Thursday, 31 October 2013


Gordon Brown was back after missing last week's drama in Grangemouth (just up the road from his constituency) because he was sunning himself in Mexico but hastened tout de suite to Dubai to take part in a summit on Education.

While taking part in a panel discussion, Mr Brown was asked his views "as a politician", at which point he interjected "ex-politician".

He was reminded by the host, BBC presenter Mishal Husain, that he was still an MP, which he acknowledged.

Brown seems to treat his job as member of parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and the attendant salary of more than £65,000 a year, as a bit of a sideline while he jets around the world reminding people who he is and pretending to be important.

In fact he was prime minister for a very short period. One which saw Britain fall into depression at the tail end of a Labour government of 13 years. And he was only allowed that because Blair saw what was coming and got the hell out before the s*** hit the fan above his desk.

Now Brown seems to have forgotten that whilst he lost the election, he retained his seat. 

You'd have thought that someone in his household might have noticed the sizable deposit in his bank balance every month.
At the Prison Officer's Association Scotland conference in Peebles, delegates voted to support an independent Scotland, voicing their "frustration and dismay" at the Westminster government's pension arrangements and refusal to recognise prison officers as a key operational service like the police or fire brigade. 

Welcome aboard, yet another trades union!
Oh no, it's definitely not a treat....
More like an evil old terrorist witch with kinky shoes

(Thanks to Bugger the Panda)
Dear Ms Lamont...

It's me again...

Have you read this? Would you like to comment, and possibly apologise for your distasteful behaviour in parliament when you accused Scotland of shortchanging cancer patients?

Oh, and by the way, did you see this article from Wings... ?

You should you know.



PS Munguin says can you send Maggie Curren round. The stairs at Munguin Towers are in need of a good sweeping and mopping.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

'If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight.'

Although Mr Aitken might have done slightly better with his operation if, on that occasion, the press hadn't been bang on right, and good old Jonathan hadn't been a lying sack of erm...cabinet minister. 
Nothing to worry about there, I guess...
bring on the simple sword and trusty shield then...
Click on image to enlarge.

By the way, just out of interest, does anyone know what British justice is?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Random Thoughts ... Handahófi Hugsanir

As the trial for a wide range of offenses including: "misconduct in public office", "perverting the course of justice", "hacking of dead children's phones" begins, half of Dave's Chipping Norton set is in the dock. 

It will be interesting to see what kind of justice is meted out to the elite of the prime minister's county set. 
When the lower orders rioted in English cities a couple of years ago, and obliged Dave to come back from his Italian holiday, he instructed the courts to be harsh with the miscreants.  

Fair enough, although six months in prison for stealing two bottles of water is, without doubt, harsh. Still, Tuscany in August is delightful, and I wouldn't want to have to deal with his Mrs in a strop; she looks like she could be a right bitch, so I can understand that the chap was in a bit of a blue funk adn someone had to pay! 

I wonder, though, if he will be take the same hardline view now that it is his own class, nay, his own close dear friends that are standing in the dock. 

It's a thought too that Dave and his family will have to find new people to invite round on Christmas day this year for charades. Last year's invitees are a bit on the embarrassing side adn might even be spending Christmas at the pleasure of someone even more elevated than Eton Dave.

Isn't it interesting too that not a single member of the Murdoch family is in court facing charges relating to all these crimes? It seems that one of the most successful newspaper tycoons in the world had no earthly idea how his newspapers were getting all these sensational scoops, and never thought to inquire. Fancy!
Why on why, I keep asking myself, can't we be more like Iceland? Then I remember that, in fact we are quite like Iceland in many ways, it's just that we are ruled from a place that wants to be more like the United States of America. 

Still, we can change that. Right?
I was more than a little shocked to see in my junk emails a missive from informing me that with a Tesco credit card I can spread the cost of Christmas over 18 months. Handy, I though, but erm what about next year's Christmas? 
I was also concerned to read that to get one of these credit cards one must have an income of at least £5,000 a year. As £5969159_591952830859067_962482265_n.jpg,000 will soon be needed to pay the electricity and gas bills, never mind service a credit card, I can't help but think someone needs to look again at this irresponsible nonsense. 

Every little helps, does it Tesco?
I found this on Craig Murray's latest post (well worth a read). It comes from Donald McDonald: 

"I should add, that Independence for Scotland is one of the few hopes the English Left has of overcoming the corporate, neo-con domination of their own politics.

