Monday, 30 March 2009

Loath as I am

to even grudgingly admit that there are people who do sarky stuff better than me, I nevertheless have to admit that this blog on the Sandi Thom /Alex Salmond thing is very funny.
It's worth checking out if only for the video of Alex (ahem) "guesting" at one of Ms Thom's gigs to duet on "Caledonia".


As a shark-jumping moment, it's right up there with Tory madman John Redwood miming his way through the Welsh national anthem and Peter Mandelson's much loved screaming queen turn at the Hartlepool election count. In the interests of balance, if anyone knows of a LIb-Dem leader making at tit of himself on video, do tell.

Anyway, apparently Ms Thom isn't going to sing at SNP events any more, which is nearly as good as her saying she's not going to sing any more.

Friday, 27 March 2009

What not to wear

"City workers are being advised by police to dress down during the G20 summit next week, in case they're targeted by protesters." 
The Guardian, 27th March, 2008.

Good look, bad luck

Bad look, good luck

Thursday, 26 March 2009

If you have a home, don't try this at it...

Fuck me, the time must drag while waiting for that new paint on your double-wide to dry...

This is so mental it looks like an instructional clip from a "How to improve the genepool" dvd.

Even kids in Lanarkshire wid gie this a bodyswerve and that's saying something. (Thanks to Ian):

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

No really, don't worry, there's no rush...

Evidence, reader dear, of how time works when you work for the government.

The BBC today carries the story about how a select band of Dundonians are to be helped to give up smoking by being given

All well and good, and bearing a marked resemblance to a story carried by The JT (big version) back in June 2008. I know I'm uniquely prescient and aw' that but that story didn't come out of my head - I'd read about the project that month in the media.

Two points occur: it would seem to take an inordinate amount of time between the government (and the agencies charged with service delivery) announcing a new project and the service starting. And imagine if you'd been a smoking Dundonian aware of the story originally and you'd wanted to sign up there and then. Too bad.

Government must be the only field in which you advertise (through media stories) a product or service that's not actually available.


Anyway, here's the my original take on the story. Not especially hot off the press, but at least it's unexpectedly relevant some 10 months since it first appeared.

PS: in the interests of full and frank disclosure (Hey Frank, how you doing), I should point out that there's a non-deliberate mistake in the text.
I think I should've written "18000 problem smokers" and not 180000, a figure which somewhat comfortably exceeds Dundee's current population, smokers or not.

Monday, 23 March 2009

5000 year-old site provides evidence of farming,whining and receiving free cash

Neolithic evidence unearthed at Ravelrig hill outside Edinburgh points to a Scottish agricultural economy 5000 years ago.

Apart from finding the foundations of a neolithic-era roundhouse, archaeologists say that other evidence collected at the site points strongly to a sophisticated agricultural economy as this spokesstratification now explains : "We've found shards of a beaker inscribed with the runic letters for "Support your local farmers, we're very poor." This is obviously a prototype for the kind of collecting tin farmers today shake readily under the noses of Treasury civil servants."

But were Neolithic farmers as poor as they pretended? Certainly at the dig, evidence has been unearthed of 4-wheel drive chariots and remnants of a crude but serviceable Sky dish made of stone.

Our archaeological source told us :"This is a very exciting find. It proves beyond doubt that agriculture was firmly established in neolithic Scotland and establishes a very strong evidence base for the view that farmers have always claimed to be skint while living in big hooses and tooling about in enormous 4x4s."

Inside: I can't tell you how proud Iam of this link from the esteemed "Modern Antiquarian" a few years back:

Neolithic farmers preparing the age-old "set-aside" subsidy application

DBS says losses speculation inaccurate: "More than all the money in the whole world" says chief executive

As speculation mounts that the Dunfermiline Building Society may be the next financial institution requiring a bail out, senior sources at the building society acted quickly to reassure The JT, saying "ill-informed speculation in the media put the society's losses at £26m. As everyone knows such an estimate exceeds by a considerable margin all the money in the entire world."

Dismissing as ludicrous the suggestion that a Fife-based financial institution actually deals in sterling, or indeed any form of tender requiring an overarching value structure of abstract reciprocity, a spokesgadgee told The JT; "Like every other institution in Fife we conduct our business with jam jars, empty lemonade bottles and Provvie checks. Ken."

Know-it-all economists from "The Outside" as Fifers describe the rest of the world, initially pointed to St.Andrews as an example of a local economy using conventional legal tender, but it has subsequently been pointed out that St.Andrews is actually part of the Fuckin' Home Counties as anyone trying to get a drink in a St.Andrews pub during university term-time will readily and bitterly attest.

Inside: I see the new principal of St.Andrews is to "widen access" to the university, presumably this means that the road to St.Salavtor's will be improved so Daddy can more easily park the Cayenne.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Insert own "slum" gag here

"The search is on for 100 local extras to appear in a Bollywood thriller when filming starts in the Inverness area in two weeks time. The Inverness Courier revealed last month that the major Indian film producer ASA...had chosen to film Purple Lake - a title based on Loch Ness - in the Highlands." Inverness Courier,17th March, 2008.

Careful now...
  • Use of film lighting likely to cause panic among locals fearful of "elecktrissitee".
  • Production vehicles immediately become venerated as "hooses that move"
  • "Purple Lake" title only to be used in UK market. Elsewhere film will be called "The dump at the ends of the earth."
  • "Millionaire" plot device of Slum Dog Millionaire to be replaced by culturally appropriate reference to local TV quiz show "Do you know what money is?"
  • Film will climax in mass song and dance number involving 100 extras, performing elephants and monkeys, fireworks, jet fighter flypast,the Ness dyed saffron and the entire city covered in a carpet of lilac blossom. Weather permitting.
  • If wet, big production number to be staged in the function room of the masonic lodge in Gordon Terrace.
  • Danny Boyle turns down chance to direct, refuses to work in Third World conditions...
  • Production shifted from Coatbridge after Indian crew refused to work in Fourth World conditions.
Inside: Thanks to Pete. Sorry Inversneckie dudes.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Will Edinburgh's Trams start before the end of the world?

I wouldn't bet on it, no. Despite the manifest temptation to rip the piss out of our national capital over this matter, I've resisted the urge so far, mainly on the grounds that the saga is manifestly self-satirising. But then,ooh sweet temptation comes a-calling and what's a boy to do?

In today's Scotsman, a Mr Mike Connolly with some role in TIE, Edinburgh's tram delivery (sic) body concedes that :"We are not in a very good place at the moment because of the contract dispute with the (construction) consortium."

Not being in a very good place probably references the unfortunate state of affairs of work having ground to a halt. For those of you living in Foreign, the main impact of this is felt in the city's Princes Street which is closed to all traffic. To paraphrase that beloved Weegie taunt of old, in Edinburgh they no longer even have wan street fur shoaping.

But fear not, for Mr Connolly in no way desperately scrabbling at the bottom of a previously well-scraped barrel, went on to tell the paper that there was "a huge success story to be told" of the positive impact the trams would have.


So this is a huge success story to tell about a service that isn't actually in place is it?
Hmm, I'm not sure that one will fly Mike, sorry.

Inside: Gag about delay extracted from Noah's Joke Book, first edition.

"Many years ago, a young man puts a pair of boots in for mending and stores the ticket carefully in his wallet. Fate intervenes, before he can return to the shop, he is called away to foreign shores, a life of adventure and success.
An old man now, he returns to his home town and is surprised to see amongst the many changes, the boot repair shop still stands and is open for business. He goes into the shop and tells the great grandson of the owner he left the boots with his own story and, hands a little shaky, proffers the faded ticket to the young man behind the counter. The young man disappears into the back shop for a moment and then returns with the good news:"We've got your boots and we'll definitely have them ready a week on Monday at the latest!" "

Still no sign of a tram then?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Christine - the patron saint of slow news days

Christine, national treasure, dingbat

s a Sunday. A quiet day in terms of breaking news. The front page of the BBC Scotland News website is looking a bit thin. Who you gonna call? Christine Grahame of course!

Christine apparently is after The English to return a letter of safe conduct issued to William Wallace to allow him passage through England. Er, right. That really worked...

Coming up... Christine continues to demand the return of everything that isn't actually nailed down, for display in a Scottish context.
And quite right too. Artefacts should be displayed in their domestic context. Which is why Scottish museums and galleries will be presently returning all those other artefacts previously looted from around the world. You know, the artefacts that make up over 50% of the collections.

Or perhaps not...

For the following clip to work, you have to imagine that Mark Heap is Christine. Enjoy:

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Chocolate, lovely chocolate

My SO and our Webmistress is not often given to sudden outbursts of hysterical laughter as her rigorous drug regime usually forestalls any such unwarranted jollity. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard just such an outburst issuing forth from my SO's rooms in the West Wing here at JT Mansions.

To her side I rushed, pausing only to check that the
temazipam dart gun was cocked and loaded, for hard won experience has taught me that if you don't get the first dart in quick she's off and away onto the roof in an instant, throwing slates at the garden staff and showing her bum.

Anyway, as it turned out I needn't have worried because I found her relatively calm and lucid, wiping away a tear of mirth from the screen of her lap top. "Look" she said, pointing to her laptop, "Isn't this the funniest thing you've read in ages?" And it was.

Courtesy of the BBC Scotland News website, I read that a Lanarkshire GP, mindful of the dietary impact of eating too much chocolate, was advocating a special tax to reduce consumption.

"OK" said my SO, gathering her thoughts about her like a downie made of thoughts, "in the first place, there is no such thing as too much chocolate, that's a medical impossibility." I nodded in agreement; I could
in all conscience and mindful of my own safety do no other.

