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Here I go off on one. I have just discovered that Oxfam are selling second-hand books, and God knows what else, on line. Well, f*ck you, Oxfam and co.; try widening your social conscience.

Once upon a time, North Berwick had  a nice book shop called Readmore. Then the charity shops arrived, more than you could shake a stick at, and Readmore went out of business. The same story was told all across the land.

Not long after that I was at a dinner hosted by a Scottish Government minister. As the evening drew to a close, he asked each of us to name something we would like him to do.

I stepped up and said, ‘Yes, please regulate charity shops. Bring them under control, license them, and stop them fucking up the retail environment of  every community they descend upon.’

I thought that would make me very unpopular with my fellow guests, but it didn’t. In fact heads nodded all around the table.






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