Why won’t ‘they’ just do something?


by Laura Gibson

Ah, yes.  The familiar cry of people the world over when asked about their governments.  Despite the richness of all the different cultures, nations, peoples, customs and traditions which inhabit this planet of ours, we all seem to be united in the belief that our governments are, well … a bit rubbish, let’s be honest.

The way we act upon such beliefs is markedly different.  Does your current Middle Eastern Tyrant no longer get rid of those stubborn stains on the body politic?  No problem, all you need is shiny new revolution which scientists say is 100% more effective at getting rid of a dictator than a non-biological washing powder.  Western intervention free to every oil rich nation!

Don’t like the policies your government has put in place?  Well, if you’re European, go on strike, block public highways and have a riot or two in the main square of Athens.  People in the Mediterranean can do this because they’re cool enough to drive little scooters without feeling self-conscious.

Or if you’re (whisper it) British, as some would say, there’s that timeless and effective revolutionary method of tutting a lot then writing a strongly-worded letter to the Daily Mail.  If severely pressed, some have even been known to watch goings-on suspiciously from behind the net curtains.  

But what is it we actually want?  Take immigration for a start.  First there were too many immigrants, then too few, then too many and so it went on until nobody was all that clear about the whole thing.  Including, bless ’em, the Westminster government.

A few years back ‘they’ managed to lose quite a lot of people, over 40,000 according to reports, who were here illegally.  Now if that’s not careless I don’t know what is.  Somewhere in Britain there are 40,000 souls wandering around with no idea where they are, quite possibly without the benefit of sat-nav.  Which is also rubbish.  But that’s another rant.

Or health.  “Too little spent on the NHS!” we shouted, surrounded by photos of very ill and needy children whose forlorn, angelic faces had the distinct look of “who are you and why are you shoving that camera in my face?”  Then we heard how much it cost for a ‘supersize’ hospital bed and we were up in arms about that too.  “We’re wasting money on the NHS!” we moaned.

See?  We can’t make up our minds about anything.

So where does that leave our own Scottish Government?  Stuck between a Scotsman reader and a hard place, by the looks of it.

“Call a referendum now!  No, er … wait.  Let’s get all the facts out there.  No, NOW!  No, last week!” It seems that poor Alex Salmond and the rest of them, were they to try and keep up with “the settled will of the Scottish people”, which was apparently settled for a good five minutes before we decided on something else, would never get anything done.

“Demand more financial powers!” we chant outside Holyrood.  Or, rather, we would be chanting outside Holyrood if we were cool enough to drive wee scooters without feeling self-conscious and we weren’t so busy yelling at the telly during Newsnight.  (Note to self: must apologise to Mrs Next Door for the racket.)

Well, that’s it from me for now.  I was going to write more but have decided I must go and do the dishes, or maybe watch the Hour, or maybe call my friend back, or …  Oh no it’s starting again.  

‘They’ ought to do something to help me out here.