The nation mourns the best taken from among us. It is as though there is a catch in Scotland’s breath.
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Ian Hamilton, you are outrageous, how dare you write words that raise the heckles in my neck, stirring passions I had nearly forgotten - more to the point, how outrageously feeble has been the national response? It appears the useless glitterati of the Beckham’s deserve more coverage than a leader of men, and the once proud labour party is reduced to near pathetic silence.
Ian has it about right here. There is not much that needs saying.
“The man’s the gowd for a’ that”
There is a fulsome tribute to Jimmy Reid in The Herald today with a text of his rectorial speech. He would surely have grinned to see all the members of the Labour Party, many of them supporters of the New Labour that the same man rejected, queuing up to pay their respects. I wonder how many of them phoned Rothesay for a chat with the nat!
I only spoke to Jimmy once although I saw him occasionally at SNP gatherings. He was a member of the Isle of Bute Branch.
I was sitting on a bench on Oban Peir on a late summer’s evening several years ago watching the sun go down in the west when he sat at the other end of the bench, silent in his thoughts. I didn’t recognise him at first but we got into conversation touched base and he told me his mother was from Mull. I am sure that is what he told me although I have since read that it was his mother’s father that was actually from the island. I told him that my father’s mother was a native of Tobermory but had to leave to work in service on the mainland. He nodded in understanding stating that it was all too common an experience. “Maybe we’re related? ” he said. However tenuous the link I would like to think so.
To the students [of Glasgow University] I address this appeal. Reject these attitudes. Reject the values and false morality that underlie these attitudes. A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement. This is how it starts, and before you know where you are, you’re a fully paid-up member of the rat-pack. The price is too high. It entails the loss of your dignity and human spirit. Or as Christ put it, “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”
I wonder how many lives this speech changed. rip Jimmy