Having moved to Peebles in 2002, ‘Stooriefit’ Bosco Santimano gives us his own take on what he feels is the hot topic of the day. This week it’s the UK Governments Internal Market Bill…
Boris has done it again! This guy has all the making of a Dictator and is actually putting Trump to shame by his shenanigans and constant battle to override the law in this country and now is on the cusp of breaking International law too!. Boris introduced the Internal Market Bill in the House of Commons to be passed democratically, as his party and Brexiteers confirm; is the only way to stop the EU from breaking up the United Kingdom! MPs backed the Internal Market Bill by 340 votes to 263. This was going to happen anyway as the Tories have a 80 seat majority. You really can’t make this up as Boris is undermining his very own “oven baked” deal as promised in his manifesto at last years UK elections. What does not add up is that he actually signed the bill and is now ready to break a legal contract according to law. The arrogance of this man and his party is beyond belief. Our very own six Scottish Tories actually voted for the bill. What does this mean? Can I or anyone else break the law when it suit us? The Scottish Tories including David Mundell have repeatedly said that this bill will protect Scottish jobs hence the reason they voted for it. Yes! It will protect only their jobs and all the perks that come with it including being elected to the House of Lords once the electorate in his constituency wake up and smell the awful stink his reign has created in the Borders.
Two former prime ministers and many ex-Tory MP’s warned against breaching international law, saying it would be “a serious foreign policy error” and lack of credibility when the government tries to sign new trade deals with countries for the first time as a “sovereign” nation. The government is calculating that the British public won’t pay any attention to more Brexit related news as the whole country struggles with unemployment and death due to coronavirus. The UK is set to enter its worst recession in over 300 years due to coronavirus and a No Deal Brexit. The UK looks set to losing its control over the three nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with the latter to re-join its rightful place within the Irish Republic and all thanks to Brexit and an incompetent prime minister.
Once again the Tories have shown that they cannot be trusted with the devolution settlement, Withdrawal Agreement, International Law and the Political Declaration published in October 2019, setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The next three months will decide the fate of the people of these islands once and for all.
Published in The Peeblesshire News on Friday 25th September 2020.
Having moved to Peebles in 2002, ‘Stooriefit’ Bosco Santimano gives us his own take on what he feels is the hot topic of the day. This week it’s the “The Bedroom Tax”.
Since the Tories came to power at Westminster in 2010 led by David Cameron winning the largest number of votes and seats but still 20 seats short for an outright majority, they formed a coalition with the greedy power hungry Liberal Democrats and systematically went about dismantling the benefit system in this country by introducing Universal Credit. This policy was the brainchild of Ian Duncan Smith. The Tories and their Lib-Dem partners used the benefit system to balance the books which took a hit due to the recession, which in fact was caused by the financial institutions. Since many of the Tory supporters and donors are from rich backgrounds they did not dare go after these individuals but turned their guns on the weak, vulnerable and poor in our society who for no fault of theirs were made to pay a heavy price. The general public were made to believe that people on benefits were the cause of the financial crash and the Tories went about destroying the foundation of what was a carefully planned financial support system to help those in need when they most needed it. The gullible public once again fell for the lies of these two parties in government.
One of the main problems with Universal Credit was the introduction of what came to be known as the Bedroom Tax! Under the Welfare Reform Act 2012 the Tories/Lib-Dems voted to bring in policy changes under this reform to remove any subsidies received by social housing tenants for any spare bedrooms. Plus any two children under the age of 16 and of the same gender were expected to live in one bedroom as are two children under 10 regardless of gender. This meant families were hit with a triple whammy of having to pay more rent while the benefits were simultaneously cut to reduce the burden on the state and no affordable housing to move into or relocate. To make matters worse Lord Duncan Smith used his position within The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to set a target of 30% social housing tenants affected by these draconian changes to move home by 2017! Displacing thousands of families across the country. Many organisations, think tanks, human rights groups and even the United Nations have objected to this policy and called for its instant removal.
