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What’s (APP) Up?


Good morning lovely people,

My political enthusiasm is fading like my resilience to resist those chocolates that I said I’ll give up for Lent.

100,000 Hancock WhatsApp messages have been leaked. The only leeks I like are those in The Scottish Cafe’s Cullen Skink. The smell of this classic Scottish smoked haddock and cream soup evokes happy, yummy thoughts. Other smells aren’t as heartwarming. Are these messages going to tell us anything we haven’t already sniffed out? Reading them will not lead to any discipline, retribution or compensation. Leave it for the Independent Enquiry they say. All I can say is that that will only lead to more wasted time and money. The best place for this leak is straight down the drain.

So who’s going to be the next FM? Just like all those changes in the Conservative Party, each time we needed a general election, I see no difference here. Parties, north or south of the border, should not be allowed to play their own game.

The resignation all felt very jittery, sudden, unplanned. John Swinney’s decision to resign, seems far more measured. It’s the end of an era. A bit like Ken Bruce leaving Radio 2.

I can imagine the weight of responsibility any senior politician carries can be overwhelming. Pour on enough pressure and it may break some. From time to time I’ve known what pressure feels like, but family businesses have no resignation option. To keep me balanced, I’ve had the odd coaching season. The last time interestingly was mid February 2020. If only we’d known then what was to follow I could have saved myself the trip. Three days off on holiday last week and I felt ready for a little refresh. It was a short session, thankfully. Sometimes instinct is taken for granted. Acknowledging it is quite liberating. Nevertheless it’s amazing how a little chat can be an excellent investment. Maybe Nicola just needed a new coach?

Who’s in the running for the leadership? A Christian a Muslim and a Salmond (I know it was a cheap laugh, no offence intended). Kate Forbes, hasn’t been throwing stones, but they sure have been pelted at her since she joined the race. Her faith has put the spotlight on the elephant in the room. Can we have a truly honest politician? How does an individual represent everyone and be true to their personal values, surely there will always be compromise and why is it an issue, especially if it relates to faith?

Should we not be respecting our community’s convictions, politicians included, even if we don’t agree? Having been brought up Catholic, many of the core Christian beliefs of the Free Church of Scotland overlap. Victor and I have grown apart from our faith for much of that common ground. Nonna G is convinced she’s been sent to save us (she’s loving clocking up the indulgences). We can agree to disagree on many points but we have to live together and respect each other’s different views. Are we in a society where we have to live with intolerance in the name of equality (those words from someone far more clever than me). It’s so hypocritical.

I hope, for Scotland’s sake, we don’t get a whole load of scandals coming to the surface when Sturgeon goes. Joint bank account rumours are simmering. With Police Scotland having permission to start formal interviews of SNP and ex SNP personnel around the alleged missing £600k fundraising money, who knows what will come to light. The Chief Constable has resigned too, what really is up?

One point, I hope will be the new norm, is that we can openly question and challenge our FM. Whoever does end up in the job, we need to be allowed to discuss and question their actions. For a long time it’s felt like St Nicola can’t be doubted or her authority questioned. The WhatsApp messages on children’s masks prove even Downing Street was reluctant to do so.

Meanwhile we have Barclays and NatWest declaring £12.1bn pre tax profit in 2022, that doesn’t even include Lloyds and HSBC. The Bank of England needs to question their actions. This, along with energy firms profits, is where rates of inflation are far too high.

Northern Ireland has the “unbelievably special position – unique in the entire world – in having privileged access not just to the UK market…..but also the EU single market”. Genius! What we all had until Brexit kicked us in the but. The Windsor Framework has taken us years to get to a place that’s left us worse off. The other Windsor Agreement has left Harry & Megan worse off too, they are getting kicked out of their pad to make room for Andrew. I’m sure some spare family WhatsApp messages will be appearing in Hello magazine Christmas special.

Innis & Gunn are boycotting the Deposit Return Scheme along with many other small producers. One of two industry policies coming from the Scottish Government that’s not been thought through and the implications of delivery are completely undeliverable and hugely damaging. There will be none of these beers, along with many other products, available in Scotland should the scheme proceed.

No tomatoes either? Europe is refusing to share them because they know we’re going to throw them at Boris Johnson who’s clearly positioning himself for his next move. Europe has already figured turnips are much harder.

Don’t worry we’ve got tomatoes. Victor religiously coordinates our Italian delivery every week, believe it or not via WhatsApp.

Keep well and don’t forget it’s Mother’s Day on 19th March


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