498 thoughts on “The Way We Live Now

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  • Paul Barbara

    Forgive me if I’m missing something, but if Carrilion had the contracts to build hospitals and schools etc, and they are now built, and PFI meant paying them over many years, how is it the Banksters don’t take the hit?
    Didn’t Carrillion borrow the money from the Banksters to build the stuff? If they’ve gone bust, then the debt should surely get written off, as in any Bankruptcy.
    I personally filed for Bankruptcy, it was granted and the Banksters took the hit.
    I could be missing something obvious, I’ve no financial training, so I await ‘educating’ if wrong, as I probably am.

    • giyane

      Paul Barbara
      Are you thinking that Carillion’s insolvency will let the government off paying billions of pounds of PFI repayments? Bearing in mind the false herring yesterday that Carillion was undercharging. On £ 2 billion expenditure the PFI gets a further £6 billion in repayments from the school/ hospital/ government institution.
      Are the Tories capable of 1/ loading Carillion with public contracts 2/ bankrupting the company 3/ off-loading the existing work onto existing contractors 4/letting previous contractors go to the wall because they have not and will never been paid and 5/ avoiding paying its PFI repayments on completed projects?

      The crooked Tories who had set up the time-bomb of our banks failing, which they did in 2007, are capable of absolutely any scam, especially if they think Corbyn will have to pick up the pieces for them. You have only got to look at the slashing of disability benefits by Ian Duncan-Smyth and at the Universal Credit carnage, to know they are capable of anything. Including colluding with a bankruptcy scam.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ giyane January 16, 2018 at 07:55
        I am perfectly aware there is no skullduggery or abomination ‘our’ government would not, indeed regularly does, get up to.
        The wars of aggression against Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are good examples, as is their continuing treatment of the Chagos Islanders ( https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-want-a-home-say-evicted-chagos-islanders-gfpvjdzp3 ).
        But your comment still does not answer my query – basically, as I understand it, the bulk of the PFI payments are still to be made by the government (the taxpayers). As much of the work is done (completed hospitals or schools), the firm who contracted to build them has now gone bust, so can’t claim any future instalments of payments from the government.
        I’m sure there is a flaw in my reasoning, otherwise there would not be such a fuss in government and MSM, but I would just like a simple explanation why. Who will still be getting taxpayer money from completed hospitals and schools?
        Sure, they need maintaining, but that can be done without paying out for the initial cost of buildings.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for this short sharp reminder of the self serving Tory’s, vis a vis their ugly side that has killed disabled and disheartened benefit receivers up and down the country. Yuk
    If Carillion can step out of PFI contracts, without the bankers being ‘affected’ because they have gone bust, why should the NHS not be able to?

    The banks are not hurting because on many contracts they already received twice/thrice the amount they lend for these rip off deals in the public sector.
    Now is the time for Corbyn to come out and say that he would seize all PFI contracts that have paid back the banks what they lend, for humanitarian reasons.

    It is not tenable that patients are waiting in corridors, have operations on trolleys in the isles of hospitals and are forced to wait, because many past EU staff were not happy with what this wretched Government is doing over Brexit.

    Brandon lewis had the gall to tell Corbyn to sort his party out. Well Brandon, who victimised Elliott Johnson into taking his own life? who bullied this hard working activist providing Tory election victory’s for his party? Nobody?

    Can these 50 Tory MP’s be named, Craig? after receiving their legitimate presents from those who murdered the innocents in Yemen with our arms?

    • giyane

      nevermind

      Don’t worry about the Tories. In days they will be gone. Back to unelectability where they were before old Wet Clegg helped his old Etonian mate Cameron. God be praised, they will be gone in a twinkling of an eye, carrying their stazi austerity files on Disability benefits and Universal Credit with them.

      Thatcher, Brandon’s monstour mythical mum is not going scour the fens looking for upright Yarmouth theigns like yourself on whom to avenge her wounded son. In a few short days, the Tory party, their stupid brexit, PFIs, gobblers of pension schemes and public school financial wizadry scams, will all be folded up and gone. As far out and forgotten as the long sands of a Norfolk beach stretching to the horizon at low tide. And we can have a new government in.

      • giyane

        For those interested in these last days of Thatcherism, this is from the gist of the Beowulf legend:

        Mrs Thatcher / Grendel’s Mother
        It took hours for Beowulf to reach the lair of the fiends. He survived many attacks from awful swamp creatures, thanks to his armor and his swift swimming skill. At last, as he neared the monster’s hiding place, she sensed Beowulf’s presence and dragged him inside. In the firelight the hero beheld the hellish creature, and wasting no time, he drew Hrunting and dealt her a thunderous blow to her head. But the worthy blade, never before bested in battle, failed to harm Grendel’s mother.

        Beowulf tossed the weapon aside and attacked her with his bare hands, throwing her to the ground. But Grendel’s mother was swift and resilient; she rose to her feet and gripped him in a horrible embrace. The hero was shaken; he stumbled and fell, and the fiend pounced upon him, drew a knife and stabbed down. But Beowulf’s armor deflected the blade. He struggled to his feet to face the monster again.

        And then something caught his eye in the murky cave: a gigantic sword that few men could wield. Beowulf seized the weapon in a rage, swung it fiercely in a wide arc, and hacked deep into the monster’s neck, severing her head and toppling her to the ground.

