Wendy sheds another Aide


Yet again one of Wendy Alexander’s aides has had to quit. She really seems to pick them. With stories like this and this, another piece of what looks like misjudgment, will no doubt cast more shadows over Labours ever darkening days in Scotland.

The Mail has the following story

A Labour Party official has quit his post after apparently directing a four-letter insult at a senior politician during a glitzy awards ceremony.

Matthew Marr is said to have uttered the insult about Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond as the SNP leader was named Scotland’s Politician of the Year.

It is also believed that he became involved in an argument with a female Member of the Scottish Parliament and was abusive to a cloakroom supervisor during Thursday’s event at the Prestonfield House hotel in Edinburgh.

Mr Marr, spokesman for Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander, had been in his post for just two months.

Labour is obviously still smarting after its reign of power ended in Scotland.

Labour aide quits ‘over four letter’ slur | the Daily Mail

Why you should read PoliticalBetting.com

If you have to use only one site to understand Politics then Political Betting should be it. Where else do you get such gems as this comparison of Blair’s government to a Porno Flick:

75. Unfortunately, I kind of agree with you. Having read the Campbell diaries, the equivalent of the Redwood stunt – getting, say, Dennis Skinner to talk about the future of coalmining – would have been squashed before it was born by Campbell, Mandelson, et al.

Where I probably depart from you is my overall analysis of the Campbell book and what it means. Yes, it’s very readable – witty and brisk – and an invaluable insight into British politics and New Labour thinking.

But it is deeply, deeply unflattering about New Labour, probably much more than Campbell realised. It is inadvertently revealing.

Blair comes across as psychotically selfish. Campbell glum and punchy. Mandelson seems insecure to the point of hospitalisation. Brown is an unpalatable figure brooding on the edges.

Their entire philosophy is to screw the Tories and make good headlines. Principles are way down the list. The atmosphere is tawdry and bleak, albeit oddly watchable. Like a cheap porn flick.

Indeed, that’s what Blair etc come across as Porno stars in the sordid skinflick of politics.

Blair is Johnny ‘the wad’ Holmes, obsessed with his manhood. Campbell is ‘King Dong’. Mandelson is Tracy Lords, constantly being shafted, and Brown is the bizarre German bloke with the weird haircut who comes in at the end for the money shot. (SeanT)

Aviemore – Where politics is left out in the cold


As a long time visitor to Aviemore, my wife came from there, I thought this might interest herself. I love the area that Aviemore is in , but the village/town that it has become is not so great now for the residents. Much of the new money has been to provide expensive facilities purely for the guests with little regard for the growing number of residents. A good quote from the article is as follows.

There should be more stuff for the kids. They are being left on their own to get on with things and that is not good enough. There is a lot for tourists but nothing for the people who live here most of the time

Maybe it’s just because it’s growing so fast but to my mind the place has lost it’s soul and character.

Where politics is left out in the cold

NAO attacks UK.gov £13.3bn savings claim

Joined up Government! Just about what you would expect from Labour.
Love the point where they say they can save 105 million but have already spent 106 million on Consultants!

For example, only four of ten central government departments had subtracted the cost of finding cost savings from the actual savings claimed. The Public and Commercial Services Union, which has fought job cuts across the public sector, noted that HM Revenue and Customs had found it could save £105 million with job cuts after it spent £106 million on consultants. The NAO urges government auditors and the like ought to challenge departments’ claims more vehemently to avoid being fobbed off.

NAO attacks UK.gov £13.3bn savings claim | The Register

Dirty work at the Green Crossroads – Maybe?


An interesting blog article but can it be believed? On both sides of the Global Warming are big Money and Countries. One quote below says that some of the figures are well out.

Figures in the final draft of the UN’s fourth five-year report on climate change show that the previous report, in 2001, had overestimated the human influence on the climate since the Industrial Revolution by at least one-third. Also, the UN, in its 2007 report, has more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches. It suggests that the rate of sea-level rise is up from 2mm/yr to 3mm/year – no more than one foot in a century. UN scientists faced several problems their computer models had not predicted. Globally, temperature is not rising at all, and sea level is not rising anything like as fast as had been forecast. Concentrations of methane in the air are actually falling…

Another view of the report is taken from some comments on the PB.Com website from Colm

While most of the article can be dismissed as selective quoting and spin (I’ll back that up in a longer post if necessary), the quote from the appendix about changing scientific content is disturbing. However, it is for the opposite reason that Monckton/Phillips contend.

The IPCC have decided to try to keep everyone on board, including governments with a vested interest in down-playing climate change (oil-rich nations and the USA). It’s harder to argue that any government has a strong vested interest in talking up climate change. By its nature it’s already a conservative report (in order to keep almost the entire scientific community on board) and this only increases that effect. The USA more or less has power of veto on statements it particularly dislikes.

Is it worth changing scientific content in this way (even if the changes are generally more of emphasis rather than factual) to be a truly global report? I can see the argument, but as a scientist, I would say definitely not. There’s no excuse for the spin Monckton/Phillips have put on it though.

So there it is Global Warming – As clear as Mud.

Melanie Phillips’s Diary » Dirty work at the green crossroads

Big shake-up for maternity care


Dr Crippen has a few modest words to say on the following article.

Living in a rural area any dumbing down of the current facilities is not what we would like. Getting to the nearest large Maternity Hospital today would have taken over an hour in a car and more in an ambulance with the snow/ice on the roads. Our second son , Malcolm, arrived about 30 minutes after my wife said its time to go. Luckily we lived only 5 minutes from the hospital.

BBC NEWS | Health | Big shake-up for maternity care

Science lab demonstration to highlight danger of smoking banned in schools


Only we could manage to ban this and then to accept the ban. If this was anywhere else we would just ignore the ban when it was applied stupidly. Common sense dictates that this would be a good idea so why go along with it.
The Scotsman – Science lab demonstration to highlight danger of smoking banned in schools

The Scotsman – BNP to get £670,000 from taxpayers to fund campaign


Giving these scum any money is bad enough but when they are exploiting loopholes in the law it is a disgrace.
Lets do what we can to ensure they don’t do this again by sending them homewards with the minimum of votes. Vote anybody but BNP, please.

The Scotsman – BNP to get £670,000 from taxpayers to fund campaign