The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Papering over the cracks

Posted on June 20, 2015 by


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 20 06 15 08:17

    Papering over the cracks | Speymouth

72 to “Papering over the cracks”

  1. jimnarlene says:


  2. Peter Mirtitsch says:

    Indeed, due to it being at least sixty five years since Westminster last decided to properly maintain the HoP, we are now lumbered with a potential bill of billions for, while admittedly distinctive and iconic, a run duown shambles. What happened to their private investment then? Let’s have a Vodaphone House of Commons, and a Barclaycard House of Lords. At least that way, with sponsorship, they’ll be putting something back into the economy in exchange for being let off with their taxes.

  3. galamcennalath says:

    Great! Yes, it’s not just the crumbling building which is no longer fit for purpose, the institution which inhabits it on its last legs!

  4. scottieDog says:

    It reflects the shambles inside.

    Without as within

  5. Illy says:

    @Peter Mirtitsch: Or they could privatise it, and rent it back from the company they sell it to!

    They seem to like doing that with important things.

    I still point to Thatcher *not* privatising the *London* bus system as evidence that even she didn’t think it was a good idea if she actually had a possibilitty of needing to use them.

  6. Alan McHarg says:

    “Guy Fawkes Demolitions” could give it a face LIFT for a fraction of the cost!

  7. ronnie anderson says:

    FFS is that awe it is Chris ( surface cracks).

    WWW,Buildit N Bodge It Flat Rate £10 billion & they,ll even remove all the deed wood, Bargain.

    Bob the Builder. Can you fix it Bob. Naw ah canny ( an ah widdna fekin want tae).

    Great toon Chris.

  8. Croompenstein says:

    It’s ok Chris, our taxes will help pay to paper over the cracks pooling and sharing and all that.

  9. galamcennalath says:

    Any Unionists who actually believe in a one-nation-UK, this is your opportunity to prove it! For the kind of money which has been suggested, we could have a purpose built capital, Canberra style! And, have it no where near overheated overhyped London!

  10. HandandShrimp says:


    Wee blue book arrived this morning Stu. A memento of amazing times.

  11. Auld Rock says:

    Here’s a better idea – why not get a Demolition Company to complete Guy Fawkes work, delayed from 1605?

    Auld Rock

  12. The UK taxpayer is lucky it is not the builders contracted to Edinburgh Council that will repair Westminster,where a general roof repair on a block of flats ended up costing into the millions.

    If £5,000,000,000 is the builders estimate,general rule of thumb is multiply by 5>.

    The trams were originally estimated at £50,000,000 and in the end cost £1,000,000,000,that`s £100,000,000 per mile.

  13. Clootie says:

    Sheer brilliance once again

  14. Clootie says:

    …is that William Hague on the ladder? The baseball cap looks familiar.

  15. Colin McMurtie says:

    Obvious conclusion is that this decision is for the people of England.

    I”d humbly suggest westminstrer should be converted to a museum and a new English parliament built elsewhere.

    This parliament should be at cost to the English people, so they should be allowed to decide it’s location, e.g. Birminham, Manchester or London, etc.

    I wish them well!

  16. Mealer says:

    Great work.

  17. Bill McDermott says:

    If you care to listen to the repeat of Any Questions on Radio 4 today at 1.00 o’clock, you will hear Lord (sic) Digby -Jones putting the Scots in their place when he dropped his Welsh tag and owned up to being really a Brummie who thinks Scots have got above themselves lately. “The West Midlands has got a bigger population than Scotland, ergo we are more important than you”.

    He did this in full view of an audience at the RHS at Ingleston, who didn’t seem to mind the put down, or maybe they were just so shocked at the cheek of it.

  18. Robert Peffers says:

    What an inventive lot we Wingers are. Within minutes we have come up with many better ways of dealing with the problem. Tell you what – the old building won’t have any wet rot problems. The hot air keeps the place very dry but I note some Members have bother with lots of leaking pish.

