With the whole of Westminster raising the problems in the NHS there are so many components being argued about.  But the main problem is lack of staff.  We could solve it by attracting back EU trained staff, but would they feel welcomed or just used.  They have already uprooted their families and their lives because of the uncertainties of Brexit, why would they risk coming back when they no longer have the security of the EU behind them. There is also the fact that having used them for cheap labour for years, why should they tolerate the abuse for our benefit.  There are so manyRead More →

We went into the festive break with NHS workers, teachers and rail staff at the end of their tether. All the UK government would say was that they won’t talk about pay. Pay was not that high on the workers agenda. They wanted to talk about working conditions, understaffing and work practice changes that would endanger staff and service users. Nothing given. We come back from the festive break to the UK government putting legislation forward that was intended to make striking more difficult and resulting in staff being sacked. There was no need for this to happen. The unions and the local authorities alreadyRead More →

Well, whatever history may record about 2022, it certainly hasn’t been boring. We’ve had just about everything mankind can throw at itself from continuing to destroy our planet, war and chronic tory masochism. With a side dish of misogyny thrown in. Many of you may have watched the Netflix series of self-justification from the couple who want away from the Royal Family crap, oh except for the titles and maybe some taxpayer funded protection when they visit. Personally, I had about as much interest as I had in watching the proverbial paint dry. But, just when I thought it had vanished from the public eye,Read More →

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, “How the UK Became One Of The Poorest Countries in Western Europe”*, Derek Thomson wrote ” When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it hit hard, smashing the engine of Britain’s economic ascent. Wary of rising deficits, the British government pursued a policy of austerity, fretting about debt rather than productivity or aggregate demand. The results were disastrous. Real wages fell for six straight years. Facing what the writer Fintan O’Toole called “the dull anxiety of declining living standards,” conservative pols sniffed out a bogeyman to blame for this slow-motion catastrophe. They served up to anxious voters a menu of scary outsiders:Read More →

The youngest had texted me and told me she had something really funny to show me when I got home from work.  As soon as I saw it, I recognised the writing and knew exactly what it was.  She had been intrigued to find a hand written unstamped letter but puzzled why it had come with the post.  As it was addressed to “Dear neighbour” she had theorised that she was quite within her rights to open it and found a lovely Christmas card and a handwritten letter.  Turning it over she found that it was from the Liberal Democrats and the letter from ourRead More →

Yougov joined three other pollsters this week in showing majority support for Scottish independence. The run of polls putting Yes in the lead have confounded unionists who made the mistake of thinking preventing a referendum was the same thing as winning one.  The Supreme Court’s decision underpinned the fundamental problem with the UK – namely that there is a gross imbalance in power between its constituent parts. The largest outvotes, over rules and ignores the rest. If we needed any clearer evidence of that then the Supreme Court couldn’t have done a better job in providing it.  Yet, some pro indy supporters remain frustrated thatRead More →

So Gordon Brown has risen to the surface yet again.  Bless his wee cotton socks, for “making the UK work for Scotland and the Scottish people.”  He had years to make Labour work for Scotland and all who live and work here, but failed.  So why does Gogs think he has all the answers?  Well it could be he has fallen out of love with Right Wing politics, or possibly a little envious of Nicola Sturgeon’s popularity, or just maybe, he’s seen the light as far as the little idea called Independence just might be not just a ritual chant by the pesky Nats, butRead More →

Last Sunday we attended the yearly service and change of Saltire at Athelstaneford. Well, it had been a yearly service until Covid restricted people’s movements and ability to gather. Behind the Church in the village is the Doocot that was converted into The Flag Heritage Centre. It tells the story of the flag of Scotland through film and story. It has become a popular tourist destination with both people from abroad, and those from home. The pictures show you the floodlit Saltire memorial which sits in the front of the church, next to the main road. Haddington Pipe Band entertained the gathering for around halfRead More →

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, “How the UK Became One Of The Poorest Countries in Western Europe”*, Derek Thomson wrote ” When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it hit hard, smashing the engine of Britain’s economic ascent. Wary of rising deficits, the British government pursued a policy of austerity, fretting about debt rather than productivity or aggregate demand. The results were disastrous. Real wages fell for six straight years. Facing what the writer Fintan O’Toole called “the dull anxiety of declining living standards,” conservative pols sniffed out a bogeyman to blame for this slow-motion catastrophe. They served up to anxious voters a menu of scaryRead More →

An article appeared in the local press recently about the council mooting an idea for reducing the size of the general waste bins for households by almost half.  Currently larger households and those with certain medical needs have an increased bin capacity and smaller households have a smaller one; this proposal would see all households reduce to the size of the small households.  The pros were that it would encourage householders to increase their recycling rate and be more careful with what they recycle as they would not be able to just chuck it in the bin like it is currently presumed they do.  TheRead More →