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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/09/21 in all areas

  1. Michael Glackin in today's ST, not missing Sturgeon's Fantasia on a Theme of Tallest Stories and hitting the wall. MICHAEL GLACKIN Nicola Sturgeon holds on to her job but loses grip on reality Michael Glackin Sunday September 12 2021, 12.01am, The Sunday Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/nicola-sturgeon-holds-on-to-her-job-but-loses-grip-on-reality-dzmvfwt8z Wot, no power to the people? Until last week, my favourite public correction was from an un-named 19th century US newspaper which told its readers: “Instead of being arrested, as we stated, for kicking his wife down a flight of stairs and hurling a lighted kerosene lamp after her, the Revd James P Wellman died unmarried four years ago.” It has now been eclipsed by last week’s correction to Nicola Sturgeon’s cock-and-bull promise to create a publicly owned energy company before the end of the last parliament. Indeed, instead of establishing, in the first minister’s words four years ago, “a publicly owned, not-for-profit energy company”, where “energy would be bought wholesale or generated here in Scotland, renewable of course, and sold to customers as close to cost as possible”, the SNP will actually create a “public energy agency” to “inform and educate the public” on going green. In place of cheap renewable energy, the poor can burn cake. As I pointed out over the past four years, this energy company never existed anywhere other than in the text of the first minister’s “flagship” speech to the party faithful at the SNP conference in 2017. While promising to establish the company that never was, Sturgeon gleefully told her cheering audience that it would have “no shareholders to worry about”, as if investors were an enemy of the state. Sturgeon wouldn’t be in a job if she had to face shareholders, rather than a supine parliament, after spending almost £500,000 on a business study that anyone with an ounce of knowledge of the energy market knew was a non-starter. Still, I daresay £500,000 of taxpayer’s cash is small beer compared to the hundreds of millions Sturgeon has squandered on unbuilt ferries, Tim Hair’s salary, Prestwick Airport, BiFab, Sanjeev Gupta’s steel empire, et al. Still, you can imagine the atmosphere back at the 2017 SNP conference. Sturgeon and her advisers huddled in a room wondering what might get a cheer in her big speech. They had no successes to boast of, so, as ever, they reverted to “the kind of Scotland we aspire to…” songbook, blithely ignoring the reality. Well, why not? Populists will always revert to licking the boots of the mob by telling them what they want to hear. Policy? Delivery? These are alien concepts to an administration that is first and foremost devoted to PR, not government, and which excels only in scapegoating others for its failures. Whether the first minister is parroting falsehoods that she has “banned fracking, end of story” or non-existent “Scottish green deals” that create jobs overseas, businesses in Scotland know not to take her at her word. Time for some home truths Well, this year alone we have seen another “flagship” policy, the First Home Fund — established to help home buyers with deposits — shut down days after it launched because it ran out of money. Funding for the scheme was abruptly slashed from £200 million last year to £60 million this year. Despite calling for extra powers, Sturgeon also refuses to accept responsibility for key fiscal powers that Westminster wants to place in Holyrood’s hands, such as the part devolution of VAT and social security benefits. Meanwhile, seven years into her tenure as first minister, Scotland is suffering from collapsing public services, particularly in health and education, falling investment, low productivity, a youth unemployment timebomb, the highest drug death rate in Europe, and record numbers of children living in poverty. Instead of facing up to these issues, the first minister prefers to hide behind Indyref2 and gender recognition. These “legislative priorities” are not what people struggling to make ends meet are concerned about but, like the promise to create a publicly owned energy company, they are integral to the SNP’s desire to create what can be best described as fictional reality in Scotland. One where the distinction between truth and falsehood is effectively erased, where reality is ignored, and fabrication is eulogised. The late and much-missed historian Tony Judt said a “well-organised society is one in which we know the truth about ourselves collectively, not one in which we tell pleasant lies about ourselves”. Please take note, first minister. Passport plan has stamp of a botch Is there anyone in the Scottish government who speaks for business? Whatever one’s views on the issue of Covid-19 vaccination passports, it is outrageous that the plan to introduce them was waved through our legislature bereft of any detail about how it will be applied, and without any consultation with affected businesses. Much is said about the paucity of talent on the SNP benches, but the sight of a parliamentarian resorting to Google to support the government during the passport debate was shameful. Surely SNP MSPs aspire to be more than well paid sycophants of the executive? Perhaps they could use their privileged position to ask the first minister why, after the most severe economic lockdowns in Europe, Scotland has highest Covid-19 infection rate in the UK? @Glackinreports
    4 points
  2. Sacrifice your privacy? Most of the population walk about with tracking devices in their pockets and freely share the most intimate information about themselves, willingly, with colossal American tech companies and advertisers everyday. But yeah, I can see why after 18 months of limitations on our movement and 1000's of deaths letting Rangers know if you've had the vaccine aimed at pulling us out of this hell is your biggest concern right now. They already have your address, your credit history and your bank details, if they wanted to destroy you they can do it already. I don't need to ask myself anything. The NHS was close to being overwhelmed every winter before Covid, if even 0.5% of those not vaccinated end up needing hospitalisation the NHS would be unable to cope. There are literally thousands of people waiting for NHS treatment for non-Covid related issues currently, some of those people will die before they get it. That's before we even attempt to calculate the financial and social cost of the last 18 months. Everyone