Relate never had a better day

Date: 27th April 2020

The latest weekly blog, written by Donalds Stewart:

Picture the scene…

It’s a late Edinburgh afternoon, the one where the smir and the glaur are equally in attendance.

One, named Mr Stewart, the other Mr Sutton have reluctantly agreed to counselling to see if they can resolve their relationship differences.

Having brewed their wrath for some time, they have kept their distance socially. Connected by way of civil partnership, they both believe that the other’s uncivil behaviour may have brought any reconciliation to a stuttering end.

It came to a head just the other night when, in a public place, aired for all to hear, accusation after counter accusation were hurled at the other with onlookers rubbing their hands in glee and a wider audience hearing it from afar.

The mediator, a Mr Currie, fair by inclination since his days on a Radio Station in the West Coast, enters the room for their hour-long partnership counselling meeting. His usual sunny disposition, affected by their presence drops as soon as he sees them but his wicked sense of humour and reading of the notes, followed by a day and week without anything worth watching live meant that this could be a good hour to sit back and pop open the popcorn and count the audience figures; if anyone were listening.

The notes tell him that both of his clients have had previous relationship difficulties in relationships, Mr Stewart with a Mr Wishart over transparency and openness and Mr Sutton with a Mr McCoist over something to do with the Big Two that made little sense at the time and even reading it coldly did not truly sit well Mr Currie, then or now.

Trying to get his head round the issues and get a feel of what was wrong, Mr Currie had reread the notes several times without really understanding. knew it was a family dispute about Big Daddy who held all the purse strings and would dangle riches in front of their family without letting go. Mr Currie was aware of it in principal but, unlike his two feuding clients had never really experienced being in Big Daddy’s company.

Ordinarily, the therapist, for that is what Mr Currie saw himself as, would ask one to start – it would normally be the more placid. He had no idea how to choose between them.

If that did not work then he would then turn to the one less wound up, and again that seemed difficult to divine.

Finally, if all else fails, he would find the one who was the most irritating and chose the other to start. Mr Currie mentally tossed a coin and asked Mr Sutton to begin, as it landed on heads and he knew most folk wanted to stand on Mr Sutton’s; or at least only the ones who had met him.

Mr Sutton began, “It’s a difficult one, isn’t it? Because of the situation. I have to say Big Daddy has taken an absolute kicking. I think he has brought certain situations upon himself, but he had an impossible job, really.”

Therapist Mr Currie then turned to Mr Stewart who responded without prompting, “I think it’s quite clear that this has been a shambles from the outset. He (And he points directly at Mr Sutton) makes the point that it’s better to do what has been done rather than see people fall apart and I think that’s the narrative that’s being pushed by Big Daddy and now him. (He points directly at Mr Sutton again) It’s a false one. So simply change the rules allow folk to get paid and avoid anyone going bust. Buy time to make better decisions about what happens and how you finish the night.”

Mr Currie was confused. The nature of the spat seemed to being lost in hyperbole.

Mr Stewart continued without stopping for breath, “There should be solidarity at this moment, but they (And he points directly at Mr Sutton once more) have only created ill-feeling and division.”

Mr Currie was confused. He was about to ask Mr Stewart if he was halucinating and could see another person in the room when he realised that “they” meant Big Daddy and Mr Sutton combined… he then asked Mr Sutton if he was comfortable.

Mr Sutton seemed irritable in response, “I don’t get what you mean ‘comfortable’… honestly, who is comfortable with this situation? Absolutely nobody. Big Daddy isn’t comfortable with it. The fact is that it went to a vote and people voted and we have got what we have got. We live in a democracy now, and even Mr Stewart couldn’t argue against that.”

Mr Stewart interceded “It’s quite clear, that one of us voted no. That should be the end of it.”

Mr Currie was confused. What the hell were they going on about? Mr Currie then burrowed into his notes and found what they were talking about.

A night out gone wrong.

Big Daddy offered to pay everybody in, Mr Stewart was up for that bit, Mr Sutton was also in favour. So far so good…

Big Daddy didnae want to go to the West End of Glasgow, South West Scotland or in the Heart of Edinburgh. Mr Sutton couldnae care less. Mr Stewart was clearly in favour of one of those places. The company had a vote. Initially a Mr Nelms (a long lost cousin who may now be lost forever judging by his role in all this) from Dundee was up for not doing what was suggested and then changed his mind. There was no reason why. Even a therapist and a psychologist would struggle to untangle that!

Mr Currie looked up realising he had not been paying attention as the temperature in the room had dropped and there was a strange feeling abroad as the accusations flew in.

Mr Sutton was first “We all know where you are coming from. I don’t get it – there was a vote. Do you not believe in democracy?”

Mr Stewart sharpened his razor tongue within and responded with, “Where am I coming from?”

Mr Sutton looked him in the eye and said, “You’re banging on about this vote and the injustice of it all – 81 per cent have voted! That is overwhelming. So, what is your problem? Your problem is you wanted to go to that place you used to frequent before you absconded to their rivals. If it was Hamilton, we were talking you wouldn’t be banging on like this!”

Mr Currie was confused. Where the hell did Hamilton fit in? Was this really, all about a night out? Was there something more at stake?

Mr Stewart was having none of it, “Another false narrative! The West End are going down the tubes and maybe I wanted to go there – it’s an absolute disgrace! And where I’m coming from is the proposal that was put forward was a complete false premise. If you’re (And he points directly at Mr Sutton) only given the option of getting knocked down by a bus or a bike, and you (And he points directly at Mr Sutton again) choose getting knocked over by a bike, I could come back and say: ‘it’s democracy, Mr Sutton, you (And he points directly at Mr Sutton once more)  voted for that’.”

At that Mr Sutton rose from his chair incandescent with his own outrage, which was beautifully self generated and to be admired… from a distance…

“Who didn’t want to vote for it? If you don’t want it just say no then! Just say no! If you don’t want to vote for something, say no! It’s simple!” Pointedly pointing at Mr Stewart, he ripostes, “Mr Stewart doesn’t believe in democracy.”

Mr Stewart, almost unheard and under his breath whispers “Ludicrous.” As Mr Currie notices the time and that it is now UP.

He makes an appointment with them both to come back and review where they are next. Rising he asks where they are off to now and both mention the same place. Wondering if this whole thing has been manufactured and whether there would be syndication rights if he broadcast, he watches both leave by different exits, go down by separate elevators and walk out the same front door and into the same taxi.

It’s a funny old game he muses from somewhere, but he is uncertain from whence it came.


Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an almost original tale, any similarities to persons real or imagined are deliberate. However as neither Mr Stewart nor Mr Sutton, as far as he is aware, have been in a civil same sex relationship of any sort this is clearly fictional and never actually happened – though some of the words did.


The fact is that during the week on a weekly BT Sport broadcast Michael Stewart and Chris Sutton clashed over the recent SPFL Big Daddy style vote that relegated Stranraer in the South West corner of the country, Partick Thistle in the West End of Glasgow and may still relegate Heart of Midlothian in Edinburgh for whom Michael Stewart once played (If you ask some Hearts fans he did once play and they can remember the date) before moving across the city to play for Hibs – he never played for Hamilton and we are unaware if that makes him care.

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