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Ron McKay diary: Even Texans don’t think Trump was up to the job




Donald Trump isn’t just off the stage – he’s off the plinth. A waxwork piece of the former San Antonio president has been retired for its own safety because people are devising their own therapy by repeatedly punching and clawing it. Surely they should be encouraged?

He’s in a storage room now until the wax artists can make Trump great again.

Texas is a state that is not normally associated with a strong Democratic tradition. The governor is a Republican and best-known politician Ted Cruz, the senator who took his children on vacation amid the pandemic and is mired in outrageous allegations that he had extramarital affairs with five women, may -be not. into the pandemic, although the tally may have increased over the weekend.

Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks moved the former president’s waxwork because museum visitors donned the figure, wearing a blue suit and red tie but no MAGA hat, inflicting so much damage that management had to remove it from public view.

The scratches on Trump’s face were deep. And visitor attacks on wax escalated as the 2020 presidential campaign got tangled up last summer, though obviously not at the melting point, which would have left Trump with a puddle on the ground.

Not even moving him into the lobby, where ticket clerks could keep an eye out for attackers, kept angry voters from punching him, possibly even hating him.

The museum director said: “When it comes to a highly political figure, attacks can be a problem.”

They’ve always had problems in the Lone Star State Museum because whoever the president – Bush, Obama, or Trump – they’ve all been attacked by people. Barack Obama’s ear was torn off six times and George W. Bush got his nose pierced while people were living their dearest fantasy.

The best news for Obamas is that the attacks waned after he left the White House. Prior to that, his statue was shipped several times to Orlando where company wax surgeons repaired it, but this did not happen with The Donald due to Covid restrictions. And Barack Obama is now looking at an empty plinth next to him. They are working on crafting a Joe Biden statute and you can be sure it will receive the Trump treatment, or punch.

Fear and hatred

Did I understand well? A member of Salmond’s harassment committee is breaking department code by disclosing how Nicola Sturgeon violated department code? No irony here. It is also a very short list of suspects. Five at the last count.

All of this is spilling out into the toxic mix which, it is sure to be predicted, is going to be the meanest and most vindictive election of our lives. We’re not even in purdah – it’s later this week when election law goes into effect – and level abuse on both sides on social media, hype and slander, is already a crescendo of hate. It wouldn’t be surprising if politicians and their supporters were not only bathed in offensive gall, but physically attacked before election day.

Ralph Waldo Emerson was right: “People don’t seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a denomination of character.” And he did it in a lot less than 280 characters.

Reverend Rangers

I USED to cover the football, which I remember being so cold that not even the thermal doubles and halftime pie and Bovril could win. Sadly, I never met the now chief of the Rangers public relations team, David Graham, even though I knew his predecessor Jim Traynor.

Ibrox’s new man is, or was, a Belfast adviser to the Democratic Unionist Party created by the late Ian Paisley. David, I’m told, is a man with a quip and a noisy sense of fun. So much so that the passionate press kit dubbed him Reverend Paisley Road West.

Cross the line

LINE of Duty returns tonight, which everyone needs to watch, even if they don’t know what’s going on, or are hopelessly uncool. I don’t know much about it except that there were pre-commercial buckets, there will be a high body count, and Martin Compston as Steve Arnott (I researched this track) will be speaking with a strangled estuary accent.

But Simon Allison, an employment law specialist and partner at law firm Blackadders (full of clever plans) thinks Arnott shouldn’t even be in office. No, he is guilty of serious misconduct and should be sacked. He should have declared himself unfit for work due to his addiction to pain relievers, he is guilty of insubordination by disobeying an order to shoot another polis, and he is also guilty of discrediting the Met by sleeping with witnesses and colleagues.

The show has a legal consultant. Best of all, it’s probably not Simon.

Dick is on the ball

Scottish football resumed in the lower divisions yesterday and the top of the card was Arbroath, second last, against runaway league leaders Hearts (this was written before kick-off). It took place in Gayfield, on the edge of the turbulent North Sea and a little corner of the beating waves. There is so much wind and wildness out there that players coming down the kite are known to be struck down by a live haddock spat in the ocean. The wiser bring their own salt and vinegar.

Arbroath’s manager is the inimitable Dick Campbell. Well I say inimitable – he has an identical twin brother called Ian, who is also in Arbroath, so it must be a little confusing for players when one tells them to do something and the other contradicts. Perhaps there is an agreement that only Dick is allowed to wear the brand’s black flat cap.

Dick has been there, and the Scottish fitba is all the better for it. It seems easier to name the clubs with which he has not been involved. As a player he was at six clubs and as a manager he bet it with one. Among them, Dunfermline, Partick Thistle and Angus rivals Brechin City and Forfar.

Arbroath holds the record win in senior football, beating Bon Accord 36-0 at the Scottish Cup in 1885, but I don’t think Dick was involved that day. I don’t want to take him away from Gayfield but there is a vacant position at Celtic Park where Dick could throw that shredded bunnet in the ring.

Ugly side of the beautiful game

One player absent from the game is youngster Aaron Hickey, the teenage Hearts player who transferred to Bologna from Serie A last September for a fee of around £ 1.5million. I can understand why he went, other than the challenge, because at 18 he earns over £ 8,000 per week, after tax – € 450,000 per year clearly.

I know the figure because in Italy they have to publish the salaries of all Serie A players, something that we could copy in this country and especially south of the border.

It’s the same in France. L’Equipe has just published a list of the top 30 winners in Ligue 1. The top 11 are all from Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain. No wonder Neymar is at the top of the list. He earns 3.06 million euros per month. Or around £ 700,000 a week, which most countries in the world don’t earn in their lifetime. The second is Kylian Mbappe on 2,098million euros per month, or £ 500,000 and a small change per week.

These are mind-boggling absurd numbers. Neymar earns in about a week what a Rangers player earns in a year and his annual salary is more than double Aberdeen’s payroll. Indeed, it is only a little less than that of Atalanta, from the Italian Covid epicenter of Bergamo, left the Champions League for Real Madrid last week and which PSG only scratched the ‘last year.

It all makes a mockery of UEFA’s fair play rules when states, and those who are very unsavory, can simply buy success. Football is going bad.

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