BBC BLOGS - Blether with Brian
« Previous | Main | Next »

Question time

Brian Taylor | 16:22 UK time, Wednesday, 2 June 2010

All in all, not a bad opening performance by David Cameron, facing questions in the House for the first time as PM.

Silent by his side, Nick Clegg, experiencing, also for the first time, the physical subordination of being the junior partner in the coalition.

Mr Clegg, mostly, maintained an image of beatific stoicism, grimacing only very slightly when his colleague referred to the prospect of the Liberal Democrats nobly abstaining on an issue which divides the new chums, that of married tax allowances.

There were stumbles, of course. The new PM, one feels, will soon lose the habit of thanking Honourable Members from the other side for their contribution.

There were murmurs of discontent when Mr Cameron said he had yet to decide whether to sustain an industrial support package for a constituency in the north-east of England.

Looking slightly shocked for a moment, the PM declared that he intended to pursue the novel approach of telling the truth in his replies.

He would, he said, write to the MP in question.

Initial anonymity

The exchanges with Harriet Harman, Labour's stand-in leader, were serious and substantive. No surprise there given that they dealt with the Israeli interception of the aid flotilla and the issue of rape prosecutions.

Mr Cameron criticised the first - as a declared "friend of Israel". And he argued the case with Ms Harman on the point of whether those accused of rape should be granted initial anonymity.

No time today, though, for matters Caledonian. The Speaker chose not to call a questioner from the Scottish National Party.

The SNP has argued that, in the new House of Commons, it should occupy the "third party" slot previously held by the now-silent Nick Clegg.

They have yet to gain any such assurance from the Speaker, John Bercow. On today's evidence, it will be a no.

After Harriet Harman, Mr Bercow opted for a senior backbench Liberal Democrat, Sir Alan Beith of Berwick who touched on the role of the private sector in his patch. (The PM had said during the election campaign that the public sector was too big in certain areas of the country.)

There followed a series of Labour and Conservative backbenchers - plus Nigel Dodds from the DUP who asked about protection for troops.

Common enemy

Is there a potential pattern there? The DUP have eight seats, two more than the SNP. Will the SNP be invited to provide the alternative opposition contribution next time out?

Incidentally, there was one Scottish contribution. Labour's Ian Davidson rose magisterially to hail Mr Cameron as "comrade Premier".

With scarcely a pause, he explained. "Are we not all in this together?", he declared, with a grin. Were we not, he asked his fellow MPs, about the business of "strengthening the union of the United Kingdom"?

Moving swiftly on, he discerned a common enemy, stating that it was right and proper to "distrust and despise the Liberal Democrats".

Mr Davidson was about to move to his main point - aircraft carrier orders - when the Speaker reminded him that the topic under discussion was Afghanistan. Suitably chided, he sat down.

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 4:48pm on 02 Jun 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 4:50pm on 02 Jun 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    "Mr Clegg, mostly, maintained an image of beatific stoicism, grimacing only very slightly when his colleague referred to the prospect of the Liberal Democrats nobly"

    Are you sure it isn't spelled knobly?

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 4:53pm on 02 Jun 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    No time today, though, for matters Caledonian. The Speaker chose not to call a questioner from the Scottish National Party.

    Yes, it's a common occurance nowadays. Let's see if the comment above is deemed appropriate or if too will be refused.

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 4:55pm on 02 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Brian, liked your: "Looking slightly shocked for a moment, the PM declared that he intended to pursue the novel approach of telling the truth in his replies."

    It certainly marks a change from what we became used to from the ex-vicar of St.Albions and his duff successor, doesn't it?

    On which topic....
    #79 sid_ts63 Last thread
    "It's on the main BBC news page but hasn't made it to the Scottish page yet there's an awful lot of this "misleading " about isn't there!"

    Thanks for that, Sid, and well spotted. More than two full hours after its timestamp of 13:47 GMT, this website's Adam Ingram admits misleading MPs over hooding in Iraq still doesn't get "feature" billing on the news front page and isn't mentioned at all on the main Politics or Scotland politics pages.

    Yet more evidence of the lies, spin and downright disgraceful behaviour that Bliar & co brought to the governance of the UK. I have huge reservations about what the blue/yellow Tweedle coalition will do, but for all I dislike them, I find it very hard to believe that they will not be less awful than the scoundrels just thrown out. It will be interesting to see how much coverage this gets in the Scottish MSM - plenty, I hope.

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 5:00pm on 02 Jun 2010, spagan wrote:

    I really thought that someone might ask David Cameron if he has seen the mysterious "Dodgy Dossier". You know - the one that Ian Gray has seen. The one that Brian "DUFC" has seen.
    You know - the one about SDS.
    I wonder if Ian Gray saw a UFO, would Brian be the only person to see it as well?
    As for the "Magisterial" Mr Davidson, his valuable contribution could get him into the next semi-final of Simon Cowell's "This Union's Got (not a lot of) Talent". It must be the way he tells them.......
    Slainte Mhor

    Complain about this comment

  • 6. At 5:01pm on 02 Jun 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 5:04pm on 02 Jun 2010, Skip_NC wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 8. At 5:17pm on 02 Jun 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    It sound a bit like from what your saying that he was down on his nobly knees :)

    I haven't seen it yet though, I dunno if I look forward to it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 9. At 5:24pm on 02 Jun 2010, Astonished wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 5:54pm on 02 Jun 2010, bmc875 wrote:

    Brian, Please stick to your brief.

    "I'm Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland's political editor, and I'll be blogging here regularly on Scottish politics."

