DULCE ET DECORUM EST

 

I’ll have no truck with the ceremonies in London where royals and political leaders gathered to pay their respects to people who died in a war that ended at 11 am 100 years ago today (and in the many conflicts since).

Not because I think we should forget war, and most assuredly not such a stupid pointless war as the one from 1914-18 that killed so many millions of people and wrecked the lives of countless more, because we should never forget this kind of monumental folly.

No, rather we should remember and learn from them.

But I want nothing to do with this tra la la, because that is what it will be. There’s no learning to be done. Just the Brits showing off their ceremonial prowess.

Image result for the queen at the cenotaph

The “great and the good” will be there in their expensive black clothes, looking suitably solemn, many of them wearing the “exclusive” poppies that posh people seem to get a hold of. And they will bow their heads in a show of respect for the dead. The dead that they, or their ancestors or predecessors, sent to war, sometimes arguably justifiably, and sometimes most definitely not.

All the remembrance has taught us nothing because, of course, it is rarely the sons of the great and the good (with a few honourable exceptions) that end up in the firing line.

Image result for the queen at the cenotaph

Then, once the ceremony is over, those and their likes will retire to the Foreign Office, mix with minor royalty and doubtless sup taxpayer-funded drinks. Duty done for another year.

Now all of that is fine… or it would be, if along with appearing at the Cenotaph* and looking sad, they would take action to ensure that those who did not die in their many and various wars, but who came home with horrible injuries to body and mind, and the families of those who did perish, were looked after by a grateful state.

Like so much else in this country, remembrance and the poppy have been devalued by politicians who use them as a political tool. If you don’t wear a poppy you are not patriotic. You don’t support ‘our brave boys’. Be ashamed.

Image result for ex servicemen begging for money

Incidentally, funds raised by the Scottish Poppy Appeal are directed to:

  • Providing direct financial assistance to ex-Service men, women and their dependents in Scotland.
  • Funding an advice service, including pension claims and appeals.
  • Supported employment for veterans with disabilities.
  • Grants and research for ex-Service organisations that deliver specialist services to veterans in Scotland.

All very worthy.

But my question is, why has this ever been necessary?

Are we not told over and over again what an important state Britain is, and how we punch above our weight and gain respect from countries all over the world for doing so?

Are we not one of the richest countries in the world?

So, why oh why are people who are sent by the government to do Her Majesty’s bidding and who come home less than whole, not looked after by that rich above-weight-punching government?

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I can only presume it’s because that government is too busy doing up palaces, paying for weddings of nonentities and continuing to punch above its weight LONG after it had any right to.

It’s not me who should be ashamed.

So, I’ll take no lectures on respect for troops from any of them.

Image result for harry patch as a young man

Today I HAVE been thinking about the unimaginable conditions that these men, and possibly a few women, had to endure in France. I’ve read some poems and listened to memories of people like Harry Patch, who was, I think, the last surviving British soldier from the 14-18 war, and who spoke with such horror of what he, at 16, had had to witness. And I wonder how that could possibly have happened, and worse, still be happening.

Image result for destruction in Yemen

I’ve thought too about the people who, because of war today, are starving and dying of completely or avoidable curable diseases in Yemen, of the scenes of destruction we have witnessed so recently in Libya and Syria and of the ongoing misery in Palestine.

For all the remembering that they do, they never seem to learn.

…And then I’m reminded that Bonespurs Trump wouldn’t brave the rain to show some respect for Americans who died in France.

(*I chose the Cenotaph ceremony because that is where the people who make decisions on wars, their funding and their aftermath, will be gathered. Not in Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast. And not in any of the towns and cities across Britain.)

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NOW WE HAVE SOMETHING ELSE NOT TO SNEER AT

 

For some time now we have been under strict orders not to mock the iconic blue passports which will be introduced sometime…who knows when… after the UK leaves the EU.

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Munguin has been, more or less, careful to heed the instructions of MPs.

Who, after all, is he, a mere media mogul, to disobey the commands of our richers and betters?

It’s been hard not to snigger at the passports, though, for several reasons.

