Pride Goes Before a Fall


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Denslow's Humpty Dumpty 1904.jpg

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

Murgatroyd closed the book.  He’s certainly had a great fall, he remarked to


Who was Humpty Dumpty? she asked, sipping her celebratory Buck’s Fizz.

I Googled him and it turns out that it is thought to have been a powerful

cannon which collapsed after the Royalist Artillery blasted the besieged walls

which it was defending.  So, it was sent crashing to the ground by

Parliamentary forces.

Well, said Mrs Connolly, coming in with two servings of a delicious breakfast:

Ye canna mak’ omelettes withoot breakin’ eggs!  That’s politics fur ye.

Alea Iacta Est


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Augustus Snodbury prepared to deliver one of his most ancient and

oft-repeated lessons in the Classic Department.  However, he intended

to give it a topical spin.

He threw a die on the front desk and pronounced: Alea iacta est.  This was, for

him, an interactive lesson, utilising a learning aid.

What does this mean?

Before he could choose which hand to acknowledge, that Boothroyd-Smythe

boy had prematurely ejaculated:  The die is cast.


Sir.  The die is cast, Sir.

Hmm, Snod harrumphed.  And how could this be applied to our times?

Not you, boy.  Someone else.

He must be getting past his sell-by date.  A few years ago he’d have had

that boy clapped in irons, or thrown to the lions for shouting out.  He

signalled to a quiet youth sitting on his own at the back.

The ginger-haired pupil ventured: Mr Cameron says there’s no going back for

the Scottish people.

Precisely, Snod rubber-stamped the response.  You can’t cross back over The

Rubicon. Boy!  Put that die down!

It wasn’t brought into this lesson for you to fiddle around with. Not even while

Rome burns!

Now, take this down... Snod loved dictation.  It was the best method of

control, even if it discouraged free thinking- especially as it discouraged

free thinking!

Once Caesar had crossed The Rubicon, there was no going back. 


He turned and wrote ‘Suetonius‘ on the board.  No one, least of all himself,

knew why, but, to a boy, they all wrote it down in their exercise books, some

putting out their tongues while they tried to get the letters in the right order.

The Rubicon, incidentally meaning The Red River, so having some associations

with Clydeside... this was for his own gratification, but there was much

scribbling, was in North Italy, but it does not preclude metaphorical references. 

What’s a metaphor for?  He suddenly sprang this on an unsuspecting child in

the second row, who slightly wet his shorts and broke his pencil point.

That’s where togas came in very handy, Snod observed to himself.

To make us think what it’s there for? quavered the child.

No, that’s a ‘therefore’, Snod barked. Pay attention!  And attention is what The

Romans should have paid to those beyond The Antonine Wall.  But that’s another


You see, Caesar had entered into rebellion and the Senate had removed him

from his command. It started a long civil war.  Who were the two sides?


He wrote Optimates: Traditional Majority on the white board with an

indelible marker.  Drat!

They wanted to limit the power of the Tribune of the Plebs.

A hand shot up!  B–S again.  Groan!

Wasn’t that what a politician called the police, sir?

Allegedly not.

The Optimates sought to preserve the ways of their forefathers..

Like William Wallace and..


Boothroyd-Smythe in his eagerness had forgotten to raise his hand.  Twice

in one day.  His report card would have to be stamped.

The bell rang shrilly.

Get into your testudo formation, said Snod.  Okay,

Forward march!

Excuse me, sir.  Who were the other side?

Snod momentarily had forgotten.  He could smell the odour of his

favourite fasces, he meant faggots, emanating from the dining hall.

That’s your homework, he pronounced with imperatorial, nay,

gubernatorial authority. If you don’t know, find out for tomorrow.

The Law of Unintended Consequences


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A sketch of a Adam Smith facing to the right

Sir, wasn’t it originally a concept of Adam Smith’s?

That Boothroyd-Smythe kid was really getting on his nerves.  He was such

a smart-a**.

Nigel had swapped hats and was standing in for the History teacher.  He

swallowed and counted three elephants.

Well, Robert K Morton, the sociologist, popularised it.

