I've entered a new stage in my non-relationship with the PM. I can't stand the sight of Boris Johnson. It's bad enough having to listen to him mumbling a non-answer to any serious question or pontificating in the House of Commons at the top of his voice. But watching him all over the television screen on a building site, or driving a tractor, or visiting a factory, is something else again.
His gear, which never changes, is the giveaway. His carefully dishevelled hair is topped by a worker's hard hat, while a bright yellow plastic jacket is meant to convince us that he is just an ordinary hard-working guy. Watch him as he bounds across the screen to bump arms with an unsuspecting spectator, while ensuring the camera is catching his oafish grin. For him, it is clearly all just a game and much more fun than running the country.
Well, from now on, I'll close my eyes as well as my ears or even switch off. The question is: when will enough Tory backbenchers come to their senses and do the same?
Interesting 'Singing for Scotland' commentary by Gerry Hassan
2022). He must be younger than me because I can remember what it was
like to hear, and to sing, traditional Scottish songs in a (sort of) 'folk club'.
That would have been The Place in the old re-purposed grain cellars in Edinburgh's Victoria Street in the early 1960s. The Place got yuppified in due course, when it was turned into Nicky Tams, but while it lasted it was a magical place filled with young women and men, a honeycomb of small rooms; an underground labyrinth filled with talk and wonderful, thought-provoking music that had welled up from a past that too few of us then knew about. The music of people like Josh MacRae, Davey Graham, and a younger Bert Jansch. I'm pretty sure, I think, that the Corries turned up at The Place as well.
describes 'he has went' as 'incorrect use'. Well, 'he went' is just as anomalous.
Over to you, Frank.
When I started working, the telephones in our area had no dial. It was 'lift and listen', with the operator putting calls through. Now in most, but not all areas, people can dial direct 24x7.
But they can also receive calls 24x7. Working from home during lockdown has blurred the distinction between work and relaxation, fostering a culture of expectation that people are available on their mobiles, e.g. in evenings and on holiday. Now no-one objects to formal 'on call arrangements' or being called in an emergency, as are RNLI volunteers. But there is a trend to assume that, for example, parents can routinely contact school staff in evenings and weekends, or that the goodwill of staff can be exploited regularly by firms.
There is a healthy biblical principle of a balance between work and relaxation, whereby one works when working and is entitled to regular time when one does not work. In 2016, France was the first country to introduce a right to be disconnected. Do we need legislation, or at least a sensitive culture, aware of issues?
The other assumption is that everyone has broadband access. One local authority ran a two-day course to introduce people to the internet. When no-one turned up, the organiser was asked where it had been advertised, to which came the answer 'on the internet of course'. In practical terms, one of the greatest inequalities in Scotland is digital poverty, particularly affecting young people and the housebound in geographical areas without broadband.
In our fast-moving hi-tech culture, there is an increasing need for sensitivity to the situation of others, otherwise it is a case of 'lift and don't listen'.
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