Archive for December, 2014

The stocks?

December 31, 2014 4 comments

I’m open to suggestions as to what should be done with Katie Hopkins, the more colourful the better.

Categories: General

Human sacrifice

December 31, 2014 Leave a comment

This from the Football Association in the Dave Whelan case:

The FA Commission said in a statement: “We are satisfied on the evidence before us that Mr Whelan is not a racist.

“We are equally satisfied on the evidence before us that Mr Whelan did not intend to cause any offence by his comments.”

But the commission added that it had to “view the comments objectively and Mr Whelan’s subjective intentions were irrelevant as far the ruling was concerned”.

Okay. Now can anyone explain to me what it means? The way I read it, they’re saying, ‘He isn’t guilty, but we’re still throwing him to the wolves to satisfy the PC brigade.

Categories: Sport

Time to fight back

December 31, 2014 Leave a comment

One downer this season; I’m sorry if anyone finds this upsetting but it needs to be told.

There is a story doing the rounds where I live about a house-breaking in a neighbouring village, in the course of which the felons took the family puppy from its cage and killed it.

I find this tale particularly heinous since it comes at a time when Police Scotland seems to be devoting unlimited man-hours to enforcing the new 50mg blood alcohol driving limit.

I am in no way in favour of drunk, or even mildly impaired, driving, but any study will show that victims of housebreakings far outnumber those affected by motorists who are mildly over the limit. In that event, it seems to me that policing priorities are in need of a reappraisal and that the public would be better served by a higher profile in at risk areas, even if it does some at the expense of the breathalyser stats

The unlamented (in my house) departure of the former Justice Secretary gives the Scottish Government an opportunity for a fresh look at crime and punishment. As a first step, and as a matter of urgency, I would like to see the introduction of a mandatory minimum five year no parole tariff  for first offender housebreakers, with stepped-up penalties for recidivists.

Categories: General, Politics

Good one

December 31, 2014 2 comments

Happy family Christmas at Chez QJ, enlivened by Rex and his visiting cousin Benjamin, both wondering where all the paper came from but enjoying tearing it apart. I hope all yours went as well as mine.

Categories: General

Asylum takeover

December 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Does the Scottish Football Association have a secret stash of gold somewhere that enables it to snub a man who is willing to invest millions in its impoverished game? Or is its board just plain crackers? I suspect the latter.

Categories: Sport

Music while I work

December 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Heart and Soul – Joe Cocker. A day for a tribute: if I was told that I could only keep one of my JC albums, this would be it.

Categories: General

A sadder place

December 21, 2014 1 comment

I’m in shock at this moment, having just learned that a good friend has passed away. I’ve known Gerry for going on twenty years and can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel better for being in his company. Heaven will be a funnier place from now on.

Our deepest sympathy to June and the family.

Categories: General


December 20, 2014 3 comments

Even though I’m resoundingly Scottish I admit to being an observer of England cricket, my excuse being that if other UK nationals are good enough, Lords will grab them.

For some time now I’ve been observing the decline and fall of the one day side. Finally the hapless selectors have ditched their hapless captain, but they have appointed in his place a hapless Irishman whose recent form is worse than he guy he’s replacing.

All this has come on the back of the selectors’ axing of their best player as the shambles unfolds. Seems to me that the developing shambles goes back to the appointment of the current managing director of Cricket England. Get shot of Mr Downton and bring back KP and everything will be better.

Categories: Sport

May election

December 19, 2014 2 comments

If the journalist Philip Webster’s sources are correct, there is an undeclared war going on within the Tory Party between Dave Cameron and Theresa May.

139 days before the General Election I’ll come out and say that unless there is a political earthquake that leaves Alex Salmond as Prime Minister (an offer he would decline, almost certainly) my choice for Number Ten would be Cameron, but only on the basis that he is the least of several evils.

Who is the greatest? Mrs May comes very near the top of my list, shaded only by Mr and Mrs Balls. (Take your pick.) I never saw anything to like about our only woman Prime Minister, but there was a hell of a lot to admire. But Mrs May, or Thatcher Lite as I will call her from now on, she doesn’t score a point  in either column.

Categories: Politics


December 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Three nights, and three series finales with The Fall coming to an end yesterday. No scope for a whiz-bang ending, I’d thought but I was wrong. No spoilers for those who recorded it, but an unexpected question is out there waiting to be answered. Will there be a third series?

Categories: General

Music while I work

December 18, 2014 1 comment

How about now – Ags Connolly. My friend Wallace made me a serious country music follower when he introduced me to Alan Jackson. I wish I could return he favour by directing him to Ags Connolly, who’s invented his own sub-genre, Ameripolitan.  Ags may be an English folkie from Oxfordshire, but he’s produced one of the best albums of the year.

Categories: General

Good evening

December 18, 2014 Leave a comment

And so farewell to Will, Mac, Don, Sloan, Jim, Maggie, and most of all Charlie. A day after the end of The Missing, Sky Atlantic showed the finale of series three of The Newsroom. It’s gone, and it won’t be back, but you can bet Tom T Hall will be thanking the producers for boosting his pension fund.

That’s the way to finish a series: you give the addicts the resolution they want, throw in a little sadness, then batter it to death with schmaltz and happy endings.

Mind you I’m going to miss Will MacAvoy. I wish we had a real news anchor like him on British TV, but we don’t. Adam Boulton makes a decent fist of it, and then there’s the amiable but essentially dim Eamonn Holmes, but both broadcast to minority audiences on Sky News. The main line channels are bereft of such talent; half an hour ago, I switched off BBC Breakfast and escaped back to the recorded Newsroom. I don’t like Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchkin at the best of times, but when the talent-free zone that is the abrasive Steph McGovern joined the party, my hand leapt of its own volition to the remote.

The only solution i can offer is for BBC to pretend that Will MacAvoy is real and to hire Jeff Daniels to present its mainline news programming. With a budget in excess of five billion, I’m sure they can afford him.

Categories: General

The Missing, presumed . . .

December 17, 2014 2 comments

So it was a combination of an accident and a bungled cover-up, Emily lives happy-ish ever after and poor old Tony pays for his undetected crime by going mad, growing a beard  and stalking children all around Moscow, looking for (and finding?) lost Ollie.

Disappointing? Maybe just a  little, but let’s see where series 2 takes us.

Categories: General

Multi-coloured Christmas

December 17, 2014 3 comments

To those stuck for a  Christmas idea, a late reminder that ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow‘, my semi-secret but still well-reviewed political novel is now available in paperback format. It’s supposed to be exclusively through Amazon, but by some means that I do not understand copies are also available on the monster that is eBay. I advise buyers strongly against taking that route, as in all probability you will be ripped off. Beware also of any marketplace sellers advertising copies as new, as originals can only come from Amazon itself.

Categories: General


December 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Just had a piece of news and I’m in a quandary. Someone I know and revere has found a new job. I couldn’t be happier for her in that it takes her out of the madness, but I’m devastated for me because she’s irreplaceable and will be missed more than she can ever imagine.

Categories: General

How deep is your love?

December 10, 2014 4 comments

For a glimpse of how the other 0.001% live:

Categories: General


December 10, 2014 1 comment

For a classic afternoon read, try this:

It seems that there is a debate under way on the efficacy of torture. What would Will MacAvoy say, I wonder?

Categories: Politics

Music while I work

December 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Alison – Elvis Costello. Elvis/Declan has been one of the best and most  prolific songwriters for going on forty years, and yet his first Anthem is still his outstanding and most memorable work. But . . . if you can find an album called Piano Jazz, with EC and Marion McPartland, that’s my favourite. It’s a recording of a radio show, half conversation and half acoustic classics, and it is PDB.

If you can’t find it:

Categories: General

Where we had lunch today

December 7, 2014 Leave a comment
Categories: General


December 5, 2014 1 comment

Did you know you can buy wine on Amazon? Yes, you can, but don’t; it’s damned expensive.

Categories: General