SNP Delays Crucial Budget

Say what you like about the Tories, at least Liz and Kwasi shook a leg and got on with announcing their response to the myriad economic crises facing Britain. The SNP, on the other hand, don’t have quite the same sense of urgency. They originally promised their own financial statement would come within two weeks of the UK government’s budget. That promise was made on the 7th of this month; the government promptly followed through with their announcements last Friday. Meaning the Deputy First Minister should be up on his feet on the 7th October…

This afternoon, however, John Swinney told MSPs that he’ll be setting his emergency budget review out a whole month after the Tory government’s, on the 24th October. The delay seems enigmatic and likely to exacerbate economic uncertainty north of the border. That’s until you realise this new timetable allows the SNP to hold their conference on the 8-10th October without being overshadowed by tough spending announcements and cuts…

mdi-timer 27 September 2022 @ 16:15 27 Sep 2022 @ 16:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Margaret Ferrier Pleads Guilty to Breaching Covid Rules

Former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier has pled guilty to breaking Covid rules in 2020, after taking a train from London to Scotland despite showing Covid symptoms and being told to self-isolate. She’d already lost the whip and had been sitting as an independent. Another by-election on the cards…

mdi-timer 18 August 2022 @ 10:50 18 Aug 2022 @ 10:50 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sturgeon Mulling Green Crackdown on Whisky over Climate Fears

Bottoms up, the Scottish government has had another bright idea. Having settled the matter of menstrual health by appointing a male period dignity tsar, the SNP government is now on the brink of cracking climate change… by launching a review into the “health and environmental impacts” of brewing Scotch. As if spirits weren’t already low enough heading into the winter…

The review, which could see Sturgeon crack down on malt whisky consumption, will investigate the emission effects from the “angel’s share” of casks – a natural part of the brewing process in which around 2% of the brew evaporates during maturation. Holyrood has now asked researchers to look at potential “mitigation strategies” for this obvious emergency, now that Scottish whisky has become more popular in recent years and emissions have ticked up. The review will take six months, and cost the taxpayer up to £20,000…

A spokesperson for the Scotch Whisky Association said:

“Some loss of spirit from casks during maturation is a natural part of the whisky making process. Losses of ethanol average around 2 per cent per year and, as the Scottish Government has previously stated, is neither harmful to health nor impactful on the environment due to its rapid dispersal.”

A final report on the findings is eagerly expected next March. Does anyone get the sense Sturgeon’s government is on the rocks?

mdi-timer 16 August 2022 @ 14:20 16 Aug 2022 @ 14:20 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
SNP Hails Appointment of Man as New ‘Period Dignity’ Tsar

The SNP administration north of the border has managed to turn the launch of free period products into a best-of album of their favourite tactics, combining the gender culture wars, English xenophobia and a shameless u-turn to steal credit. Let’s start with the biggest headline grabber: ahead of the launch of the “Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021, which became law yesterday, Scotland has a new period poverty tsar. His name? Jason Grant.

Jason’s task is to promote the new access to free sanitary products across schools and colleges, where he will also have to discuss issues around the menopause. The un-uterused adult human male (gadge) told the Dundee Courier, I’m absolutely buzzing about it. It’s definitely pioneering as Scotland is the first to do this. It’s about making people aware of the availability of period products for anyone of any gender, whenever they need it.” Clearly the Scottish government believes it’s called menstruation for a reason…

There’s another more substantial cause of criticism levelled at the SNP’s latest progressive policy offering they’ve found down the back of the couch. Yesterday the party hailed the policy as proof they are “#DeliveringForScotland”. It was only a year ago, however, that the party was using the proposed free tampon policy – the case then being made by Labour MSP Monica Lennon – as an excuse to stoke anti-English sentiment. At the time, SNP Communities Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell said the government had “grave concerns” over “deliverability” and cost, partly because:

“We can envisage that such a provision could be to prevent people outside Scotland seeking access to the products or people accessing them to sell at a discounted rate outside Scotland.”

In other words, greedy English women could drive north of Hadrian’s wall and steal the free period products. With perfect timing, both Rishi and Liz will be spending today in Scotland promoting their new policies to increase scrutiny of the Scottish government and their civil servants…

mdi-timer 16 August 2022 @ 09:42 16 Aug 2022 @ 09:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Blackford Changes Tune on Holidaying During Crisis

Those following Ian Blackford’s Twitter account over the past fortnight won’t have missed his recent holiday to the States. He began in Arizona on the 23rd, with a helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon two days later. Monument Valley was on the agenda for the 27th, followed by Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah on the 30th. Utah got a second day’s exploration on August 1st, followed by Death Valley on the 2nd and Yosemite on the 3rd. Blackford finished up in San Francisco on the 6th. A lovely time enjoyed by all, not least Brits who avoided a whole two weeks of reduced preaching from the Celtic Crofter…

Imagine Guido’s surprise, therefore, when today’s National splash sees none other than Mr Blackford demanding Boris Johnson “comes out of hiding”, and accuses the PM of being “missing in action” during a cost of living crisis. One rule for a relaxed, tanned Blackford, another for everybody else…

“Every day people are waking up to warnings that the Tory-made cost-of-living crisis is spiralling out of control – with each report more worrying than the last. Yet the UK Prime Minister is missing in action.

“Boris Johnson might be on his way out – and rightly so – but for now he is still the Prime Minister, with duties to protect the people who live here. He must come out of hiding”

There’s another problem with Blackford’s demand other than the obviously hypocritical posturing: Boris’s holiday is already over – as one keen-eyed flyer proved via TikTok yesterday…

Presumably Keir Starmer would have been playing the same game had Boris not returned from holiday before him…

mdi-timer 8 August 2022 @ 09:56 8 Aug 2022 @ 09:56 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Starmer to Promise No Coalition Deal with SNP

Sir Keir is reportedly promising he will never strike a coalition deal with the SNP to enter Downing Street, and plans to make it clear he’d rather be in a minority government than work with Sturgeon. According to the Guardian, Starmer is keen to get on the front foot over the Tories’ “coalition of chaos” attacks by ruling out any concessions to the SNP, and will pledge to offer a procedural guarantee against a deal – including rejecting a referendum – in a motion at the party’s conference. Because as everyone knows, a pledge from Sir Keir is worth its weight in gold.

This comes as Boris himself laid bare the Tories’ strategy for the next election. In an interview with the FT’s Seb Payne earlier this spring, the PM said:

“Do you want a sensible ‘One Nation’ Conservative party? This is a One Nation government that has done some fantastic things already and we’ll do a lot more. Or do you want Labour propped up by the SNP? We’re going back to that choice.”

Earlier this week, Matt Hancock said essentially the same thing in a Mail op-ed. Given there’s still a vacancy for the party chairmanship, he was probably hoping Boris was paying attention.

Well, it worked so well for Ed Miliband…

mdi-timer 1 July 2022 @ 13:11 1 Jul 2022 @ 13:11 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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