A metaphor for the Cummings Government

Soooo, £900,000 well spent, huh? Around the world we will be seen as a proud union, self confident in its ability to reestablish itself as an independent leading nation, respected and looked up to by all…

…Except we won’t because everyone will be choking themselves laughing at the fact that even the military didn’t know which way up their flag was supposed to be.

And it looks like they will have to do it over again, (another £900,000?).




I mean, it couldn’t have been THAT hard to check up…


Oh and just in case you thought that after a wild day’s celebration yesterday, the good common sense of the British population had come back to its senses…

Close the border, please, please for all our sakes. 


Today’s Titter



  1. Hah! If they fly upside doon then it will OK.

    But, but, but. There does seem to be rather a lot of red in it. There doesn’t appear to be much Saltire at all. Still, easier to change when we become independent. Just a few bob to paint oot the blue bits.

    And when we are independent they will have to paint out the name. Wales is a principality, NI is a province. United Kingdom – of England? .

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Yes, you are right. there are only two kingdoms in this united kingdom, plus a principality and a province, although I’ve no idea what it is a province of… Ireland, England. UK (and why is it called a kingdom when there is a queen? Is that not sexist?)


      Liked by 3 people

      1. Wales is acknowleged as a Country by the UK.,Scotland%2C%20Wales%20and%20Northern%20Ireland.
        Northern Ireland on the other hand is, using that reference, a country and three lines later a province. Best to call it a Region of the UK.

        I am sure I have seen other legal references that state that Wales is a Country and no longer a principality. Welsh Sion will be along shortly to confirm.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I do know that Wales is not defined as a principality by the United Nations because the Prince plays no part in its governance. I call that a victory for fact and logic over that peculiar Ruritanian monarchism so characteristic of the Great British class-ridden Establishment.

          With industrial South Wales being a Labour stronghold, the Welshest bits of Wales being Plaid, the Tory / English majority bits of Wales are the only bits where Charlie is their darling.

          Welsh Sion, your thoughts, please – you’re the expert.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Charlie is certainly unpopular there among Welsh speakers. They were furious about the renaming of the bridge.

            On 5 April 2018, the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, announced that the crossing would be renamed as the Prince of Wales Bridge at a ceremony later in the year.[52] He said that the renaming would be “a fitting tribute to His Royal Highness in a year that sees him mark 60 years as The Prince of Wales and decades of continued, dedicated service to our nation.”[53] A petition against the renaming had received more than 30,000 signatures by 8 April. Some politicians criticised the proposed renaming and the lack of public consultation on it, but it was confirmed that the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, had raised no objection to the proposal.[54] The bridge was renamed, despite opposition, on 2 July 2018 at a ceremony held at the toll plaza where a plaque was unveiled by the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall.[55] There was no prior press release or other official communication from the Government.[56][57] The cost for renaming the bridge, and the two signs erected, one at each end of the bridge, was £216,513.39.[58]

            Money to burn.


        2. I wonder then, what the newly redundant prince of Wales thinks of that.

          Of course, it doesn’t leave him penniless because he has the Duchy of Cornwall to fill his coffers, but it must be rather upsetting for him to lose his main title.

          Maybe if NI is a country, he could be king of it?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Y’know, if the Tories had wanted to surrender to a truly fascist virus, then they couldn’t have found a better one.

    They are the two faces of the same nihilism. Tories and the virus.

    Meanwhile we allow humans, hah!, to allow Covid 19 to spread, because they, the Conservatives are scared to control it? What a jolly jape to open beaches and encourage proximity.

    Meanwhile Covid – 19, it just does it’s thing.

    There is only one enemy here, the UK Government for being as thick as shit. A virus is a brainless pathogen. The threat is from a government that hasn’t a clue what to do about it. So, hides in a bunker to the tune of ‘Na, na, na, nah, nah nah nah nah.”

    Which, I’d hope you would agree, is utterly pathetic.

    Just what I think, ymmv.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Anyone who has lost a family member should sue the government. All the evidence is available. Lies from the PM. UK knew in DECEMBER about the virus and decided to take no action until late march. Looking for herd immunity and murdering thousands of innocent people. With proper guidance lots of them would still be here. Refusal to heed science. Boris knew and allowed care homes to be over run killing off the elderly. We are seen as an anchor around the neck of the British government.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s still going on, DD.

          The prime ministers response to all the crowds on the beaches is that “some people aren’t taking social distancing seriously enough”.

          I see too that with a new spike in the Australian state of Victoria, supermarkets are having to reintroduce rationing of essentials.

          It’s coming at the UK next. After all our sacrifices.

          Business comes first.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I wonder if the Scottish Government could impose a 14-day quarantine on people coming over the Border (and off flights from the USA, for example). We don’t have control of immigration, obviously, but health measures? Special arrangements would have to be made for people living on the border, though; this is nothing unusual, and anyone who has lived in, say, Geneva or Basel will tell you: even before Schengen, there were systems in place to allow locals to cross the border without let or hindrance.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The flag on the tail of the plane, I would assume, is treated as if the flagpole is imagined to be towards the front of the plane with the banner streaming out to the rear. So technically in your picture the ‘hoist’ is on the right and the ‘fly’ to the left. This is the opposite to the way flags are conventionally represented in books, but obviously (?) with a real fabric flag it all depends on which way the wind blows, and which side your on 😉

    At least I think we know which side Munguin’s on, and with a wee dod o’ luck the wind will be blowing oor way 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Maybe one of those people we seen on the beach in bournemouth yesterday .
          I used to think 10% were crazy rudely i would call them tenpercenters but it takes a crisis such as covid to realise half the world is crazy

          Liked by 4 people

        2. I agree, it looks altogether weird, mebbie you need to have had a few to see it right … hmm … “A Drunk Man looks at the Union (Flag)”, now there’s a idea …
          Does anyone have a shot of this disgusting piece of aeronautics from the other side? That would be the deal breaker. Need to examine both sides of the matter, as it were …

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes, it’s the right way round on the other side. But, like the old weather maps, it’s been distorted to minimise the Scottish bit and emphasise the English bit.

