Tag Archives: Justine

Ellon hustings 17 April 2015

An evening with Justine, Part 2

“So the question was: How do you plan to improve support services?

Clarke’s first up, he says the councils are very hard up because of the council tax freeze and he would like to get rid of it and raise council tax. Is that a vote winner? Braden wants all carers to be paid the living wage, scrap the bedroom tax and pause the roll out of Universal Credit. Fair enough I suppose. Justine wants to devolve funding down to the lowest level, she is against centralisation. She appears to be offering more of the last 5 years but decides now is the time to pull the rabbit from the hat, “I’ll gie ya £800m for your NHS Scotland.” That’s a fat rabbit, but the LibDems voted with the tories for £30bn cuts. Where’s this cash coming from? WeeEck sets aboot defending the council tax freeze, he says abody’s benefited fae the freeze, afore it was frozen cooncil tax had shot up faster than a squib on bonfire nicht. A the auld folks had benefited too and a the cooncils hid been fully funded.

A this chat fae WeeEck fair winds up Justine. She his a go at the tories’ cuts, but yon Malcolm Bruce voted for all of them. The irony is lost on her. Noo she’s wanting to bin cooncil tax a thigethir, but she wid gie us a new local income tax. By this time she’s up tae high doe, ranting aboot the bedroom tax (irony again?). It seemed to me that WeeEck had pressed a button and set Justine off. Braden agrees with WeeEck about bedroom tax. Clark says zero hour contracts are magic, because without them some people wouldn’t have a job. He makes a pre prepared Freudian slip and calls the LibDems the Labour Democrats. It fell pretty flat.

For me I would like to see a local income tax, it would make the councils directly responsible to the electorate. I always thought that council tax was unfair.

Some bloke serves another course: When will we see home rule or devo max?

WeeEck’s got fire in his belly, gies us a stirring speech aboot vows and pledges beein honoured. “Send me tae Westminster an, wi ma pals, we’ll mak sure Scotland gets fit it was promised,” sort ae stuff. That went down well (with me anyway). Justine gies us a history lesson that  must hae been written by her pal @historywoman (get the tag right, all lower case). Then she says she wants Federalism within the UK. Braden gives WeeEck a dressing down about the costs of Full Fiscal Autonomy (FFA), he says we would end up with all of the costs of independence but none of the benefits (Wow, a Labour PPC admitting that there would be benefits to independence. He’s gone off message there.) Clark decides to have a go at Justine’s claim, “I’m not a Unionist.” That’s right, Justine claims to not be a unionist, “I’m a federalist,” she says. But I remember her dedication to the Union during the independence campaign. She stood shoulder to shoulder with the tories in defence of the union, but she’s not a Unionist? Come on. She even tried to deny that she had said any such thing, but all of the other panelists told her that they remember her saying it. Oh dear, sometimes it’s best to just stop digging.

ae finish aff this wee spell WeeEck cracks a joke, “The Smith Commission had to go at the speed of the slowest boat in the convoy, and with Conservatives, Labour and LibDems there were lots of slow boats.” It had me laughing. Then he said that Smith doesn’t come close to devo max. I couldn’t agree more, Smith was a giant fudge with every aspect of it reduced to the lowest common denominator. If we allow it, we won’t even get the powers in the Smith recommendations.

I’ll finish this one here, watch out for Part 3 soon.

Ellon hustings 17 April 2015

An evening with Justine, Part 1

It was with delight that  I received an invitation, “Justine requests the pleasure of your company at  The Hustings, Victoria Hall, Ellon. 19:30.” There was no RSVP, no return address. I’ve got to admit, it piqued my interest. So I went along, as did a fair few other folk. But Justine wasn’t on her own, she’d brought along a few friends: (from the right) Clark, Braden, some bloke, the lady herself and WeeEck was to her right. On her left, so to speak.

We had an aperitif, or “Opening Statements” as they were called. WeeEck was first up, he was chuffed that Brew Dog made beer in Ellon (so am I by the way). Then Justine spoke for the first time, her voice like a blackbird’s song with hooks and barbs. She got tore right into WeeEck then got sweet on the pensioners. She got fair fired up, got the crop oot and swung it about like she wanted to gie WeeEck the punishment she knows he deserves. It was up and doon and side tae side. She gied it laldy on the economy, bigging up the Lib Dems record. Next up Braden gives us a good old fashioned New Labour sermon. Clark tells us he’s from Auchterless and he thinks shrinking the welfare state is good.

