Beware the philosopher’s stone

Sheila Gilmore, former MP for Edinburgh East and recently selected as Labour’s candidate in the next election, says many of the problems with Universal Credit were known from the start, and governments must resist the temptation to to find easy answers to complex problems.


I can imagine Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants telling new recruits “Beware the seemingly easy answer to complex problems”.  The idea of simplifying the social security system, of creating one benefit where there were several, and easing changes in circumstances such as starting or stopping work,  has for many years been the ‘philosopher’s stone’ of social security thinking.  From 1997 to 2010, successive Labour social security ministers looked at the idea and rejected it as unworkable.

Of course the DWP civil servants may only have themselves to blame. I have a strong ‘Yes Minister’ image of them dusting off the idea and presenting the file to an incoming minister as an exciting new idea.  In Ian Duncan-Smith they met someone who had his own agenda of ‘making work pay’, and people not, as he saw it, ‘sitting back’ on benefits for the rest of their life.  As Secretary of State he was never a details person, and waved away every word of caution or criticism.

As a member of the Committee that went through the details of the Bill that brought about Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and many other changes, I know that many of the problems which have come to pass were pointed out way back then.  For example IDS argued that claimants should get used to monthly payments because that was the ‘world of work’.  We heard evidence from experts in the field who demonstrated that weekly or fortnightly payments remained very common in much low paid work.

This pattern went on with proposal after proposal.  The Lib Dems on the Committee offered some hand-wringing but didn’t support a single one of our amendments.  And yes, Labour did oppose the Welfare Reform Bill, through committee, at Third Reading and in support of the amendments the House of Lords tried to insert (like on the Bedroom Tax).  It gives little satisfaction to be able to say ‘we told you so’ as problem after problem emerges, because it is real people who are suffering the consequences.

On top of this flawed project, financial decisions taken by then Chancellor George Osborne meant that many of the promised ‘gains’ from the new system were removed.  In particular, changes to the treatment of people in work undermined the idea of ‘making work pay’. This is what caused IDS to resign, not any admission by him that the roll-out wasn’t working.

If Labour does scrap Universal Credit, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of issues to be resolved in the social security system.  Basic benefit levels have fallen relative to earnings over many years.  There are problems and flaws in the system which have little to do with Universal Credit as such. Should we concentrate on finding solutions to some of the worst problems, such as what happens at times of transition to and from work?  Or should we too look at a major change?  And if so what?   There is a lot of interest in Universal Basic Income (UBI).  I confess to being a bit of a UBI sceptic.  Should we too beware the philosopher’s stone?

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122 thoughts on “Beware the philosopher’s stone

  1. I bet an Independent Scottish Government wouldn’t be rolling out any kind of welfare system that actually made people poorer than they already are but look at all the benefits we have by being Governed by foreigners who do.

    1. What evidence do you have for that, given the austerity built into the so-called “Growth” Commission Report?

      1. Im not sure what kind or level of evidence do I need to place a bet? Where is the evidence that proves austerity is built into growth?
        What I do know for a FACT is that Tory Governments operating from London ALWAYS cut welfare and benefits. We also know FOR A FACT that NEW Labour Governments do the same We also know for a FACT that SNP Governments MITIGATE WELFARE CUTS.

        Gonna be stupid enough or a big enough troll to deny it Jim Bob?

          1. Its only a fact when you use false data to justify the measurement. I bet you cant even give me the name of a single Child you can attribute directly to anything Labour has done to get them out of poverty. You cant actually point to a single child or family and say they are no longer in poverty because of labour because the way you measure your claims are based on nothing but rhetoric and soundbytes.
            Labour DIRECTLY caused the creation of greater world poverty through their warmongering THATS A FACT that cant be denied. They are Directly responsible for people being bombed out of their homes for killing and maiming children for causing deprivation and the loss of resources people needed for survival. So how the fuck people like you can claim Labour as an organisation fought and won a battle against poverty is beyond me in fact its pretty fucking sickening. Why don’t you explain to all the Iraqi families who lost everything during Labours warmongering years about how you reduced poverty.
            you get more pitiful and pathetic with your reality denying by the day Jim Bob.

          2. The ONLY children Labour have removed from poverty are the ones they murdered during their warmongering years. THATS A FACT Jim Bob.

      2. Austerity is NOT built into the Growth Commission Report (GCR). It merely “recommends” that public investment be limited to below the level of economic growth for however many years. That might mean austerity, or it might mean more investment, it would depend on the level of growth in the economy. However, the GCR is only a “recommendation” from conservative (small “c”) minded people, it is NOT the policy of ANY political party. To claim otherwise is simply dishonest. Some, none or all of it may be implemented to some degree by one or other political party that happens to be in power in a newly independent Scotland, but they would not be tied to any of it.

        That’s the beauty of independence, nothing is off the table when it comes to deciding how to tackle the problems besetting your country. Unionists try to con the people of Scotland into believing that an independent Scotland would be restricted to one (always extremely negative) vision of the future while claiming only the UK offers a multitude of possible (always positive) futures. The opposite is actually true. Independence gives us the freedom to choose our own path amongst the many possibilities. The Union keeps us in a straight-jacket, restricted within a system deliberately devised to favour a region hundreds of miles away, whether it is in our interests or not.

  2. The first thing l would do is halt Universal Credit
    immediately and return to the previous benifits system asap as most of the jobcentre staff have experience of the old system and put an end to the suffering of our fellow human beings. As for any systems like University Credit that rely on real time computer data transactions it’s prone to human error mistakes as well as technical glitches and it’s unrealiable. The idea that you could merge six benifits into on monthly payment on a computerized system and it would be easy with no mistakes is for the birds. Finally Universal Credit was promoted as a system that was to enable work to pay which sounds all well and good but it’s intention in reality was corrupted to sanction, cause pain and suffering to the most vunerable in society. I am so glad that the Scottish Government is currently doing it’s best with the limited devolved power’s at it’s disposal to mitigate the affects of this savage Tory policy that has folk’s queuing up hungry at foodbanks. I will be glad when we have an lndependent Scottish Labour Party in an Independent Scotland able to treat our fellow human beings with dignity compassion and respect.

  3. Once again, Sheila hits the nail on the head. As the Chair of a Social Housing organisation, I also pointed out the flaws at the start, but no-one was listening. Now we even have Ms McVile admitting that the transfer will cost families £200. We could have told you that at the time IDS if you were listening!

    1. And yet the massive flaw regarding the fact that Scotland ONLY has to suffer under English Tories Governments within the disunion hasn’t yet computed with you eh? You would still rather we suffered under English Tory Government than allow an Indy Scotland to be Governed by an Independent Labour Government from Edinburgh and as long as that’s the case then you and the rest of the Comrades have nothing valid to say on any subject regarding imposed London Government ideology on Scotland.
      Hows that for a nail on the head Jim Bob?

      1. “Scotland ONLY has to suffer” Can’t follow the logic of this. If you were talking about the Poll Tax, yes, but now?

        1. Two things.

          (1) You seem oblivious to the Tory Universal Credit shambles …. or are you happy about its implementation?

          (2) You seem happy to live under a Tory Govt with all its subsequent right wing baggage that is impoverishing people the length and breadth of the country. Or do you really believe a right wing “British” Tory Govt is a better option than a left wing “Independent Scottish” Labour Govt?

          You do seem content to live under a Tory Govt, and turn a blind eye to its detrimental effect on the “common man”, so long as it prevents Scotland from gaining its independence. Just like Ruthie, it seems that, for you, its the Union at any cost. Even if its the poor and vulnerable that bear the brunt of that cost.

          1. First, Universal Credit is not a Scotland ONLY policy and I have been pointing out its flaws since 2012. Second, I oppose a Tory policies whether implemented by a Tory, Coalition or Nationalist Government. Indeed the SNP Government worsened the impact of austerity by making greater cuts to local government than they received in the block grant from the Tory Government.

        2. You mean you do follow the logic of what I say you just wont admit to following the logic of what I say because fundamentally you are corrupt you support corruption you promote corruption you wallow in corruption.
          Its a fundamental trait of your basic English Labour party first and last Scottish acolyte.
          When I say English Tories I meant the English Tories who infest ALL of the UK wide English controlled and run political parties including Labour.
          This causes Scotland to suffer under warmongering dogma welfare deprivation dogma high taxation dogma low wage enforcement dogma high cost of living dogma low standards of living dogma enforced poverty dogma enforced wealth division dogma enforced migration dogma democracy deficit dogma under representation dogma.
          Brexit PROVES that Scotland has no voice in the UK no way to counter an overwhelming English bloc vote on anything. We do what England dictates because people like you prefer that option to allowing Scots to dictate our own future our own dogma.
          The term for people like you Jim Bob is Quisling Benedict Arnold or my own personal favorite Uncle Tam.
          Almost every other country on the planet would call what people like you do and support as treason.

  4. Shelia it’s very sad too see in the article I have enclosed in the link below shows that 184 Labour MPs didn’t vote against the second reading of the Tory Welfare Reform and Work bill and it’s especially sad to see that Ian Murray’s name is amongst them. By not voting against the bill in effect the Labour Party MPs supported the Tory policy by default, and in its infancy they contributed to it’s creation and must take their share of the blame of the inevitable pain and suffering that has been inflicted on our fellow human beings as a result of this cruel Labour supported Tory policy. As an lndependent Labour Party supporter in an Independent Scotland l am dismayed by the current Labour Party UK policy of pause and fix instead it should be scrapped and replaced.

  5. Universal credit was never going to work was not properly funded for a start .
    Thanks to George Osborne .
    My cousin who lives in Yorkshire when I phoned her is the same age as me 63 .
    She is worried if she has to as she expects go on to Universal Credit after reading press reports she is afraid with all the mistakes and delays she has read about she is worried about losing her home if there are any delays to her benefits .
    I advised her to contact her MP and CAB for help and advice to put her mind at rest .
    Bumped into a guy on a bus yesterday he is on ESA told me DWP Greenock told him by letter he was being transferred to Universal Credit .After a review
    On the same day he got that letter he got another letter from DWP Greenock telling him that after a revue he was staying on ESA .
    Now my mate did not know they had even done a review .And he wanted to stay on ESA decided to seek an explanation .The entire lower deck of the no 11 Kilmarnock to Ardrossan bus was listening by this point .
    Both Letters had a phone number on them
    But when he phoned it a recorded voice told him the number had been discontinued and gave him the new number .
    When it got dialled a voice told him cannot deal with Universal Credit inquiries go online or use his journal .
    Which he did not have .
    So as CAB have pulled out of North Ayrshire .He had to go to North Ayrshire Councils excellent Money Matters Team who in my own DWP case because they messed up helped me.
    They told him to appeal the Universal Credit decision and helped him with the paperwork .
    No 1
    How could 2 reviews be carried out the client not told
    No 2
    How could 2 reviews be carried out within the same building different results .
    No 3
    Client willing to cooperate and attend for interview
    This was in June
    He heard nothing until yesterday morning when he got a letter from DWP Greenock after a further review which he was not told about
    It has been decided to leave him on ESA and as he had been underpaid ESA will be backdated plus he qualifies for the x mass bonus.
    When he was telling his story there was total silence on the bus .
    And it turns out the staff in Greenock dealing with his case the 1 who told him he was keeping his ESA and the 1 who told him he was going to Universal Credit were not only sharing an office they were sitting next to each other

  6. Never been on Universal Credit
    I am on an ill health retirement pension plus ESA and PIP
    I have commented on this before when you get a brown envelope DWP letter my heart sinks I say to myself what now .
    Every year for ESA you have to supply a bank balance for the previous year .
    This year I posted it as usual checked by phone has it been received yes it has I wrote down date received .
    Asked about the phone number .
    Different number but as the DWP is that big it would be ruinously expensive to replace existing stationary with new number so they were using a recorded voice with new number .
    Stationary with new number is now in service .
    Then I got another DWP letter saying as my bank balance not received stopping my ESA the day after I got the letter .
    So back on the phone DWP checked yes they received my bank balance 2 days after they got it a computer generated a letter saying as my bank balance had not been received they were stopping my ESA .
    DWP operator said just ignore the letter .
    I asked for an explanation .
    Was told all letters go to Wolverhampton Mail Handling Centre to be scanned into the system .
    But with over a million letters in a backlog overworked staff are no longer checking the system .
    They are only checking for emergencies I am not an emergency .
    So I asked why did I get the stop letter .
    The bank balance I sent was entered into the system but the computer generated the stop letter because no one actually checked manualy to see if it had arrived .
    I was told not to worry because to stop my ESA the system would have to have been manualy checked .
    I eventually got a letter saying after a review my ESA will continue I qualify for the x mass bonus and next review is November I remember thinking aye right .
    That letter has not been manualy cleared either but I declared victory .

  7. Just checked last nights ch4 news I kept it as they ran a major piece on Universal Credit .
    1 man was a carer for his mum now in hospital
    Universal Credit still not had a payment . Had to take out a benefit loan struggling to pay it back .
    It didnot cover the rent so he is in rent arrears and relying on foodbanks .And facing eviction.
    A woman who helped at a charity is now relying on that charity for help Universal Credit are weeks behind with payments .
    A 15 year old school girl main carer for her mum who has severe epilepsy and 2 younger brothers .
    Had to cope with school mum young brothers had to wait 6 weeks for Universal Credit
    She had to cut down on the heating and use cold water .
    To proud to ask for help and admit they were in trouble until she had to what a credit that young girl is and she was in tears telling Cathy Newman.
    Government say at least 3 million are affected by Universal Credit underpayments and delays .
    And at the Budget might have to scrap planned tax cuts to fix this .
    DWP issued a statement to ch4 news
    The country took difficult decisions
    The Government were clear we had to be fair to the taxpayer Universal Credit works for the vast majority
    Heidi Allen was also on I did not bother listening to her

    1. David read your recent posts on Universal Credit l sympathise with all the aggravation this has caused you and the very real potential aggravation to your cousin. Politician’s are slow to react to the despair and distress this failed system in inflicting on our fellow human beings. I think the AUOB in Scotland should rally and march and protest for the scrapping of Universal Credit. I also think that all the trade unions south of the border in England and Wales should also protest and march and rally for the scrapping of Universal Credit. I am so sad that Labour Party UK have not campaigned more strongly for the scrapping of Universal Credit. I can’t wait for the day when there is an Independent Scotland with an lndependent Scottish Labour Party who can make our own socialist welfare policy in Scotland free from the shackles of Westminster.

  8. Thankyou for your comment Ted
    I am not on Universal Credit I am on ESA . The DWP backlog is that big they cant cope .
    So can you imagine whats happening with Universal Credit .
    My Cousin in Yorkshire is afraid she will lose her home if they put her on Universal Credit and there is a wait for her benefit .
    She is going with what friends have told her and what she has seen on tv and the papers.
    You are 100 per cent correct on the need to protest .
    I would say not AOUB as that would give their opponents a stick to beat them with .
    I see no reason why campaign groups Labour SNP Liberals Greens Unions cant work together to protest
    March and rally .
    I think John MacDonnell has said if Labour are elected we will scrap it
    It cant wait for an election or Indy Ref it needs to be sorted now people are suffering
    The people featured on ch4 news live in England Wales but the pointed out it affects all of us
    The reason I mentioned my ESA issue is because DWP cannot cope with the backlog .
    Universal Credit is 10 times worse .
    When this blows up and it will at the UK budget I hope .
    I wont be blaming the SNP government although I don’t know if these powers have been transferred or are still reserved the blame for me is at Westminsters door

  9. Ted
    That 15 year old girl living in Manchester
    Mother severe Epilepsy she had to cope with that the house 2 younger brothers school not enough money using cold water and cutting back on the heating .
    Because Universal Credit 6 weeks behind afraid to ask for help.
    That wee girl got to me the pressure she and the other Universal Credit claiments are under through no fault of their own .
    Then I read in todays paper Princess Eugenies wedding Royal Aids questioned the bill when they found out about
    the 3 days of partying the 1400 guests for a minor Royal and the at least 2 million pound security bill we the tax payer are paying for no ESA or Universal Credit for them .
    Then when they went to Andrew to cut back he overruled them told them Royal family paying for the event
    News for you Andrew we the taxpayer pay for everything .
    That money could have been used to fund Universal Credit
    The Windsor shop keepers say they lost money nobody bought anything
    Left with unsolved Flags etc because nobody had heard of her they had to tell visitors who she was.

  10. Thankyou for your comment Ted
    I get a 1 off credit from Scottish Power each year because I have an ill health retirement pension ESA and PIP.
    They send my details to the DWP to be confirmed .The DWP confirms .
    Last week I said to Scottish Power on the phone that will take a year
    The Scot Power operator said they will be quick they get a fine if they don’t .
    So I thought why cant we fine the DWP for each late Universal Credit payment .
    Then I thought the taxpayer as we fund it would be paying

    1. David l think you have a good idea about fines the only problem l can see is that because DWP is a public body who would fine it, say for example a quango is set up and fines it what happens to the fine money probably it would just be snaffled up by the quango. The only thing l can think is if it had been set up in the first place so that claimants had to be paid in a certain time scale for example say 28 days then for every day over the set time scale of 28 days then the claimant gets a compensation payment that is the equivalent of a fine. If you also had system for DWP staff to increase productivity and a bonus for meeting targets this might be worth exploring what do you think about that.

  11. Ted
    Had a look at the article you high lighted regarding the Tory reform bill .
    Its why I voted for Jeremy Corbyn for leader it was that or leave the Labour Party
    And have voted for him every time since.

    1. David at least Jeremy Corbyn never voted for the Tory Welfare Reform bill so your conscience is clear, he’s a noble chap fighting a battle on 2 fronts one within the Labour Party UK against the Blairites and the other against the Tories so l wish you and Jeremy the best of luck.

  12. Duncan, can you create a Ted and David zone where they can go to continue their bromance! Lol

    1. Aw, come on, Jim what’s up are you envious of our stimulating political discourse don’t be jealous there’s always room at the table for you to chip in with your usual marvelous wit wisdom and superior input. I am not joking but l think you should stand as a Labour MSP at the next Scottish Government elections even if you don’t win your seat you still might get in via the list system by default at least you have more charisma than the present incumbents.

      1. I have challenged David to produce his own blog for Labour Hame. Why don’t you? Your views are clearly strongly held and at least coherent.

  13. Thank you for your comments Ted and Jim
    Thought I better include Jim maybe feeling a bit left out .HaHA
    Gentlemen BBC News saying John Bercow standing down next summer.
    More importantly the BBC has leaked documents being confirmed on BBC News right now as I write this universal Credit rollout will be put back another 9 months
    The report states plans are being considered to prevent claiments who are moving onto the benefit from suffering hardship.
    It could cost hundreds of millions of pounds .
    They say one of the main flaws is the 6 week wait for the initial payment that is leaving thousands destitute.
    Esther McVey said some claiments are worse off.
    After the resolution foundation estimated around 3pt2 million households across Britain would be more than 2 thousand a year out of pocket
    Food charity the Trussell trust opened its first Scottish Foodbank in 2009
    Within the next 8 years it opened another 51 across the country supporting 119 local centres .
    As of April 2017 there were 427 Trussell Trust food banks operating almost 1400 local centres across the UK.

    1. David it’s too little too late it cannot be fixed it’s a toxic brand and should be scrapped immediately, on the news it’s reported that the Tories looked at it’s introduction as a test and learn approach in other words it was not strategically planned and was an experiment on real people with not a second thought to the detrimental affects it would have on real people it’s a disgrace and the Tories indirectly have blood on their hands shame on them.

  14. Thanks for your comment Ted
    And STV News just reported Universal Credit was planned by Ian Duncan Smith under the Coalition Government .
    So the liberals for me are In the frame as well .
    I am wondering is the Mail backlog that big at the Wolverhampton Mail handling Centre that they decided to make Universal Credit claiments go online or use a journal.
    When you phone the DWP at the beginning of the call a recorded voice says Universal Credit claiments go online or use your journal .
    BBC Scotland say in May 90thousand claiments in Scotland a disabled man has said it took him 14 hrs to fill in the claim form because he has no computer.
    I asked people about that .
    Some people use council computers .
    1 person told me did not know how to use a computer had to learn to use 1 at the library trained by volunteers
    So maybe David Mundell and Ruth Maguire would like to resign over this but that would mean having principle and showing you care about people .

    1. David Frank Field had a good point that people already on jobseekers allowance should if transferred across to jobseekers should not need to apply but instead be transferred onto it automatically. The way it currently works is that jobseekers get a a letter from DWP saying they have to apply within one month and even after applying they then have to wait five weeks for the payment meantime the you can apply for a budgeting advance loan from the DWP that they claw back in my book it’s just not cricket especially for folk’s who are vulnerable and have issues. The Labour Party UK should put out a draft system to replace Universal Credit and show they are ready for government.

      1. Thankyou for your comment Ted
        Just seen the Frank Field interview I totally agree with you something has to be done right now .
        Scotland tonight will have a report
        John Macdonnel has said we will scrap it .
        I don’t know what we will replace it with I only saw the headline maybe Sheila Gilmore knows

        1. David it’s just dawned on me that Universal Credit was a way to rather than encourage folk’s into work it’s aim instead was to make anybody who needed benifits go through a process as uncomfortable and unpleasant as possible, and at the same time sanction and punish them at every opportunity. Society is judged by how folk’s in society are treated l am sorry to say the society of the UK is broken. I yearn for the day we have an Independent Scottish Labour Party in an Independent Scotland and a more fairer society.

  15. Thank you for your comment Ted
    UK Government say Universal Credit works for 92 per cent its the 8 per cent we need to help .
    Well can they please produce some of the people its working for .
    And the PM was facing a rebellion by at least 30 Tory MPS over Secondary legislation to start the process of moving 4 million claimants on to Universal Credit from January .
    It would have been in small batches initially with larger scale transitions from July
    The 9 month delay will cost a further 100 million as apparently the benefits the claimants are on pay more money
    The Tory MPS are beginning to see their constituents getting into debt
    DWP insider told the BBC the government are desperate to make this go away and cant afford a Commons defeat .
    And David Mundell is now saying his letter to the PM was not a threat to resign .
    And Reporting Scotland are saying now that the DWP have admitted that over 100 thousand people across the UK were underpaid in Sickness payments an estimated 70 thousand in Scotland between 2011 and 2014 .
    DWP say these are only estimated figures and they are entitled to backdated money .
    DWP don’t know how many affected its in the many thousands so they cant say how much .
    So the next scandal has arrived

  16. Just reading that representatives of a group representing more than 7 thousand charity leaders including Friends of the Earth Christian Aid and Shelter have asked the Government to drop the so called gagging clause they say it stops them publicly criticising Universal Credit

  17. David l wish that Jeremy would get somebody to edit his questions and coach him for Prime Minister question time Thereas May looked deflated and has no support from her own back benchers and poor old Jeremy was as weak as a soggy as spam fritter their was no vim and vigour in his questions that were far too long. I take no pleasure in having a pop at Jeremy he needs to keep the questions short and sweet and pin her down and not ramble on so if anybody can pass this feedback onto Jeremy l would be much obliged maybe Jim or Duncan has connections and could let Jeremy know.

    1. Thank you for your comment Ted
      I thought Jeremys questions were sharp
      PMS people were braying and Bercow had to repeatedly interrupt to tell the Tory back benches to shut up.
      Tories are rattled
      Just wait until the sickness payment ESA payment error hits the headlines
      It should be who knew what when how much bet they blame it on a computer error and I hope when they do pay arrears they don’t take it into account when calculating a claimants entitlement because for ESA they ask for your bank balance every year .
      BBC News new film out on Peterlee massacre

  18. Ch4 news say the DWP sickness benefit underpayment and ESA it might be 85 thousand some claimants have already received 7thousand pounds .
    The total bill will be well over 1 billion
    The Scottish government received great credit over how they are setting up the new system in Scotland although they could not tell ch4 how much it was costing we have 11 benefits but not control of Universal Credit yet .
    The programme said the Scottish Government have got the waiting time for payment down to 2 weeks not 5 as elsewhere in the UK .
    Margaret Greenwood Labour shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said Labour would be prepared to look at the Scottish system to try and see how they got the new benefit system up and running and got waiting time down to 2 weeks .
    Jon Snow did say our 11 benefits do not include Universal Credit .
    The new Scottish Agency which will replace the DWP told ch4 that when setting it up they asked claimants what was needed and claimants helped set it up .
    Although the Auditors are warning of a lack of clarity on the costs and the Scottish Government would not comment.
    The Scottish Agency section was filmed in Dundee.
    The sickness benefit ESA scandal DWP now saying don’t know how many affected
    They identified there was a problem last November and the numbers affected kept growing .
    Ch 4 said cost not budgeted for over 1 billon so far

  19. Jim ONeill

    “First, Universal Credit is not a Scotland ONLY policy and I have been pointing out its flaws since 2012. Second, I oppose a Tory policies whether implemented by a Tory, Coalition or Nationalist Government. Indeed the SNP Government worsened the impact of austerity by making greater cuts to local government than they received in the block grant from the Tory Government.”

    First you wilfully ignore the POINT that it is ONLY a policy in Scotland at all because its imposed from England and the flaw is the fact that Scotland doesn’t have the power or authority or FREEDOM to refuse its implementation because its INFERIOR position within the disunion removes that option from the table.

    Second You refuse to oppose the ONLY option we have from preventing English Tories from imposing their ideology on Scotland because you’re fundamentally corrupt. Furthermore you actually support and promote English Tory policy imposed on Scotland by LABOUR.

    And thirdly you pathetically lie your worthless arse off whenever challenged on the issues with adhoc attacks on a REAL Scottish political party who is forced to spend valuable resources on mitigating the worst effects of English Tory policy imposition because you’re corrupt to the core.
    A pitiful pathetic little Uncle Tam who has spent his life protecting his own place and position within a criminally corrupt FOREIGN run institution which treats Scotland the nation as a lesser region of a Greater English annexed territory.

    I think that sums it up nicely Jim Bob.

    1. Ah, the usual return to abuse and invective. I will not dignify this with a response

  20. I am not happy with how the acts of the union 1707 came about and led to the creation of the United Kingdom, l know that time has passed but the folk’s back then were not consulted and they did not have a referendum so as l see it it’s not a legal process in other words the United Kingdom is not a legal entity. I would be much obliged if somebody of a legal persuasion can let me know if it could be challenged in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as to its legitimacy. I would as a layman inform the ECJ that folk’s were not consulted and did not vote in a referendum on whether Yes or No to the acts of the union so therefore it should be deemed null and void. As l see it there should be no need for a Scottish lndependence Referendum as Scotland should already be an lndependent Country and the ECJ should deliberate and decide the position. Aside from the ECJ currently Scotland has the contemporary mandate from the existing Scottish Government to hold IndyRef2 but are also owed an additional referendum for there being no referendum held for the acts of the union 1707. So in effect the Scottish Government should be entitled to hold IndyRef2 and if not successful can then hold another lndependence referendum at a time and date of their choosing. I am happy to say that it looks as if an lndependent Scottish Labour Party in an Independent Scotland could be on the cards sooner rather than later.

    1. I am not a legal person, but a historian. Scotland was bankrupt following the disastrous Darien Expedition and required union with England and Wales to get access to the English colonies. How successful that was is detailed in Tom Devine’s book, “Scotland’s Empire”. There was no provision for referenda in those days, and there was a very limited electorate. The Treaty of Union has survived several challenges over the last 300 years, and I hope it continues for 300 more.

      1. Jim l am very surprised that as a Labour man you bang the drum for the union, as you are a historian you would be well aware that following the act of the union 1707 the notorious evictions around 1810 to 1820 took place and became known as the Highland Clearances. l am surprised that you support the union that encouraged land owners the capitalist bourgeoisie to continue to exploit ordinary the folks of Scotland.

        1. Actually, recent reviews of that period show that there were fewer evictions than previously argued. There was a drift, both from the Highlands and Rural Lowlands into the cities and large towns and particularly to emigration as the rural poor looked for a better life. Whether they achieved it is moot but it did give the conditions for the rise of an urban proletariat which created the Unions and ultimately, the Labour Party, first proposed by James Keir Hardie to a meeting of miners on Irvine Moor

          1. And Tom Devine has published his most extensively researched book to date its on that subject and backs up what you say about the clearances

          2. Jim and David l checked up on your referencing of Tom Devine on the Highland Clearances and l see he supports an lndependent Scotland so I believe what you say is correct many thanks.

  21. How about this
    What was it a billion for DUP to prop up Tory Gov hope it had a money back clause .
    Over 1 billion and counting for the Invalidity to ESA fiasco and 100million to put back a vote on Universal Credit
    This from the party that prides itself on running the economy
    Just think of the difference that money would have made to the NHS .
    My GPS surgery was running 20 mins late by 10 am today and the chemist next door was struggling to cope

    1. David I agree that’s 1 billion too much to a Northern Ireland government that includes all the political parties who’s representatives have done zilch for the last 18 months and are happy to shovel up their monthly pay cheque, and on top of that the Tories are chucking barrow loads of roubles at them just to stay in power. It’s a shame that this money that has gone to the Northern Ireland government should instead have been plowed into the NHS and Universal Credit.

  22. Thank you for your comment Ted
    I said to my GP yesterday just think what 1 billion would do for you guys She would not comment not allowed to

  23. Spotted this on the STV News Website .
    CAB Scotland has issued a report it says the rollout of Universal Credit has contributed to the number of people
    seeking advice over rent arrears rising by 47 per cent in 5 years .
    Their report claims the period the Social Security changes have been introduced 2012-13 5340 seeking advice
    2016 -17 7856 up 47 per cent .
    Read this in yesterdays National
    I remember this Tory MPS tried to live on benefit
    Mathew Parris tried and failed but refused to say benefit payments were to low
    Ian Duncan Smith thought about it .
    In 1986 Piers Merchant and family tried it and lasted 1 week .His wife complained they had been unable to afford avocados
    Ch 4 news is saying Nick Clegg has taken a job with Facebook not gone down to well

  24. David in the last 2 years Tory and Labour MPs have sucked up 2 Million pounds of free travel to foreign countries from overseas governments in particular Saudia Arabia. Also Nick Clegg is now onboard the Facebook gravy train getting mucho roubles and soaking up the ray’s in sun-kissed sunshine state of California. So we can that from the MPs priorities it’s a case of I’m alright Jack, Universal Credit is destroying some folks lives and the MPs are living the life of Reilly happy days for some.

    1. Thank you for your comment Ted
      You are correct CH4 news say 33 MPS trips totalling over 200 thousand pounds paid for by Saud Government
      Raymond Tiffey now a Tory Vice Chair took 46 thousand over 2 years on top of the free trip.
      Mr Tiffey said paid by a Riyad think tank and when ch 4 news challenged him in his constituency he got very angry said no time to talk to them had to speak to constituents then 1 a Scot told him to answer
      Ch 4 news are brilliant at this stuff it wont stop there
      Nick is apparently Facebook communications head
      Ted you are correct about the gravy train
      Its exactly what brings politics into disrepute it will be interesting to see what happens when MPS constituents of whatever party find out their MP has taken time out from his very well paid job representing them to as Arthur Daley used to say do a nice little earner on the side.
      Time to make this illegal

  25. Ted Jim
    How about this
    2 weeks ago me my 2 hearing aids portable oxygen cylinder not used reading glasses glasses for distance all went to the GP.
    GP prescribed ear drops and assured me ok to use hearing aids .
    Hearing Aids must be SNP supporters because they packed it in after 1 week .
    Well gentlemen as I am a fully paid up member of the cowards league I was not taking the blame I only did what patients do .
    Do what the GP said so the hearing aid fiasco was her fault .
    So me my 2 hearing aids not working portable oxygen cylinder not used reading glasses and glasses for distance
    All went to Crosshouse audiology on Wednesday where I blamed every thing on my GP it did help that reception
    and the waiting room were laughing at my tale of woe .Someone shouted give him a box of Tissues .
    My Audiologist being a smart NHS cookie waited until she changed the hearing aid heads which meant I could hear her .
    So she could tell me GPS no nothing about hearing aids I should have phoned Audiology for advice its why I have a big yellow book with the phone number.
    So Thursday me my 2 hearing aids working again portable oxygen cylinder not used reading glasses and Glasses for distance were all back at the GP .
    Before I went into the doctors room I asked at reception about the flu jag I usually get see the Doc .
    As a fully paid up member of the cowards league I decided not to mention the hearing aids .
    Especially as she was going to mess with my ears again .
    No more ear drops prescribed tablets instead asked about the flu jag none in the room see reception .
    reception said ah phone back tomorrow .
    Phoned today so me my 2 hearing aids working portable oxygen cylinder hopefully not to be used reading glasses and glasses for distance are all going to the surgery on Monday to get my Flu jag from the nurse .
    So Monday night I will let you know how we all got on .
    Unless Duncan reads this and sends us to news .
    But never fear Ted and Jim I will give you an update on the next blog if he does
    PS hearing aids working fireworks going off sound like explosions haha

    1. David it seems as if you’re going through the wars at least you’re upbeat and chipper so l say good on you for having an optimistic attitude. If you have problems with your hearing aids can you go to Crosshouse audiology anytime during it’s opening hours or do you have to book an appointment in advance. Anyway I will let you into a little secret l expect Theresa May to resign as PM no later than Friday 26th October and David Davis to be shoehorned in as a caretaker PM in the short-term to deliver a full English Brexit.

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted
        Yes you can go to Audiology anytime for batteries and hearing aids not working during opening hrs
        More series things like a hearing check JP will refer then like me you wait for the letter .In North Ayrshire on certain days you can change hearing aid batteries in the libraries when volunteers are there .Crosshouse hospital is always very busy the staff are brilliant they enjoyed the laugh as well as I did so did the waiting room .
        I have said this before if politicians want to see their peoples lives get on a bus the no 11 Kilmarnock to Ardrossan and the other way is a prime example .
        Before you can get on the bus a long wait because of roadworks and if 2 come at the same time like Irvine Cross yesterday the Stagecoach inspector stopped any passengers getting on bus no 1 sent it on because of delays .
        We all got on no 2 then its grab a seat and wheel chairs v prams .
        That bus passes a hospital before it gets to Irvine then goes to Crosshouse Hospital there you will see from the bus exactly how busy that place is every day all day the bus can empty and fill there .
        At the bus station in Kilmarnock going back and I have witnessed this full scale Junky fights men and women providing the entertainment while we wait along with sometimes 3 replacement drivers for a bus.
        At least they have a guy sitting on the concourse issuing tickets so when the bus does show up we can just get on.
        So instead of going abroad try living on benefit and get on a bus.

        1. David l don’t know the geography of the area’s you describe but l think you mention 2 hospitals that’s 1 before Crosshouse and Crosshouse it’s self. I would think it would be a good idea that all buses on a route that usually by-passes a hospital have a bus stop inside the hospital car park or as near as possible to the main hospital entrance as a matter of course. Even if they are not already set up this way then perhaps you could contact the local politicians in the area in which the hospital’s are located with a view to getting them involved to make the changes. ps if it’s Tory politician’s you would just as well give it a miss as you won’t find them because they are all hiders.

          1. Thankyou for your comment Ted
            I should have said the bus stop for the Irvine Central just passed the gate .
            Cross house hospital stops are in the grounds at the front door

  26. Found this tonight on ch4 factcheck
    Since 2015 when the Yemen war started 33 MPS 28 Tory 5 Labour have been on Fact finding Saudi Government trips to Saudi .Most all expenses covered .
    208 thousand pounds worth of trips .
    Phillip Hammond while Foreign Secretary accepted a 1950 pound watch as a constituency MP which meant he got to keep it.
    Tory MP Rehman Chishti of CH4 News fame Friday night 46 thousand pounds over 23 months for being an advisor to a Saudi Royal Family funded think tank .
    Other MPS who went on Saudi Government funded trips included Tory MPS Andrew Mitchell Mark Carnier
    Phillip Davies Sir Alan Duncan
    This year 13 MPS in 4 months
    3 Tory MPS paid for by the Saudi MOD went to the Saudi Yemen border to see the impact of Missile Strikes and to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of coalition operations in Yemen.
    Andrew Mitchell went on another Saudi Funded trip to meet the Saudi Government about Yemen.
    Feb 4 more Tory MPS went on a fact finding trip to gain Saudi UK relations understanding
    In April 5 Labour MPS went to Saudi
    UK signed a 65 billion pound trade deal this year .
    All the names are on CH4 fact check there is more on costs

    1. David what can l say all of these MPs are on the gravy train corrupted by freebies hovering up anything on offer. You have to feel sorry for them as some of them have missed the halcyon days of the expenses remember MPs of all the parties claiming expenses to pay for mortgages for a second house, and if you were lucky to live in a castle then you could claim for clearing your moat or alternatively claim for a floating duck island for your garden pond. So with people feeling the pinch with Universal Credit we should also extend the hand of sympathy to all the underpaid overworked MPs and let them hover up the freebies so it’s happy days for one and all.

