MORE RANDOM THOUGHTS

JOHN NICOLSON M.P.

Liz Truss keeps telling journalists there was no Office for Budget Responsibility independent assessment of the disastrous ‘mini Budget’ because one couldn’t be ready on time.

But it’s not true.

Here’s what the OBR told the SNP Treasury team.

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Then the chancellor blamed the queen’s death for the mess he made of the budget. Now, I imagine that, like many other people, he must have been very upset by it.

But wait, if he was so upset that he couldn’t do his job, why didn’t he take a few days off from wrecking the economy? Also, why was he laughing at her funeral?

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Conference must have been riveting. But, as Braverman says, there are far too many lazy people in England. You need to get jobs.

Incidentally, the aforementioned Braverman, who makes Patel look almost human, says that it is her dream to see, on the front page of the Telegraph, photos of planeloads of asylum seekers heading for Rwanda.

My dream would be to see a photo of the entire Tory government heading off in a plane. I don’t care where they go, just as long as they GO.

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Ian Hamilton.

Scottish Independence hero, Ian Hamilton, has died aged 97.

The BBC said he was the man who “stole” the Stone of Destiny” from Westminster Abbey. This went down rather badly on Twitter, as you might imagine. The stone was Scottish and was stolen by Edward I of England in 1296. Ian and his friends repatriated it.

There is a film based on the story which is well worth watching if you can find a copy.

I have to say that one of my proudest moments as a blogger was when Ian, then writing a blog of his own, maybe 10 years or more ago, picked up on one of my articles and recommended it on his blog. I kinda felt I’d arrived.

Rest in Peace, Ian.

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Charlie is my darling in Scotland

Apparently Charlie Windsor has poked his nose into legislation banning rent increases for the next 6 months. The legislation was put forward by the government to try to help people cope with the cost of living crisis.

Charlie can claim exemptions under Crown Consent rules. He has similar powers in Wales and England. The respective governments have little choice but to accept his interventions.

With the Sovereign grant and income from the Duchy of Lancaster (around £20 million pa) and all the money from farms and stables on private estates at Sandringham and Balmoral, you’d have thought that a person who is housed by the state free of charge in The Palace of Holyrood House, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle might have been prepared to forgo rent rises for his tenants for 6 months.

But then you should never underestimate the greed of the rich…

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RANDOM THOUGHTS

But, please note, it is not a U-turn, it’s a change of direction… Yeah, me neither.

Good old Lee. Always good for a belly laugh.

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LETTER FROM GERRY

Without prejudice.

Thank you for my energy statement.

I note you are still imposing the standing charges on my account, standing charges which I am disputing because they contain a punitive element based on costs associated with transferring customers from other private energy firms which went bust.

If anything, the increased standing charges should be applied to the customers transferred. I have still not had a satisfactory reply to my request for a standing charge holiday while we are in dispute nor to my position that Scottish customers should be getting a discount because of the proportion of energy produced by renewable sources here.

I would like you to escalate this complaint within your organisation to a level where a decision can be made on either or both of these points, also, since you advised me that you merely impose these charges on behalf of a third party I would ask you to CEASE and DESIST  from doing this until the dispute on standing charges of this account are resolved.

If you are unable to resolve this dispute please advise me of this so I can take the matter up with other organisations. I would expect a standing charge holiday to be applied regardless

Meantime I will be paying the electricity and gas charges as billed to this account on or before the due date and expect no penalties to be applied for taking this action.

Gerry P

Lies from Truss are being clarified by the company. You can pay more than £2,500.

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Labour, having modified its attitude to more powers for the Scottish parliament, is being challenged (if that’s the word) by the Tory’s head lightweight in Scotland (Ⓒ Jacob Rees Mogg, MP for 1720).

In the aftermath of the 2014 referendum, in the Smith Commission, Labour voted for almost no new powers to go to the Scottish parliament, indeed even fewer than the Tories.

Now after election after election returning SNP or SNP/ Greens) government in Scotland and a majority of SNP seats in the parliament in England, Labour appears to have altered its view. I say appears, because Gordon Brown is at the helm on this and his proposals have not been published, surprise, surprise. But we all know that Dr Brown’s idea of the most powerful devolved parliament in the world was to allow us idiot Scots to change road signs within the parameters of internationally agreements.

