As darkness falls . . .

September 12, 2015 2 comments

So the sinister Len McCluskey has had his way. The Labour Party has committed electoral suicide by choosing a leader who commands the support of no more  than ten per cent of his parliamentary colleagues.

I thought that Gordon Brown, old Captain Barbossa as I fondly nicknamed him when he was our unelected Prime Minister, was bad, but the idea of Jeremy Corbyn with his hand on the national tiller is incomprehensible. Apart from the fact that the man is a poor imitation of Michael Foot and peddles a brand of Marxist-lite politics that by comparison puts Nicola Sturgeon somewhere close to Maggie Thatcher in the political spectrum, there is this:

The next UK General Election is scheduled to take place on May 7, 2020. On that date, the new Leader of  HM’s Official Opposition will be nineteen days shy of his seventy-first birthday. Today, I am just over nine months shy of mine, and while as far as I know I am in decent health, I would no more consider myself physically fit for the rigours of five years of national leadership than I’d offer myself as a replacement for Wayne Rooney should he fail his fitness test this afternoon. (Okay, I might step in as a sub for Motherwell, but they’re in another league altogether.)

Will Corbyn still be in office in five years? The smart money says ‘No’, but given that he secured 60% of the vote in a four-horse race, and presumably has no intention of changing the insane electoral system that put him where he is, it seems to me that he’s going to be bloody difficult to remove by anything other than Divine intervention.

As for the new Deputy Leader: who is he?

Categories: Politics

Ugly as sin, but a hell of a runner

September 12, 2015 Leave a comment

What have I been doing for the last week? Well, I’ve been in Spain, tolerating a shamefully slow broadband service (Get your act together, Movistar!), thinking about Skinner 27, and driving the ugliest car on the road

to Barcelona and back. I’ve also been getting back to work on Skinher 27, but of that more later.

Categories: General, Pics

We All Need Caddies

September 9, 2015 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

Review

September 7, 2015 Leave a comment
Categories: General

Yah! Boo!

September 6, 2015 Leave a comment

This headline appeared in yesterday’s Herald newspaper.

Directorship ban for lying Tory

It won’t make me cancel my subscription, but it does make me wonder. If the chap in question had been a known Socialist, would that have featured in the banner? I’ve been an SNP member for 17 years, so I’m grinding no axes for the individual, but I’m asking, should a quality newspaper, as the Herald is perceived to be, resort to the politics of abuse?

Categories: Politics

On course?

September 5, 2015 4 comments

My wife and I wound up discussing Donald Trump last night over the dinner table. Her general view is that he’s preposterous. I don’t disagree with that but he’s no joke. The polls show him at the moment as the Republican Presidential candidate most likely to beat Hillary Clinton. If they stay that way, the nomination will be his.

Categories: Politics

Same old

September 5, 2015 Leave a comment

So Scotland lost in Georgia? No surprise, but we’ve come on since the dark Bertie Vogts days. As a nation we are so perverse that we’ll probably win our last three games and qualify.

Categories: Sport

Burn, baby, burn

September 2, 2015 1 comment

This in my in-box from the European Tour:

‘Quintin, win a Paul McGinley Singed Ryder Cup golf bag plus 25% off PAR Skincare’

Categories: Sport

Warning

September 2, 2015 8 comments

Tell everyone you know never to fly out of Edinburgh at 6:30am. Yesterday, my son drove us to the airport; we left Gullane at 4:50am and got to the turn-off into the airport approach at 5:25am. There we found ourselves in a mile-long tailback of cars and taxis, mostly the latter, and crawled all the way to the drop-off zone. That took 15 minutes. I had fast track security clearance, which you can buy on the airport website; it wasn’t fast because many others had bought it too, and because the entire security area, which is large, was thronged. We got to the gate just after 6 o’clock, as they began to board the flight.

What can the airport owners do about it? A separate Taxi zone with an approach through Ingliston? I don’t know, but they need to do something.

PS.

And one more thing; when you’re tight for time, it’s more than a little annoying to be sent on a winding route through the ‘duty free’ zone, before you actually enter the terminal.

Categories: General

A Few Observations

More good sense from young Eddie.

eddiepepperell

Ken Brown is a nice man. His calm persona and soft tones make him truly interesting in a world where media commentators are often bellowing tripe in an effort to be heard. Ken doesn’t want to be heard. I get the impression he just likes to talk and pass on his knowledge free of any ambitions outside of personal contentment. To confirm this he offered to send me his book in the post, free of charge. I didn’t know he had released one when we spoke in the airport on my way back from Prague. I enjoyed listening to him talk about his views on putting. It was refreshing to hear someone talk about the intuitive, instinctive nature of putting, as opposed to the scientific approach we see so much of these days. I’m not saying one is right over the other, it’s just nice to have a balance of ideas…

View original post 845 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

Tarjeta rojo

August 30, 2015 6 comments

Five red cards in the English Premier League yesterday, three of them nonsense. Another soft one today at Southampton, inside 45 minutes.

Are refs on a mission to ruin football for spectators?

