To those of a sensitive nature, Munguin has asked me to let you know what there are one of two sweary words in this post. He personally disapproves, but is prepared to give Tristan some leeway, given that he is full of Christmas spirit (which Tris purchased yesterday on his day off in Paris… Thanks to PP for taking over).
Thank you to Derek, John, Brendan, Erik and Anon… and if I’ve left anyone out, please accept my apologies. Blame it on Christmas spirit again.
So Sir Keir Starmer gave a speech about “devolution” on Monday though only last week he was mumbling about federalism. To say it has gone down like a bowl of cold sick – which is all we might have to eat after 1 January – is to put it mildly.
We are listening, we want to hear what people are thinking about. We’ll come out to the towns and the cities – bring Power to the People.
Oh and by the way, Scotland you’re not getting a referendum.
I’ve decided that I will support good ol’ Boris on that issue because, finally, I’ve found an issue not to abstain about.
After 17 polls in a row showed Yes for independence in the lead, listening Sir Keir says “talk to the hand”.
We are happy to listen as long as you are talking about what we want to hear.
Let’s make the nations (sic) and regions of the UK one big happy family of equals. Yeah let’s make my historic nation, older than England, one of the founding members of the United Kingdom and equal signatory to the Treaty of Union 1707 the equivalent of an English shire why don’t we?
Because to Sir Keir’s eyes, that’s what we are, just like Shropshire or Suffolk, another place starting with an S that I don’t think about until forced to or I’ve gone for a holiday there.
The phrase “tin eared” was made for this occasion as were the words patronising, insulting and colonial. I couldn’t bear listening to it all but those brave souls that did said the prose had the dead hand of Gordon Brown (not a Sir) all across it.
The whole Broonintervention received less attention than it normally might. Stuff about a pandemic and looming No deal Brexit seemed to grab all English editors’ attention strangely enough, but Colonial Quay’s BBC Shortbread punted it for all it was worth.
Not once were Labour asked about the Vow, not once was Sir Keir (by now I hope you have realised I’m not mentioning his knighthood out of respect) asked about the Internal Market Act, passed just last week which effectively ended the devolution we already had.
Nor was he asked about his namesake (not Sir) Keir Hardie who made home rule a pledge in – checks – 1888.
Well Sir Keir, listen to this. Your fantasy devolution, that you are in no position to deliver, and the equally unicorn federalism that England doesn’t want, well as they say in Glasgow “heard it”.
Even if you could deliver it, it doesn’t get usback in the EU and it doesn’t get Weapons of Mass Destruction out of the Clyde.
It doesn’t stop London draining Scotland of its resources whilst you tell us we are subsidised.
The days of English politicians telling Scotland what it will get and you will be happy about it, are nearing their end.
Sir Keir has promised that his new commission will look into further devolution of power to Scotland, amongst other places. YAWN.
Anyway, as my old granny was inclined say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And there wasn’t much eating in that particularly slimline pud!
It seems that even the Tories, for heaven’s sake, wanted to give Scotland a better devolution deal that Labour did.
In fact, this federalism promise by Gordon amounted to partial control of our own income tax (while ALL the other parties were for total devolution of it, even the Tories).
So, how on earth could that be the most devolved government in the world?
Of course, I’m not actually accusing Gordon Brown of lying.
I noted at the time that he was a back bench opposition MP. He had no power and he had no authority to promise anything.
To give him the benefit of the doubt, he was probably acting under the misapprehension that ex-prime ministers held some elder statesman sway. (Note to Gordon: Not Labour ones with Tory Prime Ministers, mate!)
I recall that, even more hilariously, around that time George Galloway promised exactly the same thing in a national TV debate where, for some reason, he was chosen to represent the U KOK side, but, like the Gordon of today, he wasn’t even a member of parliament. (And unlike Gordon of the time, Galloway had only ever been some sort of second-rate one-term peripatetic MP …and a cat in a reality tv show).
Someone should have made it clear that the “federal” promise of Brown and the “devo super plus” promise of Galloway the Cat were their own personal inventions and that they had no authority to offer them. (It’s not unlike me suggesting that I will share Munguin’s champagne cellar with you. )
All of this can’t, incidentally, have escaped the attention of David Cameron, who as prime minister, DID hold some sway. He knew they had made these promises on behalf of Better Together on national tv., but, thinking it would help him win, chose not to set the record straight. (Cameron, you may remember, was overheard saying that [like Galloway] Lizzie purred down the phone at him when he told her that she hadn’t lost Scotland… tenuous connection between the queen and Felix.)
Well, that’s the Great British Standards Eton education for you. Not what it is cracked up to be, huh?
The amazing thing is that they are going for it a second time. OK, not with Galloway, but with Brown, showing once again that they think we are all as thick as porridge, or so drunk that we wouldn’t remember tomorrow what happened today.
Out he is wheeled, yet again, from a position of even less authority than before, to spout the same garbage again.
As George Bush once very nearly managed to say… Fool me once…
Colin Mackay, STV news: “Shouldn’t the decision whether or not Scotland should be independent be in the hands of the Scottish people?”
A wee idea here… seeing as we’re all friends. How about sending Munguin a Lifestyle photograph… you know, something you like doing; something which tells us how you spend spare time. Dave Albiston sent me this pic of his mid morning coffee and sudoku.
One of my pleasures, he told Munguin, is mid-morning coffee and a sudoku puzzle. So he tested his new camera on the leftovers.
If you fancy sending in something you like doing, the address is: email@example.com