HONEY McBEE’S BUZZ ROUND THE MEDIA: An (almost) football free zone

PLACE YOUR BETS.: So now we know. Brexit will begin Next March. First Article 50, then the Great Repeal Bill. Ahead of the Prime Minister, Tim Shipman in the Sunday Times [£] broke the news. Ben Riley-Smith in the Sunday Telegraph described it as taking an axe to EU laws.

Toby Helm in the Observer reported Brexiteer hopes for a clean Brexit [as opposed to a hard or soft one]. Brian Monteith in yesterday’s Scotsman also commented on the need for this third ‘clean’ way. PM May made it quite clear she’ll be having no truck with the nationalists. Lesley Riddoch, also in yesterday’s Scotsman still clings to hopes of remaining while hinting that perhaps independence might not be such a good idea in certain circumstances. It’s a dilemma for Sturgeon, says Riddoch.

The SNP wants answers, and when do they want them? Here, courtesy of  yesterday’s Huffington Post UK, are the 100 questions Angus Robertson presented to the UK government

TWO BREXIT MUST READS THIS WEEK: first from Brendan O’Neill in the Spectator, who has Bob Geldof in his sights. Sir Bob has been in Ottawa giving young people the benefit of his opinion of Trump and Brexit supporters. Brexit hasn’t so much caused his halo to slip as to explode into a million pieces”, says O’Neill, “In his latest rant against the dim-witted…Brexit voters were cogs in the ‘armies of stupidity’ currently conquering the Western world”.

Second, last Thursday’s Guardian Long Read [and it is] by Sam Knight described the rocky road to the referendum trodden by long-standing MEP Daniel Hannan. You may not agree with Hannan, but for sheer dogged determination, you have to admire him.  Stick with it…

BLAME THE ROMAN EMPIRE:  this too is interesting.  Kabir Chibber in Friday’s Quartz looked at the confused nature of European citizenshipthe world’s biggest open-air social-science experiment”.  All citizens of the 28 member states have European citizenship, giving them apparent parity with citizens of every other. Or do they?  Chibber adds, “Most Europeans living in Britain probably thought they were in a country full of people who saw themselves as Europeans, too. The Brexit vote revealed that this wasn’t the case at all…there is European citizenship, but not European identity.”

 

BACK AT THE RANCH…

JOHN WHO?  Breaking news – former comedian doesn’t think Scots should be let loose in the ‘national’ press. John Cleese had a wee rant at ‘half-educated tenement Scots’, prompted, it seems, by Fraser Nelson’s Friday column in the Telegraph on Sam Allardyce and press regulation. Now Spectator editor, Fraser hails from Nairn, where tenements abound. If you missed it, here’s the original Tweet, and the outraged response, courtesy of Huffington Post [statutory warning, there’s some choice language in there].  Bella Caledonia sums it up nicely. We look forward to Mr Cleese’s interviews with those half-educated Scots Neil, Marr and Kuenssberg.

IT’S OUR BANK:  Tom Gordon in the Sunday Herald reports on the latest economic kite-flying from SNP MP George Kerevan [late of this parish]. Previously it was the currency we might adopt, now George suggests that an independent Scotland should nationalise the banking system to get the social investment it needs. We do, of course, already have substantial interest in RBS. For once, some of the BTL comments are as interesting as the premise itself…

A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR:  Governments continue to find ways to hector. The latest is George Osborne’s sugar tax. Yesterday’s Business Scotsman carried an interview with AG Barr’s CEO Roger White, claiming that fizzy drinks were being singled out while other products – Starbuck’s Double Chocolaty Chip Crème Frappucino apparently has ten teaspoons worth of sugar in it – were not. Karin Goodwin in the Sunday Herald reported our very own experts’ opinion that Westminster doesn’t go far enough – they’ve got it in for the nation’s second favourite amber liquid. Good luck with that one. This is the Adam Smith’s Institute’s response to the latest overtures. We merely pass it on…

DIE FLEDERMAUS: Look away now if you’re having breakfast. David Mackay in last week’s P&J had a sorry tale of the latest victim of wind turbines to be identified – bats. Apparently blades spinning at up to 200mph cause changes in air pressure, which in turn causes the lungs of any unfortunate nearby bat to explode. Not good. Maybe the experts can do better with turbines than they have in recent years with the ill-fated bat bridges over roads…

 

THE QI STUFF…

WHA’S LIKE US?   Who indeed?  It’s a puff for tonight’s telly programme, but Neil Oliver’s Sunday Times column this week provided interesting background on Scottish settlers in the Carolinas [£] – “Presbyterian…fiercely independent, uncompromising in their religion and defensive in the face of those to whom they were not related by blood – clannish if you will” and the origins of the Klu Klux Klan. Some of the seeds Scots planted abroad, says Oliver, bore bitter fruit…

DAVID TORRANCE has also taken himself across the pond – this time to talk to the US electorate favouring Trump or Clinton. Written ahead of last week’s first debate, the diary of his travels through Alaska and the north-west coast appeared in last week’s Scottish Review.

SOMETHING TO PONDER: Niall McCrae in last week’s Conservative Woman posting said younger people are no longer concerned with what is happening to their country – replacing patriotism with narcissism, safe spaces and social media.  “Radicalism won’t surprise anyone who has attended university since the 1960s, and political interest by students should be lauded [but] instead of preparing young people for the real world, campus life is setting them up for culture shock”. Should we be worried?  Probably, says Joanna Williams in Friday’s Spiked – but about the universities themselves, who have have created  ‘snowflake’ students now threatening academic freedom.

FORGET SAM ALLARDYCE and his ilk, says Mark Doidge of the University of Brighton. Football is playing an important part in assimilating refugees into society across Europe from Glasgow to Turkey. Football helps those in traumatic situations to switch off from their daily travail”, says Doidge in yesterday’s Conversation, “as asylum seekers are not legally permitted to work, leisure activities like football become an important source of self-identity”.

 

 AND FINALLY…

STEVE THE SHEEP CAT:  The ultimate time waster, thanks to the Sunday Times. A Kiwi ginger mog that thinks it’s a lamb. Go on, you know you want to…

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