After all, they won’t actually be iconic, because in the 21st century, passports from Canada to New Zealand, from Albania to Zambia, meet international standards of size, shape and layout, so that they can be read by electronic readers at every airport across the globe. And the standard has for some time been set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

And the UK’s EU passport could have been blue in any case. The red colour was only a Brussels’ suggestion. Croatian EU passports, for example, are blue!

Image result for croatian passports

Add all that to the fact that they will be manufactured in France and  “iconic” (iconique) melds easily into “ironic” (ironique).

But enough of that, for there is something even more exciting to celebrate… and not in any way to mock or sneer at. Today, in his budget, Mr Hammond (you know, the cheery looking bloke with the smiley face? Aye, well, not him, the other one with the long face that looks like he lost a shilling and found a sixpence) will announce another Brexit bonus.

Yes. The UK is to have a new 50p coin, issued on the day it leaves the EU.

What about that then. eh?

In retrospect, we probably should have warned you to be sitting down before you read it. But for those of you who are still with us and haven’t passed out with excitement, it is true. A celebration of Brexit will be made available to us all, even readers in Scotland (probably).!£!£$

And in a bid to send out a positive signal to the world, it is expected to bear the phrase, ‘Friendship With All Nations’. Doesn’t that tug at your heart?

So, y’know, people from Kenya to Kazakhstan who lay their hands on a 50p piece (worth next to nothing) will be aware that Britain wishes them friendship, in a sort of isolationist way, because, obviously, it is better than everyone else.

AND…

It was The Sun what done it.

According to that august organ:

“The Sun has campaigned for the Government to create an enduring gesture to mark Brexit as a landmark national moment, such as a special stamp or coin.”

It continued:

“The commemorative coin has had to be personally signed off by the Queen, as it will bear her head.” (This gave them an excuse to include a photo of Liz, which always goes down well with Sun readers., although for the more sophisticated taste of Munguin readers we thought this more appropriate.)

And, if there’s anything left in the shops, just imagine what fun you can have spending it.

You could hope for a sale at Poundland…

Or you could get a tattoo… as long as you weren’t too fussy about spelling.

Or maybe a second-hand hat? (Note from Munguin: You’ve fallen for the crowd-pleasing photo of Liz, you idiot!)

This place gets madder by the day.

WHO SHOULD PAY FOR TRUMP’S JOLLY?

Humza Yousaf Retweeted ScotsPolFed

It is simply unacceptable that UK Govt has so far refused to say that they will pick up the policing bill for President Trump’s visit, he is a guest of the UK Govt. I’ll be writing to the UK Govt demanding an urgent resolution to this matter.

We did not invite him. I’m pretty certain most of us don’t want him here.
What do you think?

RANDOM THOUGHTS ABOUT SELF IMPORTANCE

The thing is, of course, that she DID resign in the end. Any danger you or Rudd will do the same thing, Tess… Nope, thought not.

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RuthD

Only, it seems no one even noticed you were there. You weren’t helping David with the tea and biscuits, were you?

ruthagain

Well, maybe Tessy doesn’t know. I mean she gets sod all else right, does she?

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!queen

This is an unashamedly republican blog. Royal families, titles, bowing and scraping, in our opinion, belongs in the history books, or in stories for children. 

I hope we don’t bore people by constantly going on about what an anachronism all royalty is and what an absolute anachronism British royalty is, but today I just got really angry with a greedy old woman who wants it all. (To be fair, over the next few months as the establishment pushes royal weddings and births in an effort to distract us from the utter chaos they are overseeing in Brexit, policing, immigration, pensions, health, education, welfare, Trump butt licking,  etc etc, there may be a little more royal scrutiny.)

The position of head of the Commonwealth is not hereditary. In theory, it is up to Commonwealth heads of government to decide who should be the next leader. However, today the greedy Windsors have made it clear that they don’t want any competition for the job and like so much else that no one else gets a look in to, this role should go to Prince Charles when the queen dies.

The Queen made it very clear that those were her wishes. She is backed by the British government, which still wants to appear to be in charge of something, even if it is as toothless as the Commonwealth. Commentators doubt very much if the Queen’s wishes will be denied her. So another title for the boys…

They already have it all… and they want to keep it that way. Their sense of entitlement sickens me.