"And B, er, that doctor can just fuck right off! I mean Christ, it's not as if women are obsessed with eating chocolate"

With all the major issues surrounding chocolate consumption resolved to her satisfaction, our webmistress turned her attention to more literary matters, perusing her new copy of "Chocolate Bar Monthly" while I fell into a reverie doubtless prompted by discussion of matters chocolate. My mind drifted back, across the years to a simpler time. To September 2004 to be precise when the webmistress and I undertook A Great Tour of Europe that only included Bruges because we were skint.

So come with me now as I recycle, sorry I meant to write "re-visit", The Grand JT Tour of Bruges. Warning: contains multiple references to chocolate and chocolatey language:

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

"RBS to lend £1.7 bn!" Er, but we lent them £45bn

In what was being widely seen as a good thing this week, management at The Royal Bank of Scotland announced they were to make a massive £1.7 billion available for mortgage lending!

OK, so some of that lending, £500m to be precise, is actually directly government money through the guarantee scheme, but still, it's a massive boost to the economy right? Well, no and no.

Given that the whole rationale behind Darling's free money for the banks scheme was to get them lending again, and at the last count we'd graciously topped up the RBS's current account to the tune of £45 billion, then £1.7 bn expressed as a percentage of £45bn isn't actually very much. And given the role attributed to the banks in stimulating economic demand, (a point much made by the touchingly naive and speccy John Swinney yesterday), £1.7bn doesn't seem like a lot at all.

Simon Jenkins, writing in The Guardian, has been plugging away at the idea that money given to the banks negates the Keynesian principle that, in a recession, government spending should stimulate demand.

All the banks do with our money is use the bulk of it to repair fucked balance sheets. Jenkins argues that we'd all be better off if the government gave everyone a £500 gift voucher, time limited and not redeemable for cash. The rationale being that the vouchers would stimulate aggregate demand and thus pull This Sceptred Isle out of recession.

Would it work? I've no idea, but given the rate at which Oor Gordie is placing pinkish water between himself and his previous unwavering allegiance to free-market nostrums, I wouldn't bet against something similar being tried when this current bailing out of the banks is seen not to have achieved its stated objective.

If nothing else, just think of the stimulus to Kirkcaldy's economy when the local college hurriedly changes its name from "Adam Smith" to "JM Keynes", in advance of Gordie's speech to the students: "Why I've always been a Keynesian."

Here's one I made earlier... a lot earlier

Look, I know news gathering budgets are tight, but Jesus... try to keep up guys.

From "The Scotsman", 11th March 2009:"They've got it licked at last - painting The Forth Bridge to end in 2011."

And from "The Jaggy Thistle", February 2008:

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Links we Like


There's no other word to describe this piece of smut recommended by Thunder Bay Pete.

"Thunder Bay Pete": that makes him sound like someone being hunted by The Mounties.

And so he should be.  Like I said, disgraceful.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


Stag outside pub

Insert own stag night gag here

Janette Krankie has worries about budget for new "The Snowman" movie

Tornado locomotive

"The train now entering the station is the delayed 10.00am service from London Euston, May 10th, 1938."

Thursday, 5 March 2009

"and another thing" : Dens Dodger of Deceasement Drones Dementedly Despite Disbursing Drowsiness.

Oxygen thief and Dens boss Jocky Scott hit out at the ageism afflicting the Scottish game this week. 

Jocky, 61 or 71 or something, told The JT: "Too many good managers of my generation are being passed up in favour of young whippersnappers, striplings barely out of their forties. I didn't fight in two world wars. But if I had I would've have been very peeved to see how things have turned out. Erm. Where was I?"

Jocky, who this month won the prestigious the Wincarnis "Isn't He Marvellous For His Age?" gold commode, held the waiting media entranced as he recalled how much better things were in the old days:
"When I was a young manager trying to make my way in football, I was continually blocked by clubs insisting on bringing in older, more experienced managers. And, I'll tell you this, it didn't do me any harm apart from blocking my way in football management.  Erm, and another thing."

Jocky concluded the press conference by saying that the trouble with young people today was that no one took a blind bit of notice of anything he said. Or words to that effect. Definitely something along those lines.


Inside: And if "deceasement" isn't a word, it should be, so beat it.

"The apple was enquiring about the amiable crocodile's friend." Be honest, you want one don't you?

Mac expoEvidence, if evidence there be needed, of why The Onion is still the Daddy...
And, I'd lay money down that if this product existed, certain Mac-using JT readers would go out and buy it.

You know who you are....

(NB: You need to copy and paste the above link, unless you're using a Mac of course)

Monday, 2 March 2009

What would Jack do?

With the Scottish Government cracking down on booze, it looks like we're all going to sober up. One wonders, are there any exemplars extant that we might draw comfort and inspiration from?

No, I'm afraid not.

Sunday, 1 March 2009


Stag jumping over fence
Robbie's "guess the proverb" quiz kept the other stags amused
Calderglen Country Park

You see a "weir", escaped beaver sees an "opportunity"

Cathedral ruins at St Andrews
Archaeologists in St.Andrews discover medieval
 "Thunderbirds Are Goeth !" theme park