RANDOM THOUGHTS

£JOHN
John Redwood‏ @johnredwood

Once out of the EU Customs Union the UK could unilaterally cut all tariffs on products we don’t grow for ourselves or could offer to do so in return for some free trade response from those who would benefit. Inside, we can’t do this as the others don’t agree with this strategy.

Yes, that would all be fine, Mr Redwood, but it would involve leaving the World Trade Organisation too. You did know that, didn’t you?

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It appears that Fluffy Muddle wasn’t available for an interview this morning on Radio Scotland to talk about the EU withdrawal economic impact assessments from the British government, y’know, the ones that they had and didn’t have and then had again (or something).

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I suspect he must have been on early morning tea duties at Downing Street (tea tray at 6 am, tea, milk, 2 digestives, open curtains). But I wonder where his blue-blooded aristocratic assistant was. Don’t we pay him to be available for occasions on which the Rt Hon blokey is otherwise engaged in beard cleaning …or domestic duties… or whatever it is he does?

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And what about the Colonel, who assured us she attends British Cabinet meetings? Was she on manoeuvres somewhere with her rusty troops?

Why does no one want to talk about this stuff?

Murdo, oh Murdo????

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A Fife farmer has had to let crops die in the fields because he can’t get anyone to pick them since so many Europeans have left for home, or somewhere else in the union with more stability.

This is before we have actually left Europe.

It is a bit worrying that we will be bringing back control only to find that it’s all got out of control.

Some quote the unemployment figures and ask why we are so short of people when so many are unemployed. However, government figures (1.4 million) show an unemployment rate of 4.2%, which by common consent, is considered to be more or less full employment.

A substantial section of this is made up of people simply between jobs. Starting a new job in a few weeks but left the present one and needing “NI stamps”. After a few weeks they sign off to be replaced by others in the same situation.

This figure also includes the ever-growing number of people who are over 50 and over 60 (and unless you’ve been used to outdoor, hard physical work all your life it’s unlikely [not impossible] you’d be able to start …and be effective… in that kind of work at that time of life).

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Clearly, some older people have no problems landing a job.

 

Having worked in the employment business, I can assure you that it is harder for older folk to get into work. If it’s a physical job, employers are looking for younger people who will still be standing at the end of a hard 8-hour shift. If it’s office work, employers are looking for people whose IT skills are up to the lastest mark. In hospitality and retail, they tend to be overlooked too. When did you last see a barista in Costa Coffee, or an assistant in Next with grey hair

It also includes people who have disabilities but who are able to work if someone gives them the chance, but for some of whom a job bent over in muddy field wouldn’t be appropriate, or even possible.

Unemployment figures also include those who, for other reasons, are pretty much unemployable. (Michael Something of the Night Howard’s “prison works” may have been a cool slogan for the blue rinses and retired colonels, but the truth is it does damage people’s employment prospects in the future, one reason that Scotland’s government has tried to reduce the number of people incarcerated).

Then there are those who have drink and drug issues which render them unemployable. Not a small number.

So if, in the end, 2 million of the 3 million Europeans do leave, from what pool of labour will we recruit?

We need to remember too, that farm labour is a tiny part our problems. Perhaps even more important are the care staff for our old people’s homes, the highly trained medical staff that work in the NHS, doctors, nurses, radiologists, physios, etc, etc.

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Munguin4

Oh and, I won’t tell you again…

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IT’S COSY BEING PART OF OUR UNITED KINGDOM AND HAVING THEIR BROAD SHOULDERS TO RELY ON. NOT

May even ignores Scottish Tories.

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It seems to me that Colonel Davidson’s glory days were short lived. When the Tories became the opposition in Scotland and then won seats in the UK elections, Ruth was the all conquering hero; the golden girl. She could do no wrong.

Then came the deal with Foster. 

Who knows if buoyed by all her successes (and I know that not only didn’t she win anything, in fact, she trailed a dismal second to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in both Edinburgh and London, but it was, without doubt, considerable progress), perhaps she became a bit cheeky with May. It’s hard not to get above yourself when you’ve been relatively successful and your smart ass boss has just made a monumental idiot of hersel;f.

