Newsnet.scot reader Jim Murphy, from Arden*, talks exclusively to Citizen Cuddis about life, love and his career in science. Crisp bag in hand, Jim was high as a kite on Bostik and may not remember a word of what follows.
Let me be clear. Some people smoked glue back then. I just wasn’t one of them. You know it, I know it and Brian Taylor knows it. Anyway, bestiality was more the thing around the estates in those days. I suppose it’s possible that I boffed a badger-faced Welsh mountain sheep but I have no recollection of doing so.
Though I can’t remember taking any I’m not naive about drugs. A flat mate of mine from the seemingly endless expanse of my university days each week brought in a hogshead of a legal high used by North African vets to placate camels in labour. He got it from Macao over the Inter-web.
During the Sixties, this gear was the subject of a secret experiment carried out at the site of today’s Heedrum Hodrum Collider in Paisley. Professor Klaus Vier injected 50 grammes of this camel soother, into the right buttock of an unnamed Greenock Morton supporter already Deirdre Barlowed on scrumpy.
This created in the subject the unwavering conviction that by playing two centre backs and granting the janitor of the shower block a roving midfield commission in all qualifying matches, his team would win the Jules Rimet Trophy.
Believe me, I could sure use an arse-cheek or three of this stuff right now to convince me that Labour will win an outright majority in May. But I simply wouldn’t do it — I don’t do drugs. I never did drugs. And even if I did, I can’t remember doing them, so it doesn’t count.
I was tempted once mind you. I saw a BBC documentary in which a witch doctor from the Orinoco basin sun-dried hallucinogenic tubers before rubbing them between his palms to produce a talc-fine powder. The shaman blasted this atomic snuff up a tribesman’s hooter through a blowpipe. The powder smashed into the tribesman’s pineal gland travelling faster than an Andy Murray first service.
The poor fellow shot eight feet into the air as if jabbed in the neck with an electric cattle prod and started bouncing randomly off the walls of the long house like a tasered Iggy Pop on speed. I quite fancied some of that action but the nearest NHS witch doctor was in Motherwell and as a student I could afford neither the bus fare nor the fee.
It is important for everyone to clarify their stance on drugs. Between ‘I did’ and ‘I might have done’ lies a semantic chasm into which the foolhardy often plummet to their doom.
Chaos theory predicts that tiny differences in initial interpretation can result in wild outcomes. For example, let’s say you are on your way to Palma for an Easter break and your flight encounters heavy turbulence. In this scenario, placing your head between your knees is acceptable behaviour. Placing your head between someone else’s knees, however, definitely isn’t.
On the day, your nuanced interpretation of the safety instructions tucked into the seat pocket in front of you might lead to wildly divergent outcomes. Placing your head between your own knees might well save your life, whereas placing your head between someone else’s knees would most certainly result in you being schlepped off the flight by Air Marshals with your hands and feet manacled behind your back.
I am not just saying this because McTernan has threatened to use my ‘nads for a Newton’s cradle unless I do. But for the avoidance of doubt, other drugs I can’t remember taking include amyl nitrite, Ketamine, Mateus Rosé and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula, though I am not sure the last example counts.
With that out of the way let me clarify my stand on alcohol. Then we’re done.
There has been a lot of confusion about this. Mostly on my part, I admit, but I don’t do alcohol. Yet despite being teetotal I still closely identify with the drinking men and women of Scotia; the people who care as passionately and patriotically as I do about how Scottish football can be used as a platform for naked political self-advancement and un-principled vote harvesting. I share these people’s belief that barring John Barleycorn from football was an infringement of his human rights.
I have argued, and will continue to argue until there is no longer any personal advantage in my doing so, that times have changed. People have changed. I have changed. The man on the doorstep has changed. We can all better hold our drink now.
I’m old enough and ugly enough to remember when the half-time ruckus round the back of the stadium latrines was as much a part of Scottish football culture as overpriced free-range mince pies and low quality beef consommé. It was a bit of good-natured horse-foolery.
I recall limping home from an Aberdeen Rangers match after a friendly punch-up, with a lug like a half-chewed scone, double vision and a permanently deviated septum. Having more blood outside my body than inside didn’t put me up nor down. To me it was just a mashed hooter and a dry cleaning bill. Now where was the harm in that?
Where indeed. And this is where I come to the point of my speech today: SNP bad.
Sammin says that anyone who believes street fights were ever fair deserves to be jumped on from behind and thrashed senseless. But this is not what I hear on the doorsteps of our great, nurse-depleted, fiscally imprudent, crisis-ridden country with its hollow oil reservoirs and something-for-nothing culture.
Like many of my friends you may be a middle-aged former wide boy who after two pints of real ale feels as if he is 17 again and therefore invincible. If so, Sammin will try to dissuade you from attempting to teach some toerag a lesson for hurling drunken obscenities and a house brick at you from the visitor’s enclosure.
Get tore in I say. Walk away says Sammin. Typical SNP nonsense. Eight years in office and still dodging responsibility. Sure, there’s a fair chance your brick and insult hurler will be a serial killer who has recently tunneled out of Carstairs State Hospital specifically to kill somebody on your side of the turnstiles. But you can’t make a beef burger without shooting cows.
Sammin says that instead of administering a remedial slap you should run away as fast as you can. Why? Because, he argues, today’s toerag no longer pulls on his PT shorts, laces up his gutties and puts up his dukes to fight. He has machetes and an AK47, throwing stars and Samurai swords. Worse, the bams this low-life considers to be his enemies also have machetes, AK47s, throwing stars and Samurai swords—and in some cases, wrecking balls, rocket launchers and replica battering rams.
These people , Sammin says, are no longer looking for a dust up behind the latrines. They make the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange look like the Lady boys of Bangkok. Think about that, he says, before you start kidding yourself on that a dinner lady from Wishaw could deck every one of them with a dead leg and a Chinese burn. Pure SNP hyperbole.
Look, here’s where I am on this. Until McTernan commands me not to, I will continue to champion the rights of drinking men and women everywhere. In the meantime, after a long day shouting lies at bewildered pensioners I will continue to rage at the injustice of pre-theatre tipplers enjoying a wee dram before curtain up while football fans take to the terraces parched.
SNP very bad.
Sammin would have you believe that opera goers can get through all four operas in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen on a quarter gill of Glenfiddich without once pissing in a beer can and lobbing it over the dress circle into the orchestra pit.
Has Sammin been sniffing glue perhaps? Well, the symptoms are (allegedly) easy to spot: poor coordination, delusions, lack of control, confusion. Unfortunately these symptoms more accurately describe the current Labour Party than Sammin.
SNP very, very bad.
*Obscure Scottish working-class suburb of Johannesburg
(Subliminal messages were used throughout this interview.)