September 28, 2009


You have to ask yourself what they are playing at, don’t you?

What we are talking about here are the post office workers who – once again – have walked out on strike, bringing misery to thousands across the county.

These days, postal workers walking out in the huff is something we’ve grown to accept as the norm.

Well, here’s something they haven’t thought of: while they are having a “grumpy” for whatever reason – and I’m really not interested in the reason – companies on the brink of failure count on the orders and the cheques arriving. Which, thanks to the humble postie, won’t be happening.

Communications from loved ones, the only contact a lot of older people have, is blocked. Single parents, who have a harder life and earn a lot less than a postal worker, are left with only coins in their purses to buy food to feed their kids.

Why? Because the money due to them is sitting in a sorting office. And God only knows when the workers, and I use the term loosely, will grudgingly sort through the backlog and eventually get round to delivering it.

Whatever their grievance might be – and let’s assume it’s justified – what is definitely not justified is their selfish, unimaginative action that hits the ordinary person. From the lonely wife or worried mother waiting for word from her loved one dodging bullets in Afghanistan, to the half-crippled business that grinds to a halt because the communication link has been severed.

As one prominent West Calder businessman pointed out: “When did their problem suddenly become my problem?”

He has a point. If I think I’m being unjustly treated, I don’t go round to my local postman’s house and disrupt his life, do I? Though the Punch a Postie campaign is growing in strength daily.

I mean, who do these glorified carrier-pigeons think they are hurting? Certainly not their managers, that’s for sure.

Little wonder that the army of posties who were once seen as the friendly, whistling face of a busy community are now regarded with about as much affection as a dose of the trots.

And why? Because they have no imagination. Besides being unable to entertain the possibility that the only folk they are hurting is their own community, their only answer is to walk out. Again. And again.

AN OPEN LETTER TO STRIKING POSTAL WORKERS: At the moment your popularity is lower than that of the expense-grabbing MPs. So, here is a way of getting the community to regard you with something approaching respect: instead of just using the wearisome and community-crushing, business-breaking tactic of walking out, why don’t you deliver the post… whether it has a stamp, or not?

That way we can still post our letters, cheques and parcels (for free). And the community will still receive payments and birthday wishes and love letters along with all the business communication we simply cannot do without.

Think about it – if it’s not too much like work – by employing this tactic you will be hurting the people you want to hurt, rather than the old, the infirm, the poor and the struggling individuals whose job is hard enough without you making it even more difficult for them.

It’s just an idea. But it’s a far better idea than the only one you can come up with at the moment.

Drew McAdam




September 20, 2009


HAVE YOU ever “Googled” yourself?

Have you ever gone on the internet and carried out a search to see if, and how often, you are mentioned on the big, scary worldwide web? And if you DID find yourself on there, were you pleased?

Because if you have, and you were, then there’s something I’d like you to think about. And I’ve coined a phrase for it (just watch this catch on!) The phrase is: GOOGLE TATTOO.

These days when people get themselves tattooed they tend to get Celtic bands, butterflies, or, if they are really trendy, Winnie the Pooh. All very safe.

There was a time when people got themselves tattooed with the names (and sometimes faces) of their favourite pop star, macho movie icon or girlfriend. Which was all very well until the girlfriend ran off with the milkman – taking all the money with her. Or if the pop star later spent time in disgrace and in jail. Or if the film star was photographed in a compromising situation with a penguin wearing women’s lingerie and a lot of white powder on his face.

What was written on your arm was there for life. And you had to bear the consequences.

Well, the same is true of Google; only it’s even worse! There is a club singer I once met who has a fantastic website. The site includes videos, biography and stunning promotional photographs.

Unfortunately, he was convicted of passing dud cheques a few years back and if you search for him on Google what you find are the local newspaper cuttings about the trial and the subsequent community service work he carried out as recompense. There are also a few uncomplimentary quotes from the judge and the prosecution counsel.

I bet he has difficulty getting work after that. Somebody wishing to book him for the company night out Googles his name and gets, not the tremendous website, but all the scandalous low-down on his past exploits.

Then there is the comedian who felt his neighbour was making too much noise and demonstrated his views by throwing paint all over the wall onto his car. When he was picked up by the cops he was outside in the street dressed only in his underwear and talking to the pigeons.

His little drunken spree led to more column inches in the newspaper than he might have wished for. If you Google him what comes up is not what a brilliant comic and impersonator he is, but the whole sordid newspaper tale of the drink, the paint and the fact his wife left him as a result.

Like the singer with the dud cheques, the website is lost far down the list of sites that mention his name. A simple search brings up the sensational headlines about his stupid behaviour.

No events organiser or entertainment agent stumbling upon that story is going to give him a job, that’s for sure.

You see, it’s like a tattoo – a Google Tattoo – that these poor saps would rather wasn’t there. It’s a tattoo that loses them work and income. And, unlike a tattoo where you can have the offending information removed by laser, a Google Tattoo cannot simply be erased.

Tracking down the family tree will be a doddle in years to come thanks to Google. The yet unborn great, great grandchildren will be able to view pictures, videos and news clippings of what we looked like and what we did.

But these Google Tattoos will be there for them to see, too. Should you do something daft and get yourself in trouble, your Google Tattoo will follow you around for the rest of your life, and beyond.

If you want to lose business and have your great grandchildren regard you as a bit of a duffer, then get yourself a Google tattoo.

You’ll never get rid of it.

Drew McAdam


September 14, 2009


HAVE YOU become aware of the number of music “pro’s” who have taken time off from the studio so that they might advertise a variety of goods on TV? I have.

But I have also recently become aware of similar adverts that are transmitted abroad; perhaps because our pop divas would rather we didn’t see them. And in many cases, I wouldn’t blame them.

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September 6, 2009


I’M SURE you’ve heard the expression, “You can’t judge a book by its cover”. So have I. But not until recently did I fully understand the truth of this wise saying.

However, first, a bit of background. Way back in 1298 William Wallace with his Scottish army in tow were given a sever gubbing in a battle which was one of the biggest and bloodiest ever fought on British soil.

Although there are facts and figures about the number of deaths and so on, nobody seems to actually know exactly where it took place, other than it was near Falkirk. Though there are some theories.

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