Just an Observation


At last it seems to be all quiet on the Brexit front but rest assured this is only a temporary respite and no doubt (ab)normal service will be resumed soon. Not that there hasn’t been enough news to catch up on aside from the UK government turning us into an international laughing-stock.

The tragic fire in the Notre Dame cathedral earlier this week reduced much of the world to a blubbering wreck, wringing their hands in grief and the destruction of such a beautifully constructed monument and building is a tragedy of epic proportions; the cathedral is wrapped up in so much history and personal memories for so many. However it is only a building and there was no loss of life and interestingly several billionaires stepped in within forty-eight hours offering upwards of 700 million for its reconstruction. It raises questions as to how if so much can be raised by so few for a building why could the same people not step into assuage poverty, homelessness and other problems inflicted on thus affecting the most  vulnerable in their society.

Certainly the destruction of several rain forests over the last few decades- which took even longer in their gestation than the much trumpeted two centuries of Notre Dame Cathedral- have past with little regret or grief on the scale of the French tragedy; ironically the forests that do still exist no longer grow trees tall enough to rebuild the internal wooden stucture. Whole cities in the middle east flattened in the name of unnecessary wars also remain pretty much unacknowledged.

Closer to home there was the Grenfell Towers tragedy where 72 lost their lives and hundreds lost their homes with many still waiting to be re-housed- despite Theresa May’s ‘promise’ they would all be re-housed within weeks but we all know how much her ‘promises’ are worth. I don’t recall any billionaires stepping forward to help out in that tragedy; possibly because there weren’t any. Whilst I acknowledge French billionaires are not responsible for British tragedies it emphasises again how broken our society is in comparison.

Edinburgh has been rocked by the sad news of Bradley Welsh’s horrific shooting on Wednesday night; a truly tragic event that is hard to understand at the best of times but even more upsetting when you actually know the person and remember them as kind, considerate, funny and a true gentleman. Inevitably in such extreme circumstances theories and stories will eventually emerge but I intend to ignore them and instead concentrate on the good Brad did for young disadvantaged people and his reaching out to help those without the advantages of a good or privileged start in life. Also this is the only Brad I actually ever knew; a bundle of unrestrained energy, witty bon-mots and a charming way of challenging preconceived notions.

At the end of the day the ultimate tragedy is that his daughter has been left without a father, a wife has lost her husband and a family are mourning the unnecessary loss of their brother. My thoughts go out to them and I will always remember Brad with a smile in my heart. Edinburgh has lost one of its true characters and personalities.

On a happier note I attended the Nightingales gig -along with Vic Godard and Subway Sect- at The Voodoo Rooms last night and I must say it was a phenomenal show; relentless, innovative, sweaty and downright streets ahead of anything else I have seen recently. The Nightingales must be among the best live bands gigging in this country just now and although this is only my opinion it was one that was shared by nearly everyone at the gig last night. I was also filmed interviewing drummer Fliss and singer Robert for a new Youtube channel coming soon so watch out for that!

Tonight Joe Malik’s show at the Voodoo Rooms is on my agenda and although totally different in every way from last night’s outing what I have heard has impressed me enough so am genuinely looking forward to it.

Also it is Good Friday and the beginning of Easter weekend so I intend to indulge my chocolate habit with no pangs of guilt-not that I really do guilt anyway- and I suggest you do the same!


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