Now, this is a bit of a surprise!

I’m not Neil’s biggest fan, but this is excellent.

PS: I’ve just heard that Downing Street (or rather the inhabitant thereof) have responded, saying that people are sick of hearing aggressive interviews with politicians.

That should keep the peasants quiet. Yeah right!

OH DEAR, OH DEAR, OH BLOODY DEAR

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If you want Brexit cancelled, they said…vote Liberal Democrats, they said.

We will simply cancel it.

No second referendum, no ifs, no buts, die in a ditc… oh no, wait, that was… this melon!

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I always thought,  much though I’d like to remain in the EU, that as a policy, it was not particularly ‘liberal’ nor was it even slightly ‘democratic’ to reverse, without consultation, that which a narrow majority of the British people had voted for in a referendum (even one which had involved a certain amount of dubious online activity and shed loads of “dark money”.

And it seems that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t think much of the policy, because the LibDems have been tanking in the polls, falling in YouGov from 23% to 13% in 6 weeks.

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So today, they sent out Layla Moran (me neither… and surely a policy change this important deserved Swinson herself to be publicly eating crow) to tell BBC Breakfast that the party had reverted to Plan A and that Plan B was only in operation as long as Jo Swinson won the party a majority and the Liberal Democrats formed the next government… She appeared to agree that that was (now) highly unlikely! (Personally, I thought it was always highly unlikely to the point of being farcical.)

Now, it seems, this week’s policy is to have a second referendum.

It brings to mind the pledge in their 2010 manifesto to maintain university student fees at £3,000 pa in England and Wales and to fight for a fairer alternative.

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(You may recall that the “fairer alternative” turned out to be increasing the fees to £9,000!)

RANDOM THOUGHTS

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Chris Davies, you might remember, was recalled by his constituents in Brecon and Radnorshire after being convicted of fraud in relation to parliamentary expenses.

Clearly having more front than Rothsay, he stood in the by-election that followed… and lost.

It seems, though, that you can’t keep a bad man down, and on November 11 we discovered that he had been selected to stand for the Tories in the constituency of Ynys Môn (one of the seats where the Liberal Dems and Greens have stood down).

However, today we discovered that he has decided (or it has been decided for him) that he will, in fact, not be standing after all.

I’m not sure about this, but I can’t remember another election where so many people have been obliged to stand down from candidacy.

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It will come as no real surprise to anyone that Daily Telegraph columnist and ex-New Labour MP (and one-time candidate for the leadership of the Scottish branch office), Tom Harris, is voting Tory in this election. I’m not sure I’d thank him for advertising it if I were the Tories. He’s pretty well forgotten or disliked around these parts.

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The floods in Northern and Midland England are horrific. Initially, of course, the prime minister said that there was no emergency, presumably because neither Downing Street nor Chequer found itself under water.

However, in the last few days, it appears that someone in his entourage who has remembered that there is an election in the offing, has decided that it is, indeed, a national emergency deserving of a COBRA meeting.  Johnson was dispatched to do some campaigning in the areas concerned complete with wellies and a bucker and mop.

He’d have done better to stay in his palatial surroundings, dry and safe from getting any more rotten because the reception he got was far from what he would have liked. He’s really not very good with ordinary people.

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I read this morning that the SNP would consider court action if, after a successful election campaign and a majority of SNP MPs, they were still refused a Section 30 Order by Johnson.

As Doctor Paul Monaghan points out, being found against by the courts would be a huge risk for Johnson to take.

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Awwww…. lead us don’t leave us, eh?

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Never mind, think of all the teacakes they’ll be exporting.

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jokeref

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IT’S NOT GETTING ANY BETTER

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So the day got off badly for Labour with their deputy leader, Tom Watson, resigning. Despite the pleasant exchange of letters between Jeremy Corbyn and him, there was definitely an undertone. It was an odd time for Watson to choose to resign, right at the beginning of the campaign.

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Then things went downhill, fast. Ian Austin, an ex-Labour minister, urged people to vote Tory. Then his ex-colleague John Woodcock joined in, saying that Corbyn must never be allowed to get his hands on power. Good day’s work. (NB It is fair to say that Ian Austin left the Labour Party some months ago to become an Independent and, since leaving Labour, the Tory Party have appointed him as an Envoy to Israel.