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RANDOM THOUGHTS

 

!trump
One knows Trump said he wasn’t coming, Pheeleep. After all, one has done one’s best to ensure that one leads a “sheet-hole” country, but best to keep safe than sorry. So, if we see anything orange we make for the helicopter, right? It will either be him or that dreadful Arlene person. Either way, being at Windsor will be preferable, even with all these beggars.
!trump2
Erm… sometimes you have to wonder if the flash limos and hundreds of servants are worth the anguish of working under President Pinhead.
£$
Arise, Sir Pledge.  Oh and please take £115,000 a year to run your post-prime ministerial office, even if you were never the prime minister. And the Queen may not have seen fit to honour the fire, police and ambulance people, the porters, doctors, nurses and all others involved, but seriously, ask yourselves who the public value more. And remember, their baubles mean absolutely NOTHING.
£britain
Eugh… how revolting, in every way.
€
Ah, the worst pensions in the world are only safe with the  broad shoulders of our beloved benighted kingdom! Just as well we stayed, isn’t it?
a labour
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Jeremy Corbyn. You’re not half a disappointment. Do you know anything about anything?
a oil
You might think that that was odd, but then, when you consider the other daft stuff the UK has pulled, it all seems quite logical.
a nuclear
Ooops, Philip. Bit of an old gaff there.
a rbs
The closure of hundreds of branches of RBS in England, Scotland and Wales seems to have evoked very little interest in the House of Commons.
A UKEU
Ah, the good old democracy of the Benighted Kingdom.

 

TRUMP…JEEEEZ

£AA

It’s hard to find the right words to describe Trump…

I mean, he’s nasty, cheap, ridiculous. He’s dense, or at least seemingly unable to articulate deep thinking on any subject. Indeed even fairly shallow sentiment seems to be beyond his ability. He’s a vulgarian, and a proud sexual abuser as the “pussy” tape showed very clearly. (I’ll happily accept further suggestions!)

If he was the bloke in charge of your local supermarket he would be beyond the pale. As president go, he’s simply indescribable. Never has anything so ridiculous as his election happened.

If the American people wanted something different, they sure got something…erm, different.

I feel sorry for them. Personally, I thought that virtually everything he promised was pie in the sky… bringing back manufacturing jobs to the USA (to be done by people who expected salaries ten times and more than the current employees were getting with far higher conditions of employment), was never likely to be more than a dream. Muslim bans in a country with a constitutional requirement to accept religious freedom…silly. Walls across the southern border. Mad. Ridding America of affordable care. Horrific.

In any case, in his first year, he has achieved almost nothing except a few humiliations in the early days where his decrees were overturned by courts. Much of the rest of the time has been spent replacing members of his administration who walked, some after only days in post.

atrump3

I felt vaguely sorry for the Maybot today.

Vaguely.

Faced with Trump’s moronic retweeting of unverified hate messages from the utterly repugnant group ‘Britain First’, May was left with no alternative but to offer mild criticism of his actions. She would have preferred not to, but the demands from too many people in the UK were too great for her to ignore.

At the same time, of course, she is aware that she must keep in with him, because in the increasingly unlikely event that he is still president when Brexit occurs, she will desperately need his promised trade deal, no matter how injurious it is to the UK.

In this case, a bad deal will be better than no deal.

So given that he is a fractious, ill-tempered, childlike character, she doesn’t want to be seen to do other than flatter his ego and hope that he won’t be too demanding.  atrumpy

But of course, he doesn’t like being even mildly rebuked in the most polite and respectful way possible, so when she indicated in a statement that she thought he was wrong, he immediately, eschewing the normal channels of communication between governments,  tweeted a snarky comment back to her.

Unfortunately, despite spending about half his life playing on Twitter (the other half is spent on the golf course) he appears not to have got the hang of this tweeting lark and so he managed to send his message to another Theresa,  from Bognor Regis or somesuch place, who has 6 followers.

atrump9

And this is the man with a finger on the nuclear button!

Much has been made of the altercation today. Trump has been castigated by politicians from all major parties, and it has even been suggested that the invitation to a state visit should be withdrawn. That, of course, is almost impossible to do. Much though we might want it, that level of insult to a head of state of a nation that Britain desperately needs to keep in with, is a step or six too far.

