BEEBICUS Scotticus is to go on strike (later withdrawn), coinciding with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. My first reaction is to cheer; my second to inquire what the strikers think they will achieve by this. It's unlikely that the station will be off air entirely, and if what is aired is of inferior quality will anyone make the connection with the strike?
The bigger question is: how did the Beeb become such a car crash? Barely a day passes without some fresh revelation of incompetence, mismanagement and utter profligacy. Lucy Adams, its former head of human resources, now admits she sent "crap" emails to fellow members of staff which had been "lawyered" out of any personality. Pompous and sterile (her words), the emails also employed the royal "we".
Ms Adams, who earned £320,000 a year, sounds contrite, as well she might. But her very use of "crap" is instructive. That employees of this once great organisation routinely utter such words is a sign of its terminal degeneration.
Loading article content
MICHAEL Gove is kaput. His departure from the Department of Illiteracy and Ignorance has been hailed in some quarters, most notably by delusionists who still think Britannia is where the brightest and best are educated. Mr Gove - an officer and gentleman, as well as a reader and an intellectual - has been described as the most hated politician in these isles and "toxic", like nuclear waste. This is surely hyperbole. It is true he got up the noses of teachers. Well, why wouldn't he? It is also true that he stuck his pert neb into other government departments, most notably the Home Office, the preserve of Theresa May. Who can blame him? Nor was Mr Gove fond of Boris Johnson, the great dissembler.
Perhaps Gove believed that because he was chummy with Posh Dave his job was safe. What he did not reckon with was Lynton Crosby, the Pee-Em's "Australian campaign guru", who has brought a touch of the Outback to Downing Street. He is said to have Mr Cameron's ear. He is welcome to it.
I am pleased to see that my dear friend Nicky Campbell, broadcaster extraordinaire, shares my abomination of litter. Writing in the Daily Wail, he recalls admonishing yoofs whom he caught kicking around bags of rubbish. "Guys," he said, "please don't do that." Mr Nicky now acknowledges this may have been the wrong approach. What he should have said is: "Hey, scumbags, if you don't pick up all that I'll stuff into your toothless little gobs!"
As he reports, his attempt to find a diplomatic solution to a world problem failed miserably. Not only did the yoofs heap dog's abuse on a Mr Nicky, they showered him with "a monsoon of spittle". "I was covered in the stuff," Mr Nicky adds. "I have to tell you it was bloody awful. Down my neck, even on my face. Can you imagine anything more repulsive?"
Frankly, no. But what is to be done about it? Have said yoofs been apprehended and given an appropriate punishment, such as cleaning the lavs in a public school or washing the lice-ridden hair of weans? Have they heck! They've not even been fined for dropping litter. Is anyone?
TALKING of dog's abuse, I have again been in communication with my local council on the vexed subject of canine incontinence. This is, of course, the number one topic which concerns all right-thinking persons, but which is rarely treated with the seriousness it merits by tribunes and hacks, all of whom are obsessed with the reeferendum, dementia and golf. Surveying the field outside my window I saw a fat man with a fat dog, the one indistinguishable from the other. How people come to look like their animals and vice versa is surely deserving of serious study.
The dog crouched down as the man whistled nonchalantly. When the dog was done it trotted guiltily off. After him slobbed its fat controller. Needless to say the dog did not deal with its ordure and neither did its master. I emailed the council to this effect as I have done in the past. Then I was asked if I would like to suggest a solution to the problem. "How about snipers?" I said.
On this occasion I was given a reference number and told my complaint was being dealt with. That was a month ago and I have heard nothing since. I was, however, referred to "Online Dog Watch" where I was encouraged to fill in a form. Could I describe the dog and, if possible, its breed? What am I? A judge at Crufts?
CARDINAL Keith O'Brien has been found by the Daily Ranger in Northumberland. It seems he was out walking his Jack Russell when he was confronted by a reporter, who immediately demanded evidence that he'd picked up the pooch's you-know-what.
Northumberland, where I shall soon be en vacance, is undoubtedly the most underrated county in Ingerland and probably the most underpopulated, which may be why the Cardinal chose to billet there. Like many folk, I'd hoped he had gone further afield - Yorkshire, perhaps, or Tierra Del Fuego.
These days it's very difficult to disappear without trace, as Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have discovered. Previously, one simply grew a beard, and kept one's head down. Having said that, if one spots anyone with a beard and their head down one assumes them to be up to no good.
I am grateful to my dear amigo, Rev Dr Iain Whyte - one of the many dedicated members of the Anent Preservation Society - for reminding me that, in the aftermath of our infamous 9-3 defeat at Wembley in 1961, English fans leaving the ground were greeted by a wee bunneted man waving a bottle of whisky and shouting defiantly: "Youse couldnae score 10!"