            Liked by 2 people

                1. It would be quite a feat of graphic design not to mention the rules of heraldry … and then Cornwall would be next in the queue … clearly a black and white issue? lol! 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Yes, Cornwall was just assimilated into England, I understand, despite it being a nation with its own language.

                    I’m sure someone could manage to design it… but I definitely want a LEEK in the middle!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. A LEEK? No, Tris, definitely a DAFFODIL. Besides, I much prefer the sound of “jonquille” to that of “poireau” (no disrespect to the fictional Belgian detective intended). Not that that should be a consideration, so please ignore the preceding sentence.


                    2. I take your point, but, don’t you think a leek would look lovely in the middle of the flag?

                      It would somehow be fitting, Belgian detectives notwithstanding.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. I hope that there is Munguinite out there who knows their heraldry, and can provide us with illustrations of a heraldic leek and a heraldic daffodil. But why stop there? Perhaps something ericaceous for Scotland, and we already know what the stylized English rose looks like. We could have an all-botanical flag for a short time before the United Kingdom evaporates! Oh – the Red Hand of Ulster – no. Replace it with a heraldic flax plant.

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aye but ups up an doon’s doon.
      Whether the fly is to the left or the right of the hoist surely doesn’t matter?
      It’s broad white of the saltire uppermost on the hoist.

      Vexillology is vexing
      and at times quite perplexing
      but it’s a distressing reflection
      on the state of a nation
      for a flag so displayed in that orientation

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Jake…..I not only greatly enjoy your verse, I agree with your comment about the broad white of the Saltire [being] uppermost on the hoist.

        However, it matters WHERE the hoist is depicted on the design of a plane’s livery.

        The people who painted Boris’ plane did get it correct as far as worldwide custom and practice in the depiction of national flags. The hoist is forward, and the flag flies as if in the wind as the plane moves forward. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. PS: I realize that I do find myself in courteous and respectful disagreement with influential members of the editorial board of Munguin World Media…..and probably the majority of Munguin contributors… the Boris airplane painting matter. Nevertheless, I must insist that (IMHO) the heads of government (and/or state) of world powers should travel in planes with a livery that “shows the flag,” and proudly and tastefully displays the titles, emblems, and symbols of the state as appropriate.

        On that basis, I thought that the livery of the new “UNITED KINGDOM” VIP transport plane was really well done. Beats that dreadful Royal Air Force transport plane gray by a country mile.

        There WAS however something quintessentially ENGLISH about the RAF gray. About “stiff upper lip” and “muddling through” and what not. 🙂

        I hope that the PM allows Her Royal Majesty the Queen Elizabeth to use it from time to time.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A plane is plane its not a flag pole the painting of the flag is the wrong way around and just because the USA paint theirs the wrong way around too doesnt make it correct.
          Too much that is done in USA is copied around the world.
          Right now in the USA we are seeing exactly why we others should NOT copy the USA

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Terence…….I respect that people could have differing opinions about Boris getting a costly paint job on his airplane. But the proper way to paint flags on airplanes seems to be an international standard. Not an American invention!

            The article I linked in my previous comment (which I’ve verified by other sources) declared: “Other countries follow the same protocol for displaying its flag.”

            So the Americans can be blamed for a lot, but not the international agreement about how national flags are depicted in airplane liveries. Perhaps a statement on the matter from the Royal Air Force (a British institution) quoted in this article might be convincing.


            Liked by 1 person

        2. Munguin, being a magnanimous animal, allows a level of dissent, Danny.

          I checked up with him and he’s cool with you.

          He just said, tell him not to do it again this year. 🙂

          If I were Johnson with that hideous plane I’d not fly over any hostile countries (ie most).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tris……I’ve always said that Munguin is a prince among penguins as media moguls go. I appreciate his tolerance for a diversity of views. 🙂

            I found this issue especially interesting since it was just a few days ago, as we were discussing Air Force One, that I noticed for the first time that the American flag is always depicted fore to aft on the tail of the plane, which has the effect of switching the right-to-left orientation of the star field on one side of the tail relative to the other… viewed face-on. It’s really easy and obvious then how to get the top/bottom orientation correct for the American flag, which is so vertically dissimilar because of the star field. However, it could be missed in the case of the union flag, where top and bottom can be so easily mistaken if you don’t notice the correct alignment of the crosses.

            Not surprising that the people who design aircraft liveries and paint airplanes would get it right I suppose. 🙂

            Some time back I decided to learn why the diagonal crosses on the union flag seem not only misaligned, but why the alignment switches on opposite sides of the center crossing. It’s about principles involving the use of color in heraldry, and it actually makes sense in a medieval heraldry kind of way……LOL.

            Very interesting really!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. LOL.

              Munguin is sitting here with a smug smile of satisfaction on his little face.

              In the UK, there is always a reason for things. Most of these reasons date back to times that only Jacob Rees Mogg can remember.

              I swear that his fluency in Latin comes not from his ability to learn it at Eton, but for the fact that it was what they spoke when he was a child!


