Budgeting for stupid

A deal has been struck between the SNP minority administration and the Scottish Greens to get the budget passed. Some SNP supporters had criticised the Greens for not immediately signing up to the budget but insisting on some compromises that they can accept as the price for their votes. It’s unfair to criticise a different political party for being a different political party. No one criticises the Conservatives for being a different party with different policies. We criticise them for being cruel and heartless basterts who only care about high earning motorists and the financial interests of disaster capitalists.

The Greens have their own agenda and their own priorities. But unlike certain other parties represented in Holyrood, they are prepared to be reasonable and are prepared to compromise. Concessions were made by the SNP on local government funding, and a firm commitment and timetable given to look again at the long standing proposal to replace the council tax.

Compromise isn’t something that the Lib Dems understand. What they do understand is foot stamping and dummy throwing. Wullie Rennie has been acting like he’s only just discovered that the SNP want Scottish independence, after having noticed an SNP independence poster on a lamppost in Cowdenbeath on the number 17 bus route to Kelty. Wullie then made the ridiculous precondition of refusing to support the Scottish budget, any Scottish budget, unless the SNP drop their commitment to independence. That’s like the SNP refusing to support some Lib Dem policy unless Wullie drops one of the defining and core policies of his party, like proportional representation for Westminister elections, or telling big fat lies during elections.

The Tories spent the budget debate harrumphing. Admittedly that’s what they do all the time anyway, so no great change there then. They’re taking a cue from the behaviour of their colleagues in the House of Commons, where the government’s policy in dealing with Scotland consists of braying loudly and shouting insults over the top of whatever it is that a non-Conservative Scottish MP wants to say. There’s that respect agenda for you, but the truth is that the only things that the Tories respect are the monarchy, landed estates, and hedge funds.

The Tories in Holyrood are upset that no one is thinking about those poor high earning motorists or disaster capitalists. It’s difficult for the Conservatives to work themselves into a lather about the underfunding of public services, because they want to privatise them all. That doesn’t stop them however. Not even although it’s a Conservative government in Westminster which ultimately holds the purse strings and so forces any Scottish government, irrespective of which party is in power in Holyrood, to pass on Tory austerity. If the Tories got their way there would be tuition fees, there would be a charge for prescriptions, no free primary school meals, no free care for the elderly, and parking charges at hospitals. That’s the same Tories who are now complaining about a small tax on large businesses who offer free parking to employees.

Murdo Fraser got very upset about the lack of consideration shown in the budget to his colleagues who own vast tracts of the Highlands. Murdo Fraser’s intervention caused hilarity, which is what Murdo is best known for, as MSPs pointed at the landowners and lairds sitting beside Murdo on the Tory benches. The SNP’s Roseanna Cunningham laughed so hard that she fell off her seat. Literally, not figuratively. But it was still an achievement for Murdo. The small bruise on Roseanna’s backside is the biggest political impression that Murdo has ever made.

Murdo was just the comedy warm up for the main comedic turn, which would be the Labour party in Scotland. Labour doesn’t want Scotland to control its own finances either, but that doesn’t stop them from insisting that the fixed budget of Holyrood is “SNP cuts”. Labour has fought tooth and nail to prevent Holyrood having substantial tax raising powers of its own. It has set its face against allowing Holyrood to have meaningful borrowing powers. It has fought for a Holyrood which is entirely financially dependent upon whatever Westminster chooses to allot to it, but it still insists that cuts to the Scottish budget are “SNP cuts”.

Prior to the debate, Labour’s deputy leader Alex Rowley had proposed to the SNP that Labour could support the budget provided there was a substantial increase in the funding for local authorities. The problems were twofold, firstly the proposed increase would mean a 3% reduction in every other aspect of the Scottish budget except the health budget – 3% off education, care for the elderly, mitigating the bedroom tax and all the rest. And secondly Alex hadn’t spoken to Richard Charisma Leonard about it, who slapped the overture down as soon as he heard about it. The very last thing Richard wants is anything that might deprive him of the chance to complain about how bad the SNP is.

