SO HOW ARE THINGS GOING, MUNGUIN?

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Well, everyone!

And when I say well, I don’t mean that things are going well. I just mean W-e-l-l…

You see, we have in the UK:

the slowest wage growth since Napoleonic Wars;

the worst productivity for 2 centuries;

a national debt which has doubled in 7 yrs;

the highest inflation rate for 5 years;

the lowest ever UK credit rating;

the highest ever trade gap;

a budget deficit still £50 billion, despite 7 years of austerity;

debt standing at £1,940,773,400,000 and climbing at £5,170 per second, so heaven knows what it will be when you read this.

Additionally, hospitals, GPs, schools, roads, transport, council services are all chronically underfunded and collapsing under the strain of cuts and of trained and qualified people leaving the sinking ship. And of course, to save money, the government is going ahead with the disastrous, underfunded, badly set up and even worse managed Universal Credit, which sees people wait for months for their benefits, a part of a benefits system to which may be attributed the deaths of thousands of people.

So:

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As if that were not enough, the UK is dealing with the most difficult and complex issues it has faced, at least since world war two.

 

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Austerity for toffs.

 

And in charge (and I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek), while all this goes on, we have a bunch of squabbling, badly behaved, incompetent pests, who find it hard to keep their trousers on, and dependent for their majority on a party made up of people who really believe that the world started 6,000 years ago and that the Giant’s Causeway was created late on THAT Saturday night, after which God rested!

So all in all, not too well, rather than well, I’d say… but what do I know?

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I’m just gonna sing a wee song with my musical director here.

love Munguin

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Celebrities Visit SiriusXM - October 26, 2017

Those of you who have followed Munguin’s New Republic, and his old one too, for a long time, will know that I’m a ridiculously big fan of Petula Clark, who, over the years I’ve been to see in hundreds of places and on a few occasions got to sing with. Today (Nov 15) is Petula’s birthday. Not that I suppose she’d thank me for mentioning it, but it’s her 85th birthday.

She is celebrating it in the way she does best. She has kicked off a concert tour of the USA with a new English language album “Living for Today”, so she’ll be singing, which is what she likes to do better than anything else.

She’s just spent the summer in Québec making an album of French Canadian songs with young upcoming Québecois writers and producers. When she finishes the USA tour she will be touring Canada with her new French album. By the time all this is over she’ll be pretty nearly 86 years old.

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She has now been in show business for 77 years.

You may or may not like her music, but what you can’t ever knock is her boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Bon Anniversaire, ma chère Pétula.

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For all the corruption, there are good people in our politics

I just had a laugh at someone on Twitter:

I find it irritating that we are supposed to make the case for Scottish Independence to No voters yet they don’t bother their arse trying to make a case for the union to us. I mean look at the state of the UK, it an absolute f*****g cringeworthy embarrassment.

And he’s right.

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At the so-called top, we have mega rich members of the royal family with their money (personal money that we grant them through the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, in addition to their state grants and private incomes) tied up in offshore trusts and dodgy companies that scone the poor.

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We have ministers at all levels that can’t keep their trousers around their waists or their hands out of other people’s undergarments.

We have some ministers that brag about hard work that they have done, only to admit when told by parliament to produce it for scrutiny, that, in fact, either through laziness or incompetence, they didn’t bother doing it at all.

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We have a minister that breaks every rule in the book and risks security in order to try to do an illegal, dodgy, so-called “humanitarian” deal with a foreign army not known for its humanitarian actions, and who then lies about it, and a Foreign Secretary who makes such a mess of his job that a British citizen held in an Iranian has her sentence doubled because of his stupidity… and still the fool fails to apologise.

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And we have a prime minister who watches it all happen and does almost nothing except getting her statue in the waxworks! Maybe Madame Tussauds should have the real one and Downing Street get the dummy?

If this is strong and stable; if this is broad shoulders; if this is pooling and sharing, then frankly, no thanks. We’d have been a lot better off independent.

But we should remember that not all of our politicians are greedy self-serving, incompetent morons.

Famously English Labour MP, Dave Nellist, gave away half his salary. Scottish Socialist took only the average wage when they were in parliament. And SNP and some Scottish Labour MPs either refused to take the massive pay rise they were given a few years ago or arranged for the amount of the rise to be given to local charities.

Alex Salmond, criticised by some for his Fringe show which he took on the road, donated the profits from it to charity. Nicola takes only her 2008 salary, donating the rest the money to the Scottish government.

Of that, at least, we can be proud.

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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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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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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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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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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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.

SOMETIMES MUNGUIN JUST SCRATCHES HIS HEAD AND WONDERS IF HE’S ONLY DREAMING

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In the strange world of today, blessed as we are with a lying, delusional moron as president of the United States of America and a Britain ripping itself out of the European Union, the largest richest trading block in the world, and going who knows where,  under the “direction” of a disparate bunch of idiots who seem to have no idea what they are doing… and in any case are all doing whatever it is differently, it has become increasingly difficult to take seriously any of the what now passes for news.

In fact, I read earlier today that Private Eye is no longer as funny as it once was. Presumably this is because it’s impossible to put a ‘funnier’ spin on the already hilariously ridiculous news.

