Was it worth £274 Million Pounds

The Daily Rancid actually ran a story yesterday that I was interested in.

rancid

Great Britain and Northern Ireland (pronounced Team GB by the BBC/SKY/ITV/STV etc) cost £274 Million pounds winning 27 Gold, 23 Silver and 17 Bronze medals in Rio 2016. That works out at £3.8 million pounds per medal. Now I blogged last week about the Olympics Boring and I am delighted it is all over.

Team GB is mainly funded by lottery funding so not directly from the Tax Payer really but we know that it is mainly working class people who buy the tickets and people on benefits are more likely to buy a ticket than those who are not, so it might as well be a tax in so many ways, but is it really worth £3.8 million pounds per medal. We did do really well in the posh sports and they receive the most funding, Rowing gets £32,622,862 and Cycling gets £30,267,816 of the funding. 32% of Team GB were privately educated, slightly down on London 2012 but still well over the population at large where only 7% go to private school, which kind of implies the wealthier you are the better chance you have of going to the Olympics.

The 2016 Olympics has cost Brazil $12 Billion Dollars, certainly less than London 2012 which cost $14.6 Billion Dollars, but an eye watering sum of money for a country that is for all sense and purposes a developing world country. Very few Olympics make a profit, London is said to have made a loss of $10.6 Billion Dollars and at a time when Brazil is closing schools and having Police Officers stay at home due to having no money, was it really worth it?

I admit to being a miserable git, Great Britain and Northern Ireland did well, but I just can’t bring myself to be happy about for it Brazil, who are basically broke, and ourselves. The money spent on the Olympics is obscene, will it inspire millions in the UK, I doubt it, and when I see the poverty around me, when I see my City really starting to look and feel broken, I just can’t find any joy in the teams achievements.

‘ Whatever ‘

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, according to The Herald today, are ruling out any sort of alliance with the SNP ahead of the 2020 General Election.

herald_750So

Now I don’t believe for one minute that Labour will get near enough seats to form the next Government at Westminster or win any election. This means the only way that the Tories will be pushed out in 2020 is with some form of rainbow alliance at Westminster, esp once the boundaries change. Boundary changes will see parliament reduced to 600 seats from 650 making it even more difficult for Labour according to some. However, some MPs within Labour are conceding that an alliance might be the only path open to the party to gain power at Westminster.

The Herald reported that Shadow Scottish Secretary Dave Anderson, an MP for a constituency in England, provoked a backlash from British Labour in Scotland when he suggested an SNP deal may be “the price that we have to pay to prevent another rabid right-wing Tory government”.

One of the really ironic parts of the story is British Labour in Scotland branch manager Kezia Dugdale said a deal with the Nationalists “just wouldn’t work” and Anderson’s predecessor, Ian Murray, said advocates of an SNP deal demonstrate “a lack of understanding of the political dynamic in Scotland”. Ian Murray accusing anyone of a lack of understanding of politics in Scotland makes me laugh.

Neil Findlay MSP, you know the non socialist socialist in British Labour in Scotland, has stated that “I don’t think the SNP will be able to take any comfort from a Jeremy Corbyn victory. Personally I don’t think the SNP will care either way if Corbyn wins the Labour Party civil war. Findlay goes on to say,

“Jeremy Corbyn is coming to Scotland and it will be made clear that there will be no progressive alliance with the SNP. “The SNP does not act progressively in government, but seeks to talk progressively at Westminster where it has no power. “Providing a credible and Socialist radical alternative to nationalism is what Jeremy is all about and we’ll be making an appeal to the people of Scotland on that basis.

I think Neil ‘ the socialist ‘ Findlay will find that that boat has truly sailed and is another one who is in denial about the changed landscape of Scottish Politics.

There is no alternative to the march to independence any more. I understand why the SNP might feel the need to hold out an olive branch to Labour as they did at the last general election, demonstrating the party’s willingness to do the best for Scotland in Westminster, but I wouldn’t.

Labour are a sham of a party, and while some members in England are fighting to find it’s lost soul, here in Scotland the northern branch are infected with Blairites and non entities who are filled with anger and hate for everything that brings more democracy to Scotland, while having no ideas what so ever on how to make things better. British Labour in Scotland lost it’s soul a long time ago and there are no signs of that returning any time soon.

Labour voters in Scotland have already demonstrated they would rather vote Tory than bring greater democracy to Scotland, and that is why they will continue to lose and lose badly. Ruling out an alliance with the SNP, even if one were offered, just shows the lengths they will go to protect their union. Corbyn is showing himself to be no better and no different to Dugdale and her Blue Labour collegues if the Herald is to be believed. But to be honest, I would imagine the response from many within the SNP and the greater YES movement will be,

Whatever!

Off topic a wee bit.

