Val was brought up in the Garnock Valley in North Ayrshire before Thatcher and Co scalped it of its industry, and subsequently does not think that Ken Clarke talks sense by any stretch of the imagination. She had the dubious honour of being the first person in the family to go to university, but found it a class ridden nightmare, and left to try and find the hippy trail, which seemed a good idea at the time.
She never got beyond the bulb packing factories in Holland, but had an instant discovery of her socialist values as she watched the factory owner have a massive big wean’s tantrum about profits. She decided there and then to return to Scotland to find something socially constructive to do with her time, and spent the next few years doing paid and unpaid work in a homeless shelter, and in the Wester Hailes community.
This led to a career in social work, which also seemed a good idea at the time, and she sojourned in Sheffield for ten years. Thatcher was on a destructive roll to asset strip the city, and Val felt more empowered by involvement in the trade union side of things. She was also active in the anti poll tax campaign, effectively wasting fifty minutes of court time before being thrown out. She can still blether.
There followed a fairly fallow time politically for a while, until, you might say, Val was “inspired” by Tony Blair. After the independence referendum Val joined the Greens, and then Common Weal Glasgow. After a (sort of early) retirement Val began to discover the joys of writing. She will literally write anything, and for any audience, including children. “Careful Mousey” and “Maw Broon’s Knitting” were probably her last offerings before she discovered that a political rant in print was at least as therapeutic as throwing stuff at the TV. Val joined the Ungagged team in May 2019.