RANDOM THOUGHTS

Sturgeon and HM the Queen

Oh, how the Express made me laugh today.

The headline read:

Shock as Nicola Sturgeon refuses to curtsy to the Queen as she visits Holyroodhouse

Actually, there is no evidence that she REFUSED to do so. She apparently simply bowed her head a little, which broke no protocol. So it was all a big fuss about nothing.

The article opened:

SCOTLAND’S First Minister Nicola Sturgeon showed no sign of a curtsy when she met the Queen yesterday. Instead, Miss Sturgeon shook hands as the monarch visited the Palace of Holyroodhouse – the royal residence in Edinburgh.

The Queen and Nicola Sturgeon

The Queen, 93, wore a floral dress for the meeting and appeared in pink at a garden party.

It appears that the Express just wanted to get some of its little old lady readers tutting and shaking their heads in horror. They will have been relieved that, without any further ado, they could read what the queen was wearing, both when she met Nicola and when she later appeared at a garden party.

Well, it’s important stuff, that!

So in case there are any little old ladies reading this and who give a damn, here is the pink outfit, because you can never have too many pics of Liz, right?!

The Queen

If you are gagging for further information, you should probably read the Express article, but I can save you the bother by telling you that Anne wore something green, Eddy looked a complete muppet in a top hat… and Andy Airmiles looked, well, fat.

Anyway, the point is Nicola didn’t make an almighty fool of herself like her English counterpart with her knees almost on the floor and her chest almost bared!.

Image result for may curtseys

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I’ve always thought that Ann Widdecombe was as mad as a box of frogs. I mean the only sensible thing she ever said was that Michael Howard had something of the night about him.

As a Home Office minister, she often said or did slightly bizarre stuff and then when she retired from politics and started being a “tv personality” she was even more outrageous, if less entertaining.

Image result for ann widdecombe strictly

However, in her latest incarnation, Widde is at her weirdest.

She seems to see Brits in the same light as slaves rising against a cruel master. ‘There is, she told the parliament, a long history of “oppressed people turning on their oppressors”.’

“Nous allons, wir gehen, we’re off”!

Well, Old Annie can add polyglot to her list of qualifications! 

I suspect that in these initial days of the parliament, people will simply laugh at the immaturity of the Brexit party with their refusal to face the front when “Ode to Joy” was playing and their idiotic speeches about being slaves and threatening to turn on Britain’s oppressors.

But I have a feeling that it won’t be long before the Europeans tire of this nonsense, which the BP is doing, presumably in order to stir up even more xenophobia at home, in time for what is becoming an ever more likely general election in the late autumn!

The answer to them may very well be:

Pour l’amour de Dieu, allez! Um Gottes willen, gehen! For God’s sake, go!

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Oh, welcome to Scotland, Theresa.

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ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER LOAD OF LEADERSHIP HOPEFUL ELECTIONEERING

Image result for sajid javid

Sajid Javid, popularly(?) known as “the Saj” has just announced in a tweet that if he becomes prime minister (don’t laugh, some are even more ridiculous… Munguin) he won’t allow Nicola Sturgeon to hold an independence referendum. (You can laugh now… Munguin.)

Apparently we jocks made a decision in 2014,  and it was a decision that the Tories liked,  so that must be that, presumably for all time, (or as flip flop Davidson said recently, u-turning yet again on a previous statement, for 100 years or so).

Now, we all know the arguments for holding a second referendum, so I won’t over-rehearse them here, but in essence, it comes down to Democracy… you know, the will of the people.

The Yes movement, including SNP and Greens, accepted, albeit reluctantly, that the vote in 2014 went against them. But, being mindful that that vote was influenced by last-minute promises made by David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband and for no particular reason co-signed by the leaders of their Scottish branch offices (none of whom would be your most trustworthy types), both the parties that favoured independence wrote into their manifestos for 2016 election, a proposal for a second referendum should Cameron et al, break their promises (as if), or should there be a dramatic change in the circumstances of the UK.

Image result for nicola sturgeon and patrick harvey

Just as well really, because Cameron did break promises, there has been a dramatic change in the circumstances of the UK, and they did win a majority.

It’s worthwhile remembering at this point that a firm plank in the U KOK campaign was the argument that if Scotland left the UK it would be unceremoniously dumped by the EU, it would then go to the end of the queue behind Belarus or Armenia and other such places, membership wouldn’t happen for decades if not millennia, and that that would be an utter catastrophe for the country.

But, given that that catastrophe has been visited upon us, despite voting to remain with the UK and therefore the EU, despite us voting 62-38 against leaving the EU, it’s not surprising that the government and the Green Party are calling for that which was in their manifestos to be respected. You know, the will of (some of) the British people that the Tories keep banging on about.

The recent vote in the Euro elections has only confirmed the split between how Scotland and England vote.

As for a vote in 2014 being seen as binding in 2020, Mr Javid seems to miss the fact that he is a member of a Cabinet that has brought back the same legislation on Brexit to their parliament three times within a few months without any circumstances changing, and indeed was proposing to bring it back for a fourth time until the leader of said Cabinet was given a none too gentle shove in the back with the promise of knives to come.

Javid clearly has absolutely no idea of what is going on in Scotland as his tweet continued:

“Nicola Sturgeon should spend more time improving public services in Scotland and less time grandstanding.”

Image result for how many doctors per head are there in Scotland

The Saj seems to be utterly unaware that on virtually every front, figures show that public services in Scotland are far better than those in other nations in the UK. We have more doctors, more nurses, NHS dental care, more police, less crime, better care of elderly, better coordination between health services and social care services, better trains, free university education and fewer problems with prisons and probation services (mainly down to the happy fact that Chris Grayling has been kept as far away as possible from our country!)

All in all, Scotland is a better place to live than most of the rest of the UK. It might have been an idea for Javid to check this out before he opened his mouth or let his fingers walk across his keyboard.

And, when it comes to “grandstanding”… don’t make me laugh.

What about May announcing her resignation but refusing to go until Trump’s unnecessary and wholly inappropriate state visit is over so that she can demit her benighted premiership on what she doubtless thinks of as a high note.

This is a state visit. May did not invite Trump. The queen did. It’s about pomp and ceremony and tra la la stuff. Yes there are usually talks, but Trump might as well talk to Munguin. Any talks she has with him may as well be about the weather or his suntan. A few days after he gets on the AirForce One, she gets in Removal Van One.

Why could not her deputy, Livingstone or whatever he’s called, have run the government side of the affair? May is finished now, never mind in June.

Image result for removal van at 10 downing street

I’d also remind the Home Secretary that telling jocks what they can and can’t do or have, is unlikely to impress us much and rarely has the desired effect. Although clearly, he is not trying to impress us.

His audience is the mainly English Tory MPs in Westminster and the mainly English, mainly elderly members of his party. So jock bashing sounds like a clever plan.

Anyone think he has got much of a chance?

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On the subject of this awful leadership contest that we are all having to go through, even before it has begun, why do all of them say over and over that they can unite the country, but fail completely to explain HOW they will do that when they can’t unite their own party?

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I liked this answer to Javid’s tweet from Femi Sorry.

Femi
Replying to

Your party threatened Scotland that leaving the UK would mean leaving the EU in 2014, and now you not only want to drag Scotland out against its will, but refuse to let them decide if that’s OK? If you become PM, then as I’M ACTUALLY FROM Bromsgrove, count on me to be a problem.
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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.)

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.

!£$

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.