So, tonight Malky MacKay has been told to resign or be sacked. After 2.5 years in the post, another Scot bites the dust. Only a couple of seasons ago, there were 8 Premiership football managers all from Scotland, and not just Scotland but Glasgow, and not just Glasgow but one specific patch of Glasgow. Ferguson, Moyes, Dalglish, Kean, Lambert, Davies, McLeish and Coyle. Of those 8 only 2 remain, Moyes & Lambert, both at new clubs.  With Steve Clarke and MacKay also getting the boot, it seems that Glasgow’s managerial master race is a species on the way out.

So what’s gone wrong?

We could blame it on the trigger-happy owners. What would Busby, Shankly and Stein make of today’s plutocrats? Something tells me these cast iron Glasweigens would have won the internal battle before even taking their team on to the pitch?

So, are men weakening? Are hard accents softening?  Will the real power ever return to the man picking the team? Most of us are so disillusioned with the financial and moral state of football that we are beyond caring although we forget that in a flash when our team turns over their greatest rivals in a derby.

For the answers, check tomorrow’s back page.


It is the season to be merry.

Or more accurately, thou shalt be fucking merry…even if no bone within thy body is feeling funny.

The pressure to lighten up and smile is almost unbearable given the true weight of life that backs itself in at this time of year.

Force-fed fun is a hard gag to swallow.

We crack up and take it out on those closest to us, be it the ones who share our bed, or the ones whose bums we wipe (literally in the case of kids, and possibly metaphorically in the case of a job we’d rather not be doing).

There is a way of easing this tourniquet.

Ration laughter.

Give everyone a finite annual amount of laughter, like holiday, or sleep.

Let each of us decide how and when to use it in the company of those who deserve it, not some rancid perfume-seeping witch with latex lips in a white lab coat and a tinsel stole.

We manage to regulate our breathing without being told to breathe deeper in Winter when the air is denser.

And what is laughter if it’s not uncontrollably excited breathing?

We’ve been told that laughter can kill you as well as burn 2.2kg a year.

We know we laugh 400 times a day at the age of 4 and 4 times a day at the age of 40, but a laugh quota that’s pro rata per annum is hardly carpe diem (awful lot of latin creeping in here, sorry).

So, no to ratio, and yes to ration.

We trust you to monitor your own output as 2014 unravels, so let’s propose a new year’s resolution that doesn’t cave in as soon as 2015 comes knocking.


When Paxman caves it too, we know we are living in unprecedented times of beardedness. Movember and Muslims aside for a second, the chin growth of many too many men (plus those adorable women who have reached that ripe old age where a cobwebbed jaw and upper lip keeps them warm in winter) has gone feral.

Yet the beard is at its most rampant with the young. This 18-30 club of Roald Dahl Twit-a-likes represent the greatest swathe of bush-on-mush since the invention of the flint arrowhead razor in the Stone Age. And before we slag it off as a folk fashion statement, we must grab a machete and venture into their thickets.

After hacking our way through the outer woody stems, GERONIMO! We stumble upon the answer to global warming – Bonzai-sized pristine virgin rainforests. There is enough facial foliage to absorb a fair slug of China’s chimneys and exhausts. If we nurture the woodland of beards and grant them ecosphere status, we can prevent the illegal logging that will no doubt occur once the idea of ultra-fast-growing beard-bamboo takes off.

This long-term crusade may be the tipping point for several endangered species, such as the Black-Footed Ferret and the Bornean Orangutan.

The productivity doesn’t end there though. Using traditional Berber techniques, we can micro-loom carpets, rugs and even weave a finer follicle fabric to spawn a more sustainable material than cotton. It shall adhere to the strictest code of organic certification and any producer found using steroids or pesticides will be shaven and their beard incinerated.

If you are a man or woman with a good clump of hair on your boat race, and would like to join the Fair Trade Beard-Growers Collective, please contact