RANDOM THOUGHTS

Image result for heathrow immigration

Heathrow Immigration is in a bit of a mess. The average wait, if you are arriving from outside the EEA, is over 2 hours. Can you imagine how long it will be after March 29, 2019… assuming there are any flights coming in?

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Wales

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

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Image result for Nelson Mandela

Having already refused to give visas to a dozen or so authors invited to attend the Edinburgh Book Festival, the immigration service held up the family of Nelson Mandela who were travelling to the festival to appear in a Q&A with their great-grandmother on the life of the late president.

Do you get the impression the UK government might be trying to sabotage the festival? If they are, they are doing their usual cack-handed job of it. It’s reflecting just as badly on their global Britain image. But ‘cack-handed’ and ‘Theresa May’ seem to be joined at the hip.

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Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to Freda Jackson.

Poor Freda. She went on holiday with her friend to Benidorm and was surprised, nay shocked, to discover that there was a load of Spanish people there.

How very dare they?

Did no one tell them that Benidorm is for the exclusive use of Brits?

I mean, it must have been like going to Blackpool and finding English people there.

Can you just imagine? Horror of horrors.

Freda said Spanish people were rude.  Of course, this may be true. There are undoubtedly Spanish people who are rude. I suspect though, not all of them.

Probably they had the effrontery to speak Spanish.

‘The entertainment in the hotel was all focused and catered for the Spanish – why can’t the Spanish go somewhere else for their holidays?’ said dear Freda.

Johnnie Foreigner just gets more and more unreasonable as time goes on. The entertainment was Spanish, in Spain, and there were Spanish people all over the place. Locksalaudy, whatever next?

I mean, how are decent English people supposed to enjoy a foreign holiday or indeed have a football riot, when their plans are thwarted left, right and centre by foreigners?

Mark my words, Europe. This will not be tolerated.

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Oh hell… where do you even begin on this?

Barf…

Get me out of here.

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YOU CAN DEPEND ON FLUFFY TO STAND UP FOR THE BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY

Even if this bumbling idiot’s main role, one for which he gets paid a considerable amount of our money, is to protect the Scottish devolution settlement, his real job is making the tea and biscuits for proper cabinet members and doing any other little jobs around the place that the Maybot wants doing…

…like lying through his teeth to the Scottish people.

Just go, you silly little man.

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Latest figure I read for new SNP membership this week is 7,500+. I wonder if Bercow wants a job?

JUST FOR THE RECORD…

Apparently the Hansard Transcript of the interaction between Mr Blackford and Mr Bercow has been removed from their website. Luckily for us, (& VERY unluckily for them) a fellow Twitter person (Fi) had it open in another tab at the time and it has been saved for posterity. I suspect they don’t want anyone to read it. So here you go, read away and feel free to copy. It was, after all, for a short time, a matter of record:

Total transcript over 5 images.

!hansard

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Both Mr Blackford and Mr Linden were correct. According to the Standing Orders, as highlighted by Stuart Campbell, the speaker was bound to act immediately. Not at the end of the prime minister’s questions.

So it seems that Bercow, or at least his advice, was faulty.

But it’s an ill wind, as they say. 5000 new members and counting.

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As a side note, it seems that the Tories are now so full of hate for the SNP that they barracked Pete Wishart when he was paying tribute to the victims of Grenfell Tower. You have to wonder what kind of human being could sink that low. Then you remember that they are Tories.

It’s got to the stage that backbench Tories are trying to shout me down when I’m giving a tribute to Grenfell victims. Their contempt for us now breaking all boundaries.

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TAKE BACK CONTROL…

SHOULD THE HOUSE OF LORDS NOW GO?

One of the rallying calls of the Brexiteers was that Britain should take back control of, well, everything, from foreigners in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.

The EU was, they reckoned, an undemocratic organisation and things were better when they were controlled by the “democratic” British parliament and the British Courts.

Of course, as arguments go, it was a bit, or rather a lot, dubious, but it went down well with people who wanted to believe that kind of thing. You know, Daily Mail, Express, Telegraph and Sun reader types.