    They should ask the leaks experts, Carmichael and Mundell, about those leaks. These two are not only experts on leaks but know a lot about leaked pish as well.

  19. iheartScotland says:

    It’s ok Chris, I’m sure Scotland will pay for everything. …
    Cos we love the union!!!!

  20. Capella says:

    The Scotland Bills are being churned out faster these days.

  21. Les Wilson says:

    Great cartoon as ever Chris, reminds me of the fall of Rome.
    I am sure there are parallels.

  22. Doug Daniel says:

    Excellent as usual, Chris.

  23. cearc says:

    This is a very valuable, high-profile site. They should sell it to developers. It would be worth easily enough to build a sensible and functional new parliament somewhere else.

    Part to be a “Great British (did I mention how GREAT Britain is?) tourist centre museum.”

    Lots of ridiculously expensive luxury flats for money launderers etc. to buy and leave empty. A hotel and an exclusive enclosed shopping mall (the building is naturally designed to keep out the hoi-polloi.

    Only the old, wee Westminster Hall is actually historic the ‘iconic’ building is just outstanding Victorian frippery.

    Then there are the very many ‘knock-on’ buildings including:

    The new very expensive office block for MPs.

    The Foreign office. Do we need civil servants to have a building designed to impress Indian princes? It would make a very grand hotel.

    The Admiralty, another very valuable bit of property that is a tad over the top for housing 43 admirals etc. Would make great flats over-looking the park. Might even have enough money over for a few boats. Or they could use it for the much needed social housing in Westminster.

    Well you get the drift. Rebuilding elsewhere would free up substantial sums of money, reduce long term maintenance costs and provide suitable accomodation for the government.

    Great cartoon as always Chris.

  24. steveasaneilean says:

    Cracks? Chasms more like…

  25. handclapping says:

    Crap cartoon 😀 if he’s an employee of Westminster he should be showing us his builder’s arse! Adds another layer to the meaning.

    If having a holiday adds bite to your pen as this one seems to have done we can’t complain BUT DON’T DO IT AGAIN … Last Saturday was hell 🙂

  26. Golfnut says:

    They could always sell it to Japan, they have a Yen for old buildings. If they were a wee bit short we could maybe help them out with a crowd fund.

  27. Proud Cybernat says:

    Excellent ‘toon, Chris. Says a lot.


    In today’s [i]National[/i]. Carmichael court case could run to nearly £250,000. Carmichael may well have to foot the bill if he loses. Just want to say to the good people of Orkney & Shetland–Proud Cybernat remains 100% with you on this. If I have to chuck in five times more than I did previously I most certainly will. The People will not be put off so easily by the Establishment.

    Analysis from David McKie (Head of Media & Law at Glasgow Uni.) suggests that the case isn’t clear cut and could go either way.

    But we’re still very much in with a fighting chance in bringing down this lying leech.

  28. unchillfiltered says:

    What about a virtual parliament, with every MP based in an office/studio their own constituency, leading a much more normal lives and saving us all squillions.

  29. Capella says:

    I heard someone on R4 say that the UK Parliament should relocate to the centre of the UK which is Lancaster. But the centre of the UK is actually Kelso (if you look at a proper map which includes Shetland).

    So a federal UK could have it’s Parliament in Kelso.

    The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management has a handy map of the UK neatly divided into federal regions. OnceWestminster is sold and the House of Lords abolished, England can have its own Parliament passing English Votes for English Laws.

  30. Croompenstein says:

    My wee boy was asking me earlier what nostalgia is. Well I said it’s when you look back on better times and feel happy and sad, you will often hear people refer to ‘the good old days’ or ‘things were better back then’. It’s a bit like when I looked forward to watching the new Clangers because I remembered the old Clangers from when I was wee and that was me being nostalgic. The new Clangers aren’t as good.

    When Scotland regains her independence I don’t think I will ever look at the United Kingdom with a sense of nostalgia, just bitterness at wasted opportunity

  31. John H. says:

    Proud Cybernat 10.42am.

