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Matt McGinn

My friend Smiler gave me a photocopy of this Matt McGinn poem to feature on the blog. He was amazed when I recited the whole thing without recourse to the note. You see my dad had Matt McGinn albums which he played quite a bit when I was a nipper. Perhaps Matt, listened to from this vantage point, was of his time but he was an inspiration and encouragement to Billy Connolly to name but one.

This one is Matt’s take on Robert Service


Helpless Dancer is Back!

After a self imposed exile lasting a few months, my friend Helpless Dancer has returned to the blogsphere. His blog has some great music and comment and is well worth a look.

Helpless Dancer’s “dugs”

Blame Culture

I feel very very sorry for TV presenter Ian Clayton who lost his daughter in a canoe accident. This struck home with me yesterday because Mr. Clayton is the same age as me, and his twins were a similar age to my children. I’ve just bought an open canoe and have blogged our experience in it so far.

It has to be said that I do not have the benefit of having heard all the evidence in this case. I do know however that the canoe company had set up business only that day and the Clayton family were their first customers. The canoe company’s obligation to Mr. Clayton was to provide him with safe and complete equipment which I am led to believe they did

However Mr. Clayton blames “a hole in health and safety legislation” for his daughter’s death. I don’t know if Mr. Clayton was warned about the fast flowing river he “took a wrong turn in to” or whether he had enough common sense or nouse to perhaps see the danger in advance of where he was going. I do know however that the canoe hire industry has a very good record of safety as does the sport (pastime) generally. Mr. Clayton says the industry should be licensed. Just how this would have prevented his daughter’s death is unclear.

I wondered as Mr. Clayton was speaking, if a company who hired out a motor car to a family who were subsequently involved in an accident would be responsible for their customers’ health and safety on the road beyond providing a safe and compliant car? I think not.

I sincerely hope that canoeing does not become another knee jerk safety issue because of one tragic but extremely rare accident. There are echoes of the terrorist issue here where measures taken to prevent and insure against something end up infringing peoples freedoms to go about their everyday activities.

Safety should be of paramount importance but there is a culture evident today that seems to be trying to eliminate risk from everything. That can only be done by zero exposure to risk. What a dull uneventful existence that would be.

Club X

Sounds like a porno cinema or a gay disco doesn’t it? However when looking at the Dumbarton FC fixtures for the coming season I saw this:

20 Sep 08
27 Sep 08
Forfar Athletic
4 Oct 08
Club X

which was the only way the Scottish League could produce a fixture list. Since the demise of Gretna they have invited applications from other clubs wishing to join the league and fill the gap. Edinburgh side Spartans are hot favourites, and they are joined in the pot by Annan Athletic, Edinburgh City,Preston Athletic and Cove Rangers. The true identity of club x will be known in early July.