WHY DON’T THEY EVER TELL THE TRUTH?

OK, here’s the deal guys. The internet never forgets. Twitter never forgets. You can take things down, but they’ll appear somewhere else.

You guys are living in the past. When you say “I never said that; it’s fake news” I could pretty well guarantee it, someone will have it on record. And then you’ll look even stupider than you did before. These Dutch reporters simply want to know where exactly in their small country politicians and cars are being burned.

And if you are the Ambassador to The Netherlands, you should probably learn that when journalists ask legitimate questions, you have to answer them.  It’s the way things work there.

So, get with today, people. Sadly for you, this is not 1980.

*************

From today we’re banning hidden charges for paying with your credit or debit card – a move that will help millions of people avoid rip-off fees when spending their hard-earned money.

No, you haven’t and, no, you’re not. The EU is banning credit card charges. You are still in the EU so we get the benefits of their legislation.

Refreshing to see so many embracing the benefits of EU legislation! The ban on irritating credit card surcharges applies today – good news for consumers across the EU.

🇪🇺

Please stop treating us as if we just graduated from kindergarten!

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SOPPY SUNDAY

 

n mikko
Morning, I’ve been hanging around for ages waiting for you. You need to get up earlier. I hope you can all see the pictures this week.
n monschau germany
Moncheau, Germany.
n question
Anyone know what these are?
n road jam
A traffic jam in one of these countries that President Pinhead doesn’t like.
n robbie
I’ve got my Robin back. He seems to know when I go into the back garden and heads for the tree just above where he knows the fat and the mealworms will be. 
n silver lake ca
Silver Lake, California.
n baby blue heron
This baby Blue Heron clearly wants something to eat.
N Bad dog
Sounds like my kinda dog.
n snow dog
No, silly. I’m a dog, I don’t feel the cold…well, not when I’m playing.
n yosemite
This Yosemite must be the most amazing place. Every week we seem to have another stunning picture.
n yemen
Yemen.
n paris
One of the quaint back streets running down from the back of Basilique du Sacré Coeur to the Blvd de Clichy. Interestingly (we were talking about it in Saturday’s post) these street have granite setts.
n wildcats
Scottish Wild Cat, becoming endangered.
n Svartifoss, Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Svartifoss, Iceland.
n tortoise
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, oh that was a good one.
n the unknown bureaucrat reyk
Statue of the Unknown Bureaucrat, Reykjavik .
n bintan island indonesia
Bintan Island, Indonesia.
n hedge
Another species becoming endangered. What are we doing to the planet?
n chicks
Won’t be long now until we’ll be seeing this sight on ponds over the country.
n orang
OK, this little one has been up long enough, showing you lot round Soppy Sunday. Time for a nap. See you all next week.

 

Don’t we deserve a little more than these idiots?

Goodness, another one to join Fluffy in either the “thick as a brick” or “out and out liar” categories of politician.

For our readers in England:

Recently promoted Dominic Rabb told “Question Time” that there were more beds than ever in the NHS.

!dominic-raab

He said there was “more money than ever”, adding: “We’ve got more beds, more doctors, more flu vaccines available than ever before.”

The trouble is that he too, was either ill-informed, or lying. As the Mirror’s report says, NHSE’s own figures show that there are  17,000 fewer beds than in 2010.

Why is the UK so badly served by liars and fools? Are they trying to compete with Donald Trump?

CARRY ON, DICK

ar

Erm, nice scarf.

The hapless Richard Leonard, seemingly always trying to get one over on the SNP, took to Twitter to elicit stories about NHSS.

The NHS crisis dominated today, I would like to hear your stories: good, bad or indifferent of the experience you, or a loved one, had with the NHS over winter.

Good bad or indifferent, he said, but it seemed to me that he was probably looking for bad stories, the better to beat Nicola Sturgeon around the head with.

And he got lots of comments.

But, as they say, one should always be a little careful what one wishes for. Because his very first reply was from Joe Kane:

Replying to 

I’ve a real shocker for you Richard. It’s difficult to imagine such exploitation in a modern health service, but Scottish Labour used the to line the pockets of rich tory shareholders. I’m sure you’ll mention it at the next

ar2
Ewww, er, Matron!

One of the reasons that the health service in our country is short of money is that we are paying for the hideously expensive PFI contracts signed by his predecessors. Joe pointed this out, as did several other people.

Wishaw hospital, for example, would have cost around £100 million bought and paid for, but thanks to Labour’s financing schemes, it will cost £800 million. And who is pocketing the £700 million extra?

These contracts were repeated all over the country, and not just for NHSS facilities. (We know about the PFI schools so badly built that they fell down!)

Richard wasn’t any luckier with his second respondent.

Replying to 

We had a terrible time in A&E in October with my sister’s knee injury, after the initial triage we waited SEVEN hours, although the target is to be seen within 4. She was in a lot of pain, it was awful. This was in Wales. You’re lucky that you live in Scotland.

He must have been salivating as he read the first couple of lines. Then smack! The punchline hit him The guy who was talking about poor treatment was actually from Wales, and he was referring to treatment his sister received at the hands of  NHSW.
Of course, there were good news stories too. 
£1
Replying to 

Virus affected my asthma, got emergency appointment with GP same day. Antibiotics and referral for X-ray. Seen at Wishaw General within 1/2 hour. Back to GP for results the next week. Great service, but hey, that’s not what you’re want to hear, is it Richard?

