Columns

Stupid and hardworking is the most dangerous kind of leader.

A week has passed since the inauguration - a busy one indeed for President Trump, who has attempted to reverse the previous administration’s policy on health care, the environment, trade, immigration, national security and housing. It set me trying to remember the old Army saying about the different types of army officers

There are four characteristics, clever, stupid, hard-working,lazy. Every officer has two. “The clever and lazy you make Chief of Staff, because he will not try to do everybody else’s work, and will always have time to think. The clever and industrious you make his deputy. The stupid and lazy you put into a line battalion, and kick him into doing a job of work. The stupid and industrious you must get rid of at once, because he is a national danger.” From Hansard in 1942, reporting a debate in the House of Lords. According to a site called “Quote Investigator”, It’s based on an article quoting a German general in a British magazine, the Army, Navy & Air Force Gazette from 1933.

Read more: Stupid and hardworking is the most dangerous kind of leader.

From the battle for the White House to the pitch invasion at Hampden, ten most-read blogs of 2016.



Photo: Rob Bruce

I read somewhere that the character of a century is revealed half way through the second decade: - 1914 outbreak of WW1 and we know the rest, Versailles leading inexorably to the rise of Hitler; 1815 the Congress of Vienna brings a negotiated end to the Napoleonic wars and a decision to end the slave trade; 1713 Treaty of Utrecht establishes the Peace of Utrecht; 1618, beginning of the 30 Years War; 1517, Martin Luther nails his 95 theses to the door of a German church and the Reformation rolls out.

Read more: From the battle for the White House to the pitch invasion at Hampden, ten most-read blogs of 2016.

In the USA During the Olympics - Missing the BBC

Note: There is an add at the end about how I am now able to watch the BBC abroad.

So you had to change channel during one of Andy Murray’s matches? Sorry to hear about that. That’s really vegan cheese.

Brits complaining about the BBC coverage of the Olympics should try watching them on NBC. It’s easy in the UK to get involved in the unfolding cavalcade of colour, excitement and drama that unfolds across several channels.

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The Boomers versus Generation X

Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the presidential election race in the USA, the next President will be pushing 70 - and a member of the post-war generation known as the “boomers”. It’s a generation that at least here in the US is still very much to the fore. People don’t seem to say here, as I have heard in the UK, that it’s about time they started to make way for the babies of the 60s and 70s, known as Generation X, famous for cynicism, Britpop and apathy.

Perhaps looking at the godawful mess that British politics is has been left in by its Generation X leaders is not much of an advert. For some, that slacker style, like a bad tattoo has stuck with age. Both David Cameron and Boris Johnson frequently gave the impression of having done their homework in the back of the ministerial limo and spent more time on the sardonic quip or a Smiths’ reference than on policy detail.

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Leithers Scunnered By Hand-Wringing Over Pitch Invasion

A Wee Piece of Hampden Here in Leith

To paraphrase the famously dull but accurate Times headline, “Small Earthquake in Chile; Not Many Dead”, the reports of the Scottish Cup Final last weekend could have read: “Small Riot at Hampden, Not Many Hurt.”

In fact they didn’t. The Sunday morning newsstands were devoted to 20 point outrage, with the Sunday Mail alone in having a positive headline “Glory, Glory”: although Monday’s Evening News aced it with “They Claimed It.” The TV and radio took the same approach with sports coverage jettisoned in favour of bad news reporting.

Read more: Leithers Scunnered By Hand-Wringing Over Pitch Invasion