Not that he had any proposals of his own. Labour wants an increase in the amount allocated to local authorities, which would indeed be grand. They’re just not willing to say how it should be paid for. This, remember, from a party that has done its utmost to restrict the ability of Holyrood to raise its own funds.

Not to be outdone, Neil Findlay managed to email his speech to everyone in Holyrood. Again. Some people shouldn’t be allowed near a keyboard, never mind entrusted with the power to change laws. You can’t budget for stupid.

The attitude of the British nationalist parties in Holyrood today is mirrored by their colleagues in Westminster. That’s why we’re getting the disaster of Brexit. But the good news is that unlike Westminster, the British nationalists are a minority in the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood was able to find a way forward. And for that small mercy we should be grateful.

In other news, pro-indy blogger Jason McCann has been targeted by the British nationalist media and smeared as an apologist for IRA violence. I have met Jason. We do not agree on everything, but I do know that he abhors violence. Jason is a Christian pacifist, the strongest and most defining characteristic of his politics is his commitment to non-violence. He is not now and never has been an advocate of violence in the pursuit of any political goal. He most categorically does not support a return to violence in Northern Ireland, nor does he glorify in, celebrate, or justify, the death of anyone, from any side, in the violence which has so tragically disfigured Northern Ireland in the past.

The words of Jason’s which were seized upon by the Daily Mail came from his attempt to explain to readers in Scotland how a breakdown of the Good Friday Agreement because of Brexit and the UK government’s pandering to the DUP would be perceived by hardline Irish republicans in Northern Ireland. His words were a warning of the risks of a return to violence, not as has been falsely claimed by the Daily Mail and other British nationalist media outlets in Scotland, an advocation or justification of a return to violence.

That same media is now attempting to use the comments made by Jason and taken out of context by the Daily Mail, that bastion of truth and balance, as an excuse with which to beat up the SNP. Calls are now being made for the SNP to “sever links” with Jason. He is not now and never has been a member of the SNP and has never sought to portray himself as a spokesperson for the SNP. There are no “links” to be severed.

The demonisation of Jason McCann is yet another instance of the desperation of a British nationalism which is threatened like it has never been threatened before – threatened by the shortcomings, failures, and inadequacies of a British state risking a no-deal Brexit. When we start taking the words of the Daily Mail as our moral arbiter, we’ve already lost.

Update, 8.15pm : It’s worse than I thought. The Scotsman has printed a piece about Jason in which it strongly implies that he is a Holocaust denier.  This is nothing less than grossly defamatory.  Jason not only fully accepts the historical reality of the Holocaust and does not dispute that the Nazis murdered millions of Jews, he has in fact published an academic paper examining the workings of the Nazi death machine.  His paper details how in one death camp alone, in the space of a few short months in 1944, the Nazis were responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of people from the Jewish population of Hungary.  It is entitled The Mechanics of Murder, the Systematic Murder of Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  The paper is online here



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37 comments on “Budgeting for stupid

  1. Andy says:

    Jason should sue the Hootsmon. Never mind a printed apology, nobody will ever find it once printed. Just sue the bastards. Money is the only thing these people understand and losing some will make them think again, and may even force them over the edge. Given their previous stance on Scottish democracy, that would be a good thing.

    • diabloandco says:

      Yes he should but it costs so much and that’s what the bastards rely on.

      • Craig says:

        Let’s start a crowdfund so Jason McCann can sue the barstewards…

      • Tony L says:

        He should consider crowdfunding. I’m sure he would find a lot of support among his followers and beyond.

        • Muscleguy says:

          Lots of folk on twitter telling him they will chip in. I’ll be in work for once on Monday so I can promise to chip in too. We did the Orkney 4 vs the Liar Alastair Carmichael, we did Andy Wightman and stand ready again for him. We did Alex Salmond, who won.

          The Rev Stu will help spread the word, we can suggest The National give it a mention and get the ball rolling. Jason is an academic and they are not well paid so I can see his reticence but he has been roundly and strongly defamed. I expect the Hootsmon will roll over once they see he has backing.

    • BigGingerCat says:

      Crowdfunding is great! It’s a chance to get back at the scunners. And it can work well if there’s a strong case and you’re up against idiots. The cookery writer Jack Monroe sued the appalling Katie Hopkins, won, and bankrupted her! Perhaps suing the paper could get the same result?