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In Scotland, Labour sacked their candidate for Edinburgh South West, Frances Carmel, Hoole. Her sacking appears to be related to a Twitter comment (which I have not seen and which is no longer extant, but it involved spraying bleach, for heaven’s sake) about the SNP’s Joanna Cherry, QC.

Hoole apologised and put up this tweet:

I’ve removed the meme, I didn’t think when I posted it. I apologise to her. I’m lucky to have never had threats like her and didn’t consider it properly. I’ve removed threads so people don’t have to read the transphobic hate attached. 

It doesn’t sound overly apologetic to me, and she has been complaining about the backlash. Just how uncivilised has politics become?

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Meanwhile, elsewhere in Scotland, Johnson turned up at the back door and gave an absolute pledge that he would never allow a second referendum in Scotland. You remember he’s awfully good at giving absolute pledges. Do or die, come what may, no ifs and no buts, die in a ditch, blah, blah, blah

So let’s get prepared.

Incidentally, I’m not certain he met any ordinary members of the public. Tory leaders tend to come to Scotland and be welcomed in large unionist companies where the plebians are told to treat them with the utmost respect… or else.

Paul Brand, of ITV told us that he’d been “whiskey tasting”.

Oh well!

He’s gone off to Northern Ireland now, taking the odour of death in a ditch with him.

As Nicola said in parliament today… Haste ye back!

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Gavin Williamson, the idiot’s idiot.

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Absolutely loved this

Sarah Ludford 

Jeremy Hunt on #Peston excuses Johnson’s inflammatory language because ‘that’s Boris’. Why on earth should this charlatan get a free pass just because he’s a spoiled brat?

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MORE PANTO FROM THE TORIES, STARRING MATT HANCOCK AS THE FAIRY GODMOTHER (9 BILLION MORE POLICE) AND DITCHY AS GOLDIELOCKS THE PORRIDGE STEALER

What does Boris mean by this?

Of the four NHS services in the UK, the Scottish one performs best. So what is he saying?

Is he suggesting that the SNHS, devolved by referendum in the 1990s should be taken back into UK hands and run by the Scotland Office and the largely English House of Commons?

Well, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility. After all, we recently pointed out several other responsibilities that have been repatriated quietly by London despite a referendum which was (to Blair’s credit) very clear about what was devolved and what was not.

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Many of these items may be important in the trade talks to come, at least some with bigger and more powerful economies such as India, Japan and the USA.

So too will be the supply of drugs from US Pharmaceuticals (at vastly inflated costs compared with current pricing), about which US officials have been having a series of meetings with UK authorities recently, despite no one bothering to tell the Secretary of State for the English Health Service…well, that’s what he says anyway. Well, when I say “he says”, I really mean “he splutters incoherently which trotting out trite sound bites”

From all that I read, the health service in England is in a parlous state. They are short of ten thousand doctors and over forty thousand nurses. A friend of mine waited three months for a GP appointment in London. There is almost no mental health care and hospital beds are blocked, sometimes for a year or more, by elderly people too ill to go home alone, but too well to be in hospital.

Years of leaving things in the hands of Jeremy Hunt has not been kind to the service, and of course many nurses and doctors (not to mention radiologists, physios and care workers from elsewhere in Europe have left for pastures new, thanks to their madcap Brexit. (Hunt said at the Tory Party Conference in 2016 that as soon as he had trained up suitable staff he would be able to get rid of foreign doctors and nurses… and clearly, some of these foreign staff thought they should pre-empt that sacking for not being English, and do the repatriation at their own speed!)

So I suspect that forcing the English Health Service on us will go down like a stone. Add to that the increased cost of the drugs and it becomes even more unappealing.

The only alternative interpretation I can take from the statement that Ditchy made there, is that he hopes that under the tender care of Jackass Carlot, the Tories in Scotland will become the government and  take the SNHS under their wings, so they can make the same sort of job of it as Hunt and Hancock have done in England.

Heaven help us.

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Just for a laugh, I see they have sent Hancock, who isn’t perhaps their stupidest minister, but not far from it, out to the studios today and here he is answering questions about police in England (also in a parlous situation thanks to the Tories’ cuts).

I know that their ministers are by and large 4th rate, but there just has to be someone a bit more competent than this berk, surely???

