UKIPs Botched Scottish Government replacement.

I asked the AWOL UKIP Scottish leader David Coburn a few basic questions about the party’s newly hatched policy on abolishing the Scottish Parliament. That’s the same policy he vigorously opposed in the past but now loves like a first born child.

I had no reply but Calum Walker, chairman of UKIP Scotland, told me he would answer “to the best of my ability”. Sorry, Calum, but the best of your ability would get you laughed out of a high school Modern Studies class.

I’m going to go through this pretty much line by line.

I asked “Would devolution be scrapped? “

Calum told me: “The Scotland Act would be repealed disbanding the Scottish Parliament and Government, and returning us to where we were in 1997. This would mean that some of the powers devolved in the most recent Scotland Acts would return to the UK Parliament, such as tax and welfare.”

No, Calum, not “some of the powers” that’s ALL of the powers. There was no devolution in 1997. The Scotland Act is dated 1998 and devolution did not take effect until 1999.

Calum says: “There has, of course, always been a certain degree of autonomy with some institutions like the legal system in Scots Law.”

Did you get that? “A certain degree of autonomy” The total independence of Scots Law is in the Act of Union, Calum, the actual Act of actual Union, the founding document of the United Kingdom we are supposed to care so much about.

Calum also lists education and NHS Scotland as branches of administration with “a certain degree of autonomy.”

And he adds: “These secondary legislative powers would return to the Grand Scottish Committee, the Scotland Office and other departments.”

Poor Calum. Clearly nobody ever told him that it’s better to stay silent and let people think you’re an idiot rather than open your mouth to confirm it.

Just throwing fancy technical terms up in the air and seeing where they land does not make a policy and the poor lad clearly has not a clue what “secondary legislation” means.

If he had spent as much as 30 seconds looking at the House of Commons website he could have found out so, in the spirit of friendship, I’ve Googled that for him.

“Secondary, or delegated, legislation is used to add information or make changes to an existing Act of Parliament (primary legislation). Normally, this can only happen if the Act itself states that changes can be made to it in this way.

Secondary legislation allows the Government to make a small change to the law without having to introduce an entirely new Bill to Parliament. This might be done for a variety of reasons: from adjusting a figure to take account of inflation to updating the law in light of events.

For example, in response to new information about the dangers of using ‘legal highs’, the Coalition Government used delegated legislation to add new substances to the list of those banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.”

Now, if you know how that applies to framing new Scots Law or changing Scottish Education, you’re a better lawyer than I am.

To move on, I asked how many representatives would replace the current crop of MSPs.

Calum said: “Where the Scottish Office and Grand Committee was replaced by the MSPs, the MSPs will be replaced by the Grand Committee of MPs.”

First of all, the Scottish Office has never been replaced. It still exists. The Scottish Grand Committee has never been abolished. It’s functions were never taken over by MSPs or anybody else – because it has none. It never produced a single piece of legislation, never has, never will.

Calum says: “The Scottish Grand Committe is comprised of all Scottish MPs (hurrah! He got that right! ) and would be responsible for debating Bills that only imply (sic) to Scotland and scrutiny of the Scottish civil service/bureaucracy.

“Rather than having the Scottish Office act as the executive as it has previously, I think it would be more appropriate to have a cross bench executive committee styled on the ‘lords of articles’ of the old Parliament of Scotland.”

Are you following this? The Scottish Office is a department of government, staffed by government Ministers. That means we have a Conservative Secretary of State because we have a Conservative Government although he is one of only 13 Scottish Conservative MPs.

Under Calum’s plan, the Government won’t govern Scotland, it will be “a cross bench executive”.

More big words. A “cross bencher” is a neutral, non-party member of the House of Lords. There are no neutral, non-party MPs. Let’s assume he means “all party”.

So we would have an all party group running things. Labour, Tory, Lib Dem and SNP. They’ll get on like a house on fire. But what are they running since devolution has been abolished? Could they, for example, make prescriptions free in Scotland when they are charged for in England? Since health is no longer devolved, presumably we would have the same system across the UK. Could they vary taxation in Scotland now that nothing is devolved? Obviously not, so what are they doing?

Calum adds that the activities of the Grand Committee “could be debated and voted on by the House of Commons and House of Lords.”

Whoa! Hold on! We’ve got a cuddly, fluffy, all party group of Scottish MPs deciding who knows what for Scotland but their decisions could then be voted on by the Commons and the Lords.

Let’s imagine the Tories were outvoted by everybody else on the Scottish Grand Committee. What do you think would happen when that decision came back to the whole of the Commons? Is it just possible the Government might kick it out?