However, Douglas Ross is against any more change, presumably because he has been told that he is by other “lightweights” with the power to award knighthoods. (Note: This may be a rather fluid situation, as those knighthood awarders are not unknown to do a complete reversal of policy within a few days.)

“For me and the Scottish Conservatives, there is a line in the sand,” he said. (Actually quite amusing, since lines in sand are usually washed away with the changing tide… twice a day. Very appropriate to his English masters’ MO.)

“We absolutely want to ensure that Holyrood works to its maximum, delivers for people and communities across Scotland with the potential it has as one of the most powerful devolved administrations anywhere in the world. (I see they are still lying about that. Honestly, have they never been farther than Calais? They need to try to see the world a bit more)

“But Labour’s plans to add more and more powers is simply the wrong route to take and the Scottish Conservatives are saying let’s use these powers, let’s use the powers we have right now, a line in the sand, no further powers need to be devolved. We just need to get the Government working properly and getting the right priorities.” (Seems to be spluttering out of control there, but I assume he means Tory/Fascist priorities which appear to change on a daily basis and which are perhaps suited to England, but not to Scotland.)

The “line in the sand” remark echoed the same statement by ex Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson, who u-turned by supporting extra powers after the independence referendum. (Actually the Noble and Gallant, not to mention Right Honorable Lady U-turned because Cameron U-turned just before the referendum when he thought he was going to lose.)

Ross added: “If Labour think the answer to the problems of the Nationalists wanting to divide us all over again is simply devolve more powers then they have got that completely wrong”. (Given that the Tories are the most divided party in the UK, possibly Europe, he would know about divisions but might be well advised to steer clear of that word in public.)

Incidentally, Ross initially backed the chancellor’s budget tax cuts, as did his finance spokeswoman, and now backs the chancellors U-turn. So basically he’s a lightweight to whom they give a script to and and instruct him to read it. He actually believes in nothing.

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Thanks to Gerry for sharing his letter.

Also thanks to the Tories for being so utterly contemptibly pathetic and, whilst causing much pain to many people, also giving us a bit of a laugh at their incredible ineptitude.

JUST FOR A LAUGH

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Sam Freedman

However bad your day has been you are not the person trying to write Truss’s conference speech.

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Said Mars when entangled with Venus:

‘I think there is something between us,

And the sound in my ears

Of Olympian jeers

Suggests that the blighters have seen us!’

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Fellow walks into a pub. The Daily Special is chalked on a blackboard. “A pie, a pint and a kind word of advice – £5.”

It’s a bargain. He orders the Daily Special. A pint of beer in one hand and a pie in the other, he asks the barman: “What’s the kind word?”

The barman:. “Wouldn’t eat that pie if I were you.”

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We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.

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We had a power outage … my PC, laptop, TV, DVD, iPad and music system were shut down.

My phone battery was flat.  I couldn’t recharge.

It was raining so I couldn’t play golf. I couldn’t make coffee.

No microwave so no popcorn.

So I talked with my wife for a few hours.

She seems a nice person.

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The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. – Joe Ancis

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Munguin thanks: AndiMac, John, Erik, Graham, Brenda and TM.

This is an afterthought that I saw from Hetty on Twitter tonight, explaining Trickle Down.

And I thought this was good too:

Tories reintroduce social distancing at their conference.

SOPPY SUNDAY

1. Morning all. As you can see, I’m quite busy at the moment. But feel free to look around, enjoy the scenery and talk to the animals.
2. Perfect sky.
3. Southern green stink bug (Nezara viridula). Maybe one of the lesser welcome animals in Srem, who decided to call in for the evening drinks session, known to us all now as KKK. It seems John is an easy tap for a drink.
4. Where was Dave?
5. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t get up. I’ve only just got through with being born…
6. Here’s a wee present for you…
7. They can’t half build bridges in Norway.
8. I’m a Margay, but you can call me Mar.
9. Can I just point out to Munguin that we charge a fee for sitting for pictures?
10. Another Bulgarian cat, this time from Yambol.
11. The handydog about the house: just what Munguin was looking for.
12. It’s that time again.
13. If, at first, you thought it was a wicker chair, think on. It is a spider’s web, caught rather neatly by Kay.
14. Rescue is at hand as cousin saves cousin from a rather muddy looking river.
15. If you want to know about my secret life… it’s all here. No, Munguin, it’s not x-rated…although!!!
16. I’m endangered. Can you believe something as beautiful as me is in danger of disappearing?
17. Lava Canyon, Washington State.
18. I’ve got a poor leg! Send treats, please.
19. I’m a Cassowary, but you can call me Cass…just not Mama Cass.
20. Gotta feed the animals. That’s my job around here…
21. Can you believe it? I did “he haw” and I got lifted by the Poileas.
22. You heard of Café René, well this is Café Renard!!
23. And where, I’d like to know, is Café Chat?
24. Kuala Lumpur.
25. Kids, huh? What can you do with them? I told him to combe his hair but did he listen?

