It’s July, and everyone except me has gone on holiday. It would appear that even the people who make the news are having a break, as we are now in middle of the Summer Silly Season. I should probably correct that last statement. We would be right in the midst of the Summer Silly Season, if we actually had a summer to speak of. This has been one of those months when the Weather has become the News itself, and not just the bit at the end of the bulletin.
As an illustration of how bad this summer has been, I’ve just returned from doing a show in Perth, Western Australia, where it is mid-winter. When I was out there, I checked comparative temperatures and weather conditions between there and Perth, Scotland. Last Friday in Perth, Australia it was sunny and 18 degrees, whereas back home in mid-summer Perthshire it was raining and two degrees colder. That tells you all you need to know about summer in Scotland, that you have to take an eighteen-hour flight halfway around the World to a country where it’s winter in order to get a bit of warmth and sunshine.
Indeed, even the SNP seem to accept that the weather is one of the few things that will not be affected by independence. However, it would not surprise me to read some doom-laden pro-Union scare story in the Daily Mail, predicting Arctic winters should Scotland vote Yes, citing the evidence of some “expert” who claimed that the Gulf Stream was part of Britain and not Scotland.
Meanwhile, as we await the start of the Olympics, I do think that the British weather is a greater threat to the success of London 2012 that any possible terrorist attack. As with the Jubilee earlier this year, we are being told that the Olympic Games will stimulate the economy, by bringing millions of tourists into the UK. Hopefully, some of these tourists will be flying saltires and celebrating a Scottish success. Perhaps Andy Murray will win the men’s tennis gold. After coming so close at Wimbledon, where he managed an entire fortnight being referred to as “British” by the BBC, only for him to lose in the final, and be described once more as “Scottish”.
Andy Murray could maybe provide an outlet for those Rangers fans less than enthused by weekly trips to exotic locations such as Forfar and Stranraer. If they were all to descend on Wimbledon, sales of Buckfast and pies would exceed those of strawberries and champagne. Doubtless one voice would be heard in the crowd “Umpire, ya blind idiot!! That was a goal!!! The ball was right in the net!!”.
Finally, one sure sign that the Summer Silly Season is under way is that Cardinal Keith O’Brien is back in the papers. And we’ve had a policy statement from the Free Presbyterian Church, positive proof that very little is happening in the real world. While Cardinal O’Brien was proposing a referendum on Gay Marriage, the Wee Frees have come out and stated that they will urge a No vote from their members in the Independence Referendum.
I don’t think Alex Salmond should be too bothered by either of these statements. If nothing else, he could get past the Wee Frees by holding the Referendum on a Sunday.
Vladimir McTavish is performing with Keir McAllister in “Vladimir McTavish & KeirMcAllioster Look At The State of Scotland” at The Stand Comedy Club during this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, from 3rd to 26th Ausy (except Mon 13th & Mon 20rd) at 7 pm. Further information on www.thestand.co.uk