Now we already know that all Scottish MPs are on the Grand Committee But Calum says “Sub-committee selection would be a matter of Parliamentary procedure.”

Presumably that means the “cross bench executive” would be selected under Parliamentary procedure too.

Well, let’s take a look at the current Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster. There the SNP, who have more than half of all Scottish MPs, get three seats. The Tories, who have roughly a quarter of Scottish MPs, get four seats, because they are the government . Labour, who won seven seats, half as many as the Tories, get three places on the committee. Add in the Lib Dems and that means the SNP – the Scottish majority- are easily outvoted by everybody else.

Not that it matters because, remember, whatever the “cross bench executive” decides, it’s going to be voted on by the Commons anyway and the Government will get its way.

This is embarrassingly bad. It’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along mince. Put that in a manifesto and it would be torn up for confetti in the first Press conference. God help Calum or anybody else who had to go on TV to defend this ill-informed, juvenile, contradictory rubbish.

You want to know why UKIP isn’t taken seriously as a political force? This is why. We cannot expect to present this dog’s breakfast as a policy without being laughed at. We have to show the voters some respect.

Have another go, Calum. At least you still have the other side of the fag packet to write on.

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The Final Curtain

As some of you may know, I have announced that I will not be seeking re-election as chair of the West of Scotland branch at our AGM on March 10. I won’t resign and leave the post vacant but, after that meeting, my connection with the party will be over.

After many years of effort, working hard behind the scenes and carrying the flag as a candidate in one no-hope election after another, I am utterly disillusioned.

So many people have worked so hard for the party but I have grown increasingly dIsappointed over the past 6 months.

I’ve met some great people. I’ve met some truly awful people. I’ve seen committed people who have worked in the party for years, facing up to ridicule and antagonism for what they believe, badly let down by our leaders. We are standing on the brink of bankruptcy because of the libellous comments of an MEP who should have known better and because of the misguided decision of the leadership to fund her court case.

We have become a national laughing stock because of the ridiculous antics of our leader Henry Bolton who went on TV with his mistress to humiliate himself again only this morning.

In Scotland the party leader we struggled so hard to get elected has vanished from the scene. He’s gone AWOL for a year, choosing to make speeches to strange groups of far-right Frenchmen in French rather than speak English to Ukippers in Troon.

The top team who won that election victory has shattered. There’s just one man left standing and the others have all gone. Some were sacked, some just left, others defected to the Tories and one just avoided jail.

The office in Edinburgh has shut down. We have no visible presence and we are missing the bus as we fail to draw the thousands of Scots who voted for Brexit to our cause.

The Tories are well ahead, taking over from Labour as the voice of Opposition to the SNP.

Whilst we are fighting amongst ourselves they are organising, selecting candidates and preparing for government. If you are like me, you must know of many friends and colleagues who have gone over to the Conservatives. The Tories are enjoying a boom as we bleed to death.

Only a few weeks ago, Arron Banks read the last rites over UKIP, warning that the party has done its duty and served its purpose. He says now is the time for thousands of UKIP members to infiltrate the Conservatives en masse and seize control of the party to secure the Brexit we voted for, he’s almost right. Working alongside those eurosceptic Tories that want to see what we the British people voted for delivered on Brexit will be my focus for the foreseeable future.

Go Well

Loss of man

Have you missed me, darlings? You might have noticed that my earlier prediction about a police report on a top politician has come to pass and Alex Rowley has been forced to step down as acting Scottish Labour leader. Don’t ever say Caroline doesn’t have her finger on the pulse.

Anyway, I’ve been far too busy to blog recently. Which brings me to the topic I want to discuss today – men.

You know I like men. I like them, I enjoy them, they make me happy but there’s something wrong with them.

In case you haven’t noticed, our men are killing themselves.

An official report on suicides in Scotland, published earlier this month says that from 2009-2015, 5,119 people killed themselves in Scotland and three out of four were men.

To put that into context, last year 473 people in Scotland died of a heroin overdose. Broadly speaking drugs kill about half as many people as suicide but we don’t have a “war on suicide”. We don’t have a huge national effort to stamp out suicide. We don’t employ the Navy and the customs service, the police and the courts all actively beavering away to tackle suicide.

It’s a far bigger problem and the statistics are beyond tragic. Like I said, three quarters of the victims are male, three quarters have no life partner, two thirds have a job and half of those who decided to take their own lives were aged 35 to 54.

The study is vast. It covers everything from age, method of death, attendance at hospital, every tiny detail.