Categories: Sport

Cheerio

August 28, 2015 1 comment

it was inevitable, given the timing of the announcement and my publicly aired views on Police Scotland, that the resignation of the Chief Constable would be mentioned last night. I was ready for that. What took me by surprise was the spontaneous round of applause that the announcement provoked from the audience.

Now that Sir Stephen House has recognised the strength of public feeling and bowed to it, attention will turn to the appointment of his successor. I hope that the Scottish Police Authority and the Scottish Government will ensure that the person chosen has ground level, through the ranks, experience of policing in Scotland and is not another import from the tainted Metropolitan Police.

Categories: General

Cheers

Big thanks today to everyone who came along to the Baillie Gifford Theatre in Charlotte Square last night, and did me the honour of spending an hour with me. I enjoyed it greatly and hope that you  did too.

Thanks also to Nick Barley, Roland Gulliver, and the Book Festival team, and to Al Senter, a late substitute, for chairing the event with such class and aplomb.

Categories: General

On stage

Tonight’s the night.

This evening, at 8:15pm, I’ll be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, chaired by my good friend Peter Guttridge. If you’re coming, we’re looking forward to seeing you. If not . . . there might still be a few tickets available, if you hurry.

Categories: General

Yes?

I’ve just seen a TV ad by NatWest. It claims that the RBS subsidiary issues a mortgage every four minutes or some such. Fine, but how many homes do they repossess?

Categories: General

They cannot be serious

August 16, 2015 1 comment

Sky want me to pay £20 to sit up in the middle of next Sunday night to watch something called SummerSlam: grown men in tights pretending to fight.

Categories: Sport

Up against it

England’s women’s Test side are in the process of folding against Australia. If the rout is completed, I wonder whether they’ll receive the same savaging by the media that the men would in similar circumstances.

Categories: Sport

Crowded house

Many, many, many years ago there was an (I assume) apocryphal tale about Jimmy McGrory, in his incarnation as manager of Celtic. When asked why he had signed his ninth centre-forward, he is said to have replied, ‘Why not? If we don’t some other bugger will.’

Looking at the back pages of today’s Scottish press, it seems that transfer policy still applies.

Categories: Sport

And the living was easy

August 14, 2015 1 comment

It was like summertime in Gullane yesterday.

Wait a minute: it was summertime!

Categories: General

Brand new customers only?

August 11, 2015 2 comments

Last week I had a visit, at my request, from a double glazing salesman. A couple of days later, I was contacted by email by Trustpilot, and asked to rate and review the experience. Not something I normally do, but on this occasion I did. I gave it two stars and added this comment:

‘I asked ******* to quote for a project in my home after a visit from *******, having been lured into considering that company by the quality of its advertising. Its salesman came along, looked at my needs, played with his computer for a while, then printed out a figure that took my breath away, not just because it was over 50% above the maximum I reckoned reasonable, after a degree of preparatory research into the unit cost of materials to DIY customers, but also because it included a purported 60% discount from a top line price that was quite laughable. Frankly, the ******* approach was an insult to my intelligence, but I kept my face straight and told the salesman I would consider his quotation and get back to him. He left as fast as he could pack up his lap-top. 

‘At that point I decided to ask ******* to call on me. They did, within 24 hours. Their salesman was constructive and efficient, and did his work without the need for bells and whistles, or computer programmes. His offer price, on a take it or leave it basis, undercut ******* by around 20%, but . . . it was still presented as a heavy discount on normal list price. 

‘As if I gave a damn. I don’t care what figure double-glazing companies pluck out of the air, nor does anyone else with a few functioning brain cells. I want honest straightforward pricing that doesn’t take me for an idiot and isn’t designed to force me into an instant decision on a significant capital project.

‘******* may well get the job, after a little of the haggling its salesman said he couldn’t do, but its approach, which is industry-wide from what I can judge from this and other experiences, doesn’t exactly inspire trust.’

Today, the company’s response appeared below my review, as follows:

‘Sorry to hear you feel this way. Every job we do is tailored to our customers, as *******’s products are bespoke. 

‘All of our windows and doors are individually made to fit perfectly, therefore, our pricing structure cannot be compared to those of 3rd parties. While ******* always try to operate a transparent and competitive pricing structure, we regularly run different incentives and discounts which are applied at the sales appointment.

‘Hope this helps clarify.

‘Thanks

‘Louie (Customer Care Dept.)’

Actually, Louie, it clarifies nothing. It’s blindingly obvious that in your sector every company’s windows and doors are (or should be) made to fit perfectly. That has nothing to do with your pricing structure, and doesn’t lead to the conclusion that your prices shouldn’t be compared with your competitors. If you’d read my review properly, you’d have understood that my dissatisfaction isn’t with your structure but with your sales practice, which is completely opaque. Contrary to your company’s belief, and that of your competitor, bullshit doesn’t baffle brains.

(As it happens, neither ******* not ******* got the job. It went to a third party, a much smaller contractor, who looked at the project, understood what I wanted, drew me an acceptable plan on the spot, went away to cost it, and called me back two days later with an acceptable quote.)

Categories: General