SOPPY SUNDAY

 

Quite a few people requested stuff over the last few weeks. I hope I’ve not left anyone out. Feel free to request your favourite animal/scene/country. Munguin’ll try to cover it. Oh, and if, perchance he forgets (because he’s a very busy media mogul), just gently remind him.

n ornag2
About time you arrived. I’ve been waiting for ages
n black bird
Is there anything prettier than a Blackbird’s singing…in the dead of night?
n saltwater croc
Saltwater Crock!
n octopus
Octopus for Danny.
n cecils cubs
Who’d hunt an animal like this for sport, leaving behind cubs?
n cephalopods
Cephalopod for Douglas.
n donegal castle
Donegal Castle for Conan.
n horses water
You can lead a horse to water…
n sutherland
Sutherland.
n piranah-
Piranah.
n vampire bat
Vampire Bat.
n Torres del Paine chile
Torres del Paine, Chile.
n pristine peacock
Pristine Peacock.
n racoon
Rocky Racoon.
n moussa's castle leb
Moussa’s Castle, Lebanon, for John and Mrs Brownlie. Have a good holiday.
n cephalopods3
Another cephalopod for Douglas.
n Narsaq (South Greenland)
Narsak, Greenland.
n moss
The magic of moss.
n mates
Everyone has a best mate. Not everyone has ears that their mate can sleep under though!
N orang4
Well, I hope your visit was enjoyable. I’m here for Panda Paws, by the way. See you next Sunday.

 

LET’S HAVE A LAUGH TILL THE RESULTS START…

Munguin’s man in America (well one of them), Danny, sent us this video this afternoon.

I laughed out loud.

So, I thought you might like to share the fun.

Nothing much to do until midnight or so.

If you haven’t voted…. Munguin’s coming after you! (unless you’re a Tory voter!)

Craig and 3 others liked

I know you registered to vote: But have you voted yet? For all our tomorrows, particularly if you are young, please, please vote!

 

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:

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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?

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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.

 

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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.

It’s a swinging place…

 

IMG_20170525_123210888_HDR
Munguin relaxes on his garden swing…
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…then on Tris’s bench, while Tris digs in a new tree, plants a photinia, sweeps the paths, feeds the birds and the mice,  makes the coffee, and takes the photographs. Oh to be a media mogul.

Beautiful day in Dundee today, and as Conan reminded Munguin that he had a swing, he decided to take himself to the garden and watch Tris working down there.

Oh, for the life of the rich and powerful…

 

LETTER FROM MUNGUIN

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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

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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:

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

Nice measured language, The Sun.

Britain is the only country…

…where there has been economic growth, but the workers got poorer.

In Italy and Portugal GDP, between 2007 and 15, is down, as are wages. Fair enough.

In Denmark, Latvia, Slovinia, Spain and Finland there has been a reduction in the GDP over the period 2007-15, meanwhile, workers have become better off.

In the top right-hand quadrant (Sweden, Norway, Slovak Republic, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Czech Republic, US, Ireland, South Korea, Japan and Israel both economic growth and Wages have increased.

Alone, standing out like a sore thumb, in the UK, although the GDP has increased, ordinary workers are worse off.

Better Together No Thanks, Ukok.

AND

Meanwhile, once again in OUR united kingdom,  a tiny, temporary committee of MPs set up explicitly to consider doubling the publicly funded income of the Royal Family took thirteen minutes to decide that, yes, the Royal Family should indeed have its income doubled.

We all know that Buckingham Palace has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. We know its repairs now will be at a huge cost to the taxpayer. (Not unreasonable questions might be: Why has it been allowed to get to into this state? Why were not repairs and improvements ongoing? Could the queen have managed her finances better? Why are we bailing out her failures to look after the palaces?)

According to a report in the Independent: The project will involve replacing around 100 miles of electrical cabling 30 miles of water pipes, 6,500 electrical sockets, 5,000 light fitting and 2,500 radiators. I assume that most of this is to do with health and safety rather than aesthetics given that everything will have to be replaced looking exactly as it did. It seems to me that the palace has been neglecting its responsibilities to the high number of staff of all sorts it employs there. (I imagine that it can do this legally as ordinary laws do not apply in royal palaces.)

In 2014, the Public Accounts Committee reported that the royal household had mismanaged its finances. it seems that it did so disastrously. The estimated cost was £350 million, but we know that that will have increased considerably by the time the work is done.

We can only imagine that if the household managed to mess up Buckingham Palace’s repairs and renewals, then other palaces, housing other members of the queens expensive family will also need to be investigated. Will Kensington Palace (above), St James’s Palace, Thatched Lodge, Clarence House and the unrestored parts of Windsor Castle require the same sort of expenditure? And in Scotland, what is the state of repair of The Palace of Holyrood House? What kind of bill will that involve?

In my opinion, it is time to rationalise the housing arrangements of junior or pensioned members of the royal family. I’m not asking them to live in council flats, but family members who don’t work for the country shouldn’t be living in palaces at our expense. It’s not like any of them are living in penury. Many have country residences.

Other countries manage perfectly well with a president and their partner being kept at the expense of the people. Why we have the queen’s cousins and grown grandchildren being accommodated at our expense is beyond me. An argument that one day Beatrice might be the queen won’t wash. One day Munguin might be first minister. He doesn’t expect the salary and a suite in Bute house now, on the equally remote off chance.

munguin4