Misc Titbits

Kirsty-A Free Scotland
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NclkfOjQle0#t=56 free scotland kirsty

Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Bigger is not better https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F541CSoc4cM#t=210

Oil and Lots of It
http://en.inforapid.org/index.php?search=North%20Sea%20oil

Scare Stories From Bitter Together
http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/forget-the-latest-scare-story-the-real-threat-to-our-health-service-is-a-no-vote.24735142

NHS England and Privatisation
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/fury-tory-party-donors-handed-3123469 nhs rip off
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/child-depression-scandal-ill-kids-3129996 nhs rip off
http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/nhs-debt-hospitals-facing-combined-3099734 black hole
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tories-want-privatise-nhs-cuts-3102993 privatisation

Rise and Rise of Foodbanks
http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/below-the-breadline-the-relentless-rise-of-food-poverty-in-britain-317730

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Nepotism in the Labour Party

Nepotism in the Labour Party

Labour MP’s and activists are furious that Paul Martin, son of Westminster MP and deputy speaker Michael Martin, is poised to be given the same constituency as his father, but in the Scottish parliament. They say Martin jnr, a middle-ranking Glasgow councillor for the past four years, has done little to earn his stripes and accuse him of “riding on his father’s coat tails”.

Senior Labour sources confirmed to Scotland on Sunday the 30- year-old councillor would almost certainly pass the party’s selection process. Martin snr wields such control in his constituency that activists say there would be little resistance to his son then being chosen as the candidate for Holyrood. A former trade union organiser for the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers, the MP was elected to parliament in 1979 and served as private parliamentary secretary to Denis Healey.

A Jock Soldier in Afghanistan Reflects on His Lot – In Rhyme Of Sorts – Read It and Wonder

 

 

 

Musings of a Jock in Afghanistan, (A Kipling Parody)

 

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It’s not cool when you’re lying cold and wet in your Afghan bivvy,

knowing your life is dependent on an MOD civvy.

 

When your body armour’s a share, one set between three,

And the firefights are brutal not like those on TV.

 

You check with care, your pal, your weapon then look to your wit,

As you tread in the footprints of earlier Jocks deeper in the sh*t.

 

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When your machine gun has jammed and you’re down to one round,

then the faith that you’d lost is speedily re-found.

 

When the Taliban fighters are close to the fort,

And you pray that friendly shelling doesn’t fall a bit short.

 

Buddy up tae Jock Tamson, like he’s one of your brood,

And fight off the Taliban as you know all jocks should.

 

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Your pay just doesn’t cover your needs or your wants,

But you are required just to stand and absorb Taliban taunts.

 

Neither General’s or civvy’s can do nowt to amend,

Except to ensure you’re in a place you can’t spend.

 

Paid three fifty an hour for your time in the Afghani cage,

And you supposed to be happy it’s the minimum wage.

 

royal-regiment-scotland

 

And knowing your wife Mary is at home alone in your quarter

Walls running with damp and the roof leaking water

 

Your bairns miss the treasured warmth of their hero, their dad,

They’re foregoing the loving childhood that they should have had.

 

But you dream that one day it will change and as each day it goes by,

you just sit there, with wonder as you see the pigs fly.

 

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You’re treated just like the Jock’s of before a life in the mud, dust and ditch,

But you’ll march and you’ll fight, and you’ll drink and you’ll bitch.

 

No matter the war, Iraqi, Afghan, Zulu, Fritz or the Boer,

Jocks will fight on ‘til the battle is over.

 

Mistreated and judged no better than fodder, the Jock’s soldier on,

but ponder how long Scots will respond to the MOD con.

 

scottish-soldiers

David cameron Goofs

Foot in Mouth Mr Cameron ?

At a press conference, (attended by President Obama) Mr Cameron was asked about the ever changing nature of the, “special relationship” with the US. He replied, “I think it is important in life to speak as it is and the fact is that we are a very effective partner of the US but we are the junior partner,” he went on, “We were the junior partner in 1940 when we were fighting the Nazis.”

After the conference Mr Cameron was reminded, by some, “press hacks” that the US only officially declared war on Germany on 11 December 1941, shortly after Hitler launched hostilities against the US and four days after the Pearl Harbor attacks which drew the US into conflict with Japan.

The President of the Association for Veterans of Foreign Wars, said Mr Cameron’s comments would alienate a lot of veterans who had been fighting the war a long time before Pearl Harbor.

A BBC political correspondent offered that, Mr Cameron had been trying to be realistic about Britain’s position in the world, but it his comments had backfired in this case

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-10719739

Hoon Defence Secretary-Iraq No Answers

Commons Select Committee for Defence 22 Mar 2002, (before the 2003 invasion of Iraq).

Answering a question about weapons of mass destruction Geoff Hoon, Defence Secretary, (much scandalised and forced from office) said, “Saddam Hussein can be absolutely confident the UK is willing to use nuclear weapons in the right conditions”.

