FALLON FROM GRACE, AS IT WERE

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It seems that this time, even his young minder friend couldn’t get him out of the mess.

With a reputation for getting seriously drunk and making an ass of himself, he probably wasn’t the best candidate for defence secretary. Of course, it’s not like he had access to the firing codes for nukes or anything (an arguably even more incompetent man had them), but it was a responsible job.

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OK, I apologise in advance. I just couldn’t resist it.

He certainly made some embarrassing statements in his time. He seemed to have a talent for getting it wrong. And tact wasn’t one of his qualities when he’d had a few.

And he had a talent for making statements which showed how completely out of touch he was with any kind of reality.

So after Maybot’s spokesman was unwilling to express the prime minister’s confidence in him, despite him having owned up to touching up Mrs Hartley Brewer, he appears to have “fallon” on his sword and limped off into the sunset to spend more time with his wine cellar, in the hopes that no one will now bother finding out what else he was up to.

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Resigning seems to be one of the main duties of a defence secretary… eh Liam?

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To happier things…

Munguin’s Republic Halloween staff party took place today:

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A good time, it is said, was had by all. (Tris was in the kitchen!) Suffice to say that Munguin will have a sore head tomorrow!

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SO, IS THIS WHAT OUR GREAT TRADE DEAL WILL LOOK LIKE?

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SIR Fallon of  Tiddly has warned Boeing that they could be stripped of lucrative defence contracts as a result of the trade dispute over the sale of jets made in Northern Ireland by the Canadian firm Bombardier.

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The dispute, over which May apparently lobbied the Trump, has resulted in an interim decision by the US Department of Commerce to place a 220% tariff on the sale of Bombardier’s C-Series jets.

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This could put at risk at least some of the 4000 jobs at Bombardier’s Belfast plant, which account for around 8% of the province’s economy.

It’s to be stressed that the tariff imposition is a measure based on an interim decision. A final decision will be made in February 2018, when it is hoped it will be settled more amicably.

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The premier of Québec, Philippe Couillard, has joined the war of words describing the move as an attack on his province and on Canada.

But, it is worth remembering that Mrs May has always placed faith in the special relationship as her country seeks trade deals from outside the world’s richest trading block, and Mr Trump promised a great deal within months….

It’s a faith which it seems at the moment may have been misplaced.

Maybe next time, Mrs May, don’t hold the idiot’s hand even if he is scared of the dark, or stair or whatever implausible story that was spun at the time.

AN IMPRESSIVE MIND CHANGES HIS MIND… AND A BIT OF A TUBE HAVERS

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Perhaps one of the most respected intellectuals of the day appears to have changed his mind about independence for Scotland.

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Anyway, I fell about laughing last night at Michael Fallon, the Secretay of State for Nuclear Bomb Faux Pas.

You’ll remember his last visit to Scotland? Mr Fallon, although I should rightly refer to him as Sir Fallon, or something, given that he was one of the suck-ups (no, Conan, that is supposed to be an “S”) to which Cameron gave a gong for…well, for being a suck-up, when he (Cameron) fled in the aftermath of the disaster he led the UK into.

Anyway, I degress… The last time that Mr Fallon, sorry SIR Fallon, appeared in Scotland he gave an excruciating interview to Bernard Ponsonby (which Stuart Campbell captured for posterity here) in which he ended up being rescued from his ineptitude by a sour-faced lassie (presumably some sort of spad) young enough to be his granddaughter.

 

Round and round and round it goes; where it lands no one knows.

 

Most statesmanlike Mr, erm, SIR Fallon, er, sort of.

Anyway, with considerably less wit and political nous than a hibernating tortoise, the seriously plummy SIR (for services to licking, just in case you forgot) Fallon chose to tell the Herald that the UK government could refuse to allow a  second referendum on independence. Y’know, never mind the manifestos of the Greens and SNP in the last elections… Mr SIR Fallon has spoken.

