Talking Point with Ron Harris

Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison
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Find out what’s making our chief reporter crabbit this week!

THERE probably lies in some cowp near Carnwath the auld sofa frae mah granny’s hoose a’hint which ah cowered the first night Doctor Who was shown oan the telly.

Just tae cheer me up, the national newspapers tell me that this event was exactly hauf a century ago this year.

And the Good Lady Wife keeps wunnering who’s nicking her wrinkle cream!

Onyway, amang the fiftieth anniversary celebrations an awfy sad note was struck wae the announcement o’ the passing o’ the fella who invented the Daleks.

And guess how much yon genius - who must have generated millions for the Beeb since - got for yon spark o’ inspiration way back in the year 1963?

Eighty quid, that’s whit. AND they taxed it.

Ah had personal reason tae be gratefu’ tae this fella as, back a few years ago, the Beeb re-introduced Doctor Who after a lang lay-off, so unleashing the Daleks on tae a fresh generation o’ terrified weans,

Ah was supplementing mah meagre local paper wages at the time by writing telly stuff for a Scottish Sunday newspaper and its entertainment editor, a man o’ mah age group, foolishly doubted mah abilities tae accurately describe yon robotic villians tae this new, 21st century audience.

“Ah mean, Daleks are Daleks, aren’t they? There’s NOTHING tae compare them tae,” says this sorry naysayer.

He ended up buying me a dram oan the strength o’ the description ah eventually came up wae: “Daleks are basically a crabbit wheely-bin wae an attitude problem.”

Weel, mair recently, as a licence-fee payer ah certainly felt crabbit mahsel’ as the Beeb showed ITS attitude problem wae a massive Golden Handshake for the Director General who utterely failed tae earn his bloated wage packet during the Savile Stushie. Nae eighty-quid-and-that’s-your-lot-pal deal for him!

A mair extreme example o’ Britain’s tradition of richly rewarding failure while short-changing talent came way back even afore the Daleks wae the invention o’ the jet engine by a fella cried Frank Whittle.

As he was a serving RAF officer when he got the notion, he initially got hee-haw for wan o’ the 20th century’s maist important inventions and only eventually and very reluctantly did HM Government bung him ten grand for the multi-billion pound-earning gizmo.

In other words, Frankie Boy, for practically creating mass international tourism and revolutionising the world’s transport system PLUS providing employment for folk frae East Kilbride tae East Timor got the equivalent o’ a day’s wages for wan o’ oor banking Fat Cats or a week’s for a middling Premiership footie player.

Of course, history is littered wae yon injustices, even oan oor ain doorstep; for example, the fella frae Leadhills credited by many wae inventing the steam ship ended up starving tae death in an Embra slum.

It’s only when this nation starts tae reward folk of real worth and talent that it’s going tae get aff its bahookie again.

But whit dae we do wae all yon grossly overpaid, useless Fat Cats?

For some reason, the phrase `exterminate, exterminate’ comes readily tae mind...