Susan Morrison: It’s no conspiracy theory – trams really are barring Gran

Barring pensioners from the trams is an outrage
Barring pensioners from the trams is an outrage
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Love a good conspiracy theory, me. Any nonsense will do, from little green men in freezers in secret desert air bases to the number of people who shot President Kennedy. By all accounts that grassy knoll must have been the size of Arthur’s Seat with the number of shooters perched up there.

There’s a certain mad logic in the world of the conspiracy theorist, which, of course, is at the same time the downfall of the conspiracy theorist, since there usually isn’t logic involved, particularly when it comes to governments.

Governments aren’t able to cover anything up, since they all leak like the Titanic after she hit the iceberg.

There are no deep frozen aliens next to the pizza in a dusty air base in New Mexico and Kennedy was shot by a disturbed young man and Elvis is dead and not living in a condo in Florida with Marilyn.

It’s not just governments who can’t keep secrets, of course. Just to touch briefly on the Titanic, there was a fabulously mad theory that she had been swapped with her sister the Olympic.

It was an insurance scam, since you ask. I know you didn’t, but that’s not likely to stop me.

It involved switching the damaged Olympic for the Titanic, whooshing out into the Atlantic and then hitting a random iceberg, then rescuing everyone to tremendous acclaim. It all went horribly wrong, as you all and James Cameron know.

Let’s just iceberg that theory right now. At least 3000 skilled men worked at Harland and Wolff’s Belfast shipyard, where they claim the sisters were swapped. You’re not telling me that every man at that yard was the strong silent type who kept that ship swap secret to his deathbed and beyond. It’s not just governments who can’t keep secrets.

So, enjoyable though conspiracy theories might be, you know there are no evil geniuses in the background filming moon landings at Disneyland, or that there’s a huge single shadowy organisation running the world. Sometimes I wish there were!

And then you stumble across the PR disaster that is the trams. Is there an evil and malign plan to smear their reputation before the first one rolls?

As if costing more than a small space mission, causing more damage to one of the most beautiful streets in the world than a medium riot and wrecking more city centre businesses than Sir Fred’s gallivanting on the worlds markets wasn’t bad enough, now they’ve managed to annoy Scotland’s pensioners, by announcing they won’t get to use their travel passes on the mystical trams.

Well, good luck with that Tram people. Others before you threatened Scotland’s grannies and grampas and lived to limp away. So on you go. Strikes me, though, that you need all the allies you can get, so I would have thought just saying, yup, pile on granny, wave your pass and park yourself and enjoy the ride would have been a better policy than even suggesting they couldn’t get aboard. Just saying.

Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh to fast food

Oh jings! A mere two weeks after I discover the joy of racing at Musselburgh, we discover that Tesco is putting horsemeat into their burgers.

The French eat horses, don’t they? Hasn’t done them any harm. No, we should be upfront about this and introduce more accurate labelling, that’s all.

In the ingredients sections we should have clearly listed “10 per cent horsemeat. Knitting Lad out of Flowerlady and Dancing Daily. Jumped well but poor finisher and failed to start at Ayr. Needs seasoning. Enjoy.”

Dog day afternoons

OH poor old HMV. Yet another anchor on the high street goes under and with it a bit of my past. The first LP in HMV I remember buying was Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. And then, later, I bought an LP for my mum’s birthday. It was the original cast version of Evita, as I recall, with Julie Covington. With a spectacular sense of timing, I chose to buy it the same day the Argentinians guaranteed Thatcher a second term by marching into Port Stanley.

Not your typical blond moment

LOOK out, the Vikings are coming! This was usually pretty grim news in the past. If you opened your door in a remote part of Scotland in, say 850 AD, and there was a big blond bloke standing there, the chances were he wasn’t first-footing.

However, up at the National Museum from today you can safely view Norse marauders through glass cases – but if you really want to rock your inner Valhalla, I’d get along to the special late night event where they promise live Vikings and pop-up bars.

C’mon, who wouldn’t want to see Eric The Left-Handed Skull Splitter – my favourite Viking name, incidentally – lean against a dinky wee bar with a sneaky wee gin and tonic? That’s on February 22 – get your tickets now.