Started a show today featuring the formidable Margo MacDonald, MSP. I was aware of Ms. MacDonald before most other MPs-that-weren’t-on-Spitting-Image because my mum had gone to college with her, back when in Scotland you had to go to Aberdeen to learn how to be a P.E. teacher. My mum would never miss a chance to tell us when Ms. MacDonald was lying about her age; I was just chuffed she knew someone semi-famous.
I’ve only digitised and logged the footage so far rather than cut any of it, but the Member of the Scottish Parliament for Lothians is not only formidable, it turns out, but very funny, pragmatic, passionate and caring. It was she, after all, who campaigned for prostitute-tolerant zones in Edinburgh having worked directly with the girls and woman (mostly drug addicts) caught in the oldest profession — “seen the whites of their eyes,” as she puts it — only to have her bill rejected by the “moral” majority in parliament, whose morals were academic, distant and, in the end, no help at all to the victims of the situation. Her views on drug policy are equally practical, sensible and, of course, unpopular, borne of the desire to actually help people and reduce the problem, even though it precludes the lofty superiority of those less bothered by engaging with the reality.
In short, she’s the kind of gutsy, down-to-earth, yet highly intelligent heroine who gives Julia Roberts or Meryl Streep the chance to win Oscars. She cuts through the bull as a matter of course and can smell the shite in anyone else’s argument a mile away. She also cheerfully admits to lying about her age whenever she can.
I’m looking forward to this one. I always look forward to an edit, sure, but it never makes it less exciting to look forward to an edit. I just hope I can do the woman justice.