WHAT is shamefully lacking right now in our divisive, toxic world of politics is MPs who are decent human beings.
We appear to be surrounded by a majority of mendacious, greedy careerists with all the warmth and humanity of an Antarctic winter. There are scant few exceptions.
One is the extremely likeable Ruth Davidson, who almost single-handedly revived the fortunes of the Conservative Party in Scotland.
She is as smart as a whip, refreshingly honest and has a wicked sense of humour.
Ruth is the kind of woman you know would be great company at the dinner table or over a drink in the pub.
I met up with her this week for her first TV interview since stepping down as Scottish Tory leader and she has gone up further in my estimation.
No matter your politics, you have to admire someone who puts their family and their principles ahead of their career.
Ruth gave birth to her son almost a year ago and it is clear that along with her partner Jen, baby Finn is the light of her life.
Since his birth, Ruth has been struggling — like all new mothers — with getting that work/life balance right.
For her, it was clear she could not continue in the exhausting, stress-filled hamster wheel of front-line politics if she wanted to be the kind of parent she feels her little boy deserves.
It was interesting to see the reaction to her decision from politicians and voters across the spectrum.
Even those with very different views politically expressed their sorrow at her departure, while acknowledging her reasons for stepping down.
As well as putting her partner and baby first, Ruth takes a dim view of Boris and his Brexit shenanigans.
She was a passionate Remain campaigner and so impressed in TV debates that she was touted as a future Tory leader.
She was self-deprecating enough to laugh that off, telling me: “A king across the water is only attractive if they stay across the water.
“As soon as they get in the mix, they become much less attractive.”
Ruth will stay on as a Member of the Scottish Parliament but her much-reduced workload means she is enjoying life’s simple pleasures, like going for a walk with Jen and pushing Finn in his pram.
She is only 40 and I think one day she would be a very impressive PM.
But like Oprah Winfrey, who is always being touted as an ideal candidate for President of the US, she values her quality of life over high office.
Maybe one day she might be persuaded to rethink. But until then, she will be sadly missed.
Meanwhile, we have to make do with Boris — described this week as a “dishonest estate agent” by former PM John Major — and there seems to be no end to the nasty politics that has become the norm.
Ten years ago, Labour PM Gordon Brown stood up in the House of Commons and offered heartfelt sympathy to David Cameron following the death of his son Ivan.
That sort of respect does not exist any more — and without politicians like Ruth Davidson, it is less likely than ever to return.
Not to be messed with
SUMMER is now officially over: Strictly’s back.
I caught up with new judge Motsi Mabuse and when this firecracker gets into her stride, we are in for a treat.
Her warmth and authenticity will make her a star.
There are potential hazards, with her sister Oti a standout pro dancer on the show.
Some wonder if she will cut Oti some slack – or if Motsi will be TOUGHER on her sister to head off accusations of favouritism.
Motsi dismissed this with an elegant shrug of her shoulders and said Oti will be treated like everyone else. She vowed to make all her criticism constructive.
We both agreed Anton du Beke and EastEnders star Emma Barton are a couple to watch. Anton surely has a real shot at winning this year.
Despite his desire to be a judge, there are no hard feelings and he made a point of warmly welcoming Motsi to the Strictly family.
I like the cut of her jib and reckon she will bring something special to the nation’s top entertainment show.
Sorry is enough for Just
CANADIAN PM Justin Trudeau was exposed this week as being a complete idiot in his youth, but he has profusely apologised for going to an Arabian Nights-themed fancy dress party wearing “brown face” make-up 18 years ago.
Then he had to do more grovelling after old video footage of him in “black face” make-up surfaced the next day.
It’s all highly embarrassing for him. He’s mortified, has repeatedly said sorry and says he has learned a valuable lesson.
Now, If you are white and “don’t understand what all the fuss is about” I suggest you ask your pals who don’t happen to be Caucasian.
You would quickly realise that “Brown face”,”black face” and “yellow face” are all deeply offensive even if done without any intentional malice.
In the past I’m sure lots of people have photos and footage of themselves as kids or students dressed up for Halloween in outfits that would now, in a more enlightened age, be considered disrespectful and inappropriate.
I remember in our primary school being cast as one of the “Sharks” in a production of West Side Story.
All of us pasty faced Glaswegian ten year olds were slathered in dark foundation to make us look Puerto Rican.
Our teachers never thought twice about it in the 1960s, but the world has moved on and that just shouldn’t happen now.
And obviously Justin, who has just launched his campaign for re-election, would never dress up in such a stupid fashion these days.
It was all timed for maximum embarrassment and has most definitely been damaging, but his apology should be the end of it.
It’s right to criticise him for being an uneducated clown, and for those offended to feel disappointed and let down, but demanding his resignation is ridiculous.
Justin is one of the most open minded and decent leaders on the planet and in a world of Trumps, Putins and a Johnsons we really need him to keep the balance or we will tip over into the abyss.
Corrie takes fear away
Kudos to Corrie for showing the reality of terminal cancer with Katie McGlynn playing a blinder as newly wed mum Sinead trying to cope with not having long to live.
It’s not like a Hollywood movie where the A list star discreetly coughs into a hankie and then breathes her last looking utterly gorgeous while violins swell in the background.
The reality is tough, painful and bloody unfair.
But there is also help out there and I was impressed that Corrie showed us that hospices are hopeful and cheerful places where people go to live rather than die, and staff take the fear away and make it as easy as they possibly can for patients and their families.
These incredible places have to rely on donations and hopefully with Corrie shining a light on the vital work being done, that will help with fundraising.
Guns: A chilling reality
I DEFY you to watch the searing new video from parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School and not be moved to tears of grief and rage.
The world was shocked in December 2012 when a shooter killed six members of staff and 20 children aged between five and ten years old at the Connecticut school.
The video shows happy children preparing to go back to school and showing off new bags and binders. The tone soon changes as we see them use skateboards and other items to break windows and escape gun attacks; and use their bright new socks to bind the gunshot wounds of fellow pupils.
The final shot of a child cowering in the toilets and texting her mum to say “I love you” on her new phone is like a punch in the stomach.
This is the “new normal” for kids in America and is utterly chilling.
The bereaved Sandy Hook parents obviously want the law changed to prevent more school shootings – but also to graphically depict the reality for children living in a nation that refuses to deal with the slaughter of innocents.
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Of course, we too have faced the horror of little children being murdered, with the horrific loss of life in Dunblane Primary School – when 16 tiny children and their teacher were shot and killed in 1996. But we took action.
Our gun laws might not be perfect but we could never have allowed those little ones to die in vain.
Why on Earth won’t America do the same for its kids?
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