So thank you to Quokka, Kay (and Martin), Dave and John.

Bonus pic:

Oooops. Not even the cat likes her. I feel sorry for the Danish Prime Minister.

And, John just sent me this. Another pic of the Yambol kitten:

Awwwww.
If anyone is interested in my opinion, there are far far too many cats in today’s Soppy Sunday and a lack of nice, handsome, sweet, adorable dogs like moi. Get it sorted Tristan, or you’ll be reported to Munguin and you’ll be peeling tatties all next week!

LET ME JUST HAVER A LOAD OF TORY NONSENSE TO YOU FOR A MOMENT

OH, THAT IS VERY SERIOUS
PITY IT’S NOT STRICTLY TRUE

FRASER OF ALLANDER.
IF ONLY I’D KNOWN.
Brenda just sent me this. Spot on.

WE NEED A MIDWEEK LAUGH

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11. Sorry for the poor blighters who work for him (but then I was always sorry for them), but absolutely delighted for him. He can always get a job at Tesco.
12. Mower Model 2023. No electricity. No petrol.
13. Cats, huh?
14. Havering old bat. I’m amazed Truss hasn’t got her in the cabinet.
15. I say, is McMunguin about?

IS LABOUR SAYING THE UK IS NO LONGER A DEMOCRACY?

So, Mr Murray, we had a referendum on Scottish Independence in 2014.

You guys, UKOK, or Better Together, won. By fair means or foul. I mean although you did promise all manner of goodies for a Scotland that was staying in the UK, pretty much nothing was delivered.

Your ex-boss, Gordon Brown promised that if we voted “No” we could be a federal state within two years. That would have been by 2016.

Of course, at the time of that promise Gordon Brown was a mere backbench opposition MP with no power to do anything at all, but he had been asked to help out David Cameron by appealing to Scottish voters, whom Mr Cameron admitted (correctly), didn’t much care for him. He was the immediate past PM. People thought his word carried authority.

And so people took Dr Brown at his word.

Of course, this was as stupid of them as was his idiotic promise.

Simply, you cannot have a federal state without all parts of that state agreeing to the federal principle. Whilst it was not impossible that Northern Ireland, Wales and England would vote for that, it was by no means certain and it was definitely not in Dr Browns remit to offer it.

Instead, after The Better Together coalition of Tory and Labour got the result they wanted, the Tories ripped up the promises they had made, or had allowed to be made by Better Together, and set up a commission to look at what should be devolved. A Federal state was never mentioned again.

And in that commission with 10 members, 6 unionist and 4 independentist, the Labour Party voted for virtually no new devolution at all. Even the Conservative and Unionist party voted for more. Federalism by foot!

Home Rule supporter Kier Hardie would have been appalled.

And other things have changed too since 2014.

One of the main planks of UKOK’s argument then was that independence would mean that only the successor state would remain in the European Union. That would have been the rest of the UK.

So Scotland would be out. Alistair Darling’s Better Together repeated this over and over and told us it would be a disaster for Scotland.

It was also brought up in debate that if the Tories won the next election (and they did), Cameron had promised that there would be an In/Out referendum on EU membership. What, asked Nicola Sturgeon of the then Scottish Secretary in a tv debate, would happen if England voted Leave and Scotland voted Stay.

Alistair Liar Carmichael lived up to his reputation by telling her it wouldn’t happen.

Personally, I’m not sure that it would indeed have meant Scotland being thrown out. Fitting all the entry requirements for EU membership, I suspect that Scotland would have been able to make a pretty seamless move to membership.

The much peddled idea that Spain would veto Scotland’s entry because of the Catalunya situation, which again they dined out on, was finally revealed to be untrue… as they indicated that, as long as independence was obtained lawfully and in accordance with the British Constitution, they would have no problems at all with it.

It certainly frightened people at the time. Particularly EU immigrants who would have found themselves living in a genuinely foreign country with few rights (a bit like they did anyway under the UK).

