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TITLE
Jim Love - Meeting Prime Ministers
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_JIMLOVE_16
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Jim Love
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1737
KEYWORDS
audios

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Jim Love (1943 - 2006) was one of the Highlands' most respected journalists. He joined the 'Inverness Courier' in 1988, becoming editor in 2003. He had previously been an Inverness-based reporter with the 'Press and Journal'. One of Jim's passions was jazz music but he also played a major part in the blossoming of the traditional music scene in the Highlands in the 1990s and 2000s.

In this audio extract from the radio programme 'Moray Firth People' Jim talks to Helen MacPherson about meeting Prime Ministers.

Interviewer: Now, I believe you've also had some strange meetings with Prime Ministers, ex-Prime Ministers?

Oh well, inevitably Prime Ministers like to be seen to be getting around the country and they're always at Inverness at one time or another. I've covered visits by everybody from Sir Alec Douglas-Home to Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, and Margaret Thatcher, Jim Callaghan - never. But Sir Alec Douglas-Home, I must admit, I was with the 'People's Journal' at the time and I was very young and very inexperienced and he called a press conference in the Station Hotel and for some reason or other I was very late. So I walked in and made my apologies to Sir Alec, 'I'm very sorry Prime Minister.' And he said, 'Not at all. Would you like me to start again?' And I thought this was a bit much, that the Prime Minister of the country was prepared to stop and start all over again for a very junior reporter in Inverness. I assured him it wasn't necessary and that I would catch up with some of the other guys afterwards.

And Margaret Thatcher, she was at the Station Hotel again. I mean, she came to Inverness, the election before last I think it was, and she was faced with a very hostile crowd; I've never seen Station Square so full and everybody chanting slogans. And as she was going into the hotel, somebody took it into his head to symbolise his disgust at her policies by spitting on her. And unfortunately, I came between the Prime Minister and this chap and I got, I got it in the head! And, at first I thought it was an egg, and then somebody sort of told me it wasn't an egg (I hope nobody's still eating their tea, by the way) and so I went to the toilet to rinse my hair, and as I came out, I was still sort of looking rather disgusted with the whole incident, and Dennis Thatcher said, 'I say, old boy, that's - what's happened to you?' And I said, 'Oh, somebody spat at your wife and it hit me.' And he said, 'Oh that's rent-a-mob out there'. So I thought, 'Oh that's a good quote' - the old newspaper man.

And this duly appeared in the paper the next day, and Tory Central Office went mad because Dennis Thatcher does not speak to the press, and it was very embarrassing for him to have made such an ill chosen remark about the electorate. So there was a big enquiry launched as to find out where I had got this quote from, and if I had actually invented it. But it transpired that I had been sporting an identification badge on my lapel and Dennis had mistaken me for one of the party faithful and thought he was just chatting to a fellow traveller; he didn't realise it was a newspaper man. But the quotes fairly brightened up the story the next day.

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Jim Love - Meeting Prime Ministers

1990s

audios

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Jim Love

Jim Love (1943 - 2006) was one of the Highlands' most respected journalists. He joined the 'Inverness Courier' in 1988, becoming editor in 2003. He had previously been an Inverness-based reporter with the 'Press and Journal'. One of Jim's passions was jazz music but he also played a major part in the blossoming of the traditional music scene in the Highlands in the 1990s and 2000s.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract from the radio programme 'Moray Firth People' Jim talks to Helen MacPherson about meeting Prime Ministers.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Now, I believe you've also had some strange meetings with Prime Ministers, ex-Prime Ministers? <br /> <br /> Oh well, inevitably Prime Ministers like to be seen to be getting around the country and they're always at Inverness at one time or another. I've covered visits by everybody from Sir Alec Douglas-Home to Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, and Margaret Thatcher, Jim Callaghan - never. But Sir Alec Douglas-Home, I must admit, I was with the 'People's Journal' at the time and I was very young and very inexperienced and he called a press conference in the Station Hotel and for some reason or other I was very late. So I walked in and made my apologies to Sir Alec, 'I'm very sorry Prime Minister.' And he said, 'Not at all. Would you like me to start again?' And I thought this was a bit much, that the Prime Minister of the country was prepared to stop and start all over again for a very junior reporter in Inverness. I assured him it wasn't necessary and that I would catch up with some of the other guys afterwards.<br /> <br /> And Margaret Thatcher, she was at the Station Hotel again. I mean, she came to Inverness, the election before last I think it was, and she was faced with a very hostile crowd; I've never seen Station Square so full and everybody chanting slogans. And as she was going into the hotel, somebody took it into his head to symbolise his disgust at her policies by spitting on her. And unfortunately, I came between the Prime Minister and this chap and I got, I got it in the head! And, at first I thought it was an egg, and then somebody sort of told me it wasn't an egg (I hope nobody's still eating their tea, by the way) and so I went to the toilet to rinse my hair, and as I came out, I was still sort of looking rather disgusted with the whole incident, and Dennis Thatcher said, 'I say, old boy, that's - what's happened to you?' And I said, 'Oh, somebody spat at your wife and it hit me.' And he said, 'Oh that's rent-a-mob out there'. So I thought, 'Oh that's a good quote' - the old newspaper man. <br /> <br /> And this duly appeared in the paper the next day, and Tory Central Office went mad because Dennis Thatcher does not speak to the press, and it was very embarrassing for him to have made such an ill chosen remark about the electorate. So there was a big enquiry launched as to find out where I had got this quote from, and if I had actually invented it. But it transpired that I had been sporting an identification badge on my lapel and Dennis had mistaken me for one of the party faithful and thought he was just chatting to a fellow traveller; he didn't realise it was a newspaper man. But the quotes fairly brightened up the story the next day.