It’s my Opinion

FORMER Prime Ministers of this fair and pleasant land have a habit of writing books to generally tell us how badly treated they were by the electorate who failed to understand them.

As rule I don’t read them. Well, maybe just a peek, which is usually more than enough to convince me that the author, or in one particular case authoress, has never really got over the shock of being kicked out.

Such was the case of Lady Thatcher who was such a bad loser she wreaked a terrible revenge on her own party after they ditched her.

Wishing John Major on us was not in her original scheme of things, as she thought he was more “grey” than most of us did. But such was the anger in the lady that she clearly thought landing the Tory party with a total inadequate would serve them right.

The one thing it certainly did was wake up the sleeping Labour to the idea this was an opportunity not to be missed, leading to Tony Blair sweeping into power with radical plans to take us into the 21st century.

The fact that it never happened under New Labour should surprise no one but the faithful who actually believed the Messiah had arrived. But then, attempting to shake off the ill-effects of 18 years of Tory rule was too much even for Alistair Campbell and his fellow spinners.

I am, however, more interested at this particular time in John Major, seeing him as a gentleman when I first came across him in Aberdeen just before the election in 1992.

I actually liked him, especially as he was an avid cricket fan, something I could buy into. Old boy stuff, and all that, though in fairness he was not tarred by a public school education.

Only weeks into his five year term I changed my mind about his niceness, but I’ll come back to why in a minute.

Last week I heard him talking about his book, which in fairness is mainly about his father, though if you have been in the highest office in the land you would feel obliged to write about your time there.

In the interview Mr Major talked about things he regretted not achieving in the post, focusing in on his failure to deal with young unemployed people, not least the disabled.

At that point I choked on my morning porridge, for it was the same PM who closed 192 training workshops throughout the land, including in Aberdeen.

I met the same Mr Major to discuss the issue, but was told politely their would be no commitment to such training among groups, at least from the public purse.

But to claim 20 years on that you wanted to be the of saviour of the less able is laying it on a bit thick. Just ask the parents of those children who missed out.

Two decades later nothing much has changed, even under the 13 years of New Labour rule.

In Scotland I don’t see any evidence that our own government has learned much to get us excited, but at least they are not claiming to be all things to all men, or indeed youngsters.

I jest of course!