A few things stand out for me – like the fact that care workers are highly likely to kill themselves – but the most important is the death toll amongst men. Why are our men killing themselves?

Of course, the most important thing to say is that people who kill themselves don’t want to die. They just want to die right there and then, on that day, at that moment. The lucky ones who fail very rarely go off and try again.

But there is a crisis overwhelming our men folk. It has built up over a generation as everything that men have been bred and conditioned to do for millennia is suddenly cast aside.

Men have been displaced. Women don’t want warriors, hunters, protectors, earners. We don’t even want fathers for our kids. We demand that they are still as strong and stoic as before – no blubbing – and then we kick them down the road. And who does that help? Does it help our sons who grow up with nobody to show them how to be what they are? Has the increase in modern feminism aided the increase in male suicide?

I love my horses, their beauty and their strength and their controlled power. That’s what men – the best of men – have and they should be applauded and loved and appreciated for it.

It’s up to women to save our men and we can start with our sons, value them, support them, tell them not to suffer in silence.

And now I’m going to go off and adorn myself for all men.

Guilty as charged

It’s no secret that I occasionally post, let’s say “flirtatious” material on my Twitter feed and I have followers who are less interested in my controversial opinions than they are in my cleavage. That’s ok. Everybody’s welcome and, if I didn’t enjoy the banter, I wouldn’t do it.And it goes both ways. Once upon a time, the banter went a tiny bit further. I contacted one of my Twitter fans, I am single and life really is too short, we had a little chat, did a tiny bit of negotiation and, the next thing you know, I was hurrying into his hotel room in the middle of Glasgow. Darlings, I was terrified, not just because that’s the kind of risky behaviour that can easily end in disaster, not just because I was reaching the culmination of months and months of lustful anticipation but also because he was so much bigger than I expected. He’s a big tall man, always smartly dressed, broad as a door with the physique of an ageing gladiator and he was so eager! He just sat me on the bed and took his clothes off, right there and then – my own personal Poundshop Chippendale! But, when I said he was a big man, well, I had no idea! Now that WAS terrifying. I know you think I’m exaggerating but honestly, I couldn’t get my hand round it. Like a brave girl, I steeled myself for the ordeal ahead and I was so glad I did – even when I kicked over the bedside light and sent it crashing to the floor. Now, the reason this wonderful, happy memory comes to mind is, if course, because of the ongoing Westminster sex scandal.

I don’t want to diminish the stuff that’s coming out. Some of these accusations have been passed to the police and, if they end in charges and convictions, then the men involved deserve whatever is coming to them.

But am I a sex pest? I contacted a man I barely knew so I could know him barely. No other purpose in mind. Does that make me a sex pest?

And Westminster is like any other workplace with men and women spending the day side by side. Somebody is bound to ask somebody out. Flirting will happen. Propositions will be proposed, like they are in every factory, every office in the land. Is that wrong? Have we really reached the stage that what was the normal and acceptable way of meeting someone is now reprehensible and the only respectable way of finding a date is the cold, clinical, sterile, isolated flick of a Tinder profile?

For every man caught up in these sex pest allegations right now, there must be dozens of others who have done exactly the same thing towards women who haven’t been offended – women who would have found it either flattering or boring and dealt with it.

Aren’t those men equally guilty. Don’t those women also need to be apologised to? Because if a clumsy pass is wrong, then is it ever right?

Crying Out Gagged! 

Did you see that news story this week, about the woman who ended up with an ASBO because she was disturbing the neighbours with her screams during sex? It seems to happen all the time and, of course, it gets reported all the time. How could the tabloids resist a story like that? But I had to laugh. I laughed because I recognised the problem. I like to sleep with the windows open and a skilful lover who knows how to use me can reduce me to an incoherent banshee, howling profanities like a Twitter troll. And I laughed because the problem is so easily fixed. Get a gag, dear! I invested in one recently. It’s not my first but this one is lovely with a breathable ball to drown out the screams and soft, suede and leather fixings. I love it. I love it because of what it signifies: restraint, surrender, trust. I love it because it means I’m giving permission for naughtiness. It means I’m ready to be forced to do all the things I already want to do and I’m promising not to say “No”. And I love it because I look so damn good in it! I bought it as a surprise for a very special friend who understands how to make me scream and, boy, it worked. As soon as I put it on he had to have me right there and then – even though he was heading out to work. Bad boy! There is one tiny thing. I like to ride (I mean horses, you naughty, naughty people!) and if anybody from Ann Summers is reading this, I’d like to recommend a bit of a design change. Could you, please, add bit guards , like I have on my horse’s snaffle bit? It would help prevent pinching at the corner of my soft and pretty mouth. Thanks.

