The Grand Tour: Fife and Beyond

Ramblings of an inveterate cyclist

No frost, no ice, no rain, no wind, so I neglected my housework chores and took to the road on my bike. It was pleasant in the early morning sun, but so low in the skies, so lugs were on high alert for traffic coming up behind you and out of side roads,

“Ops, sorry mate, I didn’t see you” does not help you to feel better of mend broken bones.

I was late in leaving this morning for I watched the film “The Taming of the Shrew” made in 1967. I would have seen it when it was first realest, I went a lot to the cinema then, but clearly I had forgotten just how good this film is, I have not belly laughed, this much, since I can not remember when. I was in pain.

The film stared Elizabeth Taylor, as Kate, (Taylor also produced it in conjunction with Richard McWhorter) playing opposite Taylor, Richard Burton, as Petruchio. Directed, brilliantly by Franco Zeffirelli, it was a joy to watch.

Apart from Burton and Taylor’s impeccable performances it was all the little things going on in the background, the faces of the cast, or the two little boys carrying the brides train, fall out and start fighting, the background was so busy, your eyes were everywhere, but still you never mist a beat of the main action, this was outstanding directorship.

The wedding day. All is ready, but it is not the bride (traditionally) late but the groom. When he finally arrived he is in such a garish costume, and drunk as a lord. Burton played the drunken buffoon to perfection (then again he may have simply been in charictor) and the scene at the alter, the “I Do” part of this farcical wedding. When the priest asks Kate

“Will you take this man to be your lawful married husband?”

There is a long pause, you can hear a pin drop. Then Kate builds herself up for the big humiliation,

“I Will…………..”

but before she can get the last word (Not) out, her mouth is smothered in a kiss from Petruchio. The crowed go wild he has done the impossible, and there is no one more delighted than her farther, he has seen the back off this troublesome wench. Laugh I near peed my knickers.

Taylor and Burton were at the top of their form in the 1960, on and off stage. Cinema attendance however was losing ground to the television by the mid to late 1960s, the hey day of the big screen musicals, and epics with their cast of thousands and budgets of millions, were coming to an end, hastens by changed to the tax laws by, the then, American government, the industry collapsed. The consolation prize, the birth of kitchen sink drama and the Spaghetti Western.

The taming of the shrew was a blockbuster success worldwide it grossed $12.000.000 but many of these big epics lost money. The Great Escape, amounts them and only recouped some of those losses when, ironically, it was later shown on television, (annually at Christmas) and the film rental market was at its zenith, this too helped the industry survive.

Home once more and onto the internet to see what was making the headlines in Scotland. You will not be surprised if I tell you that I am a big fan of Scottish independence, and how I am supporting, the landmark court case to clarify whether the Scottish Parliament has the legal power to go ahead with a Referendum on Independence with or without the permission of Westminster.

The SNP are not happy, that two prominent SNP MPs (Kenny MacAskll and Angus MacNeil) have signed up to (People’s Action on Section 30). brought by Martin Keating, supported financially by 10 thousand donors to his appeal. The case comes before the court on the 22 of this month, and should clarify the law on the powers of the Scottish Parliament in this instance.

Personal, I would ask Boris for a section 30 order to be granted to the Scottish Parliament – now. If he said “Now is not the time” or an outright “No” then we would know where we stand, and then make the May Holyrood Elections a vote for independence, the will of the people.

The Irish precedent to ignoring the British constitution and breaking legal constraints in winning a majority of MPs, forming a parliament, declaring independence and forcing the British government to sign an Anglo-Irish treaty shows that people’s investment in their parliamentary representatives is the only power required.

(mind you they had the British government over a barrel at the time – there was a war on).

Scots are in a half way position we have a Scottish Parliament, we have the Edinburgh Agreement, we just need that final push for independence from our parliamentarians. If a Section 30 order is not granted before May elections then the 2019 election result in Scotland, as the 1918 election result in Ireland, should be the trigger to withdraw our MPs from Westminster and for the newly elected pro-indy Scottish parliament in 2021 to declare independence.

Whatever the outcome, it is going to make the May elections more interesting.

“The SNP MPs yesterday defended Nicola Sturgeon, after claims by Alex Salmond, she breached the ministerial code by misleading the Scottish Parliament”.

This is not going to go away, already they are opening a book, who will go first Trump of Sturgeon.

I think the Tories will hold off till nearer the election in May then let blast with all guns blazing and bring Sturgeon down, in the hope of ending the SNP dominance in Holyrood. The SNP would be wise to take this much more seriously that they seem to be doing.

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