My dad said sociology is an easy option at A-level, butted in the irrepressible

one.  I was talking to him about this topic and he said it was akin to Murphy’s


Right.  Good for him.  As I was saying… We can exhibit hubris when we try

to act.  Who knows what ‘hubris’ is?

Nigel tried to avoid eye contact with B-S, as the staff liked to call him, but

the brat answered without putting up his hand.

My dad says it is what that Salmond man shows.

Enough!  Take a detention for calling out without raising your hand.

Nigel was breaking out in a sweat.  He’d been trying to have a class

discussion on something topical, but hadn’t been able to transmit his key

points about corollaries and-one he’d thought the boys would enjoy- the

cobra effect.  That was the ensuing consequence of paying Indians a

bounty for every cobra that they brought in.  The so-and-sos started

breeding the reptiles big time.

He’d imagined himself as some kind of fakir, mesmerising the class and

drawing them out of their collective basket by the entrancing flute notes

that he’d intone above their heads; instead, one of the deadlier and more

toxic blighters had struck him down fatally, like Julius Caesar in the Forum.

No, that wasn’t a just analogy: he wasn’t among friends…  He would never

hold an audience like that Pied Piper, the First Minister of Scotland.  His own

charges regarded him as a basket case.  But, maybe with hindsight,

that might also be the judgement the people of Scotland might dish out to

their erstwhile hero in five years’ time.  If he, Nigel, was a fakir, what did that

make Salmond?  Some people said ‘a snake oil merchant‘.  Nigel didn’t want to

go that far.  His wee sidekick could be said to share some similarities with a

mongoose, though.

Dwarf mongoose Korkeasaari zoo.jpg

Was Alex a leader who could handle deferred gratification?  Nigel doubted it.

He remembered the experiment where a child was rewarded with two

sweeties if they opted to restrain themselves from consuming one for a few


Somehow he felt that if Alex was put in a room with a pie, he wouldn’t be able

to resist it.  Whereas if Adam Smith was to be subjected to the same experiment,

he felt sure that his self-control would result in sausage rolls all round.

And now he’d have to waste time at the end of the day supervising the wretched

boy.  From now on, the only cobras he’d be getting involved with would be the

alcoholic variety.

The Last King of Scotland


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Last king of scotland uk.jpg

Nigel was on prep duty in the Boarding House.  He was checking what

the boys were looking at on their computers in the study.

John Boothroyd-Smythe was typing away furiously.

Sorry, Mr Milford-Haven, I’ve got to get this finished for tomorrow.

We’ve been set a film review for English.  It forms part of the Writing

to Review and Comment component of the syllabus.

Well, you should have started it earlier.  It’s nearly cocoa time. Just

save and print it out.

He looked over the boy’s shoulder and wasn’t sure how to react.

His charge had integrated a picture from Wikipaedia.  Nigel hoped

that it was in the public domain.

He scanned the boy’s comments.  They seemed pretty factual and

declarative. He supposed that as a reviewer, he should have been

showcasing more evaluation skills to reach the higher tier, but it was

getting late.

Please can you check it over, sir, for punctuation and all that?


And this was what the boy had written:



Idi Amin was known to invent and adopt fanciful imperial titles for

himself, such as ‘His Excellency President for Life’, VC, DSO, MC Lord of

All The Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea; Conqueror of The

British Empire..

(Hmm… I bet he plagiarised that from somewhere…)

In the film, Amin admires Scotland’s resilience and resistance to those

south of the border.  He saw himself as avenging the Scots by defeating

the English.

He has a Scottish doctor and exchanges his own military shirt for the

physician’s Scotland shirt.

(Maybe he could have used a synonym here as the vocabulary was

becoming repetitive…)

Amin tells his practitioner (good word!) that he wants to modernise his

country’s health care system and explains that his cracking down on the

opposition is vital if lasting peace is to be brought to his country.

(Should the boy have inserted the adjective ‘perceived‘ in front of the

phrase ‘cracking down?‘  One has to be so careful as a writer.

It’s a bit declarative, but it will have to do.  Maybe your class teacher will help

you to develop your evaluation skills a bit further.  Anyway, that’s enough

for now.  Bed!

He wished they would all settle down as he wanted to watch the results

of the Referendum.  Being half-Cornish, it would be interesting to see how

Nationalists fared.  But he didn’t think he would be persuaded to join

a separatist movement.

Oh no!  It suddenly dawned on him what the boy might be insinuating.

Was he imagining it, or…?

Actually, he would let the English teacher deal with it.  There was no denying

it: the kid was clever, if devious and able to cover his back, whatever he did.


The Lion and the Unicorn


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Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.svg

Murgatroyd was contemplating the crest over his lintel.  As in so many Border

areas, it featured a lion and a unicorn.  Pity the unicorn was losing its gilding.

The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown;

the lion beat the unicorn all round about the town.

Some gave them white bread and some gave them brown;

some gave them plumb [sic] cake and drummed them out of town.

recited Diana.

Murgatroyd’s curiosity was aroused.  What’s all that about?

Oh, it’s an old nursery rhyme.  I think it refers to the fact that the Union was

less than amicable.  There are various stories about which animal achieved

ascendency.  Like a certain First Minister, the unicorn believed its horn-oil?-

was a universal panacea.  I think it was the poet, Edmund Spenser, who

relayed how the unicorn was trapped in a tree and impaled itself by its horn

when it made a rash assault on the lion.

Murgatroyd looked thoughtful: I think that George Orwell published

something called ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’, come to think of it.  He thought

that the conflict between them would create a new kind of democratic

socialism.  I seem to remember that he wanted to retain the Royal Family,

though, and he cautioned that everyone considers themselves British, as

soon as the need for defence arises.


Hmm, interesting, replied Diana.  Lewis Carroll in ‘Through the Looking

Glass’ referred to the rhyme.  Both heraldic beasts belong to the same

king and are supposed to be on the same side, making their rivalry

absurd.  The Unicorn, like the Adam Smith wannabe, the Great Narwhal-

-cum Pinocchio porky pie eater, nay porcine teller himself, appeals to Alice,

aka the electorate, for mutual trust.  David Cameron seems to be positively

leonine, as he asks for the cake to be handed round first and cut in slices


Oh, I remember that, enthused Murgatroyd.  The cake kept returning to its

unified whole, didn’t it?  Even when divided into three.

Mrs Connolly came out into the garden carrying a tray, very much in the

manner of Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques.  A pot of tea and a fine plum

cake was sliding precariously to one side.

What do you know about the lion and the unicorn, Mrs C? asked

Murgatroyd, relieving her of the weight of the comestibles.

Weel now, my understanding is that they represented the union of two

warring nations and they showed that the natural order was supported

by the balanced forces of Nature-ie/ the sun and the moon, held in

harmony.  Individually they are imbalanced, but together no other creature

can match their strength, because they are a union of opposites.  Their

styles of sovereignty may be different, but they are complimentary.

Well expressed, Mrs C! cheered Murgatroyd, pouring the tea himself and

forgetting that she liked to play ‘mother.’

Encouraged by the response, Mrs C continued:

Wert thou the unicorn, pride and wrath would confine thee,

and make thine own self the conquest of thy fury.

Who said that? asked Diana.

Och, The Bishop of Rochester, when he recorded an obscure Aesop’s

fable concerning the twa beasties.  Aye, the lion can be tricky when he

appears to be conciliatory.  The unicorn should never relinquish its horn

to him, even on the appeal for a crutch.  She’ll just be hoisted with her

own petard.  They should all listen to Her Majesty and think very carefully.

Well, it’s late in the day now, Mrs C, volunteered Diana.  But the White

King had the last word in Carroll’s story:  ‘Fair play with the cake!’  If they

don’t justly divide the spoils they’ll both be drummed out of town.

Very true, agreed Mrs C.

Gey Thrawn


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The rush light guttered.  It made for chilling reading.  Diana had borrowed

Mrs C’s copy of Burke and terrified herself by reading his summing up of

the aftermath of revolution.

They have found their punishment in their success.  Laws overturned;…industry without vigour; commerce expiring; the revenue unpaid,…the people impoverished;…everything human and divine sacrificed to the idol of public credit, and national bankruptcy the [likely] consequence.

Something cold touched the nape of her neck.  Bannocks!  That wasn’t The

Grey Lady, was it?  She wished it was a return of The Iron Lady, if only to

enjoy the spectacle of Wee Eck being told to stand in the corner- for a

couple of decades, with a dunce’s cap on his noddle.

It was late.  She shouldn’t frighten herself by reading any more.  She

would have nightmares. But she felt ashamed that she had not really

informed herself sufficiently, like many others, and now the Apocalypse,

like the Philistines, was practically upon them.

Aux armes, citoyens!  Wait a minute!  Whose side had they been on? 

She continued:

Were all these dreadful things necessary?  Were they the inevitable results of the desperate struggle of determined patriots, compelled to wade through blood…tumult to the quiet shore of a tranquil and prosperous liberty?  No!  Nothing like it.

The ruinations will not be the devastation of civil war; they [will be] ‘the sad but instructive monuments of rash and ignorant counsel in time of profound peace’…Not one drop of their blood have they shed in the cause of the country they have ruined.

Mrs C knocked on the door.

I’ve brought you a wee hot water bottle.  Well, it’s what we use.  Is

everything all right, dear?

Thanks.  Yes.  I don’t know.  Oh, Mrs C, listen to this!

If the leaders should be activated by sinister ambition, and a lust of meretricious glory, then the… Assembly, to whom at first they conform, becomes in its turn the dupe and instrument of their designs.  In this political traffic, the leaders will be obliged to bow to the ignorance of their followers, and the followers to become subservient to the worst designs of their leaders.

Och, the next bit is the one I like aboot inferior, mechanical members of their

professions who join projects which lay them open to lucrative deals.  He calls

such as they fomenters and conductors of the petty war of village vexation.

Nothing in heaven or earth can serve as a control on them.

Pretty pessimistic then?  Diana gathered her pashmina to her shoulders.

Weel, he says those who attempt to level never equalise and certain men ought not to suffer oppression from the state; but the state suffers oppression, if such as they, individually, or collectively, are permitted to rule.

Onywise, there’s little ye can do noo and ye huvnae the vote onywey.  The

Scots are never undecided.  You wait!  They’ll be gathering in their schiltrons

on Judgement- eh, polling day and woe betide onyone who dares tae meddle

wi’ their free consciences.  They can be gey thrawn and dinna appreciate

onyone assuming that they know whit they’re thinkin.’  Ah widnae like tae

be charging intae their solid line o’ pikestaffs.

Noo, wi’ a’ respect, put oot yer light and settle doon.

Riding on a Donkey


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Mrs Connolly was serving a full English breakfast, shortly under threat

of being replaced with the gut-busting alternative: the full-on Scottish

All-day.  She was intoning a little ditty while she turned the fried eggs.

What’s that tune you are humming, Mrs C? asked Diana.

Och, it’s an adaptation of ‘Highland Laddie’, but the words I was taught

at school were ‘Were You Ever In Quebec?’

It sounds like a sea shanty, said Murgatroyd.  What brought it to mind?

I know we all may be on a sinking ship politically, but..

Precisely Mr Syylk.  I think I was subliminally thinking aboot the line:

there’s a king with a golden crown/ Riding on a donkey.

Wae Alex’s Messianic delusions, it’s a real possibility.  I say a wee prayer

that the old folk tune’s original title might percolate into these dunderheids’


Murgatroyd was about to pick up his Lallans dictionary, but he managed to

work out the general semantic content of the dialect word.  It seemed

synonymous with ‘bampots‘, which he had just assimilated into his linguistic

repertoire.  A kingdom divided by its languages…

Coat of Arms of Scotland (1603-1649).svg

Diana sighed:  There will probably be a new crest as well as a new flag.

Aye, mused Mrs C, it could incorporate another line from the song:

See the lion and the unicorn? Riding on a donkey.

Murgatroyd looked down on his groaning plate suspiciously.  His palate

was unsure about the Black Pudding. Trust the Scots to fortify themselves

with a sanguinary product!

He propped his Financial Times against the toast rack and turned his

attention to page 2.

Hah! he expostulated.

What is it, darling? asked Diana, spreading her toast with Baxter’s

marmalade. Gosh, she hoped they would still be able to get it in the

dystopic future.

This Robert Delaney journalist from Toronto is perfectly right, Murgatroyd

opined.  He’s talking about how money reacts to secession or even the

mere threat of it.  He says that in 1976 Quebec Separatists  beat the

Liberals and the very next day literally truckloads of money rolled

out of the province.

But didn’t they vote down independence in 1980? Diana racked her

political memory.

Yes, but the economy never recovered.  The money went to Toronto.

Aye, added Mrs C, and Montreal was no longer the most populous city. 

Its bank headquarters moved to Toronto, along with most of Canada’s

largest financial institutions.  There isnae ony financial sector there noo.

The breakfasting ones continued to be ‘gobstruck‘- was that the word?-

by the housekeeper’s shrewd acumen.

Professor Brenner of McGill would agree with you, Mrs C, said Murgatroyd,

trying not to get grease on the pink pages.  He has said that when critical

masses of talent move out, the affected places do not recover.  Quebec is

now the largest recipient of the federal government’s equalisation payment

system, which helps to spread revenues from the wealthier provinces to the

poorer ones.

Wasn’t there a second independence referendum? enquired Diana.

Yes, it was an even closer shave.  Professor Brennan warned that

countries can declare themselves ‘sovereign’, but should they have no

access to credit, sovereignty becomes a costly illusion.

Derren Victor Brown.jpg

Aye, agreed Mrs C, and I, for one, don’t want to see ony illusionists

running the country.  They a’ watch too much Derren Broon and they

are that gullible that they fa’ fur a’ they so-called miracles. Take that

Shard trick: even noo he’s been discredited as ony fool can see the

strings attached. Aye, and ony self-respectin’ body can see a’ the strings

that wee self-styled Houdini’s sleights of hand are pulling.  But he’s no’

the escape artist he thinks, and mebbe he’ll end up tyin’ us a’ in knots

afore he’s feenished.  And Ah’m no’ even’ goin’ tae suggest a straitjacket.

That’s fur others tae debate!

And she exited the kitchen humming Riding on a donkey even less



Tub Thumping


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Mrs Connolly, what are you clutching to your bosom? Murgatroyd inquired.

He was continually astonished by the reading material that she propped

up on the recipe stand while she stirred the porridge.

I don’t want Edmund Burke to get splashed, she replied.

Burke!  You’re not reflecting on revolution, are you, Mrs C? jibed Diana.

There’s an atmosphere of insurrection out there, countered Mrs C, and I

for one am not going to be found knitting while heads roll.

So, what does he say about civil disunity? Murgatroyd asked.  Here, let me

take over the spurtle.  Read us some of his more salient points.

Hmm, Mrs C tidied her hair and turned a few pages.  I like the bit where he

uses the metaphor of a breached castle.  It reminds me of our pele tower.

Yes, here’s a good bit-

You possessed…the foundations of a noble and venerable castle.  You might have built on those old foundations….you had the elements of a constitution very nearly as good as could be wished…you had that action and counteraction, which, in the natural and in the political world, from the reciprocal struggle of discordant powers, draws out the harmony of the universe.  These opposed and conflicting interests, which you considered as so great a blemish in your old and in our present constitution, interpose a salutary check to all precipitate resolutions.They make all change a subject of compromise, which naturally begets moderation; they produce temperaments preventing the sore evil of harsh, crude, unqualified reformations.

That’s brilliant, Mrs C. Diana enthused.  Now that Ian Paisley has gone, no one speaks forcefully like that any more.  I suppose they were of the same race as Jonathan Swift and knew how to pack a punch.

Jonathan Swift by Charles Jervas detail.jpg

Indeed.  He goes on:

…you chose to act as if you had never been moulded into civil society, and had everything to begin anew.  You began ill because you began by despising everything that belonged to you…Under a pious predilection for those ancestors, your imaginations [should] have realized in them a standard of virtue and wisdom, beyond the vulgar practice of the hour…..Respecting your forefathers, you would have been taught to respect yourselves….you would not have been content to be represented as a gang of [Tartan] slaves, suddenly broke loose from the house of bondage, and therefore to be pardoned for your abuse of the liberty to which you were not accustomed, and ill-fitted.

I can’t imagine a current politician telling it so straight, Murgatroyd stated.

He really whips it up after that, sir.  Listen:

Would it not have been wiser to have, what I for one, always thought you, a generous and gallant nation, long misled to your disadvantage by your high and romantic sentiments of fidelity, honour, and loyalty; that events had been unfavourable to you, but that you were not enslaved…  You would have had an unoppressive but a productive revenue.  You would have had a flourishing commerce to feed it.  You would have had a free constitution; a potent monarchy; a disciplined army…and not..that monstrous fiction, which by inspiring false ideas and vain expectations into men destined to travel in the obscure walk of laborious life, serves only to aggravate and embitter that real inequality, which it can never remove.

Compute your gains : see what is got by those extravagant and presumptuous speculations which have taught your leaders to despise all their predecessors and all their contemporaries, and even to despise themselves, until the moment when they [will] become truly despicable.  By following those false lights, France has bought undisguised calamities at a higher price than any nation….

France?!  exclaimed Diana.  I thought he was talking about Scotland.  If only

Alistair Darling had taken a leaf out of his book, the ‘Better Together’ campaign

would have sounded a lot more passionate.

AlistairDarlingABr cropped.jpg

The porridge is ready, dearies. Mrs C closed the book carefully, placing a ‘Just Say

No‘ bookmark in page 34.  But this is the real stuff tae pit hairs on your chest.

I suppose there are parallels between the two nations.  After all, youse’ll have

heard aboot the Auld Alliance?

I say, suggested Murgatroyd, why don’t we have breakfast readings every

morning until next Thursday? Then we can be prepared to collar any pollsters

or canvassers if they dare to put one of their leaflets through the letterbox.

So long as they’re not proselytising members of some sect, laughed Diana.

Same difference, stressed Murgatroyd.  It’s time to get tough with the

anti-intellectual opposition.  All these Utopias need busting and

Burke is the heavyweight to add ballast to our case.

And he waved the spurtle round his head like a caber thrower

warming up at The Cowal Games.


Kung Fu Panda 2 (The Gaffe)


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Little did I know that the bear-like creature with dark rings round its eyes

would be making the headlines today, after having given him sufficient

publicity yesterday.  I must be ahead of trend.

Apparently Kung Fu Panda accepted an unconditional offer of admission to

the prestigious LSE.  I know Alistair Darling will be relieved that the would-

be Master is at last showing some interest in Economics, but, alas it may be

too late for the poor diasporran Scots who have been denied a vote in the


Someone told the student newspaper Tab that they thought his acceptance

had been some kind of a racist joke.  Some wondered if he would be paying

tuition fees. Yes, the displaced Jocks definitely agree that their denial of

participation in the pseudo-democratic process is a joke.

Just a not very funny one.  About as comical as the illegal immigrant who

sneaked over the Channel in someone else’s Fiat Panda.  Once Border

Controls are established they won’t allow Kung Fu Panda into what’s left

of the rump of a dismembered kingdom.  Not if they have any sense.  Not

even to take up his notional place at LSE.

There’s a nice wee island called Gruinard where he could strutt his stuff

amid the anthrax and a flock of compliant sheep.  It’s aye been guid

Gruinard Island is located in Ross and Cromarty

for hosting the odd rebel or outcast.

Some of the student fraternity took the gaffel well, considering that

everyone needs a laugh now and then, but most entrepreneurial

ex-pats do not find the debate entertaining in the slightest.

It transpires that Kung Fu Panda was just a test name, amongst


Well, I wonder who on earth Piglet corresponds to?!