No, probably not, but he did ask!

Replying to 

Cardiology appt today 11:30am seen immediately and out 15 mins later ,Dr couldn’t have been better

And…

Replying to 

Phoned surgery AM, got appoint AM, seen by Doctor on time, walked to Chemist got my FREE prescription all before 11.30am. Excellent Service, love my Scottish NHS.

And…
Replying to 

Three family experiences in last three weeks. One at A&E. all excellent experiences. I hope you read this out at FMQs.

Replying to 

Vascular ward at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary absolutely first class over winter including Christmas Day. Staff from all over the world contributing. I wish your party would stand up for them or there will be a real crisis.

Or…

Called GP first thing, hurt knee, couldn’t walk. Was collected that afternoon, seen, diagnosed and offered to be taken home, via chemist (for my free prescription). 5⭐️

In the hashtag, as far as I read down, I couldn’t find one critical comment of NHSS.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have its faults and that there won;t be some negative comments as the day goes on. It would be weird if there were not.

Indeed the FM has accepted and apologised for delays.

My own family’s experience this winter has been, as most of you will know, the absolutely first class treatment my mother received at Ninewells in Dundee. Also, another family member had a baby in the same hospital just after Christmas, and again they reported nothing but total satisfaction with the way they were treated at the time and in the aftermath.

The UK’s health services are short of cash and they are short of staff. Scotland’s may be less so than the others, but it is a UK wide issue.

As well as the massive repayments of PFI debt that Mr Leonard’s party left us with, as a union we spend a good deal less than we should on health.

!NS

I remember somewhere back in the early part of this century, that Tony Blair promised to bring UK spending on health, as a percentage of GDP, up to the EU average. (I thought it strange, given how superior Britain thinks itself, that it wasn’t the other way round.)

Whilst progress has been made, we still fall behind most other G7 countries and much of the EU.

Brexit, as in so many other areas, must take some responsibility here too. European doctors, nurses and other staff are unsure of their careers in the UK. Recruitment from the 27 is sharply down and some people are returning home as they doubt the stability of their future here. They may be allowed to stay after Brexit, but as aliens, with no rights. People don’t want to do that on a long-term basis, and certainly not as they settle down, buy houses and have children.

An ageing population means that there is more need for hospital treatment, and people may need to stay longer in hospital.  Sad truth is it takes longer for older pople to recover than for younger. This was something which could easily have been planned for. All these older people didn’t suddenly appear out of the blue, after all.

Of course, throughout the UK, this winter has seen a particularly virulent flu virus which has doubled the numbers of people requiring beds.

No one pretends that it’s easy to run a health service. Not here, not in England or Northern Ireland, Wales or indeed anywhere else. But with limited funds, Scotland is doing better than most, and certainly all the other UK health services.

I suspect that Richard Leonard wanted to pick some choice complaints for next week’s First Minister’s Questions and for any interviews he might be able to give to the Press or TV in the meantime. And he may yet get some.

But I trust that any comments he makes in the chamber next Thursday will reflect the stories, good and bad, he is getting about the current situation, along with criticism of the utter waste of money that was and still is, PFI.

Feel free to share your stories, good or bad, with Mr Leonard, or with Munguin.

IT SEEMS TO GO WITH THE JOB

Possibility 1:  He’s not very bright and he isn’t on top of his brief. He wasn’t engaged when Dr Brown was making these statements. No one told him what was going on. He was, after all, only Minister of State at the Scottish Office at the time.

Possibility 2: He’s a liar. And, moreover, he is, as Scottish Secretary (having been promoted due to Alistair L Carmichael’s departure from government [L is for Liar by the way]) lying to parliament and to the Speaker, as well as to us plebs.

++++++++++

On an entirely separate point, I’m wondering what his colleague (the lady sitting next to him) came as. 

I’m a great believer in equality. Unlike the Scottish Labour Equalities spokesperson, Elaine Smith, I back it all the way. I’m an anti-discrimination kind of person.

a Es
Elaine Smith

I’ve been backing Carrie Gracie in her row with the BBC. Remuneration, I reckon, should be based on the difficulty of the job, not on the gender, colour, religion or sexuality of the incumbent. And given what a hard job she had, she probably should have been earing a good deal more than her colleagues in “easier” places in the world. Just for a start, she is fluent in Cantonese, which I suspect her counter[part in the USA is not.

And I don’t think it is ‘political correctness’ to have the views of Black, Asian, White, LGBTQ, male, female, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. people heard in parliament, or in the cabinet. I don’t think there should be quotas but I think we need a parliament that reflects life in Scotland (or the UK).

I also don’t think that clothes are that important. As long as they are clean, keep you warm and cover your private bits, I can’t see that it makes a lot of difference if MPs wear jeans and t-shirts.

It’s what they do, not what they wear, that really matters. (I mean, I’d trade Fluffy in his expensive suit, for a SoS that cared about Scotland, no matter what they wore.)

However, we are where we are, and what’s good for one is good for another, and I was just wondering what the Speaker would say if a man turned up to sit on the front bench wearing a stripy t-shirt.

Seriously, if there is a dress code for men (and there is), there should be a dress code for women.

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