In John Smeaton’s Words: ‘We’ll Just Set Aboot Ye!’

In today’s WSJ, a hero was described in the wake of the Glasgow Airport car bombing. “Baggage handler John Smeaton was standing in front of the airport smoking a cigarette when a Jeep Cherokee burst into flames nearby. He watched the burning driver emerge. A police officer pursued the passenger who he saw hitting the cop. When he saw what was happening, he ran over and kicked the assailant.

“You come to Glasgow, we don’t stand for it,” he told Australia’s Channel 7 news, (they subtitled the interview due to his thick brogue). “We’ll just set aboot ye,” he said. Later this new hero was dubbed “Smeato” on a website devoted to him. The site asks Britons to buy him a pint in a local Airport hotel pub. So far the site has raised $9,000 towards Mr Smeaton’s beer fund.

There are also, of course, tee shirts. They say What Would John Smeaton Do?” The city has been fighting a perception as a tough city, and suffers from a violent reputation. The denizens here love the way Smeaton symbolizes their character: “rough and ready,” says Brian Jagger a mechanic. “I don’t know him but I’m definitely proud of him. And I would have done the same.”