Just an Observation
With the Scottish summer stalled somewhere between late winter and early spring it was good to see a little bit of sunshine in the form of Mhairi Black’s maiden speech as MP on Tuesday this week.
One of the last to make this entrée into the world of Westminster-ten weeks after being elected- it was well worth the wait. Concentrating on the draconian welfare reforms but also offering the voice of hope for the future, this twenty year old is very much the voice of youth but imbued with a knowing and empathy way beyond her years. It is encouraging, especially considering the mood of the country right now as cut after cut eats into many households already struggling, that this young person understands what is important if the country is to take any steps towards recovery, beyond the rich getting richer.
Not that you would have known what the content of her speech was if you were relying on the BBC’S Reporting Scotland for reliable reportage. It would seem that instead of detailing the content of her speech or acknowledging that within a couple of hours it had gone viral on the internet with over half a million hits the BBC gave the whole matter about fifteen seconds airtime and used them to show how other MP’S were admonished for applauding it.
This despite the brilliant observation that after George Osborne abolished housing benefit for the under 21’s she is now the only twenty year old in the country he is now prepared to pay housing for, simply because she is an MP and all rules are different for them; never more apparent than in the wage increase of 10% they have been awarded whilst everyone else in on 1%. David Cameron even went on the news to say that he will be accepting the rise he refuses to other workers as it is in line with the job he does.
Anyway back to the apparently disrespectful clapping which followed Mhairi’s speech; sometimes a ‘Hear, hear’ simply won’t do- it is an outmoded response best suited to the past like most Westminster traditions- and Mhairi Black deserved her applause for delivering a speech loaded with such significance and I, for one, applaud her wholeheartedly.
In sad news this week Nick Cave’s fifteen year old son Arthur son died after falling from a cliff in Brighton. Having experienced a close family member losing a child in tragic circumstances a few years back I can only imagine the darkness that hovers over the household and sympathies go out to Cave, Susie Bick and their other children.
Much hoopla has surrounded the release of Harper Lee’s prequel to ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ the hotly anticipated and long-awaited –fifty years- ‘Go Set a Watchman’. Apparently showing a darker side to Atticus Finch and offering a more adult perspective than the child’s gazing viewpoint which permeated its predecessor it was also written in a different time with different agendas. The fact that America is undergoing some sort of race relations upheaval at this present time does give it a significance which is totally relevant but how relevant is still unclear.
I must admit my copy lies shiny, new and unopened at the moment as I want to sit down and absorb the book’s contents in my own time when I have the head space to grant it the attention it deserves and this week has not provided this so far. Mind you as soon as there is a rainy day-take your pick from the next week if the weather forecasts are correct- I will be curled up on the couch with a supply of snacks and totally absorbed in the lives of those oh so familiar literary characters who made such a strong impression when I first read ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’.
Still not got around to studying the Fringe programme so not got too many recommendations yet although Fiona Soe Paing’s ‘Alien Lullabies’ at Summerhall –August 12th -23rd- looks like being a hot ticket as does ‘Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas’ at Assembly Hall. I do intend to make a more detailed study of the programme-why do they make it so dense and uninteresting?- over the weekend and sort out some sort of itinerary/calendar with recommendations to follow.

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