85-89 DUN LOP STR EET,
GLASGOW TE L: 041-248 7810
J‘ ~t pEAKEA5 75 DUN LOP STREET, GLASGOW. Gt TE L: 041-221 3623
THE GILDED BALLOON
RESTAURANT and BAR
Enjoy our new menu in the unique atmosphere of this courtyard restaurant.
As well as our House Specialities you can sample our new Vegetarian and Low Fat menus created by our chef Alan Douglas.
Free Jug ofWine in the Balloon Courtyard in February.
Courtyard Restaurant 6pm—1 1 pm Bar 4.30pm—1 am
Children welcome in the courtyard Available for Private Functions — Phone for details
235 The Cowgate,
Tel: 031 225 5650
Alan Taylor becomes a tactful voter.
According to Jack in the Volunteer Arms. Greenwich has set the cat among the pigeons. For the life ofme I can‘t see why but I have as much political savvy as Screaming Lord Sutch. He (Sutch not Jack) still seems to contest most by-eleetions. I remember when he narrowly lost (his deposit) to Harold Wilson. Asked to comment he replied. ‘The best man lost‘. At the time I think I was the only franchised person in the country who agreed with him but how many would now like to U-turn? Then. I was flush with idealism and a pocketful of holes and argued earnestly in Rose Street pubs for the redistribution ofwealth. In my direction. Oh, I was altruistically- inclined; I just wanted to be at the front ofthe queue. But true to my convictions whenever I could tear myself away from three-card brag I voted Labour.
I liked our local man. Gavin Strang. a straw-in-the-hair socialist who showed uncommon restraint when it came to kissing East of Edinburgh offspring. He‘s still here and by all accounts continues to champion the kailyard. But it‘s not his fault I‘ve succumbed to tactical voting. I blame a poem by Christopher Logue called ‘I Shall Vote Labour‘. Logue said he intended to vote Labour because if he didn‘t somebody else would. which is fair enough I could empathise with that. And he was upset because he hadn't become ‘a dollar millionaire aged three.‘ Neither had I. There was a non sequiturial feel to other of his reasons. Why. for instance. being a hairdresser makes one want to vote Labour rather than anyone else is beyond me. And I decided that it was not on to absolve oneselffrom a desire to rape an airhostess by promising a vote for socialism. Still, idiosyncracies are what make the world revolve and I could have put up with most of Logue‘s, but I had to
draw the line at his recommendation to go Left young man because ‘Ringo votes Labour‘. There weren't many Ringos around then and ifit was the one I was thinking of. I did not want to be politically associated with him. Everyone knows that drummers are short ofthe full shilling.
After that I stuck with the three-card brag. Occasionally, after a bad hand. I‘d exercise my X just to keep in practice and invariably it was drawn Strangways. Until Tranent.
one New Year's Eve. (Apropos of a diversion I read recently that Tranent in the good old days had more pubs per head of population than any other town in Scotland: 1 to every 52 inhabitants according to Professor Smout. Take away the underaged. the infirm and a teetotaller or two and it seems fair to say that not much other than drinking went on there.) I had been — don’t ask why - at Tranent Labour Club where I spent a pleasant evening being serenaded by a three-piece combo whose speciality was Acker Bilk‘s ‘Strangeron the Shore‘. If Acker could see the condom-clogged strand in front of me now he'd choke on his clarinet. But that’s by the by. I was heading homeward after picking up a poke of deep fries when the telephone rang out from the public booth in the main street. No one moved to answer it. Being civically inclined I did. A male voice employing a colloquial brogue accused me of having been born out ofwedlock and said he would be down ‘pronto‘ to sort me out. He didn‘t sound like a psychiatrist. But first he wanted to know who I voted for. Was be from Mori or Gallup‘.’l ventured. He was not amused and gave me to the count of three to answer. ‘Labour‘ 1 said. There was a pause in which I swear a piece of humble pie was taken and then he said, ‘Happy New Year‘, and hung up. At such moments tactical voters are born. (Alan Taylor)
The List 6— 19 March 47