The truth is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, hiding in a Trojan horse. Cudd, Wolf-hunter and former sub-editor for Butlins Ayr’s in-house magazine (1958-1964), tracks down this elusive beast — so you don’t have to…
Channeling Hattie Jaques
I’m not a fan of the spirit world. All that hokum about ectoplasmic pick-axe murderers straight out of an episode of Ripper Street oozing into the present following a fingertip tango across the Ouija board. Not for me the unverifiable mumbo-jumbo of the ‘former-lives’ brigade. You know the idea: In exchange for a week’s wages, an Aldi’s checkout clerk from Falkirk is told he used to be Ludwig van Beethoven’s chief wig-powderer.
I’m a two plus two equals four kind of guy. In fact, I am perfectly comfortable with the entire two times table, actually. I just have no time for magic thinking. However, my non-believer status took a direct hit after I bought a copy of last weekend’s Sunday Herald. Because, scowling out at me from the front page was the round face of the late, great Hattie Jacques, looking furious — as she would once have been at Charles Hawtrey fiddling with his pyjama chord and stumbling about the ward during matron’s rounds with one foot jammed in a bedpan.
Only it wasn’t Hattie Jacques at all. It was Ruth Davidson. It was Ruth Davidson channeling Hattie Jacques! That’s what it looked like to me, anyway. I expected James Robertson Justice to appear and shout at me. But he failed to turn up.
Quite why the Herald chose the picture they did, eludes me. The sub-head read ‘Scottish Conservatives in double jobs row’ above thumbnail photos of 10 Tory MPs, below which ran the main headline, ‘The 10k a day Tories’.
I’d like to think that Brigadier General (TA) Sir Ruth Harrison, DSO (honorary) and then some, was channeling Hattie Jacques in the hope that this conjuring trick might deflect from the shameful fact that a third of her MSPs had more than one job and some three or four. Had the Herald revealed her latest soundbite, prematurely? ‘The Conservatives —We’re getting on with our day jobs, now you get on with yours.’
It is hard to grasp how morally degraded the Tory party has become, with their ludicrous claims that they represent everyone from the just-about-managing to the almost-starving. And whose Scottish leader monotonously enjoins the First Minister daily to get on with her day job. Rich indeed that Ms Harrison’s Tories can turn up at a board meeting once a quarter, sharpen a few pencils and fill up the jugs with barley water — in exchange for wheelbarrow load of bawbees.
According to the Sunday Herald, one Tory MP earned £50,000 from two non-executive directorships, in return for just 10 half day appearances a year. Yes, that’s 5 day’s work, folks. To put this into perspective, this MP earns the equivalent of 10k a day on top of his MP’s annual salary of £60,000+. An unemployed couple earn £8 each for their day. Can’t you just feel the poolin’ and a-sharin’?
By contrast, Duggers’ day job seems dedicated to her pursuit of achieving political nonentity status before Christmas. And one of the best ways to do this is to involve yourself with fluff instead of doing something useful.
For Duggers, this fluff seems to involve a lot of backslapping congratulatory tweets to anybody having a fundraiser, even if it’s for the Tories — especially if it’s for the Tories! Absolutely anything that will allow her to push the caring, sharing part of her persona. Stuff like, ‘Well done to everyone at the Niddrie Horse Fair who took part in the ‘throwing the fish supper’ charity event’ or ‘Great day today. I took part in a Blairgowrie fundraiser for local Tories who hate the SNP. Bungee-jumped off a thirty foot tower into a barrel of chip fat wearing a butcher’s apron. Oh happy day!’
I can reveal that this reporter has a man inside the heart of the corridors of power. Known only as ‘Deep Heat’, in homage to Deep Throat, Woodworm and Jockstein’s infamous informant during the Watergate scandal. Deep Heat heard a whisper that meat labelling will be the next big front for Scottish Labour. They want to extend information on so-called ‘Whoops!’ items — the perfectly legal stuff supermarkets sell at knockdown prices, because the goods are close to their use-by dates. They will bring out a green paper on this if ever anybody asks them what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years.
The ‘Still Fresh’ label is to stay, with others to follow, including ‘Borderline Rancid’, ‘Practically Yodelling’, and ’I wouldn’t, but it’s up to you’.
When first I read of the Trumpster’s insistence that the US would give post-Brexit UK a trade deal more ‘powerful’ than a JCB I’m sure I read it would be ‘very quick’. Within 24 hours, some papers had added a ‘very’. What’s the betting that by next weekend, this deal — at the moment, no more than vapourware — will combine the power of Speedy Gonzales’ sprinting capabilities with the Road Runner’s endurance, to create a deal so fast, you’ll only be able to track it by the vapour trail it’ll leave behind.
Most worrying is the unvoiced assumption that the Donald’s deal will be entirely to our advantage. Some sort of favour. Isn’t it more likely that any entreaty to join America in a global trade deal will be like inviting a turkey to Thanksgiving by promising the unsuspecting bird pride of place at the table. No prizes for guessing who the Turkey’s going to be.
‘Deep Heat’ tells me that the BBC’s ‘Makkie-on’ Journalists at Pacific Quay have had to take a rain check on the thirty-five marching bands they’d ordered to celebrate Scotland’s economy sliding into recession. Four hundred commemorative cakes have had to be palmed off on food banks but the thousand enamel mugs with ‘Keep Rubbishing Scotland and Carry On’ will not be wasted I’m sure. They can stick them in the Fortnum and Mason’s hampers they give to their chums in the Labour Party at Christmas.
Well, that’s all for this edition of the Cudd Perspective. Until the next, remember, one good friend is worth ten enemies.