    Totally agree. The brave people who have run this campaign should be assured that any money required will be made available. They are not alone, and I for one will help all I can if more money is needed.

  32. ags_1888 says:

    Look guys see if we want out of this shambles of a union then UDI is the only way to go and it doesn’t take the SNP to make that happen its the people

  33. mogabee says:

    Very good Chris. It’s now my desktop image!

  34. Helena Brown says:

    Well I kind of like the sponsored parliament idea should appeal to those who earn their money from some of these companies and may even shine a light on their activities. I also approved of the virtual parliament but I bet all those MP’s would lose their connection often.
    Loved the ground breaking idea which apparently CNN are thinking of using, manufacturing news to give companies good advertising, as seen on RT this morning. Well we thought that the BBC were ground breakers in that, in fact they had gone one further and were using it to prop up the ailing Labour Party.
    Good cartoon, we can expect that should they decide to do this that the bill will go up by 50% at least because there is always the hidden problems which cause extras, all the rats in these places well enough said.

  35. Kennedy says:

    WBB received = Chuffed.

    Westminster falling down just like the Union. Please hurry up and fall down.

  36. Dr Jim says:

    @Proud Cybernat

    I don’t think how it goes is that important
    What it shows is the lengths and taxpayers expense Carmichael’s prepared to go to and waste to keep a job where it’s obvious more people than not want him gone

    It’s the nerve and lack of moral character of this man that shows him up as a real scumbag

    Makes you want to vomit watching him sit beside our team at Westminster
    Odious Squint of a man

  37. dramfineday says:

    Very apt Chris

  38. Proud Cybernat says:

    [b]@ ags_1888[/b]

    UDI is NOT the “only” way to go. It is the [i]worst[/i] way to go. We must carry the majority of people of this country with us in a democratic vote for independence. What you suggest will only end in one way–civil war. Is that what you want? Sounds like it to me.

    Well– a zillion times NO. Never.

  39. Socrates MacSporran says:

    I note some comment about re-locating the UK parliament.

    I fear the viewpoint of that Tory backwoodsman who thought it “assinine” to consider going anywhere other than London will prevail. I am reminded of the opposition to the ill-fated Manchester bid for the Olympic Games – which came mainly from what was back them at the fag end of the 20th century: “Fleet Street”. The lads and lassies of the London media, if they had to be taken out of their London comfort zone, would go anywhere other than north of Watford Gap. That attitude still holds.

    But, IF, Parliament was to decant elsewhere, I would have no opposition to Lancaster, which I see as one of the suggestions. After all, is not our “Brenda” also Duke of Lancaster, why should not she and her parliament spend some time in her Dukedom?

    I can also see the sense in establishing a Canberra/Washington DC/Brasilia-style brand new federal capital, leaving London to stew in its own over-heated juices. Maybe, without the distractions of the West End and so-forth, and close proximity to the hooks, crooks and comic singers in “the City”, our legislators would find themselves free to produce decent, proper laws.

    Of course, this situation ought not worry we Scots unduly. The way the Tory posh boys who rule over us are going, we will be well out of things and going our own way by 2020.

    Given Cameron will be gone by 2019, and allowing for the various set-pieces before then: 2016 Holyrood elections, 2017 council elections, 2017 European referendum, DC might just be gone before we vote yes at Indyref2, and therefore, it will be Boris or Gideon, rather than Cameron, who has to take the flak from “Middle England” for losing their Scottish colonies.

  40. Capella says:

    What’s with the square brackets around formatting code? You use the chevrons which are the uppercase characters above the comma and full stop. See shapes above the comment box.

    Just copy and paste i (enclosed in chevrons) at the beginning of your italic and /i (enclosed in chevrons) at the end.

    Then you’ll get italic instead of [i]italic[/i]

  41. Marcia says:

    The way things are going the paper used in the cartoon should now be the size of confetti.

