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The Naughty List

Rocco in christmas jumper

Good morning lovely people,

On the morning of the last post, I stayed in bed all day.  It felt like an early Christmas present.  I was a little under the weather, just a bad cough, two packets of Panadol and chicken soup fixed me.  The thought of the laundry, piled higher than our 4 ft Christmas tree, tempted my naughty nature. Nobody is allowed to be sick in our house. I sent No 2 daughter to primary school once with tonsillitis. It’s a constant challenge to get me on the nice list.

EU Commissioner, Ursula von der Leyen, says the UK is on a path towards re-joining the EU. Our next generation will fix the damage of the last. We can only pray that their education hasn’t been so badly damaged that they will still be able to solve the problem.  Reports out this week saying the Curriculum for Excellence isn’t hitting the mark. Sadly there is nothing excellent if our children’s education is falling short.

We left Europe to control our borders yet immigration has never been higher.  Recruitment, as you know, has been very difficult but for the first time in over 3 years we have no vacancies. Wow!

Last month we became a licensed sponsor through the Skilled Worker Visa scheme. The very expensive and very complicated system for legal migration. Our first certificate of sponsorship has been granted for an American member of the team. He wanted to stay, we wanted him to stay.  This wasn’t a random recruitment of a stranger, this was supporting a valued member of our team, educated at a Scottish University, to allow him to continue to work in the UK.  Shocking that we have to pay for this. The proposed changes to this form of recruitment will affect us. If they pass, this person would no longer qualify, due to pay.  Will he have to leave, we don’t yet know? Hospitality, again, is saying this won’t work but nobody is listening.

The Rwandan Policy, to tackle illegal migration,  which is regarded as appalling by the vast majority, has yet to show any success and has already cost £150 million. Is this strategy going to stop the boats, or will it sink Sunak?  More letters have been sent to the 1922 Committee.  Do you think they’re getting confused with their Santa letters?  No more leadership elections please.

Meanwhile in Scotland there’s another special cabinet meeting to discuss the £1bn budget shortfall.  The Greens have ruled out any chance of business rates support. Possible tax rises which would further distance our teams earnings from those south of the border are being hinted at.  We’re facing a visitor levy in Edinburgh and now there is talk that a levy may also be applied to concert tickets.  Why so much stick?  I’m surprised we have any straw left.

The Covid Inquiry is showing the lack of cooperation not only between ministers and advisors but between our nations.

I wish Donald Dewar was still here. I’d ask him why his plan for Devolution involved MSPs.  What would the outcome be if we voted once per term for one representative to sit in both parliaments? The Devolved issues would be dealt with on Scottish time and the central issues would be dealt with UK time. There is only one of each problem. Why does it need to be doubled up? If the same democratic representative was sitting in both Parliaments is this not better democracy?

It’s not devaluing or diluting devolution, it is amplifying it.  I know it’s nonsense but when you’ve got a whole day in bed you’ve got to come up with something.

We’re all very sad that we lost two huge Edinburgh personalities last week. Dearest John Byrne. What a beautiful human being. Having the privilege of seeing and reading testimonials for him only reinforced what a truly special person he was. His talent and his humanity will be very sadly missed by very many.

Lord Darling, another who will be very much missed by his family and friends.  Described as the right Chancellor at the right time of national crisis.  ‘We were at the stage where in a very short period of time, one of the world’s biggest banks would have to shut the door and switch off the electricity.’  That team managed to keep the lights on. It wasn’t perfect but it felt professional and it felt like it was a good job done, not a drama played out as a performance. Mr Johnston humbly said he did his level best.  I think that refers to his “lieing” position.

Kate Forbe’s has requested cancelling the Bute House Agreement, this would definitely feel like Christmas has come early.

Keep well and there is still time to get on the nice list, I hope.


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