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Should have worn a belt!

And so to my picture of the day!

Here is a photograph of a masked protester in Egypt, caught quite literally with his trousers down yesterday as he hurled rocks at riot police in clashes near Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

I do not condone the violence in any way – I just wanted to show how this ridiculous trend of wearing low-slung jeans can have the most embarrassing of consequences, namely his picture splashed across websites and newspapers worldwide – at least it looks as though his blue boxer shorts are clean, his mum will be so proud!!!

Protester

 

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Eligibility to vote

They really haven’t thought this whole referendum thing through!

Mr Salmond and his cronies in the SNP continue to tell us that Independence is what the people of Scotland want.  But let’s have a look at the population and who actually are “the people of Scotland”.

When the referendum is held in the autumn of 2014, only residents of Scotland will be eligible to vote.  As a result, almost 400,000 living north of the border but born in other parts of the UK will get to take part, while 800,000 Scots living in England, Northern Ireland and Wales will not.   Given that Scotland has a population of just five million, 800,000 is a huge number.

In protest at being disenfranchised, James Wallace, a 23-year-old Dumfries native turned London resident, has launched a petition demanding that expat Scots in other parts of the UK be allowed to participate in the referendum.  Scots ministers say this simply would not be practical.   And, indeed, it’s difficult to imagine how an electoral register of everyone who considered themselves a Scot might be drawn up.   Who, after all, is Scottish? Those born in Scotland? People with Scottish ancestry? Anyone who is partial to Haggis and the Proclaimers?

For James Mitchell, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, residency is the only logical definition of Scottishness in terms of political representation. If you want a say over Scotland’s constitutional status he believes you should move back there.  “It would be absurd to allow anyone who claimed to be Scottish a vote,” Mitchell says.

So Mr Salmond, after reducing the voting age to 16, perhaps you should now try winning the hearts and minds of those of us who live in Scotland but come from different parts of the UK and are eligible to vote if you are to stand any chance of realising your dream – you’re not achieving this at the moment sunshine!

A week is a long time in politics

I’d put money on the fact that Alex Salmond is squirming today after another horrendous week in his dream for Scottish Independence – and since it’s only Thursday I’m sure he’s got time to drop a few more clangers!

It started with the resignation of two of his backbenchers over the NATO u-turn announced last Friday and then came the “little” matter of not seeking legal advice on whether an independent Scotland would automatically become a member of the European Union.

Highland MSPs Jean Urquhart and John Finnie stood down in protest at the decision to end the SNP’s long-standing opposition to NATO.

Former police officer Finnie, who joined the SNP as a 16-year-old, insisted: “I can’t continue to belong to a party that quite rightly doesn’t wish to hold nuclear weapons on its soil but wants to join a first-strike nuclear alliance.  Although I envisage I’ll continue to share common ground with the SNP on many issues, I can’t in good conscience continue to take the party whip.”

Urquhart, who has been a supporter of independence for 25 years, said: “Nuclear disarmament and removing Trident from Scotland’s waters is a red line issue for me.  I couldn’t remain committed to a party that has committed itself to retaining membership of NATO.”

This all seemed bad enough but to then find out that the SNP Government didn’t feel it necessary to obtain legal advice over such an important matter as to whether a separate Scotland could join the European Union was laughable to say the least!

The First Minister then decided it was ok to miss a House of Lords committee inquiry yesterday into the economic consequences of Scotland breaking away from the UK.  The meeting in Edinburgh City Chambers was the first time a Lords committee has sat outside Westminster and  was attended by a host of Scot politicians, including ex-Chancellor Alistair Darling and all opposition leaders.  Mr Salmond blanked the session to attend the book launch of a local businessman’s biography at the Britannia Spice restaurant in Leith.

And today Salmond left it to Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to admit that it was “unfortunate” that the SNP had given a wrong impression over whether they had taken legal advice on an independent Scotland’s place in Europe.  Reiterating her leader’s stance that they had never confirmed whether or not they did have legal advice because they were not allowed to do so under the ministerial code, she conceded the impression had been created that ministers had already taken legal advice on the matter.

Perhaps to emphasise the fact that politics is a very smelly business, it is perhaps no coincidence that both the First and Deputy First Ministers have the names of fishes in Salmon(d) and Sturgeon ….. I rest my case!

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