  2. Macart says:

    Willie Rennie’s finest and lowest hour. Attempting to blackmail a party of popular government. Using children’s education, mental health and local services as bargaining chips. Libdems living down to expectation. Just when you think you’ve seen how low politicians can get? Along comes another saying ‘hold my pint’.

    Greens intentionally or unintentionally cutting it close to the wire, but glad they came to an accommodation with the SG. How and ever, they gave an awful lot of people a nasty fright. Yes it is how politics is done, but it doesn’t do the punter in the street, (who doesn’t follow politics all that closely), any favours. It just frightens them or makes them angry. Something most folk don’t need right now. They’re worried sick enough about the future.

    The right wing media appear to be attempting to alienate the Scottish government by targeting indyweb bloggers.

    If anything screams worry, desperation and/or deflection…

    • Mumbles Fumbles Tumbles Bumbles and Rumbles; what a waste of air.
      Rennie seems to forget that it was his Yellow Tory pals who inflicted misery poverty and premature deaths on 100’s thousands of his fellow Scots citizens in Collaboration with the Blue Tories.
      Remember Carmichael the Mis-speaker, Cable the Post Office scam man, Danny ‘Hong Kong’ Alexander, and the power mad Yellow Tories, cutting half a million public service jobs, voting in the £32 billion in cuts to Welfare, pensions, disability payments, government services,the two child clause, the bedroom tax, the Rape Clause, Universal Credit, the 5% cut to the JK Rowlings of the Filthy Rich world’s taxes, which Rennie himself bragged about as a success in cutting England’s debt?
      How did that merciless slash and burn policy help the mental well being of Scots kids, Wullie?

      The Scottish Branch Office of the Yellow Tories are a wee huddle of five inert useless Hangers On, who have contributed nothing to further the well being or wealth of the people of Scotland, in fact quite the opposite, backing a WM Oligarchy which the UN has condemned as having been responsible for 120,000 premature deaths since 2010.

      This pointless little man actually believed that the SNP would abandon Independence because he demanded it?

      Of course not, he just opens his mouth and utter nonsense pours forth, every time.

      We have kids starving in Scotland because of his ‘precious (fucking) union’.

      Still as long as Cole Hamilton can rabbit on every now and again about that terrible Queensferry Crossing, and the ferries to Orkney run on time, it’s worth £6000 a week plus add-ons of our tax dollars for the Famous Five to sit in the chamber nodding off or supporting Murdo or Jackson their Blue Tory buddies every now and again.

      Seriously, is this little man the best the Yellow Tories can come up with to ‘lead’ the Puppet Show Up Here?

      I watched QT tonight.
      An almost exclusive white Brexit audience, blaming Europe.

      England is a strange and foreign land now, disintegrating before our very eyes.

      Not long now, Sam.

      Must rush to the supermarket tomorrow in case Kezia has bought up all the ‘cans’, that’s ‘tins’ to you and me, of low fat rice pudding.

      Fiona Bruce was well chosen.

      She invited me to phone and come along to QT in Motherwell next week.
      Is that all it takes? A phone call?
      Aye, right.
      England is lost.

  3. J R Tomlin says:

    No, the criticism was if they did not reach a compromise. They did. All I saw was that if they refused to reach a compromise, they would be cutting off their nose to spite their face. No one I know said they should not have their own agenda.

  4. A. Bruce says:

    If Jason decided to sue the Scotsman for defamation of character as I think he should, I and probably many more would contribute towards legal help.

  5. givinggoose says:

    The “British”man newspaper has a limited reach. Nutter Right wing extremists and snivelling proudscotbuts read it – all 10000 of them paying customers. The rest are freebies or line cat litter trays.
    The Mail specialises in confirmation bias to those seeking their daily fix of Britnattery, xenophobia and crawling royalty crap.
    I’ve not witnessed anyone below the age of 50 purchasing it. In fact, I don’t recall anyone below 60!

