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.

Archive for the month “May, 2019”

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?

Deal on the table – writings on the wall

So…. Brexit

Theresa May’s deal is on the table, it offers a commons vote on a second referendum, a commons vote on a temporary customs union, the offer of legislation on workers rights and environmental protections and no change on the Irish Backstop. None of which is binding. Or New. Or meets Scotland’s needs. Or is winning over any MPs.

So nothing much has changed then.

Tory MPs have been queuing up to say they won’t vote for May’s deal, Labour have said they won’t vote for May’s deal, the DUP have said they won’t vote for May’s deal and the SNP won’t vote for May’s deal.

Tories say it’s a compromise too far and Labour say it’s not far enough. The Tory leadership hopefuls are sharpening their no-deal Brexit knives.

The Brexit Party has banned Channel 4 from its events because they asked questions about their funding arrangements and Nigel Farage apparently refused to get off his bus in Wakefield yesterday for fear of milkshake mobbers.

If you needed anything to underline the mess that the Tories have caused you only need to watch a recording of Brexit supporting MP David Davies being harangued by a woman whilst doing a TV interview.

David Davies is a Brexit supporting MP, the woman is a Brexit supporting member of the public. She calls him a liar and a traitor for not being Brexity enough and he calls her out for not being brexity enough. A big row ensues over who is the most Brexity brexiteer.

It’s exactly what is going on in Westminster and it’s ridiculous.

Meanwhile in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon met with EU Scots yesterday to reiterate our support for their lives here and our thanks for their contributions.

Also today, Philip Alston’s UN report on poverty in the UK is out. I have plenty to say about that but in short the Scottish Government is recognised for its drive to make Scottish Social Security a Human rights based system which moves away from sanctions and punishments. He praises the mitigation of the worst of the WM policies but acknowledges this is not sustainable. Every pound spent on mitigation reduces money for spending on services. He says this about the UK welfare system

“The bottom line is that much of the glue that has held British society together since the Second World War has been deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos.”

Scotland can do better than this. We are holding back the worst of this appalling governments policies but with independence we have an opportunity to do better. An Independent Scotland inside the EU with control over all the economic levers could be an outward looking inclusive country and a better fairer place for all of us to live.

Surely that’s worth your vote on Thursday and in a second independence referendum.

#VoteSNP

#YouYesYet?

Do you want a milkshake with that?

So Brexit

We have heard a wee bit more about Theresa May’s plan to bring a “bold new deal” Brexit back to Parliament. It’s to include assurances on workers rights, environmental protections and the Irish Backstop.

All things which a new leader like Boris Johnson can overturn. Not to mention that trusting the Tories on workers rights and environmental protection is like trusting the big bad wolf to look after your grannie. Several of the Tory party leadership contenders are calling for a “no deal” Brexit – McVey is one. Whilst Philip Hammond desperately tries to tell them it’s a bad idea.they aren’t listening though.

The Tories have also removed the whip from Michael Heseltine. I wasn’t a fan of any of those Thatcher era Tories but for goodness sake. If Hesteltine can’t support the Tories they need to take a long hard look at what they are doing.

The Libdems campaign was bolstered by this photo yesterday – a meeting of old friends as Danny Alexander tweeted. A reminder if any was needed that the Libdems are the supporters of austerity, of many of the policies which have led to today’s UN Report in poverty in the UK.

Farage of course was pelted with milkshake yesterday in Newcastle. This is causing great hilarity but I can imagine that it is frightening for anyone to be hit out of the blue by anything. Milkshakes are innocuous enough and fortunately they aren’t the rifles and khaki that Nigel himself advocated if those that voted Leave didn’t get their way. However, the milkshake thing has the potential to make him look persecuted and that could increase his appeal. Especially when the electoral commission are pitching up at his door to examine their fundraising activities. All to create that narrative of “poor man of the people” that Farage loves so much.

Beware the friendly fascist….

