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Comment: Right shower made scene at Glasgow Central

Glasgow Central Station has a strange effect on politicians. Picture: TSPL

Glasgow Central Station has a strange effect on politicians. Picture: TSPL

  • by ALASTAIR DALTON
 

WHAT is it about Glasgow Central station that makes politicians go a bit mad?

First, there was Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray fleeing from a photocall after being monstered by an anti-welfare cuts protester during the 2011 Holyrood election campaign.

Then last year, Conservative rail minister Mike Penning lost his cool when asked about apparently failing to invite SNP transport minister Keith Brown to a meeting of his own Scotland high-speed rail group.

He angrily dismissed questions about the issue as “childish politics”.

Yesterday, it was the turn of Liberal Democrat Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, who was jointly launching a study with Mr Brown into cutting cross-Border journey times as part of HS2.

After meeting UK rail minister Baroness Kramer off the sleeper, things didn’t get off to a good start when the Lib Dem pair nearly walked past Mr Brown.

Not that that would have made much difference, such is the friction between the UK and Scottish Governments over HS2. They then stood so far apart from each other that onlookers wouldn’t have realised they were supposed to be launching the study together.

Baroness Kramer then disappeared to a different part of the station, while there was clear blue water – or should that be miles of high-speed track – between the other ministers and their entourages.

Mr Brown, apparently peeved that the UK government hadn’t told him the Scottish Secretary would be turning up, and noting the hour, said: “At least the sleeper was on time.” It was 7:20am.

However, Mr Carmichael went one better when asked what he thought of Mr Brown’s demand for a commitment of extending HS2 to Scotland.

He said: “I’m not very good at rolling my eyes, but it’s pitiful.”

Perhaps it’s no wonder that one of the films shortlisted by Central for the UK’s first station concourse screening next month is … Psycho.

 

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