THE poor, Jesus said, will ayeweys be wi us. Weel, that strikes me as kind o a defeatist attitude, but ah jalouse the chiel wis anely gaun bi whit he’d read in the papers. It’s an annual event noo, should be a public holiday; the news report that anely 20% – or 19, or 21 – o fowk wirkin in the airts cam fae wirkin-cless backgroonds. It’s like a flashin reid licht on yer dashboard, a timely reminder that we’ve nearly ran oot o real news an are rinnin on fumes.

Media stories aboot wirkin-cless exclusion fae the airts are like yon soya milk ye bocht bi accident – they micht be bowfin, but they’re probably guid for ye, an they’re ayeweys haundy for when ye rin oot o the guid stuff.

Weel – aye. Awthin that’s gaun agley wi the warld these past twa-three year, fae Trump tae Brexit tae austerity tae Farage, has cam aboot as a direct result o wirkin-cless exclusion. The endemic distrust o the mainstream media, the growin disillusionment wi career politicians – it aw cams back tae a global demographic that hae been robbed o ony socially constructive wey o giein voice tae their grievances.

Wirkin-cless fowk hiv lang been haudit oot o the airts, oot o the newspapers, oot o the clessrooms, an oot o oor collective national storytellin – hiv nae wey o expressin themsels except fae tickin a box for some Eton-educatit haufwit every fower or five year. Should it be ony wunner, then, when the votes they cast are distress caws tae the future? Should we be surprised that the message in their bottle asks – is onybody oot there?

If there’s ony better sign o the muckle disconnect atween the fowk that mak the warld an the fowk that anely live in it, it’s the notion that wirkin-cless exclusion fae the airts is in ony wey dumfoonerin. Yer average Ferguslie Park schemie has got mair chance o drappin deid on the street than o makkin a livin oot o writin or paintin – but yon’s a shock tae naebody that actually bides there. It’s yer weel-heeled an weel-meanin that maks a drama oot the thing, fowk that think a pickle o poetry clesses at the local library an a painter-in-residence (they’ve a mate wha fits the bill) doon the community centre will somewey level the field.

The barbarians, nae dout, are ayeweys at the gates; but aw they’re leukin for is a couple o free paintbrushes an a book on hou tae lairn piano. Haun ower the guids an a wee bit mair besides, an it’ll mebbe no cam up that the gates are there at aw.

So here it is in English, for the hard-of-understanding – what keeps working class people out of the creative professions (and most of the other ones, besides) is not economic but social disadvantage.

Fowk arenae stuck in deid-end jobs for the want o a couple o colourin-in books an a packet o crayons. They’re there acause o the hale spiderwab o entitlements an safety nets that mak certain categories o risk unthinkable, or even impossible, tae ordinary people. Hou can a woman wi three bairns an twa jobs ever find time or energy tae tell her story? Whit fills the bellies o cooncil estate weans but unscrievit novels an unpaintit laundscapes?

Privileged fowk hiv got this awfy habit o treatin difficulties – even their ain – as basically unsolvable. When the major fankles o life – a ruif ower yer heid, some scran on the table – cam fixed richt oot the box, ah suppose awthin else maun seem like an existential quandary frae a Swedish film aboot a lecturer that’s bored o his wife. Ye ken it yersel; a weel-aff gadgie wi a problem isnae really leukin for a solution – he’s leukin for sympathy. But wirkin-cless fowk hiv got sympathy comin oot their lugs. Gin ye could harness up aw the middle-cless haunwringin tae the National Grid, we could turn aff Torness Power Station an naebody’d be ony the wiser.

The low hum of aw these hamely voices turnin ceaselessly roond the system is nice tae faw asleep tae. But whit we need noo are dynamos, people wha can take aw that energy an convert it intae action.

Coorse, that means wirkin-cless fowk in positions o influence … An the trouble is, even when somebody does mak it aw the wey fae Possilpark tae the tap o the shinin hill, they’re ower puggled tae get onythin much done. Darren McGarvey – Loki, tae the rest o us – is ayeweys gettin it in the neck, an in the mush, an everywhaur sooth o the waistline for bangin on aboot the wirkin clesses. Weel, nae dout there’s naethin the fella wid raither dae than belt up aboot benefits an get on wi his ain life. But as lang as the wirkin clesses are kept oot o the treehoose, onybody that maks it up there will aye be stuck daein the Prometheus Unbound bit, fechtin tae fling doon a ladder for the rest o us. The problem isnae that Darren McGarvey anely talks aboot the wirkin clesses – it’s that he’s the anely person gaun that does.

Sae, in the interest o constructive engagement wi the issues an that, here’s a couple o solutions for ye, solutions that dinnae bile doon tae feltin classes at 10 in the mornin when awbody’s at wirk.

First o aw, Universal Basic Income. Until wirkin-cless fowk are freed fae the necessity o haein tae – weel – wirk; until the six months or twa months or twa year it taks tae create a thing are the entitlement o aw, no jist the fowk whase maws an das hae a bedroom an a few thoosan pounds gaun spare; until time for yersel is nae langer a thing tae be stealt awa in slivers, Bearsden an Barlanark will aye be on the opposite sides o mair than jist a city.

Solution twa – a Scots Language Act tae gang wi oor Gaelic yin. The velvet-roped VIP suites o oor society – the clessrooms, the pairliament, the BBC studios – hiv lang been as intolerant o the Scots language as they are inaccessible tae the ordinary fowk that speak it.

The first thing a five-year-auld bairn needs tae dae tae get by in the warld is unlairn awthegither the language she wis raised wi; an richt nou oor government – oor society as a hale – is complicit in that. But mak Scots pairt o that bairn’s ooter warld as weel as her inner warld – let her see it on the TV an hear it in the clessroom – an the muckle barrier we’re bringin doon would shak the earth when it faws.

But these solutions are no practical, o coorse – ah’m ower stupit masel tae unnerstaun hou, but some radge wi a briefcase wi be alang shortly tae explain the hale thing … Meantimes, mebbes the mair wirkable solution is that the hale capitalist society we’re in aboot is needin ripped oot an knittit ower again, an the treehooses torn doon, an the briefcases flung open an cast oot intae the sea ... An mebbes then we can find some weys tae uise aw the man an woman-pouer we’ve got at oor disposal, every last ability o every last person, an no jist as a chain-gang o rowers on a ship that’s gawin naewhaur; tae enshrine, at last, the richt o oor wirkin clesses tae tell their stories, an tae hiv thae stories heard.

William McIlvanney, he say: “If literature is a testament tae whit it means tae be alive, 98% o the witnesses hivnae been cawed.” Aye, or could be it’s 97%, or could be it’s 99. Either wey, let’s no kid on they jist couldnae affuird a pencil.