TO Edinburgh for our first outing at the Festival Fringe: an event featuring Joanna Cherry in conversation with our old friend and colleague, Graham Spiers. 

When The Stand Comedy Club had originally announced that Ms Cherry was to appear in this series it quickly became clear that they hadn’t troubled themselves to consult with their own employees about their choice of speaker. Shame on them. 

In this day and age it’s simply unacceptable for any employer in the entertainment sector to ride roughshod over the feelings of staff members in such a cavalier fashion. 

Ms Cherry is notorious for speaking her mind and using actual facts in a belligerent, aggressive and aggressively belligerent way. 

We Scots are fond of using Robert Burns’s old locution “facts are chiels that winna ding and downa be disputed”. But surely as a nation we have progressed well beyond the time when this tired old poet of ill repute was advancing his patriarchal propaganda. Sometimes facts are chiels that do ding. 

Ms Cherry has been causing fear and alarm throughout Scotland and the UK for several years now by saying, with irresponsible certainty, that women can’t have penises.

She insists on telling everyone that she is a lesbian. And worse: that lesbians should reserve the right not to have concupiscence with men whom they don’t consider to be women. 

She is absolutely remorseless in suggesting that women’s toilets should only be used by women. And that women are entitled to privacy in intimate settings. 

But what sort of example is that to set for our young people? On the one hand, we tell them that sharing things and being curious is the key to all human understanding. 

Yet, on the other hand we’re telling them to respect the fascist idea of “privacy”. No wonder they get all confused.  
Her insistence on talking about “men” and “women” all the time was an ill-disguised dog whistle. 

The Stand Comedy Club was eventually forced to permit this wretched show to go ahead. I do hope, however, that they offer counselling to all the staff who were forced to listen to Ms Cherry. 

As for Mr Spiers, well … he’s a sensitive soul and it can’t have been easy for him to have shared a stage with this trumpet of the matriarchy. 

I do hope someone is reaching out to him at this difficult time.  

The Herald:

Crowd funded
ON a much more gratifying note, it was a pleasure to bump into our old friend, Annemarie Ward on Thursday morning.

Ms Ward is the chief executive of the charity, Favor (faces and voices of recovery). 

She was waiting patiently in the long queue of people seeking ingress to the Freemason’s Hall to hear the damnable Joanna Cherry. 

Obviously, she must have been there to offer her services to those who might have been traumatised by Ms Cherry’s baleful insistence on promulgating scientifically unsound concepts of sex and sexual attraction. 

Ms Ward tells me that she was handed a cheque for £5,000 by a kind-hearted businessman who had recognised her and knew of the cause to which she has dedicated her life. Even among thorns, apples can grow. 

Streets of rage 
AS we inspected the line of people waiting to hear Ms Cherry we encountered a rather unedifying little cameo. 
An elderly male protester was gently telling assorted media outlets why he was opposed to Joanna Cherry’s vile views.

It seems he was there to show solidarity with the employees who had no choice but to listen to her. 

The laws around defamation sadly prevent us from quoting him directly, but he conducted himself in a sincere and civilised manner. 

Not so civilised were those smug people in the queue behind him who insisted on deliberately minding their own business as he vented his fury. They, too, ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Point the Fingers
AS we looked up and down George Street, we realised we were just around the corner from the old Fingers Piano Bar. 

This was the subterranean tavern to which we occasionally repaired after a day of toiling for The Scotsman half a lifetime ago. 

With a shiver we recalled one evening when we were mistaken for a Glasgow gangland enforcer who had been sent eastwards to collect on a bad debt. 

Our scurvy glottal stop, shiny pin-striped suit, extravagant hand gestures, and insistence on ordering only this establishment’s finest champagne had led some sepulchral people sitting at a nearby table to the conclusion that we were about the devil’s work.

It was only with some adroit diplomacy that we were able to extricate ourselves from the situation along with a promise to “tell Mr A------ D------ to get in touch to discuss future opportunities in the expanding electric sherbet market”.