              Liked by 1 person

              1. Indeed it was, Tris! Mr. Rees-Smugg is an old soul, in fact an avatar of one Iacobus Riscus Murilegus, a contemporary and drinking buddy of Cæsar Augustus and a notoriously money-grubbing freedman brawler and wife-beater who ended up being sewn into a leather sack with a dog, a snake, a monkey and a chicken, and thrown into the Tiber for parricide.

                When one regards the physiognomy of his modern-day avatar lounging on the Commons benches as if he owned the place, it is both instructive and alarming to consider what dark and unholy passions may lie unquenched and unsated within his black and flinty heart.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Ha ha 😄
                  Flowed like the Tiber Ed.
                  Perhaps the reasons for parricide echo unrequited in that black and flinty heart. That might explain why he —–, nah he has just worked hard at being a chromium plated bastard.

                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. Ed said…….”Indeed it was, Tris! Mr. Rees-Smugg is an old soul, in fact an avatar of one Iacobus Riscus Murilegus, a contemporary and drinking buddy of Cæsar Augustus and a notoriously money-grubbing freedman brawler and wife-beater who ended up being sewn into a leather sack with a dog, a snake, a monkey and a chicken, and thrown into the Tiber for parricide.”

                    LOL…..LOL……and WOW! Now THERE was an interesting punishment! And one more example of new things you learn on Munguin’s Republic. I did however have to look up “parricide,” a word which I don’t recall from my academic years. Never had occasion to know it before the Iacobus Riscus Murilegus story I guess. 😉

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. It seems entirely unfair to include live animals in the sack, don’t you think?

                      Munguin says that if ever he is obliged to dispatch me in that fashion, there will be no innocent animals included.


                    2. Very interesting Ed! Clearly, the authorities did get all worked up about parricide for a long time. Maybe a lot of that went on in ancient Rome. I thought that killing your family was mostly what royals did. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. It is indeed an education, and I, too, had to refer to Google for the meaning of parricide, although in the end it turned out to be rather obvious!

                      Liked by 1 person

    2. marconatrix……Your description of the way the “hoist” and the “fly” of the national flag is depicted on an airplane is correct. It’s apparently a de facto world standard, which for the USA is codified in federal civilian and military regulations governing vehicles, uniforms, and airplanes.

      Whatever else one thinks about Boris’ cool new plane, its function of “showing the flag” in a literal as well as a metaphorical geopolitical sense is correct. As an actual example, the picture below shows the way the American Stars and Stripes are depicted on the tail of Air Force One. The flag is seen as it would be if hoisted at the front edge of the vertical stabilizer, with the flag flying “in the wind” toward the rear.

      From the attached internet article:

      Federal regulations state that when a flag is on a vehicle, the star field [the “hoist” side] must be positioned toward the front of the vessel, so that it’s as if the flag is flying along the side of it. The same goes for military uniforms and government cars. The flag faces the observer’s right and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the person in uniform, car, or airplane moves forward. … According to the [American] Department of Defense, “The regulation states that when authorized for application to the proper uniform the American flag patch is to be worn, right or left shoulder, so that ‘the star field faces forward, or to the flag’s own right. When worn in this manner, the flag is facing to the observer’s right, and gives the effect of the flag flying in the breeze as the wearer moves forward. The appropriate replica for the right shoulder sleeve is identified as the ‘reverse side flag.’”
      “Other countries follow the same protocol for displaying its flag.”

      The “star field” in the American case is on the “hoist” side, while in the case of the UK, the “hoist” side is the side with the wider white strip toward the top of the flag, as the Cross of St. Patrick is overlaid on the Saltire of St. Andrew. Tris showed it correctly for an illustration of the flag as commonly depicted in books and media (with the hoist to the left of the observer,) but that is reversed for use on an airplane. (It’s a little less obvious of course with the somewhat stylized version of the union flag as depicted on the vertical stabilizer of the UK plane.)

      Air Force One:

      American Airlines’ new livery: (More like the stylized flag on Boris’ plane.)

      Liked by 3 people

  4. **Rant follows. It serves no real purpose, but the author feels better for writing it.**

    OT, but on the suspicion that the Great Boris BritNat Aircraft Respray Boondoggle, however outrageous, is a shiny object served up for purposes of deflection and distraction, I read that Keir Starmer has said that we hairy-kneed wee Jockanese are not to be allowed an independence referendum.

    Edward Freeman, on the other hand (that would be me) says that English politicians who are unaware that the sovereign Scottish people have the right to decide on the form of government which best suits them should refrain from pronouncing on constitutional matters about which they are self-evidently ignorant. If they are not ignorant but are being disingenuous about it, that’s all the more reason to reject their attempts to thwart our democratic will. We are given to understand that Mr. Starmer is a QC, so he really ought to know better.

    Mr. Starmer might care to reflect on why his party has only one MP in the whole of Scotland, though I suspect that, however qualified he may be in other fields of endeavour, the self-awareness and insight required for such an exercise would be a bridge too far for him. He might care to reflect also on the propriety or lack thereof of his pontificating, as the leader of a minority political party, on the constitutional future of another country in which his party has so little support.

    My first impulse would be to tell Mr. Starmer to get lost. My second would be not to bother, because the Scottish electorate will soon enough tell him exactly that through the ballot box. So much for the opposition. On the UK Government side, the Johnson-Cummings regime announced just now that the Scottish Government is not to be permitted the piddling increase in borrowing limit it wants to use to combat the dire economic effects of the pandemic, aggravated by the UK Government’s malign incompetence, and the looming Brexit that is to be imposed on us Scots against our will. Our response to this must be to wish a plague on both their houses, and now we can truly say that the majority of the Scottish electorate is with us in that.