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RANDOM THOUGHTS

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jake

So, if there is no Conservative Party left on November 1, why are they so keen to have a General Election in December?

I mean, if the Tories cease to exist, The Brexit party and Labour will carve up England between them (well OK, the LibDems may pick up a few seats too even if their leader sounds like she comes from South Africa! (I mean what IS that accent?)

Also, Boris Johnson, intellect and breadth… in one sentence? Surely not.

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cummings

Dominic, on the side of the downtrodden workers, swamped with nasty foreign regulations and court judgments and done out of employment by EU workers. Just as well we voted for him, eh?

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Well, Richard, what do you reckon? Will you call for these things to be devolved?

Then, if it went wrong, you could reasonably blame the Scottish government. As it is the shortcomings are firmly in the court of your beloved Tory UK. And honestly, even with the world’s second most chaotic government, Labout is still a country mile behind Boris “the ditch” Johnson.

For those on Twitter, give Sarah a follow. Great posts.

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alistqair union jack

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Ooooops! As Mr Grayson would have it… Shut that door!

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Now, I’m no apologist for Corbyn, but it’s a bit of a cheek that the Tory Daily Mail on Sunday highlights a bloke taking 40 winks on a L-O-N-G train journey from England to Scotland. Especially when their own snooze on the front benches while he should be listening to a debate.

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EHZfur6W4AAS7b0

I hear Gove has been ranting at Corbyn about how much money the Tories have spent on the NHS. However much it is, the English NHS is short of 10,000 doctors and over 40,000 nurses, so it’s not enough.

Ho Hum…Things go better with Coke?

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OH, I DO LIKE A LITTLE HOLIDAY, DON’T YOU?

Yo, Grumpy Face. If people weren’t interested in you, you and your family would be gone, tout de suite.

Not long back from a break in France at Elton John’s estate, Harry Windsor and his Mrs and Erchie have decided to take a six-week break in the USA.

I was thinking of doing the same, but don’t worry, Danny and Jon, I won’t be visiting. Munguin said that if I paid someone to come in and look after his interests, I could have next Friday afternoon off.

Harry would like to settle in Capetown, South Africa. Exactly why he thought that would be a good idea I’m not entirely sure, given that South Africa is a republic. And he wants to build a home in Botswana, also a republic.

Given that we have to provide him, his wife and his son with 24/7 protection, has it occurred to him how much this is going to cost the UK taxpayer?

Silly question. Of course he hasn’t.

Apparently, they want somewhere where they can have complete privacy and will not be disturbed. So how about the house that the taxpayer had done up for them at Frogmore on the Windsor estate? £2.4 million of our money wasted on a home that they need to leave to get privacy?

Frogmore, apparently a cottage that we paid £2.4 million to do up for Harry.

 

What’s wrong with Frogmore? It looks not bad to me. No privacy? On a royal estate? What is it? Neighbours popping in to borrow some sugar?

But really, how many ordinary homes could we have built for the homeless with £2.4 million?

And how many people can take 6 weeks off, just because they did a whole ten-days’ work touring in Africa?

OK, let me explain it in simple terms, Harry.

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Like she was born to it. 

You and your family, by and large, are an anachronism.

In order to avoid being overthrown, as an outdated and unnecessary expense, the palace, government and press made you all into little “celebrities”, a bit like Jordan or Kim Kardashian.

Your whole raison d’être is to provide entertainment for the easily pleased. Ant and Dec should be introducing you. Like it or not, that is how you are seen (and Boris Johnson has done his part in showing that even your grandmother is no more than his puppet).

If you don’t want to be in the public eye, we’re cool with that. God knows, it’s not like there’s a dearth of royal wasters. Your holidaying cousins Beatrix and Eugenie, your idiot uncle, Air Miles (although he too is keeping a low profile of late… I wonder why) and your brother and his wife, being carried around by ‘natives’ like they were somehow better than other people and deserving of the honour.

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Hey Willy, is that a great big spider I see crawling up your trouser leg?

So if you want to get out of the limelight, mate, sod off to Capetown or Botswana or Mars for all we care, but do it on your money or your family’s money, not ours.

If not, stop whinging, stop scowling and get on with your bloody job of being a minor celeb.

As my last boss (before Munguin) was wont to say, Fit In or F*** Off.