  6. panda paws says:

    I think we are seeing the beginnings of the nasty war and it will be waged on bloggers. British nationalists know that defamation actions are costly and they have deep pockets. They will twist words out of their context and call on the SNP to “sever links”. The SNP need to get tough and stop enabling smears. They should say they are unable to comment until they investigate further. Where people are not members, they should state that they have no control over private citizens. They should have a pile of Tory and Labour, many from elected members, online comments ready and state that since the press are interested in such comments here are more to investigate.

    Good luck to bloggers. Obviously this does not include those who actually are promulgating hate but I suspect most of those aren’t on the Yes side.

  7. Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
    This is only going to get worse. They are desperate. And campaigning with poison. We need to get off the starting blocks and hit back with such positive confident momentum they never catch up. Thank God we have you. For a while it has been easier to believe we can do it simply because we have so many brilliant writers and artists creating and exchanging…. Building up steam! Give the dug a hug from me.

  8. Brian Powell says:

    Who are the individuals at the Scotsman and other newspapers creating these stories? Same for the BBC, it would be useful for an insider to let folk know.

  9. Julia Gibb says:

    The Jason McCann case is a taste of what is to come. Every post, article and blog will be scoured looking for a phrase to take out of context and put in bold by the Unionist media.
    “The SNP should distance themselves…” will be the favoured catch all when they cannot find a direct link.
    I experienced the nasty unionist rage from 2011 to 2014 but it will be nothing compared to what is coming.
    As with Ireland (and every other part of the Empire) they will not accept self determination and their primary tools are fear and threat.
    Always remember that London cannot be trusted. Brexit is the latest example.
    The elite run the “country of London and it’s provinces”.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      The more they rage and show hate the easier independence support will rise as these actions seem to say they are not the majority at all but the losing minority remember how they bad mouthed Scotland at every turn and independence wenter from 29% to 51% which lead to the begging we love you Scotland bs then because all that failed the vow a Gibraltar style deal of every power but those of forigen affairs and defence that was ripped up the morning of the 19 it’s actions like that is why I say never trust the English.

      • Millsy says:

        ” never trust the English ” – I do trust the ordinary English people , it’s the WM elite and the shadowy figures behind them pulling the strings that we should distrust .
        Does anyone truly believe that Theresa May is autonomous – you almost see the hand behind her working her cadaverous mouth .

  10. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    I hope Jason sues the @rse off them. That man doesn’t deserve this, but it must show that he’s doing something right.

  11. Steve Mackie says:

    Dear Sir,
    It was with some consternation that I read your misnaming of the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland as ‘Richard Charisma Leonard’. As you should be well aware such slovenly journalism can leave readers with completely the wrong impression and I hope that in future you will see fit to use the man’s full name ‘Richard Charisma Bypass Leonard’ or if you really must abbreviate it ‘Dick’ will suffice.

    Yours in anger
    Humphrey Longbottom.

  12. I just don’t buy Scottish papers anymore apart from The National. Thanks for your timely reminder, WGD, that these alleged ‘news’-papers are a complete waste of my time & hard earned pennies. I can buy a bar of choclit instead. Love the new National Wee Ginger Dug on Soundcloud. Keep them coming. Hugs to Ginger, the bonnie lad.

  13. Andy Anderson says:

    Different topic.

    Institute of Directors stated today that 29% of U.K. businesses are to leave U.K. due to Brexit either in part or completely. Some have gone already. Another Conservative success story.

    • Millsy says:

      …but as long as the elite’s highly paid tax-avoidance/evasion lawyers are still here to minimise their contributions to GREAT Britain , it will have been a price worth paying ( well , they won’t be paying , but you get the drift , Yes ? )

  14. Andy Anderson says:

    I watched the budget debate. The word that summed it all up for me was ‘plonkers’ when referring to those MSP’s that are British Nationalists.

    Sorry to hear about the MI5 sponsored attack on Jason.

  15. Andy Anderson says:

    EU now thinks UK will ask an extension to June but is still likely to crash out of the EU with no deal.


  16. Jeggit says:

    I love you Paul! Thanks a million.

