Thursday, 14 October 2021

The Emperor's Empty Promises

Most readers will know Hans Andersen's tale of the "Emperor's New Clothes", many will have read articles describing our current Prime Minister in exactly those terms; vain, haughty, arrogant and ignorant.

He claims to fashion himself on Churchill but his delivery is more that of Hitler - vague, vain glorious, blustering doggerel, promising the world will be ours; but only if we are good boys and girls and do what he says.

He leads a cabinet which appears incompetent, busily back stabbing, fawning over the Boris, praising his disasters as massive successes, again just like Hitler's acolytes, while ignoring the objective evidence that all Boris is managing to do is reduce the UK to a western version of Lebanon with power cuts, food shortages, fuel shortages and the rest while his hedgefund pals (and probably himself) look forward to making a killing, betting on the collapse of Sterling within the next few months.

Locally to me, the Scottish Secretary has been playing the "improve the A75" card without actually telling us if the UK Treasury will cough up the billions required to dual the road from the M74 to Stranrear. They had a photo op of Jack and his MSP minions standing by a sign on the A75 looking serious, published in all the local papers, yet there was no information about them having any discussion with Transport Scotland who are responsible for the trunk road or either of the contractors who maintain it.

The dualling as far as Auchencairn is, in engineering terms, fairly straight forward, well once they resolve the route and land disputes about where the Springholm / Crocketford by-pass will go. But from Auchenlaire on there are some serious engineering problems to be overcome from the extremely narrow section of road along the cliffs, building across the Merse at Creetown, crossing the deep peat of the Machars and the need for a tunnel or a cutting on the Glen Luce by-pass.

Those who use the road across the Machars from Newton Stewart to Glen Luce will tell you how quickly a newly laid road surface becomes corrugated on the A75 due to the deep peat under some sections of the road.

Yet Mr Jack opines that his friend Sunak in the UK Treasury will throw enough billions of pounds at the project so all these inherent problems will just disappear and like magic, a dualled A75 will just appear.

The problem for me is, we hear these sort of promises from the local Conservative MP only when he realises he and his MSPs are in a political hole, like the damage caused to his constituents' businesses, many of whom he needs to keep his seat, by Brexit - especially on the sea food and agricultural side.

The A75, yes, but nothing to say about how he will canvass his fellow ministers to meet the needs of an area with some of the lowest average wages in Scotland for whom the loss of £20 a week in Universal Credit is a big deal and the rising energy costs means cooking or heating but not both.

Mr Jack, if the UK Treasury can find the billions to dual the A 75 to save you and your MSPs electoral skin then it can afford to keep the £20 Universal Credit uplift. It is surely a worry to you that families with both parents working, in your constituency, have to be referred to the local food bank?

You have claimed £100,000 of pounds from the EU and expect the UK Taxpayer to pay you for being an MP, then extra for being a Secretary of State, pay for all your staff and your expenses. To add insult to injury the costs of the Scottish Office are deducted from Scotland's tax take to fund the Tory / Britannia propaganda your "Scotch" office churns out.

Could you not just bung the local food banks £10,000 from your own pocket to help out with the disaster your government's policies are creating in your constituency? You would hardly miss it. Then again, you would probably charge it to Scottish Office expenses so it would really be a Scottish Taxpayer donation.

The definition of a Tory in trouble: they promise much but never deliver. The A75 is not going to be dualled any time soon because the UK Treasury will say "NO" to money being invested in Scottish infrastructure with the big bogey men of independence and stagflation of Brexit lurking ever more menacingly over his shoulder and with it a run on the pound.

50 years along and we are economically back where we started in the 1970's with the threat of power cuts, strikes, labour shortages all rearing their ugly heads. By Christmas, Boris will be talking about or even implementing a three day week to deal with energy shortages and facing all the problems that drove Heath from office in 1974.

Callaghan's Government was equally incompetent and all that saved the UK from collapse was the discovery of oil and gas, in commercial quantities, off Scotland. The income from which the Thatcher Government used to rebuild London and the City in her own image. 

I need say no more.