Robert Burns enriched Scottish song with his genius and is mainly responsible for the rich treasure house of song that we enjoy today. He collected folk songs, retained the melodic line, kept what words were usable and rewrote the rest. He didn’t claim ownership.
The task of the media in a democracy is not to ease the path of those who govern, but to make life difficult for them by constant vigilance as to how they exercise the power they only hold in trust from the people.
It is in the public interest to know what our governors are up to. If they are up to doing good, then they are only too happy to let us know. When they are up to no good, they want that kept secret.
From the very depth of my being, I challenge the right of any man or any group of men, in business or in government, to tell a fellow human being that he or she is expendable.
When New Labour came to power, we got a Right-wing Conservative government. I came to realise that voting Labour wasn’t in Scotland’s interests any more. Any doubt I had about that was cast aside for ever when I saw Gordon Brown cosying up to Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street.
Profit is the sole criterion used by the establishment to evaluate economic activity. From the rat race to lame ducks. The vocabulary in vogue is a give-away. It’s more reminiscent of a human menagerie than human society.
Dictators can fix up their entire families in good jobs, in or around government, and often do. In democracies, such a practice is frowned upon. Privileged access to the corridors of power through family connections and a kind of old boys’ network, is also deemed an abuse of power, and so it is.
Arthur Scargill’s leadership of the miners’ strike has been a disgrace. The price to be paid for his folly will be immense. He will have destroyed the N.U.M. as an effective fighting force within British trade unionism for the next 20 years. If kamikaze pilots were to form their own union, Arthur would be an ideal choice for leader.
From the Olympian heights of an executive suite, in an atmosphere where your success is judged by the extent to which you can maximise profits, the overwhelming tendency must be to see people as units of production, as indices in your accountants’ books.
A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement.