Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Tweets of the week in Barnet - 20/9/2014

So here without further ado, is the hit parade of the Barnet Twitterattiiii !!!!!

1. I don't agree with dear old Brian about much, but I whole heartedly agree with him on this

    1. Never could stand Andy Murray , dour , boring ,petulant and now politically naïve as well
2. Brians nemesis is doing her bit for peace and love in North Finchley

Sunday is world peace day so in North Finchley were celebrating. We have live music food scavenger hunt for kids AND in buzz

 3. A truly shocking bit of anti semitism in Borehamwood. I seriously thought we'd moved passed this in our neck of the woods.

4. It's time to party in Burnt Oak !!!!
Burnt Oak’s First Ever Multicultural Parade and Festival takes place on Saturday 20 September 2014.

 5. Mr Mustard finds perhaps the worst answer to a question ever by a Leader of @Barnetcouncil

I doff my cap to the "leader" of Barnet Council Richard Cornelius. He has become fantastic at avoiding the question

6. Many thanks to Nick Goldberg for this picture. I don't know why but this infuriates me beyond comprehension. I love the Jocko's to death but Hendon Town Hall is no place for their bloody falg to fly.

7.  Infuriated by this bunch of Tory chinless wonders gloating about the destruction of @EdgwareTownFc old home. They know the value of nothing
8. John Perivolaris with a fantastic picture of the old Colindale Odeon. Check it out

Odeon Cinema - Edgware Road, Colindale - film showing One Foot in Hell, a cowboy with Alan Ladd made

9. Barnet care workers are on strike

10. Looking for something to do tonight. Come down to the @ChandosArms in Colindale for the Reggae night with Joe Angel and Dubvocaliza. 

Do you like Reggae music? Come down to the on Sat 20th at 8.30pm for Joe Angel and Dubvocaliza - North Londons Coolest !

Thats all folks !!! Hope there was something there of interest

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Friday Joke - 19/9/2014

A CNN Reporter, BBC Reporter, and an Israeli commando were captured by terrorists in Iraq. The leader of the terrorists told them that he would grant them each one last request before they were beheaded.
The CNN Reporter said, ‘Well, I’m an American, so I’d like one last hamburger with French fries.” The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the burger & fries. The reporter ate it and said “Now, I can die.”
The BBC Reporter said, ‘I’m a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what’s about to happen. Maybe someday someone will hear it and know that I was on the job till the end.” The terror leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder and dictated some comments. The reporter then said, ‘Now I can die knowing I stayed true until the end.”
The leader turned and said, “And now, Mr. Israeli tough guy, what is your final wish?”
“Kick me in the ass,” said the soldier.
“What?’ asked the leader, “Will you mock us in your last hour?”
“No, I’m not kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass,” insisted the Israeli. So the leader shoved him into the open and kicked him in the ass.
The soldier went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9 mm pistol from under his flak jacket, and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he jumped to his knapsack, pulled out his carbine and sprayed the terrorists with gunfire. In a flash, all terrorists were either dead or fleeing for their lives.
As the soldier was untying the reporters, they asked him, “Why didn’t you just shoot them in the beginning? Why did you ask them to kick you in the ass first?”
“What?” replied the Israeli, “and have you report that I was the aggressor?”

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Barnet Council consultation on small business - The Elephant in the room

There is a press release on the Barnet Council website, asking for ideas to help the council engage with small business in the Borough. Rather interestingly it tells us that more people start small businesses in Barnet than any other London borough. It is good that we are such an enterprising lot, but in truth as Barnet has the largest population of any London Borough, this is not really that surprising. Sadly it reveals that a higher than average number of these businesses fail. Whilst there is a myriad of reasons for this, clearly the council is not offering the support it could to small business.

In the press release, Deputy Leader of the Council Dan Thomas says
“Councils cannot wave a magic wand and transform the economy, but we can work to make sure the whole public sector is working with business in mind, in part by minimising red tape and stepping out of the way. But there is a positive role for councils to play. The investment that Barnet Council has put into supporting NEETS, young people not in education, employment or training, has played a part in Barnet having the fourth lowest proportion of such young people in the UK, and shows what a small amount of well targeted support can achieve.“I would like to hear from residents and businesses where they think similarly careful investment and other support could help business in the borough.” 
Sadly it appears that Dan just hasn't been paying attention. There are plenty of forums where he could come along. The FSB hold a free breakfast networking session for Small businesses the first Monday of every month at Cafe Buzz in North Finchley. It's free to attend and 20-30 small business owners regularly attend. It is open to all. There are all manner of similar events, hosted by other organinsations as well. If Mr Thomas attended any of these, he'd hear two common themes.

