Ever wanted to be in charge? Well, in my own little world I will be, one day. Just not quite yet. I'm a bit tired at the moment... maybe I'll take over after I've had my little nap.
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Some people are never satisfied – take the lords and
their never ending bickering over whether Brexit means Brexit or not... And
Gina Miller who, having subverted the whole process is now bitching because the
House of Commons is unwilling to play her game. Meanwhile, over in Brussels,
Jean-Claude Juncker is having his own moment of madness by trying to pretend he
genuinely wants meaningful EU reform, as many millions wish, while insisting simultaneously
that continuing on the same path toward further integration is the only way
You’d think by now that somebody bigger might have come
along to knock all their heads together, but over in USA-Land, the same kind of
non-arguments are being pursued, with rumours that Barry Obama is heading up a stop-Trump
coalition. And all the while the uncertainties are making the money men richer while
raiding the prospects of everybody else. The world just isn’t rigged in favour
of the honest little man, it never was. But the power is in the hands of all of
us to make a difference.
After ten years of top-down imposed austerity (so-called)
I see little evidence of belt-tightening by the Richard Bransons of this
planet. But they aren’t the problem; were the wealth creators to pay no tax at
all they would still be distributing billions in wages, which is what actually
runs the entire economy. Labour’s ridiculous posturing over rich men’s tax
affairs hides a simple truth; they have no answer and can’t face the naked
truth that we have lived beyond our means for years.
Thrift, as a virtue is a concept from a world long gone, although
it is still survives in a few pockets of consciousness and indeed, right here
in the UK – what is left of it – is possibly the world’s foremost exemplar of
the noble principle. Not for nothing has the interrogative “You’ll have had yer
tea?” passed into folklore as a distillation of Scottish parsimony. Now, at a
time when the Scots especially may need to consider going without, it’s a
paradigm we might all do well to heed.
Al of which reminds me of an incident, not so very many
years ago, when a soldier in the full ceremonial uniform of the Black Watch
strode into a Glasgow chemist’s shop. He approached the counter, asked to see a
male pharmacist then very carefully opened his sporran and took out a neatly
folded cotton handkerchief. Inside this a smaller, silk handkerchief was
revealed, which he then proceed to likewise unfold. In there lay a small square
of tissue paper, inside which was a condom.
The soldier took out the condom and gently placed it for
the pharmacist to inspect. The condom had a number of patches on it, which the
chemist noticed immediately. He took out a magnifying glass and examined it
more closely. The soldier cleared his throat and asked.
“How much to repair it?”
"Sixty pence," said the pharmacist.
“How much for a new one?”
The soldier painstakingly folded the condom into the tissue, wrapped it in the
silk square, then folded it carefully into the cotton handkerchief replaced it in
his sporran, and marched out of the door, shoulders back, chin held high and
kilt swinging. A moment or two later the pharmacist heard a great shout go up
outside, followed by an even greater cheer. The soldier strode back into the shop
marched up to the counter and saluted the pharmacist with a broad grin on his
“The regiment has taken a vote,” he said, “and we'll have a new one.”