If you have oil, and aren’t Scotland, or possibly Russia (but who knows), you can have anything you want from the Magic Money Tree.




Maybe have a word then, if she ever wants t be “First Lady”.
What joy to be in the UK. Of course there is an element of “globalness” in all of this cost of living crisis, but it’s worth noting that German inflation is 3% and British is 8%. Heating bills in Britain are increasing by 100-300%. In France it is 4%.


Rolling in bread!
Aye, weel. That went down well.

In a desperate bid to find some Brexit Benefits, Mr Monacle tweeted that they were cutting VAT on the installation of energy saving materials in residential properties from 5% to zero for the next five years. He want on to tell us that this was a Brexit Benefit because the EU would not have allowed us to do this.

As per usual, he was lying. They were working on it last December.


He still looks like he slept in a chair after a hard night on the batter (probably an exclusively Scottish term!)

And one last thought…


Brenda sent me this:

37 thoughts on “MORE RANDOM THOUGHTS”


    The Covid pandemic helped with that quietude but, interestingly, Covid itself is now being treated in the same way, as something the government wants to ignore and seems to think that, if ignored, will go away. So, just as it is being reported that ministers want “to get rid of data and move on” despite the new spike in Covid cases, we also learned this week that the government no longer keeps track of delays and queues at Dover (and, I assume, all ports) caused by post-Brexit regulations. Like babies playing peek-a-boo, ministers appear to imagine that if they can’t see something then it doesn’t exist.

    Thanks to Brenda for sending me this

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The do nothing government.

    How can a ‘well educated’ man say something like, things are very turbulent in the economy due to the Ukraine problem BUTT I’m promising a penny off the income tax in TWO years time.
    Nothing to do with a general election.

    The chancer didn’t deal well with his family still trading in Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You wonder how they manage to make so much money when they seem to have so little grasp of their briefs… if you will pardon the expression.


  3. The Ministry of Defence has said a £3.5bn fleet of Ajax armoured vehicles will be delivered as planned despite a leaked assessment that concluded soldiers were at risk of tinnitus and swollen joints if they were driven at speeds above 20mph.

    An internal assessment by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has concluded that successful delivery of the programme to time and budget “appears to be unachievable” – although the MoD said it had no plans for a delay.

    Trial versions of the army tanks are unable to travel faster than half the intended top speed of 40mph, and they are so loud that soldiers have had to wear ear defenders and undergo ear tests afterwards. They are also unable to reverse over objects 20cm high
    A £800million upgrade to tanks contract has been issued.

    Any comment from the tories in Hollyrood on our share of these failed spends?
    The Ferry contract at Ferguson’s yard in Port Glasgow is still to be explained.
    As far as I’m aware
    The initial contract was for diesel electric build.
    The builder was in completion problems.
    The contract was changed to some kind of Hybrid propulsion system.
    The hull that was launched was being converted to have the new propulsion system fitted.
    The next hull was on the slipway being built.
    I understand that there are 4 propulsion fits at Port Glasgow.

    Anybody have the actual contract position?

    Modifying a ship that has been built to launched condition and then being modified can be complex.
    Throw in a two year covid crisis.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I seem to remember that they bought ships that couldn’t continue to move forward while they fired their weaponry.

      I don;t know much about the Scottish ferries, except that Nicola Sturgeon has said that the buck stops with her.

      I expect that took the wind of of the sails of wee Dougie.

      Why did they change the propulsion system?


      1. It looked like a ‘Green’ solution and I can see the point of doing that.
        But do it from the drawing board and not after you have started building the ships.
        Think of the cost of converting an ICE car to be an electric powered vehicle.
        Not impossible BUTT I’ve seen some video of doing the same, Lots of money and problems of fitting in the battery packs and the on-board charging system.

        According to locals there are/were 4 propulsion fits at Port Glasgow, the original diesel electric and the Hybrid system, only room for one on each vessel if you want to let it do its job of being a ferry
        Shameful that dross called Mr Mackay out for doing what was technically nothing against the law even if it was not sensible in the modern times.
        The dross failed to record his income properly but he can still stand up in parliament ,without a red face, and call out waste of money. He can’t be doing 3 jobs with a proper level of professionalism unless the jobs aren’t really necessary.
        Even my eldest brother who is non political can see that he is a list msp and not elected by the people..

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Fair comment.

          Although I’m a believer in PR, the system we have is pretty dire. The list MSPs are really the Scottish equivalent of the house of lords.

          It’s a nonsense that they are allowed to stay a the top of the lists (all parties) for ever.

