A TALE OF TWO LEADERS

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The Daily Borisgraph called this “ungracious and nasty”.

And they weren’t the only ones. Twitter was raging about the First Minister celebrating a victory for her party. I read comments about how disgusting it was that she, a woman, would rejoice in the humiliation of a young woman ( well youngish, and Amy Callaghan, who beat her, is a good ten years younger!)

Incidentally, I’d have thought that it wasn’t particularly “humiliating” to lose your seat in an election. It’s normal. More people lose in elections than win. Surely everyone goes into an election anticipating that it can happen.

It’s even less humiliating and more to be expected if you didn’t bother to live in the constituency… or to spend much time there during the campaign (or ever).

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It seems, however, that when Boris Johnson celebrated in a not dissimilar way, far less was made of it. I think it is utterly natural to celebrate a win, and I’m sure that Swinson and Corbyn did it when they took or held a seat. A win for someone means a loss for someone else, but that’s competition for you. That’s politics.

 Boris throws his arms up in celebration as he celebrates with James Cleverly at Tory HQ

In any case, rumour has it that having been rejected by the electorate, Swinson will not be humiliated by anyone in her next job.

She may be appointed to the House of Lords where she will be able to snooze away at £300 a day for the rest of her life, so I’d save my pity if I were you.

NO matter what you think of the SNP, at least their politicians are elected (in what passes for a democratic style in Britain).

 Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Sajid Javid enjoy a group hug as they celebrate the win

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In other news, the bloke that managed to lose more than half the Tory seats in Scotland has apparently said that he won’t accept Coburn (ex-UKIP) into the Tory Party.

Not that I have a problem with that. Coburn isn’t an asset to anyone, anywhere. And it’s noticeable that Farage also refused to have him in the Brexit Party. (And when you think of some of the loonies that he took on, that’s saying something.)

But I wasn’t aware that a branch office temporary leader could refuse membership to anyone. And doesn’t Coburn live in London?

Enjoy your wee bit of power while you can, you wally!

ANYONE HEARD WHEN THE TORIES ARE GOING TO GET THEMSELVES A PROPER SCOTTISH BRANCH OFFICE MANAGER?

Mr Carlaw’s constituents voted to remain in the EU.

And he rose in the chamber to praise them for doing that just days after the vote, in which most Tory MSPs and their one MP in Scotland voted to remain. (You’ll remember the Colonel and Fluffy telling us how utterly vital it was for Scotland’s economy, to Remain.)

However, yesterday Jackson decided that, were there to be another referendum, he would vote to leave and sod his constituents.

This is, he says, because the EU has changed since 2016 (and clearly nothing to do with the fact that Boris has told him to change his mind).

Brussels is, he insists, going to have its own army by 2025.

And there are other changes too, he told the BBC, but he appears not to have bothered to elaborate.

So dealing with the one point he did specify, the army… as far as I can discover, there is no reason to believe that there is actually going to be an EU army, although, it is hoped to establish closer military ties between countries in Europe.

This makes sense. Indeed, the majority of Europeans want this to happen, including 56% of Britons! Perhaps the less-than-reliable cross between a Carrot and a Mango, which currently resides in the White House, has finally persuaded European leaders that it is time this continent stood on its own two feet militarily, instead of relying on the USA.

And quite right too. There is no reason why Europe cannot continue to work co-operatively with the USA, without being dependent upon them.

Alone, of course, all European countries are too small to support defence forces of any real power. Even Britain with its massive military spend (punching above its weight) is a minnow by comparison with real world powers like Russia or China.

In my opinion, it makes sense to have a military alliance within the continent.

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Britain, were it to vote to remain in the EU, however, could not be forced to join this military alliance.

So Mr Carlaw’s thinking doesn’t seem to stand up. Unless there is some reason in his “unspecified changes”, that has made the EU a less desirable ally, I’m suspecting that the possibility of a knighthood or maybe elevation to the aristocracy may have more to do with his change of heart than any military alliance his beloved union couldn’t be forced to join, and indeed, over which it would almost certainly have a veto.

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Unassociated with this matter, I noticed that the BBC article points out that the Tories, along with Labour, SNP and Brexit party have been forced to suspend candidates who have made unfortunate tweets or comments some time in their past.

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When asked about comments made about Muslim women looking like letter boxes, bum boys, and the working classes, by another Tory candidate, Jackson said that he preferred to judge Mr Johnson (for it was none other than he) on his actions as prime minister rather than on things said in the past… which seems a little unfair to the other candidates who can’t offer any baubles.

Maybe one of these days a Tory will tell the truth about something.

OK, OK, I was joking. They won’t.

