What a difference a day makes

When I started this yesterday I should have qualified it by stating how things changed rapidly when in a General Election.

I ended up commenting on how hectoring Andrew Neil was to Nicola Sturgeon, talking over her, not listening to answers and generally being more obnoxious than he used to be – or am I just being forgetful? However the next day he did the same to Jeremy Corbyn; Mr Corbyn, like Nicola, kept a calm sough and did not shout back. I wait to see with interest how he behaves against his beloved Boris.

To my wife’s great astonishment I did not watch the Leaders’ Debate on Question Time last Friday. We have two TVs and I chose to sit on a hard chair in the kitchen and watch football. Not any Old Firm game, or any offerings from England’s super league. I watched Linlithgow Rose v Falkirk in the Scottish Cup.

The final score was Falkirk 4 Linlithgow 1; it was good to watch, so I chose enjoyment over illumination. Come to think of it I never get much illumination from the BBC anyway.

We tried to Video the Leaders’ Debate but that did not work; my impression from the Press in general was : a) Boris Johnson is a light hearted liar, b) Jeremy Corbyn is a good man but vague on Scottish Independence c) Jo Swinson is fullof her own importance and d) Nicola Sturgeon was her usual straightforward and unflappable self.

My views have not changed, so my decision to choose entertainment over irritation was justified.

I must confess I am baffled by Jo Swinson’s attitude; she keeps saying she will be the next Prime Minister, but with around 20 seats I cannot see where she will get another 300 from. Maybe she thinks if she holds the balance of power Boris Johnson will buy her off by letting her be Prime Minister, but that’s beyond fantasy!

Liberal judgement has always been suspect; when the SNP took power in the Scottish Parliament in 2007, Alex Salmond expected a coalition of sorts with the Liberals; after all they had been in cahoots with Labour for the first two Parliaments. They refused to even speak to the SNP unless we categorically abandoned Independence! What arrogance, and also how flexible their “principles” must be if they treat them like that?

They thought they were on a winner, and would pick up again with Labour when the SNP government would collapse – within weeks! The SNP Government lasted for the full length of the Parliamentary session – only losing one Budget vote. This was hurriedly cancelled by the Labour Party when local government went mad as money was cut! At the next General Election they paraded around with a ‘Stone’ on which “No student tuition fees” was engraved.

Gordon Brown lost the 2010 General Election, but could have survived with a coalition, this would have included SNP MPs – so no dice. The Liberals went into cahoots with the Tories- “I agree with Nick” – and the student fee problem just vanished. Jo Swinson was a Junior Minister in that Government.

Leading up to the 2011 Scottish Elections the opinion polls were showing Labour with a commanding lead, and before Voting Day I went round the Scottish Parliament saying farewell to many of our MSPs who were not expected to be re-elected. I went to the SNP Manifesto Launch in Glasgow and when I came home told my wife “I’ve just seen more cases of Candidate’s disease than I ever have – they are all going to get elected!” And blow me, they did!

I cannot remember how many Liberals were left, but just a handful, and the SNP had done the impossible, got a majority in the Scottish Parliament that the d’hote voting system had been specifically constructed to prevent.

From this flowed the 2014 Referendum, which just started to show a victory for Independence, but a last minute surge of Unionist Ministers flown up to Edinburgh turned the tables on Scotland. When we lost the Referendum, the very next morning the Tory Prime Minister spoke in Downing Street and made every Scottish MP second class. That was their reward – English votes for English laws!

Oh and just by the way, Jo Swinson would be prepared to press the nuclear button – she said it; perhaps a lot of her constituents work at Faslane, not a million miles from East Dunbartonshire; she would be reasonably safe, her place of work is Westminster and I think she has a home down there as well – wonder where the weans are?

Get it done

As far as I can see the only clear message from our current Prime Minister about Brexit is “Get it done!” He is conning everyone to get a move on and let Brexit take place – a mere formality; there is no hint that the UK will be put under severe pressure with changes to boundaries, citizenship and rules of entry. Just re-elect him and everything will be airy-fairy, lovey-dovey. Simple. I can almost hear Ann Shelton singing “There’ll be blue birds over the white cliffs of Dover – Tomorrow just you wait and see”. Younger readers, ie not my generation, will be unfamiliar with that song which was popular during the Second World War. (Perhaps it was Vera Lynn – check Foyle’s War).

We will all go through the most awkward, complicated rigmarole and this will be still going on long after I am dead and buried (or burnt as the case might be) so no sweat as far as I am concerned, but I have two sons, four grand children and one great grandchild, so I am really worried at the mess they will be left with.

And the UK needn’t look to other countries to help us out of this mess; During the Second World War America was very reluctant to get involved; they had suffered severe losses in the First World War and had said “Never again”. Then came Pearl Harbour and Japan declared war on America; there were hints that Churchill knew about the Japanese plan but did not notify the Americans because we needed them as we were losing the war. So far all we had were ships and vehicles, to be paid for at the end of the war under Lend Lease.

No one has expressed any desire to ask Donald Trump for help, but we don’t want to hand over the NHS -well perhaps Boris Johnson does – he says No but is also known to lie.