          The can stand as constituency MSP and get a derisory vote, and yet, because they please the party, they get in year after year after year.

          Murdo Fraser is the one that comes to mind for me.

          We need to find another system.


    2. The US prime contractor for the Ajax vehicles (General Dynamics IIRC) built them to spec. They advised MoD that the spec wasn’t suitable on multiple occasions only to be ignored.

      MoD fucked up the spec and changed it repeatedly.

      This Ajax fiasco has been ongoing for nearly as long as Nimrod. For those who don’t remember that far back Marconi were actually manufacturing parts for Nimrod AND getting paid for them nearly 3 years after the programme was scrapped.

      MoD procurement have NEVER been fit for purpose and never will be given the chinless wonders they recruit from Oxbridge. Why do you think they generally just get BAe systems to act as prime contractor? Same chinless wonders there….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh and I don’t mean the Nimrod MR4 cancelled in 2010, I mean a previous upgrade in the late 80s/early 90s which went hideously wrong.

        Arguably “cost-plus” contracts (guaranteed profit) were in fact better value for money* as some of the money usually got sunk into R&D facilities. A fair few REALLY world-class products came out of that – Chobham armour being the poster child of success – and it supported a lot of smaller engineering companies.

        The industrial estate I first worked on in Leicester had Racal & Marconi (probably 1500 employees between them) there with around 30-40 smaller companies who could build chassis/metalwork for prototypes/small runs. Further up the road was British Shoe (employed 4000+). The area now is mainly warehousing, which is about the lowest skillset/pay level around.

        *from what I can see there’s a more likely chance of ending up with a useless system now than then.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes Nimron
        The airframes were being transferred from Prestwick airport on the huge Russian cargo aircraft for refurbishing.
        Seem to remember that the radar couln’t tell the difference between a low flying helicopter and a HGV .
        The story of the time was that the rader was build to detectships over the sea, the next war between Germany and engerland.
        The Bishopton factory lost the tank ammunition contract to a Polish company.

        The communications radios that didn’t work.

        There are plenty of mod examples.
        The Nimrods were cut up for scrap even the new work.
        The jump jets were scrapped but the American marines bought them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah the US Marines used the Harriers fairly extensively.

          They also used a lot of redundant/retired Rapier missile systems which they modified rather successfully – it tracked B-2 Spirit aircraft (stealth bombers) at Nellis/Groom Lake AFB although obviously couldn’t engage due to range. Came as an unpleasant surprise to Northrop Grumman from what I was told later.

          There’s no end of financial (see chinless wonders above) fuckups – from reasonably modern RN frigates which can’t operate in warm waters to the monumental fuckup which is the combo of the new aircraft carriers and the F35B.

          Difference now (to me anyway) is that with cost-plus there was a strong incentive to use some of the development money to build a longterm skillbase/infrastructure. Yes I’m sure there was a huge amount of money wasted but what do we do now? Pay the USA and France to design/build stuff for us or give it to BAe (trebles all round chaps) and we get zero benefit in skills. If skills go then so does the work – permanently in most cases.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. The Nimrods and the Bears had roughly the same jobs; wander about and see if you see anything interesting.

          I didn’t think that scrapping them in favour of a US-supplied variant was a good idea. See also Shackletons; slow but in a good way. Good for observing fishing boats from, amongst other things.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t feel sorry for them in the South there more than happy for us in the north to lose our jobs and to be taken out of the EU, they voted for Brexit and there big Tory supporters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For the first time in a while, I watched QT last night (at a friend’s, as I have no TV licence) and was intrigued that Fiona Bruce said the audience were predominantly Tory voters (so what’s new?), but then the whole programme, to me , was a Tory hate-fest. The audience reactions to all the topics , Sunak’s budget, refugees and even Partygate was very much anti-Tory.
    Will their collective memories have been re-tuned before any future election, I wonder.
    Any decent opposition would be all over them by now, but Starmer is not even registering, he’s one of the establishment so cannot ‘get stuck in’ – as he might not get his ermine!!


    1. It is quite some admission from Bruce that the audience was predominantly Tory.

      I heard that it was hostile and saw a clip of one Tory voter who told them… Just GO!

      I can’t understand why Starmer failed to gain any real traction.

      It’s not like he’s anything like left wing. He seems centrist and he’s certainly intelligent, if unspectacular.

      With a walking disaster of a prime minister and cabinet, you’d have thought he would be street ahead by now and as far as I know, he really isn’t.

      The Cabinet has been sent out to tell us that PartyGate was a big fuss about nothing, but it seems not to have worked.


