Daily Archives: September 14, 2014

A study in Natural History

I wonder how many will recognise what follows from its original title, there. A date might help:

first published in the Morning Post, October 20 1911; also in the Ladies Journal, November 11, 1911.

The opening stanza gives this little game away: it provided the title for subsequent publications, particularly after 1918 when the suffragists (note the subtle use of vocabulary there) achieved part of their aim:

When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Read on, and get this:

Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act…

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

From that to Ms Camilla Long’s “hobbits”.

I don’t apologise for returning to her spewed bile: anyway, this is my blog, and I don’t get paid for it.

In Ms Long’s de haut en bas (especially, as in that article,  since no working-class prod reaches more than 5ft 6in)down-her-nose Weltanschauung, all those women at yesterday’s Edinburgh Orange march were in swag upon swag of militant polyester, but dress[ed] like the Queen: neat handbags, pumps, ceremonial chains

Well, here they come, Cammy, my dear. Look them in the face, and do not flinch. You started it — doubtless reading the script the Boss didn’t quite need to dictate to you.

I trust you are woman enough to answer them in kind:


Because, I don’t know about your sensibilities, learned at “The House“, Camilla, dahling, but that lot in full cry would terrify the be-jasus out of me.


Borrowed from an old doggerel (with a touch of the MacGonagalls):

The political life of the Salmond
Will be shorter than anyone thinks.
At the end of the #indyref season,
La Sturgeon will be up to her tricks.
But Lamont’s political cuteness is never to be denied,
And Ms Davidson ’s wit should never easily be decried,
Which amounts to the end of the Salmond,
And the ladies’ inscrutable smiles.

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Filed under Murdoch, Scotland, Sunday Times

And here’s another:

Star of tea-towels, mugs and other simpleware:


Description from catalogue:

Description: Artist: HENRI DE TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (1864-1901) Size: 38 1/4 x 54 7/8 in./96.8 x 139.2 cm Imp. Edw. Ancourt, Paris “The Montmartre chansonnier turned restauranteur, Aristide Bruant, was a strong, imposing personality, and in the several posters of him Toulouse-Lautrec conveys this by letting him dominate the picture completely, with virtually nothing else to distract our attention, and with Bruant’s characteristic red scarf, hat and walking stick adding impact to the image…this design was seen by Bruant as a masterpiece, but the manager of the Ambassadeurs rejected it as too brutally frank and unflattering; the only way the performer could get it accepted was by warning the manager that he would not appear on stage unless there was a copy on either side of the proscenium, and unless the whole of Paris was plastered with further copies” (Wine Spectator, 46). The same image would be recycled by Lautrec two years later when Bruant appeared at the Eldorado (see PAI-LXII, 570).

Condition Report: B+/ Slight tears at folds.

Yours for around £40,000 — about £39, 990 more than a decent reproduction (but I still prefer her).

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On the topic of ephemera …

I definitely covet this one:


On sale, 21st September, 2014, at Poster Auctions International.

Description: Artist: WEILUC (Lucien-Henri Weil, 1873-1947) Size: Poster: 44 1/8 x 62 1/8 in./112.2 x 157.8 cm Panel: 44 1/2 x 31 1/8 in./113 x 79.2 cm La Lithographie Nouvelle, Asnières Le Frou-Frou was a satirical publication that ran from 1900 to the outbreak of World War I. It would later have a post-war revival, but was at its best during the time that this poster was created. As the name of the magazine would imply, we see a woman’s uplifted skirt, the many petticoats and underthings rustling against her stockinged legs. In her hand are both a cigarette, the smoke from which spells out the the publication’s name, and a copy of the periodical. It appears that the image we see is also on the copy of her magazine, making the design an endless parade of smaller frou-frous. This is the rare, large format version of the poster with a separate bottom text panel announcing all the major contributors added.

Starting bid $15,000.


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Filed under advertising., reading

Meanwhile, across the aisle …

Here’s one from the other end of the political spectrum, being passed out at yesterday’s Edinburgh Orange March:

Orange march leaflet 1


Orange March leaflet 2

Strange bedfellows, the CP and the Orange Order, don’t you think?

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Filed under rightist politics, Scotland

The News from Elsewhere

The three of them seemed a bit isolated, at their stall between the Royal Scottish Academy and Princes Street Gardens. So I gave them the time of day. We spoke briefly. We shook hands. The struggle continues. They gave me a leaflet:

CP leaflet 1


CP leaflet 2

Makes perfect sense to me.

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Filed under leftist politics., Scotland

Guaranteed to turn marmalade toast to bitter gall

The Sunday Times misses the mark, by lang Scots miles.

Murdoch’s Sunday Times is a nasty, vicious, trivialising thing. In that it is the reflection of its master, now “best mates” with Alex Salmond.

My previous post was a jotting after being in Edinburgh yesterday. I’m not Orange. However, I do have to appreciate the viewpoint: even Gerry Adams and Máirtín make that leap. That is a recognition of the importance of the Orange sympathy across protestant Northern Ireland. Nor should it be scorned in lowland Scotland.

Yet the Orange don’t read the Sunday Times, do they? So it’s always Open Season when the Boss is calling the shots. And, I’ll lay odds, Camilla Long’s piece didn’t get the same page 2 prominence in today’s Scottish edition:

ON A small square of emerald behind Edinburgh Castle a furious Hobbit army gathers.