  27. I read this in todays National
    A disaster largely forgotten now
    70 years ago 20th October the scheduled overnight flight from Amsterdam to New York via Iceland was due to refuel at Prestwick Airport .
    There was cloud and heavy crosswinds a power line was not on their maps .
    The aircraft survived the collision but caught fire and crash landed at Auchinweet Farm 3 miles east of Prestwick all 40 crew and passengers including a baby either died in the crash or in hospital of burns and other injuries among the dead were KLM co founder Edgar Fuld and Dutch Diplomat Bert Sas who had warned Britain of Hitlers plan to invade France in 1939 .
    This was Scotlands worst air disaster until Lockerbie .
    No memorial plaque exists either at the crash site or the Airport
    So I emailed my MP to see if she can get a memorial plaque to be placed at the Airport and the crash site I just think its up to us to remember.

    1. David I think it’s a good idea to have the memorial plaque at the crash site not too sure about the airport for the reason being that people who are just going to board a flight don’t want to be reminded beforehand that every now and then that accidents do happen.

  28. Thank you for your comment Ted
    Regarding the Airport I did not think of that
    I just think we should remember

  29. Just looked at BBC fact check was surprized to see we are a major importer of Saudi Oil
    UK is not self sufficient in oil

    1. David I am of the view that there still massive reserves of oil in the Scottish North Sea Oil Fields and the research and findings have been kept under wraps since just before the last Scottish Independence Referendum. It is not in the UK Government’s interest to publish this data as to do so would further the cause of an lndependent Scotland being financially viable and that’s the main reason why we import oil from Saudia Arabia.

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted
        I think a major oil field has been found near Shetland

  30. Shocker Billy Connolly considering Indy like me he sees nothing good in Brexit
    What a turnout for the anti Brexit march .They came from all over the UK.
    I have said this before with yesterdays march Whether you agree with them or not AUOB and the Rally in London for Jobs the week after AOUB Glasgow .
    People are angry but peaceful so far so politicians better take notice something is going on

    1. David the Billy Connolly development is interesting for the reason being that when there is an lndyRef2 what will all the Luvvies south of the border do. Will we get them bombarding us with messages along the lines of Oh Ducky please don’t leave the United Kingdom we told you not to vote to leave us in 2014 because to do so would mean you won’t be in the EU. So a good many folks listened and went along with the Luvvies and sorry to say they where sold a pup. If the only way for Scotland is to remain or renter the EU is via lndependence will the EU loving Luvvies support an lndependent Scotland.

  31. Finally
    I recorded Question Time from Holyrood 2 weeks ago .
    Don’t normally watch it .Did tonight
    Kezia Dugdale was back to her best looked well funny poked fun at herself and oh so sharp She took Universal Credit apart pointed out the original idea had the support of Labour and The SNP
    Until the Tories took 2 billion out of its budget .
    She challenged Ross Thompson repeatedly what is he going to tell his constituents when they come to see him about rent arrears and benefit payment delays when it gets rolled out in his constituency soon .
    Richard can I suggest time to make peace with her and bring her in to the shadow cabinet .
    Michael Russell was also in first class form

    1. David I think that Kezia Dugdale was and is a better leader of Scottish Labour her downfall was not down to her but rather the motley crew that was backstabbing her. Since she has been unshackled from the chains of the thankless leadership role and pulled the daggers out of her back she looks alot happier. I can’t see Richard Leonard aka charisma or should I say lack of drafting Kezia into the shadow cabinet as to do so would undermine him as Kezia has got more charisma on her big toe than the whole of Richard Leonard put together. I think that as a supporter of an lndependent Scottish Labour Party in an Independent Scotland it would be a major coup if she was to lead such a party l for one would gladly welcome that.

  32. Ted could not resist this Tv and papers say PM might be out of a job Wednesday night you could be right
    Apparently only 2 letters short of total to force a leadership election and William Rees Mogg of all people is appealing if you have sent in a letter withdraw it if you haven’t don’t

    1. David do you remember when Theresa May became the Tory Leader all the hullabaloo about how she would be a great PM bring the country together and deliver a Brexit that would unite the country. Regardless of which political parties folk’s support Theresa May has got to be the worst PM in history and regardless of what happens next it’s inevitable that a United Ireland and an Independent Scotland are a certainty. In conclusion Brexit is Breaking up the UK and it’s to late nothing can stop it now even the resurrection of a Gordon Brown new EU themed VOW won’t save the day, it’s just a matter of what comes first a border poll or IndyRef2.

  33. Thankyou for your comments Ted
    Todays National Letters Billy better late than never except 1 who said cant forgive for past comments .
    Interesting all round condemnation of Tory MPS comments of PM entering a killing zone bring your own noose .
    A Tory unnamed insider said have they forgotten Jo Cox .
    Nicola has also condemned this type of language she is right .
    To get another Indy ref the Scottish Government has to ask . If the UK government said no I think they would be very foolish
    Because that would pull the yes movement together like nothing else would .
    Also in round 2 we could not say vote no and you stay in the EU
    Just after she became leader I spoke to a senior SNP member in Irvine he told me Theresa May will be worse than Maggie .
    Kezia very sharp on QT witty poked fun at herself but above all knew the details of Universal Credit and Scotlands Drug and Homeless problem inside out .
    She did say when asked does not believe in Indy I don’t know her but I like her I hope we are big enough to let bygones be bygones bring her back into the fold with guidance on when to stay quiet shall we say haha she would be a great asset .
    On the Prestwick Airport disaster when the plane crashed into a farm field with the loss of all 40 crew and passengers My MPS office manager emailed back my MP has seen my E Mail she is definitely interested
    will contact the relevant authorities to see if anything can be done about a memorial .
    She will contact Prestwick Airport to see if they can find a place in the Airport for a memorial and the funds for 1
    She said it will take time to get an answer .
    I will update I just think we should remember.

    1. David thanks for the update l am not to sure about my previous prediction of Theresa May resigning by Friday 26 October. After her motley crew briefed the press all over the weekend about stitching her up and giving her the boot she gave her Brexit update this afternoon and l have to take my hat off the woman is unflappable and her own party critic’s were very weak, I’m other words they were all mouth and no trousers. I don’t think Theresa May is going anywhere soon and that’s a dire situation l only hope is that the meeting of 1922 committee on Wednesday puts her on notice and that they might instigate a leadership challenge soon we live in hope.

  34. Flu jag update
    As I said me my 2 hearing aids working oxygen cylinder unused reading glasses and distance glasses
    Went to my surgery today for my Flu Jag at 955am got the Jag asked the nurse does this mean I will have the Flu by 5pm was assured no .haha
    So me my 2 hearing Aids working oxygen cylinder unused reading glasses and distance glasses all got on the bus to come home and got diverted digging up Irvine high street AGAIN .
    There was much mumbling and they didn’t tell us until our bus driver very unhelpfully pointed out notices had been on all busses for a week .
    Well I mean do Stagecoach not know most people in my area including me don’t read their notices
    And drivers should not interrupt passengers having a good grumble haha

  35. PS STV weather said only 7 degrees during the day by Saturday we all might get the Flu yet haha

    1. David an alternative little tip to ward of the Flu munch a couple of raw cloves of garlic and you will enjoy a garlic rush plus as an added bonus you will definitely get a seat on the bus so happy days.

