Mike Vickers' Blog

August 14, 2019

The Westminster Government well passed it’s Sell By Date

Filed under: Boris, Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn, Scottish Government, Scottish Independence, Westminster — derryvickers @ 9:41 pm

Just read

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/14/uk-could-unilaterally-exit-eu-in-next-10-days-senior-tory-mp-says

And you will gather that the Westminster Government along wit is MPs and just wallowing in the mud.

It could be that there is no formal constitution so no firm ground or may be its just that the current crop of MPs are not just up to it.

Scotland needs to brake away so if MPs are considering unilateral leaving the EU, Scotland must consider unilaterally leaving the UK.

OK no Barnett Formula but even if formal agreement there is unlikely to be any equivalent.

Time for home brew Referendum and if Yes then Scotland should declare UDI.  Little Westminster could do – it hasn’t even the resources to send a gunboat up the Forth.

August 12, 2019

And this is British Democracy

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Politics, Westminster — derryvickers @ 7:15 pm

Now in tatters and must be replaced.

I fear the Tories won’t do so

Not sure that Corbyn has the brains either:

The Guessing Tree

Surely this is phantasy?

August 6, 2019

Scottish Independence – A vie from Ireland

Filed under: Brexit, Europe, Politics, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 9:30 pm

I think that Fintan O’Toole’s essay – The Art of Leaving and Arriving Brexit, Scotland and Britain – in Scotland the Brave? (Twenty Years of Change and the Future of the Nation edited by Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow) makes the case for Scottish Independence far better than the SNP’s.

O’Toole doesn’t follow the SNP’s view that ‘All will be sweetness and light’ after independence, just the opposite. But he makes the more powerful case that the UK and Westminster is dead and must be drastically reformed. The corollary is that Scotland should take the opportunity to free itself now.

You can find a shortened version at

https://www.thenational.scot/news/17724208.fintan-otoole-the-potential-for-scotland-to-be-a-new-kind-of-state/

BTW the book is a good read even though I find Hassan excellent at identifying what’s wrong but fails miserably at proposing solutions. The proposals in the book are suggested by others.

Ventilation and Sewage Problems at the new Sick Children’s Hospital Edinburgh – Codicil

Filed under: Politics, Scottish Government — derryvickers @ 9:21 pm

It now appears that Audit Scotland has been involved all along

https://www.scotsman.com/health/delayed-edinburgh-sick-kids-hospital-will-cost-an-extra-90-million-1-4978036

The findings reported do not change my overall view that the real problem lies with the design contractors and they must be called to account at least to ensure that they do not receive further NHS contracts.

As for Jeanne Freeman and the Scottish Government at large, they must be seriously crticised for not publicising previous Audit Scotland reports. But this looks to be typical of the SNP Government in working within a Cloud of secrecy.

August 5, 2019

Ventilation and Sewage Problems at the new Sick Children’s Hospital Edinburgh

Filed under: Politics, Scottish Government — derryvickers @ 9:07 pm

Much political angst is being written about design problems with the new / almost built new children’s’ hospital in Edinburgh and whether politicians are wholly to blame.

I accept that the buck on the Children’s Hospital stops in principle with Jeanne Freeman as it does with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow; nevertheless, the fundamental problems in both cases must rest with the architects and their design contractors for ventilation, air conditioning and sewage.

The problems at the Children’s Hospital are not new. I note back in august 2106

“The new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh was due to open in autumn 2017.

However, NHS Lothian now expects the date to be pushed back to spring 2018.

Dunne Group entered administration, followed by JB Brickwork going into provisional liquidation”.

If one wants an intermediary then we should be looking at the Scottish Government Officers responsible for drawing up Hospital Building contracts, how they specify them and monitoring these contracts once in place. In the case of the Royal Sick Children’s Hospital that work looks to have been subcontracted to a PFI: IHSL; a practice long since deprecated.

By al means call in Audit Scotland but please avoid making political capital out of the problems.

And let’s hope that there doesn’t have to be a demolition job. It will be remembered that the Holyrood Scottish Parliament was 4 times overbudget but is now a Scottish Show Piece.

July 27, 2019

One Man and his Quad Bike

Filed under: Sheep, Shetland — derryvickers @ 8:43 pm

One Man and his Quad Bike

Not I suspect to be featured on BBC TV.  One Man and his Dog is more charming

But Shepherds on Shetland now use quad bikes to assist in rounding up their sheep for sheering.

The dogs are still there and can keep up with the fast moving bikes and do help in the rounding up, but equally they enjoy a ride on the back of the bike as the actual rounding up work.

