MAKE IT INTO WALES
The hapless Richard Leonard has once again come up trumps (no pun intended) when it comes to the dafty stakes.
Making a video about the Scottish Labour ‘vision’ for Scotland (and the UK, although I find it hard to imagine why SCOTTISH Labour would have a vision for the UK), Mr Leonard talks over a picture of… Snowdonia.
Well, a mountain is a mountain is a mountain, I guess.
Maybe we should be grateful that they managed to avoid this:
The video, a set of aspirations, some of which the Scottish government has already achieved (not giving Tory tax breaks to the richest, and equality in wages just achieved by Glasgow’s SNP Council after years of Labor denying them…see below).
Many of the other aspirations could have been met by a Scottish government that had the power to regulate employment. But then, who was it that voted against the devolution of so many powers, remind me…? Hmmm… Surely not Labour?
As far as I can make out all the other locations in the video are in Scotland, so the excuse they came up with that Scottish Labour (with virtually no money) is making a video about the whole of the UK, isn’t terribly convincing.
Would it not have been better to admit that they made a silly error by including the Welsh mountains in a Scottish video?
No. It seems they prefer to do a Donald Trump and come up with a not too plausible story as a cover-up.
I bet, it’s just a shame it took removing Scottish Labour from office to make it happen.
Now Nicola, time to get on with nationalising Scottish water…
“Teachers should not have to buy pens and pencils for their own classrooms. Our schools should be properly funded by the SNP government.”
At First Minister’s Questions yesterday, Mr Leonard complained that some teachers had had to provide pens and pencils for kids who could not afford them.
Indeed, he was to an extent, right. It is terrible that teachers are having to do this and, in fact, more. Some teachers of my acquaintance are having to provide food for kids they have found raking in bins shaking with hunger.
Of course, they don’t actually have to, but being human beings, some of them try to help where they can. Who could possibly refuse a hungry kid something to eat?
But wait, when I think back to my school days, in Scotland and later in England, I always had to provide my own pens and pencils, not to mentions rules, compasses and protractors. To the best of my knowledge, the state never provided anything like that.
So it is a valid point. Teachers should not have to provide these items, but it’s not the headline-grabbing “SNP government BAAAAD” that is responsible for this. That’s childish nonsense and I suspect that the intelligent Mr Leonard knows that.
Why are parents too poor to provide for their kids?
I’d suggest that a pitifully low minimum wage, zero-hours contracts, part-time work, the utter chaos of the current benefits system (PIP and UC), and rampant inflation, may be the cause.
All areas, you’ll note, over which the Scottish government has no control.
So we have a situation where parents are finding it hard to provide basic necessities for their children. And that these are areas of policy retained at Westminster. And Mr Leonard chose to blame the SNP government. Not the Scottish government, you’ll note, but “this SNP government”.
Not that I’d presume to talk for Nicola Sturgeon, but I suspect that if Mr Leonard was minded to, the First Minister would happily sign a joint letter to Mrs May asking for these matters to be devolved. Then maybe together we could do something about this instead of trying to make petty political points out of kids’ misery.
One thing that the Scottish government might be able to do without asking Westminster, though, is to remove the obligation for children to wear uniforms at school. Uniforms are expensive and nowadays they’re not used for anything except going to school.
Kids grow out of clothes so quickly and it is expensive to replace them. Not having to provide separate wear for school would be a weight off the budgets of some hard-up households. (You know, the “just getting by” ones so favoured by Mrs May…well, for the first ten minutes of her prime ministership anyway.)
If there any good reasons that escape me for making kids wear clothes they don’t like, that aren’t particularly comfortable and that cost a lot of money and have to be dry cleaned, please let me know?
Jeans, trackies, t-shirt and sweaters work ok in schools in the USA, for example.
In fairness to Mr Leonard, who had the benefits of a scholarship to a private school, he may have had to find his own pencils. You would think, though, that someone on his staff might have gone to an ordinary school and been able to advise him in advance that he was about to make yet another howling out-of-touch faux pas.
1/ Were your stationery requirements provided by whatever government(s) when you went to school?
2/ Would you have any objection to kids going to school in jeans and t-shirts instead of shirts and ties and dry cleanable blazers?
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.
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.
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.
Well, it’s just as well none of the Tory Party members would ever consider behaving in such a rowdy boorish manner. They have a reputation for sitting quietly and listening carefully to every argument.
Whatever next, you might ask. Maybe one of the SNP hooligans will shout something typically Scottish and tasteless like “you could commit suicide”?
