Saturday, 23 May 2009

Misty mountain hop

The mists surrounding Brigadoon are becoming thicker...time for all good loons to hibernate for a while...until after the Euro elections...

Friday, 22 May 2009

New Labour: a Titanic mess

Well, it's been an interesting few weeks! Pushing past purely partisan posturing I'd place our pompous parliamentary popinjays in a progression from porcine pampering to paragons of probity:
  1. Labour - Hogzilla
  2. Conservatives - Gloucester Old Spot (of Bother)
  3. Lib Dems - Piglets caught snuffling for truffles
  4. ...
  5. ...
  6. ...
  7. ...
  8. ...
  9. ...
  10. SNP - as innocent as Babe
That's my perception of the extent to which reputations have been damaged anyway. What say you, the great blogging public?

The Telegraph has a neat summary of New Labour's twelve years in power: Life under Labour: the worst of worlds. A couple of New Labour's majestic works caught my eye. Apparently it is illegal to:
  • Stage a protest of any sort, even if alone, within 1km of the Palace of Westminster, without the authority of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
  • Enter the hull of the Titanic without permission from the Secretary of State for Transport (Protection of Wrecks (RMS Titanic) Order 2003).
In fairness the first of these now looks like a sensible precaution for our poor beleaguered MPs.

But the second?! What were they thinking? "New Labour: tough on Tomb Raiding, tough on the causes of Tomb Raiding"? And does our jurisdiction really extend to a few kilometres below sea-level in the 1km radius around 410 43’84”N 49057’23”W? Surely they were taking delusions of Britain's glorious imperial power slightly too far with that one.

As the article says:
MPs have simply not being doing their jobs properly. They are there to hold the Government to account but have allowed a torrent of legislation to pour forth. They have spent too much of their time thinking up ever more imaginative ways to claim their generous allowances. They have given up their primary task.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Poll results: Who do you blame for the expenses scandal?

Individual MPs: 16 votes
Party leaders: 7
"The system": 8
Fred Goodwin: 2

So, it seems that individuals are mainly to blame, with a rap on the knuckles for the party leaders (presumably for failing to enforce expenses discipline?) and the system for allowing the abuses in the first place. And poor Fred Goodwin! (not a phrase you hear very often) He still attracts a protest vote! ;o)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Class acts

"Down, down, deeper and down", as the Quo memorably put it. With the expenses furore plumbing new tennis courts (surely "depths"?), it's amusing in a macabre sort of way to compare and contrast the "requirements" of Labour and Tory MPs...

  • Mock Tudor beams
  • As much free grub as possible
  • Refixing bog seats (see previous item)
  • Second (third, fourth, ...) homes
  • Holiday home in balmy Southampton
  • TVs
  • "Educational" movies
  • Bath plugs
  • Glittery bog seat
  • Imaginary Council Tax

  • Helipad
  • Swimming pools
  • Light bulb changes (for the Shadow Skills Minister - you couldn't make it up)
  • Moat dredging
  • Piano tuning
  • Fixing stable lights
  • Horse manure
  • Plumbing in the summer room
Suffice to say I think we still have some way to go before we become a classless society.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Resign! Resign! Resign!

Well, where to begin? And for that matter, where to end? Who to highlight among the vast crowd of guzzlers? It seems pretty clear that all parties will be shamed by the extent of embezzlement that has been going on, so no point trying to score points off parties at this stage.

No, the issue here is one of individual immorality, and it is individuals who must be held to account. There should be a raft of by-elections to let the people judge whether the expenses claimed have been reasonable. In fact it would be easier and better to have a general election, such is the widespread contempt that our MPs have held their constituents in.

The common excuses have been: "I acted entirely within the rules"; "The expenses wouldn't have been paid if they weren't reasonable"; and worst of all, from the PM himself, "The system is to blame".

You've had 12 years to reform the system Gordon! Why the sudden damascene conversion? Could it possibly be because you got caught red-trottered? Yes of course it could. You wouldn't have given reform of the expenses system a second thought if you'd been able to keep this all under wraps. Your feeble defence is utterly contemptible, nakedly self-serving pigswill of the lowest order. Your priorities for governing must now be: Resign! Resign! Resign!

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Seems the Telegraph has got hold of the uncensored version of our MPs' expenses claims and will be publishing them tomorrow - they have a teaser here plus the Beeb is reporting on it here.

Looks like more grim news for Gordon, hot on the heels of the bizarre hokey cokey-style of politics he's been guilty of put proposals in, proposals out, in, out, in, out, u-turn all about...

Let's privatise Royal Mail, erm, no on second thoughts let's go for a John Lewis-type solution, in fact let's not bother at all...let's have a flat rate daily allowance for MPs, on second thoughts let's not, we'll leave it to the enquiry to decide, or rather not, let's rush through some changes after all...we must be strict with the Gurkhas, or maybe we can be a bit flexible after all, but I won't meet Joanna Lumley, too busy for her, she can meet someone less important, erm, no on second thoughts the press have got wind of that, so let's meet her after all... [continues until May 2010...]

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Cybernats v Cybertrots?

It seems there's a bit of a kerfuffle about the Labour Chanter blog at the moment. I looked in on it a couple of times and thought it looked to be on thin ice with most of the postings. It also seemed to be clearly aiming a swipe at the anti-SNP Leaky Chanter blog, as well as at another blogger called Scottish Unionist. Labour have duly complained about some of the lurid allegations and the Guardian have waded in with an article about it.

Now normally I wouldn't mention the above, all these blog stories seem to be getting a bit too self-referential, but I couldn't help but notice a mammoth (or perhaps rather a pygmy elephant) upsurge of hits for Brigadoon today. What to make of it?

Are battalions of cybertrots (as I shall henceforth refer to them) trawling the web, looking for anti-Labour smears in a desperate attempt to deflect attention from their own political pigsty, aka 10 Downing Street? Or has someone somewhere simply added a link to Brigadoon thus bringing in more visitors? Either way, welcome one and all! Have a good rummage around and I hope you like/hate some of what you see!