After all, if any nation in Europe should be wary of banging on about democracy or the lack thereof, it is the UK, with its hereditary head of state, unelected, partly-hereditary, partly-state-church-based, partly-appointed (by dubious methods) house of aristocrats. And that’s before we look at First-Past-The-Post and Privy Council Orders and the various and sundry other ways that the government can get around any scrutiny.

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It took very little time after the Brexit vote for this to come to a head. The Tories wanted to bypass parliament to enable a ‘strong and stable’ Brexit. The declaration of Article 50 was to be made under royal prerogative and not a parliamentary vote. And it took the interventions of the English High Court and then the UK Supreme Court to squash that idea.

Needless to say, the newspapers that had called for decisions to be made in our own British parliament and our own British courts, screamed, echoing the language of  1930s’ Germany, about “Enemies of the People”.

Of course, they were roundly ridiculed for this at the time as people pointed out that the tabloids were protesting against the very thing that they had sold us as an advantage of Brexit.

But it seems that they learned nothing as they are back today, at least in the English editions of the papers. They even used the same background, which I assume stirs the blood of a certain kind of person.

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Now, as a republican, I abhor the idea of a House of Lords. Dukes, Earls, Archbishops and greasy party donors have no place in a democracy, and given the opportunity, I would get rid of them tomorrow and replace them with a senate.

But the fact is that at present the House of Lords exists and has a job to do as a revising chamber. They did that job. They revised and they put forward suggestions for revision of the Bill to be considered by the Commons. That is what their job is, whether any of us like it or not and for whatever reason.

If they are not to do that, or if the Commons should automatically overturn, what exactly is their purpose? Another tourist attraction like the Saxe Coburgs?

I assume that the Express and Mail and their likes do not wish us to pay these people £300 a day for sitting sleeping and producing absolutely nothing? Or maybe they do!

So regardless of today’s debate, can we hope to see a full-blown campaign from the right of the Tories and of course the rightwing tabloids, to abolish the upper house. And can we hope that this will be done before the lavish and inordinately expensive refurbishment of their accommodations gets underway?

And last, but not least, will the London parliament today show any respect at all for Scotland and what its people voted for?

OH DEAR, OH DEAR, OH DEAR…

In the face of the UK getting itself a well-deserved reputation for being a closed and exclusive (as in ‘excluding‘) place, shutting itself off from its neighbours and taking a narrow racist “send ’em home” attitude to “foreigners”, the Scottish government, very keen to encourage the immigration our economy  and our society desperately needs, has made a short film.

It introduces the film as follows:

Scotland’s a great country – but it’s even greater when people come together. Our new campaign celebrates the positive impact of people who choose to make Scotland their home.

There is nothing party political about it. It’s about inclusivity. A Labour government could have produced this; the Greens could have; likewise, the Liberal Democrats could have. All it does is talk up the friendly, open, inclusive place that Scotland largely is. (We know there are exceptions!)

OK, we draw the line at the Tories actually having something good to say about Scotland so we will leave it at the four parties. They wouldn’t have made it.

So then along comes yer actual loonies’ loony Ross Thomson, you know, the bloke who knows more about Middle East peace than President Obama*, and he gets his pants in a twist and sees all sorts of stuff that …well, we can’t see for the life of us.

!Ross-Thomson-swords-391x372

Maybe indeed Mr Thomson is a visionary. On the other hand…

I’ve written to about this. Yet another example of the blatant politicisation of the civil service by the SNP. This video amounts to a thinly veiled party political broadcast for the SNP and is using taxpayers money to run an independence campaign by stealth.

What?

 Here’s the letter:
If anyone can see blatant politicisation in the video, I wish they would explain it to me.
* Did anyone tell him that his boss is, with Germany and France, against Trump’s plans to revoke the Iran deal?

 

WHAT IS LIFE LIKE IN THE FAROE ISLANDS?

This is a fascinating piece about the Faroe Islands, one of Scotland’s nearest neighbours by Lesley Riddoch.

With 65,000 people, it is a fraction of the size of Scotland, but its devolution from Denmark’s government is far deeper than Scotland’s. It is not in the EU, for example (nor is its sister country, Greenland). (Remember when we were promised the most powerful devolved government in the world… We really are suckers!)

I seriously suggest that this is worth half an hour of anyone’s time, and a donation, no matter how little, to help make further films about our nearby Nordic neighbours.

Iceland is next…