What a complete load of tommyrot

I had been reflecting on the issues surrounding Boris well before he got in as PM. But it’s only now that he’s confirmed his status as a class-act buffoon.

That bobbling, blustering, blundering, babbling, bimbo-headed, back-slapping Bullingdon Beedle Bard, should only really be allowed into the pages of a PG Wodehouse novel. And certainly not into number 10 in any real capacity.

Last night’s press briefing was embarrassingly bad. Not only was he still unaware as to how the thing ran when he missed the cue to read a question out, he brazenly stood up to the country and gave such a pitiful and inexcusable defence of young Dom, who has been caught slipping up to the old in-laws castle in Durham when he and his wife were showing symptoms of covid. And yes with their 4 year old son (in the car all that way!) Not least either that the father in law is in his eighties! And that our Dom was spotted on a ‘day out’ at a nice wee village 30 miles away (I suppose his symptoms may have abated a bit?).

Deary me.

But Boris you should have got advice on this old boy, because we know how calamitously out of touch you are. But yes, I suppose you did. Dom profered it!

And it appears now that he’s as arrogant, insensitive and over-privileged as they come.

And that you’re as wet as a whistle.

Steer clear for Keir.

Now that’s a fair old slogan. What do you think Dom?

Department of Injustice and wobbly Bertie

You have to be slightly aghast at the goings on across the pond in their high-end Justice Department. For this is what has happened. That bloke, General (nonetheless!) Mike Flynn, who was Trumpy’s first national security advisor got caught (and admitted) telling lies to the FBI about talking to the Russian Government. Fact.

But the case has now been chucked out by Trumpy selected, Attorney General Bill Barr, on the grounds that the FBI didn’t have to ask the question to Flynn (because they knew the answer already!) and therefore Bill has lobbed out the case.

Flynn can only think that Christmas has come rather formidably and rather early. While Trumpy has made the astonishing claim that Flynn has been exonerated!

Yes. Exonerated! (and I’m pretty sure that Don does know what exonerated means)

For the love of Christ! Give me strength.

But that’s what has actually happened. Seriously.

Added to this, Paul Manafort, served one year of a 7 year sentence in jail and has now wangled his way out to spend the rest of his term under house arrest (because of the risk of Covid even though there is no trace of it in his jail), drinking Crozes Hermitage, tucked up in Egyptian cotton and eider down with the wife, counting his numerous pennies (got from who knows where?) and having a bit of a laugh on the phone to Donald, I’ll bet.

It’s all beyond belief. Next thing we’ll see that, oh so unbelievably nauseating, Roger Stone set free.

One thing that poor old Bertie does not feel anymore, by the way.

Yesterday, at the end of Prime Minister Questions, he looked like he’d been 10 rounds with Tyson Fury and rather wishng someone else was facing the acute onslaught coming from the other side of the house. Sir Keir Starmer QC, had him well and truly against the ropes from the opening bell and it was painful to watch.

Sorry Bojo, but this job is not a thing you can bluster your way through. We’re not in the Bullingdon Club no more. This is serious. And I feel it’s going to get a lot worse for you old boy.

I don’t think it’s going to be the Churchillian dream job you had envisaged.

Breath of fresh air and some reflection on Keir Starmer.

Seemingly now in most Japanese cities smoking is banned on the streets. I wonder when this will happen here? A Japanese diplomat arrived two weeks ago, was bowled over by the beauty of Edinburgh but shocked by the mess on the streets.

We are blighted by filthy inner cities and smoking on the high streets is just one element of our lack of care and cleanliness. It’s a shame and a shocking indictment of where we are as a nation.

Our general health is very poor given international comparisons and the Covid epidemic is highlighting this. Our politicians are on the whole unconvincing and uninspiring.

So maybe this can be a wake up call to everyone to take note. To stop dropping litter, consider that their smoke gets up a lot of people’s noses, be more careful about their diets and lifestyle choices, and maybe to begin to drop some irrational prejudices.

But the government must also show the lead and own up to and deal with its deficiencies. There are too many disturbing revelations in the high echelons of government for my liking. Priti Patel for one. Then that Conor Burns chap being way out of order. And of course closer to home we have the Alex Salmond affair which just stinks.

That Keir Starmer is impressive though. He seems a cut above your average Joe politician and certainly inspires more confidence than Bertie our forever babbling, blustering, bumbling bombshell. I just can’t take him for real. Whereas Keir inspires confidence and makes us trust and believe in him and what he says. I don’t think he’s in this for Keir.

We need Keir Starmers more than ever at the moment and ongoing into the new age that will dawn after this mess clears away.

We have had enough of oddballs, shoddiness and downright dodginess.

And maybe our streets will become cleaner too.

Still sitting Priti. Oh please give us a Chris Whitty

Let’s face it, Priti Patel looks like she’s very hard work. Mind you I’ll be honest that I can’t bear listening to her anymore.

Unfortunately, it appears that there is not going to be enough evidence to dump her. And that’s a shame. It’s shocking behaviour to see in any human being.

And she is, somehow, in the Cabinet, Home Secretary indeed. Leader and role model to the country and all that. Hmm.

As expected Bertie is sticking by her. No doubt because she’s pretty of course, added to the fact that he seems to have very little marrow in his backbone.

All his chuffing along like bloody Churchill, with the fist clenching, heho jolly rugger stuff. The mugger-duffing, bumbling bravado. Do you not get the impression that that’s all there is?

And so Madamoisselle Patel will carry on being pretty and painful (at least pretty painful) and what ever else she seems to excel at.

Oh yes. Bullying.

It will be as bad as seeing slimy Salmond walk out of the High Court, somehow admonished and looking smugger than smug can be, proclaiming the brilliance of his legal team (they had to be) and going on to be all virtuous and sickeningly statesmanlike. It’s all enough to make you be very ill in the gullet.

And of course, slime-ball denied all of the accusations. As did Priti. Hmm.

But this week Trumpy has out shone them all. The man who tells us he doesn’t believe there is a climate problem, does believe he may have sprung a quick cure for the coronavirus.

Injest bleach.

Yes bleach, poison, you know that toxic stuff that cleans toilet floors.

Talk about putting yourself in a corner? That’s a howler. His only advised possible escape clause was to say that he’d said it sarcastically.

But If you listen to the clip, you know he wasn’t being sarcastic. He was incredibly sincere. And that’s pretty obvious to anyone with anything resembling a head on their shoulders.

It’s all a bit beyond belief. Even Salmond and Patel wouldn’t have dared to try and worm out of that one.

So Lord help us all.

As if the world didn’t have enough on its plate without all these jokers telling us porkers.

What a complete horlicks

You have to admit it. This is nay the finest hour for humanity.

Nor for Chinese diplomacy. The arrest of the poor doctor who subsequently died of the virus is not a move you can quietly brush under the carpet amidst a global pandemic. Nor the detention of the whistleblower journalist chap. And then we can again begin to look at all the other Chinese State’s affronts to justice and freedom.

China will take it full on the chin for this and so it should.

The world is fed up with nonsense talk. We can see through it and it’s all wearing very thin indeed.

Russia with its rubbish excuses, aka lies, about the two cathedral spire loving bruisers who had a cathedral spire admiring holiday jolly in Salisbury. And now the obvious truth that they did meddle in the 2016 election.

And in America itself now with Trump’s denial of climate change and his ongoing espousals of utter nonsense.

His flagrant, damaging, dishonest rhetoric.

The world deserves better than all this.

The Bobby Jones Scholarship

The only constructive thing I’ve done on the writing front in three weeks is to pen an email to the editor of Golf Monthly to inform him of another way to get the chance to play Augusta, after I read his recent article on the matter.

That way is to attend St Andrews University and be awarded the Bobby Jones Scholarship, which entitles you to a year at Atlanta State University, but more importantly, a free round on Augusta National.

My mate, Donald, won the scholarship back in 1983. I unfortunately didn’t, as I wasn’t aware of its existence then which is a bit of a downer. I’m not sure I would have been awarded it anyway. Donald is quite an impressive chap. If you’re not Prince Andrew and without family connections, then being invited to join the R&A at 21, suggests something large in the arsenal of personality. And indeed yes. Donald has personality.

We set up a golf tour business in the nineties, Highlander Golf, and promoted it by travelling throughout Germany and Austria in his old VW Golf, and knocking on the doors of unsuspecting golf clubs. We even took German lessons of which the only real upshot was Donald’s brief fling with our lovely tutor. Everything else was a bit of a verb’s bottom. Verboten and forgotten.

Anyway fun times looking back.

It was nice of the editor of Golf Monthly, Michael Harris, to respond to my email and look at my website.

But no job offer as of yet.

Funny that.

I expect he’s waiting till this Covid thing washes through, so he can get my contract sorted out, and we can have a bit of a lush lunch and maybe a few holes and all that.

I know Elie is nice but…

Yes it’s gobsmacking that the Calderwood lady went up, with her husband, to their pad in Elie two weekends in a row (sorry but I don’t differentiate between Elie and Earlsferry, but maybe I’m not cognisant of a Gullane and Gillane thing going on here?)

Anyway, it’s gobsmacking because as the country’s chief medical officer she was the authoritative national face in telling everyone else to stay put in their primary homes.

And let’s not forget that her husband, a retired Colonel, went along with it (well I presume he did because he was up there with her).

But also crazy is the fact that the brilliant lawyer Gordon Jackson (Alex Salmond’s adjective) was voicing the names of two of his accusers in a ScotRail carriage between Glasgow and Edinburgh and during the trial. The Dean of the bloody Faculty of Advocates! QC and a’that.

In the space of two weeks, two heads of two of the pillars of our country’s esteemed and bedrock professional establishments, woefully and stratosphericically fall short in their behaviour. And at fundamental levels too. Leaving aside the retired Colonel bloke. We don’t want to bring the military in.

But what was Nicola Sturgeon playing at?

It was surely obvious that the chief medical officer’s position was untenable at the least. Give her another chance? I’m rather sure she didn’t want another chance (in fact I’m sure the thought of a quiet life in Earlsferry is rather appealing at the moment).

This was surely too mortifying for anyone, except maybe some mortal with a skin as thick as that of the incumbent President of the United States of America. But we know that’s not for real.

And Nicola should have got that.

It makes you wonder what soft hand she may have played with respect to the Alex Salmond accusations and how much she brushed aside, let off, there?

Anyway I would say she’s now been dealt a huge body blow.

Just like Donald across the water, whose looking decidedly flapped out by all this.

Surely now fair game, mask or no mask.

Now where is the orange sauce?

Two glorious days on the Old and some reflection

What a tonic it was to get out on the Old on Thursday and Friday in the beautiful sunshine of still spring days.

I played with caddie Dom on Thursday and then partnered two guys up from Edinburgh. Neil turned out to be a director of Livingston FC and Martin is a neighbor of a good pal in Greenbank. He is a member of the R@A and what a golfer! Turns out he was Lothian Boys champ.

All lovely guys and great company.

I was passing by Jim Wilson’s bike shop on Pipeland Road during the week and we had a chat. He showed me a picture dating back to 1980 and the golf team which won the Scottish University’s Champ that year. It was the year before I came up to St Andrews but I did know a few of the faces. Don Galbraith, Graeme Murray, Johnathan Forster and Dave Turner. A few of them had been at Johnathan’s 60th in Monifieth at the weekend I believe. Yes, they are no longer all the fresh faced young men in the photo but I dare say not much has really changed. Apart from Johnathan having got through 3 wives I believe. But I suppose marriage may not be for him.

Nice to see that close comraderie still there after all these years. I still remember Johnathan holding forth in his inimitable way in the bar of the St Andrews Club, drinking beer and playing dominoes, as was the want after our Wednesday medal on the New Course.

Halcyon days indeed.

Don Galbraith is still omnipresent in Edinburgh and as keen on his golf as ever. He has been a member of the R&A for forty years now. We set up a golf business in the nineties, had a lot of fun but never made our millions. Highlander Golf like my ski venture, The Big Fun Company, is alas no more.

But I wonder what the rest of the guys got up to? I know John Hall made it big in debt management and bought a rather splendid house on Archerfield Links, but I’m not sure about many of the others.

People would never have guessed at my non-career path, from failed chartered accountant to ski bum to finance industry to Moray House to roustabout to ski instructor to ‘golf teacher’ to gardener to insurance clerk to wine salesman to florist to plongeur to cafe owner to ski bum (yes again!) to restaurant owner to caddie to ‘writer’ to …

Yes, you will have to wait for this one!

I suppose all I really know for sure now is that I’m not overly good at the big corporate thing and am probably not the most politic bloke on the planet. And further, I’m majorly more adept at one side of a bar than the other.

I’ve had fun though.

In fact it’s been a bit of a blast.

For the life of Roald Dahl

I loved the way Roald Dahl described his daily routine.

