Newton’s law of Y-fronts

When I’m not wondering why I have a waffle iron, and am still unclear on what a waffle iron is, never mind wondering why there’s one in the cupboard, I’ve been on the phone to utilities companies, insurance agents, and the rest of the practicalities required for a flitting. But the big day is looming, the removal van will appear at the door one week from today, and there’s still so much to do. Oh God. Panic panic. This is why you’re not getting so many blog posts of late, looking after a dementia sufferer was almost relaxing by comparison.

I’m drowning under a sea of packing cases, books, and a vast quantity of detritus that people sell on eBay as ‘collectables’, like a cracked old candle in the shape of Bugs Bunny dressed as Carmen Miranda that was given as a birthday present over 30 years ago and which will never be lit, it was much more recently joined by a stuffed toy Wee Ginger Dug made by a reader of this blog. However neither Bugs nor the wee dug will ever be sold on eBay. And probably neither will most of the rest of the crap that’s currently littering the living room carpet. It’s going to follow me around for the rest of my life like a stray dog that looks at you with big brown eyes and makes you feel guilty. He’s still following me around too, and is at this very moment giving one of his special accusatory stares, the kind he reserves for when he wants you to know that he’s not been out for a few hours …

Right, the dug has been walked now …

So, election debates, pure dead exciting innit. We can all shout at the telly that we don’t agree with Nick, and rather feel like taking Nick by the scruff of the neck and setting his pants on fire. In fact many of us want to do that with all of them. It would certainly make debates more interesting, and quicker, as party leaders rushed to explain their policies on taxation before the flames removed the last of their pubic hair. Although I don’t think anyone as shiny as Davie Cameron has any.

For the correct degree of gravitas with the gravy train arses, the programme should be presented by Dale Winton, who can ask the contestants, sorry – political leaders – for their opinions on the latest war in Iraq and whether they believe that Ermintrude from the Magic Roundabout was a right cow after she left Zebedee in the lurch at the altar and ran off with Dylan to get stoned in a hippy commune near Brighton. Dale can emote in a dayglo orange while a clock ticks and the contestants will be tipped backwards into a big pool of goo if they get the answer wrong. The eventual winner gets to take home the key to Number 10, a new motor, unlimited foreign trips staying in the best hotels, and will become besties with the presenter of Top Gear – except Ed Miliband, who’ll get a dinner date with that guy with the teeth who used to be on Big Brother, or was it the X-Factor. Then Ed can learn from a master of being famous for being famous while having no appreciable talent at all. Ben Fogle wasn’t available.

All this would at least make the programme interesting for Scottish viewers, because our full range of democratic choices won’t be only display. The SNP and the Greens are not going to be invited to the debate, because they’re not important. Scotland isn’t important either, a proposition with which 55% of the country agreed last month, at least according to the broadcasters, so they don’t have to take us into account when deciding who’s going to goo with Dale. SNP voters can see a wee cute kitten stuck in a drain in Falkirk on Reporting Scotland instead, or if you’re a Green voter there may be a beardy folk singer on BBC Alba explaining renewable energy policy through the medium of jigs and reels.

Only the leaders of parties which could actually form the government of the UK are going to be invited to participate in the main debate. So that’s us telt then. The SNP are a mere provincial regional county parish party, and don’t even put up candidates in important places – which is anywhere within a 20 mile radius of the M25 in case you were wondering. That’s why Dale won’t deign to goo them. So naturally Davie Cameron and Ed Miliband get to come along, and Nick’s got to come too because he’s their governmental vaseline.

And Nigel needs to come along as well, because he’s got an MP now and it is entirely possible that large numbers of people in important places will consider voting for him and he could be swept into power, like it’s entirely possible that the atoms making up Nigel’s body could spontaneously rearrange themselves into a candle in the shape of Bugs Bunny dressed as Carmen Miranda. I’d set light to that one, so Nigel could drip all over Dale’s shag pile and melt away to nothing.

Fair enough, although the spontaneous rearrangement of Nigel Farage’s atoms is possible, it is vanishingly improbable, but there is a law of physics that says that exact thing can happen, Newton’s fifth law of incendiary Y-fronts. You can’t say that for the SNP. This is all detailed in the BBC’s top secret election debate manual, just after the chapter where it explains that the BBC is Nigel’s publicity agent and is contractually obliged to have him on the telly every day. He’s on Bargain Hunt all this week, looking for 1950’s social attitudes at a car boot sale in Colchester. Tim thinks it’s a bit orff.

