Friday, 6 November 2009

Thoughts on Extremism and 24/7 News Part Two

I am too new to this game of blogging to have sophisticated options. So, this will have to be a mind game, rather than a graphic.

Imagine, if you like, that there was a long standing population in a country. Imagine, if you will it was 100% of that perfect state and contained 100% perfect people.

( "Shut up at the back! You are supposed to be imagining an imaginary Scotland circa 1958.")

But things in that idyll were going a little wrong. How shall we put it? Even in a period of less than complete employment folk were not willing to do the necessary jobs, such as driving buses and suchlike.

And so.

When I was at Primary School, I lived close enough to go home for lunch. I was walking up a busy street when some idiotic bully pushed me towards a bus. I hit my head on the wheel arch - folk say that explains a lot about me - however in that prelapsarian age I bounced off and walked away. The bus conductor - remember them - came rushing after me and introduced me to the driver. He was the first Sikh I ever met and he explained to me, in a genuinely odd English accent, for it was genuinely English, that, and I paraphrase, as I had hit my head on his bus then I, or my mother would perhaps have a claim against Glasgow Corporation, and that if he were to give me advice he would suggest that I proceeded with such a claim, should I suffer at all from the impact of my head against his bus.

I do not know whether I took that in or not, in the detail I have outlined, but it is a reasonable summary of what took place.

Of course, I took it no further.

It was a childhood bruise, and anyway it was the bully what done it.

For a while, the buses and tramcars appeared exclusively to be driven and even conductored by guys in Turbans and rather large West Indian women.


That was my perception at the time. But it didn't last long. Gradually the drivers became white again, and the conductors, well they disappeared. (Note to self - this is probably your memory playing tricks, conductors were around for ages after that.)

And the assumption that my childish mind made was that they had 'gone home'. If, to be fair, my childish mind thought about it at all.


But that was not true.

Folk that came here on Windrush and the like came here because in those days even being a bus driver, and I am speculating here, had an LLB Hons, yet it was better than you could do in India and Pakistan, moneywise.

But my chum the bus driver was never going to just be a bus driver. Was he?

There would be opportunities for him in any meritocratic society, whether it was to inspector of buses or QC.

I'd like to know that guys life story, for it touched mine.

And I'd like to think it encapsulates integration.

Open season guys....

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