 

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The difference between someone who got £1b and someone who was told to make the tea.

 

When May had to bribe Foster to the tune of between £1 billion and £1.5 billion to keep herself in power, after her disastrous attempt to show Europe just how strong, stable and red, white and blue she was, there is no doubt that Colonel Davidson was not best pleased.

Davidson made the clear to May, quite rightly, that she wouldn’t tolerate any of the DUP’s loonie right wing, orange, religious claptrap bigotry, and she did it very publicly. Although to be fair there has yet to be any stoning of gays, or beheading those who have had abortions since the DUP have been keeping the Tories in power (so Ruth may have been heeded) it seems that her star has been somewhat diminished.

And now  May’s stuttering, stumbling toady second in command has made it clear that he (read May) doesn’t give a fig what the rt honourable and gallant lady  thinks about desperately needed immigration to Scotland, the UK government is going to press ahead with what England wants.

In the meantime, Mundell made it clear that he wouldn’t allow Northern Ireland to get a shedload of dosh while Scotland got nothing, shortly after which he appeared to suffer from some sort of amnesia on the subject. Arlene got loads of money and an RAF flight home to Belfast, while Nicola Sturgeon was told to use the tradesman’s entrance when she called, and speak to the parlour maid.

 

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Viking Gove

 

I suppose it would be fair to say that a number of the Tory MPs elected in Scotland were thus chosen because of the Tory hard line on the EU. North East Fishing communities have long considered that the EU quota system to have been responsible for a decline in their living standards. Leaving the EU and getting them their fishing rights back was Tory policy.

Note the tense of the verb.

Past.

 

Conservative Party Conference 2014
I know, there is absolutely no need for a second picture of Gove, but who knows, you’re maybe bothered with mice in the house, and printing out one of these pictures should rid you of them pretty much instantaneously. No, it’s fine… Don’t thank me.

 

Because, a couple of weeks ago, Wee Govey took himself off to Denmark to reassure the Danes that, of course, they would be able to fish in Scottish waters after the UK left Europe. (Having your cod and eating it?) There was some notion that we actually couldn’t cope with all these fish on our own. Too wee, too poor and too stupid again, I guess

So, yes, the Tories are certainly fighting hard… it’s just that it’s with each other, and not for Scotland.

OH, WHAT A FLUFFY MUDDLE…

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Munguin is perplexed.

On Sunday, in the Tory “Sunday Post” it was reported:

DAVID Mundell has promised Scotland will get a funding windfall if any extra cash goes to Northern Ireland as a result of the Tories striking a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party.

The Scottish Secretary said he’d block any “backdoor funding” for Northern Ireland if it meant the other devolved nations missing out.

Today Colonel Davidson, who may be Mundell’s boss, or not, as the case may be, said the opposite.

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So, which is it?

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As far as we can make out both Fluffy and the Colonel are members of the UK Cabinet in England. So who has Mayhem’s ear? Both? Either? Neither?

Who speaks with authority?

What is going to happen?

Surely if Mr Brokenshire* is to get a billion pounds for the province from some serious shaking of that magic money tree which, only a few weeks ago didn’t exist, then surely England, Scotland and Wales should be getting some money in proportion to their populations.

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After all, it’s not just Northern Ireland’s health service that is falling to pieces. It’s not just their nurses that have had a reduction in pay in real terms since 2010.

So, we know this is not a well put together government. We know that they are at daggers drawn. We know they pretty much loathe their useless leader. What we don;t know is if this bribe to the troglodyte party has consequential or not.

Any chance we can get that clarified?

Theresa May to a nurse who hasn’t had a pay rise in 8yrs: “there’s no magic money tree” May to DUP: Here’s £1.5 billion so I can keep my job.

*I say ‘Mr Brokenshire’ because, as far as I know, he is still in charge of the day to day running of Northern Ireland since Arlene Foster brought down the government there because she refused to stand down as first minister while she  was investigated for corruption or incompetence over her wood burning scheme which cost Northern Ireland nearly half a billion pounds. This refusal precipitated the resignation of the then Deputy First Minister, and the subsequent inevitable collapse of the power-sharing government.