Christine Grahame: Never mind Brexit, what about Yaris?

Christine Grahame MSP
Christine Grahame MSP
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Believe it or not, I have had enough of politicking for the time being.

Now I make a distinction between politics, important because it touches every aspect of our lives: the NHS, policing, housing, defence, war, and of course Europe. Politicking is quite a different commodity.

For example, the NHS, policing and housing are devolved to the Scottish Parliament and have been for 18 years but the general election debate has trampled all over that so that some folk fail to see the distinction. It’s partly deliberate of course and partly ignorance especially by the terrestrial media.

Tune into the BBC or Channel Four and you are told police numbers have been cut. I shout “In England and Wales, not Scotland”. Two horrible cruel terrorist attacks and immediately police numbers becomes the topic.

This election was called by Theresa May to strengthen, she claimed, her Brexit hand. Whether you voted Leave or Stay, we deserved that to be central to the politicking. I suppose because of 24-hour news, twitter and choreographed telly debates no-one takes a chance.

Coached about presentation, body language, how to not answer a direct question, all of that cheeses me off. Yes, politicking or the things politicians say or feel they have to say, to get elected and I switch over to The Secret Life of the Zoo.

Besides. I have been distracted this week as I have more immediate fish to fry. A chap drove straight into the side of my car but he has been decent and accepted full liability, so I entered the world of damage repairs and a courtesy car.

Each time I called his insurers or the car hire firm, after passing the multiple choice test, I had to give my full address, date/time/place of accident, car make, reg.etc etc.

What about my shoe size? I wanted to scream. I know, unfair, the chap on the phone’s just doing his job. Something to do with data protection. Having answered the multiplicity of security tests satisfactorily I had to pick up the leased car, a Toyota Yaris, new to me and so the past few days I have been coming to grips with the idiosyncrasies of an unfamiliar vehicle.

It started when I had to navigate the car from the car-lease office up a narrow alleyway. I think it’s a test for novices.

Of course, my foot is too heavy on the pedal, I’m at the wrong height and I’m scared stiff I’ll scratch it. As for how to switch on the rear washer, well, not worth the intellectual effort.

By the time I’ve mastered all the bells and whistles of the Yaris my familiar old friend will be home in the driveway and I can settle back into relaxed driving.

The election will be over, although heaven help us we must thole the analysis of the aftermath and only then a modicum of peace perfect peace will be restored. I wish . . .

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