A Stunt or have we lost?

The Government ordered armed soldiers onto the streets of the UK yesterday, and Police Scotland had armed Police Officers at Dundee Train Station. 


Theresa May has said that the Terrorist risk level in the U.K. is critical, this has been supported by Police in both England and Scotland. The armed soldiers are there to allow armed Police Officers support anti terrorist investigations across England. 

While this brings to the fore Police cuts of 20,000 in England since the Tories came into power it does leave me, the cynical me, with a few questions. 

First thing for myself is that armed Soldiers are not trained Police Officers, they are not trained in the same way so the idea that they will know what to look for in spotting suspicious individuals I would think are slim, even if they are vets from our many conflicts around the world. 

I can accept that armed Police are trained to spot someone acting suspiciously, acting in an unusual manner and so forth. 

However, I will admit that after Manchester some might feel this is an adequate response, required to protect Buckingham Palace, the Government and oh reassure the public. I’m not so sure. 

I’ve never been comfortable with armed Police Officers on the streets of Dundee, I have always felt that it does not deter anything. If you have gotten to the stage of carrying out a mass murder then you are way past being deterred by a Police Officer with gun. I also don’t like it at all.

Now many will disagree with my next point but there is the really cynical part of me that feels, after the week Theresa May just had, the horrors of Manchester have given her the opportunity to be seen to be strong and stable. 

I actually think it makes her look look weak and predictable but once we get to this point have we lost? What happened in Manchester is a horror that I cannot imagine what all the people who were there went through, the families of the injured and deceased , and I was thankful my kids were in my house and not at a concert in Manchester, I don’t apologise for that feeling at all. 

The media have also, as usual, sadly been lacking in most respects. The Sun linking Jeremy Corbyn to terrorism within 2 hours of the tragedy was a disgrace, it was disgusting.


For the Sun to run with the attack on Corbyn knowing this atrocity had happened is a disgrace, as was, Katie Hopkins final solution tweet, and the radio media reporting that the people of Manchester are living in fear just shows the level that some people will go to. We also had armed soldiers to protect Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, not armed soldiers to protect football fans at Wembley for Cup Final, garbage reporting as normal. 

So I suppose I am cynical on two fronts, I am sorry about Manchester, it is horrific, but more guns I don’t think is the answer and, as I said, there is a part of me that is very cynical about our response, has the Prime Minster taken advantage of the situation, maybe she has and I am not the only one thinking it. 

Car Crash Mayhem

Theresa May gave an interview to Andrew Neil yesterday that was one of the worst I have ever seen a politician give in the history of any election.

If you haven’t seen it then you should watch it online or on catch up, it was even worse than any interview given by Kezia Dugdale, like ever. It was that bad. Theresa May mumbled, stuttered, lied, repeated the same old sayings like the speaking clock does and blamed Jeremy Corbyn for pretty much everything. Events over the last 24 hours have put things into perspective and this interview will not get the coverage it deserves, certainly not this week, if at all, but we did learn a few things, that most of us already know.

Theresa May(hem) assumes that she is going to win this election without trying. With an un-costed and insulting manifesto that should, but isn’t, being hammered by the press to the end of the earth. She could not answer where any extra money was coming from for the NHS or Education, would not answer why the unpopular Jeremy Corbyn was closing the gap in the polls, why she u-turns all the time, no all she went on about was who would negotiate Brexit. After this interview I would imagine anyone watching would be hoping that it’s anyone but her.

This woman is not fit to be the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, normally I wouldn’t care but it will have such a profound effect on Scotland that we should all care. As The National pointed out recently,

She often accuses Jeremy Corbyn of being unfit to lead, he is,no doubt about that, but so is she, if it was a straight choice I would have Corbyn although neither are a friend to Scotland in any shape or form. Theresa May is one of the worst politicians I have ever seen, she is robotic, not engaging, scripted and I think a bit thick.

If the Conservatives win the election we should all mourn and be very very afraid, a Conservative win with May(hem) at the helm and we are in serious serious trouble. What can’t people in England see, I am just waiting on the racist anti-Scottish rhetoric to play out as the polls tighten like the last time.

Theresa May is the wrong person, in the right party, at the wrong time, in the wrong century.

 

I wasn’t going to post this tonight after the events in Manchester yesterday so I hope that no one takes offense. My heart goes out to all in Manchester who were a victim of the horrific crimes that took place last night.

The Green Party Manifesto

The Green Party released their manifesto today so I thought I would have a look and see what it said, as I have done with the Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and Conservative manifesto’s.

Highlights for myself include:

•Phase in a 4 day working week (a maximum of 35 hours) and abolish exploitative zero hours contracts.

•Reform taxation to include a wealth tax on the top 1% of earners, investing in more staff at HMRC so they can work more effectively, and reinstate the higher level of corporation tax for large businesses.

•An Environmental Protection Act to safeguard and restore our environment, protect and enhance biodiversity, promote sustainable food and farming, and ensure animal protection.

•Tough action to reduce plastic and other waste, including the introduction of Deposit Return Schemes, with a zero waste target.

•Introduce proportional representation (PR) for parliamentary and local elections, and votes at 16.

•A living rent for all through rent controls and more secure tenancies for private renters, an end to letting fees and the introduction of mandatory licensing for all landlords.

•End mass council house sales and scrap Right to Buy at discounted prices.

A referendum on the detail of whatever deal is negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU.

Like the Labour manifesto, there is a lot to like in this one too, and unlike the hypocrites that are the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party support a referendum on any Brexit deal and another referendum on Scottish Independence, no Willie Rennie rubbish here. The manifesto has a lot of things that I have always cared about and I continue to be more and more impressed by the Green Party.

I totally agree with votes at 16 and PR, totally agree with rent controls, totally agree with a major reform of all taxation, totally agree with not renewing Trident, the list goes on. While it is fair to say that the Greens will not get the wall to wall free coverage of the other parties, and will be subjected to greater scrutiny, I understand why people would, and do vote Green.

A few blogs ago in Betrayal or Pragmatism  I discussed the decision of the Scottish Greens to only stand in 3 constituencies in the General Election in Scotland. They have been accused of propping up the SNP Government in Holyrood and helping their SNP masters. All a bit rich coming from the other parties who are funded by their rich masters, and as we saw in the coalition, the Liberal Democrats will sell their souls for the extra Ministerial Salary.

The Scottish Greens have given their reasons for not contesting all 59 seats and will not endorse any candidates in the 56 they are not in. I said at the time “I am not so sure if I agree or not, there would be a temptation not to vote at all if my preferred party or candidate withdrew leaving only other party candidates, even if they are pro YES candidates”.

My view hasn’t really changed, I vote Green on the list for Holyrood elections and have always ranked them in local council elections, there is no Green Candidate standing in Dundee West at the General Election so I will vote for a YES candidate, but the decision not to stand Green candidates I imagine will upset some Green supporters but maybe I’m wrong. Either way I like their manifesto and that won’t surprise many people, it is a left manifesto that is more Labour than Labour have been since the 1980’s.

You can check it out here The Green Party Manifesto

Something Different: Beer

I like a beer, just one or two, and cold. I’m not really a drinker at all but there is not much better than a cold one after a long week at work so what are my favs. 

My first choice, and not common here, is Samuel Adams. A Boston beer and one of the best I have ever had, lovely beer. 


A controversial choice, and only ever in a bottle, but I like a Tennants and had one tonight. 


Another strong choice would be Red Stripe. A Jamaican beer and very smooth, one of the best out there I think. 


Another one that I really enjoy now and again is a Grolsh, a little bit bitter in some ways but really nice if cold. 


Another one that I really like but is a now and then beer for me is Stella. Smooth and easy to down, maybe too easy 😀


Here is a couple that I really don’t like, not really beers but I don’t like them at all. 


The Conservative and Scumbag Manifesto

So the invisible woman, Prime Minister Theresa May, has released the posh parties Manifesto. Tris over at Munquins New Repulic posted the pic below. 


Not to be outdone by Thatcher Thatcher the milk snatcher Mayhem plans on stealing food from the mouths of infants to provide breakfast clubs that few will attend. 

Winter payments are to be means tested which will result in a substantial drop in uptake as we know that older people hate means testing and opt out. Older people will have to pay more for social care while the Tories cut corporation tax, yip a Tory policy in all its glory. 

Immigration is to be cut to only those deemed worthy, that means have money. There will be more free schools in England, oh the joy as a lot of the ones so far have closed and cost a fortune. Looks like tax is going up and the deficit will be eradicated, until the next election where they will eradicate it again. 

Allegedly there will be more for education and health which might effect Scotland but you never know. Not a lot for Scotland though other than:

A referendum on Scottish independence will only be allowed to take place after Brexit has “played out” and should not take place “unless there is public consent for it to happen”.

Someone needs to remind Mayhem that has already been decided, it will happen whatever you say, in fact we don’t care what you say. 

Foxes beware , the Tories and the Windsors are coming for you but will tire you, scare you half to death , set the dogs on you first before they kill you. A bit like benefit sanctions. 


The 40p rate of tax band will increase, there’s a f surprise. VAT won’t be increased until the next parliament, then it will go up as there will be no EU to dictate some safe guards. 

From what I can see this is a manifesto that will make most of us poorer, another surprise, corporations and the rich will be fine. Not surprised by this manifesto at all, don’t believe much it of other than things like stealing food from babies mouths, putting taxes up and taking old people’s houses, as the Tories break most pledges and the ignorant, racists, posh and selfish will vote for it. 

We have got to get out of this shithole of a country. 

Liberal Democrats Manifesto ‘ The Hypocrites Speak ‘

The Liberal Democrats released their manifesto today.

Front and centre in their EU section is the hypocritical statement:

” when the terms of our future relationship with the EU have been negotiated (over the next two years on the Government’s timetable), we will put that deal to a vote of the British people in a referendum, with the alternative option of staying in the EU on the ballot paper “.

The Liberal Democrats like referendums, but only when they don’t like the result of any previous ones. Willie Rennie launched a General Election Pledge Card.

You see the Liberal Democrats hate the EU result so want to re-run it and hope that people will vote remain by rejecting any deal the Tories get from the EU, of course they won’t be in power so it’s a moot point. But anyway, they liked the Scottish Independence Referendum result so they will fight tooth and nail to ensure that a second Independence Referendum, agreed by a majority in the Scottish Parliament, doesn’t happen. As I have said before where was the vote on the Scotland Act 2016, where was the vote on the Smith Commission, no we can’t have that, hypocrites.

Hypocrites of the worst kind.

The manifesto goes on to promise, like Labour, a federal United Kingdom (didn’t fight for it coalition did they) and notes that Scotland will raise half of its budget in tax. Without mentioning that Scotland has no power over corporation tax and vat, no powers to set the levels of benefits in Scotland – including child benefit, pensions, tax credits and welfare payments. No say in immigration policies, no say over defence and foreign policy, no say on the constitution, no say on nuclear weapons, and no say on fiscal, economic and monetary policy; and government borrowing and lending. Basically the Liberal Democrats, like Labour, and like the Tories want to keep Holyrood as toothless as they can make it, a diddy parliament.

Is there anything to like, not a lot and they go no where near as far as Labour. No promise to end zero hours contracts, they are going to encourage employers to pay a living wage rather than just bring one in, they are going to raise income tax by 1p for health, they want to put a levy on cigarette companies and I can support that. Minimum price of alcohol would be a good thing, bring in votes at 16 and I support that but overall their manifesto is aspirational with a lot of encourage this and encourage that, won’t matter as they won’t be in power.

The Liberal democrats believe they will return 20+ MPs by retaining all of the MPs and winning some of their target seats. I just can’t see it to be honest, I am no expert and more wrong than right when it comes to predictions, but independent statistician Nigel Marriott has the Liberal Democrats losing seats and having a few as 6 MPs, while that would be very funny it is probably wrong. The Liberal democrats are polling around 9% of the vote and under first past the post won’t result in much more than 12 MPs returned to Westminster. To be honest given their hypocrisy when it comes to Scotland it is 12 too many given how I am feeling about the election right now.

To use a favourite logo of Willie Rennie and the Liberal Democrats I suspect that the voters will be saying:

However I prefer this one:

Labour and a lost cause

So the British Labour and Unionist Party have ruled out any consideration of a second Scottish independence referendum in their manifesto. 

Jeremy Corbyn is to look at federalism, again, to see how this might work in the UK. This is also seen as a way for Scottish Labour to recover in Scotland. 

I said in a previous post that there was a lot to like in the Labour Manifesto and I stick by that, but catching up on the news today has resulted in I suppose a realisation. I had hoped that at some point Labour would return to some kind of sanity and recognise that Scottish Independence was in the best interests of all in the UK. 

This is plainly never going to happen, my silly hope in the decency of some in the Scottish Party is well and truly dead. Labour are a lost cause as far as our future is concerned, the hope that they see the light is just that, a distant hope. It is time to forget the Scottish Labour Party and to treat them strategically as we do the TORIES, no benefit of the doubt, the unionist Labour Party have nothing but my contempt and I no longer care if they do well, our journey is a destination that they can play no part in, they are a lost cause.