Anyway, gags are good in the bedroom – but not so good in newspapers. For years our media has been plagued with so-called super injunctions. These court-backed gagging orders are so strict that they not only prevent news organisations from reporting on the issues and the personalities involved, they even prevent any mention of the fact that the gagging order exists! Of course, the most spectacular gagging order own goal came from the footballer Ryan Giggs who, quite understandably, didn’t want the world to know that he had an eight year affair with his brother’s wife. But he forgot that the gag he secured from the English courts did not apply in Scotland any more than it applies in Spain or Vietnam. Oh dear. Of course these gag orders don’t apply in Ireland either, which is something that the Guido Fawkes website – his servers are based in the Republic – has exploited on several occasions. If it hadn’t been for Lord Stoneham using his Parliamentary privilege in the House of Lords, we would never have heard about the super injunction obtained by Fred Godwin – the man who drove RBS off a cliff and took the UK economy with it.  As Lord Stoneham said: “the alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a senior colleague, if true, would be a serious breach of corporate governance and not even the Financial Services Authority would be allowed to know about it.” Jeremy Clarkson, who sucked millions from the BBC licence payer before he was exposed as a violent bully who beat up a junior colleague, had a couple of super injunctions before he gave up. Admitting they are “pointless” he said “You take out an injunction against somebody or some organisation and immediately news of that injunction and the people involved and the story behind the injunction is in a legal-free world on Twitter and the Internet.” Back in the thirties, everybody in America knew that our King Edward was having an affair with Mrs Simpson but our papers decided to be gentlemanly about it and shut up  like Clarkson said, now that we have instant, global communication it’s pointless but, do you really think our newspapers are no longer gentlemanly? You think they won’t shut up? Don’t kid yourself. Weeks ago a Labour MSP sent lawyers letters to editors all over Scotland warning them not to publish a police document about concerns over his relationship with a woman. And they haven’t. Now that the sex pest frenzy is gripping Holyrood we’ll see how long that lasts – but remember where you heard it first.

First blog post

“Gropes oops meant *Gripes of the day and everyday”

We need to get a grip over this sexual harassment witch hunt which has sprung up since the Harvey Weinstein story broke.
First of all, we have to say that absolutely nothing has been proven against Weinstein. He’s been charged with nothing (yet)- but a stream of accusations has been enough to destroy his life and crash the company he built.
Put that aside for a moment. Let’s look at the women making the accusations. Why didn’t they say anything before now? And the answer is because they were prepared to go along with it.
It’s like the old story of the man in the railway carriage who offered a woman passenger £10,000 in cash right there and then if she would have sex with him before the next station. The woman was reluctant but £10,000 is a lot of money so, just this once, she would.
“Good,” says the man. “How about a blow job for a fiver?”
The woman was shocked: “Certainly not! What kind of woman do you think I am?”
“We’ve already established that,” he says,” now we’re just haggling over the price.”
There is an unspoken deal in the casting couch: be nice to the elderly, ugly, blubbery producer, lie down, open your legs and that pretty mouth and you’ll get the starring role. Those women understood that and they played along because they were ready and willing to “do the deal”. If virtue meant so much to them, if sticking up for women’s rights was more important than getting their name in lights, they would have squealed long before now, but they didn’t.
The groping terror has spread like wildfire from the world of showbiz to the world of politics.
Nicola Sturgeon has already asked for “additional measures” to be taken at Holyrood. Prime Minister Theresa May decided this week that it’s a problem which can no longer be tolerated and threatened to sack all the gropers from her government.
Crying out loud (being as the feminists are doing a lot of that lately) she’s been an MP for 20 years, a Cabinet Minister for seven years and PM for a year. If she didn’t notice the problem before now, how big a problem is it?
I’m not saying sexual harassment doesn’t exist, but women are not always helpless victims in this.
Sometimes I like to post selfies on my Twitter feed. Sometimes they are a tiny bit racy. Sometimes men respond with compliments. Who’s to blame for that? That’s not harassment. I’m not going to go running to the Twitter police and, if I didn’t want my pictures to be seen, I wouldn’t post them.
I can tell the difference between harmless flirtation and groping and, believe me, a man knows if I want him to touch me. He’ll find out pretty damned quick if I don’t.
But there’s something bigger to consider too. Every man out there has a mother. Women make men – in every sense. We give them life and we bring them up, shape them and teach them how men should be.
If we have raised a generation of gropers and abusers, how did they get that way?