Coronavirus has disproportionately impacted the most vulnerable and ethnic groups in this country as they were more likely to work in industries that saw the biggest fallout of the pandemic like the NHS and lived in overcrowded accommodations due to the bedroom tax. Having no recourse to an extra room meant that these groups of people were left exposed and vulnerable to the virus. The Scottish Government has been mitigating the bedroom tax since 2013 through funding Discretionary Housing Payments for those affected and has announced it intends to use its powers under the Scotland Act 2016 to abolish the bedroom tax for those on Universal Credit. But politics and Brexit have put people in this precarious situation were lives are being lost due to an avoidable policy put in place by the Tories.
Published in The Peeblesshire News on Friday 21st August 2020.
Having moved to Peebles in 2002, ‘Stooriefit’ Bosco Santimano gives us his own take on what he feels is the hot topic of the day. This week its “Furlough vs Key Workers”.
Thanks to the Conservatives at Westminster the biggest beneficiary of the pandemic are Furlough workers. 80 percent of salaries paid for up to a limit of £2500 per month to more than 9 million employees across the United Kingdom. Though Furlough is not a recognised term in UK employment law, it is commonly used in the US to lay-off or suspend staff without pay! Employers can also furlough those who are temporarily unable to work because; they’re ‘shielding’ (told to stay at home by the NHS because of an underlying health condition), someone in their household is shielding, they have childcare responsibilities and/or they’re caring for a vulnerable person in their household. The Furlough scheme; AKA Job Retention Scheme is open only to those workers/employees who are on payroll. Due to the complexities of this scheme, it has been reported that many employers and employees have been abusing the system to maximise their income as the current unemployment benefits like Universal Credits have huge caveats that are discouraging people from applying. Eg. savings threshold and the maximum amount available which is far less than the generous furlough payments. All in all Furlough workers have benefitted immensely from the Chancellors epic scheme.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said about Key workers. Before the pandemic these groups of people were considered unskilled workers and were subjected to zero hour contracts, low wages, no sick and holiday pay along with the special privilege of not being given work if they spoke up against their employers. These key workers were instrumental in keeping the country moving when the majority of furloughed staff were holidaying and enjoying their unexpected break which was paid for by the tax payers. Supermarket staff in Peebles, along with carers and other essential workers were forced to work in hazardous conditions eg. no PPE equipment and having no way to play the system by being furloughed so that they could protect themselves and their family and friends from the coronavirus. The salary of these so called key workers are very low and many find it had to make ends meet. Politicians don’t really care about these key workers because if they did, they would be passing legislation to increase the salaries of what we now know as being crucial to keep the economy and country moving. The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) is a leading economy research institute based in the Department of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The Covid-19 pandemic has awoken many to the role that key workers play in our society. But who exactly are they, and what do we know about them? This (FAI) research helps give us a basic understanding of this group of workers. For example, over a third of workers in Scotland are a key worker, this equates to approximately 920,000 people in Scotland and nearly half are in the public sector! Plus to make matters worse most key workers are women, work part-time and have the lowest wages. It’s interesting to note that Scottish Borders Council’s Chief Executive is a women, drawing a salary over £100,000, plus extra top-ups for any additional duties along with the Leader of the Council being the highest paid elected representative. These two women if they choose to do so, can make a huge difference by raising the salaries of the frontline staff but will choose not to, just in case it upsets the powers that be and may jeopardise their own salaries and positions.
So! The next time these elected representatives tell you to clap for the NHS and Key Workers, please think again and don’t fall for this con and deflection by the Conservatives. They really don’t care about anyone else other than themselves. What the Key Workers now need is a much needed paid holiday and a raise. No more clapping! Will you as the public make this happen and hold your Politicians accountable?
To all Key Workers in Scotland, some of us have not forgotten you and thank you for all the sacrifices you have made.
Published in The Peeblesshire News on Friday 17th July 2020.
Having moved to Peebles in 2002, ‘Stooriefit’ Bosco Santimano gives us his own take on what he feels is the hot topic of the day. This week it’s Black Lives Matter…
The murder of a Black man in America caught on film was so heart-breaking to watch, never mind the past of this man. Right-wing media like FOX News in America jumped on the bandwagon of spreading more lies than truth of George Floyds past in inflaming race tensions. This narrative was imported through social media right here in the UK and shared by many as the absolute truth including some of my Facebook friends! A token Black women became famous overnight among the white right-wing groups for speaking out against the media coverage of the killing. After doing some research on her background it came to light that she is a right-wing black conservative who also appears on, guess where? FOX News! This women’s name is Candace Owens and she is the designated “Gatekeeper” for the whites in America and a hero for right-wing extremists to justify the continuation of their racist ideology on her own people!
During the Scottish Independence campaign I realised who were my Unionist Facebook friends and now the Racists among them have shown their true colours. I am aware there are still a few closet racists who dare not comment or speak about such issues. We can never truly move forward as one human race, in peace, love and harmony if we don’t confront our past as a nation that committed horrific atrocities amounting to genocide on former colonies and their citizens around the world. The vested interests among us want their citizens to be ignorant so that when the time is right they can switch on the racist rhetoric that has been conditioned in their minds since school on the unsuspecting public. This is then used to fan racial tensions and violence to keep the status quo but also to sow hatred and fear among the non-whites living in the country. Our education system should teach the kids what their ancestors did and how this country became one of the richest in the world by committing rape, murder and looting of resources from its former colonies by express authorisation from the Queen! Even the Germans taught their children about Nazism so that they would not want to see a repeat of their shameful history.
Getting rid of statues will not solve this centuries old issue of race nor another commission on racial inequality when the real problem is in our hearts and minds. We have reached the tipping point in this white western world where all policies; financial, social and economic have been controlled by the rich white elite one percent, who after the second world war setup these very institutions to control their former colonies around the world.
That topic is for another time.
If we need to get rid of what truly represents our dark past as a nation then it’s time to remove the Monarchy and the Great! in Great Britain! Democracy will then have truly arrived on these islands.
Published in The Peeblesshire News on Friday 26th June 2020.
Having moved to Peebles in 2002, self-proclaimed ‘stooriefit’ Bosco Santimano gives us his own take on what he feels is the hot topic of the day. This week it’s Sir Ian Duncan Smith!
Recently after watching Episode III – Return of the Sith movie, from the Star Wars saga, I could not help compare the current frenzy of Brits in being deceived to take back the Empire from the evil bureaucrats sitting in Brussels. Hitler, Mussolini, Trump, Boris, Modi, etc. these names keep coming up where ever genocide against a minority or group has taken place or about to happen! The queen has decided to bestow upon her most loyal servant Ian Duncan Smith (IDS) a Knighthood in this year’s honours list. Remarkable selection! Considering that this individual is fully responsible for killing more poor and disabled people in peace time Britain in a very short time than anyone before him. Like the emperor character in Star Wars, the queen is rewarding her loyal followers with awards and a thank you for keeping the peasants and subjects in line while culling the so called “benefit scroungers”.
IDS is the architect and mastermind behind the worst policy in Britain whose sole objective was mass culling of people relying on benefits. The people who support the Tory party and its policies and who have now given them an unprecedented mandate to rule for another term will not be forgiven as this is just the beginning of the end of this cruel empire.
So what is so bad about his Universal Credit policy? Too many reasons to go into but let me focus on a few implications of this benefit change. This new benefit was first rolled out in April 2013 in one local authority area, Ashton instead of four originally planned. This already was a sign of things to come and the massive pain and suffering to millions of people as IDS kept going regardless, despite warnings from many respected and independent organisations like the Resolution Foundation claiming that the experiment to combine six very different benefits into one was a disaster waiting to happen. To make matters worse, the original estimated cost to the tax payers for the complete roll out of this fantasy and ego-maniacal policy was £2.2 billion but by August 2014 alone this estimated cost rose to £12.8 billion and was later increased to £15.8 billion!
Your guess is as good as mine as to what the current costs of this ego trip is? How do they get away with murder? In any other job or profession you would be sacked, thrown in to prison or worst case scenario not be employable ever again! But the Queen is in the habit of rewarding gross incompetence, negligence and in this case murder of many claimants who took their own lives while going through the Universal Credit process. We don’t seem to learn from our mistakes and I can only shudder to think what the state of many working class and poor people in this country will become after Brexit!
God save the people, not the queen!
Published in The Peeblesshire News on 17th January 2020.