1. Barnet Council has destroyed many successful businesses with its botched parking policies. High charges, abolishing pay and display cash machines etc have created a hostile environment in the High Street.

2. The councils business rates are administered in a way that is extremely detrimental to business. I have had several appeals against the rates and the average time to resolve these (all in my favour with large reductions and refunds) has been 18 months. Even worse, we've seen recent cases of use of baliffs to chase debts, where it was clear that the business in question was in the process of resolving the issue.

It is all very well to make such positive statements, but any Barnet Councillor who bothered to read blogs such as this would know just what a difficult organisation Barnet Council is to deal with. I personally had an issue with the council when we were investing in our new studio complex. The new development has been open for 2 years and we've generated over 50 full and part time jobs in the Borough. The development was held up for nearly three months because the council insisited on changes to the plans costing thousands of pounds. Why? Because they wanted a 40' High building lowered by 9 inches, so that people in Mill Hill Park could have a better view of the M1 overbridge in Bunns Lane. Who benefitted from this? The story is repeated time and time again in small planning applications lodged by businesses all over the borough.

The council has no portal on its website to promote the thousands of local businesses or sell Barnet as a place to do business. How hard would this be to reslove. If you own a business and have had an issue with Barnet Council, please email Dan Thomas and explain. It is the only way things will improve.

Here is the full statement

Barnet Council is asking residents, business and other organisations for their views on a new Entrepreneurial Barnet policy.The council is aiming to make the borough the best place in London to be a small business.The policy explores how the whole public sector in the borough can work together to support successful business.

This would potentially include ensuring there is the right mix of skills available in the workforce for local employers, making it easier for local businesses to bid for public sector contracts, working to make town centres safe and attractive, and getting the right mix of residential and employment opportunities in regeneration areas.Barnet currently has more business start-ups than almost any London borough (2,912 in 2012) but only 53 per cent of businesses survive more than three years, less than the outer London average.
Councillor Daniel Thomas, Deputy Leader of Barnet Council, said: “Councils cannot wave a magic wand and transform the economy, but we can work to make sure the whole public sector is working with business in mind, in part by minimising red tape and stepping out of the way.

“But there is a positive role for councils to play. The investment that Barnet Council has put into supporting NEETS, young people not in education, employment or training, has played a part in Barnet having the fourth lowest proportion of such young people in the UK, and shows what a small amount of well targeted support can achieve.
“I would like to hear from residents and businesses where they think similarly careful investment and other support could help business in the borough.”
To view the consultation documents and to comment on the draft policy visit the engage wesbsite.

 Click here for the original press release

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Your Choice Barnet careworkers: managers slaughter our wages and then just leave - By Kate Belgrave

