Time for appreciation before death?

HOW interesting that within hours of the extreme left of the nation losing two of its heroes, there should be an immediate stream of eulogies from those whose views normally associated with Attila the Hun, or in modern day parlance Margaret Thatcher.

The deaths of trade unionist Bob Crow, followed by the passing of Wedgie Benn far from exciting views of scorn and hatred from the right wing of the country, seemed to attract instead affection, even downright claims of wishing the deceased had been of their persuasion.

A funny old game you would have to admit, given the years of abuse the two had to suffer when alive, leading me to believe death is a great leveller. We are indeed a long time dead, confirming the long-held adage that the good in man lives on while the evil is interred with their bones.

Sobering stuff. So why do we have to die before we get any kind of recognition from our fellow man, or indeed woman?

In truth it is a very Scottish thing, as I have discovered when sitting through funeral services, listening to the deceased being given the most glowing of testimonies.

Why on earth do we leave it until the subject of the adulation has passed on before expressing our appreciation?

Mind you, in respect of the former gentleman Mr Crow was seen by many of his own trade union movement to be a loose cannon, not to be trusted in the hurly, burly of UK politics, and certainly not a favourite of Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet, even if no less a person that Boris Johnson thought he was the bees knees.

All sadly to be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly in the case of the lord mayor of London. Even the praise heaped on Mr Benn rang more of thank goodness he has gone than genuine belief that he was a man who had a major influence on our lives.

On a different tack, depending on how seriously you take sport, was the good news that a new Messiah arrived in the North-east on Sunday.

Derek McInnes stepped into the history books when he landed his first trophy since coming to the club, and the first Aberdeen FC has won for in the best part of 20 years. It was never pretty, never exciting, but a win, nevertheless for the grand old club.

But while it was hard earned, I predict it will not be his last time in the winner’s enclosure. Indeed, he might well land a second before the season ends.

I just hope for the sake of those supporters who endured over two hours of poor football they will get better fare next time round.

More sobering has been the steady decline of the Scottish rugby team who capped a miserable season with a gutless, shoddy defeat in Cardiff last weekend when they caved in to a Welsh side who must have thought it was all too easy. Perhaps Mr McInnes will step up and take over, or at least the powers that be could think about asking a Scots-born coach to take charge.