2020, not a year we’ll forget

We’re now a full month past polling day in the US and still we await the final results, just how is it that they cannot organise a simple straight forward count of votes yet can put people in space and bring them back? Seems simple that if you want to vote then that vote must be in by close of polls and then all votes are counted. One thing the current US situation does highlight however is the need for a written constitution and one which is capable of adapting to changing circumstances which the US model is not.

However long it takes the trumpet will be leaving the White House and the world can begin to breathe a little easier. One lunatic is at least not running the asylum for much longer. The Nonsense spouted by the trumpet will have an impact on our own elections and especially around postal votes, a big job awaits to explain how they work, how they are sorted, stored and then counted to convince people that they can safely be used.

Talking of elections, I have a horrible feeling that we are failing to pay attention to a couple of the unchanging rules of politics. 1) people do not like parties which are splitting and arguing among themselves. If they don’t like you they ain’t gonna vote for you ergo the more you argue the less likely you are to win. Some of the pieces I have read, especially in the run up to conference were in a tone which I would not even expect to be used about unionists far less our own colleagues. You may not agree with everything said but please bear in mind that we are all entitled to our views and a respectful hearing. Sure, we will debate, and even argue on occasion, but a bit of civility costs nothing as my wonderful Granny drummed into me.

The second rule is related and is this. The right wing of politics will stick rigidly to “message” because it cares only about winning and keeping power. The left on the other hand, will take any opportunity to split on a “point of principle” and in doing so hand power to the right.

We seem to be hung up on issues which while important in themselves are far less important than winning the power to make real changes and that means Independence. We’re six months away from a general election and instead of pulling together seem intent on trying to pull each other down.  What’s done cannot be changed, but what can be changed is the face we present to the people of Scotland. We have come this far by showing that we can, usually, conduct ourselves and our business in a civilized, respectful and generally courteous way. By all means let the debates be vigorous, evidence based and sincere. But let’s put the name calling, personal abuse and vilification away.

The stakes are far to high to allow anyone’s ego to get in the way!

I’ve been getting truly frustrated with some of the crap being spouted by those at the top of Scottish football about getting fans back into games. I do appreciate that some of you will not be fans of football but please bear with me. Clubs in Scotland do not live on the money they receive at the turnstiles, they rely on fans shelling out hundreds of pounds each summer to buy a season ticket. This allows clubs to invest in players etc knowing that the money is in the bank, a successful season which brings extra fans is a bonus. Some clubs even have very few “walk up” seats available. Yet some who know better are burbling away at the Government to allow fans in “to get cash flowing”. This is a lie. Let me illustrate.
Since moving to the highlands, I have become a season ticket holder at Ross County. We’ve been allowed 300 fans into 2 league games now. The Club has balloted these tickets among season ticket holders. That’s the folk who have already paid, so there is no additional money coming in. There are however extra costs for the stewards etc at these games and it seems that we have as many stewards for these 300 as we would with a normal crowd, so the club is effectively losing money by having fans in. There are no pie stalls etc which might have raised a few quid so it’s just money going out. Yet the officials at the football authorities bleat about not getting money in. There’s an agenda at work here and it’s very simple; SNPBAD! So the next time you hear this mince please don’t buy the simplicity, as with everything in Scotland’s media you have to look behind the headlines and question everything.

It’s a similar story with businesses, there are many wonderful examples of innovation and creativity but all we hear are the doom mongers so please take a few moments if you have a Facebook page or twitter account to highlight some of the good news stories to balance things up.

It’s been a momentous year, with finally, a bit of hope at the end. The news that we now have three vaccines ready, one approved as I write, is fantastic and a real boost to us all. There’s a massive communication job to be done to ensure the highest possible take up of the vaccines and with it the chance of a return to some of the things we have missed so much, seeing and greeting friends and family, going for a drink or a meal etc. While we wait for our time to get the jab and then for it to become fully effective, don’t let your guard down now. We can surely live with masks and social distancing for a bit longer if it allows us to eliminate this thing sooner.

This is my final contribution this year so let me wish my faithful reader a very happy Christmas, a wonderful New Year with a united SNP winning a majority and as Nicola keeps telling us remember FACTS a bit longer. Lang may your lum reek!