I blame it on Dr Ralph Reynolds, my Headmaster at the High School, Dublin.
He set the scholarship sixth a weekly essay, with a word limit. To impress, I attempted to improve style, and let the content take care of itself. So, there am I, practising tripartite Ciceronian phrasing, buffing the duff, unscrewing the inscrutable.
I’d also learned that a flashy way to impress was the ornament of a quotation: what oft was said, but ne’er so well expressed.
I was studying the art of prompting that supervisory cliché, “Knows little, but writes well”.
Somewhere brevity went out the window.
Which is why my great intellect goes unregarded, unrewarded. Or something.
Compare and contrast Andrew, the Lallands Peat Worrier:
As ever, such matters of moment provoke the Mrs Ramsbottom in all of us:
But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said “No! someone’s got to be summonsed”-
So that was decided upon.
As ever, too, the official response:
The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.
That is what we have here. The Lallands Peat Worrier‘s conflates the argument against the Green amendments (which are largely Wightman’s) to the Land Reform Bill. Here is Tom Gordon‘s Ciceronian version:
SNP ministers rejected the plan, arguing it could breach EU law on the free movement of capital, could prompt landowners to use ever complex structures to conceal ownership, and noted some EU countries such as Luxembourg were also seen as tax havens.
The government said the change would not achieve the desired aim of more transparency.
Land reform (read Wightman’s book!) is as thorny an issue as the Scots have so far failed to deal with. Transparency of ownership is only the start.
I guess: were I seventeen years old again, spending Sunday afternoon cobbling a quicky for Dr Reynolds, I’d be vamping feudalism, damning the capitalist system, and nationalising the lot.