BY ROGER WATSON During the lockdowns, I encountered a group of people who were new to me. These were the ‘virus sceptics’; in fact, it would be more accurate to call them the ‘virus deniers’, a label they hate as it smacks of Holocaust denial. Remarkably, they do not believe that viruses exist. Scratch deep enough and they do not believe in any aspect of … Continue reading Virus Deniers
BY ROGER WATSON To the delight of Guardianistas, the viewing figures for Talk TV have plummeted and they seem to have done so by an order of magnitude from around 400,000 — when it was known as talkRADIO — to around 40,000. While I can confirm the figures for talkRADIO, I have not yet found similarly verified figures for Talk TV. However, regardless of the … Continue reading Solution to a Problem that Didn’t Exist
BY ROGER WATSON What is a working day like for the average police officer? It is easy to be critical of our police force. If you have recently been burgled, as we have — twice in rapid succession — you will understand the one thing they don’t seem to have time to do is solve crimes. If you are burgled, you won’t even see an … Continue reading Out of Commission
BY ROGER WATSON The vegan runner who lines up next to me at the start of the weekly Park Run doesn’t even wear running shoes; he runs in bare feet and those feet look like something that would grace one of Tolkien’s hobbits. This got me thinking: “What do vegans wear on their feet?” It transpires that they wear quite a lot on their feet … Continue reading What do Vegans Wear on their Feet?
BY ROGER WATSON There are many jokes about vegans, and you have probably heard them all. But, just in case, here’s one of the best: Question: How do you find out if someone you have just met is a vegan? Answer: Don’t worry mate, they’ll tell you within their first sentence. I may sound cynical, but I am convinced about the efficacy of veganism. It … Continue reading The Tiny Cult of Veganism
BY ROGER WATSON Although a good family butcher is hard to find these days, there is simply nothing to compare with visiting a butcher’s shop, preferably a very old fashioned one with a bell that goes ‘ping’ when you open the door, with a display of uncut meat and where your two pounds of stewing beef is boned and diced in front of you. The … Continue reading The Joys of a Family Butcher
BY ROGER WATSON I live on the Humber estuary and expect to see the occasional Herring Gull and at our previous house we had a few visitors. Mostly, the gulls circled on high or headed back and forth between the river and wherever else they were going, presumably to one of several landfill sites around the city to scavenge where councils are no longer permitted … Continue reading Cull the Gulls
BY ROGER WATSON I have decided to atone for my sin of daring to suggest that there may be a fox too many in our urban environment with which we, apparently, live in perfect harmony. If so, where are my ducks? Admittedly, I could have attended to a hole near the fence but, on the other hand, if there weren’t any urban foxes, I’d still … Continue reading Save the Rat
BY ROGER WATSON I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of deadly daffodils I took my spade and dug them up In case they make the kiddies ill. I well recall the mass daffodil poisoning of children in the last century. Poorly educated in the ways of the … Continue reading Deadly Daftodils
BY ROGER WATSON Over twenty years ago when I lived with my family in the halls of residence at The University of Edinburgh the best time of the year was the Christmas break when the students went home. Only a handful of families who served as wardens remained and we had twenty two frosty acres, under the shadow of Arthur’s Seat to ourselves. One evening … Continue reading Urban Fox Hunting: Worth Considering?
BY ROGER WATSON The Lake District, that jewel in the Cumbrian crown of England, is a case study in how mismanagement of what transpired to be essentially just another virus can lead to near economic catastrophe. After all, Covid-19 did the usual things that viruses do. Although not exclusively—it hastened the demise of people whose demise was imminent along with people in certain ‘at risk’ … Continue reading The Lake District: How to Turn an Emergency into a Catastrophe
BY ROGER WATSON I was born in rural Scotland where people from the next village, about three miles away, were considered foreigners. The Black gangstas of South London had nothing on our territoriality. In North East Scotland, anyone from a smaller town was referred to as a ‘teuchter’. Thus, people from Aberdeen referred to us as teuchters and we—who lived in Banchory—referred in turn to … Continue reading At Last, I Found the Courage to Come Out!
BY ROGER WATSON While we are not in the season for harvesting potatoes in this country, each time I open a pack of potatoes I cannot help being reminded of the October break we used to have from school in Scotland known as ‘The Tattie Holidays’ (the Scottish word for potato is ‘tattie’). They have almost faded from memory now as the generations of those—like … Continue reading The Acceptable Face of Child Slavery
BY ROGER WATSON Welsh poet and playwright Dylan Thomas began ‘at the beginning’ in his famous play Under Milkwood. But when it comes to the present situation in British universities, it is very hard to know either where to start or how it all started. However, we know where we are. In the final months of 2021, we have had the terrible resignation from the … Continue reading Looking Back on British Universities
BY NIALL MCCRAE AND ROGER WATSON Protests and protestors do not have a good reputation in the mind of the public, being characterised by self-righteous agitators pursuing marginal and possibly subversive causes, while causing disruption to others. This image suits the authorities, but it is not always sustainable. People attending massive demonstrations, like that against war in Iraq in 2002 and 2003, could not be … Continue reading Covid Rule Sceptics & the Countryside: Different Battles, Same War?