By Kate Belgrave (Originally posted here)
By total coincidence, one of the people Your Choice Barnet careworkers met this week when they were in Mill Hill handing out leaflets about their strike action was an agency careworker. He was incensed about his own pay and working conditions, to say the very least. He stopped to take a leaflet and he really let fly.
He had trouble with his housing benefit, I think – it sounded like a miscalculation and overpayments problem.
Anyway – Nigel Farage will be the beneficiary of this man’s experience. “I’m going to vote UKIP,” this careworker said furiously. Everyone other politician was useless as far as this man was concerned. He had a point. Nobody would help him. His pay was so low and his costs were so high that he wasn’t sure he could stay in his home. “I earn £102 a week. It’s about 15 hours a week at £7 an hour. Barnet council say I’m earning too much for them to pay my £300 rent. They’ve given me £58 a week and they’ve stopped me £15 week on top of that, because they say that they’ve been overpaying me since March. So, I’m living on £42 a week. I went to spoke to my MP – the Conservative Finchley MP. He had a look at the letters and he said “there’s nothing I can do. That’s the rules. I’m living on £42 a week. ”
The YCB strikers I was with had some sympathy for this bloke, as well they might. Their situation is dire too.
Two years ago, the support and day services they provide for disabled people were moved from the council into Your Choice Barnet, part of the Barnet Group trading company which the council seemed to think should and would make large profits (out of disabled people and their support funds).
This hope was built on sand, of course. The promised Your Choice profits never came to pass. About a year after its glorious launch, Your Choice Barnet management began to bleat about debt and to claim that the only way to make the business “competitive” was to cut careworkers’ wages and staff numbers.
The company duly set about a very unpopular restructure, with predictable results. Staff left, or were made redundant, and the rest are still fighting to hang onto their jobs and already-small wages. Barnet Unison says that about 145 full time equivalent staff were transferred from adult services to the trading company in 2012. After the “restructure” last year and cuts to shift allowance pay, only about 105 FTE staff are in place now – a 30% cut in staffing levels.
Now, careworkers are trying to make Your Choice Barnet management to overturn a 9.5% wage cut which was imposed on them (on the careworkers, that is) in April this year. Careworkers report wage cuts between £100 and £250 a month. That’s why they took two days’ strike action this and why next week, they’re taking more. They want the service to be taken back inhouse by the council. Meanwhile, Andrew Travers, Barnet council’s amazingly crass chief executive, has been turning out on twitter to brag about the opportunities the Barnet Group offer for growth – even as careworkers at the company prepared to strike. Brilliant. I guess was can expect that Travers will restore the careworkers’ lost wages and jobs if that growth transpires. Very big If there, of course.
Anyway. Here are two transcripts from interviews I did with Your Choice Barnet careworkers this week as they took their first two days of strike action in this round. They describe their worries about low staff-to-client ratios, the problems presented at places that are increasingly staffed with low-paid, inexperienced agency workers and how it feels to lose a couple of hundred quid a month when you’ve got a mortgage or rent to pay, and you’ve given more than ten years to a job and have acquired a great deal of experience. This is the world of care and support work. You’re on low pay and you know that it will just keep getting lower unless you fight hard.
And just btw – if Your Choice Barnet doesn’t like any of this – tough shit. That company can let me come in for a couple of weeks to see how things are working out in these services. Transparency around the issues raised by these struggling careworkers would be useful. The last time I saw members of that company’s board, they were running out of a meeting to avoid Your Choice Barnet service users and their families who were furious about YCB’s proposed staff and wage cuts. You can see that action here.
Celia* (name changed). Has been working as a Barnet careworker for 13 years. Now a support worker for adults with autism.
“Our service is for adults with autism. We have people who have one-to-one support and two-to-one support as well. We have a daycentre with inhouse activities and computer sessions, sensory activities, lots of activities in the community. I work 36 hours a week.
“The [9.5%] pay cut started off this year with a consultation period. But when we were moved from Barnet council to the Your Choice Barnet [company in 2012], we were told that [our wages and conditions] were going to be safe. A couple of years ago, we were told that we were going to be safe. Then a year later, they came back and said that they were running the business at a loss. They said they need to make cuts to make savings – 400k. That’s a lot of wages.
“It’s affected me financially, because that £100 a month [that I've lost], that’s like the electric bill for the month, your car insurance.
“The problem is that the senior managers [who make these decisions] don’t stay in position very long. Like – they make the cuts and then they move on. They leave you lumbered and there’s nobody to go back to to say “this is what’s happened.”
“I’ve done about 13 years for Barnet. It was many years [work] to get to where I am and to get to that salary as well. There’s a few ladies here who have done 30 years. They moved from elderly services [to this service] because services for the elderly have diminished. Privatisation is not good. Look at the state of the country. I find it difficult to save. I’ve got the mortgage and everything else.
“At the moment, we’re still trying to provide a consistent service [for adults with autism who use the service], but when you have got agency people coming in and you’re training them… you can’t really leave the service users unattended with the agency staff. We have got quite a few agency staff. That consistency won’t remain the same. Sometimes we’re really, really overstretched.”
Peter* (name changed), 45.
“I’ve been here just over ten years. A lot of the parents are behind us [in the strike action]. When you see some of these guys – when they first come to us and you see some of the progress that they make…we all know what we’re worth as a staff team. We’re there for people. It’s just really frustrating knowing you’ve given all these years of service.
“My pay cut was £220 a month. It is a big chunk, because I’ve got other outgoings, so just to lose £200 a month – it’s a lot of money. They [Your Choice Barnet] don’t seem to care. They just don’t want to know. It’s really frustrating.
“Now I get about £1200 a month. Got to pay my rent, my bills and every year the travel is going up. It’s going up in January again. It’s going to go up higher than inflation, so that will be about £100 I’ll be spending on travel. I pay for my kids and now this £250 has just gone. It’s like you go through a cycle when you’re living to work. If you save, you end up using that money you’ve saved. I just don’t know how they can justify it.
“I like this job. In the morning, we’ve got people who come in on escort – guys who go out on the bus and pick clients up from their houses and residential houses, and sometimes, you’ve got to contend with behaviour on the bus. Sometimes, we’ve got two staff on the buses in case anything happens. The clients get here between nine and ten o’clock. The staff will be in their various space rooms getting timetables ready… some people will have pictorial timetables based on their level of understanding.
“Everyone’s got their own system that works for them, so they know what they will do throughout the day. They might be going swimming in the morning and then they come back for lunch. In the afternoon, they might go for a walk, or do a sports group. Some people have been going there for longer than I’ve been working there. You have to build up that trust. It could take weeks, or it could take months. We’ve got one particular lady – she’s been with us for years and on a Friday, she’s already anxious and agitated because she knows that we don’t come in on the weekend.
“I’ve got a nephew who is autistic. I gave me sister respite. I used to take my nephew out swimming – just bowling cinema and stuff. I used to do a lot of voluntary work in soup kitchens and things like that.
“The argument that we’ve been having for years is staff ratio. [You need staff-to-client ratios to be right]. [There's a problem if they're] trying to say that someone doesn’t need one-to-one support and we’re saying – hang on, how do you work that out? If anything happens, as we’ve been told, it’s on our heads.
“In the last couple of months, they have started bringing agency workers in…. you can’t just bring these people in. When I started working in this line of work, you couldn’t just go on the shop floor. You had to shadow people for about a month.
“Some of the clients are older than me. They deserve respect. I’m a support worker. That’s what I tell people.”
Kate Belgrave is a journalist. Since 2010, she has focused on the public service cuts made by the coalition government, and on privatisation. Have published articles on these topics at the Guardian, newleftprojectOpen Democracy, False Economy, and the New Statesman. Recent joint film made with the Daily Mirror on the fight to save the Independent Living Fund is here.
She also works part time for the False Economy site.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Would a Scotland yes vote be good for London?