Meanwhile in Scotland, Labour have wheeled out Gordon Brown. He is saying that the SNP have moved from soft to hard Independence and now support extreme independence. Honest to god, they can take their Brexit analogies and stick them where the sun don’t shine. What is extreme independence? You are independent or not! That’s it. Either you make your own laws or someone else makes them for you.

In other news a Tory councillor in Lanarkshire has had their car set on fire. This is a shocking crime that must have scared them very much. There appears to be a concerted effort to pass this off as an SNP/nationalist crime due to the fact that he is a Tory. The councillor himself has said it is to do with a planning issue he has been working on and during which he has exposed puppy farming activities. Let’s keep the head folks – the drive to undermine Scotland’s voice is well underway.

This was seen just last week when the Tories said that the SNP plans to reform sentencing for people convicted of crimes which carry a penalty of less than a year in jail would let “10 000” prisoners onto the streets of Scotland to run amok. It was quickly pointed out that the entire prison population in Scotland is less than 9000. But hey what do you expect from a government who think it’s ok to criminalise a mentally ill woman for attempting suicide?

Reforming the prison system so people like this woman don’t get caught in a fine – can’t pay – jail cycle is the right thing to do. We know that. The Tories know that too – that’s why they are pursuing the same policies in England, but hey… somehow it’s bad in Scotland?

On Thursday we have an opportunity to make sure Scotland’s voice is heard without the slant other parties want to give it. Let’s make sure it’s unequivocal. Scotland wants to stay in Europe. There’s only one way to even begin to make that happen. Get out and vote. And vote SNP.

#votesnp

#YouYesYet?

Strength in numbers

So…. Brexit!

And we start the week of the EU elections with the prospect of Boris Johnson looming over the Tory party’s leadership contest. Boris is in the lead with Liam Fox in a not very close at all second.

The talks with Labour have as predicted failed. Labour say TM would not compromise, TM says Jeremy Corbyn would not compromise.

What a waste of space they are.

It appears the Aaron Banks (the personification of Harry Enfield loads of money character) has given Farage – well – loads of money. There are calls for electoral commission investigation into this donation so they can sigh and maybe issue a fine or two but let’s face it – they don’t really DO anything much. Our electoral system is being manipulated left right and centre and apart from a wringing of hands there’s not much anyone is doing about it. Except banning Macdonalds from selling milkshakes in the vicinity of Brexit Party meetings.

The good news is that Tommy Robinson got short shrift around the North West this weekend. It was good to see the people of Liverpool send him away although not surprising after his stupid side kick James Goddard told the gathered protesters that Liverpool was a shithole. You can imagine how that went down.

And of course we have TM new bold deal coming to Parliament in the next week or two. New bold deal! Apparently nothing that the new leader of the Tories won’t change, still has the backstop – of course it does! Ireland has the full support of EU27 and that’s not going to be changing. Labour say they’ll vote against but remain confused on their position on a second referendum and the Libdems are rubbing their hands in glee.

All to play for folks.

Meanwhile in Scotland – despite Question Time producing a show that suggested that they were struggling – the SNP are topping the polls. There’s a bit of a stushie over the whole QT audience selection again. At least four Tory councillors sitting front and centre and even an ex Tory MSP – Mary Scanlon – was given the microphone to speak as she was in the audience too. It’s an amusing diversion but I don’t care about QT.

I do care about a strong voice for Scotland and even though the polls are suggesting big wins for the SNP that’s always a worry. It might lead to people thinking they don’t have to vote – like it’s a done deal. It isn’t. The SNP have a manifesto which puts forward plans for Scotland at the heart of Europe – Independent or not! The Brexit party don’t even have a manifesto for gods sake and yet suggestions are that they will take two seats in Scotland.

We need a strong voice because make no mistake, the Tories – and Boris Johnson in particular – will do everything they can to ignore Scotland and they already plan to remove powers from our parliament.

We need a strong voice, we need a strong Parliament – we need independence

#voteSNP

#YouYesYet?

Get out to vote!

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