It’s not often we stray into topical topics, but recent events in the world of politics have led us to pass on some useful and informative background reading to help you make more sense of Brexit. As we’re currently hearing in the news, there’s great confusion about arrangements on the Northern Irish border if Brexit takes effect as planned in March 2019. But for some reason we hear a lot less about the difficulties that could ensue on the many internal borders within the Outer Hebrides. When the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, for example, Scalpay will stay in Europe because it’s actually in Spain (and has been since 1588, as any amadan familiar with the Dun Ringles’ poorly spelt prog rock epic “Scalpoch Armada” will tell you). To maintain frictionless trade across the Scalpay bridge, the natural solution would be for the rest of Harris to follow EU regulations, but hardline Hearach seceders in the Democratic Urgha Party (under the leadership of Aline Foster) refuse to countenance such an arrangement. For similar reasons, again based on Spanish territorial claims, border controls are likely to spring up the Goat Island causeway, and on all roads leading in and out of Tolsta Chaolais. Tong, naturally, has used its Washington connections to secure a unilateral trade deal with the USA, but this does not extend to the neighbouring townships. So there’ll have to be a wall at Coll, and another one on the Newmarket road to prevent cheap steel imports from the scrapyard at the Blackwater. North Tolsta has negotiated a peats-for-kimchi deal with North Korea, which will require a DMZ to be created between the Glen and Gress, which is joining Greece. Meanwhile the Niseachs, as part of Norway, are insisting on remaining in EFTA, so strict customs controls will be put in place on the A857 North of Fivepenny Borve. Trade between Point and the rest of the Island is already difficult due to its worsening diplomatic relations with everybody. Sanctions are likely to intensify following Point’s interference in the Tong Presidential elections, and the Rubhach Secret Service’s attempts to assassinate defector Sergei Suardal in the Crit by secretly lacing his Stewart’s Cream of the Barley with water. Rubhach leader Vladimir Sput-in’s claims that his agents were mere tourists, visiting the town to see the world famous spire of Martin’s Memorial, are generally not believed. And that takes us to the Back Bus Stop that we’re hearing so much about. This is the great unanswered Brexit question – why the fleek would anyone want to get off the bus in Back?!? It’s not all bad news, though. According to some writing in the dirt on the side of the Plasterfield bus, Brexit will leave the Health Board with an extra £350 million a day to spend on closing things down.

13 12 2018
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Stan Leverburgh RIP Considering this is supposed to be the Made Up History of Stornoway we seem to be doing obituaries for a lot of famous Hearachs these days. Not so long ago the great Burt Rhenigadale went to meet his maker, and now the legendary Stan Leverburgh has recently gone to the great comic convention in Skye. Sorry, “the sky”. Leverburgh created some of the great superhero characters of the last 70 years and oversaw their transition from the pulp comics of the 1940s to television (in the classic ruppish BBC Alba cartoons of the 60s and 70s) and onwards to the blockbuster movie incarnations who dominate the Lanntair and the Screen Machine today. Stan Leverburgh was born Stanley Martin Ladyleverpark in 1922, and in 1939 went to work as a pencil sharpener in the busy Stornoway offices of “Airidh-an-tuimely Comics”, a front company for the propaganda department of the Free Associated Continuing Church. The church was worried about the island’s wee coves and blones getting drawn in by worldly and sinful publications such as the Beano and the Free Church Monthly Record, so they’d established their pulp magazine business to promote their message of cuireamachness to the youth without them knowing. There was a lot of this sort of thing going on in the 30s and 40s; Most of the Outer Hebrides’ comic publishers were secretly or not-so-secretly run by the islands’ various religious denominations. FP Comics, Hell Comics and All-Amarybank Publications among them. But the biggest outfit in town was APC Comics – home of Backman, FishSupperman (from the planet KrypTong), Wonder Woolman etc. With his Bernera-based collaborator Jack Kirkibost, Leverburgh soon worked his way to the top of “Airidh-an-Tuimely Comics”. Deciding that the holy comic market in Stornoway itself was saturated, Leverburgh rebranded the company to focus on sales to the rural peasantry outside the cattle grid. Maw-vel Comics hit the streets (or at least the single track roads with passing places) in 1961, and soon began to chalk up impressive sales (5 copies a month in Tommy Nicholson’s). Amongst the many characters Leverburgh created were; Captain Amarybank, with his Cortina hub cap nicked from Marybank garage as a shield The Mighty Todhar (from A-sgàrd)-was originally the god of thunderous diahhoreah (and instead of a hammer wielded a mighty toilet brush), but he had to change it due to complaints from his readers. The Inedible Dulse – mild-mannered scientist Brues Beannag worked in the Keose alginate factory by day, but when angry turned into a monster made out of allegedly nutritious seaweed that tastes horrible really. Back Panther Peat-Iron Man (billionaire playboy blacksmith Tony Steallag) -Steallag Industries making Hi tec military equip (well, for the Army Cadets at least) Guardians of the Galaxy Disco- the Seaforth bouncers led by Stair-rod, The Fantastic Four Crown- a particular success in Maw-vel’s early years was this team of superheroes who had gained their powers after exposure to a combination of cosmic rays and fortified South African wine, during a scientific mission to Cathy Dhall’s The Punishader Plocrapool Snaredevil – whose superpower was catching rabbits down at the Braighe for selling to the local butchers. Doctor Coulegrange Supervillan Doctor Mitchellspus Woolverine (played in the films by Huge Cacman) The Tha Vengers The Eggs Men- a team of superheroes with mutant hens producing double yolks Splaoid-erman (alias Peater Parkend – a mild mannered weaver from Garyvard who transforms into a binge-drinking superhero when he comes to town and gets paid for a tweed). Leverburgh also managed to convince BBC Alba to start making films of many of his creations. These summer blockbusters provided to be extremely successful and raked in loads of spondoolacs. Leverburgh also managed to snag himself a wee cameo appearances in nearly all of the BBC Alba Maw-vel movies, and also starred as himself in a famous episode of Beag Bang A’ Shiorraidh in which he’s stalked by arch-nerd Shellfish Crùbag. He’ll be much missed. (as will his cousin Stan Lee).

8 12 2018