We have entered what we in the newspaper business call the Silly Season.
It’s the time when hard news stories seem to melt away like snaw off a dyke. Or like a mate from years ago when it was his turn to buy a round. He disappeared like snaw off a four-bar electric fire on full power. He had it down to a T. He’d sup away with the rest us, enjoying convivial banter and the occasional argument, at all times, however, carefully monitoring who was on the bell.
Now this was a few years ago and we were a large crowd. So large that on our once-a-week get-togethers you didn’t have to buy a round. It had been your shout last week. We trusted each other and hadn’t noted the flincher in our midst until a sharp-eyed barmaid brought it to our attention.
That’s when we noticed the snaw-off-an-electric fire effect. In those days you didn’t have the excuse of having to nip out for fag and then slipping away. Or the fictitious call on the mobile requesting your presence elsewhere.
No, you had to be more clever. And he was. I’m not going into detail in case someone tries to use the same dodges. But safe to say we gave him a bit of rope – and than hauled him in big style. We reckon he had to remortgage. And then he stopped joining our company. It was his loss.
Now, where is all this going, you are probably wondering. So am I. I said we were entering the Silly Season and I have now managed to write 320 words out of my allotted 560 without really saying anything. But I’m sure the Monday Club from that time will recall events only too well.
The Silly Season hasn’t really quite hit us yet. It can’t have because in this issue (page 7) we learn that our local MPs don’t intend to accept a 10 per pay rise on their basic pay [£66,396] that could be coming their way. But then Messrs Moore and Mundell aren’t really on a basic Borders wage – £134,565 and £89,435 respectively. But well done chaps for telling us you won’t take the cash if it is finally offered. Many workers haven’t had the opportunity for a couple of years of turning down a pay rise.
On page 1 there’s the ludicrous suggestion that a convicted murderer should be allowed to father a child in his prison cell.
On page 3 there are bundles of money – all gained through the sordid abuse of desperate women and the seedy world of prostitution.
I know the guy involved because he came from Selkirk and operated a High Street chip shop where his pan of curry sauce – it was never off the simmer – beat anything produced in the best Indian restaurants. He was a talented piper and good company – and then he disappeared.
The revelations that have come to light have surprised – and shocked – many who knew him. He comes from a fine family, and I feel for them.
The need and greed for cash can blind people to what is right and what is so badly wrong. It can turn them more than silly.