    The UK Government, indeed all the Unionist parties, are making it clearer and clearer by the day that independence for our nation is a necessity. The Westminster regime in particular and the Westminster system in general are no longer content with malign neglect, they are actively striving to harm us and our interests. To hell with them, I say.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. Yes. Clapping for them is as far as it goes.

        As I’ve said elsewhere it’s like turning up in black and pretending to be sad in November for a couple of hours before that drinks party in the FCO (at our expense) and then demanding that charity pays for the looking after of troops who’ve been injured in largely pointless wars that they were sent into by self same politicians.


    1. Labour in Scotland reminds me of this quote by Bertold Brecht:

      “Some party hack decreed that the people
      had lost the government’s confidence
      and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
      If that is the case, would it not be be simpler,
      If the government simply dissolved the people
      And elected another?”

      Fortunately Labour are not in Government so the people are safe

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Did it work? Do you feel better?

      Munguin agrees with you. He, as a student of psychology, wonders why Mr Starmer and Mr Cummings think that it is reasonable to deny to Scots what they seem to want and what their parliament voted for.

      Instinctively, I am suspicious of anyone who says he’s a socialist and yet accepts baubles from the British state, Lords and Ladies and knights all… indeed those who accept OBEs and other letters after their names.

      I notice that Mr Starmer and Mr Khan were joined by one of Blair’s acolytes yesterday for a phone in for the no campaign.

      You’d have thought that they would have had more important things to do at this time.

      I suspect that Mr Starmer wants to take the Labour Party back to being the slightly right of centre party of Blair and Brown.

      So at the next election (whenever that will be as they seem to have ditched the 5 year rule) they will have again, but one MP in Scotland, who will represent Morningside in his union jacket.


      1. Thank you Tris, I do feel better, but I attribute that to a spot of intensive languishing in my virgin bed doing my Ingrid Bergman impersonation.

        As for the titles of nobility… Burns in “Is there for honest poverty” says (in Freeman’s New and Improved Scots Orthography):

        “Ye see yon birkie, caad a lord,
        Wha struts, an stares, an aa that;
        Tho hundreds worship at his word,
        He’s but a coof for aa that”.

        If we stop calling people lords and ladies, and rewarding the pooh-bahs and mandarins who are the pillars of the Great British Establishment with gongs under the Buggins’ Turn system, their coofosity becomes all the more salient. That’s why Mr. Keir Starmer QC is not going to be sirred by me in this lifetime. The QC after his name is OK, because we can assume he earned it. As for the hereditary nonsense – no one earns their DNA, or a silver spoon in their mouth on conception.

        And I’m not saying that just because I don’t got one (a silver spoon, I mean, not a mouth).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. P.S. Linguistic note: the Russian noun сыр, which transliterates to syr and is closest in sound to the English “sir”, means cheese. I think of this every time I hear anyone described as a big cheese, and even a big wheel. I recommend it as a way to eliminate any lingering feelings of relative insignificance in the Great Scheme of Things.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. An excellent way to achieve the sort of cheesy grin required for family portraits and other photographic occasions is to say not “cheese”, but “fromage, fromage, fromage, Camembert et Brie!” (linger over the last syllable until you hear the shutter click).

              Liked by 1 person

        2. It occurs to me that if one didn’t have a mouth, there would be precious little point in having a silver spoon…

          … unless, of course, one had two silver spoons, in which case one could get some sort of music out of them… I suppose.

          Munguin says it would be better if I just shut up!

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Another one Ed, “coofosity”, that will be worming it’s way into my common usage.

          On using sir; when I was young (7 or 8) I was out and about with my grandfather and I asked him about a certain person demanding I address them as sir. His reply still sticks in mind, “You’re young and wee do as you’re told just now but make a point of calling everybody sir, especially within earshot of the person demanding it. Respect has value and meaning when given to those that earn it, is worthless to those that demand it. Don’t worry, the person of value will know when you show respect, the coof won’t.” So said my Seanair.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Looks very similar to what’s happening in various parts of the USA!
    The American Covid pandemic is playing out in the context of a presidential election year, and the election is slightly over four months away. Perhaps De Pfeffel would wish to pay attention to the not-surprising political effect of climbing Covid infection rates, however popular he might believe that the relaxation of social distancing is. As it stands now, our Mr. Trump is suffering a precipitous free fall in his public polling numbers. He has been underwater by double percentage digits in national polling for quite a while now, but the national popular vote doesn’t determine who wins the presidency……..a fact to which President Al Gore and President Hillary Clinton can attest. Trump won the presidency by narrow margins on the strength of the electoral votes of three (usually Democratic) rust belt states…..Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania…….after taking the big traditional swing states of Ohio and Florida. Trump is now underwater in the polling in all those crucial states except Ohio, where it’s close. He could not possibly win reelection if the polling is even close to being correct, and the election were held today.

    Who would have thought that mishandling the governmental response to a devastating public health crisis that tanked the economy and threw tens of millions of people out of work could be politically unpopular? 😉 Less of a problem for Boris I guess, since he has the advantage of being in a country that allows the head guy to decide for himself when to hold his own election. (A system I disapprove of BTW. 😉 )

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Not going to happen Danny, Trump will absolutely walk it. Bidens not even the candidate, he’ll be switched out in due course.
      Flynn’s case has been dismissed, it should never have been brought in the first place. I’m waiting patiently for the arrests…Obama, Biden, Comey , Brennan, Strzok……and the list goes on and on and on….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I think it is far to early to predict the US election, but I was surprised to see you being so positive that Biden would be dropped. I don’t think I’ve read that anywhere before. Care to elaborate?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Kangaroo……If I were a betting man I’d love to place a wager on that. Interesting that the right wingers are still in a tizzy about Obama, who hasn’t run for political office in eight years…..LOL.
        I do notice that the Trumpies are still wanting to imprison all their political opponents. “LOCK HER UP” played SO well at the Trump rallies! That said, I’d be OK with locking Comey up. He screwed Hillary worse than he screwed Trump. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Another difference in systems is that De Pfeffel was elected as Head of Government of the UK by a vote among the members of the Conservative Party as Leader of that Party plus an electoral victory of that Party in a general election. The membership of the Tory Party is notoriously unrepresentative of the population at large.

      Boris had the gall on one occasion to say to the Westminster Parliament that Nicola Sturgeon had never been elected as First Minister of Scotland. That was spectacularly untrue: the First Minister is selected from among MSPs by a vote of the whole Scottish Parliament, a body whose members are elected under a pretty accurate system of proportional representation. There’s not the same separation of the executive and the legislative branches that you find under the American presidential system, but in my opinion it stands up very well to international comparison.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Not sure i agree that its an “accurate “system of proportional representation in Holyrood how can it be when nearly half of them are List MPs who are not voted in by the voting public , they are chosen to be List MPs by their party political leader
        Suppose it depends on your definition of ” accurate”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Indeed it does depend on our definition, Terence. By “accurate” I mean that the numbers of MSPs from each party match the numbers of votes cast for those parties. Though the system is not, of course, perfect, it is much better than FPTP, though that is not a very high bar.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. All prospective MSPs on the list should be made to stand for election first. The ones getting most list votes go on the list, not someone who has not put their proposals before the electorate.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. I’d say, Terence, that it gives a more accurate depiction of the mood of the country. It isn’t accurate.

          My problem with it is that the list members can stay on and on and on, as long as they please the leadership, by being at the top of the list.

          And so you get people like Murdo who have grown old sitting in a seat which they haven’t in the conventional sense, won.

          There are, I think, better ways of doing PR.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You’ll not get any disagreement from me on that one, Tris. It would be a relief to be shot of … um … persons such as Murdo Fraser. The Additional Member PR system we use for Holyrood elections, as the name implies, requires additional bods to be available to be slotted in so that representation in the parliament more closely matches the reality. One way to prevent the same old faces turning up on the lists at every election would be to limit them to a single parliamentary term. If they perform well their party can put them up for a constituency; otherwise it’s “don’t call us, we’ll call you”.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Ed…..I remember when that comment from de Pfeffel about the First Minister was discussed on MNR. I do see how the Scottish system is more representative of a national consensus.

        I remember during (I think) Theresa May’s tenure as PM when the American media were at pains to describe to Americans how it is that a simple vote of the members of ONE SINGLE political party can affect a change in the Head of Government of a nation without a general election taking place.

        The American system as you know was formed by founders who had dealt with not only the Crown, but with what they considered a dictatorial parliament that in no way reflected American colonial interests. The result was an American constitutional system in which power was vested in no one political person or institution, but was distributed into three constitutionally separate entities…..the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President……overseen (as it developed) by a powerful Judiciary which can strike down an agreement of all three political powers at the stroke of a judicial decision of unconstitutionality. The result is that most of the time very little gets done at the federal level, except appropriating and spending money to run the federal departments and the military.

        I do though prefer the American free for all, where everyone votes on everything…..even choosing by popular vote who gets to run as Democrats and Republicans……for all the elective offices in the general elections. I would be truly terrified at the British system of parliamentary sovereignty. (An “unwritten” constitution not being worth the paper it’s printed on. 😉 ) It’s as if the USA burned its constitution, and then decided to run the federal government by popular votes of the House of Representatives. A truly TERRIFYING proposition!

        All that said, I suppose the Brits do amazingly well with a system where a party leader goes to the palace and grovels on his/her knees before an hereditary monarch……who is said to be his or her “Sovereign”………who then asks the party leader to form a government……which the sovereign hereditary monarch will subsequently refer to as HERS……or HIS.

        Geeeeeze!!!!! 😉

        Liked by 3 people

        1. “Geeeeeze!!!!!” That just about sums it up, Danny. I expect independent Scotland to have a constitution that is at the very least in keeping with current international best practice. When a new nation is founded – or an old one like ours is reborn – there is an unparalleled opportunity to modernize the rules by which we all live. It’s unparalleled because once constitutions are in place, they cannot easily be changed – which is not a bug, it’s a design feature.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Ed…..I do use “geeeeze!!!!!” a lot in my incisive political commentary.
            Mostly related to American politics, although the need for it arises a lot in my comments on the practices and procedures of monarchy. 😉

            I’m sure that an independent Scotland will appreciate the necessity of a modern constitution for the newly reborn nation state. I suggest that it be a bit longer than America’s four faded, yellowed, handwritten pages of cursive script. The eighteenth century founders left a lot of stuff out related to the regulation of air travel and electronic telecommunications for example, and so we have to sort of make stuff up. With the necessarily high bar for amendment, and taking into account the principle of unintended consequences, I would suggest that you be REALLY careful about the wording of the right to bear arms! 😉

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I don’t think firearms would merit any special mention in the Scottish Constitution, Danny, because we’re just not a gun culture. There’s no significant pressure, either public or from a gun lobby, to relax the current rules, which were last tightened up in the wake of a school shooting. Since we tightened up those rules, there have been no more school shootings.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. True, Ed. There were a few “huntin’ shootin’ fishin'” types that kicked off to the UK wide response (before the Scottish parliament existed) to the shooting in Dunkeld. But there was no outrage about what Major proposed (it was him, wasn’t it?)

