I’ve heard that there is a threat for Fluffy and Colonel Bake Lady to join Loathsom, McVile and Morbidity in resigning tomorrow unless everyone in the UK, including Arlene Forsterland, is treated the same way (obviously excepting the mediaeval abortion and same-sex marriage laws, social security, Olympic Team membership and, strangely, dog licences).
As no one would miss any of them, I see no great problem.
Oh, and I’ve just noticed that Dominic Raab, the newly appointed Brexit Secretary, isn’t actually going to be Brexit Secretary… I mean he’s still going to have the title, the salary and the car and be called Rt Hon and all, he’s just not actually going to be doing Brexit. So it didn’t take them long to find out he was a useless whatsit.
No, don’t look at me like that. This is Britain. It’s all totally possible.
Anyway, wait for the exciting news. Mrs May is going to take over the negotiations herself (because she’s so good at this stuff).
Anyway, you might say that “Brexit means Brexit”, but you can’t say the “Brexit Secretary means Brexit Secretary”.
It’s a funny old world, ain’t it just!
I wonder, with all this leisure time on his hands, if Dom will be taking over the tea duties from Fluffs…
Or maybe he’s the one that will be doing the stockpiling of food. The Rt Hon Secretary of State for Warehouses, Workhouses and Ration Books for the deserving poor?
"The least worst option for the UK is to remain within the customs union and the single market." Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, says the UK could risk a "no deal outcome" if it doesn't clarify its position in the Brexit negotiations. pic.twitter.com/yg96ABuMMu
Ken Clarke – I've never seen anything as chaotic as this… #Brexit is the maddest political situation I've ever seen…. we're taking decisions that will have a big affect on the prosperity & well-being of my children & grandchildren.#StopBrexit#FBPEpic.twitter.com/pbwWDB0Xua
Homeless and rough sleepers are, apparently, being rounded up in Windsor. These people, however, seem to be grabbing their place for an event that will take place in 2 days’ time. Does that not make them rough sleepers too?
The Tories seem to think that the decision of the Scottish Parliament (although I’ve heard it described as the decision of the Scottish Government) not to approve the European Withdrawal legislation, which will see the removal of powers from Holyrood, was some sort of small-minded nationalistic protest.
But we should remember that Labour, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats voted with the government for this action. It’s not narrow nationalism. It is cross-party consensus, with the only exception being the Tories.
In comparison to people who live south of the border, we have it a bit easier. And we’d like to keep it that way.
The British government (or rather the part of it that deals with England and Wales (and now, presumably, Northern Ireland) has revealed plans to make getting permission for fracking as easy as for putting up a garden shed.
A small thing, you might think, till it affects land in your area.
In Scotland, we can produce energy using green technology and at present fracking is illegal.
We must keep the fracking ban until we know that it is safe.
Incidentally, and ironically, Mundell has said that only Tories understand the complexities of the Withdrawal Bill and MSPs didn’t understand the technicalities of it. Presumably, he imagines that he is brighter than any of the MSPs who voted against it.
So I’ll leave you to have a good old laugh about that one…
So, Boris, remind us, why did you suggest that he should get a Nobel Peace Prize?
The question is – if The Russians did perpetrate that nerve agent poisoning to kill one former agent – how did they think they’d get away with it. If they didn’t care through arrogance what can May possibly do that might impress them?
Jeff Dugdale raises a good point here.
Let’s be honest, we don’t know who poisoned the ex-double agent and his daughter, and we can’t trust anything that comes out of Whitehall, Westminster, the BBC or the Tory Press. (After all, a few months ago we held all the cards with the EU, and now they are bullying us. How can you bully someone who holds all the cards?)
Will we ever know the truth? And would we know it was the truth when we heard it?
But let’s suppose for a minute that it was Russia and that it was done with President Putin’s knowledge. What can May do?
I remember a few years ago when Russia invaded and took Crimea, that David Cameron announced that he was going to be speaking to Mr Putin on the phone and that he would make Britain’s points very strongly.
How we laughed.
“Now look here Vladimir, old chap. I say, this really isn’t cricket you know. You just can’t bally well do this sort of thing. What have you got to say to that, old chap?”
Vlad must have been shaking in his shoes for sure! Or maybe that’s just the way he dances.
It’s not unreasonable to suppose that during the Crimea crisis, President Obama would have spoken to Putin. It is possible, although less likely, that President Xi may also have had a word. Both of these conversations might have given him pause for thought … because the USA and China count.
Frankly, despite Cameron’s proud claim that “we punch above our weight” the UK does not count in that way. Everyone knows that it wouldn’t do anything without permission from the USA. So worry about what the USA thinks and disregard the Brits or indeed the French, who are in almost (but not quite) the same powerless position.
Perhaps if all the countries of the EU/EEA withdrew from Russia’s world cup (leaving Russia and Serbia) it might have an effect, or if countries all around the world stood in solidarity with Britain the whole world cup thing would end in humiliation for them.
But England withdrawing of its own accord would be a smaller blow from which the tournament would easily recover. And you have to ask if it would also be fair to the fans and the players with their tickets bought and flights booked and paid for.
If this is state-sponsored terrorism, it’s extremely serious. Not just for Skripal and his daughter, but for the police and emergency services and the potentially tens of thousands of locals who received safety advice a week after the event. (Thanks Amber Rudd.)
Is that an act of war? If so some action is required.
But having said that, May’s best mates are Erdogan, Netanyahu, Trump, Mohammad bin Salman and their likes. Has Mrs May any moral ground to cling to?
So what should… or rather CAN… Mrs May do? Anyone want to advise her?
… Oh, and “resign” is too obvious.
Here’s my suggestion. Send Fluffy as her majesty’s emmisary! He’ll show them.
Today and tonight the Maybot was holding long drawn out (probably painful) cabinet meetings, for some reason unknown to me, at Chequers, her country estate.
The purpose of these meetings is to thrash out what Britain will be taking to the table in Brussels. Brussels has already published its basis for negotiation. The UK, of course, has either no strategy or a dozen strategies, whichever you think the most appropriate to describe the dithering indecisiveness of their approach.
Now, of course, not all of the cabinet is there, but you can certainly see the top people along with (for some obscure reason, which may be that Mr Murdoch demanded it), Gove. Also you see Foxy (as in “call me doctor”), Rudd, Hammond, Johnson, etc.
In all of these people, I was wondering who was speaking on behalf of the unique situation that Scotland finds itself in. With its people having voted by not far off 2-1 to remain in the EU (having been promised that staying a part of the UK was the only way to guarantee our continued rights as European citizens), you’d have thought that maybe someone would have thought to invite either Her Right Honorable Colonelness (who told us she attends cabinet meetings as of right) or Fluffy Muddle who is…well, whatever he is. (To be fair, he may be temporarily absent having been sent to the kitchen for the rich teas! Come to think of it Ruth may have been called upon to defuse a mine or even bake the rest of them a cake.)
Just a modicum of respect for Scotland’s position would have been appreciated but, to be honest, wasn’t expected.
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.
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.