK, the legislature and the judiciary are kept (more rather than less) separate from each other. Only a fool would claim that there are never any connections between the two and that no influence is ever peddled.

                  Similarly, judicial decisions should not be made on political grounds, and even when sworn to be impartial, we would be very foolish to expect that politicians, however lordly they may be, will make their decisions based on the merits of the case rather than on political considerations and the instructions of the leader of their party. The current impeachment procedure in the States is a case in point…

                  Danny, I’ve said before that the American constitution, however much Americans may revere it, and the institutions that flow from it, do not meet current European standards in such matters. The defects in the system, such as the packing of the Supreme Court with the right-wing, sexist, unjudicial bum Kavanaugh; the appointment of the corrupt theofascist Barr as Attorney-General, a man who is radically opposed to the spirit of the Constitution, as far as I can see; to the Leader of the Senate announcing well in advance of the impeachment hearing that he would in no sense be impartial, and would work hand in glove with the defendant and his defence team… That last, by the way, was really quite astounding: the man was not just admitting but announcing in advance that when he swears the oath to be impartial, he will be committing perjury!

                  I do hope that the next administration does some proper radical reforming, because some aspects of US governance just ain’t working, e.g., the Electoral College, and the freedom of states to gerrymander and suppress votes. It always strikes me as odd that the only people who go on about states’ rights are the conservative types, and then only when the Feds want to impose something they don’t like – such as ending voter suppression, bringing in automatic registration on the electoral rolls, enacting requirements for states to put polling places where people in districts of likely Democratic voters can actually get to them… Nationwide elections, such as the elections for both houses and the presidency, should have common nationwide rules and standards, it seems to me. The more different they are from state to state, the more votes are suppressed and district boundaries are gerrymandered, the further away we get from the principle of one person, one vote.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Thanks for that Ed. I’ve no problems at all with the Supreme Court, although I understand that Johnson-Cummings wants to alter how it operates so it can’t stop him lying to the queen and the people and generally spaffing what littel democracy we have, up the wall.

                    It was a nonsense that the court was part of parliament. I suspect it was the Council of Europe, rather than the EU that poked their nose into that. But I may be wrong. Munguin notes that it has indeed happened in the past… he needn’t have added the word “hourly” though.

                    Take it easy. I hope you are soon feeling better.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. I hope so too, Tris. Why oh why are adult teeth not deciduous…

                      I’m not as familiar with the Scottish justice system as I would like – I’m managed to escape the long arm of the law so far – so I wonder how our arrangements would fare in independence Scotland. The highest court in Scotland in civil matters is the Inner House of the Court of Session, as I understand it, and above that was the House of Lords and now the Supreme Court of the UK, where there are special arrangements for hearing cases under Scots Law. So, it seems to me that we would need a new Supreme Court of our own if we are to behave like the proper Europeans we are. How the criminal side of the court system would work – I have no idea. However, I have no doubt that we have more than enough expertise in the right areas and in the right places to sort it all out. Perhaps a will-informed Munguinite is in a position to say that there has been a working group that has sat down and mapped it all out. I hope so. My constant position is that independent Scotland should be able, cliché warning, to hit the ground running, in order to minimise the transition time, i.e., to curtail the Westminster regime’s ability to mess us around to the extent possible. Sort of nothing succeeding better than a fait accompli.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. I’ve always thought that if the Irish, Icelanders, Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, Danes, Dutch, Belgians and Luxembourgers who surround us, can manage all of this without the benefit of the Eton boys, I’m pretty sure the Scots can.

                      I’m not suggesting we are cleverer than them, just as clever as them.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. BlP, I hope you didn’t mean me being seriously ill, coz I’m not, though I’m sure there’s still time. It’s not beyond the bounds of imagination, though, that Johnson-Cummings duumvirate may together be an example of folie à deux…

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. Ed……..I would suggest that we first of all differentiate between the corruption and double dealing of elected politicians and democratic governments, verses the nature of constitutions. The best constitution on earth can’t do anything about human nature and the inherently corrupt nature of representative democracy.

                    That said, the American constitution has its flaws, which serve as testimony to the compromises that the framers had to make in 1787 to accommodate the competing interests of big states verses small states, and slave states verses free states.

                    It says something about the ingenuity of modern Americans that they can periodically amend and interpret a document written in the eighteenth century in a way that makes it relevant to regulating 21st century telecommunications law for example.

                    Some problems are systemic of course, such as the electoral college for electing the president, and the fact that the federal government is not elected by one nationwide election. There are 50 individual state elections that put the federal offices on their ballots.