So, now we find ourselves, 8 years later, living in a broke bin of a country. The admittedly Tory, government has trashed the economy, partly because of Brexit, partly because of Covid and partly because they are a bunch of third rate fascists being led by someone that only 10 years ago no one could ever have imagined holding a post in government, never mind prime minister.

And, in a union of equals, we find that we are not equal to Northern Ireland. Firstly because they have an internationally agreed entitlement to a border referendum once every seven years and it seems that we have no rights to change our minds.

And secondly because they remain partially within the European single market, which is boosting their economy while the rest of the UK takes a nose dive.

Now you, Mr Murray, said yourself, that a democracy must allow people to change their minds.. otherwise it ceases to be a democracy.

So, are you and Sir Keir saying that under Labour, Britain would not be a democracy?

RANDOM THOUGHTS

The Earl Marshall, that’s the prat in fancy dress (above) was caught driving while using his phone. A lawyer for the duke, who claims to be a descendant of Queen Elizabeth I (the virgin queen???) and believed to be worth £100m, told magistrates on Monday that losing his licence would lead to “exceptional hardship”. Awwww.

He has just organised the funeral of the queen, and is now charged with organising the crowing of prince Grumpy Face, and said it would be very hard for him to do that without a licence. Encore Awwww!

Even though the case was heard in private (why?), the judge obviously didn’t give a damn. Six months ban. Ha ha ha!

Munguin suggests that the pompous self-important old fool should do what Munguin does and get himself a chauffeur. On £100 million, and with the latest budget bringing in an estimated extra £55,000 a year, that shouldn’t be beyond even his blue-blood-impaired intellect.

Either that or don’t bother crowning big ears. Who actually cares?

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Trickle Down

I wonder what Jacob Rees Mogg has to say to that.
Yup!

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So 1922 in 2022.

It seems that poor old Graham Brady never gets much of a break from Tories being discontent with their prime minister (do you wonder?). Having had to deal with letters about Johnson, it seems that already, within a couple of weeks of her appointment, letters are going in to the 1922 committee, calling for Truss to resign.

Embarrassing much?

To make it worse, Truss has just announced that she intends (as Dave mentioned yesterday) to increase immigration… No, really!

The vote for Brexit was, I imagine, largely won in England, on the promise that “foreigners won’t be able to come here and take our jobs, places in our schools and hospitals or claim our benefits and speak foreign in our shops”.

I seriously doubt that anyone thought much about the freedom of movement of finance, services or goods. It was, I suspect, “them foreigners” that caused the problems for vast numbers of English, despite the rather obvious need that they had for them.

Nigel Farage and the hard right wing press hate foreigners and spared no effort to do them down during the campaign.

The Mail, Express, obsessed with foreigners, royals, “celebrities”.

Unfortunately the four freedoms come as a block. Get rid of one, you get rid of them all. So we’re left with no freedoms.

Also unfortunately, Britain needed these people to work in our hospitals, care homes, farms, shops and so on.

So now dumb Truss will be issuing visas for people to come and work in the UK (if anyone is desperate enough to do so). Only this time they won’t be Europeans. And, I’d make a guess that if there’s one thing the hard right hates more that European immigrants, it’s African and Asian immigrants.

But hey, them’s the breaks when you talk on a job that is 25 levels above your competence.

Also, unfortunately, her Home Secretary, the incredibly unpleasant Braverman, who seems to hate absolutely everyone with passion, but most especially foreigners, disagrees.

Resignation of Braverman soon? Or will Truss be the first to go?

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JUST FOR A LAUGH

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“Last night I had Kasparov over for dinner.”

“Cool! And how was it?”

“It was nice and all, but we had to eat a cold meal.”

“Why’s that?”

“We had a chequered tablecloth and it took him an hour just to pass me the salt.”

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Why do the French eat snails? 

They don’t like fast food.

*****

The other day I rode my bike to the liquor store. I bought a bottle of scotch and put it in the carrier basket. Then I thought: ‘What if I fall off? The bottle will break.’ So I finished the bottle before riding home. Just as well. I fell off seven times before I got home.

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DON’T be worried about your smartphone or TV spying on you … your vacuum cleaner has been gathering dirt on you for years.

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All generalisations are dangerous, even this one. – Alexandre Dumas

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Munguin’s thanks to Andi, Brenda, John, Erik, Jim, TM, Graham.