Reflections

amay4So, it’s all kicking off this morning.

There’s a vacancy for UKIP leader if anyone wants the job. Yes, I know…again!!!

Apparently he’s going to spend more time on winning the world cup and leading a manned mission to Mars in his spare time while living in some of the houses he owns but never had time to visit.

The SNP is licking its wounds having lost some truly good people. Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson are the two most high profile casualties, but there are many others who have served us well who now find themselves seatless.

aal

It’s comforting to know that they still have more than half the seats in the London parliament. That is to say, more than the Liberals, Tories and Labour put together. And supporters need to remind themselves that there was no way ever, that they could replicate the 2015 result.

And no matter that Dugdale, Davidson and Wee Willie Rennie together with the Press and the BBC made this election about the SNP record in government in Scotland, it was not. And the SNP remains the government in our country, albeit not the one that holds the purse strings. However, no one could call it a good night for the SNP and they will need to look very carefully at how they go forward.

aj

Jeremy Corbyn surprised everyone on the campaign trail. He drew massive crowds and seems to be the person who persuaded vast numbers of young people to go out and vote (although I heard Munguin trying to take the credit for that this morning).

In a strange election, with no clear-cut result, Corbyn is the undoubted “winner”. Dugdale may try to take some credit in Scotland, but we know that she opposed her leader every step of the way and her lieutenant, Murray, actively put him down at every opportunity.

It will be interesting to see how the right wing of the Labour party deals with a strong left-of-centre leader with electoral gains on his side. Will Dugdale and her crew take note of Corbyn and cease their endless attempts to undermine him, or will they continue with their “destroy” mission?

The LibDems have in the not too distant past both refused to rule out, and ruled out working with the Tories, so probably one of these is true, if anyone cares very much.

amagic money

As for the Tories. Well, they are happy with themselves in Scotland, of course. They took some long-standing SNP seats in the North East and Mundel increased his majority, presumably because he’s done such a great job of standing up for Scots and getting us the very best possible deal from his London bosses. Or not.

Theresa May is clinging on for grim life having made a massive (but doubtless strong and stable) decision to sacrifice her slim majority to look even more strong and stable in front of all those Presidents, Chancellors and Prime Ministers, who must be chuckling a bit at how stupid she looks.

She “shook the magic money tree” that Tories can always find when they want to but the people “were clear” and said: “enough is enough”.

She has been humiliated. And more, her precious ‘united’ kingdom has been humiliated, because the EU has had to say that it is prepared to stall the beginning of the Brexit talks, scheduled to start in less than a fortnight, until Britain sorts itself out. (Note to Europe: Now is your opportunity to start reading War and Peace, like you’ve always promised yourselves.)

Orange

Will there be a coalition with the right-wing Protestant party of Northern Ireland and what price would the religious zealots demand? How will EVEL affect the arithmetic? Disgraced DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose actions caused the breakdown of the administration in Belfast, has said that she is waiting for a call.

The fact that May has said that she will not stand down means very little. It is almost certain that some of the Tories will wish to depose her. Boris Johnson was rumoured last night to be putting out feelers. She may be gone within days. (“We fight on and we fight to win”)

Unstable government at a time of crisis… and withdrawal from the EU is a time of crisis as anyone who has read anything about it knows… is unlikely to survive for a long time. So there may have to be another election within a year.

amay90

Lots of thoughts about yesterday and last night are still running around in my head and I don’t want to make this post into a second volume of War and Peace, so I’ll finish up with the thought that won’t leave me:

What an incredibly stupid, vain and incompetent woman Theresa May is, and I think I’ve realised that when she talks about being “Strong and Stable”, what she really means is “Stubborn and Awkward”.

Advertisements

And so it begins…

ac

The exit poll shows the Tories to be at 314 seats, 12 short of a majority, rather than with 12 of a majority.

So, if it is anywhere like accurate, Mayhem’s plan, like so much of the rest of her plans, has fallen on its butt.