of us should be doing what we can to reduce the incidence and severity of Covid. Currently, the vast majority of professionals in the field of medicine say getting vaccinated is the best way out of this. You may disagree with them, fair enough. I'm not sure what your bacterial and immunology qualifications are, but until you're recognised for the expertise in this field you seem to think you have then the rest of us can continue to ignore you and instead listen to those who have spent their entire lives preparing for this. I'm old enough to remember when some people were furious that the government were insisting that motor-cyclists wear helmets. This was an invasion of their privacy, the Government had no right to tell some what they can and can't wear was the argument then. Likewise similar arguments were aired by enraged civil-libertarians when seat belt wearing was made compulsory in cars too. The government has no right to involve themselves in people's lives like that, apparently. Bull shit. We don't live in a bubble, our actions have consequences and ripples that might be unintentional but they are real and long lasting all the same. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident while not wearing a helmet you are, on average, 42% more likely to die and 69% more likely to suffer a serious brain injury. Aside from the immediate trauma of the people who first arrive at the scene of the accident, there's the police and ambulance crew who'll spend hours of their time attending to you, the many, many specialist hospital staff who'll try and save your life and then slowly try and rebuild it, perhaps months of physio and rehabilitation and maybe ongoing costs if you're unable to return to work or even live it at home again. Plus there's your immediate family, friends, neighbours and colleagues who will have to deal with the fall out of your actions. Catching Covid is not without consequences. It's not just you it affects. Get over yourself, you're not actually that important in the grand scheme of things. The sooner we are able to emerge from this and return to life as we knew it the better. If that means showing Pizza Express a slip of paper when I make booking or having to deal with possibly the worst ticket office in the Scottish football then so be it. It's a small price to pay.
    4 points
  3. Not sure, but it would be great if so, although i would miss the fun of them losing to some teams we have never heard of!!
    2 points
  4. We're winning while not playing particularly well, that's a big positive. That's why Tav is our number 1 right back, he'll deliver a goal scoring opportunity or even a goal in almost every match he plays. Stunning technique for that goal. St Johnstone are horrible to watch, remind me of Motherwell under Tommy McLean.
    2 points
  5. BBC Scotland have no credibility and have not done so for years. That is the major issue here. They lack accountability & credibility
    2 points
  6. What a match, what a performance and what an achievement! really enjoyed that tonight, this wee lassie has a massive future in Tennis. Well done Emma
    1 point
  7. Real, PSG, Barca and Juve all outbid by Brentford for Ajer and Palace for Edouard. Stunning. And why have City and Chelsea allowed their closest title rivals to strengthen?
    1 point
  8. We have been decidedly average so far and were still the best! Wait till we actually click!
    1 point
  9. Would love that to be the final table
    1 point
  10. Stewart's articulation and grammar are rather poor, for someone who wants to come across as intelligent. Given the standard of parliamentarians his nationalist party provides the nation, it must be quite an embarrassment for him that he was refused the opportunity to stand for them. In short, he's a bitter imbecile.
    1 point
  11. It's hardly informative for you to restate your support for vaccine passports without any supporting argument. One is left wondering why so many words are required.
    1 point
  12. I don't agree with passports! I have a hard decision to make regarding this! if I don't comply I can't get into Ibrox!!!!
    1 point
  13. Always gave women's tennis short shrift. Thought it was too slow and cumbersome. I take it all back after watching that superb display of athleticism from both players last night. Fast, hard hitting, great rallies. Emma had nerves of steel in that arena with a huge Canadian support. Well done indeed young lady!
    1 point
  14. I believe Simpson is not in our Euro squad. Of all the areas in the field I never saw centre back as a problem one, yet now we could be looking at Balogun and Leon King for Thursday?
    1 point
  15. Feel free to make any coherent argument against the point of substance.
    1 point
  16. Can't bieve Sunetra Gupta is still kicking about, she's been discredited so many times even the BBC and their need for balance don't have her on anymore.
    1 point
  17. I suppose these days you can go down the woke road and just identify as a person who's been double vaccinated
    1 point
  18. Tav for the world class strike that sealed the 3 points and for the challenge near the end that probably prevented an equaliser.
    1 point
  19. St Pauli is a district of Hamburg. It is very right on, in my experience. I have no idea why the football club would have a pipe band* or why the pipe band would perform in a room with Union Flags though. *I have no idea why anyone would - what a racket.
    1 point
  20. Well, Andy Walker certainly didn't. "He couldn't do it again? COULD HE?"🤞As @Uilleam commented earlier, I wish he and his mate Crocker would self isolate permanently!
    1 point
  21. Fantastic result , decent performance , just as Tav hit it I was screaming at the Tav for him to hit the back post , goes to show what I know lol . Hope big Phil is ok otherwise Thursday could be messy , don’t really feel comfortable with Simpson just now , looks far too light weight for me .
    1 point
  22. When he hit it, I thought it was going miles over the bar but before I can snarl an oath, the ball’s in the net. Anyone else get the dread when Clark went lolloping up for the last seconds corner?
    1 point
  23. Say what you like about Kent, but the lad never stops looking for the ball and keeps plugging away. His work-rate is incredible right across games and he covers every blade of grass. Yes, he's not at his dangerous best right now (which player is?) but the threat he carries is obvious and it was him that got us back into the game.
    1 point
  24. 1 point
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