Don't take my word for it. His father was famously a member of the Harland & Wolff Burns Club. Germaine Greer once wrote that "George was a genuinely hard man, but hardness results in fragility. His working-class Ulster-Scots upbringing afforded him no way of coming to terms with that fragility". He spent his latter years living near his family outside Portavogie, in a relatively new house built on ground my father used to own and where I used to gather both spuds and straw bales – exactly three fields from where I now live. We can see the gable end from our front step. Here he is, looking Burns-esque, resplendent in full tartan.