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Shades of Gray

This is the incident which got Andy Gray fired from Sky TV

He had earlier made sexist remarks about Sian Massey who was an assistant referee in the match between Wolves and Liverpool on Saturday. In consideration of today’s laws and workplace regulations, Gray’s behaviour was wrong. It should have warranted a warning as to his future conduct.

However Sky Sports wanted rid of Gray and dug up the second clip so they could fire him for upsetting Uncle Rupert by taking News International to court decided that sexism, being such a serious breach of decency and behaviour, from any of its presenters should mean dismissal.

Sky Sports majority shareholder is News International.

News International owns the Sun.

The item below was published on their website today:

The Numbers Game

This humble outpost of t’internet is enjoying its busiest day ever.

With about 85 minutes of the day still to go this is how the stats are looking with 3,574 page views so far today.

I think at least half of these have been for the excellent Burns picture by John MacTaggart which I posted here last year, as well as in my posting ‘Burns in Dumbarton’ below. I hope that some of these additional visitors have been encouraged to visit John’s excellent website



The Immortal Memory?

AnElephant can sing Happy Birthday

AnElephant can dance and do turns

Play a tune on the chanter

Recite Tam O’Shanter

AnElephantCant ever forget Robert Burns

Brian and Phil

Happy Birthday Rabbie

“Here’s freedom to them that would read.
Here’s freedom to them that would write!
There’s nane ever fear’d that the truth should be heard
But they wham the truth would indite!”

From Here’s a Health

There’s a great article here about Burns’s ambivalent and changing attitude to political matters.

Another Trunk Call

From Brian and Phil @ anelephantcant


AnElephantCant quite grasp the concept
An Elephant hears a story that vexes
But he isn’t the one
Who is carrying a gun
Into the government building in Texas

There are queues to get through the detectors
But you can walk right on by with your pass
With your Colt on your hip
It allows you to skip
Straight inside to prove this law is an ass

If they know you are carrying a weapon
Then you don’t have to queue to be searched
For one that’s concealed
You have a clear field
To shoot politicians like birds off a perch

Now they could try this in Westminster
But then again no perhaps not
Imagine the crowd
The place would be stowed
We would all be lining up for a shot!

Got a Minute?

BLFP correspondent Toronto Tam draws my attention to a website called Book-A-Minute where you can read one minute abridged versions of the classics.

For instance:

Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace

History controls everything we do, so there is no point in observing individual actions. Let’s examine the individual actions of over 500 characters at great length.


Personal Hygiene and Fitba’

The Record has a column in which readers can submit queries and questions on long forgotten football matches and teams of times gone by. ‘Can you confirm that my uncle Jimmy McGlumpher played centre half for Fauldhouse United against Whitburn in 1948 and was this a rearranged fixture?’ would not be unrepresentative of the nature of enquiries published.

In the following clip, perhaps the questionable personal hygiene habits of the Third Lanark side were more of a concern than Charlie Tully’s disciplinary record:

Thanks Ken Fitlike

Burns in Dumbarton

This may shock you but there was strong drink taken at the Burns Supper on Friday. An excerpt from the letter below was read out which chronicled Burns’s visit to Loch Lomond, the Vale of Leven and Dumbarton. The bit about he and his friends riding drunkenly (No vera fou but gaylie yet) along the shores of the Loch, paint a picture:

Donald wheeled his horse, as if to cross before me to mar my progress, when down came his horse, and threw his rider’s breekless arse in a clipt hedge

I’d say that my colleagues and I were indeed ‘vera fou’ after celebrating the bard. Thank goodness there were no horses involved in getting us home. A rather nice chariot driven by a sober piper (not Rory Murphy then) fitted the bill.



On our return, at a Highland gentleman’s hospitable mansion, [at Bannachra, on Loch Lomond Side] we fell in with a merry party, and danced till the ladies left us, at three in the morning. Our dancing was none of the French or English insipid formal movements; the ladies sung Scotch songs like angels, at intervals; then we flew at Bab at the Bowster, Tullochgorum, Loch Erroch Side, etc., like midges sporting in the mottie sun, or craws prognosticating a storm in a hairst day.

When the dear lasses left us, we ranged round the bowl till the good-fellow hour of six; except a few minutes that we went out to pay our devotions to the glorious lamp of day peering over the towering top of Ben Lomond. We all kneeled; our worthy landlord’s son held the bowl; each man a full glass in his hand; and I, as priest, repeated some rhyming nonsense, like Thomas-a-Rhymer’s prophecies, I suppose. After a small refreshment of the gifts of Somnus, we proceeded to spend the day on Loch Lomond, and reached Dumbarton in the evening.

