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The wrong rules are changing


Good morning lovely people,

BBC has axed Ros Atkins’ Outside Source. Always an excellent analysis of current affairs. I feel, no doubt like many, completely out of my depth in trying to understand where we are.

Commercial and cultural tectonic plates are moving under our feet. Commercial pressures have never been stronger. Since yesterday, and it’s no April Fool, hospitality is facing huge increases in costs (many statutory). Living wage, Covid loan repayment interest, business rates, utility costs and food costs have all increased. Parking charges too are now at £7 an hour in Edinburgh, immediately affecting customers and every tradesperson trying to work in the city.

We have a Governor of the Bank of England threatening to deliver more punitive measures if businesses put up prices. I’d love a coffee (probably a ristretto) with this man. He is supposed to understand Economics. “Restaunomics” are a whole different kettle of fish. £575,000 a year plus bonuses can’t understand the pressures service sectors are facing or more poignantly the pressures a family on an average salary are facing with cost pressures at home.

I feel like hospitality is in an earthquake and we’ve been told you can’t leave the multi-storey restaurant. The people controlling the earthquake are on higher ground having a picnic. They shouldn’t be allowed to change the rules while so many are still trying to recover.

The people of France are having none of their politicians’ decisions. They’re ready to start another revolution.

There are rumours of revolutions here. Alba are claiming their numbers are rocketing. Are we going to see a return of Salmond, his oratory skills are missing from the chamber and he was always good at reading the room. I’m not sure Yousaf has learnt this skill yet. Salmond was also happy with 16 in his Cabinet in 2014. Today we have 28. We’ve no Cabinet Secretary for Tourism or Transport. One of our biggest economic drivers plus ferries, roads and trains were clearly not a priority. We have a new minister, for Independence, the opposition benches will be taking this appointment out to lunch.

The final 52% to 48% outcome for Yousaf is the SNP’s nemesis ratio. No request to recount this result, the one that probably needed it the most. 26,032 people (0.65% of the Scottish population) decided. It really is time to change the rules.

The SNP members may have read their room but they haven’t read the country. The decision to not elect Forbes, for many, is a missed opportunity to unity outside the party. The decision not to keep her in her old cabinet post was a bigger missed opportunity. It’s sad to lose her talent but no mention of Ash Regan in Cabinet either. It looks like a clean weep with the old broom. Continuity or nothing, no room for inclusion here.

The new Deputy and Finance Secretary, who steered the GRR bill was an interesting choice. She was coincidentally the new FM’s wifes old boss. Politics is becoming more of a family business than ours. One good new appointment is Richard Lockhead, minister for Small Business. To lose Ivan McKee, a Forbes supporter, many have commented is yet another sad sting for business.

There is a generational dilemma. At 50 plus I feel a little in the middle. I challenge Nonna G’s views on many fronts, equally our children challenge me. SNP is looking to a younger demographic. Two greats in their field, Salmond and Sturgeon couldn’t break the nemesis, politics is a long game, can Yousaf hang around long enough to win, the polls are saying that’s looking doubtful.

The next general election will be interesting. Labour could have their comeback and wipe the Conservatives and the SNP out of Westminster shifting the tectonic plates at Holyrood at the same time. With their position on Brexit, they don’t deserve to.

We really are a multicultural nation, as descendants of immigrants this is one cause for celebration, I don’t know how that fits in with our Brexit position though, maybe we just don’t like Europeans. We have a Muslim FM, a Hindu PM and Buddist Home Secretary. I was intrigued if there were any Catholics in these top jobs. My search led me to Boris Johnson, the first Catholic PM. I closed my computer quicker than you can say Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey. Speaking of the donkeys; Hancock, Kwarteng and Hammond were caught out again, this time in their exchange rates for dollars and sterling on their hourly consulting rate. It really is time to change the rules.

Liz Truss got four new appointments to the House of Lords, at a cost of 4% on all our borrowings. Sunak’s tax returns leave more questions than answers and given the time of their publication we’ve all forgotten about them anyway. Operation Banchform, the police investigations into the SNP which has already recorded 19 criminal complaints regarding the missing £600,000, many will hope we’d forgotten about this too but I don’t think this will go quietly or quickly. With £80k being spent on luxury cars, Sturgeon learning to drive but keeping her chauffeur driven tax payer benefit, maybe these rules need to change too.

The FM is focusing on culture first, independence, and the commercial, he says, will follow. The PM says he focuses on both but maybe that’s for his wife only. Ros come back soon, this really is all too complicated.

Keep well and keep smiling

Happy Easter next week, always a lovely time to celebrate spring


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