Personally, I hope that the SNP figure is better than 34. It’s still over half the seats (30 would be a winner) but it would be a disappointing vote and mean that we would lose some really first rate MPs.

So, the night begins.

Feel free to add any comments here. I probably won’t respond to them all… (we all need to get sleep at some point) so we’ll just let it be an open forum for any points anyone wants to make.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE ELECTION

anddp

Firstly, I’d like to say that once again today we’re thinking about the victims of terrorists. This time it was in Notre Dame de Paris on the Ile de la Cité, one of my favourite places to sit and watch the world go by.

Secondly, I’d like to mention that Robert Salmond, Alex’s dad, died today at 95 years old. So we’re thinking of Alex and his family too. Sad time, but it’s worth reading what Alex says his dad would tell him now.

As the election campaign draws to a close, we find ourselves in a very different situation from that which we expected when it kicked off.

amay1

After telling us over and over that she would not call an election, Mrs Strong and Stable wobbled and called one. She was hoping, I’ve no doubt, to establish herself in her role (not with the EU, who are happy to negotiate with her based on the referendum result), but as prime minister and leader within her own party, which is split over Brexit among other things. Mr Corbyn was leader of a split party and miles behind her in the polls. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, try EVERYTHING!

It seems that being appointed by the Tory party, the least offensive of a really bad bunch, meant very little scrutiny for May, and the BBC and the Press, with the cooperation of members of the Labour Parliamentary Party,  were able to talk Mr Corbyn down.

amay0

But the scrutiny of a general election campaign, particularly one which was unnecessary, has put both the potential prime ministers under the spotlight.

In the case of Corbyn, it has given him an opportunity to display that he can be calm and measured, even under fire… and that he never loses the plot (OK, except one time on the radio where he forgot one figure). And most of his opponents in his own party have at least kept quiet over the campaign. (Well, with some exceptions.) Corbyn has shone as a potential statesman.

aian

On the other hand, Mrs May, who has been standing on a platform of “strong and stable”, has made a mess of every appearance she has made; every interview she has done, and frankly, she’s become a laughing stock. As people have said, if she can’t face Corbyn in a tv debate, how will she be able to deal with the EU representatives?

 

amay8
Theresa supposedly meeting ordinary people (who forgot to take off their rosettes) quite by chance in a café

 

I tend to think that people should be careful picking catch phrases like “strong and stable”. And before they chose them, they should be absolutely sure that they haven’t been used before. In this case, “strong as stable” was previously used by Adolf Hitler.  It would only have taken a few clicks on Google to find that out.

Now she’s come up with “Enough is Enough”. A reaction to the terror attacks that have plagued London and Manchester. Surely that would ahve applied after the first attack… Did she not think that THAT was enough? And again, it’s a massive pity (for her) that she didn’t check back to see if the phrase had been used before!

 

a enough
That was the police protesting that Theresa May had reduced their numbers too far to provide a safe service. Then she pinched their strap line in reaction to what happened, possibly as a result of these cuts…

 

Whatever the result it looks very unlikely to be one anywhere near the massive majority that she was hoping for, well counting on,  when she launched this campaign. Indeed some polls suggest she will have a smaller majority that she has now, Some say even no majority at all. Her rivals are starting to count their support!

But as all politicians say, the only poll that counts is the one on Thursday. And on Friday morning, and not before, we will know.

abrex

Finally, the 2015 (correction thanks to Hugh) result was amazing for the SNP. 56 out of 59 is an extraordinary achievement. It was never going to be able to be repeated. The Tories have been bragging that they may take 18 seats; Labour think that they might get some, as do the Liberal Democrats. SNP supporters should expect to lose some seats and should take it on the chin. When the press gleefully announce that the SNP and independence are dead in the water we’ll know perfectly well that they are not.

