I'mNotAWriterBut…

I am a 51 year old working mum of five – not all at home thank goodness. Im a member of the Women for Independence National Executive. This Blog is growing and changing as my hopes and aspirations change. I actually DO expect to change the world but I accept that might not even make sense sometimes. I hope you enjoy the read.

Boris’ Boots

So ….. Brexit

A few things have happened this week. Just a few.

The directly Brexit things include the EU explaining that negotiations are STILL over. Despite internal Tory Party squabbles, it appears that the EU have gone “Meh”, given a gallic shrug and said – “Sort yourselves out but don’t expect us to hang around whilst you do so”. They have disbanded their negotiating team and the deal is the deal.

So that leaves the way open for No deal. Despite many who understand these things knowing that this will be a disaster for the UK but particularly for Scotland – all the Tory hopefuls bar one see no deal as one of the best options. And 31st October no deal exit is looking increasingly likely.

Labour tried to stop this on Wednesday by holding a vote to take control of Parliament to prevent a No Deal exit. They lost. By 11 votes. 8 Labour MPs voted against the motion and 13 abstained. It feels like it was the last chance and Labour blew it. Not a single Tory Scottish MP voted for the Motion despite Scotland voting to remain. Bunch of cowardly charlatans. They also called this week for the Scotland Act to be ripped up and the new Tory Leader to take action to crush the rebellious Scots, by by passing, ignoring and taking back control of funding in Scotland.

All hoping to be Scottish Secretary in Boris’ cabinet I bet. Because it looks like it will be Boris. Out front, he massively won the MP vote and he has the support of the party membership. There are loads of articles around on the effects of Boris as PM. Most of them argue that it’s not a good thing.

Meanwhile in Scotland, it appears that Boris is MUCH more palatable amongst its conservatives – David Mundell is now saying how he would LOVE to work with Boris! Despite having said that he would Never work for Boris Johnson he now says of course he would and he never said he wouldn’t either! But he did – there is film of exactly that. Self serving liar that he is.

Ruth Davidson has changed HER socks too – sorry I meant her mind! Might as well be her socks as she changes her mind almost as often. Seems she likes Boris too! And by implication – a no deal Brexit is much less scary with Boris at the helm – Hellooooo HELLOOOO! For goodness sake people!

The battle here is not what is right for the UK or for the different parts of the UK. All those devolved nations can shut up as far as WM is concerned. The battle is for the survival of the Tory Party. And if they need to be out brexiting the Brexit party, or cutting the powers that we have voted for our Parliament to have, so be it. They will do whatever they can to stay in power and walk rough shod over our democratic will in the meantime.

We saw that yesterday when Ruth Davidson said that only if the SNP won a majority at the next Scottish elections, should we be able to hold another referendum on independence. She ignored the fact that there is an independence supporting majority already in Holyrood, that the SNP have won every single election since 2014 by a mile – something that Ruth Davidson herself has never done. The Tories haven’t won an election in Scotland since the middle of the LAST CENTURY! And yet still they think they can tell us what we can and can’t do.

They are saying to us – Know your place Scotland. It’s under Boris’ Boots.

I think we might have other plans!

#YouYesYet?

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Odder and odder

Please note – Trump has said since this blog was posted today that it’s ok – he was just kidding – so we can all relax

Aye … Right!

So… Brexit!

The last couple of days have seen a state visit from Donald Trump and a huge banquet hosted by the queen which included invitations for every senior cabinet minister except Sajid Javid – the Home Secretary. Even Jeremy Corbyn got an invite, although he didn’t go – but not the Home Secretary. The Independent suggested that he has an issue with “people who are related to bus drivers”. Both Sajid Javid and Sadiq Khan therefore fall foul of what the Independent calls “Routemasterphobia”

There were some truly odd carry ons yesterday and I don’t just mean the stabbing of the Baby Trump Blimp and subsequent arrest of the woman involved, nor the milkshaking and screams of Nazi at an elderly Trump Supporter – and the fact that “milkshaking” might even BE a word is odd enough.

It was odd to see Philip Hammond whomi consider one of the least odd Tories completely deny poverty exists in the UK. He completely refuted the UN report on poverty – I almost expected to hear “fake news” come out of his mouth. I have more to say about that but not just now.

The state visit was like a weird American made for TV movie version of a state visit in a post Brexit subservient Britain.

Odd handshakes, odd press conferences, odd responses from ministers all done in an odd environment where the Prime Minister is no longer a prime minister in anything but name only.

We heard from the Presidents own mouth that he expects the NHS to be “on the table” for a trade deal with the US. The man could not have been clearer. And this is a man that struggles sometimes to string a coherent sentence together so we should not underestimate the seriousness of that comment.

Let’s be clear. In a post Brexit world the NHS would be up for sale to US companies to run for profit.

Meanwhile in Scotland the Scottish Government reaffirmed their commitment to a Public NHS. The NHS is devolved, we have been able to resist the worst of the UK sell offs of parts of our NHS because it’s devolved. The First Minister said clearly yesterday that our NHS is not for sale. That we will make sure in Scotland that our NHS is safe.

The Scotsman however reports todaybthat all this is nonsense. That our NHS is of course safe. Eveb JK Rowling, (who is married to a GP so an expert on multi national trade deals which include the NHS) said so yesterday. She said it was Scaremongering to stand up for the NHS like the Scottish Government did yesterday. Nothing to see folks, the NHS isn’t a political or trade deal football – JK Rowling says it will all be fine.

And perhaps she might have a point if it hadn’t come from the mouth of the man himself, and she might have a point if the UK Government hadn’t given itself the right to grab back many devolved powers after Brexit. The power grab… remember that? I know you might all have nodded off by now but reach into your Brexit filing cabinet and dust off the power grab file.

Then turn to the page labelled “public procurement”. That’s right – one of the powers grabbed back from the EU is power over public procurement.

“Public procurement – The regime provided by the EU procurement Directives, covering public procurement contracts for supplies, services, works and concessions above certain financial thresholds awarded by the public sector and by utilities operating in the energy, water, transport and postal services sectors.” (BBC)

In addition it has already been clear that calls for Scotland to be at the trade deal negotiating table have fallen on deaf ears. That happened in March.

And that’s all before you take into account that the reductions on public spending on the English NHS. These would come about – are already coming about – as a result of privatised health care and DIRECTLY reduce the money available to Scotland’s NHS. This is due to the associated reductions to the Barnet Formula which calculates the money the UK pass back to Scotland.

So, I’m sorry but the evidence that this threat to the NHS is real and not scaremongering is stacking up. Not even The elder wand could make this look any better. The Scottish Government is committed to maintaining the NHS as a public service. Remaining part of a post Brexit UK makes that difficult – if not impossible – unless we are Independent.

#YouYesYet?

And another one!

So.. Brexit

And we have another candidate for the Tory leadership Sam Gyimah. Sam is standing for a second referendum. That makes 13. Unlucky? Lucky? Who knows. The favourite still is Boris Johnson but perhaps a bigger field of candidates makes that less likely – I’m holding onto that thought.

Over the weekend we have seen Donald Trump who arrives today for a full state visit, throw his support behind Boris Johnson. He tells us also to send Nigel Farage in to the EU to negotiate for Britain on Brexit.

Wouldn’t that be just like this Tory Government? Refuse to let devolved nations have a say on Brexit but let Farage get involved with his peculiar brand of rancid right wing rubbish. The sort we saw the ghoulish Ann Widdecome speak about on the tv yesterday when she suggested that science might come up with a solution to Homosexuality.

A solution! Would that be a final one Ann? I have a solution for you. Stop talking.

Other wee nuggets from this weekend included Jeremy Hunt with his strange stare chatting to us all about the precious union he was going to protect ( not precious enough to include devolved nations in Brexit decisions though) whilst promising to deliver Brexit for Culloden!

Hellooo Jeremy! Firstly Culloden is in Scotland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU. Did you forget? Also, I’m not sure that invoking Culloden as some symbol of our precious union is such a good idea!

Yesterday we also saw on The Marr show the US ambassador to the UK point out that the US wants a trade deal with the UK ASAP! He said however that everything was on the table which boiled down to – you will take our chicken, washed in chlorine and we will take your NHS. It’s no wonder Trump is encouraging the involvement of Farage. Farage is also on record wanting to privatise the NHS. Who backs Farage? Aaron Banks and what is Aaron Banks’ business? insurance. And what will we need if the NHS is privatised? Insurance – LOADS of it. It’s not rocket science. If the NHS is privatised, it will be run by American corporations and people like Aaron Banks for profits for their shareholders. Brexit makes this more likely.

Meanwhile, in Scotland – Ruth Davidson has been busy promoting the Tory candidate in Peterborough because he will deliver Brexit – despite Brexit being dreadful for Scotland!

The Scottish Government were busy building human rights into our legislation with the debate on smacking led by John Finnie of the Green Party. Human rights are fundamental to the new legislation on social Security too, and this was highlighted in the Scottish Government’s response to the Report by the special rapporteur on Poverty in the UK. The only positive comments in his report were about Scottish Government Policy. The Response underlined that the SG is determined to continue tackling poverty but warns that Scotland cannot continue to mitigate everything the UK government do to damage people and increase poverty because we don’t have the money to do so.

We need the control over our own finances – all of them if we are to protect our NHS, create a more balanced economy, reduce poverty and inequality and create that better fairer society inside Europe that so many of us want.

#YouYesYet?

Brexit Bus Bollocks and other stories

So…. Brexit

And we have another Tory MP put themselves forward as a candidate for the Leadership – how many is that now? It feels like about 90, it’s actually 12, but we have another week or so to go.

President Trump signalled his support for Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage this week too. He might think Nigel Farage is standing for the Tory Leadership too – I’m not sure, I don’t think he is either but to be honest, I think Nigel Farage might be considering it himself!

Nigel is of course, trying to align himself to various Groups inside the EU. Reports suggest that he is chatting away to the far right groupings and Italy’s ‘League’ party say the talks are going well. To be fair it’s reported that he is in talks with the Eurosceptic group also – I rather think that whichever provides Nigel with the best vehicle for Nigel will be the one that he chooses.

And that vehicle is probably not going to be a bus! Boris is apparently heading for a court case after sticking his £350 million lie on the side of a bus. Not that this will bar him from the Tory Leadership Race. It might even increase his popularity if Twitter is anything to go by. The darling of the deluded is being cheered on by many who are outraged that he is being held to account for anything he said! Apparently it’s the death of democracy. Telling lies is ok but asking someone to account for those lies is utterly beyond the pale!

Lying is apparently de rigeur for Tory leadership Candidates – Esther McVey was reminded yesterday that she “misled parliament” (that’s lied to everyone else), Rory Stewart pretended to be taking selfies in Kew Gardens this week for reasons that completely and utterly escape me. See if you’re going to tell a lie then at least make it something which might …. oh I don’t know … whip up a few million voters into outrage perhaps?

A startling You Gov poll was out yesterday that had the Lib Dem’s in the lead for Westminster Voting Intentions. They have their own policy on lying of course. Alistair Carmichael was the architect of that when he lied about his leaking of a memo about Nicola Sturgeon. Only after £1 million was spent on an enquiry mind you.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Jo Swinson has clearly been taking lessons as she announces she will be standing for the leadership of the Libdems.

Last night on Question Time she said that only 4% of young people from Govan went to university. It didn’t take long for those people who know these things to link to the actual documents that tell us the facts. The figure is actually 23% and 93% of young people leaving went to positive destinations. (College, work …). Her point that early intervention is essential for children to achieve their potential was well made but the lie was simply put in to get a dig at Nicola Sturgeon. No surprises there then.

So do all these lies really matter? Do they make a difference to Brexit? To Scotland? To voters?

I think they do. When we make decisions they should be based on fact and what’s right. Not on some lies concocted by those with a vested interest or those wanting to win for themselves.

Brexit is one big lie from start to finish. And if we think that highlighting Boris’s Bus Bollocks will change that we are the deluded ones.

We see lies about Scotland all the time – too small to be independent, too stupid, too poor, worst NHS, worst education, failing to deliver x, y, z.