In the photo you can see several planticrubs, stone squares; the cabbages and kale start life in them protected from the strong winds to be transplanted when old enough to Kale Yards.  Planticrubs and Kale yards were built from the plentiful stones. .

One Man and his Quad Bike

One man and His Quad Bike with Planticrubs

 

For more on the original stone made planticrubs and kale yards go to:

https://myshetlandgarden.com/tag/planticrub/

 

 

 

 

Modern planticrubs are of steel and plastic sheeting; more like polytunnels

A Modern Planticrub

A Modern Planticrub

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is a sheep that didn’t want to move even encouraged by the shepherds and the dog and the dunes were too hilly for the quad bike.  BTW eventually the sheep was carried ‘home’ on the back of a quad bike.

The Reluctant Sheep

The Reluctant Sheep

 

The UK’s Fate

Filed under: Britis Empire, Europe, Politics, Trump — derryvickers @ 9:28 am

Patrick Cockburn says it all

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-donald-trump-eu-no-deal-brexit-economic-cold-war-a9022646.html

The UK will be increasingly be bound to the US

And to Trump.

 

Johnson: Not Pericles but Alcibiades

Filed under: Boris, Brexit, Europe, Greece — derryvickers @ 7:18 am

Johnson: Not Pericles and certainly not Alexander but Alcibiades

If you read only one thing this week do not miss Simon Jenkins in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/27/boris-johnson-no-10-pericles-greek-hero

But Pericles’s external diplomacy was a disaster. It arrogantly incurred the hostility of surrounding states, who took their revenge by aiding Sparta in the Peloponnesian wars, and eventually crushing Athenian democracy. Pericles listened for advice only to his formidable mistress, Aspasia. He is an odd mentor for a modern leader’

Johnson’s tenure as PM ‘will have nothing to do with Pericles. Alcibiades is now in charge’

 

July 26, 2019

Jaw, Jaw rather than War, War; Brexit needs a resolution by the UK

Filed under: Boris, Brexit, Europe, Jaw, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics, War — derryvickers @ 9:00 pm

I understand that Churchill said ‘Jaw, Jaw is preferable to War, War.

And I wholly agree.

I do note that despite his thesis he put his whole effort in applying his whole effort into our war with Nazi Germany; he did not follow up Neville Chamberlin’s appeasement.

We are now faced with Johnson itching for war with the EU.

Should we applaud?

Johnson is the self-acclaimed Churchill look alike

I suggest No.

The EU is no Nazi Organisation.

The EU is the stanch upholder of the United Nations Charter of Human Rights; indeed, the EU has its European Charter too.

Jaw should triumph over war as long as the target is with the Human Rights Charter.

BTW I worry that the UK could now revoke membership for the European Charter under Patel.

The elevation of Johnson to PM is a disaster, none of the papers I read says otherwise, only the Tory Rags appal. The Johnson Cabinet is a Cabinet of Horrors.

Yet I accept that there needs some resolution of Brexit. There needs to be some Jaw; Jaw rather than the current standoff.
Resolution is not going to come from the EU.

If I go back the the Churchill War cabinet, much of the success politically was the inclusion of the Labour Party led by Clement Atlee; and as well as winning the war, we had the Beveridge Report – foundation of the UK Social State.

I ask why can’t the Tories and Labour recognise the total mess that is the UK and work together. May, to her credit, tried to but the two sides would not compromise or had not the guts to stand up to their own party members.

Compromise is the essence to good government as long as it remains with is the boundaries of the Charter of Human Rights.

Let’s have some Jaw, Jaw rather than War, War within the Westminster Parliament.
Equally true in Holyrood also and even at the Council level where one party proposes and the other has to oppose on principle.

BTW It grieves me to say so that Johnson responded well at his first Question Time even if I disagree with his answers.

Perhaps hope even at this time for a Government of National Unity to avoid outright War with the EU.  Though whether Johnson or Corbyn are anywhere near the calibre of Churchill or Atlee remains in doubt.

July 25, 2019

Cabinet of Horrors

Filed under: Boris, Politics, UK Parliament, Westminster — derryvickers @ 10:10 pm

Are you sitting comfortably?

Here is your cabinet. Nothing cosy kitchen about it.

Hand picked by our PM and who would trust him to help us rather than help himself.

One can only hope they turn in on themselves rather than us.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/25/snakes-stupidity-sycophants-horror-johnson-cabinet

Cabinet of Horrors

Chamber of Horrors

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