I don’t buy the Herald but it does go for the SNP BAD/Nationalists EVIL mantra a lot these days but Newsquest who own The Herald, also own The National, that fact has helped me stop even purchasing The National. I don’t want to give a single penny to any group who owns and prints the rag that is The Herald.

The Herald and Selective Reporting

The Herald had a side headline today (click on image to enlarge) that Trump and Putin are less disliked than the SNP by voters who voted leave in the recent EU Referendum and you know what, they are correct , but only when you look at the results of the yougov poll and decide to go purely SNP BAD on your analysis.

herald_750

But when you look at the results of the poll you can start to paint a different picture to the extent that the headline could have read SNP favored more in Scotland than Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, The Conservative Party, The Labour Party, The Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, David Davis, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, David Cameron, George Osbourne and MP’s generally and you would have been equally correct. Only Barak Obama was more favorable, but for the life of me I don’t know why.

This is just another example of the SNP BAD mantra from the Unionist media in Scotland that we have sadly come to expect, and the absolute fact that you just cannot and should not trust anything they say, but again, as Wings has pointed out, it’s all in the headline. Lets all start pointing out this crap to as many people as we know who get their news from these people, and sadly believe it. We can be in no doubt that when any story reports the SNP are bad at something you really do need to dig a little deeper, analyze the stats for yourself, and more importantly put them into the correct context, I find stats interesting (yes I know) but I have learned that when it comes to the Scottish Government, the SNP and the Unionist media, the headline is rarely the truth and the truth more informative than the headline.

YouGov Results

Owen Smith, Blue Labour!

I was trying to catch up a little today about the joke that is the Labour Party Leadership Contest and that got me thinking, while winning general elections is obviously vital, if it means giving up your soul then it is just not worth it. The more I learn about Owen Smith the more I’m convinced he has done just that.

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Owen Smith is Blue Labour through and through, let’s be clear on that.

But when I was thinking about the contest today I had a wee giggle as Owen Smith is all over the media accusing the Tories (his brothers and sisters) of privatising the NHS in England. This is the same Owen Smith who has confirmed in the past that he supported PFI, yeah the policy that is causing tax payers never-ending debt all over the UK but in particular Scotland. This is the same Owen Smith who supports privatisation, supports Trident and abstained with his fellow Blue Labour Tories Kendall, Burnham, and Yvette Cooper on the Welfare Bill (disgusting word welfare). It’s only since standing against Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership that Owen Smith has suddenly found his socialism but not so sure his democracy.

Many on the right of Labour, even Watson by the look of things, blame Corbyn for the state of the party. Many within Labour hate being called Red Tories or Blue Tories, esp in Scotland. They call for the end of the term but why should anyone stop calling them that. Actions speak louder than words and RED AND BLUE TORIES they are, Owen Smith now being their leader in waiting. I mean come on, any party going to the High Court, using members money, to stop 130,000 new members voting in the leadership contest are pretty much Tories. Only Tories would use the membership fees of those promised a vote when they joined the party to stop them actually having a vote in the party they joined, the dystopian Blue Red Tory part of the Labour Party of which Owen Smith is a signed up member.

Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership the Labour Party in England has found its lost soul, or many within it have, but this is being undermined by the Blue Red Tories who managed to get Owen Smith to stand against Corbyn. The dark siths of New Labour don’t care about values, or socialism, or people. They care about themselves, about power, about position, they sure as hell don’t care about what the Labour Party once stood for. Many blame Blair for the mess that is Labour now but for me it started with Kinnock.

I am no fan of Corbyn and pretty much despise Labour, I recognise that Corbyn needs to stop talking to momentum members all the time and start spreading his wings to other voters or he might lose to the populist tory Smith. But if Owen Smith does win the leadership contest then Labour are finished, those members who are fighting the good fight will have to leave the party because it will be a party with no soul. It will be a party that might as well sit on the same benches as the Tories and it will leave millions of people across England, esp the north, without any political voice leaving the door open to UKIP to fill the gap.

Is it just me……or are the Olympics boring the crap out of you as well!

olympics

I must admit I have watched some of the never-ending coverage of the Rio Olympics on the good old BBC but have decided enough is enough. It feels like it would be easier to count the BBC presenters who are not actually there as the BBC must be spending millions of our tv tax on this jolly for the good and lovely every 4 years.

We are doing well in all the posh sports, ok in some of the sports that ordinary people might be able to afford to do, and witnessing some of the greatest, Olympic standard, ass kissing and sycophants that the BBC can provide. The BBC has sent 455 staff seemingly.

But it is all so boring. Dressage, badminton, sailing, golf for f*** sake, judo. The list is endless and the constant back slapping and insufferable descriptions of boring non events just gets on my tits. I learned that Jessica Ennis-Hill is a mother, the BBC presenter told me that 40 times, and what an incredible achievement it is for her to be a successful athlete mother. Please save me.

