John Gibson: It’s me and Tam and the Belgrano

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You’d think we’d heard the last of the General Belgrano, the cruiser put to bed by a British submarine 30 years ago.

But no.

The Argies, still smarting from their spanking from the nasty Brits all these years back, have re-named their top domestic football competition (their “first division,”) the Crucero General Belgrano. Their season kicked-off on Friday. Who’ll be running their league, who’ll be in charge, who’ll be their Harry Redknapp?

I’ve got the very man. I nominate Tam Dalyell, laird of Linlithgow, rebel with a yell when he was in the commons. You couldn’t keep him out of the papers at one time. Tam made something of a martyr of himself. We were thoroughly bad sports sinking the Belgrano off the Falklands when, the Argies whined, she’d never intended to do any harm. We know, Tam, we know. But war can be a damn dirty business.

I once had a good old face-to-face, Belgrano-fuelled skirmish with Tam at a house party hosted by then Archbishop Keith O’Brien. I could see where he was coming from (from the Binns, in fact, his stately home by Linlithgow) but he wouldn’t budge.

They should invite Tam down there to tango land and have him, in an honorary capacity, to be presented to the players although, ideally, they should let old sleeping cruisers lie.

Afterwords . .

. . . Exhumed from the vaults, one of those Mark Twain gems: “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” Mr Twain, you were ‘way off the mark. What nonsensical tosh but good enough for a national paper to wallow in your words.