Thursday, 26 February 2009

OAP robs bank, "I'll be back" he tells stunned staff

Police were forced to admit last night that they were powerless to arrest Fred Goodwin, a pensioner, despite the fact that he had just robbed under-pressure Royal Bank of Scotland of £650,000. A police spokestruncheon told The JT :"Apparently, it's all perfectly legal. And according to the law, Mr Goodwin will be able to steal this money every year for the foreseeable future."

Staff at the bank, many of whom might face redundancy in the near future, are exploring the option of
just stealing money from their employers. A bank clerk told The JT : "If it's OK for the Chief Executive to help himself to the bank's money, then presumably it's OK for me to help myself."

Unfortunately no
t, apparently, as Malcolm Matrix of The JT's legal department now explains: "Any less exalted employee of the Royal Bank trying a similar scam would immediately run into the major hurdle which is the organising principle of the legal system: One law for the rich, another law for the not-rich. Or in this case, one law for Fred Goodwin, another law for the Not Fred Goodwins."

Inside: Truly, a bank robbery that was an inside job.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Text of Communique released following meeting between SofS Clinton and Mr Alick Salmon

Secretary Clinton with some Scottish guy.

Secretary of State Ms Hilary Clinton welcomed Scottish First Minster Alick Salmon to Washington this week.


In a wide ranging exchange of views, Firt Minister Salmon expressed the hope that his country, Scotland, would now enter a new period of friendship with the USA. Ms Clinton responded warmly saying "Mmmm, sure, that would be nice. Whatever."

Mr Salment reminded Ms Clinton that her husband has strong links with Scotland, with his family's chain of greeting card shops present in every Scottish high street. Mr Salmund presented Secretary Clinton with a map of Scotland highlighting towns in which Clinton Card Shops had a retail presence, Munster Salman said : "The comprehensive retail distribution of Clinton shops in Scotland clearly demonstrates the Clinton family's continuing commitment to their spiritual homeland."

Accepting the gift on her husband's behalf, Ms Clinton said :"Wow, erm, this is really nice. I'm sorry, what did you say your name was again?"

Ms Clinton was interested to hear that Mr Salami "was going to have a very important meeting about economic matters with Gordon Brown. "Ms Clinton responded "You're having a meeting with Gordon Brown? Well isn't that just fantastic! You must be so excited! And this Gordon Brown guy, is he like a friend of yours?"

Bringing the meeting to a close after the scheduled five minutes, Ms Clinton thanked Mr Ess-- something-or-other for his most interesting chat but regretted that President Obama wouldn't be able to see him, no, not even just for a minute.
Ms Clinton then turned to her meeting with the Prime Minister of Armenia and the Scottish guy just let himself out.

Inside: "Alex, this has really been a good meeting, would you like some coffee?"
"Well, thank you Hilary, coffee would be really nice."
"Great. OK, so after you leave here, turn right. Walk two blocks until you come to a stop sign. Just on the left there, a 'Bucks. Enjoy. G'bye."

Monday, 23 February 2009

From The BBC

"Safety checks styled on those carried out by aircrews before take-off have been rolled out at NHS Highland operating theatres. Called the surgical pause, it is the final checklist that nurses and doctors make before performing an operation to reduce any risk of error. Questions include: is this the right patient?" BBC News Online

Other questions might include...
  • Is anyone here actually medically qualified? Anyone?
  • Ooh, this knife thing is very sharp isn't it? Oh, it's called a scalpel is it?
  • Blimey, that anaesthetic's a bit strong isn't it? Oh, it's for the patient? Silly me.
  • Don't tell me, I'm sure I know what that machine does. I saw it Holby the other night. It either monitors heart rate or makes filter coffee.
  • Right, so we're cutting the patient's left leg off. Not his right, his left. Right. What I mean is I understand, not that I think we're taking off his right leg. Left, not right. Is that his left or my left?
  • Ooh, that's a lot of blood isn't it? Should it be coming out like that? I think that's probably not a good thing. What does everyone else think?

"No, you got to be the surgeon last time. It's my turn to be surgeon and your turn to watch the bleepy things."

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Antiquarian Curiosities: an occasional divertissement

"Pope Innocent X, The Celtic Minded."
Oil on canvas, by Diego Velazquez, painted around 1650.

