Clocks go forward, petrol goes up, the top rate goes down and Meikle Wartle goes back to bed


VIEW FROM THE MIDDEN Rural affairs with MTV (Meikle Wartle Television) presenter, JOCK ALEXANDER

Fit like, ab’dy? Welcome tae British Summertime. At’s richt, michty, it sterted yesterday. It’s the time o’ year fan new buds stert tae bloom, lambs gambol through the fields, and the air is fragrant wi the scent o’ blossom and warm sharn. Nae doot you’ll be feelin’ the ill-effects of haein’ an hour less in your bed. Especially if you stayed up till 2 a.m. to change yer clocks, then spent twa hours ficherin aboot wi’ yer cooker, yer video and yer microwave trying tae mind foo tae dae it.

Of course, here in Meikle Wartle this is nae a problem, as we dinna believe in new-fangled digital clocks. In fact we’re nae mad keen on the eens ye wind up. It’s still a gye chav wi us, though, as it taks Feel Moira a day tae rotate a’ the sundials in the village forward an hour by hand. Seeing her howking up the grun tae get at the foundations o’ the big een in the toon square, I wiz very nearly moved tae gie her a lend o’ my shovel. Fit a woman she is.

Noo, some of you sophisticates fit bide in mair metropolitan settlements, like New Pitsligo or Tarty, may scoff at oor traditional wye o’ measurin’ the passing o’ the hours. It’s often been said that time stands still in Meikle wartle, and this is certainly true on dreich days fan we’ve nae wye tae tell fit time it is. But that can hae it’s benefits. On days fan there’s nae sun, there’s nae time.  So we usually jist stay in wir beds.

Of course, the other big news in the village this wik his been the increase in fuel duty announced in the budget. And foo gled we are that it winna be a problem, noo were a’ powerin’ oor vehicles on hame distilled methylated neeps.

But it’s difficult tae forecast foo we in the rural communities will be affected by the budget as a whole, thanks tae the fact that we dinna haud wi’ decimalisation in Meikle Wartle. In fact, pounds shillings and pence niver really caught on either and we prefer tae use the coothy auld traditional methods such as barter and theft. That can mak filling oot yer tax return a scutter, but nae tae worry, we hinna hid naeb’dy fae Her Majesties Revenue and Customs visit Meikle Wartle since that unfortunate misunderstanding wi’ the Wicker Man back in 1968.


Last week’s budget has had the unusual effect of drawing simultaneous criticism from Saga Holidays, the AA and Greggs the Baker. But how does it affect some of our regular contibutors?

TANYA SOUTER local lifestyle guru

If yer onythin like me, ye’ll hae been glued tae the telly fer the budget.  And if you resisted the temptation tae switch back tae Jeremy Kyle efter five minutes you’ll hiv seen that eence again the Government his hit us normal people far it hurts maist – the wikend.  I found ‘is online thingmy fit telt me that a quine wi my moderate alcohol and fags intake (20 double vodkas and 200 Lambert & Butler) will be worse aff by £50 a wik!  Meanwhile, there’s tax breaks for ‘high-end TV production’. As if the poshos fae Downton Abbey are nae rich enough a’ready. They’ve also lumped VAT on tae the hot pies I buys my bairns ivry Setterday fae Morrisons.  Div they wint tae pit folk aff feedin their kids proper?!  Thankfully, I winna be losing oot on Child Benefit – ’cause I’ll need tae hae anither bairn jist tae mak ends meet!

‘CAVA’ KENNY CORDINER the football pundit who kicks back!

Ask anyone about George Osborne’s recent budget and they will mostly all say the same thing – the lad’s had a shocker.  For me, and speaking personally, the worstest part was the news that the honest publican will now be made to cough up 20% tax on what takings the fruit machine takes in.  And that takings will be lower now because a pint will cost more too. Even a white wine spritzer for the lovely Melody will not go unmolested. When I ran Enforcer’s, Inverurie’s premier Wine Bar, being a landlord had 2 perks what made the job worthwhile: free beer and free bandit.  Now mine-host will have to think two times about helping himself to a pint of 80 whilst jimmying open the moneybox on the puggy.  Criminal


What was the big surprise in the Budget? It’s not the freezing of the pensioner’s annual allowance (take that, grandad!) It is the fact that people think that there are millionaires in the U.K. who actually pay tax at 50%. Only an idiot would do that. Haven’t they heard of the Cayman Islands?

Super Dave says, “We’re all in this together!” and by Jove he’s right! Me, Fatty Blenkinsop and Winker Cockburn (top blokes from Gordonstoun) are all in it together – as shareholders in a tax efficient financing vehicle with brass plates in Liechtenstein, Labuan and Lagos. Ker-ching!

Me? I’m in favour of a super tax on the rich. Reduce the top rate of tax to the same as everyone else? Yes, thanks, that would be super.