Name

Jock Morrison

Bio

A proud son of Glasgow, I sought work abroad during the recession of the 1970s.  I've been  a social worker in London and a teacher of English (of a fashion) in Japan. For over 30 years, I held various positions in further education and now live in the north of England (which would actually sit more comfortably as part of Scotland). I recently joined the ranks of the retired and hope to promote some discussion around the concepts of "age", "pensioner" and "old".

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  • No doubt you were all immediately on the phone or texting the joyful news to your nearest and dearest. Except that one couple who waited four-and-a -half hours then communicated the glad tidings on a piece of paper stuck on a board in their front yard. Oh well, I suppose our society is big enough to accommodate eccentrics of all sorts.

    And there’s no-one more eccentric than England’s Royal family.  (It must be England since all the media are telling us that Baby Cambridge will be the 43rd monarch of the land since 1066.) 

  • But much more needs to be done. Currently, there are 7,500 on the UK organ transplant waiting list. Of these, over 1,000 die every year because no suitable donor is found in time. That's three a day.

    In Scotland, 700 people are on the waiting list. Over 20% of Scots awaiting a new heart or liver will die before they receive a transplant.

    The numbers needing an organ transplant will continue to rise. An ageing population and medical advances will see to that. More and more donors are needed. 

  • It wasn’t Doctor Who or the latest Scandinavian thriller - it was much scarier than that.

    It was a programme on Radio 4, fronted by Professor Alison Wolf. A few dissenting comments aside, its premise was that the UK’s regional development policies were a total failure.

  • For example, take the extra rib a woman has compared to a man. How can we explain that? Some put it down to evolution but others say it confirms the biblical story that God made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. What do you think? I’ll pause to let you consider the matter.

  • Scotland - at least on the basis of Nigel Farage’s recent reception in Edinburgh - is wide awake to the dangers of the beast. And what a beastly lot they are too.

    That such a reactionary, xenophobic crew could achieve second place in a parliamentary by-election and almost a quarter of the vote in local elections nationally, shows just how far to the right English politics have moved over the last 30 years.

  • In my last blog, I explained how I had become an award-winning author. Now I’m a film star. Och, when you retire, the world’s your oyster, right enough!

  • The competition was organised by the National Galleries of Scotland in conjunction with the English-Speaking Union and the Scottish Poetry Library.  The idea is to take one exhibit from the galleries’ collections and write a 1000-word piece inspired by it.

    The work I chose was My Father, a 1966 portrait by the Scottish painter John Bellany.  I wasn’t a winner or runner-up but I achieved a special merit which put me in the top 10 of the adult prose section. (Yes, yes, I know, my family has already stressed there were probably only 11 entrants.)

  • Firstly, death party celebrations are just inappropriate and unseemly.  That's not to say jigging in the streets to rejoice some hated leader’s demise is always in bad taste.

    Take Hitler, Stalin and Mao, for example.  Who wouldnt dance with joy to mark the end of such monsters? Let's hope they really did go where the goblins go.

    And when the current lot in North Korea bite the dust, that too might be the time for a spot of the Gay Gordons in George Square.

  • Strictly speaking, he ran a ‘juvenile’ side – for ages 18-21. ‘Youth’ football was for the 16-18 year-olds and the ‘amateurs’ were ‘the auld men’ over 21.

  • This time, it’s a Scottish tale of hypocrisy and betrayal which is making the headlines. But non-Catholics shouldn’t be smug. Life in Scotland is marred by sectarian bigotry on all sides. It’s getting better but we haven’t yet fully cured this particular sickness of the heart and mind.

    Here’s a wee puzzle for you. Which of the following four things do you think was worst for Scotland: The Black Death, Catholicism, Protestantism, Cholera?  It’s a hard call, isn’t it?

  • No doubt he then hurried home to count the ‘siller’ the English had given him for his trouble.

    A few months later, on the 1st of May, 1707, the Union came into effect and the bells of St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh rang out to the tune ‘Why am I so sad on this my wedding day?’   Given that probably over 95% of the Scottish people opposed the Union, this was an appropriate piece of music to mark the end of that old ‘sang’ called Scotland.

  • No horsing about, this is a serious matter. An outrage!  Here were the poor customers thinking they were eating beef burgers when they were actually horsemeat burgers.  All those who’ve ever said “I could eat a horse” have had their wish come true!

  • Now it has been joined by the Union Jackers. Inspired by the example of their cousins in Ulster, these Scots wave the Union Jack as a symbol of their loyalty to all things British. They reject the ‘Better Together’ lot as uselessly ineffectual and wishy-washy whilst stirring up echoes of the old cries of ‘Home Rule Means Rome Rule.’ They are the Ultras of the ‘No’ campaign.

    But is the Union Jack really a fitting flag for Scots to wave?

  • I’ve always thought they were, at best, pathetic. At worst, they are wholly pernicious.

    I can’t imagine the feelings of people who support our honours system. Did they throw the mince pies in the air and shout “Yes!” when they read that Jessica is now a CBE? Did they feel gutted that Andy only received an OBE?  I suspect most people don’t give a hoot either way. They probably give more attention to the festive TV schedule than the list of the newly honoured.

  • For example, how about this (with apologies to Mahatma Ghandi):

    Christianity is gr8. Pity about the Christians.

    For balance (this being Scotland), let me suggest a possible tweet from that most unattractive of theologies, Calvinism.  It might go something like this:

    Want 2 b a Christian?  Well, hard luck!

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Jock Morrison

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