  42. Proud Cybernat says:


    Ta, Capella–just saw that after I posted. (Apologies Stu). I post on a number of different forums and some sites use the square brackets for their HTML tags whilst others (like Wings) use the chevrons. I just forget where I am. Sometimes not a bad thing.

    Now, where did I leave me glasses….?

  43. Smout says:


    Always wanted to know how to do that but didn’t want to show my ignorance by asking. Stupid I know.

    Anyway, thank you, I’ve learnt something new today

  44. thedogphilosopher says:

    Seemingly the showers are pish too!

  45. Dan Huil says:

    Let it crumble to dust – just like this rotten union.

  46. thedogphilosopher says:

    O/T Watch out for lots of ‘sad piano’ music on Monday as PQ rolls out its heart-rending documentary The Fall of Labour, presented by all-round entertainer Jackie Bird. Cue: tilted head shots and welling eyes.

  47. Luigi says:

    Brilliant Chris. You are a genius.

    Now folks, if you think the Holyrood building was expensive and over-budget, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Brace yourselves.

  48. Capella says:

    @ Smout
    This site is a learning experience!
    I haven’t worked out how to indent quotations yet but some people know. Maybe they’ll post instructions. Smileys are another thing!

  49. Vambomarbeleye says:

    Looks like darling is getting his thirty pieces and a ermin shawl. Just can’t get rid of them. Just like a bad fart.

  50. msean says:

    Great toon. Let it fall down,actually need somewhere that all the MPs can be in at once,nae hiding in the bar when people elect you to speak. Like the other day when come voting time,it went from around 70/80 to over 500. Should be in the debate in order to vote.

  51. Craig P says:

    The Scottish parliament could have had the disused Strathclyde region HQ in Glasgow for about £8m. Would have done the job and saved a fortune.

    Similarly there are some empty industrial units on Coleshill industrial estate in the west midlands. Good motorway links and Birmingham airport nearby. The money saved could go on high speed rail. No reason other than MP vanity we can’t have the UK parliament there.

  52. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Capella
    “I haven’t worked out how to indent quotations yet …”

    Capella–you can do a quote indent using the HTML tag [blockquote]…[/blockquote] (obviously use the chevrons instead of square brackets).

    Like this:

    “The destination is set. We’re now just arguing about the timetable.” – Alex Salmond.

    Hope that helps.

    (Yes, I found me glasses).

  53. velofello says:

    I sincerely hope that Westminster refurbishment becomes solely an England project as Scotland will be independent when Westminster lumbers to a decision

    56 SNP MPs has heightened interest in the proceedings at Westminster, and how ludicrous these proceedings are. A twitter note states that the guy who walks behind the speaker holding the tail of his coat is paid +£40,000 pa! Adjacent to the SNP team sits a person on a kind of wooden throne, not the speaker, who must have the most manicured nails at Westminster. Just what is he there for?

    The behaviour of the Tories against Scotland is gathering pace, and their strategy becoming clearer.Will this parliament last 5 years?

  54. X_Sticks says:

    The irony of the “mother(f) of parliaments” decaying and crumbling seems lost on our UK politicians.

    Great work as always Chris.

    WBB arrived. Might need it again sooner than I thought.

  55. schrodingers cat says:

    Proud Cybernat says:

    UDI is NOT the “only” way to go. It is the worst way to go


  56. X_Sticks says:


    Livestreaming of the London anti-austerity demo from Live Independence on now:

  57. Capella says:

    @ Proud Cybernat
    Wow! Thanks. I must copy that somewhere so I can find it again when I need it!

  58. cearc says:


    He’s the serjeant at arms.

  59. msean says:

    Who would ever have thought Labour MPs would join the house of Lords? If Labour and others refused to take up space in that undemocratic chamber,it might eventually end it.