Not only was Pope Innocent The Tenth "Celtic-Minded" he was also singularly prescient, loyally following the fortunes of a football club some two centuries before it was formed.

In common with much portraiture of the period, the painting is replete with symbolism. In his left hand, the Pope holds a copy of The Celtic View, representing the profane. In his right hand, representing the sacred, he holds a fragment of parchment, an encyclical, urging on his team to greater achievements.

Later in his life, the Pope would issue an encyclical condemning "the practice of members of the black-clad masonic secret societies, umpiring matches between Celtic and lesser teams, conspiring, one with the other, to deny The Hoops stone-wall penalty decisions. So they uhr."

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Scots on the Box

Limmy's Show, BBC2 Scotland, 10pm, 17th February

think you'd better sit down. Have the smelling salts to hand because I've got something to tell you. Ready? OK, brace yourself, here it comes : someone said "fuck" on BBC Scotland last night and the sky didn't fall in!

In fact, I think on
Limmy's Show people swear quite a bit. They also say "dae" rather than "do" and they make few dialect concessions. If Rab C was a bit of a hill to climb for our Southern neighbours then LS is Kilaman-fuckin'- jaro big-man- so- it- is. But that's OK, because LS reaches our tellies as a slice of life from the universe created by "internet phenomeon" Brian Limond and this is a demanding, difficult world to get a handle on.

First off, I'm not sure if I'd call this comedy. Bits of LS are very funny but equally bits are unsettling, disturbing and just freaky. Are paranoia and delusion funny, are they fit subjects for comedy?

A non-using junkie, physically clean but psychologically rattlin' like a collecting tin on a flag day. A compulsive shoplifter, trapped by the fixation, miserably rehearsing over and over his excuses yet to be made to polismen born of his guilty imagination.
I found these characters interesting, I really appreciated the work that went into their creation, but there was nothing remotely funny about their suffering.

The rants to camera about rhyming road-signs and the cultural practice of calling everyone, regardless of gender, "guys" didn't work, the performances seemed forced, the outrage too obviously confected. A discourse on why big people aren't allowed on swings elided into a meditation on the promise of youth and the disappointments of adulthood. Not funny, but beautiful and strange.

Other stuff might have benefitted from being left out.

A cartoon ( God, I hate cartoons) pissed about with the elderly " what if someone's at the controls inside oor heid?" idea.
As an exempler of stoner coversational profoundity it was right up there with "what if we're aw just part of a butterfly's dream?" and "If a tree falls in the forest and nae cunt's aboot does it still make a noise?"

Don't know, don't care.

Being an astute sort of reader, you'll have noticed by this stage in the review that I'm a bit conflicted by LS. I'm not really sure of what to make of it. I'm also not at all sure that this was a pilot that it would stretch to a series. TV absolutely devours comedy. 30 minutes is an eternity to fill, I don't know if Limmy's world is big enough.

LS apart, Limond is clearly a gifted performer and I'm sure we'll be seeing him again in something, sometime. And if it does all go tits up, he can make a good living as a lookalikey of Tom Yorke out of Radiohead.

I'm telling ye, maun, he's his fuckin' spit, so he is.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Nuclear power perfectly safe says undead Jim

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy this week attacked the SNP over its opposition to nuclear power and insisted: "Iam living proof that you can be exposed to radiation over long periods and still look quite human. Sort of."

As the attending media edged towards the door of the press conference, Mr Murphy went on :" My dad built nuclear power stations in South Africa and, as a boy I used to play in the isotope dump we kept out the back. I've taken a daily drink of strontium 90 for as long as I can remember and its never done me any harm. Although to be honest, my short term memory's gone."

Mr Murphy further revealed to a now empty room that politics had not been his first choice of profession : " as a young man I wanted to be an actor. I remember going up for the part of Lurch in a stage production of
The Addams Family and the producer saying that I'd got the part and I could take the make -up off. Imagine his surprise when I told him I wasn't wearing any! And you will just have to imagine his surprise because at that point he ran out of the room screaming."

Elsewhere on planet it- gloweth- in- the- dark, a British nuclear sub managed to crash into a French nuclear sub in the North Atlantic earlier this month.

In a show of chutzpah that takes this week's prize, a naval spokeshornpipe actually went on record to say that the collision showed that the stealth mode on the boats really worked well, since they each didn't know where the other was.

Truly, satire is rendundant.

Inside: This is also true. A "British defence journalist", whatever the fuck that is, told the BBC, that while the UK and US share location codes (where the subs are relative to each other) the French aren't told. Quite right, can't trust the bally French, look what they did at Agincourt etc.

Lurch off The Addams Family

The other bloke

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Scots on the Box

“New Town” BBC 4, 9pm, February 14th

There is a story, more than likely apocryphal I’ll admit, about the radical UCLA graduate who washes up on the Glasgow shores sometime in the late 1960s to teach. Being entertained by a local in one of those fuckin’ awful buckets of blood that the city used to specialise in, our naïve American friend says “Hey, I never realised that Glasgow was such a radical town.” Meaning what, his Scottish contact enquires: “Well, I see Fight The Power graffittied all over the city. You know, FTP?”

Cue long embarrassed silence…

I was reminded of just how wide the Atlantic can be and how long people can take to dry off, as it were, after watching Annie Griffin’s latest offering on BBC4. Annie, an American, has been resident here in God’s Country for some time. As a writer she gave us TV’s “The Book Group” which was brilliant, she gave us cinema’s “Festival” which wasn’t. The Book Group worked because, despite being set in Glasgow it concentrated on the minutiae of interpersonal relationships and didn’t rely on the Glasgow setting for comic effect.

Festival, set in Edinburgh in any August, was all about luvvies and consequently sucked big time.

With New Town, a murder mystery set amongst property wheeling and dealing types, Annie returns to TV and Edinburgh but the script lacks the intimacy of Book Group without fully convincing the viewer that Annie has a confident grasp of the warp and weft of the broader Scottish culture. Leave aside the uncertainty of tone, (Realist? Fantastical? Black comedy? Modern Gothic?) and there are still questions to be asked about how sure Annie’s grasp is.

Irritating little errors abound in the show which I’ll leave to others but there are two absolute humdingers that I can’t leave alone.

First, casting. For some reason, Annie has put a blonde wig on the Anglo-Iranian comic Omid Djalili and asked him to play a Scottish-accented property developer. Er, why?

No offence to Omid Djalili‘s abilities but I’m sure there are a lot of Scottish actors who could’ve handled what’s not an especially demanding role and by default, made a better job of the accent. When Djalili concentrates he carries it off but too many times his accent slopes off to somewhere east of Armenia. The actor is just miscast, pure and simple.

And then, second. there’s the character “Rhian from Vatersay”.
Remember the movie Brigadoon? Well, imagine that the producers cryogenically froze one of the supporting players, accent, other-wordly feyness, weird dress and all. And then imagine that Annie thawed the actress out, gave her a cup of tea and invited her to just carry on pretending she was in Brigadoon. The character, Rhian, come to Edinburgh to study art, floats around in a state of faux naiveté that suggests the population of contemporary Vatersay are all subject to learning difficulties.

I can see what Annie’s possibly going for here, some idiot-savant shtick, whose innocence contrasts with the avarice and stupidity of contemporary Edinburgh society, blah blah blah. But Idiot-savant? Well, at least she’s got the first part nailed. It's just possible that Rhian is really a criminal mastermind, but I wouldn't bet my hoose on it.

This is maybe risking digging up the bones of Monarch Of The Glen again but who is this character meant to be kidding? I don’t know of anyone in modern Scotland who thinks that people from the islands all sound and think as if they’ve just stepped out of the 18th century. Maybe viewers who live in The Home Counties but think Scotland is just lovely. But otherwise? Fuck off.

I’ve no idea the status of New Town, whether it’s a one-off or a pilot, but if it's designed to get a series, there’s a lot to sort out. A show that has the ex-Episcopalian bishop Richard Holloway guesting as a blind minister is a bit up itself if you ask me.

Needs work, a lot of work.

PS: I’m sure BBC 4 will repeat this show, so let me know what you think. I’d especially like to hear from the solicitors who read The JT what they make of the show’s (ahem) casual ”explanations” of how Scots Law works.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


His name isn't Joey, he doesn't want a peece, he knows he's a pretty boy
and you can just fuck right off

Is "Inuit" style conservatory a solution to credit crunch?

Outbreak in Edinburgh of paracetemol-resistant strain of hangover
calls for desperate measures

Local fox offers to "look after" henhouse of gullible OAP

Thursday, 12 February 2009

MRSA action - threat of giant killer robots better than rubbishy Csars, new report will probably find

"Holyrood's five opposition parties have united to launch an action plan to tackle hospital-acquired infections...

The opposition party action plan, which has the support of Vale of Leven families, has gone beyond current government action by suggesting a new hospital infection Czar be appointed to police hospitals." From The BBC, 13th February 2008

Opposition politicians are proceeding with their plan to introduce an infection Csar in hospitals, despite growing evidence that the metaphor is completely played out. Professor Beaker of Dundee's Department Of Nothing Better To Do told The JT : "The imag
e of a Russian despot, clad in fur and wielding a knout might have inspired fear among a repressed peasantry, but it means hee and indeed haw these days."

It is thought that such is the elapsed time between the downfall of the Romanovs in Russia and the present day that most people lack the frame of reference to engender the crapping of pants.

Warming to his theme, Professor Beaker continues : "What would be really cool would be if you had hospital corridors patrolled by terminator robots with just their skeletal frame. If they caught anyone not practising hand hygiene then they'd zero in on them with their really cool rangefinder thing and then go peeyow, peeyow with their gun and the clarty-pawed miscreant would fly backwards with all blood going squoosh out of them. In slow motion."

We left Professor Beaker demonstrating how the scenario would unfold using an old Action Man and a teddy bear dressed in a white coat.

While the use of killer robots from the future on NHS property may engender some opposition on health and safety grounds, there is a precedent in public life as anyone who's looked really closely at Nicola Sturgeon will attest. I mean,you can virtually hear the servos whirring when she walks, for fuck's sake!

Inside: Apparently the makers of the new Terminator movie are just going to show that recent tape of Christian Bale throwing his toys out of the pram on set. Save a fortune in CGI that will.

"Did you wash your hands? Did you? Did you really?"

Sunday, 8 February 2009

From the BBC

"Cameron vigorously opposing SNP."

David Cameron

Finally, a scintilla of justification

Much of Scotland this week was covered in something called "snow", an icy precipitation traditionally associated with something called "winter". But it wasn't all doom and gloom, oh fuckin' no.

For city authorities in Aberdeen helpfully issued a warning that certain city suburbs were best only driven by 4x4s, at a stroke legitimating the poor vehicle choices of many city residents.

A local 4x4 owner told The JT :"When I bought my 10 litre Fuckomoto Kamikaze 4x4 last year, some people would make wanking gestures when I parked at Tescos, just because my vehicle took up three disabled parking spaces. I'll never forgive my kids for their disloyalty. But now, with Aberdeen gripped by winter's icy fingers I 've now got an ideal post-facto justification for buying something that for 99% of the time is a pointless exercise in conspicuous consumption."

Our Aberdonian source would have chatted longer but he had to go down to Alldays for a pint of milk and a Record. With no time to lose, he engaged the Fuckomoto's four wheel drive option, skillfully selected reverse gear by mistake and crashed into a passing petrol tanker.

While the resulting explosion and blaze claimed the life of our correspondent it did give passing pedestrians a wee heat.

Inside: No excuse needed  to feature the work of the great, the very great, Bruce McCall.

No, 4x4s can't actually fly as well.

Friday, 6 February 2009


Absolutely marvellous. Not only do Scottish and Southern provide quality energy solutions in the form of electricity and gas, but also,if this story from The BBC is to be believed,the company also provides ready-made satire solutions. (Thanks to Pete for the heads up)

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has said it will cut prices for electricity and gas customers from 30 March.

It said average prices for electricity customers would fall by 9% and average gas bills would be trimmed by 4% - the first price cut since March 2007.

The firm also supplies energy under the brand names Southern Electric, Swalec, Scottish Hydro Electric and Atlantic.

The announcement followed the decision by British Gas to cut gas bills by 10% from 19 February.

"Dual fuel" customers would see an average annual saving of £66, the company said.

SSE said that the falls in energy prices on wholesale markets had been maintained, allowing it to deliver a price cut.