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Today, we heard that David Davis thinks that, while MPs will get the chance to debate the terms of Brexit deal (or one of the different kinds of no deal that he imagines to be possible), it might actually have to happen after the deed is done and dusted. By which time, of course, it will be impossible to make changes and any vote would be as much of a waste of time as the one which they had on Universal Credit. Bravo, David.

Then we find out that Harry Windsor has been on a charm offensive to Denmark. The government, being lumbered with Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, has decided to use the Windsors to do his job. Well, I suppose they have to do something for all that money.

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Additionally, Willie and Kate and Charles and Cammy have been sent off at various times recently, to visit various parts of Europe. This is apparently designed to make the Europeans feel kindly disposed to the English or Brits or whatever. Note that H\rry arrived in a private jet, so heaven knows what the cost of this jolly is.

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Still, it has to be better than sending grandpa!

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I’ve just read too, that the only semi-sentient Defence Secretary SIR Hic Fallon has told the Defence Committee: “I have to repeat, sadly, to this committee that criticism of Saudi Arabia in this parliament is not helpful”.

Fallon claimed that criticism of Saudi Arabia in Parliament was the reason that a large order for Eurofighter Typhoon Jets to the barbaric kingdom was being held up.

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Well, we’re bloody sorry.  Who are we to be spoiling Britains chance to sell these people more weaponry to kill Yemen kids, or indeed to arm whatever other rebels they arm? (Ask Boris.) Stop being nasty about the royal Saudi thugs.

It will come as no surprise that the waste of space that inhabits the cabinet chair marked “Secretary of State against Scotland and for Making May’s Tea” was unable to tell us what new powers would be coming to Scotland… just as he was unable to explain why, as powers keep being given back to Scotland, it has been necessary for him to boost his staff from 5 to over 70.

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His only function is to represent Scotland’s interests in London. He has now 15 times the staff numbers available to him to do this. And yet, having promised a raft of new powers, he is unable to name one of them. NOT ONE. What on earth use is he, or indeed is his Noble Friend the Under Secretary so recently and with indecent haste raised to the aristocracy when he lost an election? (You Jocks didn’t vote for him, but we’ll make him your overlord anyway! Sod this democracy lark!)

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And all that is before I’ve even had a chance to find out what kind of tomfoolery the orange baboon has been up to today.

ALL IN THIS TOGETHER? AYE, RIGHT!

From Private Eye.

Come on, UK government. This is no way to treat people. Not even people you look down on and dislike.

But we all know you don’t give a stuff about that.

There’s money enough for the things that matter to you. And nothing for the people at the bottom.

Hell mend you. Someone needs to because you are as sure as hell’s hot,  broken.

GETTING ON WITH THE DAY JOB?

Douglas at his other job.

On an associated subject, Scotland and the UK got a mention in the Press in Sénégal today. Our fame has spread thanks to Douglas Ross’s decision that people in his constituency needed representation in the opposition debate on Universal Credit (which funnily enough isn’t credit… it’s paid in arrears…very much in arrears, unlike MP’s salaries) a good deal less than he needed a jolly to Catalunya and a big fat fee for doing some assistant refereeing at an even more ridiculous hourly rate than he gets for (not) being in parliament.

Again, I’m certain that he doesn’t give a stuff what Munguin’s Republic or any of us little people think about it. After all May excused him. And I suppose that’s fair enough really. After all, it’s not like he would have been in the business of saying anything critical of his London masters and he would have voted (or rather not voted) the way he was told to by the whips no matter how many people in his constituency suffer hardships, hunger, homelessness and more, as a result of their odious policy.

In a week when Scotland could have been making headlines around the world with the innovative wind farm and the first minister’s obvious rapport with the Arctic Council leaders in Reykjavík, we had to make the headlines in Africa because of a skiver who’d rather make extra money than do the day job.

IF EVER THERE WAS A TIME THAT WE NEEDED PROPER LEADERSHIP IT IS NOW. AND WHAT HAVE WE GOT?

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A “no deal” Brexit will mean less money for the struggling NHS and for cash-starved social care, the Chancellor has admitted.

But wait, what happened to the £350 million a week?

Philip Hammond is the first Cabinet minister to say it was “theoretically possible” that crashing out of the EU without an agreement would ground all flights.

And unless they come to agreements over Open Skies, that’s what will happen.

Mr Hammond appeared to be at odds with Mrs May when he noted that there was a  prospect of terrorists targeting new infrastructure at or near the border – despite the Prime Minister ruling out a hard border. An Taosiseach Leo Varadkar said last month that solutions were unlikely to be found and insisted that it was down to the UK to resolve the issue, adding that Ireland would not help design a “border for the Brexiteers.”

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Over 100 MPs have written to David Davis asking him to publish the impact assessments they say that the government has done, but refused to make public. Refusing to let us know how bad it would be is surely a dereliction of duty and impeding the work of parliament in scrutinising the work of the executive.

What a mess!

Looking at snippets of Prime Minister’s Questions today, I was thinking that, if ever there was a time to have a strong and stable prime minister with a bunch of dedicated, intelligent, hardworking, visionary ministers, it was now.

Then I listened to her stammering and spluttering her way through non-answers to the perfectly reasonable questions that Jeremy Corbyn was putting to her on the utter chaos surrounding their Universal Credit scheme, and I began to wonder if I was living in some sort of Grimms Fairy Tale.

Shortly afterwards I caught a bit of Liz Truss’s car crash interview with Andrew Neil, and then I knew that I was.