Monday, 30 March 2009

Poll results: trade trip to China

Who should represent Scotland on a trade trip to China?

Alex Salmond: 33
Jim Murphy: 1 (good of you to drop in Jim!)
Both: 1
Fred Goodwin: 1 (on a one-way ticket presumably?)

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Address to the Unco Greedy, or the Fiscally Frivolous

O ye wha for exotics fell,
Sae joyous and sae jolly,
Ye'd nought tae dae but buy an' sell,
An' tak yer neibor's lolly!
Wi' hands stuck firmly in the till,
Mere ethics didnae matter;
Now poor Joe Public foots the bill,
For City boys grown fatter!

Hear me, as Sterling hits the floor,
An' outflows gush aortal,
Ye'll rue the day ye voted for,
New Labour, wha now chortles?
Aye, since these thoughtless, careless fakes,
Are sic a bunch o' chancers,
Gie me political earthquakes,
Tae excise Labour cancers.

They've run the state intae despair,
Then City rules made stiffer;
Whiles bringin in the HBOS laird,
Wha sacked the trouble-sniffer;
For though Moore tried HBOS tae save,
By his concerns confidin',
The risk was his tae be sae brave,
An' for it Crosby fired him!

Think Labour, how you us repulse,
Wi' each new steamin' dollop,
O' lies an' spin, yer base impulse,
Twelve years o' pure codswallop!
Ye've spinned and lied while oot ye bailed,
Each bank. Is this the Third Way?
It's on Broon's watch that we've been failed,
Despite the "global" respray!

See Socialist-lite, poor glaikit Brown,
A' half-truths and hoodwinking:
While Goodwin's crucified alone,
This tawdry culprit's shrinking.
O how we pray he'll see too late,
Th' electoral consequences,
An' his mair dreaded, hellish fate,
Deflation o' expenses!

Broon's highly-salted, tortuous claims,
Fly up in a' oor faces.
Before he seeks tae shift mair blame,
Suppose he truth embraces!
Oor dear comrade, convenient shrugged,
When easing regulation,
An' bonus-junkies kept their drug,
Wi' his administration!

Now keenly scan Broon's masterplan,
Tae get thae green shoots bloomin':
Frae us he'll hang (for ages lang!)
Mair debt! How mad he's spumin'!
One point must still be made quite stark,
How Broon sae badly blew it:
"We'll save tomorrow!" his hallmark.
Oor monstrous debt? He grew it!

Who ruled the mart, 'tis he alone,
Decidedly did fry us;
He solves each problem with a loan,
Then prudently acts pious!
As oor imbalance grows acute,
Broon's flush is truly busted!
Oor emperor's in his birthday suit,
Growin' ever mair ham-fisted!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Poll results: minimum price per unit of alcohol

The results of the latest poll were:

Do you approve of a minimum price per unit of alcohol?

Yes, >40p: 5
Yes, <40p: 3
No 1
Yes, 1p, hic!: 1

The temperance movement is alive and well in Brigadoon it would seem. Thanks again to all who voted. Maybe to boost the numbers I should publicise the next poll on Blether with Brian again...?!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Awa' Whigs, Awa'

Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Ye're but a pack o' Labour goons,
Ye'll dae nae guid at a'.

Oor thistle withered with nae care,
Frae thorny Labour roses;
An' Whigs served well as their manure,
Nae need tae hold their noses!

Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Ye're but a pack o' shrivelled prunes,
Ye'll dae nae guid at a'.

Oor ancient Ming's showin' signs o' rust,
If Salmond maks him crabbit.
The Clinton hand oor statesman shook,
Wad leave auld Ming sair wabbit!

Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Ye're but a pack o' bland buffoons,
Ye'll dae nae guid at a'.

LibDems' decay tae light-flyweight,
Has left them scarce survivin'.
Poor Tavish couldnae get much worse,
Doon tae the canvas divin'!

Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Ye're but a pack o' burst balloons,
Ye'll dae nae guid at a'.

Slim cogence frae Vince Cable's trap,
On independence squawkin'!
At least he came in Nick Clegg's stead,
Tae spare us mair beige-talkin'!

Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Awa' Whigs, awa'!
Ye're but a pack o' daft baboons,
Ye'll dae nae guid at a'.

Iain Gray: final poll results

For posterity, the final results of the Iain Gray poll are below:

Q. Did Iain Gray's speech do it for you?

Yes: 4 votes
No: 39
Who's Iain Gray?: 37

Scant approval for Mr Gray here it seems. Thanks to all who voted!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Vince mince wince

And so to the LibDem conference and his economic highness Saint Vincent of Cable. Not content with financial soothsaying Mr Cable has turned a neuron or two to the question of Scottish independence. An independent Scotland would not have been able to rescue RBS we are told.

Obviously this conjecture hinges on whether an independent Scotland would have let RBS mushroom to such an extent. Mebbes aye, mebbes no. We simply don't know. Pointless speculation either way.

Of course, we could look at this a little differently...

More interesting is what a future independent Scotland will do with regard to the size of its banks. Well, thankfully we now have a very good lesson in the perils of letting banks get too big. Unless we wilfully ignore recent history it seems highly unlikely that a future independent Scotland will have this problem. So it is no argument whatsoever against independence.

We'll have all sorts of other problems mind you, just like any other country. But at least with independence we'll be completely free to deal with them. Or not. It will depend on us really. A fine prospect.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


Good news from Holyrood today as MSPs voted in favour of Health Board elections. Now, I'm not informed enough to know whether they'll do any good, but I'm all in favour of trying things!

Maybe it'll be an unmitigated disaster, who knows? Perhaps it'll be the dog's Rumbles, who knows? But how marvellous that we will actually try something out, see if it works, then decide whether to continue or can it.

Too often in this fine country ideas are greeted with gloom-laden reasons why they won't work, too rarely by ways to make them work. Make it happen Scotland, stoke the fires of ambition!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Jim Murphy: "Intolerant and dictatorial"

Hot on the heels of the red-tops digging out Mike Russell's 10-year old book, the Loon has scoured the parliamentary archives and unearthed an interesting Early Day Motion about one Jim Murphy...


Livingstone, Ken

That this House condemns the intolerant and dictatorial behaviour of the President of the National Union of Students, Mr Jim Murphy, who has unconstitutionally suspended NUS Vice President, Clive Lewis, because he took part, in a personal capacity, in an open debate at Queen Mary and Westfield College on the issues raised by the Campaign for Free Education; further notes that along with President Elect, Douglas Trainer, both men have warned NUS Executive member, Rose Woods, that if she attends the Scottish launch of the Campaign for Free Education she too will be suspended from the NUS Executive; reminds Mr Murphy and Mr Trainer that freedom of speech is a right in the United Kingdom, that they have no power to overturn the results of elections that went against their preferred candidates and that, whilst these methods are a common practice in dictatorships around the world, they are not acceptable behaviour from someone such as Mr Murphy who is putting himself forward as suitable for election to the House of Commons.

Amongst the 17 MPs who signed Red Ken's motion were such luminaries as Dennis Skinner and Tony Benn.

All you Glenrothes conspiracy theorists out there might particularly enjoy the line: "they have no power to overturn the results of elections that went against their preferred candidates". Of course, hypothetically speaking, if a result is already in the (postal ballot) bag, then there would be no need to overturn it.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Tommy the Statuesque

Evening one and all! Do my eyes deceive me?! Is the greatest comeback since Lazarus on the cards? Comrade Tommy is reported to be in discussions with the RMT to stand in some kind of left wing coalition in the Euro elections in June. What do you make of it? And how would the mooted coalition affect the Labour vote? Do any of you even know your MEP's name?! (I know I don't) NB The Sheridan legal proceedings are ongoing so tread very carefully please!

