SORRY, NO ONE IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW

WE ARE ALL DEFUSING MINES IN AFGHANISTAN WITH THE ARISTOCRATIC BARONESS LADYSHIP COLONEL

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To be fair to the Tories, Jackson Carlaw said that the SNP proposals for a separate system did have merit, and they were looking at them closely.

So why not take part in an interview?

Maybe because they have been told by Mr Cummings’ underlings to keep quiet?

RANDOM THOUGHTS

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Well, I’m not entirely sure where they are going to recruit the *lower-paid hospital workers or care workers in future.

Great opportunities for British workers, I hear to say.

From what I gather, the UK unemployment rate is under 4%, a figure usually taken to mean full employment, given that at any time a certain number of people will be simply between jobs.

(Of course, in fairness, we cannot ignore the fact that the government cheats on that figure. People on zero-hour contracts are classed as in employment; those working a few hours a week are classed as in employment. So although they claim benefits, they aren’t counted in the unemployment figures.)

But even at that, the bulk of the people who are unemployed now, will probably be relatively unattractive to employers for a variety of different reasons, many of which are not their fault.

There are a large number of people in their late 50s and 60s. Those who were born in the middle to late 1950s and who do not enjoy the best of health or who are simply not sufficiently fleet of foot (and/or typing fingers) to satisfy today’s target-driven-culture bosses… more, more,  more.

There are also in the four countries of the UK, a fair number of people who have drink and drugs issues and there are a not insubstantial number who have prison sentences (remember Michael Howard’s “Prison Works” mantra?) which render them unsuitable for jobs in many different sectors but particularly those working with vulnerable people.

Some time ago, I worked on a project designed to get people into work, so I know a little about these problems. Employers are not interested unless you are quick, flexible, fit, unlikely to be off work, well presented, and frequently, although they wouldn’t admit it, of attractive appearance (catering businesses).

Of course, it isn’t unreasonable to expect someone to be able to speak the language reasonably well (although some native-born Brits fail at that), but we need to remember that, as my granny would say, “whit’s guid tae gie’s no ill tae tak”.

I know a guy who worked as a welder in the Netherlands. He didn’t speak a word of Dutch, but he was fine there because his supervisor and most of his colleagues spoke passable English, he could get cable tv from England or USA. The job was great, conditions marvellous, transport first rate. There was only one problem. His girlfriend was back in Scotland. They wanted to be together. But she was an office worker and office workers have to be able to speak Dutch, so he came home.

But I bet there are a lot of other Brits in various places in Europe who can’t speak more than a few words of the language, but who, for example, work in the tourist trade… I’m thinking of bars in the Costas. I wonder what their futures look like tonight.

* NHS England starting salaries: Nurse £24.2k; Paramedic £24.2k; Midwife £24.2k; Radiographer £24.2k; Care assistant £17.6k; Physiotherapist £24.2k ; Therapist £24.2k

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It appears that Air Miles Fatboy is spending a quiet evening with his ex-wife and their two “blood princesses” to celebrate his 60th birthday tonight. I was much amused by the fact that people were complaining on Twitter about government buildings in England not flying the UK flag to celebrate his big day. It was, they said, an insult to the queen.

 Prince Andrew pictured with his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie

But the Queen, who was due to attend his birthday celebrations, has found that she is otherwise engaged, as have, strangely enough, the rest of his family.

So it seems that she may not have felt that snubbed after all.

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SO MANY QUESTIONS

Even the Brexit Express says so!

Philip Hammond has reportedly warned that finding the extra money for the NHS (because the Brexit Dividend is fantasy) means taxes will rise and that other areas of government spending will have to be reduced. 

If this is true, then which taxes will rise and what government funded services will we have to do without?

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And, while we are looking at this, what other changes will be made to our lives because of the Brexit Dividend? How will we replace the vastly reduced number of people from all walks of life, who will no longer want to make their homes in the UK? Will it be, as Mr Gauke suggests, prisoners, who fill that gap? Or as Paterson suggests, pensioners.

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We should be in no doubt that a post-Brexit Britain could be a very different place. A place apart. A place that has taken back control maybe. But clearly, as we have seen, that control taken back and kept for a select few in Westminster and Whitehall.

Well, we could write all day on the subject…

But Munguin suggested that you guys might like to do the hard work.

Obviously, this is the answer…

If, by some evil chance, we are still in this union and under this insufferable government with its joke of a prime minister, cabinet and a Secretary of State who was deemed unfit to lead for his government on a debate on devolution, when the cliff edge comes, as it will…

Is bringing the health service funding a little closer to the levels of other western countries a priority for you?

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If so, how should it be funded? Tax rises, so derided by Scottish Tories recently when the SNP did it? Cuts to services, so derided by every opposition party? Increasing our already massive debt burden?

How should we make up the labour shortage? Continue to accept people from the EU (if they are prepared to come to a ”foreign” country)? Look for immigration elsewhere? Make prisoners/retirees/sick people work for their benefits?

And, what taxes should rise? What services should be cut?

A Brexit Dividend may not be measured in cash terms, but as we said, changes are coming!

So what is your Brexit Dividend? What do you want to see happen? What do you dread happening?

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Munguin says Tris can put his feet up for the rest of the day… or rather for 10 minutes, then start sorting out the mess in the grounds of Munguin Towers, devastated for the second time in a week by high winds.

AS YE SOW, SO SHALL YE REAP

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.

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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?