The truth is that things are not as good as we want them to be. They aren’t. But our government STILL finds enough money to mitigate the worst of the Tory policies whilst delivering record spending, higher pay rises and better performances than the rest of the UK.

Imagine how much better we could do if we were independent.

#YouYesYet?

Nothing to see here

So… Brexit

Hmmm where to start?

The last day or two we have heard that the Tories the Libdems and the Brexit Party …oh and the greens all won the EU elections. Their votes went up, down and held, it was better and worse than expected but better than they hoped.

Labour aren’t so self deluded they are making any claim to have had anything other than an appalling night. Depending on who or what you read, Corbyn is reportedly going to back a second referendum or a people’s vote on a deal (they aren’t the same thing) but he definitely wants a general election whilst he absolutely should not want not a general election because they might lose and at the same time he absolutely has to get behind and deliver Brexit otherwise he is finished whilst being the best leader they have had for years.

The Brexit Party is apparently a business start up, not a party and Farage isn’t its party leader but some sort of entrepreneur chief exec who can’t be deposed cos he’s the leader of the party.

The Tories already have more leadership candidates than MEPs and the contest doesn’t start til the 10th. James Cleverly entered the race to the bottom today with a “No deal is better than a bad deal” statement. Jeezo – talk about Groundhog Day.

So all pretty usual then.

Meanwhile in Scotland, it was once again revealed how much effort, money and commitment the SNP Government put into mitigating the worst of the Tory cuts and policies. Today we heard that the SG spends 43% more per person on social care than the UK government does in England. We are still struggling to meet need but thank goodness the SG prioritises this with extra funding.

How much worse would things be if they didn’t do that? How much better could they be if we could just choose how we spent ALL our money?

We also saw the referendum bill in the Scottish Parliament today too. This sets out the framework for calling a referendum. This turned the Tory leadership candidates attention to us and they queued up to tell our government that they would not allow a second independence referendum.

England will not allow Scotland to hold a referendum which the people of Scotland voted for when they voted in the current government, when they sent a majority of SNP MPs to WM – and again, when the Scottish Parliament voted for a second Indy ref.

The Scottish People voted for remain and last week turned Scotland yellow. All the Tory leadership candidates today that queued up to refuse the right of the Scottish people to decide their independence, all want to drag us out of Europe with their assorted deals, bad deals, no deal Brexit. If nothing else today has surely knocked that question that gets asked with a sort of “aha!!!! Answer THAT if you can” tone “Why do you want to be in Europe but out of the EU?”

We have quite clearly seen the answer in the last wee while and it is being underlined by the Tory Candidates every time they speak about Scotland. Westminster will not ALLOW Scotland to hold a referendum, Westminster will not ALLOW Scotland a negotiating voice at the table, Westminster WILL drag a Scotland that has voted overwhelmingly to remain, out of the EU without a deal regardless of the damage it does to Scotland.

They are going to struggle – as someone responded yesterday to Sajid Javid “has he never met a Scottish Person?” Twitter responded by setting #permissionfromSajid trending as people asked if they could take the dog out, nip to the shops l, go to bed. 16 thousand times apparently. Sometimes Twitter is the best!

#YouYesYet?

Scotland’s not for Leaving

So… Brexit

Well yesterday we had the unedifying spectacle of parties across the UK squabbling over the EU election results.

Was it a remain vote? Or was it a leave endorsement? Back and forward it goes.

We saw Corbyn grudgingly suggest that a people’s vote might be a good thing after all but suggestions from the party that they’ll wait til their conference to decide their position made me want to shake them. For All eyes are on the prize of no deal 31st October exit for the Tories and Farage. More dithering from Corbyn is not going to help change that.

Labour are also sticking to their “Let’s have a General Election” position. Despite the chances of that receding massively surely.

The Tories will not want to go to the ballot box until they a) have a new (popular) leader and b) have delivered a no deal Brexit.

They will hang on til the bitter bitter end and Corbyn and Farage (who seems to have decided he can win everything) cannot change that. In fact I sort of doubt that Labour can do anything to fix this. It’s all too little too late. It’s devastating to think that might be true but honestly? In England they are an irrelevance and in Scotland they are an irrelevance.