I know that I am a grumpy middle-aged man but this is just crap. The Olympics used to be about amateurs competing against each other but now they are all professionals and either earn a fortune selling trainers, health supplements and perfume, or are sponsored by lottery money etc. I don’t know who has taken drugs or not, so it just feels like there are few honest athletes out there now, to the extent that I just don’t care all that much.

If I hear one more Team GB, we used to just be Great Britain and that was bad enough, athlete saying they work hard I am going to scream. Most people work hard for f*** sake. I was watching a bit of the Andy Murray match last night but switched it off at one set all to read a book, I just did not care either way. That is what the Olympics has done to me, I just don’t care anymore.

Fury I Tell You, F****** Fury

The Daily Express Scottish Edition has a story today stating that there is FURY, yes real FURY , at one SNP Councillor, one SNP MP and one SNP MEP expressing republican views on the future of the unelected Head of State of Scotland.

queen

But is there really FURY at the very suggestion that Scottish Voters, at some distant point in the future, actually might get to decide if they want to continue to pay for a pampered family to have Lordship over them. To have advantages over them that all of us can only dream of, to have influence over our politics and our laws that we don’t have, to have access to politicians that we don’t have, have tax rules that we don’t share……the list is f endless on the differences between us and them around rights.

However, I actually couldn’t find any FURY. What the article quotes from the yoons, sorry the Unionists, were Jackson Carlow, Scottish Tory Deputy Leader saying they were “ completely out of step with voters “ and “ support for the monarchy remains high “. Dame Mervyn Redding, British Monarchist Society and Foundation said “ People love the Queen and Royal Family “ and Mike Rumbles from the still relevant Scottish Liberal Democrats said that MEP “ Alyn Smith can’t seem to go 10 minutes without suggesting one referendum or another “. NO FURY TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE.

Now my views on the monarchy and the whole unelected Head of State issue is clear Monarchy. The hereditary principle goes against everything that I believe in and goes against every democratic principle that I have and that this country is supposed to hold. Stuart at Wings over Scotland found in January 2015 that 65% of Scots agreed that Scotland should keep the monarchy, so Jackson Carlow was correct nearly two years ago, however it appears that in 2016 66% of Scots also favor keeping the monarchy, this was in an ipsos-mori poll but the Scottish sample was a whole 35 respondents, hardly conclusive but no different from the result of the Wings survey.

But what I found interesting, and clearly demonstrates what Stuart at Wings advises about reading the story and not the headline, is that there was no FURY in any shape or form. There were predictable responses from some of the yoon politicians.

Personally I think if we really educated people about the Windsor’s, about the advantages and influence they really have over our country, the way that they operate behind the scenes to reinforce their position and maintain their wealth, the polls might just start to change. There will never ever in my mind be a reason to have an unelected head of state, and if you want to see FURY, just look at me when the BBC go on a Royal Family love fest several times every year using our TV tax money when people go hungry in this f****** awful UK.

Scotland’s Council Debt – a legacy of UK failure.

The Unite Union have started a campaign to seek support from the Scottish Government to scrap all local authority debt.

Unite

Unite the Union estimate that local authority debt in Scotland is around £12.1 Billion Pounds, not counting PFI debt which is around £36 Billion Pounds, around £31 Billion Pounds is a result of Labour and Gordon Browns love affair with PFI which local authorities were forced to use to build new schools etc. Unite believe, not counting PFI debt, that around 44p in every £1 goes to debt repayment, around £2.5 Billion are pre-devolution debts with the treasury receiving £3.3 Billion Pounds in interest payments alone over the last 17 years.

These levels of debt are mind-boggling and highlight the shocking state of Scotland’s local government finances; the UK debt is around £1.6 Trillion and growing every second , for a country that has had Oil and Gas resources since the 70’s it beggars belief that we can be in debt at all. While the Westminster Government have cut public spending by around 6% of GDP since 2010 debt interest payment have increased to £53 Billion Pounds Per Year.

The UK has raised around $470 Billion Dollars since 1970 from Oil alone. So while Norway has an Oil fund of around £400 Billion Pounds by putting away some of the money for a rainy day (10%) per year roughly, Thatcher spent our gift in funding de-industrialisation and unemployment. Her decision to cut capital investment, privatised vital public services to her pals and starving local government of resources while providing the banks with the de-regulation they craved, supported in future years by Labour, helped allow the banks to virtually bankrupt the nation to the extent they had to be bailed out to the tune of £850 Billion Pounds of our money.

So while the Unite Union might be calling for a debt right off it is not going to happen. The simple reality is that since the 1970’s Scotland has suffered from the inept decision-making of Westminster Governments to the extent that the UK is probably in truth bankrupt and the people will continue to suffer as more and more cuts continue to rain down on us from above, well not above, but from the inept and breath-taking stupidity of a neo liberal approach to the economy which continues to see the gap between the rich and poor get larger every day.