What a mess we have found ourselves in as a nation. Unionist trust in the Tories must surely have woken up the people from their slumber and apathy towards politicians and the political process in general. Since 2010 the Tories have been in power and austerity has decimated the working class and poor while the blame for this was shifted onto so called benefit scroungers and immigrants, especially from Eastern Europe. We will have had 3 elections since then, all of them masterminded by the Tories themselves to grab more power but with disastrous consequences everytime. The national debt is now in the trillions and the people are still being lied to as to who the real perpetrators are of this mishandling of the countries finances.
In Scotland the obvious choice is the SNP, for their record speaks volumes and you may not like them constantly banging on about Independence, but at least you know where they stand and their long term objectives. Of course they are not perfect but give them credit where its due and to all the good work they have been doing since 2007 with one arm twisted behind their backs by the 3 main unionist political parties and their supporters in Scotland along with Westminster and the media.
The Tories are hopefully out as they they have amassed immense wealth and privileges for their political elites and business partners including their own families. Why do Unionist fear a second Scottish Independence referendum? They have nothing to fear as they can still vote “No”. Are they worried their lies won’t work the second time around? The SNP’s main objective and drive is to get independence and they are very clearly following their parties founding constitution and manifesto, unlike the Tories who have lied through their teeth and are still being voted into power by their gullible supporters all in the name of keeping the SNP out! It beggars belief to see educated people vote for the Tory party knowing well the harm their policies are causing families and children all over the country. Being selfish and only thinking about your own child is not how we want to live as a society. We have been given an opportunity once again to right a wrong and re-establish respect and love among the countries citizenry. It’s time to cast your vote for what is morally the right thing to do. By next Friday we will have woken up to a future that is hopefully bright and turned our backs on hate and austerity.
On the plus side the people of the Borders may have lost their incompetent leader of the council to Lanark & Hamilton East, as she has proven to be a canny, greedy career politician and will jump ship to further her ambition in the name of Unionism and the Queen! Shona Haslam did not bother to turn up after the fire at Peebles High school when her constituents needed her the most. There has been a deafening silence from her. Hope the people of Lanark & Hamilton East are not as daft and blind to what damage she has done to the Borders and her own constituents.
What would you vote for? The kiss of death or ……..
It was astonishing to see Scotland treated badly at Westminster with regards to only 15 minutes been allocated to debate Scottish objections to the Tories EU withdrawal bill.
24 powers will be coming back to the UK after Brexit but all will be going to Westminster instead of Scotland, in areas already devolved to Holyrood. The SNP’s leader was barred from the chamber for a day for protesting the lack of time to debate the merits and objections to the bill, while his fellow SNP colleagues followed him out. It was blatantly clear to all who watched the session how degrading it was to watch the Speaker John Bercow and the Tories jeering the SNP MP’s who decided to walk out of the House of Commons in protest for the lack of respect shown to a country that was supposedly an equal part of the Union!
Better Together! Is this how an equal partnership works where we are always shafted by Westminster when it comes to devolution? To all Unionist out there, you have to remember one fact, which is, the United Kingdom is made up of four countries i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was very clear for all to see what the elite and Westminster really thinks of equality in terms of the UK. It was appalling to watch Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger shout “suicide” when SNP Leader Ian Blackford asked what options are available to us in this house?
To make matter worse the Unionist/Monarchist/ Benefit Scrounger of all Scottish secretaries, David Mundell said, “Scotland is not a partner of the United Kingdom, Scotland is part of the United Kingdom”.
What a load of bull s***!
In one statement he exposed himself and the Unionist argument’s biggest lie that was at the heart of the “Better Together” campaign during the 2104 Scottish Independence Referendum; that Scotland was an equal and valued partner in the biggest political union on this planet!
David Mundell does not care about Scotland, and will do everything to delay or worsen the situation of his constituents and fellow Scots. Its time for some direct action to make people like him accountable to all of his constituents, not just those who blindly voted for him.
Finally, we do have to remember that he is only there for the money and power and like the Monarchy he supports he is MP/Scottish Secretary at Westminster while his son Oliver Mundell is MSP at Holyrood. Its a family affair after all, where you only look after your own.
Trump is truly on a rollercoaster ride since being sworn in as America’s President last year. He has single-handedly upset more people and countries than all previous US Presidents combined. History or facts are not this man’s forte and the latest faux pas on allegedly calling the African continent and Haiti as “Shithole” countries takes the cake.
Trump and his supporters should know that these very countries are responsible for making the West(Europe & America) rich and arrogant.
They have systematically over the last few centuries looted and pillaged these countries to make it what they are today; poor, impoverished, sick, corrupt and ruled by Dictators (Installed by the CIA, MI5, etc) to keep the resources flowing out of these countries. Trump will do to America what no other country could i.e. bring the US to its knees. That time is not far when one countries policies and military expansion to rule the world through its military might and its currency (Dollar) is coming to an end.
All Dictators follow the same pattern. It seems we never learn to see the signs and even if we do, we stand back and watch, until of course they come after you!!!!!!
We can only wait now and see what happens next in the US of A.
It seems since my last post in June 2017, the world has literally gone mad! We are closer once again to nuclear annihilation since the end of the cold war, right wing organisations and their associates are on the rise and closer to home we are speeding towards the cliff (Brexit) in order to secure the middle class and above from any financial ruin.
What can we do to stop this madness by our elected representatives? Apparently nothing. Why? Because we voted for them in the first place to show a finger at the establishment or elite as a protest vote! It beggars belief that people don’t realise that Donald Trump is the establishment and closer to home David Mundell and his cronies…
More individuals and families in the area I live are under immense financial pressures due to the “Austerity” policies introduced by the Conservatives since 2010. But the very comfortable people in my area don’t give a damn it seems, as long as their pensions and investments are secured. To hell with the rest of us they may say at their private lavish parties. We have worked hard for this all our lives and we deserve all we can get at the expenses of others.
The irony is that many go to church every Sunday and pray. I wonder what their almighty God/Jesus may be thinking while he is staring down at his followers crucified on the cross! Probably that he is not coming again to save us especially after what we did to him the last time, I personally don’t blame him at all. All religions preach love and sharing but the majority of their followers interpret the holy books to suit their very selfish motives and agendas.
Of course we can do something and it starts by taking whatever little step we can take as individuals without looking at governments or religious institutions to guide us. The power lies in our hands for change and we have to start changing ourselves first before we expect others to do so and live by our own examples.
Difficult, yes – impossible, no.
Its time for love, peace and understanding and make our differences work for us not against us.
Congratulations to our re-elected MP David Mundell for wining this election. I want him to clarify what his personal position is on his party’s (Conservative and Unionists) stance on forming a formal/informal coalition with the DUP which has links to terrorism in Northern Ireland. This alliance, if goes ahead is very likely to break the Good Friday Agreement that was signed by all parties that had a say in the governing of Northern Ireland going forward and the ceasing of violence from both sides. Theresa May lost her mandate for a tough Brexit negotiations stance by the British public and should have resigned like Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland; who did after losing the vote in 2014. But, as we now know we are dealing with power hungry Politicians like Mr. Mundell and his counterpart Ruth Davidson who are using the Unionist media to declare that the SNP have lost and the people no longer want a 2nd divisive Independence referendum!
Just to make this very clear, the SNP gained 35 seats and are still by far the largest party in Scotland even after taking into account all the Labour/Lib-Dem and Tory votes! These guys are so full of themselves that they seem to forget basic math’s and are all over the place claiming victory in Scotland and that Independence is dead!
If Mr. Mundell is so sure of acting upon the peoples mandate then he should advise his leader to step down gracefully rather than be dragged in the coming weeks or months from Westminister.
Finally, I would like to thank the voters of Mr. Mundell’s constituency for voting to keep the SNP out and unwittingly letting in a Terrorist organization, to support a minority Tory government. The DUP are the equivalent of ISIS i.e. they want to bring in laws from the old testament and are scathing about their feelings towards gays, immigrants and women’s rights. If we are not careful, we could end up with “Southern Scotland” a place very similar to “Northern Ireland” that was created by the British Establishment through their divide and rule policy in Ireland. Scotland will become Independent and it would be interesting to wait and see how this will unfold in the coming years. You! The voter will decide the future of your country.
The above was published in the Peeblesshire News on 23rd June 2017.