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Iain Maciver: Don’t hug everyone just for the sake of it – especially if they’ve been in George Square lately

Some of the images of Rangers fans in George Square were shocking, writes Iain Maciver
Some of the images of Rangers fans in George Square were shocking, writes Iain Maciver

It’s always been that awkward moment. You get a big tight hug from someone who you are not on hugging terms with. Yuck. That is bad enough but now people are saying they can’t wait to get out there and start hugging. Gerroff me.

Mrs X has hugged me. Just the once, mind.

Just because restrictions are easing and the advice says hug, don’t. Hugs should be kept for aunties, grannies and spouses with vehicular problems. Just because Nicola and Boris are hugging – not each other, obviously – doesn’t mean we all should go around squeezing every relative and neighbour we set eyes upon.

And never hug a Rangers supporter – especially if they celebrated in George Square in Glasgow. Who knows what you could catch?

Iain Maciver

Some of those videos from the weekend were utterly shocking, except when the Rangers fans were knocking lumps out of each other. That was fun to watch.

Yes, I’m being sarcastic but when you are that dumb and that drunk, the thought that you might catch the virus by being close to others and become a carrier and be a danger to vulnerable people seems not to register when you wear a blue shirt. It’s a lethal combination, almost as deadly as the denial of responsibility from Ibrox bosses.

It feels like there’s a broken down CalMac ferry every day

Some arrests were made in George Square, though, and if justice is served, they shouldn’t be allowed to fly on Loganair again.

I’d be in a jam if that happened to me. It’s not as if we have any ferry services we can depend on. Right now, it’s like there’s a broken down Caledonian MacBrayne ferry somewhere in the Western Isles every day.

The former great shipbuilder that is Scotland has to get Poland to build ferries that actually work

It is not funny for people who live here and for whom it’s a lifeline service. The lack of investment, the childishly-run shipyards, the couldn’t-care-less attitude from the Scottish Government and the parliamentary representatives who forget it’s their duty to shout about this in parliament. Just deafening silence.

The former great shipbuilder that is Scotland has to get Poland to build ferries that actually work. Not Germany because they built the “unbreakable” Loch Seaforth. Our elected representatives seem to be distracted by issues which they think are far more important than these crucial transport issues that make Scotland tick.

The latter-day Michelin Man from Bayble

Transport is crucial here and Mrs X has been waiting ages for a part for her van. Intake sensor, or something. Each time one came from the mainland spares place, it was the wrong part. Nearly, but not quite. Three screwholes instead of four, that sort of thing.

CalMac ferries aren’t reliable for Western Isles residents

Not the fault of Ian Ross, chief spannerman at Ross’s Garage, you understand. Last week, another sensor arrived. For a Vauxhall van? Check. Vivaro? Check. Four holes? Check. Finally.

Fitted the following day by the one of the wee boiler-suited Ross Bros, Mrs X got a call to collect her van. She clambered in and started it. First time. Yon engine purred. Ian Ross stood proudly, like a latter-day Michelin Man from Bayble, and smiled smugly as she drove off into the distance. Another job well done.

Embrace your mistakes

He grabbed his hot pizza slice but by the time he settled in his office chair, Mrs X was back.

“Already? What’s wrong now?” He groaned. She told him she now had no dashboard lights so she was not getting any engine information.

Ian Ross put down the cooling pizza and the smugness returned. He said softly: “That, Mrs X, is because the engine information you were getting was warning lights about the defective sensor. I replaced it and I also fixed all the other niggles that were causing warning lights on your dashboard.

“You are not getting any engine information because your engine has nothing to tell you. I have fixed everything in your engine that needed fixing.”

He then skipped back to his congealed pizza, shaking his head.

She was depressed about it when she got home. People would think she was a useless woman who didn’t know about vans.

I said: “That could have happened to anyone. I would probably have done the same. Don’t get depressed about it. Embrace your mistakes.”

And that’s when she hugged me.


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