However, the firm warned that prices remain at relatively high levels.

Electricity and gas prices are still 46% and 51% higher than two years ago, it said.

"The UK now relies on energy imports and wholesale prices for electricity and gas are still at historically high levels," said Alistair Phillips-Davies, SSE's energy supply director.

At the end of last year the "big six" energy companies were urged by the government to pass on lower wholesale gas prices.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

"The dirty, thieving English bastards!" : Charity rather uncharitable...

In what will be seen as yet another chapter in the heinous history of the perfidious English, it was revealed this week that the thieving bastards are now coming over the border, stealing money meant for a Scottish charity and then disappearing back over the border with the cash and spending it on English charitable objectives.

What a cunch of bunts.

Yes, it would appear that the English Society For
The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (RSPCA) is punting for cash North of Berwick, thus taking away revenue from The Scottish Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals (SSPCA).

It is thought that the latter, Scotland only charity, is considering a name change from SSPCA to SPCSA thus reading: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Scottish Animals.
Then the Scottish charity will issue a field guide to donors, allowing them to identify suitably Scottish beneficiaries of their largesse.

For example, if you see this:

You may safely donate cash

But, if you see this:

Kill! Kill!

Contacted by The JT for comment, head office staff at the SSPCA denied that the logical thing to do would be to create a UK-wide animal cruelty charity thus saving on duplicative head office roles and freeing up cash for work in the field.

A source within SSPCA HQ said : "Grrrrrr, grrrrr
, woof, grrrrrrr, woof! Woof!" for ages until JT readers said "Yeh, OK, OK, we get the idea".

This is true. As far as I can see the SSPCA don't publish their accounts online. Why not?

Sunday, 1 February 2009

SE Boss: "We're not fucked, we're focused."

This week New Scottish Enterprise chair Crawford Gillies told the waiting media that the agency was "now focused" on aiding the Scottish economy.

He told The JT: "Scottish Enterprise in the past was perhaps a bit blurry, and out of focus, but we've been to the optician and now we're fine."

Indeedly, and if The Sunday Herald is to believed, our job-creation agency is already on the case when it comes to aiding the Scottish economy, to the tune of at least £100K spent at various venues working on "team building".

When asked by the SH whether this kind of an exercise was, you know, like justified, a spokeshack for SE said : "The event was very successful and feedback from the staff has been overwhelmingly positive. A staff survey following the event showed that 95% of staff felt that the event would would have a positive impact on their role."
Presumably the other 5% told the truth.

Let's be honest, the results of staff feedback surveys for training events should be like chips, taken with a pinch of salt.
It's not that the staff fear they might be identified for a negative assessment, it's just that few staff will risk the chance of attending a future away day where they can spend the day looking out the window, blissfully daydreaming.

Asking staff if an event was "useful" is comparable to the trainer at the beginning of the day saying, "I thought we'd aim for an early finish today, about 4pm OK?" No one ever says " No, we're paid 'til five, 'til five we stay." It just doesn't happen.

And while were on matters economic, those wildcat strikes over the cheap labour scam being worked by certain multi-national companies? I note that some politicians, who have self-evidently yet to receive the memo containing the "R" word, are still insisting that international labour mobility is A Good Thing. That's "good" presumably, as in good for multinationals to bid for work in one jurisdiction, hire labour in another, deploy that labour (bought at a bargain price) in yet another.

Just as a thought experiment , let's imagine that we, the voters, decided to invite bids from politicians throughout the EU to operate our political system for us. I mean if our domestic pols are lecturing us on the benefits of driving costs to the floor, then presumably they'd have no objection to a consortium of say, Greek politicians, bidding for the work based on what Greece currently pays them.
It might be quite good actually, given the combustibility of the Latin temperament.
I've seen those Greek MPs on the telly, fighting in parliament. Some of them are really good at fighting, I can tell you. And compare and contrast with our own MSPs play fighting at First Minister's QT. Let's face it, as boys who sat at the front of the school class, neither Salmond or Grey would be any good at fighting properly.

That's it, I've decided, phone the Greeks.

Inside: Gratuitous ethnic slur gag. Why do Greek men grow moustaches? So they can be more like their mothers.

Crawford Gillies

Not at all blurry

Look at him! He'd be brilliant as an MSP he would