Chairman’s End of Session Summary

“Thank you very much. I cannot say the sum total of human knowledge has increased significantly, Mr Hoon. You “out-Boycotted” Boycott, and all I can say is that if you were playing for Derby County this season in goal then Derby would be up with Manchester United and going into Europe, because you did not concede many goals. However, we will ask you exactly the same questions again in due course, when we will expect totally, totally different answers.

A careful read of the notes, (see attached) of the meeting will leave you breathless. The contempt Mr Hoon had for the committee was breath-taking.

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmdfence/644/2032008.htm

Iraq Back to Haunt the UK

The undernoted statements were made before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

1. Nelson Mandela. ” An arrogant and short sighted Mr Blair is “no longer Prime Minister of Britain” but, “the Foreign Minister of the United States”.

2. Prince Saud al-Faisa, Saudi Foreign Minister. “Regime change will lead to the destruction of Iraq, and will threaten to destabilise the entire Middle East region, “If change of regime comes with the destruction of Iraq, then you are solving one problem and creating five more.

But Westminster wouldn’t listen. Many hundreds of thousands dead and wounded and there is no end in sight. Now we are warned to expect similar incidents in the UK. What a mess. Scotland needs to be independent so that our nation can be free to decide our own foreign policy

Part-Time Defence Secretary at a Time of War

Is Part-Time Good Enough?

It was 2006. UK forces were deployed to war, on two fronts, (Iraq & Afghanistan). Action in both countries was fierce, and UK military casualties were mounting. The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, had moved Baron John Reid away from Defence to Health, (replacing Alan Milburn who had been removed, under a cloud). The absence of anyone suited to the ministry gave problems. Baron Des Browne of Ladyton, (a lawyer prior to taking up politics) was appointed.

The problem of inadequate equipment and support, for the military came to the fore and resultant of relentless pressure from the media and public finance was released so that helicopters, protective clothing and suitable vehicles could be purchased.

Lack of military experience soon took it’s toll on Browne, (a compassionate person by nature) who found it extremely difficult to provide leadership coping with ever increasing casualty levels. Uncomfortable in his role he wisely delegated operational oversight to persons more suited. He then worked assiduously supporting, improving welfare support to families.

In 2007, following the debacle of the 2007 Scottish elections Douglas Alexander was removed from office. Browne’s role at the MOD was formally reduced to part-time, (yup! indeed). Browne was instructed by Gordon Brown to take on the portfolio of Scottish Secretary, (in a part time capacity). The unique dual role was heavily criticised by the opposition, media and public, to no avail. Browne, (removed from the offices and moved to the back benches in 2008) later commentated, “I don’t think it would be wise for any future prime minister to recreate that strategy.”

Questioned at the Iraq Inquiry he stated;

1. “I do not believe the UK had sufficient resources to take part in two major deployments”.

2. “I found it very difficult to come to terms with the deaths of our people in an operational environment”.

3. “I found it difficult to personally deal with the losses of our people”.

4. “The decision to deploy thousands of British troops to Southern Afghanistan in 2006 had a negative impact on operations in Iraq”.

5. Service families were unhappy with me simultaneously holding the job of Scottish Secretary

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8479074.stm

There you have it!!! What a nonsense.

His successor John Hutton said a lack of helicopters had “undoubtedly been a factor” in the UK’s mission in Iraq. “I don’t think there is any point pretending otherwise,” he said. “The military would have liked more helicopters and the politicians would have liked to make more available.”

Mr Hutton acknowledged the death toll among Iraqi civilians since the March 2003 invasion had been, “disastrous” but he defended the war as it had transformed Iraq from a “pariah” state to a democracy that was a full member of the international community.

Des Browne and John Hutton both served as defence secretary during a period when there was dual pressure on the military. It was natural that they would be questioned about the impact of Afghanistan on Iraq, especially in the wake of Geoff Hoon’s evidence.

Last week, Mr Hoon told the inquiry that he had not agreed with Tony Blair’s announcement in 2004 that led to a troop commitment to Afghanistan, at a time when British forces were still deployed in southern Iraq in significant numbers.

Today, Mr Browne and Mr Hutton both addressed the issue of over-stretch. They painted a picture of finite resources meaning that two simultaneous operations, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, could not be sustained indefinitely.

On a lighter note, Mr Browne said at that one stage Britain had successfully sourced “six Merlin helicopters” in Iraq. The hapless stenographer in the hearing room typed this as “six million helicopters”.

Mr Browne said his concerns about troops’ welfare meant he chose to devote a lot of his time to helping the families of personnel. But he said “perceptions” of his efforts were hampered after Gordon Brown asked him to combine the role as defence secretary with that of secretary of state for Scotland from July 2007 onwards – a dual role which was heavily criticised at the time by the opposition.

Although Mr Browne said he did not have any less time to devote to the defence brief – because he had an “able” Scottish deputy to rely upon and many Scottish issues were devolved – he said public reaction to the arrangement was “disadvantageous”. “I don’t think it would be wise for any future prime minister to recreate that strategy,” he said. Resources Mr Browne acknowledged there were “concerns” within the military about the number of helicopters available to British troops in Iraq