        With the death of the creature, an uncanny light brightened the cave, and Beowulf could take stock of his surroundings. He saw Grendel’s corpse and, still raging from his battle, he hacked off its head. Then, as the toxic blood of the monsters melted the blade of the awesome sword, he noticed piles of treasure; but Beowulf took none of it, bringing back only the hilt of the great weapon and Grendel’s head as he began his swim back.

        https://www.thoughtco.com/the-beowulf-story-1788396

  • reel guid

    Labour’s chief in Scotland Richard Leonard tweets that “the collapse of Carillion will have a huge impact on people’s jobs, pensions & contracts”. No one’s disputing that.

    Strange though that Leonard did not respond to the SG study on loss of EU membership to Scotland. A study that says a hard brexit will cost Scotland in the region of £12.7 billion a year. That’s going to play havoc with jobs, pensions & contracts too and on an even wider scale. But Leonard, like Corbyn, is in favour of a hard brexit for Scotland. No second EU ref for the UK to reconsider. No second indyref for Scots even though we voted 62% remain.

    Scotland’s NHS will be double whammied, firstly by Barnett with a reduction in the block grant to keep health spending in Scotland in line with spending in the chaotic, privatised English NHS. Then brexit would see, already is seeing, an exodus of EU nationals who work in and form a vital part of NHS Scotland. The first whammy courtesy of Scotland staying in the UK. A union which Corbyn, Leonard and Labour campaigned vigorously for Scotland to stay in. The second whammy from a brexit which Scotland never agreed to and was and is denied the right of veto to.

    If Leonard genuinely cared about jobs and services in Scotland then he and ‘Scottish’ Labour would be speaking out against hard brexit. Attempting to use Carillion to misdirect public attention from Labour’s hard brexit Faustian deal with the Tories, whilst ignoring and refusing to debate about the devastating scenario of a Scottish hard brexit, shows how irresponsible, hypocritical and cynical are the power seekers of the Labour leadership.

    ‘For Real Change’ is the slogan Richard Leonard has chosen for the top of his twitter account. Real change will come to Scotland alright with Labour’s hard brexit.

    Independence. The only sane option.

    • fred

      “Strange though that Leonard did not respond to the SG study on loss of EU membership to Scotland. A study that says a hard brexit will cost Scotland in the region of £12.7 billion a year. ”

      So how much worse would it have been if in 2014 Scotland had left the union with the rest of Britain and inevitably Europe?

      Where was the SG study telling us the facts then?

      • Republicofscotland

        Well the SG’s White Paper, did lay out plans after we left the union (unlike Westminster). However with regards to Scotland remaining or being fast tracked, or even waiting to re-join the EU, we will never be known because we foolishly voted no, ergo your point in now a hypothetical one.

        Back to reality and we can see that Scots were lied to, vote no, remain in the EU, and now we’re being dragged out into a very uncertain economic future. One in which the British government failed misersbly, in, informing the public of the impacct of exiting the EU’s Single Market.

        Of course the Tory government knows fine well, that Brexit will have a detrimental effect, on the public, and just about every industry, but the British government cares more about power, than what’s best for the people.

        • fred

          A vote for independence would have been a vote to leave the E.U.

          Every argument against Brexit is an argument against independence.

          Nothing hypothetical about that.

          • Republicofscotland

            “A vote for independence would have been a vote to leave the E.U.”

            How so?

          • Republicofscotland

            You’re point was to prove that we would’ve been outside the EU.

            As for what you actually said, I say this, why wouldn’t we still, trade with the rUK if we left the union?

          • fred

            Why wouldn’t we still trade with Europe when we leave the E.U.?

            Why wouldn’t rUK put tariffs on trade with an independent Scotland? Why wouldn’t firms pull out of an independent Scotland to be where the currency matches the bulk of their customers?

            All the arguments Sturgeon is making against Brexit are arguments against independence.

          • fred

            2014 when Alex Salmond claimed he had legal advice that an independent Scotland could remain in the E.U. That was a lie, a bare faced lie and he wasted £20 thousand of tax payers money trying to avoid having to admit it.

            If Yes had won Scotland would have been out of Europe for definite, that was no lie, it was the Nationalists who lied.

          • Republicofscotland

            Do you have evidence to back up that claim. Such as irrefutable proof from the EU?

            Or is it (most likely) a George Bush senior moment, a unknown unknown’s.

            Ironically we’d have had a better chance of remaing in the EU if we had voted yes in 2014. For we are sure to be dragged out now by the Britnat government, who spent thousands of pounds lying to us over Brexit.

            Indeed such was the lying hype that a Polish man was murdered in London, if I recall correctly, due the take back control mantra.

          • JOML

            RoS, Following an independent investigation, Sir David Bell found that “Salmond had acted in accordance with the ministerial code” i.e. he did not lie. However, some people have a blind hatred of all things SNP and will hurl any abuse about. ?

      • jake

        In 2014 the UK Treasury estimated that a Yes vote would cost each person in Scotland £1400 per year. You’ll notice that this is actually less than the Brexit scenario currently being pursued by the UK Government which would cost £1610 per person and considerably less than the “no deal” at a cost of £2300 per person.

    • reel guid

      Boris Johnson has been a pied piper whose hypnotic tunes have led the Corbynites to the icy river where they will surely brrrr-exit.

    • MJ

      Be aware that the great majority of the majority who voted for it had no “corporate cronies” whatsoever.

      • Republicofscotland

        MJ.

        Yes that’s true, the masses, voted to leave, but were they fully informed of the consequences of such an action? I don’t think they were.

        • Geoffrey

          We were told it would be the end of the word as we know it. Over and over again, by pretty much every leader of industry,health service,police force,trades union,the BBC,pop group,children’s entertainer,comedian,government official,Nicola Sturgeon,Clegg,Cameron,most on the government payroll.

          • JOML

            Well, Geoffrey, we’ll need to wait and see if these warnings were true, when we eventually leave. In the meantime, the UK’s economic forecasts look pretty poor when compared against those countries we deem our peers. Strange these have dipped, if you are confident that leaving is a positive. What do you know that the forecasters don’t? ?

  • reel guid

    Former Labour MP and MSP Malcolm Chisholm has tweeted that he admires the Scot Gov paper on brexit and that it should command cross party support.

    Are you listening Leonard?

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid Leonard and the Scottish branch office of Labour in Scotland are and always will be entrenched in the position on no more powers for Scotland. They vehemently voted against more powers for Holyrood during the debates on the Smith Commission.

    • seanair

      Good for Malcolm Chisholm!
      An MP and MSP who was helpful to his constituents and didn’t stick to Labour rubbish.
      Carry on Malcolm……

    • reel guid

      Ros

      In the US now don’t go near the tired, the poor or the huddled masses or the polis will intervene.

    • Republicofscotland

      Báal.

      Thank you for that particularly interesting link.

      The Putinistas, who claim Putin is nothing like those nasty western leaders, won’t know where to look now.

      • Stu

        “The Putinistas, who claim Putin is nothing like those nasty western leaders, won’t know where to look now.”

        “According to the Kommersant newspaper, agreement has already been reached on a $3bn (£2.2bn) deal to supply the Saudis with Russia’s most advanced air defence missile system, the S400 Triumph. ”

        I don’t think this is going to have much effect on their war on Yemen.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Ba’al,

      I know someone who has been there too. He was treated like royalty, but he may have said the wrong thing. It would be disrespectful to repeat his comments about The American shiite circa 1990, that they had paid Billions for. If he had been more polite, he might have got the contract..which would be a win for us British.

      It was something like FFS interpreted live into Arabic direct to The Princes.

      I’m hardly surprised The Russians are at it too.

      Maybe they will have more success.

      Tony

    • Macky

      Karma payback time, as this is a result of an own-goal by the West via their sanctions against Russia;

      “On Wednesday, President Putin hinted that there would likely be further cooperation to lift the oil price, the lifeblood of the Russian economy. Ministers also made it clear that they hope the Saudi delegation will deliver on investment from the kingdom’s sovereign wealth funds.”

      • Republicofscotland

        No word Macky on the powerful hi-tech Russian weapons that could, and probably are killing Yemeni women and children.

        Bear in mind I doubt the Saudi’s would bat an eyelid on using them.

        As I often point out, there are no good guys, only levels of complicity, when it comes to government foreign relations, Putin is no different.

  • reel guid

    The clause 11/devolution amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill is going to be voted on tonight.

    The Scottish Tory MPs can’t back down from supporting it or they will be pariahs.

  • Republicofscotland

    Whe you’re a branch manager of a insignificant party in Scotland, who takes their orders from London, you can flip and flop when you feel like it. Safe in the knowledge that the media will protect you.

    Ruth Davidson (2016): “You don’t fund schools and hospitals, and you don’t control immigration by crashing the economy. And that’s what leaving the EU would do.”

    Ruth Davidson (2018): “… just bloody get on with it, will you?”

    And here’s the video.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/rosscolquhoun/status/953233900200976385/video/1

    • reel guid

      Ros

      Davidson just says what she thinks at the time will get her ahead. So she was vocal for Remain in 2016 because she thought that would stand her ambitions in good stead. Now she’s a gung ho brexiteer for the same reason.

      However, if the Scottish Tory MPs vote against the devolution amendment in the EU Bill then Davidson’s star will fade very quickly. It’s already been dimming.

  • reel guid

    Scottish Secretary Mundell conspicuous by his absence in the Commons devo amendment debate. Disgraceful.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Is this the Clause 11 debate in the Lords? If so:

      I read that some Lord will sit in for the SNP government, a kind of proxy devils advocate if you like. You know as I do that the SNP don’t appoint troughers, sorry I meant lords.

      I’m not confident of a positive outcome for the Scottish people on this one.

      • reel guid

        I just found out today Ros. The Bill has come back to the Commons, as Bercow has allowed some amendments to be debated and voted on. Including an amendment on transferring the Brussels powers that belong in Holyrood.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    The Russian Dmity Orlov, almost certainly won’t post, what I just tried to write on his blog, even though it is all true so far as I know – and I am a big fan of his. I just disagree on some fundamental details, which almost everyone here will do too..but that is not my problem.

    I think we are all doomed, if we all don’t do our best to write the truth, and challenge lies in every way we have the courage to do.

    it doesn’t mean, I am right, or you are wrong, but lets just have a discussion about it, without my point of view being deleted, before it is ever published. The truth is fundamental to the survival of the human race. Without it, we don’t stand much chance. It is not a case of scoring points.

    Dmitry,

    I finished reading your book last night “Everything is Going According to Plan”. Whilst it didn’t quite make my book of the year for 2017, I really enjoyed reading it. You have a great writing style which I really appreciate, even when I don’t agree with you. I have been reading your blog for years as well, but I don’t think any of my attempts to post have ever appeared on your blog, so I guess this won’t either.

    Just a little history about me – studied physics at a very good UK university, but never actually completed it, cos I was offered an exceedingly good job in the computer industry, which is what I really wanted to do. I am about 15 years older than you, and they used to teach physics and maths properly then at least in The UK.

    I guess it was about the year 2000, when I discovered the website dieoff.org. For about a week, I was seriously worried, about the future for my children and grandchildren, because almost all of the contents of dieoff.org, made total logical sense.

    The only way, I could handle this is to go back into full blown physics research mode circa 1972, and then research, all the research that proper physicists, had done since.

    I never bought the idea of man made global warming, and when I looked into it in great detail, I became 100% convinced that oil is not a fossil fuel.

    If I had not done this research, I might have made a seriously wrong financial decision, about the likely future price of oil, but didn’t.

    Otherwise I find your views 95% correct about almost everything, and you also make me laugh a lot.

    Good luck with your boat.

    Tony

  • Giyane

    I listened to an analyst on radio 4 at lunchtime explain how the Saudis feel hemmed in by Shia power in Baghdad. So that’s why they bomb Yemen.
    Well you arr clever sheep for bombing your own side in Yemen so thoroughly after being nipped by the US sheepdog. I thought jihad was fighting the enemy side.

    • Laguerre

      Umm, bombing their own side in Yemen? The Houthis aren’t Sunni, they’re Zaidi, which is a variety of Shi’a. Though some claim Zaidis aren’t Shi’a – I don’t why, because they are, just an archaic version.

      As for being “hemmed in”, what they mean is that the Saudi princes don’t like the fundamental fact that the Saudi Shi’a are sitting on the only oil fields in the country, and thus obviously putting Saudi princes’ financial well-being at risk.

  • reel guid

    The SNP supported Labour amendment to the EU Bill to protect devolution over returning Brussels powers has been defeated by 321 votes to 297.

    The 13 Scottish Tories all voted against the amendment. And therefore de facto voted to start the process of finishing with devolution.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Republicofscotland,

        Well don’t blame us English for that. We want you Scottish to have your Independence from us as soon as possible. If you want to stay in EU – well that is fine with us…

        Us English are out…Whilst Theresa May, gives all the impressions of being completely useless…let me introduce you to the New Prime Minister. I don’t know much about him, but he will probably tell you To Eff Off too..

        Telegraph: “Exclusive: Jacob Rees-Mogg to lead Tory eurosceptic MPs and ‘hold Government to account’ over Brexit”

        Independent:”Jeremy Corbyn ‘too old to lead Labour into next election’, warn top shadow ministers
        Senior frontbenchers are concerned Mr Corbyn may have to commit to being in office at the age of almost 78″

        I don’t think the neocons like either of them, whilst I think they are both better than Theresa May, cos they both give the distinct impression of not being braindead/brainwashed American puppets, and show signs of having some indigenous British intelligence.

        Tony

  • giyane

    I caught a few strands of news on the world tonight radio 4 this evening and I was quite struck how aggressive the presenter was being to her guest about the Tory government not having any responsibility for a private company causing massive losses of to private sub- contractors who have not and will never get paid by Carillion. I presume it was Ritula Shah, the podcast is not yet available.

    The government has already announced an enquiry, which is interesting because the last enquiry, on Grenfell, was summarily despatched this morning on the Today programme. The cause of the fire given to us plebs was a fridge freezer fault as an established fact, but I have already reported on this blog that the building had long-term problems with over-voltage. Tenants complained that their household accessories would smoke and break down. There is no consumer-end electrical fault protection that I know for over-voltage except surge protection. But these were not surges. The mains was regularly found to be well in excess of normal tolerances for UK buildings and the over-voltages frequently caused appliances to fail in the months before the fire.

    The BBC should not use its morning rush-hour slot to pre-empt a long , technical enquiry, stating baldly in his so matter-of-fact butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth voice of presenter Nick Robinson , I presume. that the cause was outside the responsibility of the owners of the building, when to me as an electrician it would seem to very much solely the responsibility of the owners of the building.

    So I’m not picking holes in presenters for doing their job, but pointing out that their job at the BBC appears to be to deflect blame from the government and its delegated governing institutions like local councils, while their job as journalists ought to be to get to the truth. sorry of a very long-winded way to get to the main point point, which is about Carillion and Tory government, deliberate irresponsibility.

    The day after Carillion went bust the BBC is backing the government , while in fact it appears that the quasi monopoly status of Carillion, in which it was repeatedly chosen by the government for new contracts after profit warnings were given blah blah blah, means that what the government had done was in effect to use Carillion’s bankruptcy vicariously, in effect to go bankrupt itself, thus evading most of its financial and moral responsibilities through its quasi private partner..

    If you pay someone to commit a crime, is that not almost as bad as doing it yourself. I’m not a lawyer, not all lawyers are interested in justice. I am. I accuse the Tory government of being an accessory to the fact, in using its preferred corporate contractor which it knew to be bankrupt, to do exactly that and go bankrupt so that the government could indirectly shelter itself, or privatise its liabilities by employing a private proxy. Bankruptcy eventually frees a company or individual from future obligations, which is what a government cannot do. But it achieved it though using an obedient proxy.

    Since William Hague first declared that Cameron’s government’s Foreign Policy would be different, meaning that they would openly employ Al Qaida and others as proxy military terrorists on their behalf in Libya and subsequently in Syria, this Tory regime has form in the use of proxies..I am not accusing the government of fraud, which I actually find rather too lenient an accusation for their recidivist ( i.e. unrepentant and multiple ) criminality.

  • Dave

    In 1997 New Labour promised to improve public services and join the Euro-currency. But this created a dilemma, because, in general, to improve public services required increased public spending, but to join the Euro required decreased public spending to meet the convergence and sustainability rules. They resolved the dilemma with ‘private’ PFI funding that was not shown as public debt. It was a very expensive way to provide public services, but it kept us within the Chancellor’s ‘golden rules’ for joining the Euro. Hence why the pro-EU lobby supported the mickey mouse accounting. Alas fiscal conservatives, unlike the “Left”, failed to opposed it, because of their support for privatisation, which clouded the issue.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Republicofscotland January 16, 2018 at 19:32
    Glad you support Putin’s assistance to Assad against the West’s proxy horde of headchopping mercenaries.
    As has been said, the S300 can’t be used against Yemen’s non-existent air force.
    There is, of course, another possible factor. Like Boeing’s ‘auto-takeover’ facility, in such a complex weapon as the S300 it should not have been beyond the power of Russia to install a hidden ‘doomsday’ device, which could cause the S300 to ‘malfunction’ if it was used against some country’s aircraft who the Russians supported (like Iran).
    Likewise, US and British aircraft could well have been fitted with such devices, in case the Saudis or anyone else they sell their aircraft to should decide to attack Israel (highly unlikely, but regimes can change).
    On the bright side, perhaps Russia will be able to ameliorate Saudi belligerence towards Iran, Assad and Yemen.
    And with oil price negotiation, that will assist Russia, Iran and Venezuela, the main losers when the oil price was dropped so dramatically (I believe at US behest, to hit those same countries’ economies).

  • Republicofscotland

    North and South Korea to march under one flag, at the Winter Olympics.

    They will also field a joint North and South Korean women’s ice hockey team, for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which begin early next month.

  • reel guid

    The unionist parties told the voters of Scotland in 2014 to vote No to keep Scotland in the EU.
    Vote No to strengthen devolution.
    Vote No to for the sake of the Scottish NHS.
    Vote No to increase Scotland’s clout in the UK.
    Vote No for shipbuilding and defence jobs in Scotland.

    In three and a half years all these pledges and promises have been shown to be lies. Every single one.
    Culminating in last night’s treachery where Scottish Tory MPs did the dirty and collaborated with the Tory cabinet in beginning the dismantling of devolution.

    Scotland is told to respect the 2016 EU referendum result. While Westminster disrespects and trashes the 1997 devolution referendum result. Rajoy and Co have clearly emboldened authoritarians and the fascist tendency in the UK, as elsewhere.

    While even if Corbyn’s Labour gain office – and it looks unlikely – how much priority would be given to repairing the Tory devastation to devolution? Very little if any. And Labour would consign Scotland to an unwanted hard brexit at the cost of £12.7 billion a year. No Thanks, to use Better Together’s old slogan.

    The Lib Dems want a second EU referendum. But deliver a hard slap to Scotland by opposing a second indyref. You have to at least concede that they’re world class in having and not having a principle at the same time.

    So Tories, Labour and Liberal Democrats are – all in their varying but nevertheless extreme ways – detrimental to democracy and decency in Scotland.

    The unionists pledges of the 2014 campaign are now exhibited for all to see as mendacious lies. No wonder Labour and the Tories politicians drank best champagne together as they thought they’d got away with it. But now they haven’t.

    Scotland’s interests are in friendly union with our European brethren and not in the nasty and insane post-imperial shambles that is the uk (lower case initials contemptuously deliberate).

    • frankywiggles

      Scots played a fundamental role in all the crimes of imperial Britain, in every corner of the globe, and the many enjoyed the fruits of its pillage for centuries. There was little talk in those days of having greater empathy with any brethren on the continent, where nobody viewed Scots as victims of the British empire. Bit late to be adopting that role now.

        • frankywiggles

          It’s a counter to your perception of Scots as somehow being victims. They inflicted genuine oppression themselves across the globe for centuries.

          • reel guid

            There you go everyone. If you want to oppose injustice with a comment on this blog you must first apply to frankywiggles, who will assess your claim for its historical legitimacy before granting or denying permission.

          • giyane

            frankywriggles

            Everywhere the British colonial bully as been, in every single nation, used to and still do , engage the politically-minded from the victim countries as agents of their own oppression.
            That is the quintessence of the crime of colonialism. Amongst the victims of UK colonial oppression there will always be those who see a chance of not being victims by serving the oppressor, often against their own fellow victims. This does not mean that Scotland was not a victim of UK colonial oppression. This was and very much still is , in Syria and Libya, a disgusting tool of UK terror colonialism.

          • frankywiggles

            Scotland is a victim of UK colonial oppression how, exactly? Last time I looked they had the same rights, if not more, than people in any other corner of the country.

          • Republicofscotland

            Frankwiggles.

            It’s above governing ourselves, using all the levers of government that we don’t currently possess.

            If I were you I’d be more concerend about Westminster, where the government is acting like a victim of EU oppression, indeed the EU protects you and gives you more rights than Westminster.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      reel guid,

      I didn’t really mind either way re the result of Referendum in Scotland in 2014, but I was very interested in the democratic process, and followed it very closely…beforehand and on the night. I even canvassed the views in my local pub, re what they thought. They were overwhelmingly in favour of Scottish Independence.

      I watched the count live, and some of it, didn’t look quite right. There was lots of TV, from numerous locations, and some of what was going on looked blatantly fraudulent. I think I posted my views here on the night ( I haven’t checked but they are probably there ).

      24 hours later, I came to the conclusion, that the Scottish people did indeed vote for Independence, but that the result was bent, by the security services. I couldn’t prove it of course, and no one in the Scottish Independence campaign, tried to do anything much about it. Someone might have tried to do a documentary about it, but I don’t think it has ever been released.

      And anyway, you probably like us English now, but I reckon you did vote to leave.

      Not hard to bend.

      The one that really surprised me was BREXIT, despite all us lot voting for Independence from The EU.

      I think they tried to bend that too, just didn’t do it enough.

      Tony

    • reel guid

      Ros

      He’s too young for the character of Alan B’Stard to have been based on him. Otherwise…

    • Habbabkuk

      RoS

      I don’t know exactly what the Tory vice-chair said and of course expressions such as “sterilisation” can be relied on to elicit knee-jerk reactions, but if the underlying point the chappie was making is that people should be encouraged to limit the size of their families to what they can reasonably afford without undue reliance on state help, then he surely does not merit castigation? Surely the “right” of people to have as many children as they want must be assessed in the light, inter alia, of the right of those children not to have a life marked by deprivation and a lack of the advantages available to the children of more well-off parents?

      • Habbabkuk

        I suppose one could summarise the question in the following way : is it better for a family to have one child which it can bring up comfortably and decently or to exercise its right to produce several children which they are unlikely to be able to bring up comfortably and decently?

        • Habbabkuk

          Far be it for me to offer advice, RoS – it was just a thought which I had hoped would stimulate a mini-discussion. Of course it is true that the Royal family receives what one might consider to be state benefits, but in fairness one should point out that it could support a largish family without those benefits since it has considerable means of its own. Hence the analogy with someone who produces a largish family solely or mainly by relying on state benefits is not a particularly good one in my opinion.

  • Habbabkuk

    Jeremy Corbyn’s relatively good showing at the last general election is put down by many commentators to his personal success in mobilising the youth vote and the vote of the under 40s. This makes me wonder if many people have stopped to consider that, were there to be a general election next year and were Labour to win it, Mr Corbyn would be the oldest Prime Minister to assume office for the first time in this and the previous century. Indeed, he would be the oldest person to assume that office for the first time since the great Viscount Palmerston! One must surely wonder whether a 70 year old person would best fitted for the demands of such high office, all the more so since Mr Corbyn would not be able to call on any ministerial, governmental and administrative experience to offset that decline of mental faculties that, sadly, usually accompanies advancing years.

    More generally, should not all politicians of whatever rank be encouraged to bow out of public life at the sort of age at which Permanent Secretaries and judges (to mention only servants of the state) do? Do not the challenges a post-Brexit Britain is likely to face call for a newer generation of politicians more in tune with those challenges and perhaps better able to face up to them?

    • giyane

      Habbabkuk

      What counts is mental acumen , not age. Mrs May, because Tories spend so much time lying, is like a computer with a virus. It just goes round and round trying to unscramble itself with a blank screen. She MUST go NOW.

      • Habbabkuk

        Giyane

        Of course you’re right when you say that it’s mental acumen that counts. The fact is, though, that mental acumen tends to diminish (increasingly) with age. It’s said, isn’t it, that diminished acumen is/can be offset to a greater or lesser extent by experience acquired over the years. The snag here is, in the case of Mr Jeremy Corbyn, that he has zero ministerial or government experience and no administrative experience outside internal Labour party politics. He comes across – despite his superficial modernity – as a fossil with a mindset stuck in the very different world of thirty or fourty years ago. I imagine that more and more people will come to realise that over time.

  • reel guid

    See that the YouGov poll has Labour down 2% and down to third place in voting intentions for Holyrood.

    Richard Leonard has had the shortest honeymoon since 007’s.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile in the land of the Tories.

    A conservative MP is calling for God Save The Queen to be taught in all schools to encourage a sense of “national identity”.

    Andrew Rosindell, the MP for Romford, wants every child to learn Britain’s national anthem with the aim of fostering a sense of patriotism.

    Hmm… Good to see the Tories have got their priorities right, when it comes to children.

    http://thenational.scot/news/15847834.Tory_MP_wants_to_force_every_school_to_teach_God_Save_the_Queen_to_pupils/

    • Habbabkuk

      Teaching schoolchildren the national anthem is standard practice in most if not all European countries and indeed further afield. So it would appear that teaching children the national anthem is a priority not only for the Tories but also in most other countries.

      Since we’re on about national priorities, do most people know that it is a criminal offence in Thailand to tear up, deface or otherwise interfere with a picture of the Head of State (the King)? Of course, Thai schoolchildren are also taught the national anthem.

      • glenn_nl

        Heh… a particularly hysterical teacher in my primary school once took great exception to a couple of kids, including myself, penciling in a mustache, pipe and various scars for our Queen, onto a few coins we had.

        “This is defacing coins of the realm!” she shrieked. “I am actually duty bound to call the police to report this!”

        “Why don’t you then, miss?” one of us asked. She treated that as further effrontery, instead of the fair question it obvious was.

        Perhaps we should go further, and salute the flag and pledge allegiance to our nation every morning as schoolchildren – who obviously will be fully informed and capable of realising what they are committing themselves to. Every bit as much as children do when they commit themselves to some sky-spook their leader tells them is “God”.

        Do you think it is right to command schoolchildren to swear oaths to some “God” or national imperative, Habbabkuk?

        • Habbabkuk

          Am interesting anecdote, Glenn but perhaps not typical enough to support whatever point it is you’re trying to make.

          I see nothing reprehensible – quite the contrary – in pledging allegiance to the flag or the country you’ve been born in and in which you’ll probably spend the rest of your life. The point about people committing themselves when they are mere schoolchildren doesn’t really hold water : they will have plenty of time to make up their own minds as they grow up and acquire experience and decide that they do not want to give allegiance to their country. After all, Heavens knows, much of the sort of stuff you read on here amply demonstrates that, wouldn’t you agree?

    • BrianFujisan.

      Be interesting to see how that one Plays out RoS..Just when ya thought they couldn’t make such Crap up ..WTF.

    • reel guid

      The day after the 2104 independence referendum Andrew Rosindell told his local newspaper in Romford that in future, constitutional changes should mean all 4 UK nations and the 21 territories have a say. By that he meant Scotland shouldn’t get to decide on her own independence, but that all these other nations and territories should have the power of veto.

      Yet Rosindell hasn’t noticeably called for Scotland having the power of veto over leaving the EU. Nor does he seem to care that Scotland is having no say on where the returning powers from Brussels go, even if they’re clearly devolved matters.

      A master hypocrite and a bully.

  • giyane

    Much the easiest way for the Tories to appear to be in control is for them to deliberately create a whole load of unnecessary problems that never existed. before they took over, Turkey was a moderate, Muslim NATO ally. Cameron turned it into parody of anything and everything NATO ever stood for. What creative genius!

    Before Mrs May took over the UK was at the forefront of uniting Europe, by boldly embracing cultural diversity and equal opportunity. Now we struggle to be friends with our neighbour France. What is it in the mentality of Mrs May that she is organising the ancient Bayeux tapestry to come to the UK rather than organising UK citizens to go to see it in France? Bonkers bulldog Britain.

    By encouraging Carillion to crash the Tories have taken the top-down management decision that infrastructure and facilities don’t need workforces to run them and they can be run just as well by not having them. might as well say that there’s no need to look after children . Just chain them to the bed.

    • SA

      And here I am thinking that it is Erdogan that turned Turkey into a parody. Erdogan is a Muslim Brotherhood and jihadist supporter. You overestimate Cameron’s influence. He was merely used as a cat’s paw in the US power game in the region.
      We must also not forget that Blair and Brown embraced PFI with all its potential for corruption and abuse wholeheartedly. Such massive failures of a giant construction company as Carillion does not affect the rich but inevitably the workers in these industries and the taxpayer. This is why many regarded Blair’s new labour as pink Tories.

      • giyane

        SA
        Hi. The Muslim Brotherhood philosophy, apart from duplicity, is to foment war. If that’s cool by USUKIS, that’s cool. If it’s not cool, it’s not cool. If Erdogan put one finger out of line, he’d now be lying in mausoleum. The critical mass of Muslim opinion, which was deceived by MB lies, will never accept totalitarianism in Islam.

        • SA

          giyane
          I am not sure what you are trying to say. Are you defending Erdogan? He is the one who is duplicitous and is using Islam for his purposes and who has supported both Daesh and Al Qaeda and still does. He may have also be in collusion with other NATO members and to blame Cameron for what Erdogan has done is strange to say the least.

    • Habbabkuk

      Giyane

      “Turkey was a moderate, Muslim NATO ally. Cameron turned it into parody of anything and everything NATO ever stood for.”
      _______________________

      Are you seriously suggesting that the turn Turkey has taken under the stewardship of the Bully Boy of Ankara, aka the New Sultan, can be ascribed to Mr Cameron’s governments?

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘As bitcoin crashes, Reddit’s cryptocurrency community post links to suicide hotlines’:
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/bitcoin-crashes-reddits-cryptocurrency-community-post-links-suicide-hotlines-1655553?
    ‘As the price of a single bitcoin tumbled to under $10,000 for the first time in months, Reddit’s cryptocurrency community started posting links to global suicide hotlines.
    In a shocking fall from grace – at least in the short-term – value fell swiftly, a far cry from the lofty heights of just two months prior, when it was valued at more than $19,000 per coin.
    In the global context the situation looked to be troubling. South Korea and China were allegedly pondering bans on cryptocurrency exchanges, police raids in the region were taking place and the UK government spoke out about the possibility of more legislation. The banks, of course, smelled blood.
    In the context of small traders, things also seemed dire. When the markets turned bad, all suffered.
    Ethereum was down. Litecoin was down. Ripple was down. According to analysts, the latest crisis wiped more than $200bn (£145bn) from the global market value…..’
    It was all a big puzzle to me – I couldn’t make head nor tail of it. I was tempted to buy £50 worth, but didn’t get around to it.

    • SA

      Paul
      All these crypto currencies are liable to end up the way of all hyper inflated Ponzi schemes and eventually the bubble bursts. I know it is tempting to participate in such schemes which are one step removed from gambling, but is that another case of ‘if you can’t beat them join them ‘?

      • glenn_nl

        Anyone interested should have bought them several years back. Way too late now. Once something is really popular and everyone’s talking about it, it’s too late. Off-loaded half of mine between Xmas and the NY. Should have off-loaded the other half too, but – hey! – who’s to know when they’re going to crash, or if they’re going to go a long way still?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ SA January 18, 2018 at 03:00
        Well, some lucky punters won a packet, I certainly would have liked being one of them.
        My campaigns would not have gone by the wayside, I would have just been able to do more.
        I twice built (very expensive) rafts on which I intended to sail/power across the Channel to France, to publicise the plight of East Timor (now Timor Leste); one didn’t get finished, the other got me nearly to Margate (from near Tower Bridge – I built them on the foreshore over two three-months periods at low tide on the foreshore).
        And I went on a 40-day protest fast (also to publicise East Timor situation), just water and salt 24 hours a day, for forty days.
        That also cost me money, as I was self-employed so got no unemployment money but still had rent and other bills to pay.
        Upshot was I got into debt, and as the debt inevitably increased over the years on credit cards (which I hadn’t been indebted on before my ventures) I eventually went bankrupt.

    • Habbabkuk

      Mr Paul Barbara

      “‘As bitcoin crashes, Reddit’s cryptocurrency community post links to suicide hotlines’”

      I am glad to note that Glenn (aka Mr 13000%) got out in time. I like Glenn ‘cos he once helped me with a technical matter.

  • Sharp Ears

    What was Lebedev’s agenda yesterday? Start trashing Corbyn in the days after the Carillion crash and burn as diversion and distraction.? He performs very well especially at PMQs in exposing the increasing uselessness of May.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/corbyn-too-old-age-labour-election-fears-shadow-ministers-latest-a8162761.html

    The Carillion stuff is unravelling. 900 schools were serviced by them and half of the prisons. What are you doing to do Theresa?

    • Habbabkuk

      As my good friend Kempe pointed out previously, PFIs were introduced under the Major govt but really took off under the Labour govts of Tony Blair. They were just a specific example of hire purchase writ large on the national scale and developed in order to reconcile two contradictory promises : to develop public services without increasing income tax.
      PFIs are merely further confirmation of the truth of the old saying that a Labour govt cannot be trusted to run the economy honestly or competently. And that of course applies to the govts of 1945 and of the 1960s and 1970s as well.

  • Habbabkuk

    The impossibility of rational discussion on the internet.

    The govt of a country – say the UK – decides to organise certain matters in a certain way (the example here is of PFIs). This is condemned by someone on, say, a blog. Someone else then comes along to say that, well, it is open to a future elected govt of a different political hue to change or reverse those policies. And then come along the inevitable someone to shut down the discussion with a “her Corporate and Foreign masters wouldn’t have that”. It’s the negation of the very notion of political action and the triumph of flip cynicism, isn’t it?

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Breaking – Tillerson Unveils ‘New’ US Syria Plan: ‘Assad Must Go!’:
    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/january/17/breaking-tillerson-unveils-new-us-syria-plan-assad-must-go/
    Just how long will it be before the countries in the US General Assembly tell the Yanks were to get off?
    And, hopefully, the countries in the Security Council, Permanent and Rotating?
    We are aware of the bribes and blackmail that ensure Congress and Senate ‘toe the line’, and have recently seen the same tactic, of the US making it plain that not voting with the US in the UN will likely cause a drop in ‘aid’.
    And the UN just ‘grins and bears it’ having a buffoonish egotistical lying War Criminal puppet ‘strut it’s stuff’ around the globe.
    I don’t believe Jeremy would kow-tow to the clown, as May & Co. do.
    Armageddon is supposedly at the foot of Mount Megido – take a look at a modern map – and start to think! Maybe time to start clearing communication lines with the Almighty.

    • SA

      The foreign policy of the US has always been a bit unpredictable but is now totally random. It really is not clear who their allies are as the are conflicts within the allies coupled by inconsistencies and whimsical action by members of the Trump ‘regime’.

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