None of this means that the spontaneous rearrangement of constituent parts is always improbable, since it’s already happened. I seem to recall that just a few short weeks ago, before a certain vote, Scotland was being told it was a much valued partner in the bestest union of nations in the universe ever, but now the UK has rearranged its constituent parts and we’re back in an over-centralised unitary state again. We must be, because it’s only in a centralised unitary state that major political parties representing one part of what some of us thought was supposed to be a union can be legitimately excluded from a UK election debate. Or perhaps I just misunderstood Gordie, like he apparently misunderstood Davie, Nick and Ed when they vowed to him it was a done deal about all that devosuperpowermax federalism stuff. Although it’s considerably more probable than the spontaneous rearrangement of constituent parts that Gordie just made it all up to suit himself, just like the BBC’s debate rules.

36 comments on “Newton’s law of Y-fronts

  1. […] Newton’s law of Y-fronts […]

  2. Fat boab says:

    Oh, jeezus!. I have just looked up a dictionary and would like to sign up to become an “Acolyte of the Wee Ginger Dug’! Paul, what a breathtaking piece of hilarity was that! (sorry about the exclamation marks.) How is it possible that anybody can just keep it coming as you do. Once again, with tears in my eyes, I doff my cap and say thank you for keeping me sane.

  3. macart763 says:

    ‘Leaders of the UK’… muahahahahahaha.😀

    Y’said leaders, tee hee.🙂 Its a bit like saying penis and has exactly the same effect in this instance since they’re all total ‘Wullie’ Rennies. Its a matter of picking who is the most self centred, self seeking and egotistical with added KY for extra slick presentation.

    The debates may as well be a ‘z’ list celeb game show for all the representation of the UKs political rainbow that will be achieved. No SNP, no Greens, no Plaid, no independents, just the three amigos plus Carmen. Now granted the likelihood of any other party forming a party of UK government is slim, but what they are well capable of doing is representing those union partners, regional and community concerns which is their remit. The points they would raise and how the three amigos (plus Carmen) would respond to their points would better inform the public as to the viability or otherwise of the ‘contestants’ in the main running. But hey this is the U of K politics as 55% voted for it, unrepresentative, undemocratic and served up in a super market sweep celeb mag package.

    But I’m sure they were aware that large sections of the electorate would go publicly unrepresented in UK politics when they put their cross in that NO box. They were weren’t they?

  4. aitchbee says:

    And so the UK media lifts its skirts for the bit of rough that is Nigel Farage once again. I have no idea what the attraction is. And I think I’ll stop this comment right here, as the imagery is making me feel quite queasy😉

  5. sam mccomb says:


    I would like to be able to discuss something with you. Would you, please, use my e mail address to make contact? What I would like to discuss is a submission to the Smith Review and I think I might benefit from some input from you if you are willing to provide it, busy as you are.
    Best wishes,

  6. When packing I suggest wrapping stuff tightly in paper and stuffing them into cardboard boxes before sealing it shut and sticking them away out of sight. I’d suggest the same method applies to any ‘leaders’ of the three main parties.

    • Andrea says:

      On the other hand – if the devolution debate is anything to go by that is EXACTLY what WM is doing to Scotland. Packing us up, (well gagged) – out of sight, out of mind for a generation…😦

  7. Matt Seattle says:

    If SNP and Greens are not represented then the debate should not be broadcast or available on iPlayer etc. in Scotland for simple democratic logic. As this is impossible, then they should be included, as should the Welsh and NI parties. Are we not even pretending it’s a democracy any more?

  8. Jan Cowan says:

    Paul, I can’t wait for our own Scottish morning radio programme with your good self writing and reading “Thought for the Day”. You would set the whole of Scotland off with a spring in the step regardless of the weather.

  9. Steve Asaneilean says:

    For 307 years Westminster has treated Scotland with patronising disdain and contempt. As far as they are concerned Sept 18th gave them a mandate to carry on in much the same vein for another 307 years.
    Scotland remains what it has been since 1707 – a ready source of leisure pursuits for the rich in the vast tracts of land they own from which most Scots are excluded; a simple source of natural resources to be exploited by these same rich people without any real concern as to how or even if ordinary Scots should benefit from this natural good fortune; and an easy source of cannon fodder to fight endess conflicts with profoundly imperialistic overtones.
    May no mistake – we live in fragile times. The freedom of speech we enoy on sites like this is almost illusory. If Westminster feels in any way that their hegemony is in any real danger to will vilify us and try to shut us down and who will be there to resist or to protect us?
    This is why sites like WGD are so important. We must support and defend them with all our might if we really want to achieve a better society for all.