  36. Nicola and others have pulled out of the media event Steve Bannon is also attending .
    Nicola was due to speak the night before
    I think she should have spoken and used her speech to attack what he stands for .
    By pulling out she has given him publicity
    Now a demonstration is planned more publicity
    USA pulling out of the Nuclear Arms Treaty .
    During the last election when I was phone polling from home for Labour .USA dropped the mother off all bombs on Afghanistan .
    Next day people were asking me to report up the line they were worried about Trump starting a war

    1. David l have never agreed about boycotting political debate regardless of the political parties and policies. Freedom of speech is a principle that was hard fought and won for a democratic society. I think that Nicola Sturgeon should have spoke out and challenged the views of Steve Bannon it’s not as if they were on at the same time. I am a big Nicola fan but sorry to say on this occasion l don’t agree with her stance it smacks of political snobbery.

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted
        I don’t think its political snobbery just a wrong call I can see why she pulled out does not want to be associated with him at first I agreed but now I think she should have carried out the engagement and given her views pulling out let the public know he was coming and with a demo planned he will get more publicity .
        Also the Saudi Journalist this is getting crazier latest story accidently strangled in a choke hold in a fight with 15 fit men .
        A body double goes out the back door same clothes wrong shoes shows up on CCTV are those the same cameras we were told were not working.
        Russia carries out a hamfisted murder in the UK quite rightly huge condemnation spies thrown out .And sanctions
        If we knew they were spies why did we allow them to operate.
        Saudi carries out a hamfisted killing in its own consulate in Turkey .
        We get this wont do etc why no sanctions for me Saudi buys huge arms orders from the west the oil and provides us with intelligence .
        Read in the Sunday paper the Prince will have taken into account when he ordered this operation the reaction of Trump if they got caught they decided his first instinct would be to say bad boys but he would do nothing that would affect American jobs or interests .
        So far they are right
        UK and the rest will follow suit.
        Also the women who led the campaign for women to drive are currently in jail

        1. David Saudi Arabia despite the wide spread condemnation will not be too worried as oil supply and money talks. Trump has already mooted that any action in the form of sanctions will be minimal and not endanger the current contracts for USA to supply Saudi Arabia with arms. I feel sorry for the family of the dead journalist it’s little comfort but l would be very surprised if the family of the journalist are not well and truly compansated with an extremely generous amount for their loss.

  37. Ted
    Just checked on the BBC News website I was right approval has been given to BP to develop a site of Shetland it will come onstream 2020

    1. David thanks for the information you have just shown that there is still oil reserves that a government in an lndependent Scotland could use to kickstart the economy. I think that maybe a new currency is in order l would suggest a competition to find the name of the new currency, my suggestion is to keep the Scottish connotation so instead of pounds l would have thistles and instead of pence l would have oats so for example there would be 100 oats in a 1 thistle note. I am sure that somebody might have a better name so we need to get a move on for a lndependent Scotland is imminent.

  38. Thankyou for your reply Ted
    That BP oilfield which when In operation has 20 million barrels of oil .is 87 miles west of Shetland when in full production will produce 12 thousand barrels of oil a day it will come on stream in 2020 .
    I have just read in the National that Environmental groups led by Friends of the Earth have slammed this decision They say to reduce the risk of dangerous global climate change .The vast majority of known fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground unburned.
    Regarding the Saudi Situation
    You might be right BBC red button had a report today The relatives are in a meeting in Saudi with the King and the Prince that was all the details available

  39. Billy Connolly is only thinking of supporting Indy and guess what it was in his new book which he was promoting
    Oh dear

    1. David I think the terminology is that Billy Connolly is thinking out loud, but any publicity at a time of a book going on sale is par for the course and when the dust settles he can tally up the sales it’s a standard public relations ploy.

      1. Thank you for your comment Ted
        You are correct the big yin knows how to make money haha
        Ch4 news say the film of the meeting between the Saudi Royal family and the son of Mr Kashoggi is very uncomfortable viewing The King we are told extended their condolences
        The son has been under house arrest for a year and is not allowed to leave Saudi
        They say this looks like a very good PR exercise .
        And USA UK want this to go away ASAP
        And the PM has graciously decided to attend her backbench meeting Wednesday night

        1. David it’s my guess that the King of Saudi Arabia has found out that the his son the Crown Prince has got himself into a mess with the assassination of the journalist so the meeting with the son of the journalist was a cynical public relations exercise, have a look at the Crown Prince’s puss he looks as guilty as hell. I don’t know what’s going on with state sponsored assassinations these days what with the bodged Salisbury Russian job and now this bodged Saudi job it’s so unprofessional that you have to wonder if this level of incompetence is deliberate.

          1. Thankyou for your comment Ted .
            Just look at the sons face even Trump called it the worse cover up ever .
            Russia claimed their guys were tourists
            Saudi 15 guys went to Turkey on a day trip
            Maybe we need to check holiday arrivals

  40. Another Story from the National so not SNP bad a big stushie after the Tories of all people put in a FOI request and got this
    The Scottish Government has asked civil servants to compile at least 14 secret documents in 2017-18 related to holding a second Indy ref .
    The documents contents were not released but the Scottish Government has told the Tories they relate to legal advice given to ministers .
    Well the Scottish Government told the Tories they have every right to discuss Indy the civil servants said they have to be able to give ministers advice that will stay private SNP have said its a bit rich coming from the Tories who drew up secret Brexit plans to stockpile essential goods .
    This little rammy might be good .for a good old fashioned mud slinging row

    1. David reading between the lines it’s an act of desperation from the Tories the one issue (lndependence) party to find out via a FOI request is an lndyRef2 is on the cards. I find it hilarious that the Tories are so desperate for an IndyRef2 that they cannot wait for the enevitable announcement in the near future. I can imagine Ruth Davidson on the blower every 5 minutes to David Mundell bending his ear any news what no news no IndyRef2 what’s going on and David Mundell fed up and feeling a bit mischievous Ruth why don’t you ring up Nicola am sure she will let you know the state of play and then covering the mouthpiece of the phone and letting out a belly laugh ha ha ha.

  41. Just had a look at the Ferret service
    They say that Keith Browns claim at the SNP conference that Richard Leonard backed leave or Brexit in the EU ref is in their words false although he broke the whip to back article 50 in a symbolic vote he campaigned for remain the position of the labour party at UK and Scottish level was to back remain .

    1. David let’s be kind and give Keith Brown the benefit of the doubt for an honest mistake it’s not such a big deal because hardly anybody outside of Scottish Labour
      knows who Richard Leonard is, anyway David please can you let me who is Richard Leonard is.

  42. Had to include this Man Utd manager said the weekend rammy with Chelsea they were being disrespectful
    There was me thinking it was because they were celebrating a goal in front of him haha

    1. David l couldn’t resist the management pun perhaps some leaders could learn from the Man Utd manager and show the same level of some passion how about Richard Leonard getting a new makeover and a new image it could boost his credibility big time so no more Scarlet Pimpernel hello Jose.