OK. Even for someone as spectacularly unspectacular as the good Knight Commander of the Order of the Bathtub, it was a bloody stupid thing to say. Of course they could; we all know that.  Duh! The power is reserved to Westminster. So why would he say it, unless he meant they would refuse?

And if they did? Well, I can only imagine that a load of Scots would cross the floor from No to YES. Nothing like being told what we can’t do to ensure that we do it.

Way to go, Good Knight…well, Knight anyway.

 

Oooops, embarrassing!

 

Presumably someone with a slightly wiser head, maybe his granddaughter-type spad, or maybe his pet cat, pointed this out to him and in a Good Morning Scotland interview, he appeared to soften his stance. He said instead that Edinburgh should  “forget all that stuff and get on with the day job”. ‘All that stuff’ being independence… and ‘the day job’, trying to keep Scotland afloat in the sinking ship that will be the UK after the Orange One gets his little hands on our trade?

“We didn’t see the need for a second referendum,” he said. Oh well. If a Knight of the Bathroom doesn’t see the need for it, we’d best just knuckle under to what he says… he’s a Knight, after all. “Know your place, Scotland”.

On yer bike, ye big muffin.

THEY PUT ON A GOOD SHOW, BUT THAT’S REALLY ALL IT IS.

On Remembrance Sunday, mindful that Leonard Cohen died a few days ago, and given that Gerry sent me this (thank you, Gerry), I thought it was appropriate to feature this poem today.

You’ll all know by now that I’m a kinda anti-war person, I think Niko called me a peacenik at one point, and that’s fine. I’m cool with that description. It doesn’t stop me being aware that sometimes wars happen; sometimes you have to defend yourselves. I just don’t think you should go looking for war. Particularly if you do it for self-aggrandisement, or to please your more powerful ally.

 

 

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This pic was captioned by the Daily Mail: “Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn prepare to lay wreaths”.  Respect Scotland and the Scottish fallen.

 

I do think, though, that if you, as a country, send people into war, for whatever reason, you have a duty to look after them, provide them with the very best of equipment and facilities and care when they are on active duty. You also have a sacred duty of care to those who are wounded in your service, whether that is physically or mentally, and to their families and, to the families of those who died. It seems to me that that is something that this union falls down very badly on, and indeed has always fallen down on. Why did Earl Haig have to set up a fund to help the wounded, ask yourselves!

 

Men (mainly) come back from war, are discharged into “civvy street” and are left to deal with the trauma of what they have seen, and of their physical injuries, often at the tender mercies of the DWP determined to save a grubby penny here and there and meet the targets set by a malevolent government, penny-pinching over the sick and lavishing money on  the splendours of parliaments and palaces.

And this has its inevitable consequences.Some people come back from war zones having witnessed, on a daily basis, people, their own, or the enemy’s, civilians, sometimes children and babies,  being blown to pieces. Is it really reasonable to expect them to settle down to 9-5 with a stiff upper lip, and pretend they have never had to brush someone’s brains off their uniforms?

Hardly.
centoaphHowever, the top brass will all have put on a good show this morning. The Queen, and the party leaders, and princes* left, right and centre in Colonel in Chief uniforms; princesses wearing expensive black hats and oversized poppies, wiping tears from their eyes.

They do that once a year: and good for them. Perhaps, though, one of them would like to look into why, only last week, 12 homeless ex-servicemen were evicted from a squat in Manchester, and within hours, once of them “George” was dead from Bronchial Pneumonia, at 82 years old!

What in heaven’s name was an 82-year-old doing living in a squat in the 6th largest economy in the world, especially an 82-year-old who had served in the forces? Why were 11 other ex-servicemen living in squats?

Any answers, Fallon?

Showing grief and concern, tears and £1000 hats would be a lot more convincing if anything like the same concern was voiced for the “survivors”.

  • *I’m mindful that of all of them, Harry does a lot of good work with veterans.