May-day! Pre­pare for worst

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

Deared­i­tor Hav­ing watched Theresa May’s in­ter­view on TV with An­drew Neil, I thought that he might give her an easy time – not quite.

He pressed her for an an­swer on sev­eral ques­tions. She said a lot but an­swered none. In fact, she was repet­i­tive and ro­botic. I felt that she learned that a one on one in­ter­view ex­pe­ri­ence is vastly dif­fer­ent from a rau­cous, child­ish prime min­is­ter’s ques­tion time at West­min­ster.

But what re­ally struck me. If this woman be­comes the next Prime Min­is­ter she will be lead­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions on Brexit with the EU ne­go­tia­tors who are skilled, in­tel­li­gent and com­pe­tent.

All I can say is, God help us all and be pre­pared for the worst.

Robert Bren­nan Machrie Road Castlemilk Lis­bon Lions led me to a ca­reer in jour­nal­ism It was a scorch­ing hot May day and by late af­ter­noon the streets were de­serted.

All the big en­gi­neer­ing work, s hip yards, of­fices and col­leges had closed early so ev­ery­one could get home to see the match.

It was an early kick off, 5.30pm, and as I sat down with mum, dad and my brother, there was an air of great ex­cite­ment a bit like Hog­manay– some­thing spe­cial was about to hap­pen.

We turned on the black and white TV ,all the win­dows were open and you could hear a pin drop.

Once the Bhoys had done the job, the cel­e­brat­ing be­gan and the town erupted.

My brother went out with his pals and wasn’t seen un­til the next day, mum and dad went down the Main Street to see the crowds throng­ing the street. It didn’t mat­ter whether you sup­ported Celtic or not – it was a mat­ter of national pride, the un­der­dogs had won the day. It was the stuff of dreams.

Be­ing a Thurs­day, there was no booz­ing for my dad-wages were paid in cash then on a Friday so he had to wait.

I went up to a ca­reers night at school where I met a tired and jaded Scot­tish Daily Ex­press re­porter who told me that my am­bi­tion to be a news­pa­per re­porter was just not go­ing to hap­pen.

I left with these words ring­ing in my ears: “It’s no job for a nice wee lassie like you. Why don’t you be a nurse?”

All the boys who came in were given leaflets and told an ap­pren­tice­ship could be ar­ranged for them at the pa­per. What was go­ing through my mind ? Just one thing. I had just watched the game of the cen­tury. They said Celtic couldn’t do it, they had no chance but ... they had just done it. And so could I. I went home and wrote out my plans for the next few years, I would pass all my ex­ams, be­come an ex­pert short­hand writer, all in prepa­ra­tion for get­ting the job of my dreams.

At 16 I left school with top qual­i­fi­ca­tions and worked in pub­lic re­la­tions.

I wrote to ev­ery lo­cal news­pa­per in the coun­try but they were not tak­ing any­one on. Then I saw it-the ad­vert in the East Kil­bride News which I still have to this day. “Ju­nior Re­porter. Young man (20-24) wanted with pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence.”

I was 17, fe­male and with no ex­pe­ri­ence. I got the job, in no small part prob­a­bly be­cause I had the cheek to apply for it.

This was be­fore the law changed which would not have al­lowed such an ad.

By the time I was 18 I had won an award and I then moved to the Re­former to ful­fil my am­bi­tion of right­ing wrongs and fight­ing the good fight on be­half of or­di­nary peo­ple.

East Kil­bride was too tame – there were no is­sues for me to get my teeth into.

Ruther­glen at that time in the 70s had huge hous­ing prob­lems, ter­ri­ble con­di­tions caused by pri­vate land­lords and I am happy to say that ac­tion was taken once the pa­per high­lighted the real life hard­ships folk were en­dur­ing.

Job done here it was off to Go­van, Partick and Dun­fermline then onto the Scot­tish Daily News where at 21 I was the youngest news re­porter and one of only two women.

I still have that list I made out on that hot sum­mer night in ‘67 and am happy to say I have ticked off all my am­bi­tions ex­cept one and added many other things I thought I could never have dreamt I would do. I’m still work­ing on the last one, 50 years on.

All be­cause on that mag­i­cal night, the Bhoys did not take no for an an­swer – and nei­ther did this girl.

As I write I can still feel the but­ter­flies in my stom­ach and the ex­cite­ment in the air.

Magic and the stuff of dreams com­ing true. Dorothy Con­nor Ruther­glen

Lib Dems must have short mem­o­ries Judg­ing by his com­ments last week, Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown must ei­ther have a short mem­ory or hopes that the elec­torate has.

In his epis­tle Mr Brown states that with no party hav­ing out­right con­trol of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil it pro­vides the op­por­tu­nity for power to be de­volved to lo­cal area com­mit­tees.

I would re­mind Mr Brown that the same op­por­tu­nity arose fol­low­ing the coun­cil elec­tions in 2007.

On that oc­ca­sion the SNP pro­posed just what Mr Brown now asks for, more power to lo­cal com­mit­tees al­low­ing lo­cal peo­ple a greater say in the de­ci­sions af­fect­ing their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

How­ever, the two Lib­eral Demo­crat coun­cil­lors at that time voted with the Tories and Labour against the SNP mo­tion.

For this the Lib­eral Demo­crat mem­bers re­ceived not 40 pieces of sil­ver, just deputy chair­man­ships of two com­mit­tees.

Just one more ex­am­ple of what the Lib­er­als say and what they ac­tu­ally do when they sniff the mer­est sense of power.

You can­not trust Lib­er­als as far as you can throw them, ask any stu­dent.

Gor­don Clark Princes Gate Ruther­glen Coun­cil­lors will need to work to­gether While I’ve no pref­er­ence when it comes to po­lit­i­cal par­ties, the over­all out­come of the re­cent elec­tions to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil pleased me.

No party has over­all con­trol and that means coun­cil­lors have to be prag­matic about their poli­cies and pri­or­i­ties over the com­ing years.

This will be a good thing for peo­ple in this area, in my opin­ion, and I hope to see our elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives rise to the chal­lenge ac­cord­ingly.

Of course, there will be dif­fer­ences of opin­ion and the last thing we want is all the par­ties agree­ing all the time.

But we want to see con­sen­sus, ac­tion taken when and where pos­si­ble and a grown-up ap­proach within this new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

That would be a vic­tory for democ­racy and pro­duc­tive for the peo­ple of South La­nark­shire who rely on and ap­pre­ci­ate their pub­lic ser­vices on a daily ba­sis.

Com­muter, via email

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