HONEY MCBEE’S [almost] BREXIT–FREE BUZZ ROUND THE MEDIA

Tuesday 8th March: the state we’re in now.  It’s not been easy avoiding Brexit, the EU, fiscal matters and Indyref 2, but we’ve [almost] made it…

 

Raise a glass of Toilet Duck:  Our first must read…  Frank Kelly, Father Jack of Father Ted, died last week.  In a lovely obit-cum-epitaph- cum reflection on current mores, Patrick West of Spiked put the programme in context.  In the 1990s, says West, there were still IRA bombs going off, yet it worked. “It tapped into … a long tradition of the cute and naughty ‘stage Irishman’, as exemplified by Shakespeare’s Henry V or Dave Allen. In the minds of the British, the Irish will always be mad, curious, offbeat, loveable and not-quite-us. This is why we loved and lauded the late Terry Wogan”.  Father Ted couldn’t be made today, says West, we’re far too puritanical and Protestant – “health-absorbed, self-obsessed, fun-hating political correctness” has taken over. Quite.

…And our second. Banging your head on the Council wall:  A piece by Maggie Mellon in the Scottish Review deserves a wide audience. We’ve all battled with the local council at some stage, but this one takes the biscuit. Read and weep in frustration.

 

Too near home: Euan McColm in Scotland on Sunday  rounded on the SNP for playing ‘puerile’ no-platform politics. PM Dave came amongst us this weekend for the Scottish Tory Conference. As McColm pointed out, the SNP, despite campaigning on the same side, would much rather he kept away between now and June 23rd. [so, implies Lallands Peat Worrier’s latest posting, might Ruth Davidson, whose Holyrood campaign has been ‘chucked under a bus’ by the EU referendum] There’s no point in campaigning to stay in Europe, goes the theory, if the PM’s going to lose votes every time he sticks his nose over Hadrian’s wall.  Such is what passes for politics in Scotland nowadays of course, that if he doesn’t come, then he’s neglecting us.  Hanged if he does…

 

Target Practice:  Yes, we know it’s the Daily Mail, but we couldn’t resist Chris Deerin’s swipe yesterday at the ‘hypocrisy of the middle-class revolutionaries’ – those who, Deerin implies, have more money than sense and too much time on their hands.  Perhaps unfairly [David Torrance in yesterday’s Herald explained why], our own home-grown Green Patrick Harvie is singled out – he is at least articulate and often engaging – alongside Islington Corbynites. From there, it’s an easy ride for Deerin through Orwell and the rise of RISE.

 

The old ones are the best:  When in doubt, diversionary tactics are called for. Never mind the on-going recession and the tide of humanity sweeping across the continent, some SNP MPs have returned to the burning issue of the BBC weather map. Now, we understand their beef, and so, we think, does Alex Massie in the Spectator , but as trivia goes …

 

Another one for the bonfire:  We see the word strategy and we reach for our gun.  As if we don’t have enough, Scotland has a new, if undoubtedly worthy, Plant Health Strategy with, wait for it, the appointment of a Scottish chief plant health officer and the establishment of a centre of expertise for plant health in Scotland”. That’ll be another  baby-quango to feed then.

 

Take the money and run:  Walter Ellis in Friday’s CAPX took a long hard look at the amount of foreign investment in British industry – utilities in particular. We all know it’s happening, but to this frightening extent? As Ellis points out, it doesn’t happen in other European countries – so who or what’s to blame?

 

And the rest …

Lego rules don’t apply:  The combination of falling oil prices and anno domini means there’s a lot of ironmongery in the North Sea that needs to be taken apart and packed away.  In last week’s Conversation Richard Neilson of Aberdeen University looked at the logistics of the enormous task. Like an iceberg, most of the problems lie below the surface – restoring the sea-bed and avoiding pollution – and the sheer strength of the structures.  Since ‘a substantial portion’ of the £40billion de-commissioning cost falls on the taxpayer, let’s hope the oil companies get it right.

Claws out at Holyrood:  No, it’s not what you think, although the redoubtable Christine Grahame does feature.  The Cats Protection League thinks the nation’s felines need the law on their side.  Fife Today reported that the CPL’s 10-point manifesto was presented to MSPs in the hope of improving welfare through, inter alia, compulsory microchipping.  What with that, and Mary Scanlon calling for better coffee to be served in committee rooms, it’s been a busy few days in the legislature…

If you can’t beat ‘em:   What were they thinking? McDonald’s Brixton branch has a makeover that brings the outside graffiti in. Yesterday’s Huffington Post UK carried various comments from the great and the good, who presumably never frequent the place, on the unsuitability of the décor –“just another misguided attempt by suits to identify with ‘edgy’ Brixton”. OK, it’s sarf Lunnon now, but once the rot sets in – coming to a Mac near you?

 

And finally…

Form an orderly queue: We’re indebted to Saturday’s National for the news that it’s soon National Ferry Fortnight and Calmac is giving away BOGOF ferry rides for its west coast routes this summer. Buy now, sail later. Foot passengers only, so better take walking boots for when you land somewhere really remote…

 

 

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