Kevin Buckle: Having a child can alter your outlook

Ruth Davidson is expecting her first child with partner Jen Wilson. Picture: Getty
Ruth Davidson is expecting her first child with partner Jen Wilson. Picture: Getty
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Ruth Davidson’s announcement that she is expecting her first child with her partner Jen Wilson came just as I was considering what to write for my column this week about the effect having children has on all sorts of views and what can be considered “important”.

I had been watching a music video on YouTube and instead of just recommending another similar video, next up popped a daytime interview with Lee Mack. This in itself was slightly disconcerting as I had not long finished watching last week’s episode of Not Going Out on BBC iPlayer and, to my knowledge, the BBC and YouTube are not in cahoots.

One of the presenters asked him about something recently in the news and his answer was that he had three kids so world events had to be pretty important before they filtered through to his attention so he had no idea. As someone with two girls and coming from a family with three children I have to admit that like juggling, that third child has always struck me as being the one that would make all the balls drop, though of course sensible intervals make things a lot easier and my own parents managed admirably, helped I like to think by a sensible eldest child!

I touched on this before with the arts. Not so much about views but simply about those with families having a chance to become artists. There are any number of calls for diversity in the arts but as some have pointed out nobody has ever said “wait a minute none of these people have kids”.

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Certainly it is tricky deciding how much diversity should be enforced. If a council committee consisted of nothing but balding middle-aged men, it would cause comment and not cause offence to be spoken about, but should a committee consist mainly of people from one particular group without that being relevant then nobody would dare say a thing.

That people have spaces in their lives to be passionate about something because they aren’t having to think about the school run is certainly not a bad thing and I do know folk who manage both, but generally it is a good rule that people worry about their kids more than, say, buildings.

One thing that is rarely acknowledged in any debate is that most people just don’t care at all. They are getting on with their lives, coping with whatever they have to cope with.

So ask them for an opinion, they will give you one, but really they are just not bothered.

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Of course the argument extends beyond children too. People may be passionate about funding in the arts but all those I know admit that should a loved one need treatment on the NHS they would give up any arts funding in a heartbeat to make sure they received the best treatment.

Quite what the answer is I don’t know but certainly it is better to care about those close to you than fill up a void with worthy causes and fighting the good fight.

As for people not caring, that again is something you can’t make people do and I’m sure that will be a major factor in trying to spread visitors more evenly around the city centre and beyond. No matter how hard you try, and no matter how attractive you make other areas, if folk want to hang around the castle with or without their kids and go no further, there is little that can be done.

Conservatives are not particularly known for their caring politics and maybe a child will change some of Ruth’s views, but of course there is no guarantee as Jacob Rees-Mogg and his six children proves!

Skids exhibition hits Dunfermline

From today until August 26, Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries will showcase an exhibition celebrating the work of Richard Jobson and the Skids.

With material both from fans and the band’s personal collections, it is guaranteed to be essential viewing and, as if that isn’t enough, there will be a fans convention on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May.

The artwork from Skids first album, Scared To Dance, will be on display and I may have to try to persuade Richard to let me have that for the ScotPop Exhibition Centre. More news on that very soon!