IT WOULD SURELY be an astonishing thing if bribery and corruption belonged exclusively to Westminster politics and the London Stock Exchange. As guide and ruler and example they point the way. The tail-end must simply follow where the head leads. If civic politics is nothing but cheapjack roguery you have to admit the blueprint was pretty crooked from the start. Councillor Inglis was by no means the first, and certainly he was not the last, civic luminary in Glasgow to be found to be heavily into crookery. A great many have been exposed over the years and, if form is anything to go by, it is quite likely a great many more will be exposed in the future. It is remarkable, though, how few people are really surprised whenever the veil is momentarily ripped apart and we are allowed to glimpse the extent of the cesspit within. As Matt McGinn suggests at the end of his song, the ex-senior magistrate might easily have had a good many civic dignataries for company in Peterhead.
If you’re oot o’ luck in Glasgow I’ll be having a word with you.
Don’t go signing at the Labour Exchange, it isn’t the thing to do.
Though they’re not so very good at it they might give you a job.
No, just you come along with me and I’ll fix you with a pub.
Now, the licence is the thing we want, but don’t have any fears,
There’s a man I know will have a word in some o’ the judges’ ears.
As long as your pockets jingle you can come along with me,
We will speak tae Bailie Inglis, he’s the very man tae see.
Now, Inglis was a Labour man, or so he made the claim,
And he told us at election time that decency was his aim.
He knew that Glasgow’s housing was the very, very worst,
And he sought emancipation, one at a time - me first!!
Mickie Kearns sought a licence and he didn’t give a damn
If he had to pay a hundred pounds to grease a bailie’s palm.
Says Inglis, “It’s a hardship case. I’ll put the news around,
Ah. but just tae prove your hardship, gimme seven hundred pounds.”
On the 9th day of November in the year of ’62
Mickie Kearns went to the Barrowland Bar some business for to do.
Johnny Inglis was a happy man when he came there an’ all,
But the polis they were listening, and they went and burst the ball.
Ah, but people they are asking now, as people they will do,
If, Mickie Kearns, you will tell who showed the road to you.
For Inglis he has eighteen months to linger in a cell,
And we wonder if there’s others maybe should be there as well.