ANENT – ho hum!
– independence which, as we a' ken, is comin' yet for a' that, though it may be rather later than sooner. I note that my dear chum, Alistair Dahling, is to front the Naw campaign, flanked by Charles Kennedy and Annabel the Girl Guide, all could-have-beens.
I cannot, of course, speak for Mr Kennedy or Ms Goldilocks, but I believe I may have had a small part in Mr Dahling's decision to enter the Mcfray. A few months ago, in the dead of winter, when snow lay on the ground and it was cold enough to freeze hell over [Get on with it! Ed], I appeared on stage with Mr Dahling at Pitlochry in a two-hander entitled Waiting For Gordon. During the interval, alone in the green room, I suggested to Mr Dahling that if he had nothing better to do over the next couple of years he might consider offering his services as defender of the Union. At that point he did not look keen, doubtless because he thought our double-act had every chance of going to Broadway, and by which I do not mean Ealing Broadway. When that fell through, Mr Dahling must have considered his options and decided he owed it to the guid folk of Scotia to offer an alternative case to that championed by Alexei Salmonella. Thus history is made.
ANDRA Dixon, heidbummer of Creative Teuchter, says he is very sorry he's made such a pig's ear of arts funding and promises to do better in future. We shall see.
To this end Mr Dixon and his merry band of over-paid bureaucrats have decided that what this astonishingly creative nation needs is a new magazine. Creative Teuchter "is seeking a communications agency to assist in the development, delivery and project management of a new publication which will promote and celebrate Scotland's creative community, and tell some stories from our artistic and cultural sectors".
The new mag, which may or not be called Creative Teuchters United could, according to Creative Teuchter, be 32 or 64 pages long. Moreover, it could come out two times a year or four and could run to 30,000 copies or 50,000. That's a lot of coulds.
Be all of that as it may, it "should be high quality, containing stunning photography, high standards of design, and containing fresh approaches to telling stories of Scottish creativity". It would also help if the "communications agency" which wins the gig has someone literate on board. And the budget for Creative Teuchters United? Your guess is as good as mine.
WHO better to edit CTU than our old amigo, Henry McLeish. Somewhat belatedly I have been reading the erstwhile First Meenister's report about football, which is full of sentences and sentiments only a very special brain could have invented.
Apparently, we are suffering from a shortage of "home bread players", though whether they're plain or pan is unspecified. Meanwhile, some clubs are accused of "hovering up" players who really should be "practicing" more. "Is enough being done with the ball?" asks Mr McLeish, possibly rhetorically. He reckons that around 10,000 hours is standard for "top class skill development".
What ails the beautiful game, though, cannot all be dumped at soccer's door. "There is," writes Mr McLeish, who has done a lot of ball-watching in his time, "a negative part of Scottish culture which is thirled to the notion that we are a' Jock Tamsons's bairns which tends to make us frown on those who achieve and are successful, getting above yourself or the tall poppy syndrome." Jings!
Nevertheless, there is hope: "Talent does exists and there is no evidence to suggest this is not the case."
APROPOS footie, may I put on record my heartfelt distress at Ingerland's unfortunate exit from the Eurobore Championships, which some pundits have put down to an inability to pass a spherical object to someone wearing the same shirt.
It is perhaps worth remarking that several members of the defeated team earn annually more than the gross national product of New Zealand, for which you might reasonably expect them to be able to accomplish this rather basic task. Not so, it seems.
I note, too, that Fabio Capello, who used to manage Ingerland, blames Wayne Looney's abject performance not on his hair implants, which may or may not have sapped his energy, but on his incomprehension of English or Italian. According to Signor Capello, the only language Mr Looney understands is Scottish as spoken by his manager at Manchester United, Alex Ferguson. It explains a lot.
MUCH ordure has been heaped upon the heid of my old pal Kenny MacAskill, Meenister for Neds, who has decreed that carry-outs cannot be permitted on cattle wagons before 9am and after 10pm, which leaves a lot of premium drinking time unaffected.
Doubtless Mr MacA has his reasons but those who argue that it will prevent tourists from enjoying our national beverage – no, not Irn-Bru! – while swooning over our gorgeous scenery are surely barking up the wrong pylon. As I criss-cross the best wee peedie plook in the western hemisphere I have yet to witness a tourist imbibe anything other than what is generically known as a soft drink.
It is, I suggest, a myth perpetrated by the non-train travelling classes that those of us who use them do so because we want to get sozzled when all we're trying to do is get from Arbroath to Brechin.
VIS public transport boozing, the problem is not so much what soaks drink once they're on a bus or a train but before that. Take the No 26, which I often do. It's 9am and on come four human specimens, all hammered and jabbering. One regales the others with tales of prison life. "I got a hunner and three days," he says, as if it was worthy of an entry in the Guinness Book Of Records. Three disembark at Portobello, leaving behind the fourth who appears to be paralysed. Or paralytic. The jailbird jumps back on board to rescue him, as if he was in the SAS, screaming: "I'm comin' ti get yi. Git oaf yir fat *&$@!" It's at times like this that one becomes uncommonly interested in the leader column.
SO faretheeweel Nora Ephron, comic genius, who said she could cope with misplacing a husband (or two) but not the loss of her hard drive.
Without 'home bread' players, says Henry McLeish, our football is toast
Could England's Wayne Rooney qualify to play for Scotland?
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