Inflated Profit

I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year;  who knows what this year will bring forth, but we start with 48 seats in Westminster, something we must learn to live with.  The Unionist camp, whose name is legion, mutters and grumbles at us only getting 45% of the votes cast as we did get 80% of the seats.  However these are their rules, not ours, or to phrase it correctly a win is a win is a win.

I had an odd experience this morning; I was renewing my car insurance.  I did this at the weekend but had to telephone the current insurer and cancel the renewal premium they had advised.  The young lady asked what premium I was leaving them for, so then she attempted to dissuade me from this;  she offered to take £150.00 off their current quote, but I refused, as the quote I had accepted was £250.00 under their one.

Just think of this for a minute or two;  the insurers would still be making a profit after giving me a discount of £150.00, so how much does the true insurance cost? And, also more worryingly – how many quotes for other things can be trusted?  I always check insurance costs, house, car etc against the previous year and work out the percentage increase before I call. Invariably the price gets reduced but I have never seen a bigger reduction than this one,

 “Ask and ye shall receive” but Insurers do not do charity😊

Brexit

Boris Johnston is cock a hoop at getting Brexit through;  his bill was even worse than Theresa May’s, but his slogan was “Get Brexit Done” and he is basking in the glow of  the three little words.  The luckless ones, which include us, are now going to go through at least a year, for starters, as all the small print is going to be looked at and negotiated, borders are going to be crossed, or ignored, and the electorate will be howling with frustration;  Mr Plantagenet   (He bears a close relation to Edward 1st of that ilk) will come up with simple answers   and blame every slight wobble on the EU.  He was the type who used a broad brush, but forgot about the paint.  A lot of bugs will come out of the woodwork.

What has occurred on the political front is astounding; who could ever have imagined the complete collapse of Labour?  This does not suit democracy well nor the SNP in particular.  We hoped at least for a hung Parliament so that we would have some room to push the case for Independence, but an overwhelmingly Tory majority will dim those hopes, so no room for compromise.  The Liberal Democrats also collapsed, the long term effect of going into coalition with the Tories, but we did not expect Labour to go the same way. I do not have any criticism of Nicola Sturgeon’s applause when Amy Callahan won Jo Swinson’s seat – cheerful exuberance is always good.

I do not think Jeremy Corbyn is a bad person, and he performed reasonably well against Theresa May, but was blown away by Mr Plantagenet’s hyperbole.  However, as the fancy words have to be backed up by realistic action we’ll see how that plays out.

Just think, when the SNP came to power in 2007, courtesy of the alert observation by Dave Thompson – who could have expected that – not the Returning Officer for Highland Region any way! In any event, Alex Salmond thought that he would be supported by the LibDems, who after all had been in cahoots with the Labour Party since the Scottish Parliament was founded. To general consternation, the LibDems refused to even speak to the SNP unless they gave up the base of their belief – Scottish Independence – such arrogance!

The LibDems in Westminster then gave up their sacred principle, Tuition Fees, engraved, on a sheet of cardboard (how appropriate) which looked like stone, so they expected duplicity to be a normal political principle;  they also expected the SNP administration  would only  last for a few weeks; it lasted 4 years!  At the end of that time the opinion polls did not look good or us, and I spent the last few days of our time in office going around to say Farewell to many MSPs who I did not expect to see again.

After the Parliament term ended the Manifesto was launched in Glasgow, and I went through to see that.  When I got home I told my wife “I have never seen so many cases of Candidate’s Disease in my life – they’re all going to win!”  And they did, and ushered in what was not meant to happen. The d’hote voting system was designed to ensure that the SNP could not get a majority at Holyrood – and it did! This is not an exaggeration, but the truth.

Admitted by Jim Craigen, retired Labour MP writing in the Coop News – he requested the use of the Yellow map for them – I gave him it.

Iain Duncan Smith

Politicians, non Tories that is, were aghast to see the above MP given a knighthood;  the man who personified austerity.

It is not a seat in the House of Losers, as he remains in the Commons.  Being unfamiliar with many knights I checked my PC and came up with this “A knight was a man who knew and understood the games of courtly love and also fulfilled services and duties of war”.  Well this particular knight certainly declared war on the sick, the poor and the dispossessed.

Referendum

Who knows if there will be a referendum this year;  on  a personal note I think it is unlikely as we perhaps need a wee break from politics.  It is a bit sad for me as at the age of 85 my options are getting a bit closed down, but independence will grant no privileges to me, 85 again!  However I have two sons, four grandchildren and now a great granddaughter, so a much better future for them.  I recall in 2011 the SI printed many 4 page SIs for that Election, and on the frontpage  was an article by Joan McAlpine with the sub headline “Don’t vote Labour for your parents, vote SNP for your children”; I know that one MSP was elected because in the last week of the campaign they put out 30,000 of them – I was told that by the MSP and his Election Agent on the day after the Election.

Odd items

Casting my mindback to the 2014 Referendum I recall knocking on one door with a Green campaigner, and the voter was a cautious , courteous chap; he asked me if I had seen George Galloway on TV the night before (Galloway was talking to a younger audience) and I said Yes.  The man pondered, then said “F****** arsehole!”.  We made no reply;  I do not know what brought that event to mind, but it registered with me.  On another occasion we knocked a door in Carricknowe and the resident came down the stairs – bunnet on, fag in mouth, tattooed arms and I thought “Oh Oh”.

When we asked what he thought about Independence on a scale of 1 Against to 10 For- he said “20” – appearances can be deceptive.  In that Referendum people wanted to talk and asked questions, the best canvassing experiences I ever had.

Cowdenbeath

You may note that I refer to the SNP winning 48 seats, and not 47 as per the official record, I ignore that.  The candidate certainly did make racist remarks, on Twitter, which is instant reaction without thought and happening daily, even hourly, by people speaking “off the cuff” you will get all sorts of reaction.  I knowingly voted for a candidate I disapproved of, but gritted my teeth as I was not prepared to vote against the SNP nor abstain – the candidate lost.  When the constituency decided to dump our SNP MSP, I told them they were rolling out a red carpet for the Liberals, but they continued.

Anyway I hope that our Cowdenbeath MP is returned to the fold – I have a soft spot for Cowdenbeath, my mother had a sister there and we spent our holidays there – as folk did in my young days; it was also a part of Central Fife, a constituency I stood in in 1979.  In that General Election the SNP fought all 73 seats, and only saved 19 deposits – mine was one of them.