    2. Is this the same Fiona Bruce who presents the Antiques Roadshow and makes a great performance out of not being able to tell the difference between a £200, £2000 and £20,ooo object d’art?
      I find her patronising and intensely annoying with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The transport secretary, shapps, green, fox says today.
    Those P&O people should resign for their method of avoiding uk regulations.
    This is the same person that has his aircraft on the American register to Avoid the UK’s CAA regulations.
    As a foreigner to the USA he can’t own the aircraft but has to use a managing agent to own the aircraft and let him base it in the uk.

    Yes a legal method to avoid regulation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What do you mean by a VAT border, Terry?

      I’m assuming that at the moment, to comply with the Belfast Agreement and not annoy the POTUS any more, there is not distinction made, although the VAT rates are different on opposite sides of the border.

      Interstingly I read that some shops have front doors in Britain and back doors in Ireland (or the other way around). I wonder what rate of VAT they charge, and does it change if you buy something for the third aisle rather than the first!!!! (:)

      But seriously, if an Irish company is supplying and British company, what rate applies?


      1. At the moment, VAT rates across the Irish border are the same as pre-Brexit: there is barely any difference between North and South due to EU minimum VAT rules. If one side starts slashing VAT, both sides end up with the VAT advantage because nobody will buy from the side of the border with the higher VAT. If the EU allows 0% VAT rates but the UK persists at N% then the affected business in NI lose all their customers. The opposite is also true. I’d expect VAT rates to remain roughly harmonised.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I suspect that the rate used will be open to the Cubit rule, chage the customer the higher rate and give the government the lower.

    I also suspect that since the border is open that a trip to the south will allow you to fill up your fuel tank at a lower cost.

    Just watched a video by Autiting Britain where a police constable illegally detained the video producer, he won his case in court and was awarded £1100 in damages.
    Why bring it up, I was amazed and embarrassed by his generosity in distributing the cash to needy people on the street. He took some to supermarkets to buy them food.
    Compare with the Chancer’s reply to a single parent who said she was working 3 jobs and still would be unable to heat her children and feed them, going without herself.
    His reply was that he has 2 childen himself but failed to tell her that his wife has multiple millions as well as he has
    No longer the man of the poor people ..

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The probablility that he becomes PM just halved in the last 24 hours. With an ongoing war and all the photo-opportunities that presents for someone happy to capitalise on human tragedy, Liz Truss looks like the favourite.


        1. He’s been seriously misguided. Borrowing an “ordinary” car to fill up because he probably drives a Porsche or a Bentley was a BAD idea. Especially as he borrowed it from someone who squealed. He’d have been better getting his under butler’s car!

          I can only imagine that Truss would be much better than Johnson. She never seems to actually KNOW anything; over an over she gets things wrong. I don;t know whether she’s a lair (as Johnson is) or if she can’t be bothered to read her briefings (as Johnson can’t) or if she’s plain stupid (as Johnson is not.)

          Probably the most awful thing about her being PM is that we would have to listen to that accent.

          I have no idea what accent it is (she was born in Oxford, but it’s not an Oxford accent), but it drives me mad, like finger nails on a blackboard.


  8. I’ve only recently come upon the sites.
    If you want quick response from the police just take either a camera or a drone controller to a court, police station or unmarked industrial facility, there are videos of up to 8 police officers turning up in short order.
    The police are very concerned that their cars might be getting photographed and say you can get their details from the DVLA, yes you can but it costs for each ask.
    Most cars information from DVLA is limited to its MOT status and Tax.

    Don’t know what he does but suspect he’s on immigrant with better use of language than the police officers he engages with.

    Wonderful to see the uniforms they wear and you are supposed to recognise them as a police officer, in mufty.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is no coincidence that the two countries which have been trying to undermine European unity in recent years both have ambitions to resurrect their former empires.
    England and Russia.
    Both see the EU as an enemy who is trying to obstruct their global ambitions.
    This might have played out OK with Trump in charge of the USA but under a Democratic president is resulting in both these countries being isolated on the global stage.
    As they should be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, it seems that Russia really wanted Trump to win because, well, you wouldn’t have to be too smart to outwit him! All you’d have to do is tell him his hair looked good and he was yours!

      Remember when 18 American Secret Service agencies told him that Russia interfered with the American election… and he agreed with Putin that they hadn’t, embarrassingly in public!!.

      Russia used to (as the USSR) pretty much run and control, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary (and Mongolia in Asia). Romania, Yugoslavia and Albania were independent of them.

      Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary are now in the EU.

      It would suit Russia to get back their influence there and the benefits of their now richer public..


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