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Daleks, Doughballs & Dunderheids

THE LACK of a television licence is a slight psychological hurdle for Scots addicted to news, current afairs and politics, but that cowardice never lasts for long. Thus naturally Qt has been on again, more in hope than expectation, but it never disappoints. No Scotish representatfive, no SNP panellist, but lots of talk about Scotland in the same breath as violence, knife crime and murder. The phrase ‘even in Glasgow’ was evidently a harbinger of doom - except that it wasn’t and nowadays it isn’t. That “No Mean City” caricature is no more - thanks to John Carnochan, Karyn McCluskey and their ilk, folk who trailblazed the view that violence is a health problem and whose work has saved innumerable lfives. Pause for a moment and consider exactly what that means - lads who would have become killers didn’t; lads who would have been murder victims haven’t. Post mortems, trials, coins, funerals - redundant. Mourners stand at ease. Pallbearers raise a glass to the living. Mums and Dads enjoy their children, watch them become parents and life, not death, becomes us.

There was, predictably, a bampot in the audience, who delfivered his Davros speech as he stared without blinking into the camera - we must exterminate killers, no place for them in this society he wailed. Three cheers for him from the brigade who look to reintroduce capital punishment very shortly after Brexit occurs. All the whiles as this spectacle unfolded I was thinking gladiators, lions and Christians, workhouses, tB, callipers and diphtheria, because this divided England has become an afront to decency. It’s regressing, daily, into a quite different world from that which I inhabit.

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December/January 2019
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