Praise for workers

Often we hear negative criticism of public sector workers who lean on their shovels and cause chaos in a community. I’m going to start my musings tonight with praise for the five or so men with suitable machinery to help that are installing new lampposts and the cabling to power them throughout Edzell. They started last week and worked throughout the weekend and I never saw one stopped working and working most efficiently. With cars parked at the side of the streets and lots of obstacles on the pavements they seemed to overcome all their difficulties without any fuss. Well-done lads! (There were no lasses maybe she was the gaffer behind the scenes!)

There are many hard working men and women in our country who do their work efficiently and quietly and just get on with it without any fuss or boasting. They hardly ever make the headlines. It seems only if something illegal or dreadful is done that the headlines are grabbed. The man in Norway shocked us all. To make it worse it seems that he did the entire killing to in fact get the headlines and draw attention to himself and his evil ideas.

The crisis in the American economy is quite frightening. At time of writing they seem to have come to an agreement that will tide them over for the present. But have they made the right decision? They speak about their debt ceiling being raised by so many trillions of dollars. Does any ordinary person really know how many zeros are in a trillion? Remember all, or many of the people who are Senators or Congress members are ordinary people who have been able to get elected. From what I have heard of the likes of Sarah Palin – is she the kind of person who knows what is at stake? It almost seems that if we come to any great problem in society now we just push at the boundary to allow some kind of compromise. And that is not just in economic matters.

Among the Christian community it seems that all sins can now be forgiven. I had a great friend in London but I discovered only at his funeral that he had been the Depute Chaplain General to the British Army during the war. He wrote a poem back in 1980 that was never published but he called it “An Alternative Preface to Crockford.” I’ll just quote a wee bit of the beginning. “Why does the Modern English Church leave us poor sinners in the lurch? If we but say, Must we believe?” The Bishops grant us a reprieve. The Faith is built on shifting sands like Durham’s Bishop’s mobile hands. Theolgy was once the Queen – but now it is most clearly seen No more a Bastion of defiance but as a branch of Social Science. Through all the changing scenes of life When Faith’s uncertain - Sin is rife.”

Thank goodness we don’t have the problem here in Scotland that they have in parts of England where Bovine TB is spreading and no matter how many cows are culled it seems to just reappear with the blame being put on badgers. The solution would seem to be to test all the badgers and cull the ones carrying the disease. The problem of course is that you cannot collect up all the badgers to test them as you can with domestic animals. So the Government has decided to control culling in certain areas. I cannot help wondering if we had the problem here or in fact if we get the problem here would a Scottish Government do likewise? My own sister died of TB at the age of 21 before we had antibiotics to cure it. I remember when it became common to pasteurise milk that the local doctor in Edzell at the time would not allow his children to have the pasteurised milk so that they should get a natural immunity.

Mind you having lived as long as I have now I believe I’ve got a natural immunity to most things. But I’ve also discovered that the more you get to know the more you realise you don’t know.

David Myles