    On the last blog, many conributors questioned your editorial integrity by citing many examples of where you should get involved - and have not! Now you are reporting on Wasteminster! What next - the West Sussex Ladies Morris Dancing annual convention!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 5:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, rog_rocks wrote:

    "Labour's Ian Davidson rose magisterially to hail Mr Cameron"

    Surely you can't mean this?

    I don't suppose you know what Mr Cameron was wearing at the time?

    Complain about this comment

  • 12. At 6:05pm on 02 Jun 2010, Online Ed wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 13. At 6:07pm on 02 Jun 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    "Looking slightly shocked for a moment, the PM declared that he intended to pursue the novel approach of telling the truth in his replies."

    We in Scotland are still waiting Brian for the 3t's or is it like difficult questions a figment of ones imagination.

    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 6:10pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    Brian, Scotland being ignored at Westminster. Afraid that does not even raise an eyebrow. Hopefully the speaker will allow a question from SNP next time. But why is there no Blog on the fact that the auditors of SPT have slated them. It appears there expenses claims are that they have like some MP's being living the high life at the public expense, Why no fuss Brian?

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 6:12pm on 02 Jun 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 16. At 6:19pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    Yet another soldier has died in the war that wasn't worth discussing in the general election.

    Another soldier we are supposed to believe died to save us from attack in our home nations.

    Seventy years ago our men suffered and died on the beach at Dunkirk and our navy died saving them. Fighting to keep a real enemy from our shores.

    God! What would they say to the lies we've been told? I can hardly bare it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 6:22pm on 02 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    Maybe the little grey cells are going, Brian, but I cannot remember your doing a thread on PMQs before. Anything to avoid intruding into the private grief of the Scotlandshire Labour party, I suppose. It's clearly not an easy row you're sowing for yourself.

    Your mention of Ian Davidson's "Comrade Premier, are we not all in this together?" - for example - only makes it all the more obvious that the answer is "Oh, no, we're not". Even the main Politics page of this website is adorned with Watchdog backs a minimum price for alcohol about the amusingly named [English] National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which "has added its voice to calls for a minimum price per unit of alcohol". Despite that only being for England, this bad news [for Mr Gray] has even sneaked its way on to the Scotland politics page. Some mistake there, surely?

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 6:40pm on 02 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    #1 and others:

    "This comment has been referred for further consideration."

    This appears (to me) to be a new innovation, replacing the former placeholder "This comment has been referred to the moderators."

    To whom have such comments been referred?

    The DG?

    Brian Taylor?

    derekbarker?



    All in all, though, the only good thing about this blog entry - virtually devoid of Scottish import or interest - is that it keeps Blether with Brian alive, permitting comments to be posted.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 6:44pm on 02 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    I knew there had to be a positive aspect to the coalition.

    No more Nick Clegg contributions at PMQs.

    Fantastic!!!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 6:45pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    sorry i know last post sort of made no sense was trying to eat my dinner and type!

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 6:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Question Time.


    ''I'm Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland's political editor, and I'll be blogging here regularly on Scottish politics.''

    Great, when does it begin?

    Complain about this comment

  • 22. At 7:06pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    just looked at the EBC North britain web page Brian.

    Lets see. Teachers struggle to get work! Mmmm.

    Brian No cant see anything about SPT Do you not think Brian that there are just to many people qualifying from university's where labour pushed every one to go, telling them that it was the way to get ahead. Thats why newly qualified teachers can't get jobs. There are just too many newly qualified teachers Brian.

    Brian, to me the possible "theft or embezzlement" of money from the public purse by people put in place by Glasgow City Council is a much bigger story why is no real issue being made of this. For goodness sake Brian the Auditors suggest that thousands was spent on paying for them to go to the Uefa cup final if this was SNP politicians. Brian you would be doing cartwheels.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 7:15pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    16. At 6:19pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    Seventy years ago our men suffered and died on the beach at Dunkirk and our navy died saving them. Fighting to keep a real enemy from our shores.

    Yes and it was HIGHLAND troops that were the sacrificial rearguard. Scotland sold out again!

    Complain about this comment

  • 24. At 7:22pm on 02 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #21 Wansanshoo
    "Great, when does it begin?"

    ROFL. When BBC Scotland and Brian take a more positive view of the fortunes of the North British branch of the Labour Party than Pte. Frazer's "We're doomed", perhaps?

    Complain about this comment

  • 25. At 7:22pm on 02 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    Well worth a look, especially for the facial expressions!
    http://www.the-daily-politics.com/news/46-politics/1618-michael-gove-on-ed-balls-cook-book

    Complain about this comment

  • 26. At 7:31pm on 02 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #22 patchbruce
    "No cant see anything about SPT "

    Surely you have missed this website's masterfully crafted SPT to tighten spending controls complete with comedic one-liners like:
    ● "the organisation had been vindicated by the majority of KPMG's findings" &
    ● "The organisation will strive to be open and accountable"

    Plus ça change, methinks!

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 7:51pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    26. At 7:31pm on 02 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    yes saw that, but stupidly thought it was written by SPT themselves so i ignored it.

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 7:57pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    23. patchbruce
    "Seventy years ago our men suffered and died on the beach at Dunkirk and our navy died saving them. Fighting to keep a real enemy from our shores.

    Yes and it was HIGHLAND troops that were the sacrificial rearguard. Scotland sold out again!
    "

    Our troops have ALWAYS been the sacrificial shock troops or the sacrificial rearguard. From the first day Bloody Cumberland recruited Highland troops for his father until today, that has been the case. Nothing has changed.

    Scotland sold out. Again.

    Complain about this comment

  • 29. At 8:18pm on 02 Jun 2010, tullibardine wrote:

    Glasgow City Council cracking down on cronyism.