Scotland above all needs a strong voice in London. Brexit is about England (and Wales). They wanted it (very narrowly). We did not. But because of their population size, they will get what they want and we can go hang. We are not being listened to by London. None of the solutions proposed by teh Scottish government will be aired in the talks. No Scottish voice in negotiations. Only England’s. Scotland’s concerns NEED to be heard. We have friends in Europe, but when the negotiations start they won’t be allowed to hear what we say. We need someone like Angus to make sure that we are heard, loud and clear.

aar

In my opinion, Angus Robertson has been a superb leader in London and an excellent opponent to Mrs May, and Pete Wishart has been a staunch member for his constituency and put up a brilliant fight against the anti-democratic and expensive House of Lords. Let’s hope that they manage to keep their marginal seats. Scotland, and indeed Britain, is the better for them being there.

LIAR LIAR

Already in the lower reaches of the chart, I believe.

I wonder if the BBC will find an excuse not to play it.

You can buy it here, or here or here.

PS: I know that probably all of you look at Wings’ posts. Please, though, if you haven’t seen this one, go and look at it now and share it on social media. Everyone should see this. It is heartbreaking.

UPDATE

According to this, the recording is at number 2 in the iTunes download charts. Brilliant news, particularly as the money raised is being given to charity. Brilliant.

A MISSIVE ARRIVES AT MUNGUIN TOWERS

So, a few days ago, I got a communication from the Conservative candidate in Dundee East. Kind of her to get in touch, I thought. Dundee East’s a relatively safe SNP seat these days. Previously it was a relatively safe Labour seat. So it’s a fair guess that she’s not going to be elected. But Munguin and I had a look at it, just out of interest. We were a quite a bit surprised.

Here is the leaflet:

IMG_20170525_183820551.jpg

Now I don’t remember ever getting a Tory leaflet through my door before, so I’m wondering if they have always been in the habit of calling themselves the Conservative and Unionist Party. Of course, I know it’s their full name, but I didn’t think they used it.

Next, I note that we have a small picture of Eleanor Price, so we know who she is. Under that is a bar chart with the percentage vote taken from a Sunday Times Poll from back in April. Clearly though, that was the picture in the whole of Scotland at that time, and not in Dundee, and there is no real guarantee that the vote in YES city would reflect these figures. (Since the seat was established in the 1950s it has been either Labour or SNP. Never Tory.)

Thirdly, we see a large photograph of Ruth Davidson. Why? This is a Westminster Election. Ruth Davidson isn’t standing; she’s not going to be an MP. What has she got to do with it? The UK’s man in Scotland is supposed to be the Secretary of State, David Mundell. We pay him an exceedingly generous salary to do that job… he and some aristocrat who is allegedly his deputy. So why Ruth, who is only the leader of the Scottish Branch of the Conservative and Unionist Party.? (Is there even such a legal party as the Scottish Conservatives? I can’t find it registered with the Electoral Commission.)

Lastly, we note that Ruth has adopted the William Bain Principle. In short, regardless of what the SNP proposes, she will oppose it. So that’s a nice, grown up, constructive attitude to take, huh?

IMG_20170525_183846448

Ms Price’s priorities, if returned to Westminster would be, first and foremost to oppose the SNP’s plans (do they actually have any yet) for a referendum.

She quite reasonably wishes to support local business. To be honest, which party, save maybe the Communist Party, would not? She spoils that noble idea by bringing in the somewhat discredited and incredibly overplayed “strong and stable” catch phrase.

If she spent her time in Westminster campaigning, as she proposes here, for better educational attainment, she might find that the Speaker would ask her to be seated, and her Scottish Parliament opposite number might ask her to butt out of HER job. It’s outwith Westminster’s remit (unless she knows something more than we do about Mayhem’s intention to take back powers).

The the best of my knowledge roads and all but cross-border transport (so that wouldn’t be local) are also outwith her job description…again with the proviso that she may be privy to London’s plans to reduce Edinburgh’s remit.

