Happy New Year

What did you think of President Trump’s New Year gift to the world? Don’t know about you but I am holding my breath. Meanwhile, despite quotes from our Prime Minister, has he been seen?  Seems to be a pattern here of world leaders who think they can ignore what is happening to their people so long as they are leading the life they want. Imagine the Australian Prime Minister even thinking he could go off on an exotic holiday while his Country burns? The true heroes of the Australian situation are those who are helping each other. I simply cannot watch the carnage that is happening over there. It will take centuries to recover in the ways that really matter.

Anyway, back to home. People at local level are shouting at the Scottish government to increase funding in all sorts of areas to prevent their services going under. There is one big problem and that is what I call the pocket money syndrome. Scotland’s budget is determined in size by what the UK budget is. The UK budget was delayed due an election being called. Apparently, this was not due to the Tories calling a general election I heard today. It is because the SNP would not support Brexit and this forced the UK Government into calling an election. Always a twist in the story to blame the SNP.

So, no Scottish budget can be set till the UK one is set. This cannot be done till we get Brexit done and the proposed budget date for now is going to the 11th March. One presumes this will only happen if we get Brexit by 31st January as promised by the Prime Minister. If no Brexit by then, no budget? Do we go bust?

Interesting comment by Deirdre Brock today after an answer to a question she asked about Fishery Protection There’s another cost to Scotland from the Tories’ mad dash to Brexit – The Scottish Government will have to find the extra resources for fisheries protection duties because the UK Government wanted to “take back control”

This was in response to the part of the reply from George Eustice that said As fisheries management is a devolved matter it is for the devolved administrations to decide on appropriate levels of fisheries control and enforcement provision in their waters. However, we continue to work closely with the devolved enforcement across UK waters.

And that will just be the first of the added costs to devolved administrations because UK (England) wanted “to take back control.”

The UK government looks like following form and making our case for independence for us. A wee word of warning though to those social media warriors. I saw a few attempts over the holiday period at trying to get independence supporters at each other’s throats. Remember all the pro-independence groups have their part to play but some of them should stick to the remit they set themselves. We should do what we can and what we are able for and respect others for what they are able to do. I sincerely hope that the rally in Glasgow on Saturday is everything that it is hoped to be. For us, logistics just do not make it viable. Depending on road conditions etc, it would add 2 – 3 hours onto the journey of someone coming from Inverness or Aberdeen. We are not fit for this anymore and have too many commitments either side of the date to do a stay over. We will be on the next one we can make though.

I was really pleased the other day to see a yes stone propped up on the signpost to Spey Bay on the roundabout at Fochabers. Fair cheered me up. Like I say, all parts, great or small help to keep up the spirits of everyone in the cause. Onwards.