And Meanwhile in Scotland, the Western Isles turned yellow too.

Some information worth noting in the photos attached from Dan Paris. Despite various Tory politicians trying to spin this as a loss for the SNP it is clearly a remarkable result.

In today’s telegraph the Tories complain that Nicola Sturgeon is deceitful in taking the EU vote as an indicator that Scotland is nearer to considering independence.

Hellooooo!!!!!!

Several things. Firstly the Tories themselves made this election about independence “ Vote for the Tories and send a message to Nicola Sturgeon – no more referendums”. That went down well!

Scotland has voted for remain THREE times now. Once in the EU ref, once in the General Elections when we returned a majority (by a mile) of remain MPs and last week when every single council area returned remain victories.

And finally, no one – absolutely no one voting SNP last week could fail to realise that their vote was about remain and about a second Indy referendum.

Even the Brexiteers and the Tory party can’t spin this result. Scotland wants to remain in the EU. Overwhelmingly. It seems that the Tories think that’s not for us to decide. Labour have no clue. So here’s a helping hand for them – If ….IF they have a backbone in Scotland, IF they want to have any chance of survival, they must unequivocally stand up for REMAINING in the EU. They must also, support all and any mechanism for that to happen – including a referendum on Independence with a free vote for their members and politicians.

That’s the only thing they can do that might give them a chance.

Come on Labour – get a grip!

#YouYesYet?

Bright dawns the day

So… Brexit.

A night full of smiles for Scotland.

The SNP blew every mainland result out of the water. A reminder if you aren’t quite sure what that was about – the SNP stood squarely for stopping Brexit, for keeping Scotland inside the EU and for a people’s vote and 2nd Independence referendum.

In every single council area in mainland Scotland the romped home with 30odd and 40odd percent on the vote. In Orkney and Shetland their vote increased coming second to the Libdems and so far they have been 846 votes away from taking every single local authority.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar will declare about 11am today.

We will be sending 3 SNP MEPs to Europe where they will indeed be the strongest voice for Scotland and our place there. We have gone from 2 SNP, 2 Labour, A tory and a UKIP to 3 SNP, I Libdem 1 Brexit and 1 Tory. A result that reflects the referendum 60/40 remain split. Labour got just 9% of the vote coming fifth in many places, they have let Scotland down badly with their failure to take a stand, their wishywashy lack of commitment and failure to robustly oppose the Tory Government. They have paid the price in Scotland for that. And rightly so.

Ruth Davidson made this election about saying no to the SNP and no to an independence referendum – the campaign leaflet the Tories sent out didn’t mention Brexit once. Well Scotland said “aye….right” to Ruth Davidson.

Scotland wants to remain in the EU.

So… this is all well and good but what does it mean?

Well, it means that none of the Tory leadership candidates represent Scotland’s views. It means that deal or no deal Scotland will be dragged out of Europe against our will.

It means that Scotland will have another independence referendum. The UK Government can try to refuse but the picture attached shows that Scotland IS a different country. We want different things and we want a different route. Even in the areas we were told wanted Brexit – the fishing and farming areas – the SNP took the vote by a significant margin. Scotland wants to be an inclusive, outward looking, internationalist country at the heart of Europe. Small minded isolationist UK is not for us.

We will have our independence referendum.

It’s coming.

#YouYesYet?

Soooo….. Brexit

Well the good news is that Michael Gove is set to “challenge Boris Johnson” for the Leadership of the Tory Party and scupper his chances of being Prime Minister.

Michael Gove!

So far the list is as follows with their maybe Brexit position but who knows – they change their minds like they change their socks and EU election results might see a change to reflect public opinion

Boris Johnson – no deal

Michael Gove – deal

Esther McVey – no deal

Jeremy Hunt – deal

Dominic Raab – prefer a deal but no deal is good

Sajid Javid – no deal

Steve Baker – ERG Member – no deal

Rory Stewart – deal

Andrea Leadsom – no deal

Matt Hancock – deal

A bigger bunch of chancers, hard liners, incompetents and liars it would be hard to find. Many of them responsible for harshest Tory policies – think McVey, Hunt, Javid.

