In Mourning for Mac

We sadly announce the death of Macarnie (Arnold McGregor) last Thursday 26.10.06 ~ Relieved of pain at last.

Mac we salute you for your friendship, support, scholarly thought and imaginative verse over a number of years.
You were matchless.
We sorely miss you.

Here was Mac at his best:

General Election May 05



The hour hand; slowly creeping, is nearly at high noon

The minute hand is catching up, they’ll be meeting very soon,

It’s time to name the polling day when Britain’s battle starts,

And Champions of different Parties fight, to win the voters’ hearts.

It’s time to rally round the flag, and this time not the red one.

Let’s make The Labour Party sick, or better still, a dead one

It’s time for change, in every sense; not merely in direction

It’s time to clear the streets of crime, and wards of all infection

It’s time to give the teachers back, their authority in class

And not allow the classroom thugs to bully and harass.

It’s time for lawful burghers to live in blessed peace

Let’s put the Bobby on the street: that’s where we want police

If these are your priorities, and yes, I do mean YOU

Be sure to put your voting mark in the box which means true blue


For more Mac see here

And here:

Setting the pre-election tone:

One hears of happy families, where children don’t do wrong,
This isn’t one of them I fear: it’s not that kind of song.
If that were so, there’d be no point, in telling this, our saga.
We’d all be happy, baking bread, and sitting round the Aga

BBB Macarnie [BBB as in best blue blog regards…]

And here is Jaq’s tribute to MacFortean Times

18 thoughts on “In Mourning for Mac”

  1. Very sorry to hear this. I never agreed with a word Mac rhymed, but I’ve always greatly admired his skill in getting those pesky sentiments in sufficient good order to make them both rhyme AND scan. It’s a lost art.

    My sincere condolences to his family.

  2. The unfortunate effect of a loss of this magnitude is that there simply are no words to express it.

    The world is a smaller place without him; we will have to step up and engage, just to live up to his memory.

  3. well said raincoaster

    btw we have been having some difficulties with access to the site…so to those who can’t get through – the blip should be cleared up soon I hope

  4. I didn’t know you Mac, but I know some, that you knew
    And by their looking back, I feel the absence, that was you ,
    Your spirit reaches out , through them , to me , and in this way
    We do go on, ,for you were born , to me , only today..

    Condolences all.

  5. Able to post again. Thanks Melissa.

    When I first showed up here, well over a year ago, and started reading the comments, Macarnie very rapidly came to seem to me to define the house comment style: courteous, amusing, and poetic.

    If these comments largely remain thus, it’s thanks to people like Macarnie. The best tribute we could make to him would be to continue to be courteous, amusing, and occasionally poetic.

    I never actually agreed very much with Mac, but I still felt grief when I learned of his death. And, to my surprise, found myself composing a poem.

    Alas gentle Macarnie

    I never met Macarnie,
    And yet I knew him well.
    He talked a lot of blarney,
    But had a tale to tell.

    Not very good, I know. But it’s what trickled out of the pen.

    Adieu, Ancient Submariner.

  6. I’m never very good at knowing what to say in these situations. So I’m just going to offer my condolences to Mac’s family and everyone that knew him. I haven’t blogged here that long, so don’t have many meaningful memories of Mac, but I have noticed how much everyone missed him.

    If like raincoaster says, the world has become a smaller place, perhaps heaven has become just a little bit bigger.

  7. idlex – your poem does him proud – he would have smiled at that…

    Steven_L – I like your sentiment
    >like raincoaster says, the world has become a smaller place, perhaps heaven has become just a little bit bigger

    This ought to be our banner on the site:

    ~~ Courtesy, Humour, Poetry ~~

  8. I’m one of Arnold McGregor’s sons and would like to thank Boris Johnson and everyone who has written in response to the “In Mourning for Mac” item for your very kind comments.
    Many thanks.
    Edgar Rolf-McGregor

  9. To my dearest uncle mac, we shed a tear for thee, it’s a shame it takes something like this to get together an entire family.
    The pain you suffered 5 years since past, i talk of when that lady left your side, I speak of my aunt, edgars mother, your lovely flamed haired bride. How we miss her anwering you, in her exquisite native tongue, always the lady no hair out of place and never a foot wrong.
    We miss you both, our hearts are torn in two, I speak of macarnie and my aunt, his one, his only, and true

    we love you both


  10. I have to confess almost complete ignorance of Mac, apart from his wonderful poems. However, it really seems he touched a lot of people’s lives with them, and it is very sad that his prose won’t be adorning the site any more. Rest In Peace, Mac…

  11. Mac will never be back…

    Since the official Boris Johnson site first became an outrageously popular blog – second only, of course, to Boriswatch’s standing – there has been a little community building up, with regulars posting… well, regularly. Sadly, one of the best of…

  12. How touching to hear from the McGregors first hand.

    It is a privilege to hear your comments and to know of your real admiration for your father/uncle.

    He was a splendid fellow.

  13. and it is very sad that his prose won’t be adorning the site any more. (wibbler)

    Mac will always adorn this site.

    In this our virtual world, nobody ever really dies.

  14. Mac and I used to argue a lot in the blog comments and we also used to write to
    each other occasionally. I agreed with very little he said (he was a conservative
    after all) but he was an exemplary opponent who fought hard, but never stooped
    to any kind of personal attack.

    At that time I was living in Callander and he told me he had a special affection
    for the Trossachs. He had some kind of family connection with the area. A week
    or two earlier I’d been to a concert in the nearby church at Balquidder – where
    Rob Roy is buried – and I guessed correctly that Macarnie was a MacGregor.

    I hope Mac will enjoy his big clan meeting up in the sky, no doubt under a big
    banner with the words, as on Rob Roy’s grave, ‘MacGregor despite Them’.

    Simon Holledge

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