I’m planning to start a campaign against PC in the media.
I’ll begin by targeting the infuriating newspaper habit of adding words in brackets in the middle of direct quotes, words that the speaker didn’t actually say. This is done presumably to make the meaning clear to all readers, but let’s face it, if a person is that dumb, he’s unlikely to be able to read the damn paper in the first place.
Then there’s the asterisk craze. The BBC website quotes Bradley Wiggins this morning as saying he might be ‘p***** off’ about something. For those in doubt, be might be ‘pissed off’. So?
Finally, there is the terrible compulsion TV has to apologise for every minor breach of the language code. During the Open last weekend, Ken Brown jokingly called a co-commentator ‘a smartarse’, for which he apologised a few seconds later, undoubtedly under orders from the production box. On several other occasions commentators apologised on air for golfer expletives after bad shots. Tell you what, guys. Try moving your effects mikes a little further away. If not, accept that if Tiger, etc., hit a bad shot, they may let one go, and live with it.
Watching the Open on telly and wondering: why do the BBC persist in employing Mark James? His credentials include being the worst Ryder Cup captain in living memory, putting his name to an awful, graceless autobiography, and never paying a straight compliment when a sneer is available. Plus he’s a twerp.
Having been off the reservation for a week or so, the first thing I have to do on return is to thank a few people: specifically, Dr Agnes Durie of Gullane Medical Practice, Mr David Lewis, consultant vascular surgeon, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and his theatre team, and the staff of Wards 105 and 118, RIE, for the unsurpassable care that all of them lavished on my lovely wife, and most of all for giving her back to me.
You are all special.
Today, July 3, the people of Scotland are to be addressed by an Old Etonian twat who happens to be Prime Minister of the Westminster Parliament, although his party holds less than half of its seats. Against that background, it’s more than a little ironic that he will call on ‘The Silent Majority’ to speak out. A few words in that forthcoming speech leap out and grab me, those where he refers to ‘the silent majority who don’t want the risks of going it alone.’ In other words, he’s talking to conservatives with a small ‘c’, and to cowards, with a capital.
In fact, there is a silent majority in Scotland. The problem for Dave is that he doesn’t recognise it, because he and his colleagues have been sweeping its existence under the carpet for so long, they’ve forgotten about it. It’s made up of the Scots, twenty per cent of us, who live in poverty created by four decades of Westminster policies, and those of us who believe passionately that independence is the only way to reverse that unacceptable situation. In September, it will be our voices that will be heard.
Independence has nothing to do with ‘proud Edward’s army’, or any of that flowery crap. It’s about recreating the fair, just and honest society that we once had in Scotland before Westminster destroyed it, about restoring hope to the deprived, and about giving them and the next generations a future that they will never have under a government that has spent the last forty years gathering the nation’s wealth into a small corner of the south east.
BBC Breakfast has become so bland that there is little in it that anyone could find annoying, but this morning the colourless Charlie Stayt managed it, in spades. A brief report on Glastonbury was topped off by the fact that the most popular performer was not some dire cloned heavy metal outfit, but Dolly Parton, who drew a bigger crowd than anyone else. When the piece was over, read by his colleague Naga Munchkin, the idiot Charlie chipped in, portentously, ‘And she’s 68 years old.’
Having celebrated yet another birthday yesterday, I found myself perched on the edge of my chair, shouting ‘So f*cking what?!?’ at the telly. I am against most things that end in ‘ism’, but ‘ageism’ is right at the top of my list. Here’s a suggestion for the Breakfast production team. For a couple of weeks, replace Charlie with Ken Dodd . . . ‘And he’s 86 years old.’ . . . and see what happens to the viewing figures.
When Tom (Tiny) Wharton, a Scottish football referee of my youth, passed away a few years ago, many stories were told about him, but this is my favourite:
While refereeing Hearts one Saturday, Tiny had particular trouble with a veteran winger named Johnny Hamilton, who was known for leaving his dentures in a glass in the dressing room during the game. Finally his patience was exhausted. He called the player to him (when Tiny called, you went) and said solemnly, ‘Mr Hamilton, the time has come for you to rejoin your teeth.’
Perhaps that is the simplest solution to Luis Suarez’ behavioural problem. Aesthetically it might not be a bad thing either, from his viewpoint, since the set with which God equipped him gives him an unfortunate resemblance to Francis the Talking Mule.