Thursday 23 February 2017

Spare A Copper

The appointment of Ms. Cressida Dick as head of the Metropolitan Police, aka the London Fuzz, is heralded in the media as a new era. This is on the grounds that she is female and all will change etc.. However, our neo-Liberal feminists seem to be a little quiet on the subject.

Possibly, that is because they can hear the ghosts of the past who during demonstrations, protest rallies and the rest were given to nipping down to Trafalgar Square and along Whitehall and would wail a song to the effect that police officers were born to parents who shunned marital status.

In fact Ms. Dick is far from new and heir to a long tradition in the Met'. Not only is it based at Scotland Yard but I can recall a time before she was born when a high proportion of London police officers were from North of the Border. A common crowd cry sixty years ago was to tell them to go back to Glasgow.

The reason for my interest in this matter which may seem of little importance is because above the desk is a picture of my grandfather and grandmother on their wedding day. She is of the same height, build and features as Cressida and the same surname.

Her father came down from The North in the same period as did Cressida's great grandfather. Mine was a stoker in the boiler rooms of ocean going ships; hers was a bank clerk in London. Which may explain some of the difference in our later family fortunes.

Cressida has her critics who might well suggest she goes back to Glasgow, given her family links to Bothwell in Lanarkshire in the mid 19th Century. If the name is familiar it was James, Earl of Bothwell in the 16th Century who got too close to Mary, Queen of Scots, and lost his head.

But just as mine came down from Greenock but were of origin in Ayr it is quite possible that hers is another branch of the large extended family of that surname based in and around Ayrshire. They were of standing in the Burgh of Ayr by reason of their senior positions in the Incorporations (guilds), notably among the Weavers and The Fleshers.

As this blog has mentioned before Robert Burns must have known who they were and what they were. I suspect he did not like them much. Also, I suspect they may not have liked him. This is ancient history and alien to the 21st Century but I wonder if Cressida is tempted to revive the Met's Burn's Night festivities. One of her family names is Wallace.

This is the song which might be sung along with the pipes when she is installed as Commissioner; Scots Wha Hae, if only as a tribute to all the sons and daughters of Scotland who served the Met' in the past.

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