                    Other issues have nothing to do with the text of the constitution itself so much as willful misinterpretation of that text by modern courts responding to modern political manipulation. Gun control advocates rage at the Second Amendment for example, which was meant to provide a sensible eighteenth century solution for the necessity of a national defense, using local militias and privately owned firearms. That was largely the way we defeated the British army in the revolution, and the framers in 1787 wanted to make sure that the British never came back. But what has happened in modern times is that self-serving gun interests have convinced the courts to interpret the Second Amendment as though the first thirteen words of its text did not exist.

                    Of course the constitutional impeachment process doesn’t actually work to remove a criminal president from office. The political parties which formed after the ratification of the constitution are responsible for that failure. In the Federalist #65 essay, Alexander Hamilton warned of the problem:

                    “In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”

                    But I would insist that worse than having a constitution that badly needs some amendment and more intellectually honest interpretation, is to have no constitution at all. Or even worse than having no constitution is to have one that self-serving politicians will declare is “unwritten,” and therefore eternally compatible with their corrupt self-serving political interests. There is no aspect of British government nor the personal rights of British people that cannot be altered or obliterated by a majority vote of the elected members of parliament, answerable only to the monumental ignorance and unbounded passions du jour of the “democratic” rabble in the streets.

                    On the other hand, constitutions in principle never change, and are an enduring North Star for nations and governments. I rest my case! 🙂

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Oh, I don’t disagree at all, Danny! Constitutions are a fundamental requirement in a properly run democracy, and your objections to the English model are very well founded. I take your points about intellectual honesty, and the general disconnect between the principle and the reality, which is one of venal and unprincipled politicians on the make currying insincere and distasteful favour with an inflamed constituency of electors who know little about the Constitution other than to misquote it to serve their basest desires, and to actively ignore the parts of it they suspect they might not like.

                      One of the things that independent Scotland must and will have is a proper Constitution. However, the writing of constitutions has moved on since the 18th century, as we all know. In the British / English, Nationalist / Loyalist / Unionist conservative mindset, and its American equivalent, which is about the preservation of a certain kind of white power and in which “religion” acts as a shibboleth, there is deep suspicion of things that are Not Invented Here. In the UK, such people find the Westminster parliament awe-inspiring for its long history, its pomp and its majesty and ceremony; the rest of us – and Europeans generally – find it all rather quaint and ridiculous, Ruritanian and Not Fit For Purpose in governing a mature liberal democracy – witness the ease with which Westminster, and half the US legislature, were taken over by regimes founded on lies and fronted by an inveterate liar.

                      Constitutions alone do not prevent vulnerable States from falling into the hands of such regimes when people with enough power set out to defy and subvert them. However, the famous British non-Constitution, and the antiquity of the American one, have left them all too open to abuse. Constitutions are not holy writ to be worshipped blindly, they are (or should be) living documents that reflect the highest principles and aspirations of a people. But none of that helps much in the face of baying, mindless mobs of thugs and fascists, some of them unleashed by inimical foreign actors with an interest in weakening other countries’ democracies.

                      I’ve been trying off and on to find a particular thing, unfortunately without success, which is a shame because I had some direct input into it when wearing my translatorish linguistic expert hat: it was a UN model constitution, which provided suggested language to cover all the things the UN legal eagles and interested Member States considered necessary for your constitution to keep up with the Joneses and reflect current rights-based constitutional thinking. A lot of it was in French, you see, and smatterings of other languages too, because input from the Member States was going into it the process as well. This is all from memory; I couldn’t actually tell you whether it ever went anywhere.

                      The UN, or rather its many committees and other bodies in which the Member States are represented, does that a lot: many of the international legal texts it produces, and the models it provides in many more and less recondite areas of international trade, international relations – you name it, there’ll be a convention or another form of treaty on it – are always viewed as minimum standards below which the States should endeavour not to fall, and not as gold standards which no one should be expected to exceed. Even the former, minimum standards, view is anathema to the nationalistic, right-wing mindset – how dare Johnny Foreigner come along and tell us our meat is infected, our water contains unacceptable levels of carcinogens, our air is dangerously polluted and our treatment of disabled people is a shame and a disgrace! We reserve the right to be horrible to our own people! It is an intolerable insult to our sovereignty to put any limits on our behaviour at all! (Visual image of a two-year-old having a temper tantrum at not getting its way.)

                      Viewed in that light – the intolerability of external restraints, not the two-year-old – the opposition of Tory regimes at Westminster to such instruments as the European Convention on Human Rights, and to such institutions as the European Court of Human Rights, makes perfect sense. The attitude frequently goes hand in hand with a view that holds the executive branch supreme and unable by definition to do wrong. William Barr in the US comes immediately to mind, and what more dangerous position could such a man hold than as head of the Justice Ministry? The judiciary and the forces of law and order in the UK are differently organised and are relatively immune. Perhaps another Munguinite can think of a parallel to Barr in the UK?

