Scottish Parliament is Rubbish

For once we don’t mean the politicians in Scotland – though as an aside, why is Scottish Nationalism tied up with left-wing policies, when nationalists in other countries are more to the extreme right: eg National Front in France, or EDL in England?

However, this time we are reviewing the building completed in 2004 to house the  Scottish Parliament.

The Parliamentary buildings were ten times over budget. Not ten percent, but a multiple of ten! That is the outcome of public management of projects, spending Government money. To all those thinking that Mr Corbyn has it right in letting the Government run anything to do with construction or businesses, there can be no finer example of why it is such a bad idea.

The build budget was £30mio – £40mio. The final outcome £414million. That is just a mind-boggling variance. Could part of the reason behind the vast overspend be that the builders were Scottish, but they knew it would be the English tax-payers picking up the bill? There may be one or two people in Scotland to whom that would appeal.

Ugly Frontage to the Royal Mile

And so to the design. This must be one of the best locations in Edinburgh, on the Royal Mile, opposite Holyroodhouse Palace, and backing on to the rugged mountainous Arthur’s Seat. Like most architectural observers, we do not advocate a pastiche of earlier designs. A modern design is more honest. But we do believe in respecting materials and blocking forms.

Google Earth of Scottish Parliament

The exhibition inside explained that the buildings in the complex were designed to represent the human body, or groups of people standing around in a form of government discussion. Who bought into these ideas? Even seen from a helicopter (okay, let’s be truthful, even seen from Google Earth), it is hard to make any simile from the mish-mash of weird shapes. Observed from the Royal Mile, the concrete wall with convex and concave horizontal curves – pictured above -just looks a mess, and totally out of place. What an eyesore on the most important street in Scotland. Instead of render or attractive stone, we see bare concrete, enlivened by rusty steel poles.

Unnecessarily complex and expensive details

The Scottish Parliament Building could have been attractive, eye-catching and uplifting. Instead it is jarring and rude. Shame.

Corbyn for PM – The Ultimate Silly Season Story

Corbyn the great statesman

Hahahahahahahhahahahahha. Hats off to whoever thought of proposing Jeremy Corbyn to be Prime Minister. Perhaps the most fundamental question about having the Labour leader in charge of a “Government of National Unity” to solve the Brexit dilemma is, does anybody know what Mr Corbyn’s ideal Brexit would look like? So far the only clear Labour policy has been to oppose whatever Mrs May tried to get through Parliament. That was opportunistic politics, not conviction-based positioning. It is widely believed that Jeremy himself is in favour of Brexit, but it appears from the sketchy plans seen so far that the National Unity Government would actually be a Parliamentary Unity Government whose sole purpose was to delay Brexit and call a General Election. It is tough to see how frustrating again the 52% of leavers would lead to any unity within the country.

There cannot be many Tory MPs who want an election: and there must be even fewer who would want to face even their constituency party, let alone the electorate, after putting a Marxist in No 10. Then there is the difficult issue of Scottish Nationalism. Would Corbyn and Co be prepared to sanction another Scottish referendum as the price of SNP support? That would make the £1bn bung to Northern Ireland to buy DUP support look rather cheap. Even with the SNP, there is zero chance of Mr Corbyn building a parliamentary majority. Even some of his own MPs wouldn’t back him.

What is most revealing about this whole farrago is that St Jeremy bought into the idea hook, line and sinker. He truly believed it could work. Like a first year schoolboy persuaded by the sixth form to stand for Head Boy, he seemed to genuinely hope that it could happen. Oh yes, come to think of it, that’s how he became Labour leader – the outsider added to the ballot paper for a laugh.


Silly Season Story No.2 – Ken Clarke for PM

Ken Clarke after 49 years in Parliament

Come on Ken, surely you must have seen that one coming through the cigar smoke? At least you had the nous to claim no involvement until the fuss died down. Thus you saved some of your dignity.


Silly Season Story No. 3 – Donald Trump Wants to Buy a Country

Leader of the Free World

Well it would be the real-estate deal of the century – and you know what, he could still pull it off. Going public may well be a tactic to soften up the Danish people into selling off an asset they cannot exploit to someone who can!

Hey….. wait a minute. If Donald J wants to buy a rugged, freezing, mountainous country with too much snow and ice…… well we know he loves Scotland! Call Boris, I’ve got an idea!!

5 Futures for The Independent Group

Could this be a redefining moment for British Politics?

The Independent Group is up to 11 defector MPs (I said defector.  I wonder if May and Corbyn think of then as defective?) The choice of name appears to be rather unfortunate.  After all, we already have a UK Independence Party.  Whatever happened to them? So far, even the website feels slightly low-rent..

How could this movement develop?

  1. They become the inverse of UKIP, united only in their opposition of Brexit. This has the obvious flaw that one day Brexit will be resolved, and so The Independent Group goes the way of all single issue parties and fades away. Likelihood = 40%
  2. The Independent Group overcomes its lack of leadership and policy to develop a centre-ist culture. However, the Tories are pretty central right now anyway, so post-Brexit, the Independent Group becomes Labour-lite. This could allow some traction as long as J Corbyn remains as Labour leader.  There are many rivers to cross for this though. Likelihood = 10%
  3. The Independent Group takes on the mantle of Son-of-SDP, but without the charismatic leadership – and similarly, in time, becomes absorbed into the Lib-Dems. Likelihood = 30%
  4. Enough MP’s make the transition to create a critical mass, and suddenly constituency parties are formed and candidates stand in the next election. However, the effect is mainly to split the Labour Party, allowing the Tories – now lead by Boris Johnson – to romp home (ha at Boris romping) with a massive majority. See option 3 for the next step. Likelihood = 20%
  5. Lots and lots of MP’s join from all sides of the house, including the SNP. The bandwagon grows and grows. High-profile and popular public figures join and take strong leadership roles.  The country is tired of Brexit and largely supports their Brexit-reversal policy, Bre-entry into the EU.  The Independent Party forms the next government with all the other parties becoming loonie-fringe movements.  Likelihood = 1%


So there you have it.  Hard to see at this stage that The Independent Group can achieve anything other than a bit of disruption in Parliament for the next few months.


Rachel Riley in Countdown

Oh, I HAVE noticed that my likelihoods add up to more than 100%.  What do you think this is, Countdown? But let’s have a picture of Rachel Riley instead of the 11 MP’s!