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Major was Prime Minister at the time of the Dunblane (not Dunkeld, I know that must have been a typo, Tris) massacre in March 1996. I seem to remember that the legislation tightening up gun ownership and licensing was passed really very quickly afterward, and before the Blair “Tory Lite” Government came in in May 1997.

                  Liked by 1 person

              2. Ed…..I didn’t think that firearms would likely be such an issue in Scotland. I always point out to people why the Second Amendment came to be, and why it’s worded exactly the way it is. It’s an eighteenth century national defense provision that reflects how the first American patriots battled the British army. George Washington’s Continental Army originated with private citizens and their personally owned firearms. When the founders wrote the federal constitution in Philadelphia in 1787, only 12 years had passed from the first gunfire directed at British troops on the village green at Lexington and Concord, and they wanted to be sure that the British would never come back.

                Of course it got all mixed up with right wing politics when the NRA recently became radicalized in pursuit of the special interests of gun manufacturers. The right wing crazies have managed to completely reinterpret the national defense wording of the Second Amendment in a way that redefines it as a safeguard against a dictatorial federal government. The idea is that private citizens could if necessary mount another revolution against their own government.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I can certainly understand people wanting to be sure that the Brits would never come back. Lord knows I feel that way too.

                  It would be fair to say too that back then people had to deal with hostile Americans who were less than pleased that settlers were taking their land … and of course, there are all manner of wild animals in different parts of the USA that Scottish people don’t ever encounter.

                  It’s a pity that, as weapons evolved from one shot muskets to rapid fire automatics capable of killing large numbers in a short time, there could not be a sensible way found that didn’t depend solely on thoughts and prayers, which, seem to do very little good to discourage further outrages.


                  Liked by 3 people

                  1. Tris…..agreed on all points! The “thoughts and prayers” BS drives me crazy. The odd thing is it’s not primarily a constitutional issue. No one questions that the constitution allows weapons (such as modern military-grade machine guns of one type or another for example) to be banned or restricted for private ownership. Or that states and cities can and do pass gun control laws. I’ve read that gun laws are extremely strict in California and New York for example, but in the Republican states, it’s more like the wild west. Effective gun control at the federal level is what is required, but has been almost impossible to achieve in the face of implacable political opposition by an increasingly radicalized NRA, which takes more and more of an absolute position on any and all gun control measures. 😦

                    Liked by 2 people

        2. GEEEEZE is the word, Danny.

          Mind you, there are millions still, particularly in England, but throughout the kingdom, that think it’s the best way to do it.


          Liked by 2 people

        3. I wonder if the people in USA will put two and two together and get …..four
          Will they realise that they themselves are now experiencing a little bit of the cruel unjust and illegal behaviour meted out by their very own armed forces around the world .
          I always find it incredible that countries around the world allow USA to locate military bases on their land who then refuse to leave when asked .
          The racism imposed on black people in USA who are actual citizens of the USA is what people around the world suffer every day and its been going on for decades.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Terence……I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with many criticisms that can be leveled at the USA regarding shortcomings and misdeeds in a number of areas, although I would likely view the issues as being somewhat more nuanced than your comments would seem to suggest.

            Racism is reprehensible, and it certainly exists in the USA. Perhaps it has been eradicated in the UK, now that it no longer rules an empire populated by lesser peoples. Slavery was the original sin of the American republic and rivers of American blood were spilled to abolish it. Even though the British participated in the slave trade and did not actually abolish slavery in their colonies until 1833, that was in fact about 30 years before the Americans abolished it, and the Brits did it without a Civil War. So that’s admirable I suppose, although it seems that the British were not so much against it in principle, up to a point.

            As for the “cruel unjust and illegal behaviour” of American armed forces around the world, there’s undoubtedly some justification for that accusation. Nevertheless, I’m not inclined to be lectured about violent American militarism by the people of Europe and the UK who gave us WWI and WWII, and in both cases invited American armies to come over and help sort things out. As for the UK, I also take note of British armies that raped and pillaged half the world in the days of empire.

            Perhaps the statute of limitations has run out and the Brits and Europeans get a pass now. Perhaps a severe case of the pot calling the kettle black, and/or a severe case of selective historical amnesia. That doesn’t justify the behavior of course, but there would seem to be some hypocrisy going on here. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

