JUST FOR A LAUGH

Le Temps, Switzerland, June 6, 2019.
De Volkskrant, The Netherlands, May 31, 2019.
Politicalcartoons.com, Croatia, June 3, 2019.
The Charlotte Observer, U.S., June 4, 2019.
The Buffalo News, U.S., June 5, 2019.
The Boston Globe, U.S., June 5, 2019.
Columbia Missourian, U.S., June 5, 2019.

Thanks to BJSAlba for these.

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Of course, the real jokes of this week are undoubtedly the contenders, possible and impossible, for the Tory Party leadership. As they work hard to outbid each other on the  “I did drugs. What can I say? I’m actually human, just like you ordinary run-of-the-mill lower and lesser folk”, something interesting has come to light.

The process for a visa for visiting the USA includes questions about drug use. Wee Govey’s recent admission with regard to the use of cocaine, could put him in breach of rules, which require applicants to state if they have ever violated laws related to possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs.

We may reasonably assume that on previous applications for USA visas, he will have lied about his drug use. And so he could conceivably be refused a visa to enter the USA.

Of course, if he were elected prime minister, that wouldn’t happen, which would also be an embarrassment in its own way because it would prove that there is one rule for those and such as those and one rule for… well, us.

But given that Gove is not the only one to admit to drug use, the UK could well end up with a prime minister who wouldn’t be able to visit their greatest ally. Donny!

Of course, the admission from the house elf is all the more embarrassing because, as English Education Secretary, Gove brought in legislation that allowed for the disqualification (and sacking) of teachers who were convicted of possessing class A drugs…all the while knowing that his wee nose was no stranger to these substances.

To be fair, school teachers are not prime ministers and vice versa! But still, maybe he needs to rethink his career plans.

As Michael Gove brought in a code of conduct in 2014 disqualifying teachers convicted of possessing class A drugs (yep, cocaine is in there), I think it only fair if he disqualifies himself from any public position. I mean we wouldn’t want him to be hypocritical now, would we?
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So, in view of the opium smoking and cocaine use, not to mention the loathsome smoking of pot, it appears that all we are left with is this joke, I mean bloke…

or this bloke and his little lap dog…

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…the dream team?

Maybe the others, given the age and disposition of the average voter in this contest, should have been a bit more careful about what they admitted to.

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After all, whatever happened to the good old fashioned, if slightly dull, practice of admitting to running through a cornfield.

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Oh yes, of course…she did that!

 

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I WONDER IF THEY REALISE WHAT THEY ARE SHOUTING FOR

Conan sent this (for which, thanks).

Every time I’ve been on any of these AUOB marches the atmosphere has been so friendly. Marchers chat, laugh, share stories, and are polite and nice to each other.

There is, of course, always a small bunch of Union Jack flag wavers, most of whom also are polite and well behaved, although they do tend to be shouting slogans which I can never make out because of the noise of the tens of thousands of independence supporters marching with music and drums and enjoying themselves.

I always smile at the unionists as we go past. They believe what they believe and I believe what I believe. Most of the marchers do. Some ignore them, and presumably some shout back, although I’ve not witnessed that.

I remember last year in Edinburgh seeing Miguel (a Twitter mate) waving and blowing them kisses as he proudly carried his Rainbow flag.

I don’t think we will ever convince the shouty people in these videos. I suspect that they create such bad publicity that they probably aren’t popular among their own people. This is not what unionism really looks like, is it?

No. I think not, but their behaviour and that of the young Nazi saluters back 5 years ago, are the impression that we tend to get of them.

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Sadly their “leader” seemed unwilling to condemn their behaviour, or indeed to discuss it at all.

But as Alex so rightly said in the last article:

“Surely Trump’s N.H.S comment, which I see now he’s trying to roll back on, must be a wake-up call to my generation who were substantially to blame for us losing the 2014 Independence Referendum.
“As my age increases, more and more I rely on the S.N.H.S to keep me alive, and if this threat to sell off one of our greatest national assets doesn’t resonate with my fellow pensioners, I will really doubt their sanity.”
I wonder if they will ever reflect on how much better services in Scotland, run by the SNP government, are in comparison to those in England run by the Tories.
Particularly the NHS,  and particularly because the people in the video at the top of this piece are at an age where they could find that they have a greater than average need of its services.
Maybe there comes a time to vote for self-preservation rather than for a British state that doesn’t give a stuff about them and prefers spending its (our) money on punching above its weight.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

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Munguin was happy to welcome President Trump Biscuit for drinks (bring your own) at Munguin Towers.

I’ve no time for Sajid Javid, but he was the only senior cabinet minister who was denied an invitation to the multi-million-pound dinner for the extended Trump family at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

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I wonder why that was…

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It seems that, much to Mayhem’s embarrassment, the president of the US has indicated that the NHS is on the table for negotiations in a future trade deal.

