Author Archive

The grownups are back

January 21, 2021 Leave a comment
Categories: General, Politics

Home truth

January 12, 2021 Leave a comment

I have a confession. I have been watching #SHOTY, (How did we exist in the pre-hashtag pre-history?) Scotland’s Home of the Year.

However, I’ve tended to watch it with the sound turned down. There have been some spectacular properties on show, and some ‘are they serious?’ entries too. The show is fine in concept, but for me it falls flat because of the judges. (One in particular gets on my tits. I’m not saying who, but there may be a clue in there.)

Each is offered as an expert in the home-making field, but ultimately what they wind up judging is other people’s taste. Why pick a winner? Why not let each home speak for itself? Or better still, why not allow the viewers to make the choice, with a weekly phone-in vote?

Categories: General

Patience, patient?

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Nicola Sturgeon, ‘Nippy’ to her opponents, hasn’t got too much wrong over the last ten months. The pandemic has been prudently managed in Scotland.

That said, I have reservations about the way the vaccine programme is being rolled out. We’ve all had a leaflet, at significant cost, that’s a bit of a chocolate fireguard. Its core message is ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you.’ Not unnaturally, most of us want to know when that will happen. We’re not being told; worse, we’re being told not to ask.

I know two people, both in their eighties, one in England, one in Scotland. The former will be vaccinated this week, the latter has been told that there are many people ahead of him in the queue.

The information gap is frustrating, and it contrasts with the English situation. Implementation north of the border has been handed, we are told, to individual health boards. To me, that builds in potential inequalities across the country, a postcode lottery, to resort to a phrase I dislike. I would prefer to see an individual tasked with personal responsibility for delivery. The Health Secretary might argue that it’s her. If it is, she should be front and centre giving much more specific information.

My wife is in group one. I have been told that she’ll be contacted by our medical practice, but nobody is quite sure how. It’s most likely, it seems, to be a letter. That begs a question. How are GPs equipped to issue dozens, maybe hundreds of letters to their elderly patients? And another. In the case of the most vulnerable, who might still be living alone but in need of support, what means are in place to ensure these letters are understood?

Lots of questions but no apparent will to answer them. Come on Nippy, step up.

Categories: General, Politics

Selling her book already

January 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Like all of you, I have reflected on the past year and how the invisible enemy, Covid-19, swept across our beautiful country. All Nations have experienced
— Read on

Categories: General, Politics

Level up the playing field?

I am indebted to my friend John for pointing out something that should have been obvious to me … or maybe I simply ignored it.

At my suggestion he has started watching Aussie Big Bash cricket on BT Sport. Last time we spoke he had a rant about the amount of advertising that’s jammed into the coverage, and he’s right. They seem to slot an add in after each over, two when a wicket falls, and as many as they can during other breaks. This has an impact on the coverage, as BT is taking the Australian output, but cutting off the expert commentators in mid sentence. There must be close on 100 commercials in a single match broadcast.

That’s further evidence to me of the mendacity of BT. We all have to live with that, but there is one way in which it and Sky might be opened up to really serious competition. What if the BBC was allowed to enter the subscription TV market, in a way that didn’t compete with its core entertainment services, concentrating on sport and premium cinema services? With its customer base, which still dwarfs the satellite operators, it could afford to outbid any competitor. As a bonus, the profit this would generate could go towards reducing or even eliminating the Broadcasting Tax.

Categories: General, Sport


January 1, 2021 1 comment

I’m glad that’s over, and I’m doing my best to see the glass of the new year as half full. Not easy, but somehow I felt uplifted when I opened the curtains and saw this.

Categories: General, Pics

The Omen

December 29, 2020 Leave a comment

Walking Sunny today I slipped on a steep muddy path. I pretty much totalled my left leg from the knee down; more than that, my jeans are the worse for wear.

They’re my best pair, by Pierre Cardin. When my phone told me that he had died, well, that felt pretty strange.

Categories: General

Or Aldi

December 22, 2020 Leave a comment
Categories: General


December 19, 2020 Leave a comment

Best tv ad just now: LIDL. It has a moment that really sticks it to its main rival.

Categories: General

Obscene or crazy or both?

December 15, 2020 Leave a comment

Premier League: Clubs pay £263m to agents in 2019-20 – BBC Sport
— Read on

Categories: Sport

Much call for ferrets?

December 14, 2020 Leave a comment

Categories: General


December 14, 2020 1 comment

I found the following online today, referring to the Trump administration and its policy of fast-tracking Federal executions.

“ It is worth noting that these executions have all occurred during the pandemic, at a time when states have stopped conducting executions due to the health risks involved.”

That’s an admirable, if ironic, policy. Let’s hope it spreads.

Categories: General


December 13, 2020 Leave a comment

New twist in ‘Wagatha Christie’ legal clash between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy

We are prisoners and victims of a global pandemic, our economy is goosed, we are on verge of an uncertain exit from the EU with unfathomable consequences, but at least the lawyers are happily coining it.

Categories: General

Cheaters usually win

December 13, 2020 5 comments

English football community says endlessly that its is the best league in the world. It isn’t. It is disfigured by a conning culture; the slightest contact is penalised by full-time professional officials whose livelihoods depend on the approval of their supervisors, and most of it is contrived or simulated. Refs seem afraid to apply basic common sense, and the sad thing is that the most experienced are the most guilty.

Tiny Wharton must be turning in his grave.

Categories: Sport

Pets hated

December 13, 2020 3 comments

You know we’ve reached peak frenzy when Kay Burley’s night out feels like mass murder

I don’t know which I dislike more: the vicious, vacuous Camilla Long or Kay Burley. Let’s call it a draw.

Categories: Uncategorized

Time up

December 12, 2020 Leave a comment

Closing in on 4000 career yellow cards, over 100 red cards: Mike Dean needs to be subbed.

Categories: Sport


December 12, 2020 Leave a comment
Categories: Politics

0800 030 8013

December 11, 2020 1 comment

The above is the number for the Covid vaccine help line. I called it today because my wife is on the priority list and so am I, as an unpaid carer.

There is one question that nobody seems able to answer, hence my call. We will be contacted, they say, through the NHS. However, all my interaction as a carer is through the local authority, and there is no bridge between the two. In other words, how will the NHS know who to contact?

I was connected, no problem, sat through the introductory chat, and selected the appropriate option. It rang for thirty seconds, maximum, until a voice announced, ‘I’m sorry , there is no one available to take your call. Goodbye.’ Buzzzzzz.

I have to say, that doesn’t fill me with confidence.

Categories: General

Triple standards

December 10, 2020 Leave a comment

I don’t like Ms Burley, but her tweeted announcement gave me a good laugh. I do like Beth Rigby, but I don’t understand why she’s only been benched for three months, given that she seems to have been equally guilty just by being there.

There’s a further comparison I can’t help making, with Dr Calderwood, the Scottish Government CMO. Her offence was less serious than the Sky birthday bash, yet it cost her her job.

Categories: General


December 9, 2020 2 comments

It’s not an absolute truth but a heavy probability: that in Colin Farrell movies his character will wind up dead.

Categories: General