IN THE dog days of my time as a daily newspaper political journalist I was dispatched on the final Sunday of independence referendum campaigning to report back from the streets of my home city, with which I have a love-hate relationship.
My wander around the streets of Edinburgh concluded in my home patch and I concluded the piece in The Herald:
In Stockbridge the No tribe is gathering — hundreds of Union supporters on the fields of the Grange Cricket Club. The ostensible reason is an aerial photograph of them forming the word NO.
The real motive is for a segment of society to feel comfort in its own company, safe from the barbarians at the gate. Many sport Union Flag umbrella hats in which there is a vigorous trade. One woman teams such headgear with with a matching maxi dress and rucksack.
The men sport rugby tops and sometimes the full Murrayfield kilt ensemble, the kids private school sweatshirts, and strips. They throw around cricket and rugby balls. No-one is kicking a football. That the shape of a ball determines voting intentions in Edinburgh speaks volumes.
And so it came to pass that yesterday this tribe elected the leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party as their constituency MSP, and mine. Some Nationalists are whingeing that without Alison Johnstone standing in the seat for the Greens, the SNP would have won. Tough. In the absence of any pact the Greens were entitled to stand, and I am delighted that my vote helped get Andy Wightman voted as a regional MSP.
But to those enjoying the frisson of the success of Ruthie Tank Commander, I say we won’t forget Tory attacks on the disabled, benefit cuts, blocking child refugees and general Bullingdon brutality. The babarians remain at the gate.