Having just got back from Edinburgh, I was sitting on the plane taking in some of the conversations I've been having with Scots on my visit. I was trying to think what I could possibly add to the debate. It occurred to me that no one has really focussed specifically on what a Yes vote would mean for London. On a purely economic level it is 100% clear that a Yes vote would be excellent news for London. We've already heard various banks have contingency plans to move head office functions to London. This can only mean more jobs and more prosperity for the capital. It is also likely to mean  a redistribution and rethink of priority for infrastructure projects, which is again likely to be concentrated on London and the South East.

At present we only have three fully electrified High speed main line railways in the UK. Two go to Scotland and one goes to France. I do wonder if the Govt would have bothered to electrify the East and West Coast mainline to Scotland if it had been independent. My guess is that one effect of Independence would be to ensure that HS2 never reaches Glasgow and Edinburgh. Whilst this is very bad for the concept of the UK, it is very good for London as it means huge amounts of capitol will be available for local projects. Roads and Rail infrastructure spending is likely to be spent where it will deliver the most benefit to the most people, which in the UK is in the South East. Once Scotland is taken out of the picture, the picture gets radically redrawn. If the banks have moved to London, then that means that the people who provide the finance for infrastructure projects have no vested interest in spending that money north of Carlisle and Newcastle. In fact I think areas such as Carlisle and Newcastle will be huge losers in this process. It seems likely that they'll be far less well served when the cash is splashed. By default such areas have hugely benefitted when the routes to Scotland were improved.

What about the social effects of devolution? These are far less easy to read. Presumably once the BBC is split into two, there will be far less interest from the corporation in Scottish news and events. Culturally one wonders whether the UK will get behind events such as the Commonwealth games in the way they did for Glasgow. I hugely enjoy the Edinburgh festival, but I can't see how devolution will really help it to maintain its profile.I suspect that the fallout in London will actually be positive as the arts community looks a little bit less north. I don't expect this to mean the demise of the Edinburgh festival, but it would mean that London would feel no qualms about setting up its own rival, should it so be inclined.