    One senior source told The Herald: “Under [former leader Steven] Purcell the individual councillor was paid, not the post. If you wanted more money and Steven needed you onside, an Aleo post was found. That’s gone now. Jobs that didn’t need to be there have also been ditched.”

    That’s not cronyism, that’s corruption – and Glasgow still votes Labour. Unbelievable!

    http://tinyurl.com/22sdmz3

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 8:20pm on 02 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #27 patchbruce
    "yes saw that, but stupidly thought it was written by SPT themselves so i ignored it."

    An extremely mistake to make, I have to admit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 31. At 8:51pm on 02 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    Wow this blog is like a Tartan focus group..

    Anyways...

    #16
    Seventy years ago our men suffered and died on the beach at Dunkirk and our navy died saving them. Fighting to keep a real enemy from our shores.

    You write your support for the the British Navy? Your language sounds suspiciously unionist to me!?!

    #23
    Yes and it was HIGHLAND troops that were the sacrificial rearguard. Scotland sold out again!

    Was it deliberate though? Did they leave them behind just because they were Scottish and Highland as part of some ethnic plan they had?

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 9:02pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    I wonder how much midnight shredding has being going on within Glasgow City Council. SPT may have shredded their credit card statements but surely the credit card companies will hold the original records on their computer. I wonder if that can come in under freedom of information?

    Does any one know a Daily Telegraph Journalist. They might be more interested than the BBC

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 9:34pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    31. Rob04
    "Was it deliberate though? Did they leave them behind just because they were Scottish and Highland as part of some ethnic plan they had? "

    They weren't "left behind". They were the rear guard. It was a job that someone had to do just as in a war someone has to be the shock troops. One has to ask though, why was it always ours that got the dirty jobs?

    Why were the deaths of Highland troops in WWI so much higher than in the rest of the country? (Yes, they were substantially)

    Read the history. They have always been used that way. Do you think 300 years of history is all coincidence?

    Complain about this comment

  • 34. At 9:37pm on 02 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    Patchbruce , well there is always Alan Cochrane - he of the unbiased fair reporting ! The great supporter of all things SNP.

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 9:40pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    31. Rob04
    "Wow this blog is like a Tartan focus group..
    "

    What do you think I think of someone who considers being Tartan or Scottish to be an insult?

    This happens to be a SCOTTISH political forum.

    You write your support for the the British Navy? Your language sounds suspiciously unionist to me!?!

    Yes, when we are fighting a just war which has happened (to the best of my knowledge) ONCE in the history of the UK, I support the British Navy.

    And I support the British who are killed and wounded in Afghanistan whether they are Scots or not even though, GOD knows, IT is not a just war, but that is the fault of Scotland for staying in the Union and the Unionist politicians who have gotten us into it. I certainly don't blame those who follow the legitimate orders of their superiors.

    You are an adult, I assume. Are you capable of an adult discussion or is silly insults the best you can do?

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 10:03pm on 02 Jun 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 37. At 10:11pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    Rob 04 in answer to your post, I don't know if it was deliberate but it is strange that out of the half million "British" soldiers in France, the only two regiments that were assigned rear guard duty were Scottish. The Royal Scots and the Highlanders! Make up your own mind.

    BUT

    Just look at it this way. It was a critical situation. The BEF had had their backside's kicked. The government were desperate to turn it in to a victory. There was no way they could allow thousands of Londoners to be captured, the effect on moral would have been devastating. Better to loose men from a part of the UK which was not so noticeable ? I'm not saying that the above scenario was the case, or such a decision was wrong and I'M certainly not suggesting that it was a case of ethnic cleansing, but possibly a necessary difficult decision made to avoid total defeat by the Natzi's.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 10:16pm on 02 Jun 2010, Ruaraidh wrote:

    I am intrigued about how all of these ardent Scottish patriots, should they attain their lifetime ambiton of a "free" Scotland intend to finance the benefit dependent society which a large portion of Scotland has become. We have already seen their policy in relation to crime and punishment. How is Mr. Megrahy?
    Will they rely on the dwindling employed population to finance their aspirations? Will they borrow from the European Union which is currently sinking?
    It is tragic that Scotland's future is being dictated by a minority who base their economics and visions of a society based on the clan system.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 10:19pm on 02 Jun 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    It seems my responder button has gone AWOL curiouser, any idea mods!

    Complain about this comment

  • 40. At 10:20pm on 02 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #35
    What do you think I think of someone who considers being Tartan or Scottish to be an insult?

    This happens to be a SCOTTISH political forum.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    You really do need a sense of humour! Lighten up, make it fun and try and be less rigid in your views on the link between tartan and Scottishness. Its mainly for the tourists in Edinburgh and Inverness quite frankly! If they took it away tomorrow would you really miss it?

    I don't think being Scottish is an insult at all and you are putting words on my page as it were. And since you are an adult you will understand that.

    A Scottish political forum? Nah, you get a greater diversity of opinion on 'World Cup Motty'! You really do.

    Complain about this comment

  • 41. At 10:29pm on 02 Jun 2010, Andrew Dundas wrote:

    Exactly what isn't a Scottish interest in this week's PMQs?
    For a start most Scots are appalled at the arrest on the high seas of a flotila bound for Gaza with cargoes and peace campaigners. Scots are even more appalled by the deaths and injuries, and looking for a strong response to those outrages. We got stern words but little indication of any action to prevent a recurrence.
    Likewise most Scots are appalled by that day's murders in our neighbouring county. We want to hear that others share our concerns and condolences.
    Most Scots are bemused by the idea that some married couples might get extra exemptions from some of the taxes the remainder of us pays. Is the Tory Party serious about this we wonder? An interesting exchange there.
    What wasn't a Scottish interest in any of those issues at PMQs?