There are some others like Graham Brady, Penny Mordaunt, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel, George Freeman, James Cleverly, Nicky Morgan and Justine Greening who might also chuck their hats in the ring but we need to wait and see.

Things are not getting any better any time soon.

Meanwhile in Scotland Joanna Cherry must be shaking her head. Remember her amendment which called for Article 50 to be revoked if it looked like we were on the brink of leaving without a deal?

I bet many MPs wish they’d voted for that amendment after looking at that list.

EU referendum results will not be declared til tomorrow as there’s no counting on a Sunday in the Western Isle but we will get an indication tonight. Let’s see what Scotland says and see how long it takes the UK Government to stick its fingers in its ears and go la la la la laaaaaa

#YouYesYet?

The day after

So… Brexit.

And Theresa May is on her way out. It is rare that I don’t feel sorry for someone clearly in distress – I cry at adverts for goodness sake – but I find no sympathy in myself for Theresa May.

Better commentators than I have pointed out that she shed no tears for those victims of her appalling tenure. Windrush, Grenfell, Universal Credit, Waspi Women, PIP rollout, many of these things were in her power to either not do in the first place or stop or change, but she did not. Her tears were for herself, for her own failure and I dont feel sorry for her. I’m glad she is stepping down.

And now, after the worst Prime Minister in recent years if not ever, we are faced with the unedifying spectacle that is a Tory leadership competition in which fucking Boris Johnson is the favourite.

And yes, I know usually that the favourite doesn’t get chosen – after all that’s how we ended up with TM, but these are not usual times. Boris is ramping up the No Deal rhetoric, he is the darling of the deluded and there are many of those around at the moment. God help us all if he wins.

Meanwhile in Scotland Ruth Davidson is rewriting history by trying to tell the world that Nicola Sturgeon has no right to complain about having yet another Tory Prime Minister we didn’t vote for as she herself was “installed” in Bute House.

Ruth Davidson has conveniently forgotten that there was in fact an election in Holyrood for FM in which she was the second candidate. She got 15 votes and Nicola Sturgeon BEAT her with 65.

More Tory self delusional fiction – it’s getting to be a whole new genre.

On a positive note there was this. The women in Glasgow who had been fighting the Labour Council for equal pay over the last 10 or more years are getting their money. It took an SNP led council and Government to do that. I’m delighted that the SNP have been able to put right this Labour led injustice.

Imagine what we could change with Independence.

#YouYesYet?

Tears before bedtime

So… Brexit

And yesterday we voted for the EU Parliament. Well some of us did. The appalling reports of EU citizens who had registered to vote being turned away from polling stations was appalling but actually not surprising. And it was not surprising because this government we have could not organise a piss up in a brewery.

They ABSOLUTELY knew this was going to happen. Joanna Cherry highlighted it in Parliament this week and they did nothing to ensure that people could exercise their right to vote.

What is going on with our electoral system?the illegalities of the EU referendum and now this?

In other news, Theresa May is set to resign today. I’m not entirely sure whether that will happen, all the papers think it will and there has been the Thatcher-Esque pictures of weeping eyes out of the back of a car but who knows. Word is that she will stay “in post” until after Donald Trumps visit.

This means we are not now getting the withdrawal agreement back to Parliament in the foreseeable future. We are once again no further forward with Brexit than we were the day after the referendum. And we are paying the price for this. Britain is a laughing stock across the world. British Steel is bankrupt after Brexit saw its order book “decimated”, the far right is on the rise and no amount of milkshake throwing can make THAT an amusing fact. And the prospect of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister moves ever closer.

Meanwhile in Scotland, well … we remain unable to change any of the above because despite May saying she has consulted and listened to the devolved administrations, she has not.

Despite our support for EU citizens many were refused even the right to vote.

Despite not having voted for a Tory Government for years we will maybe end up with Boris Johnson for Prime Minister.

Despite having voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU we will be forced to leave.

Despite having a triple mandate for an independence referendum we are being told that England won’t give us one.

Without independence we are thrown around on the whims of a Government elected by English votes which does not reflect the views, attitudes and aspirations of Scottish voters.

Nothing has illustrated that more clearly than the last few months.

#YouYesYet?

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