Then some bloke feeds us with our starter: what do you think of reinstating the Formartine and Buchan railway? For those who don’t know, this railway line was closed by the Beeching cuts and is now a long distance footpath and cycle route.

WeeEck’s first up and thought it was a good idea. I’m like WTF? That’s my cycle route to work, that’s the route that allows me to keep my sanity during the morning commute, and he wants to turn it back into a railway! NESTRANS are on the case as we speak!

Then Justine gives the knife a twist, she’s all for it too! She gets the whip oot again: WeeEck’s gettin it wi the SNP BAD and thon Big Brig ower the Forth’s nae needed.

Braden’s all for it, it seems like a good idea to him, like good seems like an idea. But like whatever, why can’t the government own the railway?

Clark’s gives me hope, he wants to turn the A90 into a truck super highway. I’m not sure about that but at least I’ll keep my sanity.

There’s a wee bit o banter, WeeEck tells Justine she’s on a shoogly brig because her an her pals forced a the cash that was set aside for Grand Plans into the Edinburgh Trams. But Clark tells them both off, “Alex, you just want to go to Westminster to shake it to its’ foundations. Justine, you are really quite scary.” I find myself agreeing with a tory for probably the first time in my life.

The next course is expertly served by some guy: How do you plan to improve support services? But Justine has worn me out, so you’re going to have to wait to find out about the rest of the evening.

Gordon Constituency Electoral Calculus

A letter from Justine

Well I got a nice wee surprise when I got in from work, a lovely letter from the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the constituency of Gordon; Christine Jardine, or Justine to her boss.

I won’t bother talking about the first part of the letter, it was all SNP bashing anyway. What is it with these unionist parties? Why can’t they give us a positive vision of the UK? It all seems to be SNP BAD. Is that really the message that the Liberal Democrats want to send to the electorate?

Justine's Letter

Justine’s Letter

Anyway enough of the SNP doom porn, let’s take a look at the interesting bit at the bottom of the letter. Let’s deal with the PS first, pedants among you will probably say that there is a full stop missing after the “P” but I’m not going there. The message is that there are only 2 candidates running in Gordon. That is a LIE! There are 5 candidates standing so there is more choice than they are letting on. I know, I know. Picky, picky. But it’s important to get the finer points of your message right isn’t it? Otherwise how can people believe the rest of the message?

Then we get some more SNP BAD with the message that they “took their eye off the ball on local services”, but local services are devolved and this is a UK General Election. The local services that are being talked about are run by Aberdeenshire Council for the most part with a part of the constituency being located within Aberdeen City Council area. Just for the record Aberdeenshire Council is run by a coalition of Conservative and…Liberal Democrats! That’s right, Justine is highlighting the failings of her own colleagues. Aberdeen City Council is run by a coalition of Conservative and Labour, the makings of a grand coalition perhaps?

Then we get to the 2 horse race bit, here is what the people at Electoral Calculus think about Gordon Constituency.

Gordon Constituency Electoral Calculus

Gordon Constituency Electoral Calculus

Not exactly a 2 horse race is it? But we’ll let that one slide.

Then we get to the small print, handily resized for ease of reading (it’s for me really, as my auld mither says, “Auld age, it disnae come alone.”) Apologies for the scanner failure.

Justine Letter Small Print

Justine Letter Small Print

We can see that the letter is printed in London, a quick search of Google (other search engines are available) yields lots of local printers which could have been used to print the letter. Justine takes local money and spends it in London. That’s a familiar theme…

Then there is the “Gordon Liberal Democrats”, a quick search of the registered political parties at the Electoral Commission yields no results. They don’t exist. Then there is the biggest lie on the page:

"Scottish" Liberal Democrats Logo

“Scottish” Liberal Democrats Logo

Can you guess what it is yet? That’s right, there is NO SUCH PARTY! They are trying to fool the electorate into believing that the party is local. But it’s a London party, for London people.

It’s a party which enabled the worst ravages of the Tories over the last five years. A party which abandoned its solemn pledge on tuition fees just so that they could cruise around London in ministerial cars. Malcolm Bruce, the previous incumbent (for 31 years) voted with the tories for the increase in tuition fees, voted with the tories for the bedroom tax, voted with the tories for the benefits cap, voted with the tories for increasing VAT, voted with the tories against the top rate of income tax, voted with the tories against the banker’s bonus tax. He was, for all intents and purposes, a tory. Why would anyone vote for that?