Boris Johnson is flying back to Brussels again and is on the phone to European types every day about Brexit. His people say he will do whatever is necessary to get a good trade deal for British industry.
They said he will go anywhere and knock on any door. Maybe he thinks he can drop hints to get one of these prestigious prizes. You can just imagine it. Knock Knock. “Who’s there?” “Nobel.” “Nobel who?” “No bell. That’s why I knocked. Now, about this trade deal…”
Are we going to get an oven-ready trade deal? Someone called David Frost has been wheeled out to charm the Europeans with British manners and eloquence.
Hello, good evening and welcome? No, this is David Frost whose real job is national security adviser. Because he had experience as a Brexit negotiator, he has been hauled back by Boris Johnson with the carrot of a seat in the House of Lords.
The seat is his whatever happens but he will get extra cushioning if he pulls off a trade deal. It’s all swings and roundabouts because one type of deal would please some but enrage others.
The best Frosty can hope for is to please some people some of the time. Fisherman are not happy with the current EU deal. The quotas angered them. Too many European boats are scooping up our cod and haddock, they claim. They hope better deals can be done to get a level playing field, as everyone calls it.
And if you’re a farmer, will you have a level growing field? Some think it’ll be fine because faraway places such as China are importing more cereals like barley nowadays.
Yeah, but are they making whisky with it so they can compete with Scottish dram-makers? I’m so worried. Seriously, Brexit could be great or it could be a complete nightmare if we get no good deals going and we have to pay the horrendous default rates.
Barley is used to make bread, breakfast cereals and beer. In parts of the country, barley is a major part of the distillation of fine uisge beatha. Yeah, Scotch whisky.
And it’s thanks to farmers who produce the barley in places like Moray that we get the best drops. The other day I heard about one such farmer who is at Auchlunkart Home Farm in Mulben, near Keith.
Yes, Gordon Morrison, it’s you I’m talking about. Your grandson Russell was over here the other day and told me all about you. You will be 91 years old a couple of days after Christmas.
He and his partner Rachel let slip that you get The Press and Journal every day and that you read this column every Wednesday. Ye whit? Why on earth would you do that, loon?
Just because you’re retired, have you got nothing better to do? Is there nothing half-decent on the telly on a Wednesday? Maybe you should take Penny the schnauzer for longer walks.
Just kidding. Thank you and all the best, Mr Morrison. I heard you like a wee fine malt or a brandy and port so, with four children, seven grandkids and six great-grandkids, I am sure you will have a great day on the 27th.
I shall raise a glass of Benromach to you myself on the big day, and probably tonight too while Mrs X is engrossed in MasterChef. I think she’s got her eye on that Gregg Wallace. What’s he got that I haven’t? Apart from his fortune and good looks, that guy has nothing.
That’s a lovely part of the country you’re in, Mr Morrison. I knew Moray a bit back in my RAF Kinloss days and I drove through there again last year on my way from Aviemore to Aberdeen.
Just before Keith, I spotted a man standing in the middle of a field. I pulled over and noticed that he was just standing there doing nothing.
Maybe he was ill. I got out and walked round to him and I asked: “Excuse me. Are you alright?”
The man said: “Sssshhh. I’m jist fine. I’m trying to win a big prize here.”
He seemed very serious. “How can you win a prize by doing nothing?” I asked. He said: “Well, I’m a farmer and I have this big field of barley, you see. I was listening to the radio a wee while ago and I heard them say they give a Nobel Prize to people who are out standing in their field.”