I SOMETIMES think you lot don’t quite appreciate the lengths I go to on your behalf. The miles I put in, digging up the dirt, the personal sacrifices I make to ensure you get the guff straight from the horse’s mouth.
In next Friday’s column, the guff will be more appropriately described as being “straight from the horse’s ar*e” because I’ll be reporting directly from the heart of the USA Presidential campaign.
No, please don’t thank me. Duty calls and all that.
I think I’m paraphrasing the views of most reasonably literate and educated western Europeans when I ask, ‘out of 325 million Americans, how can a country end up having to choose between two numpties like Clinton and Trump?’
How indeed? Although you could reasonably apply that bewildered logic when considering people at the top of British politics like Ed Miliband, Neil Kinnock, Michael Foot and as we are so hysterically witnessing right now, Jeremy Corbyn.
The difference of course is that none of those were considered fit and proper occupants of 10 Downing Street by the British electorate.
For the wealthiest and most powerful nation on this ever shrinking planet, the Oval Office will inevitably and absolutely be in the gift of either (according to her critics) a devious and manipulative career criminal – Hillary – or an out and out, misogynistic madman in The Donald.
I was going to say ‘Lord help them’. Lord help us all, more like, especially if Trump prevails and proves to be as frog-eyed crazy as he increasingly sounds with every public appearance.
How can the Yanks have let it get to this? How will it pan out? Watch this space…
PS: This is not quite politics, but it does speak towards the national psyche of our cousins across the water. If you wanted an insight into how Trump could win you only needed to watch last weekend’s Ryder Cup golf.
One thing I won’t be mentioning is that I own the driver used by US Masters champion Danny Willett when he won the Nedbank Million Dollar Challenge in Sun City (he won $1.25m actually – I bought the club in a charity auction and had to wait until he’d done with it).
If you ever watch the US PGA golf tour on a quiet, run-of-the-mill weekend, you will know their public galleries are blighted by what we, in understated Yorkshire terms, might call gobshites.
“Geddin the hoooole,” they scream every time the ball leaves the clubface – despite the fact said hole might be 580 yards away and would need jet propulsion to reach the green. I actually don’t even think it’s beer talking. It’s just the Yanks.
But what Danny’s brother Peter was thinking, just a few days ahead of last week’s Ryder Cup, when he slagged off the entire American nation in insulting terms that would make even me blush, I cannot imagine.
Brother Pete didn’t think that a magazine called National Club Golfer could possibly be read across the pond? Hasn’t he heard of the internet?
Not that Team USA needed any extra motivation – they were far better than the Europeans anyway – but boy, did he ruin his brother’s Ryder Cup debut.
Even more disappointingly, because predictably the already outrageous American galleries turned even nastier, Danny couldn’t resist saying in the aftermath that his brother was right.
Danny … you have to go defend The Masters before too long, son. Don’t make a complete Donald of yourself. In golf of all sports, have dignity in defeat.
As for brother Pete, I do hope his golf club cancelled his membership, although being a teacher he probably disapproves of such elitist social activities. God help the kids the fool teaches.
CURIOSITY got the better of me on Tuesday morning, so I picked up the office camera and popped round the corner to Batley’s Sally Army HQ to meet Labour’s latest Parliamentary poster girl Tracy Brabin.
In typical ‘celebrity’ style she was fashionably late, but at least that gave me chance to chat with volunteers like kitchen boss Jill Gardiner. If you fancy a friendly place to stop in for a coffee and a natter – or the best £4 lunch around – go visit.
First impressions? Bright and breezy, is the lass, for sure. And unlike most of the head-bangers and attention seekers on the by-election ballot paper, she can find Batley Town Hall without the need of a sat nav (or the irrational urge to deport half the people they see on the way there).
She works the room like a pro, which, I suppose, you’d expect. Because she is.
There’s not quite an “ee bah gum” when she lays on thick the “I’m a proper Batley lass” stuff, but it could risk spilling over. Don’t think I’ve ever seen our Trace down Legends on a Thursday night, or otherwise falling off her high heels and flashing her wotsits on the Golden Mile.
And I had to chuckle when she introduced me to Malcolm ‘Mr Batley’ Haigh. Apparently Malcolm’s a local treasure, according to Ms B. Hmmm, how could I have missed that in the 38 years since ex-Evening Post staffer Malc took this ‘cub reporter’ to his first police station press briefing?
So, perhaps a teensy-weensy bit more homework Tracy … oh, and an ear for people’s first names. I’m not quite sure I’m your “darling” yet, although I know it’s meant affectionately – and that is a sweet smile you’ve got, admittedly.
In the event that MP Tracy actually spends some time in the constituency, you never know – maybe I could show her Leg-ends on a Thursday night…
SO, TWO community jewels, Crow Nest Park and Red House museums, are to be sacrificed on the bonfire of Kirklees Labour’s gesture politics.
It wasn’t Comrade David Sheard or the mealy-mouthed Graham Turner who shut these valuable public amenities – oh no. Nasty Tory cuts are responsible.
That cruel Theresa May might as well lock the door herself.
Shinola. Kirklees Council has politically-correct, self-serving departments and projects by the score that are ring-fenced mostly by an officer class that blinds economic incompetents like Sheard with its BS.
Kirklees voters rejected the chance for an elected mayor in 2001, mostly because the rump of blowhards loving the Huddersfield comforts were terrified of the prospect and have been ever since. Go on Sheardy, put it to the public vote again. I dare you.