When it comes to blind loyalty, Blackford can match Trump

Who can possibly explain the mystical appeal of Donald Trump and Ian Blackford?

DONALD Trump said before the US election that he could shoot someone in Fifth Avenue and still his backers would vote for him.

I’m beginning to think the same applies to Ian Blackford.

Just what is the mystical spell this blustering oaf has cast over the voters of Ross, Skye and Lochaber?

He insults their intelligence by claiming to be a “simple 10-acres crofter” when in fact he’s a rich Edinburgh banker – and still they vote for him.

He’s not only far removed from being a simple crofter – as an MP he gets a salary, rakes in £240,000 a year in expenses (the second highest claimant at Westminster) and tens of thousands from a company directorship – and still they vote for them.

He refuses to attend constituency hustings meetings like the one held in Dingwall before the last election – and still they vote for him.

And now, by endorsing the offensive language doctored on to a sign at the border, he tells English people the tourist industry will soon be totally dependent on with thousands of jobs at stake to f*** off – and I’ve no doubt they’d still vote for him.

Blackford is a match for Trump when it comes to evoking sheer, purblind loyalty.

I’ve said before that SNP supporters would vote for a monkey on a bar stool if it was wearing a yellow rosette.

In Blackford’s case, make that a monkey on a bar stool coated from nose to toes with Teflon.

‘Visit Later’ invitation may just be too late

THE Visit Inverness Loch Ness tourist organisation has come up with a new slogan it hopes will appeal to visitors.

Its chief executive Michael Golding said: “We have received positive praise from a number of our members who feel that #DreamNowVisitLater represents an appropriate message to provide to our future visitors.”

That sounds quite snappy and original. The problem is, how much Later will Later be?

Because one thing the tourism industry does not have on its side is time.

Michael Golding…new slogan.

One major hotel in Strathpeffer has already gone bust. Two more in Inverness this week started making staff redundant, despite the support of the furlough scheme.

Emmanuel Moine, chairman of the Inverness Hotels Association, said other establishments were facing similar difficulties. A few months ago Mr Moine was bemoaning the prospect that Brexit could reduce the supply of workers from the EU. And, no doubt, the endless supply of cheap labour they provided. He doesn’t have anything on that front to worry about now.

What the tourism industry – and everyone else – has to pray for is that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t drag her heels in easing the lockdown as quickly as possible so that Inverness and the Highlands might get at least a small but vital influx of visitors in the months ahead.

And we also have to hope that those who have so enthusiastically made it their business to belligerently propagate the “You are not welcome here” message during the past two months realise the tone will have to change. Some seem to have quite enjoyed giving two fingers to the world – and folk south of the border in particular.

I’ve no doubt those who have most ardently spread that message would continue to ban all incomers – lockdown or no lockdown – until we had the impossibly elusive guarantee of “total safety”. Six months, a year, two years, it would make no difference to them.

But it will make all the difference in the world to those who depend on visitors for their livelihoods.

Toxic little mini-rag refuses to expire

FROM begging to bragging, the narrow world of Callum Baird has turned full circle.

The editor of toxic little mini-rag, the National, was pleading for support a few weeks ago as the coronavirus threatened its survival. Now he’s boasting that it has 10,000 subscriptions – across the whole of Scotland.

What’s to brag about? When I was editor of the Highland News we sold 12,000 papers – across the whole of Inverness. No problem.

And we did it without hating anything or anybody.

Nat 3
Baird…from begging to bragging.

The tone of the National is pretty much unchanged throughout, from the letters page onwards. Despise the Tories and all in Scotland who vote for them, loathe Unionists who don’t want to see the UK ripped apart, and sneer at and denigrate England – and the English – at any and every opportunity.

It looks as if it will now survive and go on peddling its horrible agenda.

That’s a pity. I’d keenly hoped it would expire as a result of the coronavirus, and be buried encased in concrete, the resting place something of its toxicity would deserve.

Three’s a crowd in sex dolls stadium

A SOUTH Korean football team tried to improve the feel of their ground for a match as players faced appearing in front of empty stands.

Their ingenious solution? Populate the seats with what were termed “premium mannequins”.

However, some people took issue with this upmarket description and said they were in fact sex dolls, plain – or not so plain – and simple.

column 4
Premium mannequins offer show of support.

FC Seoul has now apologised for trying to generate some illusory atmosphere in this way.

Scottish football can look forward to only a bleak and barren scenario at empty grounds when the game here resumes.

However, lesson duly learned. And there should be no “premium mannequins” installed to try and charge up the atmosphere in the main stand at Caley Thistle.

Load of bollards curb at car park is scrapped

A COUPLE of weeks ago I said that far from there being a sensible easing of lockdown restrictions, they might be getting even stricter. That was because a little car park up at Craig Dunain where people go to walk in the woods had been blocked off by a row of bollards. This was utterly senseless. There could be no conceivable virus-spreading risk from strolling through woodland. And it didn’t stop anyone doing it. They just left their vehicles a few yards away.

Craig Dunain car park is open again.

Now I’m glad to say these bollards have been removed, which presumably means it’s acceptable now to drive for a mile or two to go for a relaxing walk, as it should have been from day one.

This is only a small detail but it’s welcome nevertheless. Any sign that we’re seeing a phasing out of the more excessive restrictions of the lockdown can be marked down as progress.

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