I've many Scottish friends living in London and most of them are bemused by the swing towards Yes. Most are proud of their Scottish heritage, but don't associate themselves with the Salmond brand of pride in their nation. Many have said that it has actually made them appreciate London even more.

I was trying to think of a negative effect of the vote. One effect of devolution has been that far less Scottish students come to London to study, as they get a free education North of the Border. I don't think this can be  a good thing, but it is already happening. It will only make the Scots more insular and inward looking, which must be a bad thing in the global economy.

You may think that with this in mind, I'd be supporting independence, as I am a Londoner through and through. Not a bit of it. I believe London is the capital of the world and a little bit of the world will get a little bit further away. When Alex Salmond talks about the oil wealth and how rich Scotland is, he neglects to mention the fact that the real losers if he keeps all the oil money will not be London. London has a booming economy. The losers will be deprived English regions on the periphery of the country. These are the real victims in all this, if you take the economic view. Salmond would clearly say "So what, that is an English problem" Whilst on one level he's right, I believe in the long term he's very wrong. We are stronger and better together. Salmond may cherish the flower of Scotland, but what happens to a flower that is cut off from its roots? I guess the big difference between my viwpoint and Salmonds is that whilst it is clear that a Yes would be good for London, I think it would be a tragedy for the Scotland and the rest of England and so I cannot possibly support it.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Thameslink - The dawn of a new era

So this morning at 4am my alarm went off. I had to give a presentation at a conference in Edinburgh today and was flying Heathrow at 6.55am. So as I always do when I am in this position, I checked the train times on First Capital Connect. Click here to see what happened - - Well I'd forgotten that they'd lost the franchise and today was day one of the new mob. Would it really have been to hard for FCC just to redirect customers to the new page (here ) but First don't really give a toss about customers. They never have. I for one am glad to see the back of them. I've no idea if the new mob will be any better, but it would be hard to be worse.

What I cannot understand is just how unhelpfull the First site actually is. Even last week, there was nothing to help you. So groggy eyed. I had to muck around for ten minutes, when all I wanted was a quick tea and a shower, but there I was mucking around trying to find the new page.

Of course it isn't the end of the world. It was just annoying that last Friday the train info link worked and there was not a sausage on it about the new service. Today there was nothing on the old site.

I just hope that Govia, the new operator have a better idea of what a railway should do than First.

Here are my top five First Capital Cock ups.

1. Cutting the number of trains from Mill Hill  to St Pancras from eight to four per hour in rush hour (now reinstated to 5/6)
2. Letting the network virtually collapse due to lack of drivers.
3. Abolishing the automatic refund for season ticket holders for bad service
4. Painting City Thameslink platforms with paint which became dangerously slippery in the rain.
5. Abolishing the practice of adding extra stops for fast trains when slow trains are cancelled and cancelling stops on slow trains when they are running late.

Only time will tell.   Cross your fingers

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Why every decent person in Barnet should support the Your Choice Barnet Care workers

There is currently a dispute between the management of Your Choice Barnet Ltd and the workforce. The core of the dispute is about a pay cut being imposed on the staff. Supposedly this is "vital" to protect the company and its financial stability.

This blog questioned from the start the logic and "need" for the council to divest itself of adult social care. We have consistently called for the services to be taken back in house, as we believe this is the only way to protect the quality of care for the most vulnerable people in Barnet.

Some local right wing commentators have claimed that what is happening a good thing. They claim that publc services need  agood dose of market reality. Now if these commentators were running a whelk stall they may well be right. But let us consider what Your Choice Barnet actually do. They look after the most vulnerable people in Barnet. People who can't look after themselves. Now the idea of the right wing ideologs is that every role in the economy has a value and this finds itself by market forces. How this works is that the people at the top give themselves ever higher pay packets and those at the bottom have their pay packets ever squeezed.

