’Twas the season to be jolly and drinking far too much at politicians’ Christmas parties last week. But there was little in the way of season’s greetings when the Education Secretary Mike Russell accidentally gatecrashed the Labour do.
Russell was with a group of education hacks when he went into the upstairs bar of a pub near Holyrood. He hadn’t realised that it had been booked by Labour for their annual hose- up. Russell was met with jeers and cries of “turn the spy pens off”. The jibe was a reference to the row which saw Russell accused of bullying earlier this year. A college chief resigned when the Education Secretary took umbrage at him recording a meeting using such a device.
“Nothing worth recording here anyway,” Russell is said to have remarked before leaving.
Priceless quip from Transport Minister
The quickest wit of the week was Keith Brown, the Transport Minister, when he was observing a test run for the long-awaited Edinburgh tram project. As the prototype vehicle was winding up to its top speed of 43mph, two roe deer skipped across the track.
“I told you it was two deer (too dear, geddit?),” quipped Brown, who must be relieved that there is now some progress on the billion pound project.
Holyrood’s favourite dog full of bright ideas
Students of anthropomorphism will not be surprised to learn that one of the biggest “personalities” at Holyrood is Mr Q, the guide dog who faithfully serves his master Dennis Robertson, the SNP MSP.
Mr Q has become a bit of a cult figure at the Holyrood bar and even has his own Twitter account. The SNP is so proud of his doggy tweets that they issued a press release highlighting his best ones, including the following gem: “If Dennis would remember to put the light on I’d know who’s coming into the office.”
Scots version would be more convenient
The language of Eden is cropping up in the most unusual places these days. The following notice has been posted above one of the urinals in the Scottish Parliament.
“Tha an goireas seo a-mach a ordugh aig an am seo. Nach cleachd sibh goireasan eile,” it reads. For those who don’t have Gaelic there is a helpful translation underneath saying: “This facility is temporarily out of order. Please use alternative facilities.”
There is disappointment, however, that the parliamentary authorities did not think it fit to provide a version in Scots.
“The lavvy’s broke, dinna pish in it. If yir burstin’ use the ither aen,” was suggested by one self-styled linguistic expert.