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Believe A Politician? I’d Rather Spend the Night In A Snow Drift!

Believe A Politician? I’d Rather Spend the Night In A Snow Drift!
March 04
08:35 2018

MICHAEL J BLAIR
Perthshire, Scotland

As I sat in my car on the 28th of February, stuck on the M80 motorway in sub zero temperatures, surrounded by heavy goods vehicles and nowhere to go, I got to thinking (there was little else to do) about the main reasons for my current plight, apart from my lack of common sense!

My journey to the point at which I began ruminating, had started in the expectation of getting back to Kirkmichael, usually a two hour drive, with as few possible weather related delays, in around three hours.

Not in my wildest dreams did I expect to still be sitting on the damn motorway six hours later, with no idea of how long the ordeal would last. I had two Mars bars to eat and a bottle of Sprite to drink, so I wasn’t going to starve or die of thirst.

Just a  higher chance of becoming diabetic!

There had been no communication, either from police or motorway maintenance officials, who were in charge of the ongoing fiasco.

From being on Twitter and Facebook, I had gleaned the information, that there were miles of vehicles jammed together due to accidents further along the road.

I wanted to know if anyone knew how long our wait would take. Eventually I decided to use social media to get in touch with Scottish news organisations, to see if they knew what was going to happen.

@BBC

I didn’t get much response, except for the BBC Reporting Scotland programme, who asked if I would be able to appear on the live show via Skype, from my car.

Well I wasn’t doing much or going anywhere, so I figured it would a good thing to do, and a distraction from the tedium of staring at the arse end of a large bathroom fittings truck.

The BBC technicians tested the technology and decided it would be alright to go ahead with the interview.

As the time approached, I was wondering if I had made the right decision, but the die was now cast and there was no going back.

As it happened, the whole thing went well and I was able to string a few sentences together without sounding like a complete moron.

This didn’t give me or anyone else much more information, but at least the rest of the television viewing audience knew about the sheer chaos of the situation.

I was one of the lucky people who were able to get off the motorway, despite the “advice” of the only person I had spoken to during the time I was stranded, a police officer, and didn’t have to spend the whole night in my car, unlike hundreds of other people.

Twitter was abuzz with comments on the M80 snow hell. Some were glad I had made my way back, and others were less than complimentary about my adventure. Not surprising in a situation like this.

Interestingly, the comments were split on political grounds. SNP government supporters were not happy with me for driving. The supportive comments came from other political directions.

The Scottish government Minister for Transport, Humza Yousaf, or Captain Useless as I had decided to call him, had decreed that no one should drive on the M80 on that day, and his supporters were giving me some “advice” on what I should have done.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing to have, but what happened happened, and I couldn’t go back and change my decision. Myself and hundreds of people were where we were and nothing was going to change that.

The sheer lack of communication was probably the worst part of the ordeal. No one was telling us how long we would be stuck.

We had already guessed what had happened,  trucks losing grip and jack knifing, but although we, I say we because many of the people there were communicating through Twitter and Facebook, knew that we weren’t moving, a timescale would have been very helpful.

As I have mentioned, there were several people on social media who were critical of the drivers who had defied the call not to drive that day. While I have no issues with their point of view or that they wouldn’t have ignored the government advice, I think they need to look into the real reasons behind the decision to get on the road despite the warning.

Over the last few years, we have experienced the way politicians bend and twist reality to suit their own agendas.

We hear them tell us all sorts of doom mongering about the dreadful storms which will wipe out entire cities, but when they came, they were fairly benign.

Damp squibs if you like.

Now, if we hear these dire warnings of adverse weather conditions, we tend to shrug them off as more hysterical hyperbolic nonsense. It’s a bit like the shepherd boy who cried “wolf”. Eventually when the worst happens, we do not believe what a politician is saying.

It’s a sad indictment on politicians from all sides, when we don’t trust them to tell us the truth. This is the inevitable consequence of decades of lying politicians.

People will die because of the lack of trust, and politicians will be responsible.

I doubt we will ever again be in a position to take a politician’s word at face value.

PS…. My journey took eleven hours. Nine hours more than it should have taken.

Follow The Party of Common Sense on Twitter, at @tpocs

Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: michaelblair43@googlemail.com. His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair

[header photo of UK snow, courtesy of David Merrigan, Wikimedia Commons]

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