Also, do any of you have any suggestions for the new "Gateway to Scotland" (or England depending on your perspective!) statue near Gretna? What would you like to see welcoming/farewelling visitors to our little piece of the planet? A 100-ft high statue of Rev IM Jolly? A 100-ft wide animatronic of Alex Salmond? Unleash your imaginations if you dare...!

GB Tips

Exciting news from Sweden that chimps are capable of foresight and planning. In Furuvik zoo a chimp collects stones in the early morning, ready to throw at gawping visitors later in the day. This shock revelation overturns the last decade of chimp research.

Previous evidence had indicated the Bushy chimp to be incapable of considering events more than 45 minutes into the future. This deficiency often led the Bushy chimp into quagmires from which escape was impossible, even with the help of its symbiotic poodle.

Similarly the lesser Brown chimp was demonstrated to gorge with bacchanalian abandon during times of plenty, causing great bloating in the process, yet storing insufficient resources to see itself through more turbulent times.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Constitutional poll

Evening all. I've added a new poll at the bottom of the blog: simply choose one or more of your favoured constitutional settlements for Scotland. The intention is to leave the poll there for a good long while, perhaps even until the next Holyrood election. Hopefully a good few votes will come in...shame we won't be getting that chance in the real world!

Oh, and don't forget the poll on Iain Gray's conference speech on the right hand side - currently Darling's botched clone is struggling for support, surely there must be some more Labour voters out there capable of using the internet...?

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Bonnie Dundee - an Extraordinary Rendition

Tae the Labour convention, yon haverin' joke,
When ye hear a' Brown's clowns, they gie ye the dry boak;
Wi' the truth cavalier, fearin' the SNP,
Sae hollow their sonnet frae bonnie Dundee.

The spinnin' starts up, delivered deadpan:
"T'was globalised forces! (Deil tak wha ye can!)"
An' whaur's their support? Gone tapsalteerie!
An' it's doon wi' the Broonites in bonnie Dundee!

Expenses are mounting, in each Labour seat,
Poll ratings slide backwards, they'll soon taste defeat.
But the PM, puce man, scarce whispers: "Sorry",
Rebuked yet no action frae Lyon's committee!

"Let's invade Iraq!", tae fill oor oil can,
Then: "Saddle up soldier, next stop Taliban!"
The Hutton Report, an' lost liberties!
Aye, it's doon wi' the Broonites in bonnie Dundee!

McLetchie in Pentland showed up Gray's true worth:
Outwitted e'en by yon political smurf!
Thon grave Broonite vassal, Toom Tabard Murphy,
Has the emptiest bonnet in bonnie Dundee!

HBOS is wound up, RBS doon the pan,
Saddle us wi' debt, for Fred's pension plan!
Bail oot Northern Rock, Bradford and Bingley!
Aye, it's doon wi' the Broonites in bonnie Dundee!

Then awa' wi' the Bills, tae empow'r us Scots,
Entrenchin' the culture o' "Alba cannot"!
Lab, Tories and LibDems: whit foul trinity!
But they'll get their comeuppance frae voters like me!

The time's lang since up, for Labour's lifespan,
Ye'd see mair democracy in the Sudan!
Tho' media distort, each breakin' story,
We'll turf oot the Broonites throughout the country!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Labour conference in Dundee

Hello and welcome to this shiny new blog. The aim is simply to pose topical questions on the Scottish political scene, and allow you all to vote and comment as you see fit. Some might even claim it as part of the National Conversation ;o)

There's no pre-moderation here so you are responsible for the content of your comments! Yes, responsible! Imagine! Obviously if anything illegal appears, or if anyone makes a legitimate complaint then I might have to do some minimal censorship. But let's hope it doesn't come to that.

To business then: the Labour conference is happening in Dundee. What do you think of it? What did you make of Iain Gray's speech? Comments please and do vote in the poll to the right!