Seeing as my stats for this blog have quadrupled and then some (what's the word for a 5 fold increase again?) I thought I'd better write something.
Sometimes in politics, something happens to remind us all that we are more than just the parties we belong to. Something that reminds us of what we are - not just nationalists, socialists, conservatives, greens, or whatever else you identify yourself with, but human beings.
Bashir Ahmad's death and the reaction to it from across the parties is one of those things. It serves as one of those reminders. I confess, from time to time, I forget. I get so caught up in the combative nature of politics and the absolute belief that my party has got it right, that I forget that lots of these other people are good people too ~ we just disagree about how to make our country a better place for our people to live.
I doubt Bashir ever forgot that. I know I can't do him justice in this - maybe one day but right now it's too raw. All I will say is that he was a lovely man. You'll read that over and over again and it's because it's true. He never once failed to make me smile because he was just such a kind, polite, funny man. I only ever heard him say good things about people whatever they believed. He even effortlessly tolerated people who didn't believe in Independence, Bashir's main raison d'etre.
I think that's why the response has been the same across the parties. Of course when a politician dies, all parties say nice things but you can see the difference here. Many different people came to the funeral and they were genuinely upset, I've seen posts on blogs eg there's one on Tartan Hero's blog from Stephen Purcell, Labour Leader in Glasgow, I've had some myself. Everyone is shocked and saddened by Bashir's passing away. Our political opponents will know how devastated we all are and they've been very kind about Bashir, and very respectful towards us - certainly in my personal experience.
As I said, it's a reminder that although I may believe in Independence and you may believe in the Union, we still hurt the same, we still love the same, and we still care the same. (I'm still right about Independence mind you.)
Bashir is pictured here during the Glasgow East by-election with John Mason, now MP and "Oscar" a Plaid Cymru Assembly Member.