Mr Moneybags of the week/year/decade
The principal of Strathclyde University, one Jim MacDonald, whose new salary is an outrageous £343,000 a year. Another way of thinking about this is that every time this man goes to bed during a five-day week, he has just earned another £1,319 for his day's work. Some comparative salaries: the first minister gets £144,687 (including her MSP salary), a cabinet secretary £103,495 (including his or her MSP salary), the lord advocate £117,102 – poor Frank Mulholland; how does he manage?, Scotland's most senior judge £220,655. Is the mere principal of Strathclyde University really worth so much more than the first minister or the lord president of the Court of Session? His salary is more than the combined salaries of three cabinet secretaries

Lazy sods of the week
The Scottish Parliament, not long back from Christmas and New Year, but now on holiday again. Who do they think they are – a bunch of school kids? The Midgie merely asks

The Midgie's essential guide to the Baftas (so-called)
1. The luvvie of luvvies, Kate Winslet, will make one of her embarrassing acceptance speeches
2. The most boring film on the short-list ('The Revenant' this year) will win everything
3. The fawning press, what's left of it, will print a picture of a young actress without a bra on and award her a Brafta
4. The cash-strapped BBC will provide extensive live coverage of the meaningless occasion
5. That's about it, really

The Dame Sally Davies award for longevity
The Italian who drank two bottles of red wine every lunchtime and another two bottles over dinner every night and has just died at the age of 104

Moral of the above story
We don't drink too much. We drink too little

Top 5 bores of the week
1. The Baftas (see above) Snooze rating: zzzzzz
2. 'Half-term'. The Midgie wonders if there is such a thing as 'term' zzzzz
3. The cast for the ghastly 'Top Gear' zzzz
4. The many pieces in the press from female columnists wondering why they're single on Valentine's Day zzzz
5. BBC3 moving online zzz

Storm watch
None to report so far this week. We now have something called 'The big freeze', which seems to consist of a series of gloriously sunny winter days

Man mountain of the week
Just about anybody who plays international rugby, the only sport that The Midgie has never been able to understand (its rules or its popularity)

Gravitational wave of the week
A tell-tale ripple was detected far into outer space. The Midgie's science correspondent, Dr Bunsen Burner, believes it was one of three phenomena: (1) another calamitous fall in the revenues from North Sea oil; (2) the only flight of the day arriving at Sturgeon International; or (3) Eck slipping on the pavement on his way to the studio

Nightmare of the week
The growing prospect of a presidential contest between Trump and Sanders for the leadership of the free world

Catchy titles of academic papers about nostalgia
1. A blast from the past: the terror management function of nostalgia
2. Nostalgia-evoked inspiration: mediating mechanisms and motivational implications
3. Nostalgia: conceptual issues and existential functions
4. The power of the past: nostalgia as a meaning-making resource
The Midgie is grateful to his old chum, Paul Tritschler, for these examples from such esteemed rags as the Journal of Experimental Psychology. His personal favourite is: 'Right-frontal cortical asymmetry predict increased proneness to nostalgia'

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it is eight years this week since SR went online, though the magazine has existed, initially in print format, since 1995

Kenneth Roy

SR INQUIRY: The taxpayer-funded arrangement between an SNP MSP and a
party colleague raises serious questions


Walter Humes

DIARY: University principals are now showing the same arrogance of power as bankers

Alan McIntyre

WORLD: Unless Islam reforms, the West will reject it and build walls in response

Gerry Hassan

POLITICS: In the state of the British left, there are warning signs for Scottish nationalism

Jean Barr

MEDIA: An attack on freedom that proved to be a watershed in broadcasting history

Bill Heaney

SPORT: My 'colleague' Willie Waddell growled, while foul-mouthed Jock Stein snapped

Emma Vance

LIFE: My name is Emma and I am selective with food. So what's the problem?

Also in this edition


Moneybags MacDonald

Lockerbie: Morag Kerr hits back

John Scott

The EU is a utopian project that will end badly

Leonard Quart

The fire that continues to burn in New York

Bob Smith

Islay McLeod

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