John Gibson: A hard hat for every one of us?

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Just mind how you go. Is Edinburgh the Athens of the North, like they say in the kiddies’ colouring books, or is it a hell on Earth? Troubles perpetuated by the Great Trams Fiasco and now we are advised by one of the city’s former property conservation execs, to beware falling masonry.

Such is the condition of the Capital’s aged buildings. ‘‘People would be safer walking in the middle streets,’’ we are warned.

Safer? No, we wouldn’t. Chances are then we’d topple into a pit dug up for the ruddy trams. If do walk on the road and dodge falling masonry, you could still be maimed by a cyclist who, unseen and unpunishable by the polis, gaily ride the pavements (when, if ever, did you last hear of a cyclist being fined?).

It’s no surprise to hear that our dappy, dithering councillors are to issue a hard hat to every citizen. You’ll sling them in a canvas haversack, just like your granny did in the war.

Yes, do take my word. Mind how you go if you want to live long enough to see a tram run.

Afterwords . .

. . . this is Les Dennis, below, talking in advisory mode before opening his Fringe season: “Keep your feet on the ground and don’t believe your publicity. You start going to the opening of an envelope and you panic about whether you’re in the papers. I went through it with Amanda.” (Amanda Holden, his wife for seven years).