"Once England faces the world with only its own resources and stops trying to be the main character in a Boys’ Own comic, it will, I am confident, rediscover its own greatness."

I suspect that may be very true.

Sunday, 27 October 2013


(The speech itself has now been removed from the Labour Party's Scottish website in order to spare her blushes, but an archived version can be found at the link above.)

We know that the press will not pounce upon her for what is an out and out lie. 

They may not even mention it at all. But the removal of such a major speech laying out Ed Ball's sorry Ms Lamont's thoughts on social security and welfare, from the Labour party website is an admission that she was being economical with the truth. 

So if you don't read it anywhere else, at least you can read it online.

Of course it is possible that Ms Lamont did not intent to lie. Maybe she simply forgot that she had said it. There were a few press articles at the time but Ms Lamont's a busy woman and she may not have had time to read them. I remember it particularly well because I was stung by the insult which came on or around the same day that Ms David's Daughter sorry Davidson said that far too many of us were dependent upon the state. 

Alternatively Ms Lamont may just think that we're such a set of half wit Jocks who wouldn't remember what she said in a speech made over a year ago, what with all that running between the brew, the bookies and the pub.

I do know that the Labour Party in Scotland is not overly blessed with computer savvy people since they lost their new technology tsar Bomber Sneer Harris when he used his first excursion into online politics on behalf of the party to depict Alex Salmond as Adolf Hitler (bright as a button that bloke!). However, one would have hoped that they had at least one person who knew about archived pages.

Clearly not.

I wonder if Ms Lamont will own up that she "misspoke" and reveal to us whether this statement and the whole welfare cuts agenda that she was laying out to please her London masters was in fact just a sop to the Eds or whether it is Labour's Scottish/UK policy.

Just for once I'd really like to know what Ms Lamont actually believes in, if anything at all.


He even looks like him
Might look cheap, but that was before the vintage champagne was added
I wonder what Nick Clegg thinks... but then, don't we all?
Oh shit... 
Where are the cushions I used to keep from when the beaks sent for me at Eton...
No wonder not many of us bother with the UK news. It's of little interest to us. 
I'm for that.
Lordy, you can't scapegoat the rich. They own the tv stations and the newspapers.
So it's down to us bloggers then.
Nice tax arrangements if you can get them, and it seems almost anyone
who gives political donations can.
Got it! Miliband has a man behind him?
Well size isn't everything as Norway and Iceland illustrate.
Well...yes actually. If you don't give them the money they will steal it...
Surely no one thought otherwise? 
But who cares. The poor are only the poor.
In fairness he's probably never heard of the other issues.
It's all Greek to him, or Dutch, or...well something foreign.
Bet you never thought you'd see a Tory grovelling to a Communist dictator.

And now for a laugh...

And finally, for Dean... This is the kind of person you meet on the Yes Team

And this is what you bang into on the no team....'s your choice!!!

Friday, 25 October 2013


Obviously not in need of a Red Cross food parcel, Tubby Osborne...
Mr Osborne, that (economic) giant of a chancellor, has welcomed the 0.8% growth over three months as an indication that Britain is now on the road to prosperity.

Oh how lovely it must be to live in a bubble like George does.

Looked at from the point of view of "ordinary" people who are not bankers, lords, royals or members of the house of commons, the reality is somewhat different. 

Wages are falling, prices are rising at an alarming rate, food banks are opening at the rate of two a week to feed the starving and the Red Cross is distributing food in the UK as it does after earthquakes and monsoon floods in countries like Bangladesh. We had no need of a natural disaster. Osborne on his own is worth two floods and a hurricane.

Before he treats himself to a bottle or two of the best vintage champagne at our expense to celebrate, Osborne should keep in mind that this is the slowest recovery from  recession ever recorded in the UK, and many economists doubt if it can be sustained in to 2014.

Another downside of it is that it may be necessary to raise interest rates up to a year sooner than had previously been anticipated by the new genius of a governor of the Bank of Britain, or England as it is largely known.

This may mean that along with the poor and dispossessed on the streets as a result of the coalition's disastrous policies on social security, those who can no longer afford to pay their mortgages may be struggling for a place under railway bridges.
Promises, promises
Congratulations to Cara Hilton on her win in Dunfermline. Clearly this is a disappointing result for the SNP, but hardly surprising given that it was a solid Labour seat and the MSP who eventually resigned, screaming, was a serial wife beater and is now in prison. It is unfortunate that to win Ms Hilton had to claim that Labour had abolished bridge tolls and frozen the council tax, but hey, everyone exaggerates a little sometimes.

Hilton has made some interesting promises. She says that she will be a fresh voice for Dunfermline, and, given that she doesn't have the same voice as the wife beater, I guess you could say that was a fairly safe promise. 

She will also oppose the SNP's alleged 'obsession for independence', with presumably her own obsession for dependence. 

Interestingly she, all on her own, is going to reduce the cost of living. Of course she now has a very generous salary as an MSP, but hardly enough to subsidise all of Dunfermline's population by say, paying the increase in their gas and electricity bills, or taking care of half of their weekly shop?

She can demand improved bus services all she likes, but she will find that Maggie Thatcher deregulated the buses everywhere in the UK (except London) and it's pretty difficult to get these private companies to do anything much that doesn't make them a big fat profit. But good luck to her with that, because in all the years of Labour government north and south of the border, all that ever happened to buses was that they got worse and worse and worse... 

And finally she's is going to stand up for Dunfermline town centre, whatever that means. 

It will be interesting to watch her progress and see how Scotland changes now that she is in parliament. If the cost of living in Dunfermline drops by a sustained amount then possibly I'll go live there.
And finally, I've heard that, with the cooperation of management, unions, the workforce and both governments, the Grangemouth plant is to stay open.

Both the First minister and Mr Carmichael have welcomed the decision. The devil will be in the detail.

Thursday, 24 October 2013



Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A couple of thoughts...

Erm..was ist Ihre Telefonnummer?
Mr Obama has, over the last two days, been obliged to defend his state security apparatus's alleged earwigging on French telephone calls. He was obliged to speak directly to the President of the Republic. 

Today he has had to speak to the Chancellor of Germany to try to pacify her after allegations were made that the NSA had been listening to German telephone calls, including, it is suspected, the calls of the Chancellor herself.

I was wondering if any protests will be made by David Cameron that the calls of British people have been monitored, or does Eton Dave not have the cojones of Monsieur Hollande or Frau Merkel?

Silly question. 

Much more likely that Cameron's response would be: "Shall I fetch you the London telephone directory Mr Obama Sir? Shall I dial for you sir?"
Salmonella? More like mad cow disease
Dear Mrs Currie,

I always thought you were a bit of a dim old bird, but today I realised that you are, in fact, completely batshit mad. Actually I do believe that you're even thicker than Nadine.

Even the stupidest of people taking part in a radio debate about Scottish independence, would try to find out the name of the first minister of Scotland. You have no idea how insulting it is that you couldn't be arsed to do that.

Perhaps you'd be kind enough to let us know when exactly it was that you remember Mr Salmond being a Labour MP; much less him trying to be Labour leader. Having joined the SNP whilst at university, he'd have found all that a tad difficult.

I suspect that Mr Cameron has done his very best NOT to give the impression (that you gave in spades) that he is too high, mighty and superior to discuss and debate with a mere first minister. You, in typical incompetent Currie style, blew it all away.

You then insisted, despite everyone else on the radio show disagreeing with you, that Mr Cameron was a better debater than Mr Salmond. Today's PMQs with a bright red faced prime minister fending off attacks after his hastily put together plans regarding domestic fuel prices came under fire, reminded us just what a star debater he is. He may have had the palace connections and the money to get himself the job. It doesn't mean he's the least bit good at it. Still you and he appear to have the same ideas on how the great unwashed should stave off death in the cold of the winter.

Talking of that, Cameron was obliged to put together his ill thought out plans on energy overnight, because your ex-paramour blew him out of the water yesterday.

So whilst on that subject of Johnnie, can I ask you, is it true that he tucks his shirt into his underpants?

Yours sincerely


Monday, 21 October 2013



One of the great things about the Yes campaign is the way it brings together many different people from all walks of life and different party political persuasions.

It’s a great credit to this Conference that it provides a platform to those from across the wider Yes campaign, including those like myself with no allegiance to any political party.

Many people have come along different roads on their journey to Yes.

My journey started a couple of years ago when I decided to have a look for myself at the financial issues surrounding the referendum debate.

My background is in manufacturing. I run a number of businesses in Scotland, England and across Eastern Europe that have been built up over the past 10 years or so.

Businesses succeed or fail based on the numbers. Getting the numbers right is critical. Treating the numbers with respect is of paramount importance.

Facts are facts. When you forget that it hits you where it hurts – in the pocket.

When I did my own research on what the finances of an Independent Scotland would look like two things struck me.