THE CONSERVATIVES LAUNCH THEIR ELECTION CAMPAIGN

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Well, this was the big day for them. An election that they called less than halfway through the fixed-term parliament. An election that they wanted. An election that they had to have because they were incapable of government…so much so that the prime minister said that they wouldn’t bring any new bills (including the budget) before parliament. They were effectively going on strike (on full pay, of course).

Here’s a brief overview of how the day has been going for them…

Thanks to Graham for this video.

Note to Tories: Try to keep Nigel Evans away from tv cameras.

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Brexit

So, then, the chairman of the Tory party, the somewhat inaptly named, James Cleverly, who one might expect to play a leading role in this campaign, particularly on launch day failed to turn up for an interview with Kay Burley.  Bad start.

But instead of making some sort of excuse, Kay, to her credit, empty chaired him and asked the questions anyway. Offcom is now looking at investigating this. Connections, anyone?

We’re indebted to Dr Galsworthy for posting this on Twitter. Enjoy.

Cleverly later suggested that he was unable to do Burley’s show because he was already on live Julia Hartley Brewer’s show when he was scheduled to appear. This is unlikely, given that JHB apparently started her interview by asking him about his empty chairing.

Note to Tories: Really, on the first day of the campaign, do try to get the junior staff to schedule interviews a little more carefully.

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Meanwhile, in our own country, the launch got off to a slightly unfortunate start (even more unfortunate than it starring Fluffy and Carrot), and I apologise in advance for the rude word. Look away now if you are likely to be offended.

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Note to Tories. Try to keep away from signposts or shop names that Munguin will giggle about.

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Graham’s blog is always a good read. Witty and informative.

Note to Tories: Isn’t there a load of dishes to wash or a pile of filing to do? Because it would probably be a better use of old Ben’s time.

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Welsh Secretary, Alun Cairns has resigned over claims that he knew about a former aid’s part in the sabotage of a rape trial.

The political satirist, Michael Deacon, suggests that… “Cairns resignation is a dead cat to distract from Cleverly’s empty-chairing which was a dead cat to distract from Cleverley’s interviews which was a dead cat to distract from Bridgen which was a dead cat to distract from Rees-Mogg which was a dead cat to distract from the Russia report which was a dead cat to distract from the Starmer video which was a dead cat to distract from Cairns which was a dead cat to distract from the blocked Labour costings which…blah, blah, blah…”

And that kinda sums up the Tory’s day. Still, Alun’s not standing down as a candidate.

The one big question is…how will Wales manage without him?

Note to Tories: If perchance Cairns is returned to Westminster, have a look around to see if there isn’t someone else who would do better in the Wales Office.

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Roll on tomorrow!

LET’S TITTER AT THE BRANCH OFFICES

According to Richard Leonard, Labour’s branch office in Scotland would scrap the ‘work car park tax’. You know, the one that isn’t a tax and isn’t imposed by the government, but is a form of devolution to local authorities of tax, which thay may choose to implement or not.

Yeah, that one.

In fact, the one that Labour actually very much likedd and was going to introduce in Glasgow.

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Until, that is, the Greens and the SNP agreed to give the councils the power to introduce the tax if they felt so inclined. The, of course, it became a BAAAAAD idea.

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Mr Leonard said: “Many people across Scotland simply cannot rely on our crumbling transport system because it is more interested in profits than passengers.

“The solution to this problem is not to slap a new tax on getting to work, it is to transform our transport system. That is why Scottish Labour will axe the tax in government, bring our railways into public ownership and build a free bus network to serve communities across the country.”

He might well have added: “Labour will borrow Mrs May’s Magic Money Tree and shake it for all they are worth. We will be seeking advice from Arlene on how to get out hands on it.”

Because, although all of these ideas are excellent, they are, at the same time, costly. Free bus travel, for example, is a superb idea already introduced in some Scandinavian countries. What Mr Leonard doesn’t say is how he will pay for it.

This railways stuff it interesting. Again, a great idea.

Railways in the UK were privatised by John Major.

As I recall, Labour came to power in the UK in 1997 on a promise to re-nationalise them. But, for some reason, it didn’t.

Nor did the Labour-led administrations in Scotland in the first two parliaments even attempt to have the power devolved so that they could do what their bosses in London had promised and failed to do. Eight years in power and not a request; not a sniff.

The SNP, on the other hand, are working on this.

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On the subject of the branch offices havers, I’m told that following Nicola’s pledge that she will request a Section 30 from the government shortly, Jackson Carlot has said that the Scottish Tories (branch office) will never agree to that.

Erm, I think you’ll find, Jack, mate, that no one was, for a split second, even vaguely thinking of asking you. Well, above your pay grade.

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OK, we should probably say something about the other wee branch office, I suppose, otherwise, they may feel belittled and left out… almost like they didn’t matter (snigger).