  10. arthur thomson says:

    Thanks for taking the time out to write. I am trying to work out whether in these circumstances the SNP should decline to take part in any of the debates. There is a key principle of trust at stake here and it must be made clear to anyone who wishes to know that democracy is being deliberately undermined. A statement to that effect could be boldly printed and put through all doors in the run up to the election. The single advantage that I see in the SNP being in one of the debates is the fact that we would be represented by a woman. On balance I think that a picture of Nicola Sturgeon on the printed statement would be of equal advantage. We must not fall into the trap of embracing political expediency – that is exactly the trap that has neutered the Labour Party.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Arthur, here is the problem, whether we like them or not these damned things are listened too and in the case of Nick Clegg was instrumental in getting people to vote for him. The lack of both the SNP and Plaid Cymru gives the lie to some people in Scotland that they are unimportant. Considering the membership of the SNP which is as great if not greater than the Lib Dems, the fact that they represent only part of the country should be irrelevant. We could argue that the Tories have no place here.

    • Someone, I think on Wings, suggested a Women Leaders Debate with SNP, Plaid and rUK Greens – all women. There didn’t seem any comment, but the idea has merit. It would have the potential to attract a female audience, and could well be a much more civilised, informative discussion than the headline debates. Throw in short clips on the leaders concerned, what they want to achieve, visions for the future of Scotland/Wales/England, enlist a good woman (?) interviewer, and you could have a really good programme.

      If BBC/ITV don’t go for this, then perhaps one of our own indy companies could set it up. Once recorded it can be uploaded to YouTube and punted around by all their party supporters, so getting wide coverage. Could be useful in helping attract and cement support in the run-up to next May.

  11. There is a factor which is being overlooked in this discussion. The parties which are being offered coverage are all right wing, and have all embraced the neo-liberal ideas of austerity for all but the rich, intensive surveillance of the population in the name of ‘preventing terrorism’, and transferring power from elected governments to corporations through secretive deals such as TTIP.

    The SNP, Plaid and the Greens offer a real alternative, and that is why they cannot be allowed the opportunity to put their views before a large audience.

    I think a case can be made for the SNP putting up candidates in some constituencies in the North of England, on a platform of challenging the domination of London and SE England.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Les, it is a suggestion that should be made to the SNP, I know it costs a lot to field a candidate but that would scupper the idea that they only play in Scotland. It just might be worth it.

  12. hektorsmum says:

    Funny Paul, we have a waffle iron , and now it is as much use as a chocolate tea pot having changed the hob from gas to induction. Funny how you forget what moving is like and that the number of boxes seems to grow year on year. We moved two years ago and this year we finally emptied or found a home for boxes which really we should simply fling out. Last time we gave away loads of furniture knowing there was not the room, but then had to replace them with things we needed like wardrobes. I remember also the move three houses back with the two auld dugs, per Angus had a stroke just before we moved and the auld soul could not work out how to get around.
    I loved the post and between you and Macart you are a real pair of comics, you lighten the day.

    • macart763 says:


      Its well known I have no sense of humour. Sarcasm with a cinnamon hint of cynical, but no humour.

      When you have a kisser like a potato in need of a shave you can’t afford one.😉

      • hektorsmum says:

        Never haven seen the kisser Mac I am no judge, and I deliberately put the dogs photie on for me, he is better looking, if you want to check just let the cursor run over my avatar. Well any way you and Paul made me laugh what ever you say.

  13. arthur thomson says:

    Am I the only one who is hugely frustrated that there is no Scottish newspaper to react to this situation and all the other crap that is put our way? The internet is great and I have contributed to what people are trying to do there but it means we are always outside the mainstream. How daft is it to be relying on our opponents to publicise our views. If you are up for exploring how we might create a newspaper please email me at seaforth1 at If I am out of order writing this here then I apologise in advance.

  14. Rosa Alba Macdonald says:

    SO – and I need to start blogging again – so we need to regroup. How to get Yes Alliance candidates out there and in the public eye. Not the public eyes of the e-Yes voter but the public eyes of my friend the Duckerator, Saffron the Headteacher and Grannie Labour.
    It really is not about disgust at today’s debate (who would have expected less) or the WM election coverage but about making sure the debacle of 18-09 is not repeated. That information is out there in means accessible to those who do not do what we do.