Everything, indeed, is on the table. Now in fairness, I didn’t hear him say that he wants to privatise the NHS, just that it will be on the table.

Nicola Sturgeon has said that the Scottish NHS must never be on the table, but we all know that she could, at present, be overruled by someone as insignificant as David Mundell.

There’s a thought to worry you.

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trumpcrowd2

trumpcrowd

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Penny Mordant, who I am told is the defence secretary (it’s hard to keep up with the ever-changing UK cabinet as they keep on walking or being fired), wants to use the Army to deal with rising violent crime rates in England, which in itself is a rather frightening situation.

Perhaps if the government that she is a part of funded the police a little more generously then there would be less need to make use of the armed forces to keep the peace on English streets.

However, I noted at the same time that violent crime in Scotland is down by 33% over 10 years and I can’t help wondering if this is just a sneaky way of getting us Scots to subsidise the lack of English police.

On the matter of violent crime, I saw that Birmingham, England, now has a scheme (launched today)  to provide stab bags or bleed control kits to pubs and nightclubs in the city. These kits contain all you need to staunch the blood flow if one of your mates gets stabbed on a night out. The need for these bags has convinced me that I won’t be visiting any nighteries in Brun in the near future!

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What on earth is that orange thing with grandmama?
Jeez, Trumpy’s speech is boring and I’m stuck next to this loser. Must have a word with the servants. That ceiling needs painting. Will it never be time to go home?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.)

I’M TELLING; WE’VE BEEN PUSHED AROUND BUY THE BIG FOREIGN BOY

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After more than two years of being ruthlessly pushed around by the EU, it is time for the UK to resist.

WHAT?

OK, so in my world (and clearly that isn’t the world of Eton, Oxford, Bullington Club, Westminster, and the Daily Telegraph), you haven’t been pushed around. And by “you”, I guess I mean England (and Wales) and your government.

You guys in the Tories decided to offer a referendum as a way of ensuring that people who disliked Europe would vote Tory and not UKIP in 2015. And to an extent, it worked.

Largely due to the UK voting system, your 11.3 million votes got you 331 seats, where are UKIP’s 3.8 million votes got them just 1 seat. Fair, huh?

Having got that far your right wing pushed Cameron to go ahead with the referendum, and he did, but in the absolute certainty (in his head) that he would win. And because of that certainty, he refused to allow any preparation for a possible no leave. Nothing.

When Nicola Sturgeon suggested that he just might lose, he told her not to be silly. Girls in politics, huh? What’s the Eton world coming to?

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So, when the result came in Dave fled for the hills,  beach, leaving whoever was his successor to pick up the pieces with not one single plan having been made. (It is worth noting here, however, that Theresa May had been the Home Secretary in the run up to the referendum, and so she knew that that was the situation when she applied for, and then got, the job.

Now a sensible government would have planned for both conceivable results. This would have meant in short order they could have put together a set of detailed pre-prepared proposals for leaving the EU, including how they would deal with the vexed (nigh insoluble) question of the Ireland/UK border, mindful of the conditions of the Good Friday Agreement and international trade laws regarding borders at the end of jurisdictions.

Replying to 

After 2 years of the EU responding to our decision to break up something we helped build with them, by giving us a range of Brexit options which we’ve rejected, it’s time you accepted that your whole plan is doomed to failure…

I mean you must that thought that through, right?

No?

Ah! Oooooooo K.

Not unreasonable the EU was pressing for some details as quickly as possible. Uncertainty affects both sides in these matters. And they undoubtedly thought that a country like Britain would ahve had plans in place. Of course they would…

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Somewhat optimistically, on March 31 2017, your prime minister triggered article 50 in a communication with the EU and shortly thereafter the UK’s Secretary for Brexit was invited to meet with the appointed negotiator for Europe.

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There we have a picture of David Davis and his bag carrier grinning like Cheshire cats and Monsieur Barnier and his assistants looking rather less cheerful. Could be because while the EU three had clearly done their devoirs,  David’s homework had, just as clearly, been eaten by the dog.

No wonder you were home for lunch.

And that has been the pattern ever since, only interrupted for the period when your prime minister decided that, contrary to all her previous protestations, she was going to waste a month of precious negotiating time on holding a general election.

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That just might have been acceptable if she had made a better job of appealing to people that she could do the job, but as it was, she lost her majority and was obliged to pay a bribe of £1 billion of OUR money to secure the voted of a minority party of religious bigots and retain her position.

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Because it is a group of 27 nations, each with a vote (and a veto) on the final deal, the EU has operated on a fairly strict set of rules. There has been no doubt from the first day of negotiations that the “four freedoms” which are the founding principles of the EU are not up for negotiation. Freedom of movement of goods, finance, services and labour makes the EU what it is.

