LESS than three weeks to go now of a campaign that seems to have lasted three years. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but much of the General Election debate has referenced the independence arguments of 2014, and many of our letter writers have picked up from where they left off (or didn’t, as the case may be).
A good proportion of the new contributors we garnered then have stayed with us, and every day we are publishing first-time writers. Our pages continue to be the foremost print forum for political debate in Scotland – my thanks to all our correspondents.
Of necessity a great deal of our space has been given over to politics, but as I have written here before, I am keen to keep up an eclectic mix of topics. Thankfully, that has never been a problem. The last three weeks bear ample testimony. Ian Hutcheson of Glasgow launched a campaign of his own – to invigorate the older generation by suggesting a new nomenclature for the proud pensioner. “My Spanish dictionary provides a solution”, he wrote. “The Spanish for a member of our derided tribe is ‘pensionista’. Doesn’t that sound better? More like a fiery activist of a revolutionary party – a high-profile, flag-waving, marching, demonstrating, irresistible party. No government or its cheerleading henchmen in the media would dare mess with a pensionista.”
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Fellow Glasgow scribe Brian M Quail was enthusiastic: “I announce to my fans – all six of them – and to the eager public, that henceforth I want to be described as a ‘pensionista’. I just love the word, so thanks, Mr Hutcheson.”
Kilbirnie’s R Russell Smith took it a step further with: “Contributors to the Letters Pages unite. We can all be Opinionistas now.”
There has, in fact, been no lack of humour on our pages recently. David Miller of Milngavie appraised us of the wit of the Duke of Edinburgh: “When visiting a university in Australia, Prince Philip was introduced to a couple identified as ‘Mr and Dr Robinson’. The husband explained that his wife was a doctor of philosophy and much more important than he was. Philip replied: ‘Ah yes, we have that trouble in our family too.’ I may add that I have a similar problem in my marriage.”
The redoubtable entertainer Jimmie Macgregor came back with: “At Holyrood for the Chookie Embra awards, I learned of his standard reply to the oft-repeated ‘How was your flight?’: ‘Have you ever been on an aeroplane? Well it was like that’.” It’s the way HRH tells them, no doubt.
Still keeping politics to one side for the moment, we have also over the last three weeks been discussing issues as diverse as cycleways, the closure of public toilets, the first cuckoo, regulations for buskers, renewable energy sources, the BBC’s drama about the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay and the past, present and future of Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street.
We will, of course, continue to major on politics, but feel free to let rip on any subject that takes your fancy. A word of warning, though – over the page you will see that we are publishing a letter extolling the virtues of puns. You may find the subject cheesy. I’d better tread Caerphilly.