    Complain about this comment

  • 42. At 10:38pm on 02 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    38. At 10:16pm on 02 Jun 2010, Ruaraidh wrote:

    I am intrigued about how all of these ardent Scottish patriots, should they attain their lifetime ambiton of a "free" Scotland intend to finance the benefit dependent society which a large portion of Scotland has become.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Obviously you know absolutely nothing of Scotland, her culture or her wealth.

    Scotland is not a poor nation we are a wealthy nation. We have just been getting ripped off for the last 300 years, thrown back scraps from the masters table and told that we are over subsidised. Our oil kept England afloat during the eighties when the Labour party and the unions destroyed the UK economy by fighting against change and being greedy.

    And as for Megrahi

    We are well rid of him, why keep a dying man in jail at huge expense and pay for his expensive cancer treatment! Any one with any sense knows that he was a sacrificial lamb put up by the Lybians as a patsi in the first place.

    Complain about this comment

  • 43. At 10:56pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    40. Rob04

    If you are concerned about a diversity of SCOTTISH opinion, then try actually posting opinions instead of insults..

    As for Tartan and using it as an insult, tartan is a part of Scottish history going back to the Picts and the Romans. That you are not aware of that is your loss, not mine. If you think our history is nothing but a selling point for tourists, that is ALSO your loss.

    We have had enough of our history insulted and/or ripped away. I don't allow it to happen more without speaking up.

    Complain about this comment

  • 44. At 10:58pm on 02 Jun 2010, cynicalHighlander wrote:

    # 38. At 10:16pm on 02 Jun 2010, Ruaraidh

    Hows Ronnie Biggs?

    Complain about this comment

  • 45. At 11:03pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    40. Rob04
    "A Scottish political forum? Nah, you get a greater diversity of opinion on 'World Cup Motty'! You really do. "

    I believe the subject--when you decided to drag out a silly "tartan" insult--was the Afghanistan war and that there was just another casualty there.

    If you wanted a diversity of opinion... Do you HAVE an opinion on that war? On the fact that the British forces there have now suffered their 290th death? Do you even care?

    Or is trying to insult nationalists your only political interest?

    The number of British military personnel killed on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 stands at 290 after a Royal Marine from 40 Commando was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol near Sangin, Helmand province, on 2 June.

    Complain about this comment

  • 46. At 11:08pm on 02 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    38. Ruaraidh
    "We have already seen their policy in relation to crime and punishment. How is Mr. Megrahy?[sic]"

    Oh, really? You mean, by any chance, in the enforcement of a Compassionate Release law passed by Labour and the Unionists.

    That policy?

    Are you marking off the days until Mr. al Megrahi dies? How about the days until Mr. Ronnie Biggs dies? You marking off those too? Oh... but maybe it was the Scots who released him and I just missed that part.

    Complain about this comment

  • 47. At 11:11pm on 02 Jun 2010, oldnat wrote:

    For all those who thought that the UK GE was relevant only in so far as the SNP performance was concerned -

    not only the changing attitude of Labour in Scotland (linked to on the previous thread) but this

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/7798197/Scottish-Tories-fight-for-financial-survival.html

    "one senior [Tory] Holyrood front bencher questioned the party’s ability to fight an effective campaign in next year’s Scottish Parliament elections, without a huge new injection of funds. “I don’t know where the money will come from for next year,” he said.

    I don't particularly care which party delivers fiscal autonomy for Scotland, or for which reason. The changing patterns of behaviour of the UK parties in Scotland looks to be fascinating.

    The simple existence of the SNP as a major political party forced devolution. The abandonment of the party in Scotland, by Tories in England, will either push them to near extinction, or force them to look at Scottish politics in a serious way.

    Labour in Scotland looks like it judges that the Coalition will keep them out of power at UK level for a generation (and Scots won't be involved at senior levels), so their own prospects of real power are massively enhanced by enhancing the powers of the SP.

    Business leaders now also seeing Calman as "too little, too late".

    Scotland moves forward to real autonomy as Scots of different persuasions (for their own reasons) coalesce around a significant step forward.

    Time for the SNP to join in the "Calman Steering Group" (without sacrificing their main aim), but to create a situation in which all four main parties in Scotland can agree that Calman is too little, but that fiscal autonomy is a reasonable interim aim.

    Complain about this comment

  • 48. At 11:17pm on 02 Jun 2010, oldnat wrote:

    38. Ruaraidh
    "I am intrigued about how all of these ardent Scottish patriots, should they attain their lifetime ambiton of a "free" Scotland intend to finance the benefit dependent society which a large portion of Scotland has become."

    Why on earth would "Scottish patriots" want to continue to keep other Scots in dependency? That's been a factor of British patriot politics (as long as the finance industry in London generates profits, then they can be used to keep the populations of the old heavy industrial areas in economic dependency - Oops! Something went wrong there!)

    Those of us who see Scotland as a political and economic unit ("nation" is a useful shorthand for that) want to see Scotland's wealth and unique factors used to create jobs for people - not condemn perpetual generations to dependency on London.

    Complain about this comment

  • 49. At 11:18pm on 02 Jun 2010, Diabloandco wrote:

    I have just watched most of a ridiculous programme on incompetent teachers.
    A couple of disgruntled parents and a series of "actor voiced quotes" doth not a case make - nor some Bristol prof doing an iffy graph.

    Some folk refused the BBBCs request for an interview too!
    My ! How could they!?

    Perhaps we could commission a programme on incompetent journalists?
    Bias in the media?