Nearly 15,000 Orangemen and women — none more than 5ft 6in — pour into the park, clutching fancy caps, braids, straps, pompoms, feathers, actual flutes of war and swag upon swag of militant polyester.

Even the mobility scooters seem ready for battle, pimped with “naw” slogans and fluttering Union flags.

One man, next to a burger van, has the pin of a “no” badge jammed through his ear.

And to help our mockery:



Oh, how droll. Definitely not one of us, say the ladies congregating at Moningside Parish Church. But sisterhood pervades under the skin, and I suggest a jerk of cross-class recognition. Good on you, love!

Even if your threads come from Primark, and not Jenners, you can still be Bonny Jean, and a lass o’ pairts. And your mother could well be buried under her maiden name, in the fine tradition of till death us do part. Some of us take pride in those differences.

A generation or so earlier …

Let us remember where these Scottish Orangemen come from. Some of them, those in the mobility scooters … ready for battle, are old enough to have laboured in the shipyards, the steel-works, the collieries that Margaret Thatcher’s government left derelict.

As for the Hobbitry, let’s look at a better writer than Ms Long, who went Down the Mine:

There is the heat—it varies, but in some mines it is suffocating—and the coal dust that stuffs up your throat and nostrils and collects along your eyelids, and the unending rattle of the conveyor belt, which in that confined space is rather like the rattle of a machine gun. But the fillers look and work as though they were made of iron. They really do look like iron hammered iron statues—under the smooth coat of coal dust which clings to them from head to foot. It is only when you see miners down the mine and naked that you realize what splendid men, they are. Most of them are small (big men are at a disadvantage in that job) but nearly all of them have the most noble bodies; wide shoulders tapering to slender supple waists, and small pronounced buttocks and sinewy thighs, with not an ounce of waste flesh anywhere.

[For the record, Ms Long’s privileged background includes the Dukes of Newcastle: coal-magnates of Nottinghamshire and beyond.]

That’s not the case with the younger generation — the thick-set, bellied ones swinging the drum-sticks. But anyone with an eye notes the ex-service types who have seen it a’ in Basra and beyond. Ms Long heard:

A “yesser” from Leith calls them “a***holes” and “filth” in “ridiculous wee outfits” and “stupid hats”. They would “s***’ their pants if they actually had to pick up a rifle”.

The “yesser” and Ms Long should have looked more carefully. They must have missed the large Lee Rigby banner carried by one Lodge.

Those British Legion badges in the lapels, the poppy symbols, the Help for Heroes stickers are there by conviction, and from experience. A lot of rifle-picking-up has been done by these types. The majority of those 15,000 Orange marchers worked or work in “hobbit”-like manual trades. Nothing as challenging as the heavy-industrial phone-tapping, photo-shopping and text-inputting needed at News Corp, right? So what do they know of work, who only work at it?

If Camilla Long represents the effete Murdoch tendency, Jim White is more real for the Telegraph:

The drumbeat hammering through Edinburgh on Saturday morning rattled the rib- cage. Dogs within a fifteen-mile radius cowered as the shrill chirrup of the pipe band cut the air. Surely no one could have seen batons thrown so high, with such a flourish, along the streets of the city before.

For this was the Loyal Orange Order of Scotland thumping its noisy way through Scotland’s capital, determined to demonstrate its opposition to the very idea of an independent Scotland. This was the sound of the No campaign on a very noisy, very colourful march.

“There’s no doubt the Nationalist campaign has shown more pizzazz; it’s appealed to that part in the Scot that is passionate, proud, romantic,” admitted Ian Wilson, a past Grand Master of the Scottish Orange Lodge, who had helped co-ordinate the march. “But there’s nothing dispassionate about this organisation. We’re putting the passion back into the No campaign.”

As he spoke, the march was thumping on, led by the Black Skull band of Glasgow, in their full Scots Guards regalia. Behind them some 15,000 people snaked through the city, yelling out their desire to say No.

There were endless lines of men in black suits with orange sashes marked LOL (that stands for Loyal Orange Lodge, not Laugh Out Loud). There were women in vivid orange dresses, children waving Union flags…

This was the Orange Order, founded in 1795 to protect Protestant interests in Ireland and celebrate the memory of William of Orange, who defeated the Catholic King James at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

It is best known for its annual march on July 12, celebrating William’s victory. Although most prominent in Northern Ireland, it also has lodges across the Commonwealth and the US as well as the significant presence in Scotland that it demonstrated yesterday. The Order in Northern Ireland has insisted it will stand with its Scottish counterparts to protect the Union.

This was democracy in action. Bands lined up as far as the eye could see. Groups of women in their Sunday best marched alongside them, carrying banners reading “Proud to be British, proud to be Scottish”.

Why did nobody notice the symbolism, especially important this day? Each Lodge is preceded by a member carrying the open Bible and a Crown: more than the sashes and the banners and the bands, the two unifying symbols of Orangism. And not to be scorned.

Later on Saturday, the Lady in My Life and I, filling in time before the evening train south, took drinks in a clubroom overlooking Princes Street and across to Edinburgh Castle.

At the next table were three archetypal Scots ladies, several classes different from those Camilla Long took time out to mock. Their sisterhood was in sympathy with the swag upon swag of militant polyester. I wonder what is their reading of Camilla Long.

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Filed under bigotry, Britain, broken society, Daily Telegraph, Military, Murdoch, Northern Irish politics, reading, Scotland, Sunday Times