John Gibson: I just can’t accentuate the positive

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In Leith, where I grew up, in case you didn’t know, we never had an accent. What we had was broad Leith. An accent you could take anywhere and not be ashamed.

A totally different story in Glasgow where, according to the papers, the accent apart, life expectancy is shorter than that in the Gaza Strip.

Monaco, again the papers tell us, has the world’s highest life expectancy at 89.5 with Japan runner-up at 84.7. A Professor Wright at Strathclyde University tells us – and I’m willing to take the Prof at his word – standards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are more like Poland and the Czech Republic which have lower standards of life.

But I digressed. We were chuntering on about accents and the Glasgow accent I’ve reluctantly lived with all my life.

Glaswegians at this time of year particularly get on my wick. They have this habit, for example, of dropping the “H” in hospital but it’s more an idiosyncrasy than a habit.

Through there nobody has told them to accent the positive and eliminate the negative. I sometimes gather that nobody’s told them nuthin’. I am, of course, being a shade biased. It comes with dotage, I suppose.

The distinguished Professor reckons that, bearing in mind Japan is second, it’s going to take 40 years to close the gap where Japan is now.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt, pictured, chips in with: “We appreciate the statistics that demonstrate the inequalities ingrained in health.”

Giving all this due consideration, perhaps we’d all be better off living on the Gaza Strip than taking in the dubious delights of strolling along Sauchiehall Street.

By the way, did they have a Black Friday in Glasgow or is every Friday Black in Glasgow?

John, you can be so cruel at times when your friends will all agree that, deep down, you are an old sweetheart.