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It’s Burns Day; Does this look all right; ethics; Catch 22; Darvel JS;

Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This morning I had a meeting with the planning officer so I thought I would wear a jacket and tie rather than my usual casual wear.  I asked my wife “Does this look all right?” She laughed.  “It looks all right but it doesn’t look like you.”

Here’s a dilemma (or a conundrum, look it up). 

Individuals and businesses (dog trainers, kennels, behaviourists and so on) often offer to endorse Burns in return for sponsorship. One of the reasons given is that Burns is an ethical company.  Is that Catch 22?  Is it ethical to pay for endorsement without making clear that there is a sponsorship deal?

Rather than quoting Catch 22 you could show your friends how superior you are by using Morton’s Fork.  I remember this from a time when they used to teach history in school.  Morton was tax collector for Henry II.  A lavish lifestyle showed you had plenty of money so pay up; a frugal lifestyle meant you were hoarding your wealth so hand it over!

Apropos my piece about fee-paying schools a friend erroneously thought I had gone to an all-boys school. I did have a privileged education but it was at the local state schools Darvel Junior Secondary and Kilmarnock Academy.  I didn’t really like the Academy much but Darvel JS was child heaven – we just didn’t realise it at the time.

At the Poems and Pints in the Kings Arms last Friday night I was persuaded to perform so I sang Burns’ version of Robert the Bruce’s Address to the troops before the Battle of Bannockburn “Scots wha’ hae”.  I followed it up with “Bonnie Galloway”. I was brilliant.  It’s amazing what a few glasses of wine can do. During the evening friends saw me scribbling and thought I was making notes for my blog but I was writing out the words of the songs to make sure I knew them.

Last night I went down to the Hall to play football.  I’m terrible: so were Neil (our manager of marketing and much else besides) and Hamish but I’ve got the excuse that I’m 62.  At nine o’clock on a winter’s night I feel like settling down in my slippers with a cup of tea to watch old episodes of The Sweeney but when I come home I feel full of life.

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