  60. galamcennalath says:

    schrodingers cat says:
    Proud Cybernat says:

    UDI …. is the worst way to go

    Yes, agreed, but …

    While a referendum is essential, I can foresee circumstances where WM won’t do an Edinburgh Agreement Mk2. Then, when the vote results in a Yes win, they will drag their heels with excuses. Then, ideally, we need WM to dissolve the Act of Union.

    They never expected to be close last September, thus they accepted the Edinburgh Agreement. Next time, they will expect to lose. Then, just how much do they want to maintain the Union? It is difficult to predict WM’s reaction.

    There may need to be an element of democratically mandated Unilateral action from the SG, if not full blown UDI.

  61. schrodingers cat says:

    maybe, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it

    for now, holyrood is next up

  62. Bean an Tighe says:

    Great cartoon – maybe the real reason the SNP got told off for clapping was in case it made plaster fall off the walls and ceiling. Or even brought the house down.

  63. Robert Peffers says:

    @ags_1888 says: 20 June, 2015 at 10:54 am:

    “Look guys see if we want out of this shambles of a union then UDI is the only way to go and it doesn’t take the SNP to make that happen its the people.”

    Well nearly right, ags_1888. The legal position is that by Scottish Law, and agreed by the Treaty of Union to remain independent, the People of Scotland are legally Sovereign.

    That means if the people of Scotland give a democratic mandate to the MPs who represent them, (or even the MSPs that represent them), then under Scottish law it would NOT be UDI for as sovereign people it would be legally the settled will of the sovereign people of Scotland.

  64. heedtracker says:

    They can stick their Trident 2 nukes under the joint in the rebuild. Might make the whole warmongering creep show think a bit harder before starting ever more wars, and among other issues

    How far away from us can we base our all new nukes chaps?

    Dump them on the jocks.

  65. Robert Peffers says:

    @Capella says: 20 June, 2015 at 12:17 pm:

    ” This site is a learning experience!
    I haven’t worked out how to indent quotations yet but some people know. Maybe they’ll post instructions. Smileys are another thing!”

    Someone has probably got there first, Capella.

    The HTML in the Chevrons is “blockquote” to open and “/blockquote”, to close.

  66. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Robert Peffers 10:54

    I hear what you are saying Robert. However, can we realistically expect if Scotland votes a majority of Independence advocating MPs on, say, 40% of the popular vote (i.e. using FPTP) that the BritNats willa ccept that as a mandate for indy? I somehow doubt that they will and so an indy YES result has to come from securing a majority in support of such a move via a natinal referndum. Unless a majority of people in Scotand support such a move in a national referendum I fear all other routes are laiden with potential disaster.

    And if a majority of the people of Scotland vote YES to once again become an independent nation and WM refuses then there will be routes in international law that the SG can, and surely would, pursue.

    We need an absolute majority of the people to back indy. Just look at how the nuckle-dragging BriNats in George Square were behaving and that’s when they WON. Just think what they’ll be like if they are dragged into indy with an absolute majority supporting it. A majority of SNP MPs on an Indy ticket with just 40% of the popular vote is a recipe for disaster. Indy MUST come from a referendum.

  67. Fred says:

    @ cearc, If I remember aright Michael Martin, the baron Springburn, tried to stitch up the then Sergeant of Arms Jill Pay, in an ill-thought-out “it-wisnae-me” strategem when he was Speaker.

  68. Bill Fraser says:

    With any luck it’ll fall down on it’s own accord.

  69. rongorongo says:

    Chris: Thanks for the cartoon as ever – and thank you for the visual name check in favour of left-handed poster pasters!

  70. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    I thought that the pasterman’s jowls were a tad Salmondish.

    Too subtle?

  71. Charles Edward says:

    32 years at a conservative estimate of 5.7 billion to fix up the palace of Westminster.

    They’ll probably do it one room at a time, just move the step-ladder through to the next one after the ceiling has been splashed.

    Move all the politicians over to the O2 ( it’s got restaurants bars cinema and a tube stop). Take a few years and completely storm the palace.

    Or they could install some portacabins? Like many schools today.

Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

↑ Top