Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Wild West Show

I see that in Scotland we have a Circular Economy Minister. That reminds me of the mythical bird that flew in ever decreasing circles until it disappeared up its own arse. Hopefully that will come to pass.

Categories: Politics


April 22, 2023 2 comments

I’m crying quietly into my cereal for those poor people who were bullied by Dominic Raab.

For the record, I spent nearly all of the 1970s in the Civil Service, as a press officer. We worked closely with Ministers, including Willie Ross, who had a fiery reputation but was actually a fine man. I never met one who could have been described even remotely as a bully.

The Civil Service itself, that was another matter. My unit was led by a man who was a bully of the first order. He was not alone. At the top levels there were tales of phones being thrown out of windows. I’m sure things have improved since then, but even now if the benchmark by which Raab was judged was applied across the board within the Service itself, I am sure there would be more than a few heads rolling along Whitehall.

Categories: Politics

There’s nowt as …

February 22, 2023 4 comments

The media, and the irrelevance that is John Swinney, are insisting that Kate Forbes has destroyed herself by opening up about her religious views, which are, let’s say, traditionalist. However the media will not have votes in the SNP leadership election, and Swinney will only have one. What does the silent majority believe? We’ll find out when their votes are cast.

Categories: Politics

The manner of her going

February 15, 2023 1 comment

I do not belong to Nicola Sturgeon’s party but my admiration for her as a politician has grown throughout her time in office as First Minister.

That was underlined today by the manner of her resignation announcement. It was eloquent, dignified and above all graceful. When set alongside the departures of recent UK Prime Ministers, the contrast could not be greater.

Love her or hate her she’ll be a hard act to follow.

Categories: Politics

Night and day.

January 17, 2023 1 comment

This afternoon I traveled by train from Flaca, north of Girona, to Barcelona. The train was clean, comfortable and it arrived on time. With my €6 senior card it cost €7.90.

Last month I traveled by rail from Dunbar to Newcastle. The train was late, filthy, and the return journey was cancelled without notice.

As far as I’m concerned our tail unions can strike for as long as they like. Every day without them is for the better.

Why do we tolerate crap provision rather than aspire to make it better.?

Categories: General, Politics

Bob Marley

November 21, 2022 1 comment

What is courage? I see it as a conscious decision to stand up for the principles that underpin one’s life, regardless of any pressure to abandon them, be it physical, emotional or financial.

When Harry Kane and Gareth Bale lead out their teams later today for their opening matches in the **** World Cup they will each be the embodiment of the cowardice of those who put them there.

The One Love armband is more than a symbol of captaincy, it’s a statement of morality. Its prohibition by ****, an organisation so abhorrent that I choose not to give it a name check, should be ignored. If the tournament was taking place in the USA and the host nation chose to wear the rainbow, this would not be an issue. In banning it, **** has set itself against all the rights and principles that are upheld by its display.

Categories: General, Politics, Sport


October 12, 2021 Leave a comment

So, this report that’s causing all the fuss: it’s the work of back bench Tory MPs, some of whom will be bitter because they aren’t front bench, and opposition members with axes to grind. Plus, one of the principal witnesses was the loathsome Cummings whose axe is jumbo sized.

At the beginning of the day and the end, it’s a collective opinion, but no way is it impartial.

Categories: General, Politics


September 21, 2021 Leave a comment

I have nothing but time for the medical practice that has looked after my family and me for half a century. Sad then that it seems NHS Scotland doesn’t trust it any more.

The annual flu’ jab programme has never been more important and yet it has been taken out of GPs’ hands, to be run through regional vaccination hubs. Already, 80-year-olds are receiving appointment letters. One that I have seen tells the patient to report to a centre 30 miles away at 9am on a given date. Does that person drive? No. How will he get to the venue? That appears to be his problem. in theory he can change the location on line. In practice he can’t but in any event not all the target group use the internet. In theory he can do it by phone, if he is prepared to waste one of his precious remaining hours waiting for his call to be answered.

My wife is housebound. Her vaccinations are done by district nurses. How will she be fitted into the system? They. Don’t. Know!

It’s clear that the letters have been sent out far too early. This essential project is a shambles: people are confused and alarmed. God save us from Professor Leitch.

Categories: General, Politics

Own goal?

September 15, 2021 Leave a comment

Gove has responsibility for the Union?


Categories: Politics

Shame, shame.

September 2, 2021 Leave a comment

On Sunday I put a specific question to the Scottish Government Central Enquiry Unit. I was expecting visitors from an amber list country, one not fully vaccinated the other 11 years old. Their visit was for seven days. Each was required to take a PCR test on Day 2. The adult was required to quarantine , the child was exempt.

Like all arrivals in the U.K. they were required to buy test kits from Corporate Travel Management, the outfit commissioned by HMG to run the portal. However, the portal only sells kits with two tests, the second being for Day 8. There is no alternative offered to minors or to those who are staying for less than eight days.

My question addressed this anomaly. It took the Scottish Government four days to respond and then the reply was automated and did not answer the question. The truth is that there is no option. My visitors were forced to buy four tests at £68 a time, even though two of them will never be used.

There are two issues here. One is the basic principle of the government designing a shoddy system and the handing it over to a commercial organisation that will profit from the rip-off. The other is the contempt shown by the Scottish Government by its obvious lack of concern for those who put it in place.

Categories: General, Politics


August 14, 2021 1 comment
Categories: Politics

Stephen Sondheim

This is clear. The Holyrood Committee into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond affair has voted along party lines, which makes its findings utterly useless, and all the time and money that has been diverted from public service has been shamefully wasted. The opposition parties saw it as an opportunity to embarrass, even remove, Nippy, and the SNP members rallied behind her.

It’s all been electioneering; for every pound spent there’s a child with special needs who could have had more help or a hole in the road that could have been filled.

Send in the clowns: don’t bother, they’re here.

Categories: Politics


February 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Having watched most of the Trump prosecution evidence on CNN, I reckoned that his lawyers were going to have to up their game from their opening statement.

Then I realised it doesn’t matter. The jury is rigged.

Categories: Politics

Excuse me?

February 3, 2021 1 comment

Is the word ‘Vanilla’ racist in this context? Or am I not allowed to ask that question?

At a time when we are striving to build a diverse and multi-cultural society, I am not certain that Sir Trevor is helping.

Categories: General, Politics

The grownups are back

January 21, 2021 Leave a comment
Categories: General, Politics

Patience, patient?

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Nippy’ to her opponents, hasn’t got too much wrong over the last ten months. The pandemic has been prudently managed in Scotland.

That said, I have reservations about the way the vaccine programme is being rolled out. We’ve all had a leaflet, at significant cost, that’s a bit of a chocolate fireguard. Its core message is ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ Not unnaturally, most of us want to know when that will happen. We’re not being told; worse, we’re being told not to ask.

I know two people, both in their eighties, one in England, one in Scotland. The former will be vaccinated this week, the latter has been told that there are many people ahead of him in the queue.

The information gap is frustrating, and it contrasts with the English situation. Implementation north of the border has been handed, we are told, to individual health boards. To me, that builds in potential inequalities across the country, a postcode lottery, to resort to a phrase I dislike. I would prefer to see an individual tasked with personal responsibility for delivery. The Health Secretary might argue that it’s her. If it is, she should be front and centre giving much more specific information.

My wife is in group one. I have been told that she’ll be contacted by our medical practice, but nobody is quite sure how. It’s most likely, it seems, to be a letter. That begs a question. How are GPs equipped to issue dozens, maybe hundreds of letters to their elderly patients? And another. In the case of the most vulnerable, who might still be living alone but in need of support, what means are in place to ensure these letters are understood?

Lots of questions but no apparent will to answer them. Come on Nippy, step up.

Categories: General, Politics

Selling her book already

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Like all of you, I have reflected on the past year and how the invisible enemy, Covid-19, swept across our beautiful country. All Nations have experienced
— Read on

Categories: General, Politics


December 12, 2020 Leave a comment
Categories: Politics

As some are ….

November 13, 2019 Leave a comment
Categories: General, Politics

Shame on you, Oliver. As if giving us the Poll Tax wasn’t enough.

October 19, 2019 1 comment

I am not in Dis-United Kingdom at the moment. I am in Catalunya which has its own troubles but that doesn’t stop me from being outraged by the shenanigans in our Parliament this afternoon.

I worked in that environment in the eighties when it was populated by serious people and when Oliver Letwin was a twerp in Maggie’s policy unit in Number 10. He wasn’t any old twerp, though, for it was he who recommended to his mistress that she use Scotland as a test bed for the Poll Tax.

That goes to show, rather spectacularly, that he doesn’t always get it right, as he proved yet again this afternoon when the dimwit pulled a stroke which condemns us to yet more Westminster chaos, to the delight of the minority who believe that marching through London waving EU flags and demanding something that was rejected at a referendum is in any way democratic.

Categories: General, Politics