  15. KRosee says:

    Let me know if you need a waffle recipe – everything else, I’m not sure I can help with😉

  16. cynical lowlander says:

    Paul, you have my sympathy. I’ve still got boxes in the Garage that I haven’t opened from my last flitting, I’m sure there’s some useful things in there ( like a waffle iron perhaps?) but I don’t seem to have needed them in the 8 years since I moved, maybe I’ll open them some day and check.

    It’s books I find hardest to get rid of, even today as I was clearing out enough of my garage to allow me some workspace, I was reluctant to send books to the charity shop. Still have my copy of” The Limits to Growth” and Rachael Carsons “Silent Spring”. Numerous books on Education as I completed a M.Ed, even a copy of some of my numerous essays and assignments – and software books and manuals long super-ceded by today’s software (do they still do software manuals – or is it all on-line confusion now?)

    Hope the flitting goes well, I’m sure it will

    gerry parker

  17. WRH2 says:

    I shouldn’t have read your blog so late at night. I’m going to have nightmares now with image of all that lot in HoC with their pants on fire!
    Hope the flitting goes well. I’m a bit odd probably in that I enjoy moving but it is hard work and it’s amazing what is found at back of cupboards or lofts. Bit like always finding stray frozen peas in the freezer you always find something really bizarre in a cupboard.

  18. […] When I’m not wondering why I have a waffle iron, and am still unclear on what a waffle iron is, never mind wondering why there’s one in the cupboard, I’ve been on the phone to utilities companies, insurance agents, and the rest of the practicalities required for a flitting. But the big day is looming, the removal van will appear at the door one week from today, and there’s still so much to do. Oh God. Panic panic. This is why you’re not getting so many blog posts of late, looking after a dementia sufferer was almost relaxing by comparison.  […]

  19. Cuilean says:

    If you have not used something in over one year then think about passing it along to someone who might need it more than you. Only keep things which make your heart light up with happiness every time you look at them e.g. you wee ginger dug. The contents of our kitchen units really don’t amount to a hill of beans; nor should they. I love your blogs. They light up my heart with happiness, every time I read them, and they don’t take up any space at all. X.

    • Iain Hill says:

      Sums it up nicely! Keep going, it’s like listening to a friend.

      • Steve Asaneilean says:

        All the evidence shows that what you remember in life and carry with you forever are not the material things but rather the experiential things.
        So ditch that waffle iron and if you really wabt a flavour of Belgium have a weekend in stunning Brugge or glorious Antwerp

  20. Andrea says:

    Isn’t a ‘waffle iron’ something David Cameron would use to polish up his oratory skills before addressing those unruly North Brits?

  21. annelawrie says:

    Surely we could crowdfund for one or two candidates for SNP in Englandshire. As the poor dears down there only have a choice of ‘right’. ‘further right’ or ‘much, much further right’ it would give them a chance to exercise a protest vote without having to resort to UKIP. This would also give the SNP the right to take part in political debates on the State Broadcaster. Ruislip would be good – against Boris. There’s a reasonable branch of the SNP in London.
    Good luck with the move. A wee notebook with the contents of each (numbered) box is always useful, or you’ll never remember where the tin opener, kettle or waffle iron is when you arrive at your destination.

  22. […] appearance in the leadership debates to the exclusion of SNP makes Scots angry and rightly so: Scots see this as the usual betrayal: […]

  23. charlesagibb says:

    Sorry Paul, Pit ma fit through the telly 2yrs ago.

  24. Laura says:

    Haha, so Ginger does the Accusatory Stare too, does he? Glad I’m not the only one to have been withered by a look front my dug. Pip’s Accusatory Stare(tm) is one which, if he could talk, would go like this:

    Oh, you’ve got food there have you? Going to eat it, are you? It looks nice. It ever dream of asking because I have MANNERS but I want you to know that people with manners SHARE THEIR FOOD. Especially with others in the house. Look, I’m sitting; aren’t I clever? I think this act of obedience should be rewarded. I know where the dog treats are, so do you. I’ll just leave that thought with you.

    Followed by said dog giving me side-eye once more before lying down in a huff.

    Although PAUL!!!!! Seriously. The mental image of DC’s pubic hair is one from which I maynever escape. We need to have words, pal……

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