                      The desire for ultimate and untrammeled executive power is, naturally enough, frequently reflected in an almost sexual attraction to dictators who have actually succeeded in arrogating all executive power to themselves. Those would be such charmers as Erdoğan in Ankara, Duterte in Manila, Putin in Moscow, and Hairstyle 2 in Pyongyang, all of whom have won President Trump’s admiration and seduced him into taking actions – and inactions – that run directly counter to the interests of the United States and its allies. In the UK, on the other hand, Boris seems intent on establishing a 1000-year blue-rinsed Reich in Greater England and sucking up to Trump, and is profoundly opposed to an EU dominated by liberal democracies and – of course – people who are not proper Englishmen (term used advisedly). Maybe if Boris owned hotels in some of those countries, his attitude toward them would be different.

                      People may well think that I’m arguing backwards from current affairs to underlying principles, but what I am trying to do is match up our current circumstances to the examples of the past which I know from my reading, studies and life experience: the Joe Stalins of this world, for example, and the impact he and his successors had on Soviet society in general and on dissident individuals, some of whom I knew personally. Another example would be the views and recollections of people who were there at the time and active in the opposition to Portugal’s Salazar and the government that carried on after his exit from the stage in 1968 through to 1974 and the Carnation Revolution which toppled it. Salazar, by the way, is an example of why term limits are a Great Good Thing – he was in charge of Portugal from 1932 to 1968 – In other words, twice as long as the 18 miserable years of Thatcher and Major – and the right-wing, nationalistic, theocratically Catholic regime he instituted lasted another 6 or so until the project fell apart in 1974.

                      I see the behaviour of Trump and Johnson as actually rather predictable if we look at them with that understanding of their authoritarian, autocratic mindsets. Their surrounding casts of characters are also pretty much typical of the courts which surround such figures – they have their éminences grises in the form of Stephen Miller and Dominic Cummings, and their opponents turned sycophants, enablers and hangers-on such as Lindsay Graham and Michael Gove, who had a sniff at the panties of power and became slavish followers of the Man.

                      Stalin had serial sex offender and fellow Georgian Lavrentiy Beria as his éminence grise – actually, it is difficult to know where to rank Beria’s systematic rape of Soviet female athletes and Olympic hopefuls in the hierarchy of the manifold horrors he committed. Stalin eventually came to see Beria as a threat because of the power and influence he had amassed, and got rid of him – rather like Steve Bannon, perhaps. I can’t help seeing a sort of parallel in the looking-glass between the warnings of so many members of the US psychiatric profession about Donald Trump, and the so-called Doctors’ plot in the Soviet Union in 1952-1953 (here’s the Wikipedia article on it:

                      I leave it to other Munguinites to integrate Senator Joseph McCarthy into the picture, because I’ve gone on quite long enough now. Munguinites can blame toothache and insomnia for it, and my general tendency to be teejus, but I shall be wallowing in my dental wretchedness and shall not care.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Bang on, Danny, and beautifully put.

                      A constitution is a millstone. One that was written centuries ago is so often irrelevant to what is happening in the 21st century. Firearms, for example, that people HAD to be able to hold, to keep themselves alive, have altered beyond all imagination since they were deemed to be the right of every American. No one could have imagined it possible to have a gun that could kill hundreds of people in a few minutes.

                      By the same token, not having a constitution at all means that whatever “they” want to do, “they” can do.

                      All that power in anyone is frightening and inappropriate but in an overgrown schoolboy like Johnson it’s terrifying. All the more so becasue of the utter lack of democracy running through the systems here.

                      At the same time it’s scary that a kid can take his dad’s gun to school and obliterate a few of his classmates who have pissed him off, because the constitution says that it is his dad’s right to have guns in the house.

                      So you have to have a constitutional committee that updates the constitution in line with what is going on in an ever changing world.

                      (I’m guessing you have something like that, because amendments are made to the US constitution. Unfortunately, money seems to get in the way in at least some cases. ie NRA contributions to elected representatives)

                      The guns thing is something us foreigners know about, of course, becasue mass shootings get into our news too, as they should. That is why this comment is heavily weighted towards that subject.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Tris……Well said! The gun problem is an illustration of how easily constitutional provisions can be circumvented by money and politics. It’s also an illustration of how hard it is to amend a controversial provision of the American constitution. Amendment requires a 2/3 vote of both houses of congress, followed by ratification by 3/4 of the State legislatures. It can also be ratified by a Constitutional Convention called by 2/3 of the State legislatures.

                      A constitutional convention has never been called to amend the federal constitution, although the convention that wrote the federal constitution had been called to amend the Articles of Confederation (the first US constitution.) Rather than amend the Articles of Confederation, the constitutional convention just threw the old constitution away and wrote a new one…..the federal constitution that we have today.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  3. Ed……Thanks for the reply. I do not disagree with a word that you said.

                    One of the things that Trump has taught us is that many aspects of governance that we supposed were agreed-upon constitutional principles, were in fact simply widely accepted norms of presidential behavior and executive branch administrative practice that could be discarded at the whim of a dictatorial president. Yes, you have to have a constitution that works and the political will to adhere to both its letter and spirit.

                    Popular sovereignty is a wonderful idea, but it means next to nothing if it is not defined and codified in concrete terms. “We the people” are the first three words of the preamble to the American constitution, which is subsequently “ordain[ed] and established.” Without a constitution, the will of the people might be expressed in the daily deliberations of a popularly elected legislature for example, which is a prospect too horrible to contemplate. Imagine a government run by the daily deliberations of the United States House of Representatives, by politicians pandering to the basest impulses of the relatively ignorant and uneducated democratic rabble in the streets.

                    This is however (as I understand it) the way popular sovereignty works in the UK…….by means of the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments. Parliament is the supreme governing authority in England and Scotland. Even the “Supreme” court of the UK has no power of Judicial Review to find a law passed by Parliament to be so destructive of bedrock national principles…….so utterly contrary to accepted societal and cultural norms……that it is unenforceable, and therefore null and void. In other words, even the most detestable law imaginable cannot be unconstitutional, because there is no constitution that defines the structure of government and the principles on which the State is founded.

                    Wiki: “[Parliament] alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories.”

                    When I point out the horrors that the principle of unfettered Parliamentary supremacy could produce, my English friend, with his nose positioned high in the air, declares that “we just don’t DO things like that in England.”

                    Someone once told me that the Queen is sovereign in England but “the people” are sovereign in Scotland. That may be so, but if the will of “the people” in Scotland is expressed by the day to day workings of the Scottish Parliament, then Scotland is in as much danger as the rest of the UK. It was the passage of the Union with England Act of 1707…..preceded by an accident of Monarchical succession in 1603…….that led to the union with England and the disappearance of an independent Scottish parliament for 292 years.

                    IMHO, after independence, the creation of a Scottish constitution should be pursued with the urgency dictated by a national emergency. Presumably that would prevent a Union of the Parliaments from ever happening again. On the other hand, it would take political will to make it happen, and the voters of Scotland turned down the Scottish devolution referendum of 1 March 1979, based on provisions of the Scotland Act of 1978. It seems depressing to realize that not even 40% of the total electorate in Scotland even WANTED a devolved Scottish Parliament…..(much less Scottish independence and a Scottish constitution)……as late as 1979.

                    Liked by 1 person

  6. I see that they are up to £500 now.

    So who knows, maybe they’ll make £500,000 in ti9me for…well in time for something.

    Someone said on the radio that they managed to do it all for the bells at the new year, but I don’t remember that happening… although it is hard to hear Big Ben from Dundee, so I may have missed it.

    I say we give Marque Frankoize a ladder and a hammer and let him get on with the bonging. He could get Farage to hold the ladder steady, and, as he’s just a wee fellow, Marque should probably take Moggy with him, just in case he can’t reach.

    Suggest a song for Brexit or Sing a song of Brexit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Give Mark Fronkwaahz a ladder? Oh dear, Tris, wouldn’t it be such a tragedy if he fell off it? He might even break his neck and die! Which would be a sad loss of some kind or other, at least in principle.

      Yes, yes, I know, Tris, but it must be a good 30 seconds since my last little revenge fantasy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, it hadn’t occurred to me that he might fall off a ladder. Hmmm… well, we’d have to put something soft and bouncy at the bottom of the ladder in case of that eventuality.

        What’ve we got?

        Oh yeah, Boris.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I suggest Field Marshall Mark Francois give District Commissioner Lisa Nandy a piggy back so she can reach the rope to waggle Big Ben’s clapper. Jess Phillips can count the chimes in a socialist way.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. tris

        The question is who wouldn’t
        Think that .

        I hope they do the Big Ben bong give me another reason
        To hate the Brexiteers feed the fires 🔥 of hate.
        Not a pretty sight but they
        Deserve it and more.

        For what they are doing to our
        Young uns

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You’ll not hear it in Edinburgh mate. Actually, you don’t hear it out of Westminster, so I’m told.

          I think the thing that amuses me most of all is that we do it midnight Brussels time…

          But more seriously, they just voted to disengage from Erasmus, which is madness. No wonder in many households the grandparents are finding their relationships with their young people to be somewhat strained.

          In a shrinking world, the older generation (who don’t want to travel to study or work) have just deprived the young generation( who might).

          It’s why I keep saying on here, don’t let your granny and grandad chose your government. They don’t want the same things as you do.

          Liked by 2 people

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