    Complain about this comment

  • 50. At 11:24pm on 02 Jun 2010, oldnat wrote:

    44. cynicalHighlander

    "On 29th May, 2010 Biggs was again admitted to hospital in London after complaining of a chest pain. He underwent tests at Barnet General Hospital. His son, Michael stated, 'he's conscious but he's in a lot of pain'"

    Jack Straw released Biggs 2 weeks prior to al-Megrahi's release.

    Hard things, decisions!

    Complain about this comment

  • 51. At 11:44pm on 02 Jun 2010, frankly francophone wrote:

    #38 Ruaraidh

    One cannot but wonder, I venture to suggest, how Britnats envisage the future financing of the benefits-dependent society which a large portion of broken Britain has become, considering not least that the British Chambers of Commerce have just been warning that the UK economy is in danger of sinking back into recession, particularly if deep public-spending cuts planned by the ConDem administration go ahead, as they seem fated to do in view of the fact that the UK has been living so far above its means that the decision to indulge in recent horrendously high levels of public borrowing required to rescue financial institutions was a policy which it was apparently incapable of sustaining in view of the fact that its capacity for economic growth is now considered to be insufficient to allow it to pay down public debt at the rate expected by the markets without taking measures which create a substantial risk of a 'W' double-dip recession which may be expected to increase UK unemployment and welfare dependency considerably at a time when tax receipts are down and may be expected to go down further.

    The BCC is predicting that the UK economy will in the best-case scenario have no chance of growing at anything other than an extremely feeble rate for the foreseeable future and that the official number of UK unemployed should reach 2.65 million in the first quarter of 2011. This figure may be expected to be higher if the coalition proceeds to reduce the number of posts in the public sector.

    Whereas the seriously unbalanced economy of the UK appears not to have the means to produce significant economic growth now, the euro zone seems to be responding to the problems with which it is currently faced in such a way as to present an arguably realistic prospect of emerging from the present crisis stronger than it went into it, especially if it is reformed along lines currently being recommended by the president of the European Central bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, or so it is argued by some informed commentators. Blighty, on the other hand, is generally expected to be permanently weakened by the financial and economic crises in relation to EU partners such as Germany and France, which, of course, constitute the engine of the European Union while the UK becomes increasingly peripheral as anticipated global financial-services reforms targeting socially useless speculation threaten the disproportionately large casino-capitalist financial sector of its exhausted and ailing economy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 52. At 11:52pm on 02 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #45
    Well I can understand why the British/US would want to argue they are there in military and strategic terms. Whether it is effective well that is difficult to tell since they stopped sending us the intelligence reports! And I don't really know if it stops 'terror' on our streets. And neither do you!

    There is at least 4 opinions in that paragraph. Is that enough!?!

    Insult nationalists? Such a broad church but only the culturally precious types seem to object!

    Complain about this comment

  • 53. At 11:55pm on 02 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    #37
    Better to loose men from a part of the UK which was not so noticeable ? I'm not saying that the above scenario was the case, or such a decision was wrong and I'M certainly not suggesting that it was a case of ethnic cleansing, but possibly a necessary difficult decision made to avoid total defeat by the Natzi's.
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    So it was a difficult decision then! Glad we got to that bit.

    Complain about this comment

  • 54. At 06:08am on 03 Jun 2010, Calum McKay wrote:

    "Labour's Ian Davidson"

    This man will get paid £65 0000 each year for the next five years plus £250 000 expenses, and his contribution to Scotland is?

    Then multiply the above figure by forty labour mps from Scotland, that equates to £63 000 000, yes, half the cost of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link.

    Sadly this money will not contribute to the transport or wellbeing of Glasgow folk, it will contribute to the takings of bars in Whitehall, fact finding missions to far flung places and proping up the union.

    What a shocking thought!

    C McK

    Complain about this comment

  • 55. At 06:34am on 03 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    53. At 11:55pm on 02 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    Dear Rob 04, what on earth was your point in your last post? Throwing insults, and spouting meaningless rhetoric does not win an argument. You have to actually be brave enough to put forward your rationale for public examination and scrutiny to be taken seriously.

    So Rob 04 please tell us why you think we would be better off under the constraints of the Act of Union and why independence or full fiscal autonomy would be bad for Scotland as over the last thirty odd years all i've heard from the labour party is that we are too small and too poor. With the Tories I at least understand their desire to keep the union for outdated sentimental reasons. I can't for the life of me understand the position of the Labour party and the Liberals!

    Complain about this comment

  • 56. At 06:38am on 03 Jun 2010, ForteanJo wrote:

    Does anyone expect Brian to proclaim the Grayman will have a good one today?

    Complain about this comment

  • 57. At 06:42am on 03 Jun 2010, AusScot wrote:

    #33 - GrannieAnne:
    “One has to ask though, why was it always ours that got the dirty jobs?
    Why were the deaths of Highland troops in WWI so much higher than in the rest of the country? (Yes, they were substantially)
    Read the history. They have always been used that way. Do you think 300 years of history is all coincidence?”

    Grannie Anne – I have to disagree with what you are hinting at.

    Both my Grandfathers served in WW2, both survived and lived for many years after. They had the scars, both mental and physical that came with doing what they did and seeing what they saw.

    I am proud of not only them but their generation, regardless of nationality.

    One of my grandfathers was a fanatical nationalist, involved in the very early days of the SNP and what was before it. Even in his late 60’s, early 70’s he was putting his name down to run for councillor in areas where the SNP were short of options. That was the kind of fella he was, he was passionate, he believed in his country but foremost he believed in the independence.

