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 “June, 2019”

Brexit and it’s merry band

So… Brexit

I have avoided doing a Brexit update for a while. It’s such a mess and so ridiculous to watch politicians trying to out Brexit each other, especially when those politicians are Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

Could there be a worse side show? It’s like watching a car crash in action – slowly – like those videos of cats sliding on ice – you can see what’s going to happen but know that absolutely nothing can be done to stop it.

And what’s going to happen is a No Deal Brexit. As their initial hints and suggestions around proroguing parliament and stuffing it to Europe, have received support from their xenophobically blinkered members, they have ramped up the rhetoric. Today’s offering being that we would just withhold the money we owe the EU until they did what we Goddam want them to do.

Snapping at their heels, of course is Farage and his merry band of bullshitters, like that sinister cruel kid that goads others into doing stuff that will get them in trouble and then saunters off sniggering whilst the other kid gets a row. The adult in the room usually calls them back and holds them accountable for their part in the episode but in the UK, today, there is no adult. Parliament is heading for recess, Corbyn is that adult everyone ignores – he is certainly not the one snapping at heels! The SNP are doing their best but Johnson and Hunt ( and the rest of the Tories) have their fingers in their ears singing La la la la laaaa which incidentally allows them to ignore the trade deal the EU have just signed with South America. Yep that’s the fourth since the Brexit referendum. Hellooooo

Meanwhile in Scotland, work on reducing poverty continues. A new benefit for families is being brought forward to try to tackle child poverty. Whilst the big powers over poverty remain with the UK Government it is really important the SG act where they can. This was great listening by the SG and a much better response than a fiver on Child Benefit.

The last few weeks of this session of the Scottish Parliament have seen some serious work. The fuel poverty bill, the human tissue bill, the vulnerable witness bill, money for mental health for new mums, free period products in schools and colleges, a new homelessness action plan, Franks Law, justice system reforms and other work to try to ensure Scotland is the best place to live for all its people.

And yet, as we see the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament celebrated, there is a real sense that the Tory leadership campaign is threatening our ability to go our own way. Threats to bring us into line with WM, to stamp the union stamp on everything we do, to stop us spoiling their party by doing what’s best for Scotland are getting louder. Scotland will not be ALLOWED to choose our own way. We WILL be dragged out of the EU even though we voted overwhelmingly to remain. No partnership of equals, it is increasingly clear that the UK Government sees Scotland as its colonial possession. And make absolutely no mistake, that threatens our Parliament, our powers and our potential.


Not a clue

So…. Brexit!

Last nights Tory leadership debate told us one thing. None of the candidates have a coherent plan to either deliver Brexit or to resolve the impasse in Parliament to allow the UK to leave with a deal.

They don’t have much of a clue about the other stuff either but let’s just focus on Brexit for now.

From tariff free imports and exports to the Border on Northern Ireland they ummed and ahhed their way through the questions on Brexit, and all apart from Rory Stewart said that whilst they absolutely, definitely didn’t want no deal Brexit, no no noooo – No Deal remains their position when all else fails and fail it will.

So let’s see, no deal Brexit – a no deal Brexit with tariff free access will open our doors to flooding our island with cheap goods which will undermine our market.

The failure to negotiate a deal will also see tariffs imposed by other countries on goods being exported from here to elsewhere – making our products more expensive and guess what – undermining our market.

It will be massively damaging to Scotland’s economy and the economy of the UK.

But none of that matters because Scotland doesn’t matter to these candidates or the bulk of their party members. Scotland was not mentioned once in last night’s debate and there is a very good reason for that. Yesterday we saw a poll which told us that 63% of Conservative and Unionist members would happily see Scotland leave the UK if it meant they could deliver Brexit.

They do not care about Scotland. In Boris’s Britain we would see our devolved Government hands tied tighter together and we would be disregarded at every turn. And yet …. and yet …. several of our Scottish Tory MPs are supporting him for leader. Just WHAT?

And Labour? Well once again they are squabbling their way into insignificance. Corbyn is reputed – again- to be going to commit to a secon Brexit referendum but to be frank – no one cares. Too little too late. They have nothing to offer in this race to the bottom and nothing they can do except wait it out and impotently call in an ever more plaintive manner for a General Election which they will not get.

0.2% of the electorate will choose the next Tory leader and Prime Minister and decide the future of Scotland.


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!


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.


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.


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