It went something like this: Up about 8am and my wife brings me breakfast in bed 5 days out of 7, the other two days I get it (equitable enough I suppose), read The Times, up and bath, then to the writing shed in the apple orchard at 10, two hours work and in for a G&T and lunch, a wee repose and some betting on the nags, tea and up for 2 more hours writing, back in at 5 for a whisky and dinner with a splash of claret.

Now that’s the life for me!

And he lived in an idyllic English country town with all the idyllic English country town thing going on. You know the quaint cottages, sublime pubs, butchers shops selling Old Spot and all that forever England stuff.

He did come across as a bit of a rum chap mind and seemed acutely intelligent. Nice with it too.

Lovely life if you can get it I suppose. But he made the very interesting point that a main part of his success was the routine of just writing and getting down to it basically. Obviously he had his fair share of ability and all that, but it had to be eked out.

Anyway that’s the life for me I think. Ok I would probably choose the Cotswolds over Buckinghamshire but it would be the same old world idyll. Away from the trammelling world to be lost in childish imagination and beauty and books and beer.

But I’m letting my imagination get away with me here.

Anyway, hope to see some of you down at Cheltenham next week.

I’ll be hanging out in The Hollowbottom as usual.

And I can’t see beyond Allaho and Minella Indo by the way. But don’t bet your house on it.

Especially after my recent form.

0.1 per cent

0.1 per cent of the US population owns more wealth than the bottom 90 per cent.

That is a phenomenal statistic and means that some Americans are seriously minted.

I suppose we must surmise that Trumpy owns 0.05 per cent of US wealth but we can’t be sure as he won’t let anyone see his tax returns.

But the extremity of that polarization is disquieting at the least. And I suppose it really explains a lot of what we are seeing in American politics today and producing such impossibly nauseating and smug human beings like Trumpy and Roger Stone.

In business as well this polarization pervades. I think the average remuneration of a US CEO is about 15 million bucks a year.

But it’s when money and its influence seep into the fine pillars of justice that we should really begin to worry. And this is manifestly happening in the US. What with the joke impeachment trial and now Bill Barr, the Attorney General for god’s sake, looking like he’s about as malleable as the bunch of crony half-wit Republican Senators swearing oaths, swallowing and spewing lies in the most esteemed and lauded chamber in the country.

Sickening what?

It’s a national televised extortion racket of the highest level, smack in the face of plain and evident truth.

But that’s where we are I’m afraid and that’s enough of that.

On this side, we still have the PPE Oxford thing and all the dullness which goes with it. I’m with Dom Cummings on this and desirous of some radical changes in the old blobosphere. I can’t wait till the Conservatives get a bloke or lass from somewhere like Govan into their ranks and make them Chancellor. That would be entirely refreshing and good for all. Someone that responds to Boris with an ‘Aye’ or ‘ok pal’ or ‘hud ye’r wheesht’ or even may I suggest ‘ok outside now’. That would stop the irksome waffling.

Of course, I am not averse to well spoken public school/Oxbridge/Harvard types. Indeed I went to a public school myself. But give me a Billy Connolly type and accent any day.

They said that about Churchill. Not that he had a Govan accent, but that his voice carried great weight.

The voice does count for a lot. And I’m afraid Boris is too blustering for me. Fine in a Wodehouse book. But Churchillian? Nay.

Onto sport.

Wales are intimating that France will cheat at the scrum in their forthcoming match? Doesn’t everyone cheat at the scrum? The straight put-in now goes directly to the number eight. The poor hooker is snookered.

And there is an awful lot of dirty play now seeping into the international game which is a shame. The poor blokes can’t have more than two beers without being dumped, coaches are being blamed for poor performance and the national anthems are becoming the highlights of the match because there is so little open play and good old fashioned rugby. It’s like watching rugby league or, god forbid, scottish football.

And I’m of the opinion that bonus points should be awarded now for national anthem singing. Then we could maybe shelve that Eurovision Song Contest thing, like we shelved Europe.

It’s a knockout.

Remember that one? With that smarmy presenter chap, Hall, now in jail.

That was at least entertaining. Amusing even. The programme I mean.

Like when I mentioned to this hedge fund manager, Jann, who’d just joined Wentworth Golf Club for a squillion bucks.

Me ‘Oh my Dad’s friend used to live in a house on the 17th fairway’

Yann ‘Wow that’s cool’

Me ‘But he ended up in Wandsworth’

Yann ‘it’s nice there too’

Me ‘ No. The prison’

I actually have a friend who ended up in Wandsworth. And you couldn’t meet a nicer bloke.

Funny old world.