  17. farci says:

    Surprised you didn’t comment on the incisive contribution from James ‘Point of Order’ Kelly

  18. Brexit is Scotland’s saviour, don’t you just love it. The EU says Gibraltar is not a part of the UK and Spain has a claim to it, The UK Gov says, but, but, but, but …….. Now if the UK had voted to remain, then of course the EU would never have said this. The UK is officially still a member, but that fact didn’t stop the EU. Is this the start of payback time?
    The UK has been lucky in dealing with gentlemanly, mannerly and the very diplomatic Jean Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk. There are others, waiting in the wings, who are very different animals and will make their appearance at the changing of the guard in May. These new EU leaders, will not be so accommodating. The UK is a Third country when it leaves in March and the gloves will come off. Be it a No deal or May’s deal, they dont seem to realise it yet, but the UK is at the mercy of the EU. The new leaders of the EU elected in the May elections, will have made promises to their electorate and will now have no scruples about fleecing the UK for all they can get. These new leaders, will make Talleyrand, Bismarck and Mazarin seem like choirboys.
    The UK will be so desperate for a trade deal that the EU will have them over a barrel. Each EU member has a veto over any trade deal, the EU parliament has also a veto. This fact, hasn’t yet sunk into the Great British public. We hear, let’s just get on with it and get it finished. So far this has only been the withdrawal agreement negotiations, the actual Trade deal negotiations haven’t even started yet and may go on for years. So there’s no way of escaping Brexit, or the repercussions for England.
    The Brexeters blithely say, we’ll just fall back onto WTO rules if it’s a No deal. They would struggle to name one WTO rule. Some of the Brexeters say that the UK won’t have to pay the £39 billion the UK have already agreed to pay. The EU is also a WTO member who would veto the UK’s membership, if they try and pull a stunt like that. Waiting in the WTO also, are countries who have real grudges against the UK going back centuries. There are already objections to the UK demands. Argentina are licking its chops at the thought of grabbing the Falklands in return for a UK trade deal with Mercosur. Britain brought both pain and suffering to many countries of the world. The UK murdered and stole from India, Pakistan and China. This is their chance to rub British noses in it. They will demand free movement, or something very similar for their citizens. America and Trump? Goodbye NHS. Libya, Iraq, Iran, Syria they’re just waiting for the chance to screw the UK. Russia has just become a member of the WTO after 18 years of negotiations. We can only imagine what the Russians have in store for the UK, after the Skripal business.
    Back to Europe. What will individual countries want not to veto any trade deal.
    Off the top of my head. Greece- Honda plant, Elgin marbles. Spain-Gibraltar and fish. France- Banking, fish and services. Irish- they’re scooping up most things already but, banking, services and grovelling apologies for Irish potato famine and the murdering Black and Tans. Poland – The Nissan plant. Germany – banking, services and grovelling apology for Hamburg and Dresden. You get the idea.
    Now we come to an independent Scotland in the EU. Refund of £2 trillion from oil, used as collateral for UK borrowing, being taken without our permission. £10 billion a year for the storage of their rotten, leaky, toxic underwater tubs at Faslane and Rosythe. The sum rising exponentially, if they overrun the end leaving date. The English based Toyota plant. A grovelling apology for the Highland clearances and for all the wars they have dragged us into.
    It is now EU law, that Gibraltar is a UK colony and Spain has a claim to it. It is not a part of the UK. That’s that. If the UK is trapped in the backstop, it has to follow EU law. After a No Deal, they will also have no option, but to follow EU law to gain any sort of desperate deal.
    Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how this advantageous to Scotland. The EU, if it is so minded, can pass a law that says Scotland must have a Referendum, overseen and monitored by the EU. Pass the popcorn please.

  19. Electric blue says:

    Thank you for trying to combat the lies of the MSM and keep the truth out there.

  20. Iain says:

    The hapless dopey behaviour of people like Kelly, Findlay, Wells, Briggs and the Liberals – to name but a few – raise three questions.
    1. Are they try to suggest to the public that the level of politician is Scotland is so poor that the country could not possibly govern itself?
    2. Are they genuinely the best that their parties could scrape together?
    3. Are they secret pro-independence sleepers and moles, working from with the London parties to subvert and destroy them?

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