Jim Duffy: Reasons to be cheerful '“ like Scotland missing World Cup

Harry Kane's heroes are on a high after thrashing Panama 6-1 (Picture: Michael Gillen)Harry Kane's heroes are on a high after thrashing Panama 6-1 (Picture: Michael Gillen)
Harry Kane's heroes are on a high after thrashing Panama 6-1 (Picture: Michael Gillen)
England are now dead certs to lift the trophy, so it will be tremendous when they don't, writes Jim Duffy.

At a time when there is probably more change and upset in the world than at any time in the last 25 years, maybe it is time to assess some reasons to be cheerful. So without much fanfare and introduction, let’s get started.

The first reason to be cheerful is that Scotland are not in this current World Cup in Russia. This means we do not have to feel thoroughly disappointed and let down when the much-lauded efforts of our football superstars turn out to be well ... crap. We don’t need to worry about watching football games at odd times, trying where we can to get days off work to accommodate them. We can spend precious time with our wives and girlfriends shopping and out at restaurants.

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We need not anticipate that feeling that has remained with us since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina where Ally’s Tartan Army were embarrassed by the pre-tournament rhetoric and the long road home was arduous. So, there’s no need to make excuses and vilify a football manager or his players. We have actually won by not getting to Russia, a reason to be cheerful.

Of course, the next reason to be cheerful is that England are through and have started well. The Three Lions are roaring, the Wags are all over the newspapers and “Our Boys” are doing them proud. The red-top newspapers are triumphantly proclaiming the next stage and the next stage. This new band of non-prima donna’s are winning and can indeed go all the way. Of course, the TV pundits on the BBC etc are extolling the magnificent tactics of the new manager and how he has huge potential. And let’s not forget 1966. How could we?

Yes, England are now in full-blown “crusades” mode and already have won the tournament in the mind’s eye of the nation. And that is a tremendous reason to be cheerful. Because as we know, it will all end in tears, retribution, violence and many months of plenary sessions and investigations into what went wrong.

We Scots can snigger from the sidelines knowing we are crap, but that England are just that bit less crap than us, but amazing at over-egging the pudding.

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The next reason to be cheerful is that our student population are all finished their exams and university. This means they will get their heads out of student-ville and start to properly contribute to our economy and productivity. No more doom and gloom worrying about exams, cramming for them, while being jaggy towards us parents. They will now look outwards and get summer jobs that bring them into the real world of work and not the manufactured, sheltered life of academia. Our kids are back in the game and that’s another reason to be cheerful...

The next one is that the heatwave will only last another seven to 10 days. We can all stop moaning about the heat and the heat rashes we are developing. We can stop grousing about poor air-conditioning on the buses and trains, while some shops and offices are too warm to enjoy.

Yes, soon we will be back to normal in July when it will be raining and miserable again. We Scots can go back to the default mode of moaning about the weather and the poor summers we always seem to get landed with. Normal service will be resumed and we can look back on the last week with great nostalgia.

The next reason to be cheerful is one for us blokes I’m afraid. Harley Davidson has decided to manufacture its lovely motorcycles in Thailand. This because President Trump has set tariffs for trade that despite being set up to boost American trade, are indeed having the opposite effect. Yes, we Europeans might be able to get our hands on a Harley cheaper than normal. What’s better and even more satisfying is that we get to stick two fingers up to Donald Trump in the process.

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I heard an LBC radio presenter, who happens to be Scottish and works in the wee small hours, refer to President Trump as a mendacious liar. Well, it seems Mr Trump and his double-dealing may just have cost him American jobs. But, who cares if I can get that Harley I always dreamed off 25 per cent cheaper? Result!

The next reason to be cheerful is a political one. Yes, it appears Nicola Sturgeon has the cahoonas to actually sack members of her Cabinet. And here was me thinking the Nats were all in it together. All for one and one for all.

But Nicola, bold as brass, is not taking any prisoners as she has demonstrated clearly in her re-shuffle. I accept that Shona Robison was a lame duck for months, but one scalp was not enough for our First Minister.

She has shown she has the killer instinct and just like Boris Johnston and Michael Gove, she will stop at nothing to get to where she wants. It’s a reason to be cheerful as she has cut the dead wood and brought in fresh new talent. And boy did we need it.

The last thing that should cheer us all up is that the stats are out and the cost of dying is now rising twice as fast as the cost of living.

It now costs around £5,000 on average to arrange a funeral. But why waste time worrying about it? You should go out and live a little because the dying part will cost someone else an arm and a leg. So go out and enjoy the sunshine.

Ah well, that’s it folks for this week. That’s you cheered up and, I’m sure, delighted to be alive in June 2018 ...