Of course, the truth is that it should never have been issued within the first few weeks of his presidency. It never has been before, with presidents who were at least in some ways presidential. To issue an invitation to such a controversial figure within the first weeks of his incumbency was yet another of the Maybot’s idiotic misjedgements.

joke3

Let’s hope that Trump is sentient enough to realise that even if the Queen has no option but to accept his presence here, the public is under no such obligation and that should he make the visit, the protests of ordinary people will be at a level designed to utterly humiliate him.  Hopefully that will be sufficient to persuade him to postpone his coming until his …erm…second term! Bwa, ha ha ha ha ha.

FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, PESTMINSTER, GET A GRIP

So, who knows whether Liz knew about the fact that she was putting her money into offshore accounts; who knows if she knew that money was tied up in Bright Homes, the rip-off company for the very poor?

If she didn’t know (and it is said that she takes a great deal of interest in these matters so she probably did), then she should have. Certainly, the banks of advisors that we pay for should have told her and explained to her the risks she was taking.

Don’t you think that it is time for a look at how we finance this bunch of scroungers?

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aapincher

Other news we saw concerning our lards and messers is that another Tory Whip, Chris Pincher, has reported himself to the police and to the party’s sleaze squad for being what his accuser described as a pound-shop Harvey Weinstein.

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andrea-leadsom-photoTom-Nicholson-LNP-REXShutterstock2

The knives are out for Andrea Leadsom who dobbed in SIR Fall-on (yer sword) for being a dirty wee sod. And I have to admit it does seem a particularly sneaky thing to do at this time when she has sat on the whole thing for 6 years or so.  Still, when it comes to the Tories, you’d have to go a fair way before you find one that wasn’t sneaky and self-serving, and kicking a man when he’s down is pretty much expected.

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ruth£

 

Talking of which, when the hell is Colonel Davidson, self-appointed Augean Stables Clearer in Chief, going to do something about the tweeting habits of Murdo Fraser. Having some time ago shown his football preference (and that of his queen) was Rangers and very definitely NOT Celtic (Remember the Queen’s Eleven), he has shown his preference over many a tweet. Nothing wrong with having a favourite team of course, but his burning hatred for Celtic seems to know no bounds.

Yesterday at the match at McDiarmid Park there was a minute’s silence for war dead. Murdo tweeted that fans had not respected the silence (or so he heard on the “wireless”), although fans from both sides said that it was absolutely respected. It seems that he was just trying to cause trouble. Isn’t there enough trouble at the moment, Murdo?

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£PROD-Gordon-Brown-and-Tony-Blair

 

And poor old Gordon Brown. He’s got a new book out and has been emoting all over the place about a wide range of issues. The latest ’emote’ has been his anguish over the Iraq War. (The other day it was how much he felt that the banks should have been made to pay for what they did in the lead up to 2008, when, if you’ll remember, he was the Chancellor and then the Prime Minister…so not entirely without power!). Anyway, the old duffer is now anguished about the Iraq war, which well he may be, given the consequences of that enormous folly. And, of course, he’s still banging on about his agreement with Blair, which Blair, ever the gentleman, broke.

I expect they have told him that he will sell more books if he gets a bit teary-eyed about stuff. So that’s fine.

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And it’s not all just happening at Pestminster. Mark McDonald, an education minister in Holyrood, has demitted office because of “inappropriate” behaviour. He says he might have been too “humorous or friendly”. I’m inclined to think that no one would be required to stand down from a job for being humorous or friendly. Make what you will of it.

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AMAYBLUNDER

Oh and lastly, that great friend that Mrs May invited to make a state visit, almost before the he had finished making his inauguration speech, has set his cap at bagging the privatisation of the Saudi Oil Company for New York, when the Brits hoped that it would go to London. The man who was going to be the UK’s greatest Brexit friend has (not unreasonably) gone for the massive prize of handling the Saudi deal knowing how much May wanted it.

If that’s her closest friend, what are her enemies going to do to her… Oh I forgot, they are a bunch of perverts, weirdos and cheats called the Tory Party and they are busily making her premiership the biggest nightmare since the one on Elm Street.