        4. Aye Danny, it is the pont in time, I suppose, that made the difference in the US having a constitution and UK not. The U.S. started off from a place of vulnerability; established nations oggling their resources, Spain, Portugal to the south, France north and south, the Brits all over the place like fungus, and internal divisions. Checks and balances was an essential need to ward off undermining of the political power.
          The UK also had enemies oggling, not so much her internal resources but the UK’s trading routes, held by dint of an established military power. The UK (English) power politics were worked out and well tested by the time of Lizzy 1.
          My comparing of the US and it’s constitution and the UK’s empty constitutional kist quite possibly will not be accepted in academia but here goes; the american system was thought out to try and keep the bastards out. The UK system developed from Tudor times, where you needed to know where the bastards were, the old Mafia saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer. All the easier to poison or knife them when patronage failed. Come up to modern times and the poisoning and knifing has lessened, the names at the top have changed but their charachter reference remains, bastard.
          The UK has steered clear of a written constitution, better to be flexible, slithery, sleekit to deal with eventualities, the ones where threats and patronage have failed. It has worked well for them (tories) so far, got rid of the Whigs, split them into country and court Whigs, easy game then. Liberals a hundred years latergot them to split into Liberals and Unionist Liberals. The Unionist ones were then easy to hoover up (other suction machines available). Then came the party of the people, sort of born again Whigs, for workers instead of the loose term people. They were going to get rid of patronage by abolishing the House of Lords, as soon as they gain power. They haven’t split, yet. Their titled leader gives lie to the party promise.
          Constitution? Who needs one when you can sell the allure of a dead stoat coat, the collar brushing the brass neck shiney.
          I’ve gone on a bit, I don’t expect anybody to read it through but, like Ed’s rant I feel marginally better. I just want this wee country away from westminster, completely.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Hi Alan……I definitely did read through your comment and found it quite interesting and informative. I do love to go on about England’s/Britain’s famously “unwritten” constitution, and how it lets Westminster make it up as they go along……all the while claiming that what they do is all in keeping with the British “constitution.” I also tend to bring up violent British history in the days of empire, and bloody European history generally, involving two world wars, when confronted with the undeniable facts of American deeds and misdeeds after becoming a world superpower.

            I wish I had greater in-depth knowledge of early American history, when the early Americans cobbled together a continental nation from the bits and pieces of the colonial possessions of the European powers in North America. It gave us the English colonial heritage in New England and the Southeast, and in the western lands to the Mississippi River (that the British ceded to the new republic in the Treaty of Paris that ended the revolution,) the French influence in New Orleans and the Mississippi valley west to the Rocky Mountains and the Northwest, and the culture, architecture, and Spanish place names of Mexico and colonial Spain in the Southwest……from Texas, across New Mexico and Arizona, to old Spanish California.

            I remember in school learning (sort of) about the historical origins of American isolationism……which held until World War I……..which was rooted in the fears of George Washington and the founders, and the early presidents, about the motives and actions of the European powers, which they deemed to be a great danger to the tiny and militarily weak new American republic.

            You might (or might not) be interested in this old video about how President Tom Jefferson……without explicit constitutional authority……..doubled the size of the nation by purchasing not only the port of New Orleans, but the vast French territory of “Louisiana ” from Napoleon. Presumably a territory that Napoleon knew he would not be able to defend in the upcoming war with Britain, a world power with the massive reach of its naval power across the ocean.

            (Poor sound, but OK if you turn up the volume)

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Thanks Danny, whilst I knew that Louisiana was bought from the French I didn’t reaslise that the Americans only went out to buy New Orleans. 2 cents an acre!

              Napoleon’s situation similar to the Brits with India after WWii, difficult and expensive to hold onto.

              I say similar but can see a potential difference. I postulate; Napoleon saw himself as emperor of europe, therefore had to subdue England. If he had succeeded I have no doubt that Louisiana would have been back with the French, alongside the rest of America as a colony. He would have recognised the resources on offer and base for disruption of the Spanish and Portuguese trade routes.

              Napoleon, a short arse with attitude. He used techniques to, what we now call power nap. One of these techniques was having a bunch of big keys in his great coat pocket, after dinner when he felt a ziz coming on, he would hold the keys in his hand and when he reached the point of sleep relaxation the keys would fall, waking him up, to everybody still waiting on his unfinished words.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Alan: I guess Jefferson got involved in some European power politics and stumbled into a great real estate deal with Napoleon. I was wondering where the American treasury of the time scraped together the $15 Million. Wiki says this about the financing:

                The American government used $3 million in gold as a down payment, and issued bonds for the balance to pay France for the purchase. Earlier that year, Francis Baring and Company of London had become the U.S. government’s official banking agent in London. Because of this favored position, the U.S. asked the Baring firm to handle the transaction. Francis Baring’s son Alexander was in Paris at the time and helped in the negotiations. Another Baring advantage was a close relationship with Hope and Company of Amsterdam. The two banking houses worked together to facilitate and underwrite the Purchase. Although the War of the Third Coalition, which brought France into a war with the United Kingdom, began before the purchase was completed, the UK allowed the deal to proceed as it was better for the neutral Americans to own the territory than the hostile French.
                Because Napoleon wanted to receive his money as quickly as possible, the two firms received the American bonds and shipped the gold to France. Napoleon used the money to finance his planned invasion of England, which never took place.

                Liked by 2 people

    3. Awww, poor Trump.

      As you used the word “underwater”, I couldn’t stop the picture of Trump underwater, like a great fat unbeached whale.

      I was wondering what on earth would his hair have looked like? Yellow dyed pond weed?

      Now in the UK there has to be an election once every 5 years, but, until 2010, the prime minister could chose to have an election at any time. Clearly that was a ridiculous situation.

      So Cameron/Clegg brought in the Fixed Parliament Act making a five year term obligatory.

      And so it was for 5 years.

      Cameron actually won the 2015 election, albeit narrowly and without the need for Clegg, who lost his seat (which has become a habit now for LibDem leaders).

      Then the Brexit débacle. Cameron resigned and a largely unpopular and charisma free prime minister was installed by the Conservative Party members.

      Tessy May struggled for a couple of years, pretending that she was strong and stable while, in fact, wobbling like a jelly.

      She was lucky in that, as opposition leader she had Corbyn, who, although basically a good bloke, was not up to the job.

      She was badly advised in 2017 that, if she went to the country she could achieve a big majority of perhaps 100+.

      The loophole in the “5 year” legislation was that if parliament voted for an election, it could happen.

      Parliament did, and of course Mrs May discovered that she had actually lost the election and was now running a minority government and had to bribe the DUP to support her.

      She only lasted till 2019 and gave up the ghost of being controlled by the religious and racist DUP.

      Mr Cummings became the prime minister with the fat blond clown as his symbol. Clearly Cummings wasn’t going to be bossed around by a grasping, money grubber like Forster, so he asked parliament again for an election, and this time he won on the “Get Brexit Done” slogan.

      Who knows how long he will last?
      He’s making a pigs ear of Covid, but his Brexit Slogan is still popular so he may yet last.

      I suspect that Brexit will go badly and that, although they try to blame it all on everyone else, people will get sick of the poverty and crime that will ensue.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tris……I saw this comment in the notification list, but just now read it through. I love your description of underwater Trump! That certainly describes what seems to be his present political state. 😉

        Thanks for the rundown of recent events in parliament. I was woefully behind the times about fixed term elections. So I guess I’ll have to quit ranting about Prime Ministers getting to choose when to hold an election.

        EXCEPT FOR…..that loophole by which an election can be called by a 2/3 vote of parliament. Maybe this was involved in both the Theresa May and Boris Johnson election dramas. I definitely recall there was an issue with Boris about holding an election in late 2019. (Somewhere around then, he also got the Queen mixed up in an illegal prorogation scheme if memory serves.)

        Anyway, as I understand it, ANOTHER law called the “Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019” was then passed BY A SIMPLE MAJORITY (none of this 2/3 stuff)……that set an election date other than that specified by the “Fixed-term Parliaments Act.”

        So I’m thinking they’re still pretty much making it up as they go along……even about that five year fixed term election date. 😉

        But I could be wrong about that……LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh no, Danny, you are not wrong.

          There are still ways, as Johnson and May proved, to get your election when you want it.

          All you need to do is gain 2/3 of the votes.

          So you have all your own side, who will be whipped to vote with you, then, should the opposition indicate that they will vote against you, you can say that they are scared of an election because they will be obliterated… or that they are actually happy with your governance and don’t want to change position.

          Cowards, in fact.

          So you get your 2/3 vote.

          And yes, the 2019 election was a shambles. Johnson couldn’t work with the DUP, which May had bribed to vote with her. They had. in that way. far too much power and he wanted to be able to throw NI under a bus to get his Brexit.

          So he lied to the queen to stop debate on Brexit and held an election basically on one issue: “Get Brexit Done”, and, in England, he won with a handsome majority.

          Johnson is a man who lacks any principles. When it suits his purpose he is a devout royalist. When it pleases him (or Cummings) he kicks her maj under the state coach!

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Now I understand the necessity of getting Labour’s support to hold the election. At least the queen wasn’t thrown under the more traditional “bus.” 😉


          2. May had to have an election, to convert the advisory brexit referendum to a manifesto pledge. Johnson had to have an election because the speaker, John Bercow had tied their brexit plans up in parliamentary chicanery by allowing amendments to motions to be debated and voted on. Which I hazely remember as when a motion/bill (?) is defeated twice it cannot be brought back to the chamber again, in that term of parliament.
            So much turgid shenanigans going on in westminster, that Scotland has no say in but will be severely affected by the outcome. Reminds me of the territorial dispute I witnessed on the croft. A vole was picked up by a short eared owl who was quartering the croft. The buzzards who nest on the croft objected to the owl intrusion, a tusstle took place, at altitude. The owl though more agile was hampered by the vole in its tallons, untill it released the vole. Both predators then relalised the danger in the match and flew off in different directions. The scene only had the vole remaining, plummeting.

            Liked by 2 people

              1. No, although not distant I couldn’t. I reckon it would have been dead following he owl pounce. Voles are noisy wee things, in a loud squeeky way and this one wasn’t making any sound when it was carried above me. The innocent and reluctant cast member paid the most for no gain.

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. There was considerable media speculation about the species of the small critter which appeared at the White House Rose Garden briefing a few years ago. One suggestion was that he was a vole. He successfully scurried away and was not seen again after his White House appearance. 🙂

                    Liked by 2 people

  6. O/t again but not as nice. Several people reported dead in Glasgow City Centre after stabbings. Armed police in attendance. (Danny although police aren’t normally armed in Scotland there are specialised units called out if necessary).

    Police telling folk to stay away from West George St

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. Very not nice.

      I’m assuming that if Patel from England is commenting, it must be terrorist ?

      And there we were saying that we weren’t that much into guns in Scotland… Ouch.


      1. it’s all breaking news but as far as I know the police were the only people with guns. The original incident was stabbings – the hotel is one used for asylum seekers who were evicted by the Home Office. I THINK the council then put them up in the hotel but don’t know who has been killed/injured. But as I say breaking news, still unclear.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Both Nicola and Humza are asking people to please not put any unconfirmed info on social media. So I won’t.

          What is con firmed is that the hapless Patel has tweeted about it.


          1. We need to know the back story here before we can come to even tentative conclusions. As for Priti Patel, I don’t see what she has to do with it, so her sticking her nose in is little more than a reassertion of English hegemony, and a likely intro to a bit of gratuitous SNPBaddery and too wee / too poor / too stupid to combat threats to people’s security.

            I just hope that the death toll doesn’t go any higher.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Panda Paws……Sorry to hear of the violence. The idea of unarmed police sounds so unusual in a country (USA) where the police all have guns on their hips. Also interesting that British street violence so often involves knives and stabbings; whereas it usually involves guns in the US.

      Liked by 1 person

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