Donald MacInnes: When offal is used as a tool of repression

Notebook

Share

Circus impresario Phineas T Barnum is credited with inventing three things: the first was disproportionately large clown shoes. In the past, clowns had been content to pad around in trainers or felt moccasins, but one day Barnum realised the solid comic potential of a bigger shoe. His second innovation was to sell tickets. Prior to this, circuses had not been open to spectators, but had taken place in remote fields.

Barnum realised something had to change, as it was becoming increasingly difficult to explain why he was disappearing into a tent with an elephant and a bucket of buns.

His third contribution was to invent the phrase: "There is no such thing as bad publicity", (although when he said that, he had probably never visited Wapping).

While the longevity of his maxim is admirable, it's worth bearing in mind that this was a man who knowingly employed tragi-comic men in garish make-up and ludicrous trousers (actually, maybe he did visit Wapping). Anyway, I was reminded of Barnum's wisdom yesterday, when the only unbroken pane of glass in our bedroom shattered and a haggis, wrapped in paper, thudded onto the carpet, just missing my fiancée, who was sitting on the floor, playing Ker-Plunk. "Not another one," she sighed. I unwrapped the aromatic projectile. On the paper was a message, its sentiment clear: "Piss off, Jock. Go back to your Highlands and meddle with the private areas of sheep and so on."

It was another unmistakeable sign that I should never have utilised this paper on Wednesday to advance my dangerous views on the trials of being un-English in England. All I said was that sometimes it's hard: people don't understand our talking voices and you're way better at football than us. And while my inflammatory views certainly increased the attention paid to this newspaper, the publicity generated (judging by the fact that I now have the local glazier on speed dial) is beginning to impact our lives negatively.

Yes, I had a few tweets agreeing with me, but they also asked me to send them pictures of myself in overly snug slacks, so I'm beginning to question their motivation. So, before I find myself nailed to the Wembley arch, let me make my peace. English folk, I mean you no harm. My kilt hides nothing that should frighten you. Let's be friends.

Follow @DonaldAMacInnes

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

I don't blame parents who move to get their child into a good school

Chris Blackhurst
William Hague, addresses delegates at the Conservative party conference for the last time in his political career in Birmingham  

It’s only natural for politicians like William Hague to end up as journalists

Simon Kelner
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago