Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Alex Salmond, the bank manager-faced First Minister of Scotland, has been making  headlines lately due to a referendum planned for 2014 to decide on Scottish independence. What a pity. On a visit to Westminster Abbey a few years ago, I collared a verger and we went on a hunt for the grave of Andrew Bonar…

Bo Peep

Ever since a BBC newsreader put me right about the difference in pronunciation between Gorilla, a type of ape,  and Guerrilla, a type of freedom fighter, I have been a bit of a stickler for getting the sounds of words on target. While a gorilla may be anthropomorphically protrayed as a guerrilla, articulation of the latter involves a…

India – hitting investors where it hurts

As a sport  that dictates: "when you are out you are in" , the vast majority of the world's population may be forgiven for not understanding cricket. Not so  the man on the New Delhi Omnibus for whom the game is a way-of-life. While recent cricket scandals have tended to emanate from India's nemesis, Pakistan, a…

Just another argy-bargy

Adrian Mole, aged 15 years and 1 day, wrote in his diary on April 3, 1982:  "10am. Woke my father up to tell him Argentina has invaded the Falklands. He shot out of bed because he thought the Falklands lay off the coast of Scotland. When I pointed out that they were eight thousand miles…

The Lord giveth and the Government taketh away

In recent months, both the Obama Administration and Republican Congressional leaders have suggested that tax deductions for charitable donations should, in certain circumstances, be curbed in the future - although, in keeping with all things Campaign 2012,  the facts are  a bit thin on the ground. Frankly, I did not give this particular tax break much thought until…