Yesterday was A very Good Day.
I can't say any more for probably the next six months, but it is going to be soooooo much fun when I can.
And, No, I won't be standing in the subsequent by-election. :-)) *
The blog formerly known as "Angus Nicolson - an incredulous eye on the isles" this was the blog of an ordinary, boring, former Councillor in the Western Isles of Scotland.
Angus is taking a sabbatical to be with his young family
Debate strengthens democracy, except inside the SNP, as he has discovered.
If you want balance then get some scales. This is opinion - our opinion.
That's £20 per bottle, which isn't that much really if you are entertaining heads of state, but assuming that 50 bottles per week are consumed by the ambassador and the charge d'affairs, you ar still carrying 15 years of stock.
The government's wine cellar includes stocks of alcohol worth nearly £800,000, a minister has disclosed.In a parliamentary answer, Foreign Office minister Gillian Merron said it holds 39,500 bottles of wine, spirits and liqueurs valued at around £792,000
Crucial to the strategy is a promised £ 3 million loan from the Scottish Government to "clear" the accumulated deficit.Translation: we are turning our overdraft into a loan. Doing so does not get rid of losses, it just simplifies the repayments.
But Scottish health minister Nicola Sturgeon has imposed a condition against the loan requiring satisfactory progress from the health authority board and its commitment to pay it back in the future.The lender has told us to make cuts to be able to afford the repayments.
Though the body believes it will break-On top of the cuts that we are going to have to make in the current year, due to a reduction in budgets.
even within the last accounting period it faces more financial woes by having to make £2.9 million of savings and cutbacks in the new financial year to cover an immediate funding gap in its £68 million allocation from Government.
£100,000 savings are to come from better use of locums while freezing 27 vacancies is expected to win £610,000.27 staff are not to be replaced. If they are not important, then why are the posts not deleted? If they are important, why are the posts remaining unfilled?
It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.
Thousands of highly paid lawyers, accountants and other professionals will be hit by the new 50 per cent rate of income tax as soon as next week [...]Looks like a very successful mission accomplished for Alasdair Darling.
This is because many professional firms start their financial years at the beginning of May or June. The forthcoming year for these firms will run into the 2010-2011 tax year.
We are seriously considering relocating our business abroad because [...] our marginal tax rate will increase to 64.5%....Actually, it will not exceed 51% at the top levels, and this compares favourably to the 67%+ for those at the bottom of the heap. Or as the front page of the FT factually points out:
Under the new tax rules, someone with an income of £200,000 will have to pay and additional £5,000 per year in tax.So a welcome and long overdue re-balancing of the redistribution of income which has provoked squeals from the greedy (the author of the letter run a firm of 'Management Consultants' which apparently employs only 8 people, consulting on energy).
As you haul yourself out of the quagmire, beware the outstretched hand: it might be the taxman's. His job is to rescue not you but your debt-mired Government.You and I are going to be paying for the destruction of the economy by the grossly overpaid City sharks for the next decade; and that is going to be the legacy that Gordon Brown bequeaths the country, as he retires on his fat public-sector, index-linked plus, secure pension.
Organic and food waste collected from round the islands is put through a digester and produces methane.Brilliantly simple in theory, but highly complex to deliver, and congratulations are due to everyone involved in this utterly, utterly fantastic success story.
In turn, this powers a gas engine creating electricity which is used to electrolyse water to produce hydrogen.
SNP MP Angus MacNeil will be flying the St George's Cross tomorrow (Friday) from his office in Stornoway on what is the last working day before St. George's Day. Mr MacNeil said:
"I'm doing this as a mark of respect for our nearest neighbours, England, and the many English people now living in our constituency who voted SNP."
The flag flew again in 2007 and in 2008 but not this year.Which prompts the question of whether....
Answers written in warm beer on a cricket bat, please....
at 8:18 am
On Thursday, he was locked in all-And on Friday....
day crunch talks with Western Isles Council and development bodies all day over how renewable energy can be the lynchpin in transforming the ailing Hebridean economy.
The Western Isles has lost out on developing a large offshore wind farm it has emerged.But back to the report commissioned by Halcrow, which
puts forward new ideas for tourism, food and drink and the financial services industry for the Hebrides.So nothing for the salmon processing sector or the tweed industry (other than the passing on of European Grants).
Sweden's tax authorities are seeking the bare facts about webcam strippers' income, estimating that hundreds of Swedish women are dodging the law.Fair enough. All trading income is taxable, even if it from illegal or immoral sources. But the Swedish Inland Revenue believe in educating the taxpayer....
"They are young girls, we can see from the photos. We think that perhaps they are not well informed about the rules."So how do they find the girls?
He said the Swedish tax authorities had been tipped off about Swedish internet strippers by the Dutch authorities, who had started a similar investigation earlier.And what happened then?
Web search tools like spiders had failed to detect the Swedish strippers.So the solution was....?
"When we investigated the sites manually it worked better," he added.A dirty job, but someone has to do it.
"Scotch whiskies are one of the best known Scottish products and a star in our Homecoming campaign. This Government is firm in its support for our distillers.Any see the problem with restriction of trade and protectionism, that Europe will jump up and down on?
"As a Government, we are very clear that our plans for minimum pricing will not affect this important industry. Minimum pricing is about ending the pocket money prices and irresponsible promotions that encourage people to buy and drink large amounts of alcohol.
Mr. Jim McGovern (Dundee, West) (Lab): May I take the hon. Gentleman back a couple of minutes to when he mentioned the impact of his Bill on Scotland? I am sure that he will be aware that it appears that no Member from the Scottish National party is here. Does he agree that far from standing up for Scotland, as is the party’s slogan, more often than not its Members do not turn up for Scotland?Back in 2005 it was all so different.....
Mr. Heath: It is very noticeable that the SNP Members are not here today. I would have thought this matter ought to have interested them, and it is noticeable that Members from all the other parties, who have interests in all parts of the United Kingdom, are here—I shall leave it at that.
Mr. Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP): I notice that the Minister has accepted the importance of finding ways and means of alleviating fuel poverty, to which clauses 1 and 6 relate. What specific extra measures do the Government propose, particularly for constituencies such as my own of Na h-Eileanan an Iar, which has some of the highest fuel poverty in the whole of the United Kingdom?And in 2007...
Mr. Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP): Fuel poverty is the big issue for pensioners.Ah well, he was probably trying to vote from home on this important issue.
The source said the farm would get the green light when energy minister Jim Mather visits Lewis later this month to discuss economic issues. The scheme will be given planning permission, the source suggested, even if the public inquiry found against it. He told Scotland on Sunday: "The decision is going to be made shortly and find in favour. Because of the financial downturn everyone is keen to boost the economy. The minister is going across on April 16 to talk about energy and the economy, and it's a fair bet that's when it will be announced."There you have all the signs of poor - indeed, very bad - Government decision making, where political priorities take the lead over proper consideration of the facts.
This is an appalling decision, based on a failure of other ideas, a serious misunderstanding of the issues surrounding the islands' economy and renewable energy, and the Government is being forced into an embarassing corner by their own elected representatives.
Bad Government - bad processes - incompetence and ineptness - but the right decision at the end of the day.
Any proven errors of fact made will be corrected in the original article, or by publishing a correction at the same degree of prominence, or both. As far as practical, others who have quoted the article will be requested to make a note in their article - this would include, for example pinging back with the correction those who had linked to the original piece.
If articles are ever removed, a statement of why that has been done will be left in situ.
The rest is entirely at my discretion.