We dined at another good fellow’s house, and, consequently, pushed the bottle; when we went out to mount our horses we found ourselves “No vera fou but gaylie yet.” My two friends and I rode soberly down the Loch side, till by came a Highlandman at the gallop, on a tolerably good horse, but which had never known the ornaments of iron or leather. We scorned to be out-galloped by a Highlandman, so off we started, whip and spur. My companions, though seemingly gaily mounted, fell sadly astern; but my old mare, Jenny Geddes, one of the Rosinante family, she strained past the Highlandman in spite of all his efforts with the hair halter: just as I was passing him, Donald wheeled his horse, as if to cross before me to mar my progress, when down came his horse, and threw his rider’s breekless arse in a clipt hedge; and down came Jenny Geddes over all, and my hardship between her and the Highlandman’s horse.

Jenny Geddes trode over me with such cautious reverence, that matters were not so bad as might well have been expected; so I came off with a few cuts and bruises, and a thorough resolution to be a pattern of sobriety for the future. I have yet fixed on nothing with respect to the serious business of life. I am, just as usual, a rhyming, mason-making, raking, aimless, idle fellow. However, I shall somewhere have a farm soon. I was going to say, a wife too; but that must never be my blessed lot …(etc)

Robert Burns

Rory Murphy – Piper O’ Dumbarton

Was at the Dumbarton Burns Club Supper last night and did a couple of songs ably assisted by my friend Smiler. Burns with blues harmonica solos? Yup!

The evening, during which the pair of us polished off a fine bottle of single malt between us – and then some (!) ended with a rousing, all join in version of this:

(I should point out that this is a traditional song and not a Burns one)
Saw ye Rory Murphy, Rory Murphy, Rory Murphy
Saw ye Rory Murphy, piper o’ Dumbarton

Now Rory was a piper guid
As ever came o’ Hieland blood
And lowland buddies’ hearts aye glowed
To the tunes of Rory Murphy

He filled the warriors’ breasts wi’ fire
He pleased the heart o’ sage and sire
Made the listening groups admire
As he gae’d through Dumbarton

His beard was made o’ lammer gloss
His sparkling eye as black’s a sloe’s
His cheeks were fresher than the rose
And the nose as red’s a partan

When Rory drank an extra gill
He made his chanter sound so shrill
You’d hear him on Ben Lomond hill
As clear as in Dumbarton

But whisky proved to him a fey
While stottering hame mair drunk each day
Fell tapsalteerie doon the brae
That left him deid for certain

Nae mair he’ll blow his Highland drones
Nae mair we’ll hear his witching tones
His banes lie cauld beneath the stones
In the kirkyard o’ Dumbarton

So farewell then Andy Coulson.

Pssst! Dave! – Just keep repeating the same line “He’s done a great job, I’m sorry he’s resigned, he’s being punished twice, I understand why he felt the need to resign.”

What seems beyond any dispute is that investigators hired by Coulson when he was editor at News of the World, hacked peoples’ phone calls and voicemails. His line is that he didn’t know that they were using these methods.

Cameron appears to believe that.

One can only wonder if this is naivety on the part of the PM or whether he is complicit in a lie?

The third option would be that Coulson is telling the truth.

That a streetwise tabloid newspaper editor didn’t know of the methods employed by his ‘investigators’.

Quiet at the back!

As the bard might have said:

Draw the blinds and tiptoe roon
The PM’s in an awfy stoon
He’s gret frae morn tae afternoon
an canna feed
He thinks that Andy hired these men
Their methods o which he had no ken
I wunner if the country’s PM
is aff his heid?

Could Coulson be a fibber forsooth?
A smert ersed sharp mendacious youth?
Do lies come bubblin’ oot his mooth?
An folk take heed?
Smarter chiels he tends to rile
They’ve sussed him by a country mile
A court case maybe an’ then a trial?
How would he plead?

He’d bang the table – ‘It wisnae me!’
‘Ah didna ken please set me free!’
‘Ah’m too important can’t you see?’
Is nae defence
Just like yon fibber Tommy S.
Could their truth economies fill Loch Ness?
They’ve got themsels in an awfy mess
Wi egos immense

Bigrabbie (aged 51 and (likes) a hauf)


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