Bear with me here.
So. I’ve just got back from seeing my faither. He’s fine, by the way. More than fine, in fact, for a seventy-seven year old grandfather of four who is recuperating from a wee turn in a hospital that he, in his role as Dumfries & Galloway Health Board chairman, helped bring about. I’m loving how he’s enjoying the delicious irony of finally getting the use of a hospital he helped to create, and how he isn’t slow in sharing the story with the staff. Who obviously love the guy. And, at every opportunity, he thanks the staff for the job they’re doing.
Dinner is at five. So I turn up at 4.15, thinking that will give me me a decent chance of a blether about food, farming, the ongoing political situation, independence, whatever. But here’s the thing. A’body in the place wants to speak to him. And A’body does. I’ve nae chance. I’ll get five minutes, tops. But that’s cool. I’ve had the privilege of a lifetime of his knowledge. And of his humanity. And wisdom. And humour. Folks, you are welcome.
I mind a few years ago being involved in my local golf club and asking my dad to organise the car parking for the annual Pro-Am. At one point a major sponsor turned up and basically abandoned his car. Dad told him to move it. The sponsor didn’t recognise Dad and gave him the whole “do you not know who I am” pish. And then he recognised my father. Who gave him the stare. Shift it.
The car was moved. We are all Jock Thomson’s bairns.
The most damning thing about the Sue Gray report wasn’t the booze or the parties. It was the appalling way the powerful treated the powerless. The cleaners. The security staff. People who were following the rules when Westminster wasn’t, because rules are for little people. How we treat folk defines us.
Tak tent o’ ither. Tak tent o’ sma’ things.
All Of Us First. And let Scotland be Scotland.
I’ll meet you further on up the road.