HONEY MCBEE’S BUZZ ROUND THE MEDIA: A POLDARK-FREE ZONE

AND THEY’RE OFF:  The First Minister made the front running over the weekend – not least for her revelation of her 2011 miscarriage. carried by the Sunday Times magazine [a chapter by Holyrood Magazine editor Mandy Rhodes, taken from ‘Scottish National Party Leaders‘, Mitchell and Hassan, 15 Sept, Biteback]. In the course of which the article has been castigated by the Guardian et al for its side-panel on ‘Childless politicians’ – all female, naturally. No male childless politicians, then?

Politically, we had the Declaration of Stirling – the launch of the next push for indyref2 and the second National Conversation and the National Survey [put your hand up if you voted No last time round– this means you] that Euan McColm in Scotland on Sunday thinks will drive us mad.

Most commentary focuses on the ‘Will she, won’t she?’ question, so take your pick from David Torrance in yesterday’s Herald – the genie’s out the bottle, no backing down,  Iain Macwhirter in the Sunday Herald – timing is everything,  Brian Monteith in yesterday’s Scotsman – the honeymoon’s over, SNP on the skids, Iain Martin on Ruth Davidson’s rise in the popularity stakes, and Andrew Marr in the Sunday Times – Scotland won’t go away, watch my new TV programme next Sunday evening.

In timely fashion, Dundee Rep is reviving [as if it ever went away] The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil. In the Sunday Herald Life magazine, Mark Brown looked at the history of John McGrath’s play and what it meant to audiences when 7:84 first brought it to the stage in 1973. It’s touring through this month. Catch it if you can.

 

PAISLEY ROCKS, OK:  Paisley is up for UK City of Culture in 2021. Cue collapse of stout party…

The town’s Ferguslie Park came top in last week’s Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. As it did in the last SIMD in 2012. Scotland on Sunday’s Insight feature this weekend saw Dani Garavelli amongst the ‘Feegies’, many of whom were at pains to point out that not all the estate is deprived and run down. Indeed it was home to Gerry Rafferty and Fred Goodwin – and, on the fringe, of Sunday Times columnist Gillian Bowditch. She too talked up the area – often the victim of ‘knee-jerk reactions from politicians’ who point the finger of blame elsewhere.  We are, says Bowditch, often too tolerant of the ‘archetype gallus, garrulous west coast characters’. We, and they, need a reality check.  Both articles repay reading

 

SCRAPING THE [APPLE] BARREL:  Whichever side of the Apple v. EU fence you find yourself on, it’s a problem in search of a solution. Here’s a novel one from Madsen Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute involving citizenship.  If you missed it, catch up with the substance in the Irish Times.

And here – in full, and with Trump-like subtlety – is Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary’s take, “Frankly the Irish government should turn around – they shouldn’t even appeal the decision – they should just write a letter to Europe and tell them politely to f**k off. The idea that you have the state aid mob – who’ve had more court verdicts overturned than any other department in Europe in the last 20 years – come along 10 years after the fact and say, ‘no we didn’t like that, we think you should have done something else’, is frankly bizarre. Thanks to Guido Fawkes for that little gem – and also for this possibility

 

TALK OF THE TAFF:  Here’s an interesting idea from Swansea University’s Dr John Ball on the Institute of Welsh Affairs website – and if it’s good for Cardiff, and Welsh business, might it not be for Edinburgh too?

 

TAKE HEED:  especially if your area’s in line for a BT superfast broadband upgrade. Way back when most of us were still playing with bucket and spade, For Argyll’s website issued a salutary warning of a scam it fell victim to – with appalling consequences. We thought it deserved repeating – there but for the grace and all that …

 

PUDDIN’ INDEED:  We thought we’d heard it all with Tesco’s strawberrygate.  Here’s an even more spectacular marketing backfire that would – as Martin Hannan in Saturday’s National suggests, have had Rabbie birling in his grave…

 

FROM ALEPPO TO ABER:  We learnt over the summer that some of the Syrian refugees re-settled on the Isle of Bute were not happy, despite being welcomed into the community. It was, they felt, a place where “people go to die”. Saturday’s Telegraph magazine carries a much more positive story of a family taken to Aberystwyth – about as far from Syrian culture as you could get; it’s early days, but the signs are encouraging for the Karoubi family from Aleppo.

However, in last Tuesday’s Conversation, Jack Crangle from Queen’s University Belfast warned that lessons can be learnt from the 1979 homing of 10,000 Vietnamese boat-people when those sent to towns and cities prospered but those in far-flung areas suffered. Despite government guidance, says Crangle, we appear to be making the same mistakes…

Polish immigrants were also in the news this week, as numbers in the UK overtook those from India.

Olivia Creavin in Wednesday’s CAPX highlighted three plus points in the tremendous contribution Poles make that should be considered in Brexit negotiations.

 

MORE A SHOE-ON:  Time for a wardrobe re-think. William Turvill in Thursday’s City AM issued a warning about wearing those brown shoes with that tie. Don’t. It’s so working class [that’s most of us these days, apparently].  Here’s the link to last week’s [long] Social Mobility Commission report that contains some interviewing foibles …

 

GLADDEN YOUR HEART:  Missed the first Strictly? Thanks to Paul Waugh and Twitter for this wee sample of Ed Ball’s debut.  This man was nearly Chancellor of the Exchequer. Say no more…

 

SHEEP NOT SO SAFELY GRAZING:  A lesson for our own National Parks perhaps? In the Observer, Kevin McKenna forsakes Scotland for the fells of the Lake District, where a running baa- ttle is taking place. It’s the National Trust versus sheep farmers, Melvyn Bragg and the local populace after the Trust’s purchase – well over the asking price – of farm land in Borrowdale, but not the farm buildings, leaving them to be sold separately.  Likely to be the thin edge of the holiday cottage wedge, thinks McKenna. Lord Bragg in a letter to the Times accused the Trust of bullying – “Had a billionaire bullied his way into this disgraceful purchase there would have been a deserved outcry.” The Trust is also accused of selling off parcels of land elsewhere in the Lakes to fund visitor centres. Watch this space…

 

AND FINALLY

THE HUMAN CARAPACE:  Last week’s Caravan Times [yes, it does exist] reported sales of caravans and motorhomes are on the increase as more of us choose to holiday in the UK, and now it isn’t just pensioners – apparently the younger generation are inspired by the likes of Jamie Oliver and Kate Moss to take to the open road. According to the Sunday Telegraph a staggering 11,552 new motor homes and campervans were sold last year.

Should you be thinking of joining the in crowd, ScotBuzz has a tip; you don’t need to visit the local show room to see what’s on offer. Instead, station yourself on any day in one of the many picturesque lay-bys on the bendy A84 between Callander and Lochearnhead on the edge of the Trossachs. Every make and model known to man will trundle past you at a speed that will enable you to compare and contrast at your leisure…

 

 

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