  43. Thank you for your comments Ted
    Richard is leader of the Scottish Labour party .Next FM so there haha.Keith Brown was at it a conference speech not properly researched .
    If Richard had done it we would have got another lab bad story ie knows nothing

  44. Ted you are correct about Tory hypocrisy .
    Every Government takes private civil service advice probably every day .
    They complain about secret reports but say nothing about the secrecy surrounding Brexit we did not get told about stockpiling on a war time level .
    1 of their own MPS complained about being told no plans for a lorry park near Dover .
    Then the next day yep that is the plan in case Brexit goes wrong .
    Will they complain about the Secret UK government plan to charter Ferries to deliver goods .
    STV News reported they believe the Scottish Government have drawn up plans in the event of a Brexit meltdown to charter ferries to deliver from the continent to Scottish ports
    I support them in this Brexit is a disaster and I did not vote for it or this chaos

    1. David it’s a surreal situation with IndyRef2 and the Tories, if some little green men came down from outer space and landed on planet earth they would be excused for thinking that the party in favour of an lndependent Scotland is the Tory Party affirmative affirmative affirmative

  45. Ch 4 news now
    Audit office no Brexit Deal will mean border chaos
    No planning done and not enough finance allocated and EU say the idea to extend transition came from PM last week UK government say EU idea
    Tonights meeting damp squib rebels bottled it .
    PM has not allowed cabinet to take decisions
    Transport people saying companies are saying no UK planning companies looking to use other ports rather than Dover Transport association say its to late to hire and train new border staff .
    I hope the Scottish Tories will enlighten us with their thoughts on how this happened on their watch
    And what they intend to do about it
    Any of this happens and we are in a national emergency situation for me

    1. David please excuse my coarse language but the Tories handling of Brexit brings to mind a couple of choice word’s mainly piss up and brewery.

  46. The Glasgow pay strike
    The women said everyone to blame one woman told the National
    After years of court disputes with the labour administration .
    They say the present council leader is wrong to say they were nearly there they felt no where near .
    They told the National they don’t value us they have had 20 odd meetings with the present administration got no where .
    And BBC Red button today Glasgow Council has complained to the unions the bin men when they walked out in support it was unsanctioned

    1. David let’s hope an agreement can be sorted for the women before Christmas so that they can push the boat out and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New they deserve what’s owed to them. I am hearing that lots of the women on strike are keen for an IndyRef2 and some of them said they would even support me if l stood as an MSP for an lndependent Scottish Labour Party in an Independent Scotland so l am just waiting for some experienced politician’s to start up the new Party and l will be the first to join.

  47. Medical update
    You will remember me my 2 hearing aids working portable oxygen cylinder unused reading glasses and glasses for distance were all at the surgery on Monday for our Flu Jag .
    Well we were all back today to get told we have a viral infection .For the next 7 weeks haha

    1. David I wish you well with your ailments can l please ask you about your unused reading glasses and glasses for distance. Is it the case that you wear the glasses for distance daily but you also need reading glasses but never use them it’s just a bit opaque can you clear up my nosey enquiry. As for the viral infection a holistic remedy munch 4 raw cloves of garlic daily you will be sweating buckets during the night added bonus is that it will also take your mind of the virus.

    1. David I would say the comparison with the Tory backbenchers is that they were as weak as a milky cup of tea that was made with a tea bag steeping time of 30 seconds very very weak indeed.

  48. Thank you for your comments Ted
    Reading glasses cant read without them .Distance need them to watch tv etc maybe if I wore them looking for a bus would see it in the distance haha and on a bus yesterday old boy was telling the bus us young things are spoiled no need to put the kettle on for a cuppa .
    Fill a flask for the day save the electric he was a war babe no need for street lights war time blackouts worked very well .No street lights council could save a fortune haha

  49. Just thinking when SNP Gillian Martin was about to be appointed to cabinet .
    Ruth Davidson was the first at Nicolas door to complain about comments made before she was even elected .Nomination was withdrawn .
    Compare that to yesterdays comments from the Scottish Tory Welfare spokeswoman Michelle Ballantyne
    She said it is fair that people on benefits cannot have as many children as they like .
    While people who work and pay their way and don’t claim benefits have to make decisions about the number of children they can have .fairness is fairness to everybody not to one part of the community .
    She was defending the so called rape clause
    She did not mention until asked by reporters outside the chamber she has 6 children and claimed child benefit for all of them but had raised them on income lower than that of some people on benefits .
    Although she did not receive some benefits .she still received child benefit on all her children .
    So Ruth or Jackson Carlaw why is Michelle Ballantyne still in office .

  50. David l think Michelle Ballantyne is going through the all things Chinese is good phase, the night before she made her statement she had chicken chow mein which was washed down with a liberal dose of baijiu which is sometimes known as “Chinese vodka”, while watching Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger then off to bed a quick night time read at the old Chinese One Child Policy and a lightbulb comes on and hey presto the inspiration for her wonderful statement.

    1. Thank you for your comment Ted
      I just think if anyone from any other party had said that the Tories would be doing their nuts
      She has said no apology as she believes in what she said .Despite the fact she claimed child benefit .
      And if the Tories don’t fire her after forcing the Scottish Government to withdraw a nomination for remarks made before the candidate was In politics .
      Then the moral high ground they were on just became the low ground with even lower or no morals

      1. David I think that most Tory MSPs, MPs, and Tory supporters probably agree with Michelle Ballantyne behind their closed doors. I think alot of politician’s make controversial comments for alternative reasons and in this case l think that the lady in question is attention seeking to boost her profile with a view to leadership ambitions. I would not be surprised that when the current incumbent Tory leader throws in the towel then Michelle Ballantyne will fancy a crack at the job.

  51. Just read this in the paper
    Scottish Tories complained about Scottish Government secret Indy planning .
    Well will they complain about this without telling anyone the UK government did some secret planning of their own .
    PM is going to trigger full scale parliamentary preparations for a no deal Brexit in 3 weeks time.
    Ministers have agreed plans drawn up in secret over the past YEAR across Whitehall will be launched in the second week of November .
    In Parliament routine business to be effectively suspended and replaced with a rolling programme of no deal legislation .
    4 new bills at least have to clear by March 29 .including legislation to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in Britain and reasserting territorial control over fishing waters .
    Also more than a thousand pieces of secondary legislation have been drafted by civil servants to ensure a functioning no deal statute book after March .
    They are on a scale of 1 to 3 on how critical they are .some will need parliamentary approval within weeks to ensure that government agencies have the legal authorization to implement their no deal contingency plans in time for Brexit .
    Well for me Secret plans civil servants drawing up emergency legislation that will have to be enacted quickly probably with little or no scrutiny will be a disaster .
    I did not vote for this Brexit is a disaster its going to happen and no matter what political parties say if we have Indy 2 I know how I will vote .

    1. David the problem with Brexit is that Theresa May is saying no deal is better than a bad deal that is just hollow words a sound bite and that she as a remainer did not believe in a no deal and did not contemplate a no deal happening. The DUP and the EU will not buckle over the hard border issue and it’s likely DUP will withdraw support if Theresa May trys to stitch up a deal. As I see it it’s heading for a no deal with no preparations for a no deal, l expect nothing but chaos and as a result a Northern Ireland border poll and IndyRef2 will follow with the inevitable break up of the United Kingdom.

    1. David it’s online shopping that’s the main decline of the big retail stores l think they have to think of innovative ways of how the store functions it’s use and uses products etc. I just feel so sorry when the announcement of potential redundancies happen leading up to Christmas.

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