But quite apart from that, Nadine, possibly for the first time in your long career, you have hit a nail on the head.
The SNP does have zero power in your parliament, Nadine.
And yes, that’s frustrating, especially after being promised so much in 2014. You know… “lead us don’t leave us”; “broad shoulders”; “partnership of equals”; “the most powerful devolved government in the world”; Better Together”.
Especially when they really do care about the likelihood that the powers the Brits have clawed back may mean that our land could be fracked against our will, our ambitious targets for cleaning up the air could be discarded; we could be forced to accept farming conditions that we don’t want with chlorinated chicken and hormone-fed beef and that our NHS could be semi-privatised and end up in the same sort of unholy mess that yours is in.
I didn’t really know much about Dorries until I read that Tweet, but I just checked out her Wikipedia page and it is a catalogue of comedy. Enjoy.
It’s not often I agree with either the Daily Mail or the Tories… In fact almost never.
But, it really is time that Britain did something about a house of parliament that allows aristocrats, placemen, donors and churchmen (from only one church) to make decisions on behalf of us “ordinary people”.
The SNP, which point blank refuses to appoint anyone to serve in that house, has been arguing this for years.
The strange thing is that the Tories only got all het up about its existence when it started thwarting their mad Brexit plans (if plans be the word?).
Not so long ago Mr Rees Mogg was arguing that “privilege of peerage” should allow members of the House of Lords to enjoy a better vintage of champagne than enjoyed by members of the Commons. Moreover, he advised against reforming the House in any way and insisted that the Lords should remain independent.
And then Douglas Carswell suggested that unless the Lords was not independent and voted the way that the Tories wanted them to, the government should create 800 new peers to outvote them.
Aye, why not, I say! Only 800 x £300 = £240,000 a day, plus expenses. Cheap at half the price. And when your debt is already £2 trillion, what’s a little extra expense on aristocrats?
Still, never mind the reason. There’s a chance of getting shot of the house of old duffers and vintage champagne drinkers that cost us a lot of money.
It’s an ill wind, as they say.
But let’s do it before we spend billions doing up their part of parliament in a suitably aristocratic way.
When Mr Corbyn came to Scotland to welcome yet another new incumbent to the leadership of the Scottish Branch of the British Labour Party, both of them talked, frankly, a load of guff about ‘a far away country full of people about whom they apparently knew nothing’ to paraphrase Mr Chamberlain.
The massive clanger, of course, was the demand from Mr Leonard that the Scottish government must take back Scottish Water into public ownership. To do that of course, the Scottish government would first have to sell it off to private enterprise, something that wasn’t done before.
A common theme from Labour is that the Scottish government has done nothing to alleviate the effects of austerity imposed on the poor (but not the rich), by the British Tories [a party of government (in the UK) and opposition (in Scotland) you’d have been excused for thinking that two supposedly left wingers would have been anxious to ridicule, particularly given that they ARE ridiculous].
I’ve always excused Corbyn’s ignorance of Scotland (he didn’t for example, know that there was such a thing as Scots Law), because he is a London MP who has always been just that: a back-bencher mainly concerned with his London constituents (and from what a hear, a damned good one too).
On the other hand, although Mr Leonard is an Englishman, he has been resident in Scotland for some time. He has been a member of the Scottish parliament for a couple of years now and he has just become the leader of Labour’s Scottish branch. It would be reasonable to expect him to know something of what’s going on here.
Perhaps Mr Corbyn and Mr Leonard might like to take a look at what Scotland has done with its limited powers and compare them with what the Welsh LABOUR government has done with their, albeit more limited, powers.
And remember that the government here had to fight for the power to use money to help the poor. It didn’t just happen.
Justified opposition to government policy is essential, wherever it is from: Labour, Tory or Greens. Carping for the sake of carping is no substitute for it. Corbyn, at least, we know, is better than that. And the public deserves better than the current state of affairs.
Democratic governance works when a government is held to account by oppositions attempting to get the best for the country, rather than trying to score cheap political points, especially with incorrect information and lies.
I’m sure they don’t lie on purpose. They just seem not to know.
A course of instruction from someone who does know how things work in this country and is aware of what has been done with the powers we have and what will be done with the powers we are yet to get, might be a good idea, because, at the moment, it looks like the blind are leading the blind and it’s more than a little laughable.
The SNP can’t go on in power forever. No party ever does. But the chronic lack of talent, ability and know how in the current Labour Party leaves us with the horrifying prospect that, when that time comes, it may be the Tories that replace the SNP. A fate to be avoided at any cost.
Lest you should be in any doubt about that, I leave you with this: