Columns

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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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

Poppy Fascism? Give me Strength

    Over the last few weeks, I have noticed that some of my twitter-loving friends have been posting blogs and articles about something called “poppy fascism”. What on earth they mean by this frankly ridiculous term I’m not sure. It appears to refer to the ostentatious wearing of the poppy by politicians and public figures who are keen to link themselves to the memory of Britain’s war veterans. In some circles apparently, though not any that I am in, it is regarded as obligatory to wear a poppy and people who choose not to do so feel criticised in some way. Although as we mark the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second World War, we may just pause to remind ourselves that social death is not as bad as actual death.

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A Year of Blogging and my Most Read of 2015



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"The path of truth is a lonely road" Cairngorms: A cyclist emerging from a cloud inversion. Photo Rob Bruce 2015

 

2015 has been the year I really started blogging. It was a big step for someone who has worked as a professional journalist and freelance to start putting their work out there onto the web without it being commissioned and paid for. Why would you write something when you are not getting a fee? Once this kind of writing was known as 'vanity publishing'. David Torrance quoted the great and much-missed Ian Bell in his Herald column this week “There is no such thing as free in journalism. Free is just another word for hobby.” Maybe so. I believe in the value of newspapers and professional journalism.

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JK Rowling, the Tartan Tebbit Test, Scotland's Rugby World Cup Exit

Photo: Rob Bruce. Click 'read more' to see the whole article.

LIKE JK ROWLING, it seems, I am an “80 minute patriot”. This is what she was called on Twitter for being a No’ voter who supported the Scottish rugby team in the World Cup.

Personally, I feel that when it comes to full-throated, flag-waving ostentatious declarations of love for one’s country, 80 minutes is probably enough. Again, for me, I don’t know about JKR, I am quite happy to stick the Jimmy hat and saltire in a bag when I leave the ground.

Read more: JK Rowling, the Tartan Tebbit Test, Scotland's Rugby World Cup Exit