Firstly, was the strength of the Scottish finances in comparison to the rest of the UK.  A strength that has been consistent for each of the past 30 years.

The second was the spin and obfuscation that went into trying to disguise that fact from the people who are to going to decide the referendum result next year.

Business people are often sceptical of politicians, but I have to say even I was dismayed at the extent to which people who should know better constantly twisted and downplayed the reality of Scotland’s economic strengths to their own political ends.

Then you remember who these people largely are, and what they stand to personally lose in the event of a Yes vote. Westminster MPs pick up a tidy salary, not forgetting expenses.

As Al Gore said in a different context – it’s difficult to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on them not understanding it.

But these are people who should, and in many cases do, know better.

When Alistair Darling tells us that an Independent Scotland couldn’t have bailed out the banks, he does so in the full knowledge that international banks are bailed out on the basis of where they do business, not where their head office is.

He, above most, must surely know the numbers. He was in charge of the UK economy and financial regulations for months before the banking crash hit. The US Federal Reserve contributed £640bn, a trillion dollars, to the bailout of the British banks. They did that based on the extent of their operations in the US, not on where their head offices were.

An Independent Scotland would only have contributed roughly the same 10% to the bank bailout as we contributed in any event as part of the UK.

When Alistair raises the scare stories about pensions he knows fine well that the UK’s debt to GDP ratio is one of the worst in the industrialised world – worse even than that other large struggling European economy Spain.

He knows that the deficit to GDP ratio in Scotland is 5% compared to 8% in the rest of the UK.
Alastair, 5% is a smaller number than 8%.

Pensions are far more affordable in an Independent Scotland than they are in the current UK.

He never hesitates to remind us that public spending in Scotland is £1200 higher than the UK average. He conveniently forgets to add that tax take per head in Scotland is £1700 higher than the UK average.
Alistair, £1700 is more than £1200.

We start from the assumption that Alistair Darling knows how to count. We know he trained as a lawyer, but he must have demonstrated some numerical ability to have been allowed to occupy the position of UK Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Then you notice that he has trouble with simple numbers, he routinely states that the population of Scotland is 6 million – inflating reality by some 700,000 – the population of the City of Glasgow – for no apparent reason.

He stated that industry estimates of 24 billion barrels left in the Scottish sector of the North Sea were overstated by a factor of 12. Alistair seems to think that there are only 2 billion barrels of oil left. Around half a billion barrels were pumped out last year. So according Alistair’s calculator the oil is running out sometime in 2017.

The realisation then begins to dawn that maybe he really doesn't get it.

Lots of people struggle with numbers – however not many of them make it to head of the UK Treasury.

Conference, we hear a lot about WMDs.

Now let’s hear it for Alistair Darling, the No campaign’s very own Weapon of Maths Destruction.

My journey to Yes led me to get involved with Business for Scotland, the non-party group of business people who have come together to put the financial and economic case for Independence.

That case is powerful, and it needs to be communicated as widely as possible to demonstrate to the people of Scotland that we have the economic strengths to be a successful country
The most common refrain heard on the doorsteps is,  “yes but……"“… yes but, can we afford it ?”

Business for Scotland is making the case through our website, generating articles and debate on all economic and business aspects of the independence debate.

Challenging the myths, disinformation and opinion masquerading as fact that routinely emanates from the No Scotland campaign and their UK treasury support team.

Our growing network of local groups- are holding events for business people across the country.

Our support for local yes groups – providing speakers to take part in debates and panel discussions making the business and economic case for Independence.

We look forward to working with as many Yes groups as possible over the next 11 months to drive home the message.

This is a rich country, with natural and human resources most countries can only dream of.
I've worked in many countries around the world, including Norway. Norway is often held up as an example of what Scotland could become.

Well, let me tell you if you compare the advantages in resources that Scotland enjoys over Norway –better location, easier access to market, world-class technology across a range of sectors, a whisky industry with world renowned premium brands, top universities, easier geography, a huge global diaspora willing us to do well and a great global brand then we should be considering Norway as our start point, not our end point. 

The fact that our aspirations are so low in a sad indictment of what the Union has done for Scotland.
There exists the opportunity to build something special here.

The alternative if to spend the rest of our lives explaining to our children and grandchildren how we had the winning lottery ticket in our hands and decided not to bother cashing it in.

Thanks to the work done by all of you over the years the time has come for the people of Scotland to seize that opportunity, and next September we in Business for Scotland believe they will do just that.

Thank you Conference.