Um…

Let me see…

Hmmm…

Oh yeah, got it:

Willie Rennie is on holiday in Spain when he should be in parliament.

There! I knew he’d have done something of note.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN’T GET ANY STUPIDER …

THE “MEANINGFUL” (TITTER) VOTE WILL GO AHEAD…EXCEPT, AS USUAL, WITH HER, IT PROBABLY WON’T, BUT IT MIGHT HAVE TO…

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Would be pure 100% classic May to delay the vote. She has spent the last two years kicking away problems so they can kill her another day.

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I had been going to write about the appalling business of Jackson Carlaw’s lies about the Scottish Health Service’s record on ‘flu injections in comparison with their English counterpart’s record. He did this by comparing the English figures with Scottish figures from the month before.

Needless to say, an investigation showed that Scotland had done a better job than England. It will be interesting to see if he apologises from misleading parliament as the First Minister has requested.

However, these events have been overtaken by the by now regular occurrence of Mrs May, at least apparently, going back on something that she had absolutely been very clear, not to mention strong and stable about.

This from the BBC.

Theresa May is to make a statement to MPs at 15:30 GMT amid reports Tuesday’s vote on her Brexit deal is being delayed.

That will be followed by a statement from Commons leader Andrea Leadsom – and then a statement from the Brexit secretary on Article 50.

Two cabinet sources have told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg Tuesday’s planned Brexit vote will be delayed.

There is not yet any official confirmation of the move.

Downing Street had been insisting the vote would go ahead, despite Mrs May being widely expected to lose it.

But a third Cabinet source has told the BBC the vote is “definitely off”.

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She apparently intends to give a statement to the House of Commons at 3.30.  

Promises, like piecrusts, in Mrs May’s book, are made to be broken.

But, and here it gets even dafter, it may be that she won’t be able to postpone the “meaningful” vote as a Tory (yes TORY) MP points out.

The PM does not get to pull a vote. The House will have to vote to pull a vote. I will oppose. We need to see this deal off once and for all.

 

So, stay tuned.

Sometimes she even beats Trump in the bizarre.

How the world must laugh.

HERE’S THE NEW CABINET

So, this is the new cabinet, with junior ministers to be announced tomorrow.

Personally, I’m sorry to see Shona Robison, my own MSP and a friend, go, but having read her letter of resignation, I can understand why she made the choice to resign.  Shona has had a hard year with the death of both her parents and a personal health scare to cope with. She is in a new relationship now and I wish her every happiness. I hope she’ll continue to be our MSP because she’s a damned good one.

Britain spends less than most of Europe on its health services, below the EU average, and way below countries like France and Germany, but for all that, Shona has managed to make NHSS the best of the four UK services. Jeane Freeman has big boots to fill, but her first-rate setting up of Social Security Scotland makes me sure we will be in safe hands.

Jackson Carlaw put out a generous and courteous tweet:

I shadowed for many years & appreciated her genuine concern for the NHS. A hugely challenging brief & while did not call for her to go, now is the time for fresh leadership & thinking. On a personal level, I wish her well & thank her for her courtesy.

Anas Sarwar, on the other hand, not only made a bit of a mess of the grammar but was left looking rather petty and silly by comparison:

A personal congratulations to Humza, too. I remember Munguin, he and I met on the Edinburgh March in 2012. He was busy, but he took time to meet with Munguin and have a photograph taken with him (which I have subsequently managed to mislay). He may have uttered a few words to me as well!

He’s done a great job with transport… again, Scottish trains, poor by EU standards, are the best in the UK. It is gratifying to see his promotion to Justice Secretary.

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Post Script:

Some comments on Sarwar’s tweet…

Anas, my husband is a hospital consultant and has been for decades. He is clear that under the NHS has never been better. He swears that under it was an utter shambles. So suggest you get help for your verbal diarrhoea (LMR)

Just spoke to a Senior Specialist Nurse in the NHS and I quote: “. needs to stop playing political football with the NHS. He’s just shown why Labour aren’t fit to govern” (Colin Alexander Storrier)

I work in the NHS in Glasgow. I have friends and relatives in Wales and England and I can tell you that the service we have up here in Scotland is miles ahead of what they have elsewhere. (Purple Monkey)

Factually incorrect and seriously lacking class. I give you Anas Sarwar, who luckily is destined never to be in charge of anything. ( )

Delete this, you poor excuse for a human being and public servant. Once you’ve deleted this, delete your account you quilt. The legacy of Ms Robison is the best NHS in UK and that really sticks in your craw! Now, sling your hook! (Davidlikesguys)

Well if failure is the best performing Health service in the U.K What the hell would you call what’s going on in And as far as funding goes It’s Central government to blame in but the SNP’s fault in Scotland? How would you square that? (Lez)

And there are many many more…

 TELT!