They’ve told the UK time and time again you cannot cherry pick.

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Britain’s always reminded me of a bloke leaving the golf club but saying that he wants to be able to come in to the bar on a Friday for a pint with his mates, play a round of 18 on a Wednesday afternoon, oh and bring the other half in for a meal in the restaurant from time to time, all the while avoiding the annual fees and disregarding the management committee’s rulings.

The UK, on the other hand, is a group of four (five including Gibraltar) nations, none of which needs to be listened to at all (and one of which has grubby little beard snacking tea boys telling it to shut up).

The UK really needs to understand that the EU operates differently from Britain. I suppose you could call it democracy.

Your trouble is that within your own party, never mind any of the other parties in the Commons, you have divergent groups.  Remainers, reluctant leavers, and the hard right who genuinely seem to think that Beelzebub himself is in charge in Brussels. So whatever Soubrey and her like wants, you can guarantee that Rees Mogg and his band will want the exact opposite.

Then you have to add into that mix, the DUP. Bought and paid for with British gold, they will support you, but only if they get THEIR way on everything and no one ever crosses their blood orange red lines. And their way is, well, pretty extreme and definitely weird and based on a hatred of Europe that may be something to do with the religious makeup of some of the southern countries.

So basically your lot has made a complete pig’s mouth, erm I mean, ear, of the whole thing. No more and no less than we would have expected from a bunch of over-privileged underachievers.

We have now five and a half months till our leaving day and the UK still has no position that it can put to the EU and that Barnier can be fairly sure will pass through the UK parliament and therefore which he can recommend to the member states to go back and vote on.

And you think you’ve been pushed around. If I were Barnier, I’d have pushed you under this bus.

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Lord, Boris, you really are a tosser.

 

 

 

TIME TO SAY GOODBYE

So, Björn Ulvaeus is anti-Brexit.

And Benny Andersson has previously warned a right-wing party in Denmark not to use Abba music in political campaigns.

But no one yet knows how they feel about the Maybot stumbling about on stage to Dancing Queen

Musicians obviously have the right to be consulted about who uses their music. The Foo Fighters kicked off in 2008 when John McCain and Sarah Palin used their track at a rally.

Trump recently used an Adele song at a rally which drew this strict retort from her management: “Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning.”

This is maybe something all politicos might think about before they appropriate someone else’s music. Not everyone wants their music associated with a particular cause, whatever it is. Permission should always be obtained in advance of use. Remember it says somewhere on all discs: “Unauthorised public performance, broadcast and copying prohibited”

But, I think, if I were May, I would get in touch with these two and see if they would allow her to use this…

Even if not, just listen to these voices…

HAPPY JULY 4

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Two hundred and forty-two years ago, meeting in the Pensylvania State House, the 13 North American colonies of Britain declared themselves to be independent states.

They never looked back and all this time later they are still celebrating that action as the right decision. 

So, on the 4th of July 2018, we wish the USA all the very best, and of course an especially happy Independence Day to Munguin’s friends over there. (We have many American readers, but Danny and Jon are the main contributors, and we are grateful for their input, so special words of thanks to them).

trumptory
Ruth Davidson used a Shakespearian quote to insult him.  I prefer something more Scottish from our Bard. What about: “Thou pickle-herring in the puppet-show of nonsense”?

The current president is just a blip. (Well he’s obviously a lot more things, but what I mean is he is temporary.) Hopefully, though, people will remember what a clown he was and how the rest of the world laughed at him and they will resolve to vote more carefully in future. Mrs May can be grateful that whilst she is an utter laughing stock, she is infinitely less important in the scheme of things than he is… and Donald has certainly “Trumped” her as the world-class eejit. She’s merely a third-rate eejit.

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Trump: Will you be my bromance, buddy?  Macron: (to self… Oh, Lord this is embarrassing) Erm, je suis vraiment désolé. Je ne comprends pas un seul mot d’anglais. En tout cas, qui êtes-vous exactement? Et pouvez-vous arrêter de me tenir la main, idiot en orange ?

Anyway, forget about him tomorrow, Americans.  Enjoy the fireworks and the feasts and have a great day.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, the boot will be on the other foot and our friends in the States will be wishing us the same thing.

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Talking of Trump, Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf wrote to the Treasury asking that they pay for any security expenses of having Trump in our country. They invited him, not us. He has no official business in Scotland. 

He has received an answer in the affirmative from the Rt Hon Truss. Of course, it seems to me to be particularly bad manners to write to someone by their first name, and sign with your full name, and even worse, your style.  And what is all the numbering of paragraphs about?

Who on earth does that?

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Truss was herself, the English Justice Secretary. Fortunately, Humza doesn’t have to dress himself up like some pantomime character to do his job.