Alex Salmond definitely had ideas above his station. When the polls were looking in his favour he had visions of Scotland being a kingdom so he would be king; he also thought it could be a principality which would have made him a prince.
But following the referendum and on realising Scotland would remain just another country, he thought it best to resign immediately!
Politics is obviously a tough job but shouldn’t we expect all our politicians of whatever hue to put a shift in. Our 24 UKIP MEPs between 2009 and 2014 barely attended sittings of the European Parliament, they did not vote and produced only one report in five years.
Nigel Farage was a member of the fisheries committee but never turned up to meetings, and he in fact only managed 16 days at the Brussels parliament in the second half of 2013. The UKIP MEPs have a salary of £120,000 plus expenses each and the party draws £18 million in funding for their Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy political group. Money for old rope isn’t it? This lot could have a grave effect on our political future.
Continuing the theme of gravy trains, MPs are now claiming ever increasing amounts in expenses, with last year’s total a staggering £103 million. One hundred and sixty eight parliamentarians listed wives, children and even their parents on their expenses returns to bolster their family income to the tune of £4 million. Small wonder that the electorate are totally disaffected with the behaviour and performance of their representatives in Westminster. Stop promising the earth and deliver something a little more mundane which may have some impact on those who vote for you. I for one am fed up with a diet of promises and for the next six months our country will be overflowing with them.
Education, education, education was a mantra oft repeated by a former prime minister – I forget which one because few of them since Mrs T are memorable. It seems incredible to me that many schools these days are quite incapable of instilling manners, behaviour and respect into pupils at secondary education and without the above you cannot begin to teach them. I know for a fact that children in primary schools are taught and learn these important lessons, but it seems the minute they reach the age of 11 years all hell breaks loose.
Ofsted, for once, have got it right in criticising heads of failing schools for not clamping down on bad behaviour. But I would bet pounds to pennies that those teachers who dress smartly and are polite, foster achievement, and those who look slovenly encourage bad behaviour. Management always attended school as if she was off to the opera and the kids reacted accordingly. Part of the problem remains however in the fact that many of our current teachers went to school in the seventies and eighties when the education system was at its lowest in attainment, so how high are their standards now?
How on earth can we let in a Latvian murderer on the one hand, and on the other insist that the Phillipino stepson of a British passport holder must be separated from his mother and half sisters, and sent back to the Phillipines where he knows nobody, despite having lived here for 12 years and currently having a job. This stinks from top to bottom and merely confirms that our civil servants are nothing more than a bunch of overpaid box tickers idly working their shift until they reach pension age. Border control is not fit for purpose and subsequently the Home Office must take the blame.
Box tickers obviously proliferate. I have had a long conversation with a farming friend of mine, who since February, has had four different inspections on his farm – a TB test, British Cattle Movement Service cross-compliance inspection, Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb, and finally an inspection by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
It was probably the RPA inspection that nearly broke the camel’s back in that the farmer was treated with little or no respect while the inspectors tramped around his farm and occupied his kitchen. They spent a whole day walking the field boundaries of his 400 acre mixed farm to discover that 35 meters of boundary did not have the exact field margin – nearly a hanging offence!
Further, he was admonished in no uncertain terms for failing to record the ear numbers of a bunch of sheep which had grazed a small field adjacent to his own, under a different holding number. How on earth as a community have we allowed ourselves to be lorded over by this over bloated regime. I bet the French and Italians don’t put up with it, not to mention the rest of Europe.
To finish on a lighter note I record two bits of advice from farming folklore:
1. Never marry a summer grazier’s daughter;
2. If you wish to marry a suckling pig, be sure to inspect the sow first.
PS. Management has just reminded me that her family were shoemakers!