 

IMG_20170527_111851800_HDR
At Terry’s suggestion we had a top milliner flown in from Paris, and at last, the leaflet had a purpose in life.

 

Of course, she’d kinda have to promise to be a strong voice for Dundee… so that’s a given.

And finally, we get a couple of photographs of her in Broughty Ferry, on her own with the castle and then with two brothers who are Tory councillors for the Broughty Ferry Ward.

I hope she knows that there is a good deal more to the constituency than that.

LETTER FROM MUNGUIN

adebate4

Dear Mrs May,

Since you became prime minister of your united kingdom, you have consistently said that you won’t have an election outwith the 5-year cycle that your predecessor introduced in order to discourage political opportunists from having elections when it best suited their party.

You said only the other day that the people were getting behind you in Brexit (although we presume that you meant English people because from where we are sitting in the Kingdom of Scotland, we see no sign of it), so it cannot be that you feel that you have need of endorsement for your Brexit policies despite the, to our eyes, apparent abject failure of most of what you are trying to do.

So we aren’t entirely sure why you are doing this. It may indeed be that very political opportunism which Mr Cameron wished to avoid (with a prod from Mr Clegg). Certainly, Labour is very weak, whether in England under Mr Corbyn, in Scotland under Ms Dugdale and possibly even in Wales under Mr Jones. By going for an election that you calculate you cannot lose, you may hope to extend your tenure of the top job from 4 to 6 years without much trouble from the main opposition party.

adebate1

Beware, however. No matter how unpopular Labour may be we’re not certain that there are many seats that it can lose. You might say that they are relatively close to ‘core vote’. What’s left now would rather eat their own feet than vote Tory. And, two years down the line from the disastrous coalition, the Liberal Democrats could pick up some of the seats that the Conservative took from them in 2015, particularly seats which are largely pro-EU. Whilst there is a possibility that you might take a Scottish seat or two due to a mixture of Labour’s uselessness and the fact that your tank commanding lady in the sole serious representative of the British Bulldog in its red white and blue splendour. We’d not count on you getting too many, though (remember the rape clause REALLY went down badly here), and it’s not beyond possibility that you will lose Fluffy, his coat being on what we would call a shooglie nail. (Although we dare say that’s a ‘disaster’ you could cope with.)

adebate2

In any normal circumstances, we’d assume that any government would have taken all of this into consideration before embarking on this ‘brave’ endeavour. But with the government you lead, given your record thus far, one can never be certain that things have been thought of, never mind thought through.

It has been the custom over the last few elections, here in Scotland, in the UK and farther afield, for party leaders to take part in debates on live television in order that the population may find out what it is voting for, directly, if you’ll pardon the expression,  from the horses mouths, as opposed to the glossy wishlist stuck through doors (which, in the majority of cases, make their way from doormat to bin without passing Go, or collection £200 as it were). It’s all very well to say in a leaflet that you are going to do this, that and the next thing, but it is far more interesting to see policies dissected by opposite numbers, don’t you think. Almost entertaining sometimes.

adebate

And, of course, that works both ways. You get the chance to question other party leaders’ policies, live in front of the peoples of your united kingdom.

We understand, though, that you have said quite categorically that you will not take part in any tv debates with your opposite numbers.

We can only guess at your reasons for doing this, but we trust you understand that the public will demand that these debates go ahead with or without your participation.

Yours sincerely

001

Munguin

PS: You might have had the decency to allow the local elections taking place all over Scotland to be over before you made your announcement. I say you might have, but clearly, you didn’t.

PPS. What will happen to the 30 Tories who are under police investigation in England for cheating with their election expenses? Surely until they are cleared they cannot possibly be candidates in a further election? How can we guarantee that they will not cheat again?

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

We just saw this corker of a front page:

adebate6

She’ll KILL off Labour, SMASH rebel Tories and it will be blue MURDER.

Nice measured language, The Sun.