Piglet EHShepard.jpg

And lest our comments be imbalanced, we need to point out that racism is in

no way a criticism solely attributed to the tutelary camp. The President of the

Edinburgh University Union’s SNP Branch allegedly called David Cameron an

English t***‘  She defended herself by saying the comment was ‘open to

interpretation’.  Just like my posts!

But which word was deemed to be the more offensive, I wonder?

Wol could also refer to Kung Fu Panda’s sparring partner.  He goes in

for long stuffy speeches and sees himself as a mentor and elder statesman.

Like Kung Fu Panda, when he hasn’t read a notice, he bluffs his way

through it.

Eeyore takes a leaf out of KF Panda’s book in that he offers things which

are not in his power to endow- Piglet’s house, for example.  The pessimistic

one offered it to Wol without ascertaining its true owner. KFP is adept at

generously playing Santa Claus with the rest of the Union’s assets.

The only unifying thing about the whole bang shoot of them is that they’d

better look out for the Beetles.  They are furthermore distracted by having

run-ins with political heffalumps who are largely figments of their

over-stretched imaginations, but they’d be better to look over their

shoulders for woozles, who are known to inhabit cold, snowy landscapes

and don’t take political prisoners.

Let’s face it, they all want the honey- oil? for themselves!

Now Legend of Awesomeness, Backson Miliband, is trying to say that he

will restore everyday things that he has destroyed.  Everyone in The Valley

of Peace needs to maintain calm and geek out, as they say in Disney


Half a bacon sandwich.jpg

I’m sure KF Panda has a redundant bacon sandwich he could loan the

Legend, along with a deep fried Mars Bar. That should keep his strength

up when the going gets tough and the tough get going..

Kung Fu Panda 1


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John was just about ready to return to St Birinus’ Middle School for the

Autumn Term.  His mother, Gisela, was sewing name tapes on to his

various items of uniform.  A casserole was simmering nicely in the oven,

so he was allowed to watch one of his favourite DVDs while they were


Mum! he shouted, waving the box.  Don’t you think Po is like that

Scottish guy who was on the telly the other night?

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland.jpg

Who, darling?

No, the other one.  The one that kept talking about best interests.

Don’t be rude, John.  She couldn’t help smiling, though.

Yeah, mum.  Po is always going on about how he is the chosen one

who will fulfil an ancient prophecy.  It says on the lid that he puts his

heart and his girth into the task. He tries to get over the wall into

the Palace grounds.  The Soothsayer tells him that it is not the past

that shapes a person, but they are in awe of a previous hero who has

ascended into the heavens and whose ghost is watching them from

a tree.

Maybe that was William Wallace, or Robert the Bruce? speculated


William wallace.jpg

Before she knew it, Gisela was drawn into the plot, if you could call it


Shifa seemed to be for some kind of union.  He cautioned that there

would have to be a lot of cleaning up afterwards.

Then there was a lot of empty philosophy about simply believing in things.

Mr Ping revealed that the secret ingredient- a kind of Plan B?- was nothing.

Nothing at all! ‘To make something special, you just have to believe it’s

special.’  (Where had she heard that logic before?)

The tigress seemed more disgruntled: And now (we’re) stuck with you, a

big fat panda..who treats (us) like a joke.  She didn’t seem to believe that

Po was fit to be in The Jade Palace.  She told Po that if he had any respect

for the others he’d be gone by morning.  Yet, when he achieved a victory,

Master Tigress rewarded him with a hug and they employed tandem combat


The sceptical no voter, Tai Long, challenges the would-be Master: What

are you gonna do, big guy?  Sit on me?

Po replies in characteristic fashion:  I’m not a big fat panda.  I’m THE big

fat panda.

Gisela went into the kitchen to check the potatoes.  Supper’s ready!

she called.

You’ve just got to believe, Mum, said John, coming into the kitchen

with his arms flailing like the sails of a demented windmill.

No, replied his mother firmly, draining the spuds.  Po is too concerned

with what was yesterday and that is history.  I’m more interested in

your future.


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