Thanks to all those supergrass leak-geeks we now know that billions are spent training US, UK and Israeli special forces. Navy Seals, the SAS, Mossad (that's not an inner city area a couple of miles south east of Manchester, thanks Wikipeadia). The French too, when they aren't out on strike, have crack units, all primed and ready to go. So, as the ex-pros in football punditland tend to say when they pluralise the noun, it's time to unleash the real life James Bonds, Rambos and Inspector Clouseaus of this world.
Here's my plan. We send out our own crack troops, the Scottish Dirty Dozen, those MSPs who've sinned and are in need of political redemption. We bring back the bad boys from the wilderness and send Bill Walker to head up and train them: Tommy Sheridan, Eric Joyce, Mike 'it's curtains' Watson and Henry 'Officegate' McLeish... a team of 12 political mercenaries, lunatics, deranged bampot cases - our own dirty dozen. I can't find any more than these five. Can we do it with five? The Dirty Half Dozen Minus One? What about the orange lobster found this week off the coast of Mull? Could we scare them with that? James Bond orange lobster wearing his new Smart Watch? They might freak at a real-life lobster just out of Guantanamo.
Interestingly, MSP's are such a boring lot that when you Google 'disgraced MSPs' only Bill Walker comes up. A whole page just of him. That either means they are exceptionally well behaved or just incredibly good at not getting caught.
A Conservative called Cameron was sworn in at Holyrood this week. Thankfully, it was Cameron Buchannan and not David Cameron. For a Tory, Cameron Buchanan is quite an interesting chap. He was asked by the late Magnus Magnusson to take over as honorary consul for Iceland, which he still does. Magnusson knew him through his great uncle, Baron Georges Marchand, who was General De Gaulle's representative in Scotland during the Second World War. He's also a successful textiles entrepreneur, so he's used to touching cloth all day. He can speak fluently in five languages (but not Icelandic) and most importantly, has survived a brain tumour.
We I read he was a polyglot I thought, there's a coincidence, I've recently set myself the personal challenge of learning new languages. I hear people who can speak another language and think, wow, that's all foreign to me. Imagine going to another country and naturally conversing in their native tongue? American isn't an easy language to get right. It involves years of Woody Allen movies, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bilko repeats to get the correct nuances. You've all the colloquial gangster patter, the Sopranos, Goodfellas, Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, Starsky and Hutch, Kojak. Do you know your 'hand yer badge in' from 'you're off the case'?
It all started for me while visiting my family in France. My nephew's friend, an American, couldn't understand a word I was saying. For some miraculous reason, like those people you hear about who get hit by tractors, lightening or smacked on the head by aliens flying a spaceship and wake up able to speak and communicate fluently in a foreign language, I found myself chirping away in a mix of Kramer from Seinfeld, Tom Carraway from The Great Gatsby and TC from Top Cat. It's amazing what you can pick up when you tune in.
Continuing with foreign languages, eagled-eyed viewers may have noticed Brian Taylor's screen saver as he presented First Minister's Questions. It was the phrase nous devons cultiver notre jardin.Those, like myself, of a cunning linguistic bent, will tell you that the French translation is often more soulful. But to the French, stylish as ever, the phrase translates as: what a ridiculous pair of braces you're wearing Brian, you look like a kid's TV presenter from Rainbow. You'll have the boys from Operation Yew Tree on the phone if you keep wearing them, Brian. The quote is from Voltaire's Candideand means 'we must cultivate our garden'.
I'm now on a third language, Irish, learning how to swear incredibly well and curse between swear words. I'm self-educating with the words of James Joyce, Father Ted and Police Chief Clancy O'Hara from the 1960s Batman TV series. So, as someone who can speak fluently in three languages, let me explain Brian's inspirational quote in more depth. To some it's time to do the weeding, dig a bit, tidy up the back. To the French it's about toiling for the future, nourishing yourself mentally and spiritually. It's allegorical, symbolic of love, something bigger, connecting with the seasons, the weather, being part of nature. Quite why it's on a TV show about Holyrood, I'll never know.
Having picked up the clipped and disciplined structure of German, I can now speak it fluently. Admittedly, I just speak English with a comedy Germanic tone, like Herr Flick from 'Allo 'Allo. It got me thinking. Why don't we use the orange lobster like the Germans did with Paul the Octopus during the World Cup and have him predict the referendum? Two laminated cards in the tank, Yes or No. I'm sure if he didn't say yes to independence wee Eck would have him thrown into the pot and eaten. Either that or have him as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing - he's the same garish orange colour and is probably better read than the contestants.
Interesting to see David Cameron find his true place at the centre of world diplomacy at the top table of the G20…as a waiter. Obama and Putin call him Jeeves.
Poetry entered the referendum debate on Twitter. I say poetry, many words were slaughtered, sentences murdered so the delusional could call themselves poets.