    He would offer (conspiracy) remarks similar to the sentiment you are offering. I would always tend to disagree; perhaps there may be some isolated historical examples of troops of certain nationalities being made sacrificial lambs for sake of others, it is not refined to just Scottish troops. There is no conspiracy with regards to deploying Scottish troops first.

    My belief is that ‘Scottish Soldiers’ are victims or their success, victims or their own guile, victims of their fighting prowess. Even from before the ‘Union’ Scottish soldiers were recruited from far and wide by rulers of foreign lands, not for their diplomatic skills but for their fighting skills and aptitude. Scotland after all for many years was a feudal nation.

    Historically Scottish Soldiers have been at the forefront of many battles for the simple fact that they were seen to be among the best fighting men in the world.

    Please let that statement rise above any notion of ‘hard done’ by conspiracy.

    Complain about this comment

  • 58. At 06:52am on 03 Jun 2010, Patch Bruce wrote:

    Oh I see BBC north Britain is lining up another anti SNP scare mongering stroy over NHS staff cuts in areas where budgets are controlled by labour members. Who's the news editor again.....oh yes. Brian, what about the alleged corruption in the labour party in Glasgow City council, and SPT is that not worth investigating? Well lets see what mis-truths Ian (who) Gray comes out with today.

    Complain about this comment

  • 59. At 06:52am on 03 Jun 2010, AusScot wrote:

    The Labour party are the new people’s champions in Scotland and through Iain Gray and Jackie Baillie they will push to protect the NHS.

    They have launched the "more Nats fewer nurses" campaign and the BBC is already providing them with coverage.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/scotland/10217488.stm

    Labour are proving to be adept at grapping the headlines since the GE. Whether this down to Scottish Media as a whole or the Labour party itself, remains to be seen but they are grapping more headlines than anyone else. Usually its to the detriment of the Scottish Government and indirectly to the Scottish People.

    I wonder if the average Scottish voter will be able to see through the headline grapping scare mongering coming from the labour Party.

    Complain about this comment

  • 60. At 07:26am on 03 Jun 2010, redrobb wrote:

    SPT - No custodial sentences perhaps working to similar rules aka Westminster? Aye richt!!

    Lambs to the slaughter - Aka Highlanders? whats' new

    Conspiracy - Surrounded by them!

    Liberals - Deserve a severe kicking @ next appropriate election!!

    Complain about this comment

  • 61. At 07:39am on 03 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    So Bill Butler wants Robert Owen to feature on Scottish banknotes...

    How does he try to achieve this?

    By contacting the chairmen/chief executives/etc. of any of the three banks authorised to issue notes?

    No, by bringing forward a motion in the Scottish Parliament despite the fact that he readily acknowledges that "[MSPs] cannot compel the banks to honour Robert Owen..."

    There are enough matters "of interest to the Scottish people" to be getting on with, without such an arrant waste of time and money; surely the Presiding Officer is empowered to declare the motion not a competent matter.

    At worst, read out the motion and then immediately vote - all will be in favour, and that will be an end to the matter - which failing I take it that Mr Butler will be offering to meet all costs incurred by the Scottish Parliament in holding such a pointless exercise of a 'debate'.

    Complain about this comment

  • 62. At 09:24am on 03 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 09:32am on 03 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    Today we will see more Labour-Lies in parliament today.

    Jackie Baillie is planning to wave a bit of paper in a parliament debate saying that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be cutting the number of hospital beds by 20%.

    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have already responded to that by saying, "We strenuously deny the suggestion that we are planning a reduction of 20% of beds."

    Will Brian Taylor support Labour's allegations in his blog, or will he reported missing at Westminster by his BBC colleagues?

    Complain about this comment

  • 64. At 10:28am on 03 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 65. At 10:31am on 03 Jun 2010, AusScot wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 66. At 10:50am on 03 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    The mods seem a wee bit touchy today. Maybe they don't like people speculating on the source of their stories. Maybe it is people drawing links between them and a former party of influence in these parts. Or maybe it is just people making fun of them that sets off the thought police.

    It must be great to live in a free society where government organisations don't censor your words.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 67. At 11:08am on 03 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    Quote, Brian Taylor, "The SNP has argued that, in the new House of Commons, it should occupy the "third party" slot previously held by the now-silent Nick Clegg. They have yet to gain any such assurance from the Speaker, John Bercow. On today's evidence, it will be a no."

    Lets look at the Election 2010 Results.

    Plaid Cymru: 3 seats, 165,394 votes

    DUP: 8 seats, 168,216 votes.

    Sinn Fein: 5 seats, 171,942 votes.

    SNP: 6 seats, 491,386 votes.

    The SNP are the 4th largest supported party at Westminster.

    Together with Plaid they should get the "third party" slot at Westminster.

    Complain about this comment

  • 68. At 11:10am on 03 Jun 2010, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Question Time.

    Perhaps you could ask Labour why the following was PFI schemes, and many more like them nationwide, have come home to roost ?

    The NHS like most boards are up to their necks in PFI debt, would it be too much to ask if the state broadcaster could find out why?




    The Argus (Norwich)

    ‘’The Liberal Democrats attacked the use of the controversial private finance initiative (PFI) for two NHS projects in the county, warning Labour's legacy would be “cuts in vital services” to pay the future bills. ‘’

    ‘’According to an analysis by the Liberal Democrats, the two Sussex hospital schemes are worth a total of £58 million, but the eventual PFI payments will amount to £331 million – more than five times as much - because the hospital trusts involved did deals with private developers. ‘’

    ‘’The deal to redevelop the hospital, whose construction costs came to £36 million, was struck in 2004 after the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust agreed to pay developers a total of £180 million over 30 years’’

    ‘’Similarly, the reconfiguration of mental health services near the old Graylingwell Hospital in Chichester cost £22 million but taxpayers will pay £151 million over 30 years under a deal agreed by the Sussex Partnership Trust in 1999.’’

    Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat health spokesman, said: "Hospitals all over the country are mortgaged to the hilt and there are serious concerns that these repayments will lead to cuts in vital services."
    ‘’The criticism was echoed by the health union Unison, which said PFI had allowed big businesses to "make a killing" out of the NHS. ‘’

    The Independent

    ‘’ Some departments have also tied themselves into unequal contracts that opponents claim levy high charges because the Government is seen as a "soft touch". Some private finance initiative (PFI) deals impose charges as high as £300 for replacing an electrical socket or almost £500 for fitting a new lock.’’

    The Guardian

    ‘’More than one in five public sector organisations say that deals signed under the private finance initiative represent worse value for money now than they did when first signed, a report by MPs warned today.
    Taxpayers' money is being wasted because government departments and local councils are "taking their eye off the ball" after signing deals with private companies, the Commons public accounts committee said.
    More than 400 PFI contracts, worth over £100bn, are currently in force and the government has made them a key part of its plans to reform public services. ‘’

    David Morrison.

    The last Conservative government invented the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) but it was New Labour that made it into a major instrument for the provision of public facilities and services. The person responsible for that was Gordon Brown. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he forced public bodies to use the PFI model.
    He did so, even though PFI costs more than the traditional mode of procurement. In other words, it wastes taxpayers’ money. It does so in two ways:

    (1) It involves public bodies borrowing money at a higher rate of interest than through the usual means of public borrowing. In other words, it’s like opting for a 7% mortgage when you are buying a house, even though you can get a 6% mortgage.

    (2) It normally involves public bodies entering into long term contracts for services, the need for which may change dramatically or disappear altogether well before the contract term is over. For example, the pupil numbers in a school may decline or it may close altogether, but the annual contract charge may still have to be paid.

    A prime example of that has occurred in Northern Ireland. In October 2000, the Belfast Education & Library Board signed a 25-year PFI contract for the provision of, amongst other things, a school to accommodate 500 pupils. The school - Balmoral High School - was opened in 2002, but it is going to close next summer, a mere six years after it opened. However, the Belfast Education & Library Board is having to pay more than £400,000 a year up until 2027, a total of £9.2 million, to the PFI contractor for an empty school. This was revealed in a report in the Belfast Telegraph on 14 December 2007

    Complain about this comment

  • 69. At 11:28am on 03 Jun 2010, AusScot wrote:

    My Posting at 65 was blocked because I quoted certain words from post 62:
    My view regarding the dog statement made was that it could be a catchy t-shirt slogan.

    One will note that the words: is, dog, Labour...
    and
    BBC Scotland.... should not be used in the same sentence as it upsets the moderators!

    I apologise to all canines out there with the reference to a certain political party.

    Complain about this comment

  • 70. At 12:24pm on 03 Jun 2010, redrobb wrote:

    Scotland v's Westminister PMQ's.............that'll score is easy to predict! This side of the border are a side-show at best left to the corner of the PM eye.

    Complain about this comment

  • 71. At 12:33pm on 03 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    A different question time, today, Brian, on which I just watched dour Iain in denial yet again over Labour's responsibilities on FMQs. Why am I unsurprised at your defence of him? Although for once it has to be admitted that it seemed mild compared to the ludicrous obsequiousness of Mr Cochrane?

    Complain about this comment

  • 72. At 12:34pm on 03 Jun 2010, Wicked_Witch_of_the_West_Coast wrote:

    67. At 11:08am on 03 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    Plaid Cymru: 3 seats, 165,394 votes

    DUP: 8 seats, 168,216 votes.

    Sinn Fein: 5 seats, 171,942 votes.

    SNP: 6 seats, 491,386 votes.

    The SNP are the 4th largest supported party at Westminster.

    Together with Plaid they should get the "third party" slot at Westminster.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What of the 8 seats the DUP have? 8 is more than 6, at least it was when I took my arithmetic o'grade. Without an official coalition agreement, the SNP and Plaid have to stand on their own, surely?



    Complain about this comment

  • 73. At 12:40pm on 03 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    #69
    My comment was similar, I just suggested changing the gender of the dog.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 74. At 12:56pm on 03 Jun 2010, Flora d Lithe wrote:

    Presumably, the fact that this blog entry's URI ends "question_time_1.html" notwithstanding the display title of just "Question Time" means that today will see us furnished with "question_time_2.html"

    Am I being naïve in hoping that it will be any less partisan that BT's on-screen performance today?

    I am shocked to admit it, but the Gray man DID in fact do quite well - or would have done so if he hadn't fluffed his lines a couple of times.

    Like me, he was probably so surprised to have landed a blow that he was

    Complain about this comment

  • 75. At 1:01pm on 03 Jun 2010, Eddie wrote:

    Minuend - what utter garbage you spout. You are still obviously hurting from the pasting that the SNP took in the election. SNP - not wanted by Scotland!

    Complain about this comment

  • 76. At 1:28pm on 03 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #72 Morrigan
    "8 is more than 6"

    The clue is in the word supported in minuend's "The SNP are the 4th largest supported party at Westminster."

    Those who regard Westmidden's 1872 plurality voting system as a less than perfect expression of democracy includes [every state in the EEA for a start!] consider votes to be important: 168,216 vs. 491,386 is indeed quite a disparity.

    Also, the Celtic bloc on which PC and the SNP fought the general election has not been disbanded. What process exists at Westmidden for the registration of the "official coalition agreement" you demand? Even you seem to realise that would make it 9 vs. 8 in "old money".

