Martin Hannan: Who’s to blame for the weather?

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Come on, admit it – you split your sides laughing when it was announced the other day that Planet Earth had just experienced the warmest July on record, and that so far, 2015 is the warmest year in the history of climate records.

I just fell about chortling when I read these claims by eminent US scientists, and my chief reaction was “Well, where did you make those measurements, because it sure wasn’t Scotland?”

Except that the data was unarguable – July really was the hottest month on a global basis, which means this climate-changed planet is in big trouble.

It is a standing joke that Scotland doesn’t have a climate, we just have weather.

It is no joke any more, however. Apparently we are getting towards the end of summer, but as September approaches, frankly I can’t actually remember many days recently that I would class as summery.

We had a relatively mild winter – wet, mostly – then a mild spring, which was also wet. Then we had something that only a cock-eyed optimist would call summer, with a lot of wetness around. Did anyone notice the difference between the seasons? Apart from a few degrees up the thermometer, and on many days there wasn’t even that, we have had a long succession of grey, dreich, and often cold days stretching back for goodness knows how long. As for that dratted wind chill factor, the only way you knew it was actually summer was when the wind abated and the cold rain fell vertically and not horizontally.

Honestly, I felt as if we were trapped as extras in a constant re-run of that old video for the Eurythmics song Here Comes The Rain Again.

Mentioning songstresses, Rihanna got the blame for a poor start to the summer back in 2007 when her hit Umbrella dominated the charts, so which musical act do we blame for the current downturn? James Bay for Hold Back The River or Sam Smith for Stay With Me because the rain certainly has stayed river-like.

All joking aside, surely someone has to carry the can for Scotland’s weather being so poor for so long. Not even a diehard SNP member like myself can blame David Cameron and the Tory government for ruining Scotland’s weather – give them a chance, they only got elected in May – but there’s one thing about the climate change debate that all politicians can do, and that’s to start ignoring all those who say that global warming is a myth.

Back when the possibility of anthropogenic climate change – to give global warming its Sunday name – was first being discussed, the experts predicted that change would lead to exactly the sort of weather conditions we are now having, which is surely proof that climate change is an established fact. Denying global warming is madness, because it allows nations and corporations to put off the day when they will have to tackle it, by which time it will be too late to prevent oblivion.

We can’t legally stop people displaying their idiocy, so to all those who deny global warming, there can be only one response – the rest of us sensible and sane people are just going to laugh at you eejits, while weeping at the misery of Scotland’s weather.

• Next week: How Edinburgh can lead the battle against climate change.

Shock, horror! Nobody dared challenge Ruth

Surprise, surprise. Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson turned up for the nomination meeting for the party’s candidate for Edinburgh Central at next May’s Holyrood elections only to find nobody had dared to stand against her.

The whole thing stinks of centralised control and leadership diktat – all the things that Davidson and her cronies accuse the SNP and Labour of doing.

We’ll hear no more of that humbug from Davidson, who has been well and truly exposed for the cynical manipulator that she is.

The Unionist political commentators know full well the misdeed she has perpetrated, but don’t hold your breath waiting on a word of criticism by them.


The City of Edinburgh Council’s newest top manager is Paul Lawrence, who will become Executive Director – Place.

No, I don’t have a clue what it means either.

Hotel is a site for sore eyes

So the “ribbon” hotel at the St James’ development is to go ahead. Frankly, I think it is a tawdry rehash of a design that mimics dreadful buildings elsewhere.

Let’s call it for what it most resembles – a big beige plook!

I’d like to thank lovely NHS staff

I have recently had my right knee replaced at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, which is a world, never mind Scottish, centre of excellence for such operations.

Once again the NHS was magnificent. You never usually see staff named, so here is my personal tribute to consultant surgeon Mr Andrew Kinninmonth and the staff of Ward 2 West.

In no order, and apologies to anyone missed out, I want to thank Mr Kinninmonth, Dr Elizabeth Beck, Jan, Rachael, Declyn, Bridget, Hayley, Bill, Hugh, Harry, Jennifer, Sarah, Justine, Allan, Carol, Gary, Lois, Joyce, Amy Louise, Audrey, Isabel, Gaby, Reda, Carrie, Julie and an army of assistants and porters who were so kind, caring and professional.