The idea is that those at the bottom can like it or lump it because in our recessive economy. There's plenty of other people to fill the roles. But this isn't running a whelk stall. You see every person that Your Choice cares for has special requirements. Every single one of them is a special person with special requirements. Each one of them needs someone who understands their needs and is familair with their routines. For many of the clients, it is essential to build up a relationship. Trust is a key factor. Every time a worker moves on, the client has a period of stress and readjustment. Even silly things like knowing how many sugars a client has in their coffee are important. We all need to feel safe and secure and familiarity is a key part.

If someone has a pay cut and they are on low pay anyway, they are forced into a very difficult position. Which means they even if they don't want to, they'll be forced to try and get another job.  If we value the quality of life of the weakest and most vulnerable people in Barnet, we should value the people who care for them. That means paying them decent wages and giving them the security of employment that will encourage them to commit to the job in the long term.

This is why every single decent person in Barnet should care. If it costs every household a penny a week to pay for it, then so be it. Are we such cheapskates that we can't afford that?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Saturday List #69 - Rog T's top ten sex tips !!!!!

So the Saturday list reaches edition number 69 !!!! We thought we'd give you our top ten sex tips to ensure you have a really romantic, raunchy evening.

1. Eight pints of beer and a vindaloo is not a great way to prepare for a night of lurve!!! There are only so many sins that a pack of Trebor Extra strong mints will hide. The only time this rule should be broken is when your partner has also had eight pints and a vindaloo, in which case it is a necessity.

2. Don't look at Twitter/Facebook/texts whilst making out. One of our studio customers was telling me that after a night out, he felt the need to engage the services of a lady of ill repute in the Kings Cross area. He said that the "date" was going swimmingly until he realised she was looking at her phone whilst he was doing the business.

3. Make sure that the bedroom door is shut, if you have pets and you want to have a bit of lurve. There is no greater passion spoiler than the labrador leaping on the bed in the middle of a good session.

4. Sharing a glass of Baileys to romantic music is a good way to get in the mood. Sharing two bottles isn't.

5. In the art of seduction, it is essential to set the mood. Soft lighting may assist. We tend to find that an excellent album to set the mood is Blank Generation by Richard Hell and the Voidoids. The album starts with the anthemic "Love Comes in Spurts" which is a surefire winner. It also rather helpfully has "Betrayal takes two" if you're planning on getting lucky with your best mates partner. Of course this music choice only really applies if your partner is a 70's punk rock nut!

6. Recognise that very few of us are psychic. Therefore if your partner is not doing what you want in the way you like, it is really quite a good idea to give them some encouragement to get their act together. Generally saying "I'd really like it if you do this like this" is far more likely to get results than "Oi dogbreath, is this the first time you've done this? Get your act together"

7. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Generally we find different things attractive and exciting. So bear this in mind. Men generally respond well to visual stimulus wheras women respond better to mental stimulation. So instead of assuming that something works for you, try and find out what works for your partner. If they say they like something, assume they are telling you that for a reason.

8.Switch off the mobile phone. If you are engrossed and the phone goes off, it will spoil it for both of you. You can always call back later.

9. Make a bucket list of things you fantasize about and share it with your partner (assuming his/her sister or his/her brother isn't top of the list if you know what I mean). If you don't you'll die with none of it done.

10. Don't spend your time reading silly sex tips on stupid blogs!  Generally the problem is staring you in the face if you think you need them. The problem is communication. If it ain't working, you are not communicating. If you are not communicating you are either with the wrong person or you are not giving their needs the respect they deserve. If you are not telling them what you want, in effect you are cheating both of you.

Have a great weekend! Why not join us tonight at the Chandos Arms for the Four Flavours music festival, which is running every Saturday night in September and is free.

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Friday Joke 12/9/2014 - Scottish Independence Special

The Queen is in Glasgow and she bumped into Alex Salmond.

HMtQ:  How nice to see you Mr Salmond.

AS:  Nice to see you Ma’am. Now, what are we going to call Scotland when we win Independence? How about calling it a Kingdom, and then I’ll be a King?

HMtQ:  No, we don’t like that, it'll upset Charles, you know he sort of has an eye on that job.

AS:  Empire, and I'll be Emperor?

HMtQ: Oh no, that will be a real step backwards into the past.

AS:  Alright, so how about calling it a Principality, and then I’ll be a Prince?

HMtQ:  No Mr Salmond, we've already got enough of them, we've even got another one on the way.  I suggest we call it a Country and you can carry on as you are.