    Complain about this comment

  • 77. At 1:29pm on 03 Jun 2010, euan0709 wrote:

    Brian....For the time being Westminster is important for International Affairs etc.....However you are the SCOTTISH Political Editor and where possible stick to Scottish matters.
    E.G. The SPT expenses scandal, the Labour Party Honours list (and attendent cronyism). The Gray mans "secret" paper re a name change which is keeping everyone on the edge of their seats and of course the aftermath of Purcells "Friday Lunch Club" ( hasnt that gone very quite)
    On a different matter and slightly off topic...I heard that Iain Macmillan has changed his tune today re additional tax powers ??? Can anybody enlighten me.

    Complain about this comment

  • 78. At 1:45pm on 03 Jun 2010, Eddie wrote:

    #67 Minuend - In terms of share of the vote no they shouldn't

    Scotland - population aged 18+ (mid year est 2008*) = 4122807
    SNP number of votes = 491386 = 11.919%

    Northern Ireland - population aged 18+ (mid year 2008**) = 1342399
    DUP number of votes = 168216 = 12.531%

    *GRO(S)
    ** NISRA

    Complain about this comment

  • 79. At 2:06pm on 03 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #75 deducted4points
    "You are still obviously hurting from the pasting that the SNP took in the election."

    What shocked many people posting here was the efficacy of the MSM in promoting the North British branch of the Labour party, with the North British branch of the BBC in the lead, and resulting in the red Tweedles increasing their share of the vote at all, let alone the 6.26% by which they did so.

    That said, in what respect does increasing the SNP vote share by more than double that - 12.82% to be precise - constitute taking a "pasting"?

    Complain about this comment

  • 80. At 2:07pm on 03 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 81. At 2:16pm on 03 Jun 2010, minuend wrote:

    The SNP with nearly 500,000 votes is the 4th best supported party at Westminster.

    Through their 2010 joint manifesto declaration both SNP & Plaid have a combined mandate of 9 seats and 760,000 votes. They are entitled to the "third party" slot at Westminster.

    Complain about this comment

  • 82. At 2:24pm on 03 Jun 2010, GrannieAnne wrote:

    75. deducted4points


    The pasting in which their vote share went up 2% from the previous GE? Ah, yes. That one. Just checking.

    Complain about this comment

  • 83. At 2:47pm on 03 Jun 2010, Rob04 wrote:

    Dear Rob 04, what on earth was your point in your last post? Throwing insults, and spouting meaningless rhetoric does not win an argument. You have to actually be brave enough to put forward your rationale for public examination and scrutiny to be taken seriously.

    So Rob 04 please tell us why you think we would be better off under the constraints of the Act of Union and why independence or full fiscal autonomy would be bad for Scotland as over the last thirty odd years all i've heard from the labour party is that we are too small and too poor. With the Tories I at least understand their desire to keep the union for outdated sentimental reasons. I can't for the life of me understand the position of the Labour party and the Liberals!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Oh Bruce, so dramatic! Often 'less is more'.

    But happy to answer you question though I'm unsure why you expect me to defend the Act of Union and the Labour Party. I'm not an ideologue Bruce. I have no party affiliations to your lot, or any of the others and nor would I want them.

    Would I have supported the AofU at the time? Probably not but Scotland did pretty well economically from it all the same and had its share of the Empire that our social elite built 'with' their English and Anglo-Irish counterparts. Do I think Scotland could govern itself independently? Don't see why not and I see the creeping powers through devolution to Calman as part of that process. It's a logical (but not an inevitable) end point; and not suffering from any 'cringe' or lack of confidence I have no problem with any of that.

    That said it doesn't mean I would vote for it: there are economic issues and I've yet to hear the SNP make any 'detailed' case (using the word 'oil' isn't enough); and, is there a difference being run from London and by the Oxbridge boys, or being run in Edinburgh by the middle-classes (the 'Cameron's' and the 'Tavish's')?

    Complain about this comment

  • 84. At 2:51pm on 03 Jun 2010, john wrote:

    #78 deducted 4 points

    Are you seriously putting that forward as an arguement? I'll agree that minuend's arguement is tenuous given our system (but actually fairer). Yours however is totally bonkers.

    John

    Complain about this comment

  • 85. At 3:03pm on 03 Jun 2010, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #78 deducted4points
    "In terms of share of the vote no they shouldn't"

    Creative accounting at its best or worst depending on one's point of view, but I have to admire your perspicacity.

    But in making your calculations you demonstrate very well how the nature of the UK's "democracy" makes it such an unequal union that four of the parties of government of three of the four nations of said union are considered too wee and pretendy to have the right to question the ruler of that state in its parliament.

    Irrespective of the parties involved, it's that asymmetric nature of the UK's quasi-democracy which will ultimately be its downfall, and sooner rather than later as it is now out there for all to see on live TV.

    Complain about this comment

  • 86. At 3:12pm on 03 Jun 2010, spagan wrote:

    And meanwhile, North of the Border, our SNP Government -
    And an Opposition consisting of:
    New (But maybe Old again or possibly "Newer Still") Labour (Northern British Branch;
    Liberal (a little) and Democrat (when it suits) and "federally Scotch";
    Conservative (and mostly) Unionist (forget Progressive, more Reactive and Retrospective Northern British Branch);
    One Green (or is it Cabbage-looking?);
    and Margo aka "The Queen Mother".
    However, increasingly her Majesty's main opposition in Scotland appears to be the BBC.
    Strange World - I expect Lord Reith would approve - but he's deid and doesn't know any better.
    Slainte Mhor

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.