Brexit, bins, bus lanes and grandchildren are all on my list '“ Christine Grahame

Christmas decorations are squeezed into boxes and I'm trying to disperse the last of the chocolates to colleagues in the interests of my waistline and I have made not so much as New Year Resolutions as undertakings to myself for 2019.

Thursday, 17th January 2019, 5:00 am
Drivers in bus lanes at peak hours attract Christine Grahame's ire. Picture: Greg Macvean

Number One is to make more time for my family especially my grandchildren in Scotland. When the toddler grandchild doesn’t recognise you then it’s come to a pretty pass. She does now, by the way, having seen her more over the festive period.

Number Two (and from now on these are not in any particular order of priority): I will not rail at the idiot who charges up the bus lane at peak hour, just to pass the law-abiding drivers patiently leaving the it free for public transport. No, but I will still call them by names not fit for print. It’s therapy. On the same tack, folk who rush to “beat” you to the checkout, I will not let my blood pressure rise. No, I will feel righteous in my patience.

Number Three: I will not lose my rag over the tradesman who says he will come and fix your TV aerial between 11am and 6pm on Friday and then at the eleventh hour cancels and then in an online “chat” asks you to rate him. I desisted from naming the firm here.

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Christine Grahame is the SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale

Number Four: I will leave my bin out for two weeks awaiting uncertain collection and accept that if I forget to put it out, then the bin men will not do me any favours by emptying it anyway. That’s just the way it is.

Number Five: I will ignore all the ads for older folk asking us to take out a plan for our funerals. As for the man who says to his visiting neighbour that his wife is busy with a surplus of parsnips I hope she is off somewhere enjoying herself in a less patronisingly outdated role. A younger appreciative man will do. Her man is the authority on the policy she on parsnips. Whit! Have we not moved on from the fifties? And me not even a feminist, whatever that is.

Number Six “if you are still with me): I will tackle switching energy suppliers and my car and house policies premiums which I have deferred doing like many for far too long. Loyalty is unrewarded and in fact abused.

Number Seven (and have patience if you have read this far because I am nearing the end): for all the Brexit palavers and both myself and indeed 62 per cent of Scotland voted “Remain”, it is ordinary folk who are being let down by the intransigence of Theresa May and her “red lines” – no to a Customs Union, no to the Single Market – and a vacillating Labour opposition.

Every politician’s undertaking or Resolution if you will should be to speak up for ordinary folk, folk on the buses, in the supermarket, caring for children or ageing parents or both, homeless, with no job at all, come to compromises sooner rather than later and get on with the day job. Because while they bicker and get all hot and Brexit bothered at Westminster, there is food to be put on the table, jobs to be found, medicines to supply and none of that is academic.

Christine Grahame is the SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale