A big, smiley good morning to Ruth MacLeod, press office extraordinaire at the Scottish Government’s health desk – whom I bumped into during the school run this morning. Always a way to brighten my day.
One of Scotland’s most well-respected operators, she earned the soubriquet “Ruth the Truth” during what must have been a 10 year stint with the press office at Lothian and Borders Police.
What made Ruth so popular with the media was that she was honest, friendly and could be trusted. If she said no, she meant no, but if she could legitimately help, she would. Reporters like to know where they stand – and with Ruth they always do.
The results spoke for themselves. Along with colleague Noel Miller, they helped build an extremely press-freindly and positive image for Lothian and Borders police. However, earlier this year Ruth moved on – and the police’s loss is most definitely the Scottish Executive’s gain.
So back to the big smiley good morning. Turns out Ruth’s son has ended up in the same primary one school as my daughter. Indeed, the young ‘uns are in the same class.
Whenever we catch up for a beer (actually, make Ruth’s a peach schnapps and tonic. Yuk) I always remind Ruth how way back when we first met (in a pub, round about 1994 by my reckoning), she told people she didn’t much like the look of me because I had “scary eyes”.
Truth is I was single, footloose and fancy free at the time. But now I’m an over protective father with a daughter to worry about. And something tells me, that come the teenage years, I’ll be keeping a very close watch on her male classmates (inlcuding Ruth’s young lad) for any sign of a similar, predatory gleam in their eyes!