An old coat


There’s always the next election. But how do you sort it all out?

By Duncan Harley

One of the disadvantages of living in town is that there are lots of chancers taking the piss at the front door. When I lived in rural Aberdeenshire, no one knocked me up to sell their wares. Now that I have moved into Inverurie it seems I am fair game.

Last week I had some traveller guy dressed in a yellow Day-Glo jacket trying to interest me in a very cheap black tarmac driveway.

          No obligation, we give a no quibble guarantee.

          Yeah right. When I lived in the countryside a neighbour or two got one of these. Fell apart in the first frost as I recall. Bought from the council quarry at Pitcaple as “end of day” waste. Fit only for the council dump as I recall.

          Nah, we aint no Gypo’s. Must have been someone else. We only provide high end tarmac and that’s a fact.

          Gypo’s? What can you mean?

          Just a derogatory term sir for those “who bring travelling folk into disrepute” you understand. No disrespect intended.

          Just as well.

Then there are the Bric a Brac folk.

          I’m just going round the doors regarding Bric a Brac.

          Oh right, are you buying or selling?


          I don’t buy or sell Bric a Brac.

          Oh dear.

          Oh right. Please don’t come back. Thank you for calling.

You get used to it eventually I suppose. I mean, the recession has forced many previously upright and respectable folk to seek new revenue streams. Like all of us, they need to put food on the table after all.
Last Wednesday however, a very middle aged lady wearing a very old fashioned Crombie coat rang the door bell.

          Hello! I am the new prospective Liberal Democrat for Gordon. Malcolm is stepping down before the next election and I am calling round to introduce myself. Do you vote?

          Oh yes.

          Can I ask if you have voted for Malcolm?

          I used to vote Liberal Democrat but won’t be doing so again ever.

          Why is that?

I hesitated to berate the poor woman about the betrayal of democracy and downright lies which the Liberal Democrats had espoused during the past few years. The association with the Conservatives was bad enough, but then there was that war in Kabul plus those tenants being forced out of their homes by an unfair and uncaring Thatcher like bedroom tax. Scottish boys were dying yet again in some far off foreign land while an unwanted Libcon government alliance were evicting their mums from family homes because of some nasty Tory law against the poor and disadvantaged.
The killing of folk in Afghanistan plus the often mistaken killing of those poor peasants in the lands between Pakistan and the Khyber Pass flashed past my mind. Drones and all that. Guys in caravans in Nevada playing video games. The new face of democracy perhaps. A remote war played by remote politicians who only go there to rally the troops.

Just then, a smartly dressed man in a dark blue coat walked down the far side of the road. These folk have really got the basis covered I thought. If ever there was a Malcolm Bruce MP look a like, then this was one. The gait, the height and the slightly confident but reserved facial expression gave it all away. This was no fake!

          He’s behind you.

          What do you mean.

          Its Malcolm, he’s behind you! Watch out.

          Yes I know he’s behind me.

          Well, watch out.

As the middle aged lady wearing the worn Crombie coat turned to look, I took the opportunity to close my front door. After all, why listen to old lies in your own home.

Today I learned that the Liberal Democrats are involved in a scandal.
Seemingly the party has been accepting money from an arms dealer. The funding totals some £500,000 and Nick Clegg hosted a party for the benefactor, a Mr Choudrie of Alpha Group a year or so ago. How completely and utterly embarrassing for the Liberal Democrat party.

As far as I know there is no legal reason as to why the Liberal Democrats might want to refuse money made via the killing of human beings. However voters may like to consider the morality of it all.

How sweet and honourable it is to die for one’s country
Death pursues the man who flees, spares not the hamstrings or cowardly backs
Of battle-shy youths
– Owen


About Duncan Harley

Author, photographer and feature writer.
This entry was posted in Politics and Comment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An old coat

  1. lenathehyena says:

    Lovely picture – can I tweet it?

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