Drumlanrig: The good old days, or were they?
THERE were a few wry smiles at Cabinet last week when the Health Secretary Alex Neil got a “ribbing” from his ministerial colleagues following a performance on Radio Scotland when he gave an interesting insight into his youthful drinking habits.
Comparing the booze culture of today with that of his younger days, Neil pontificated on getting tanked up, and reminisced about getting chucked out of pubs.
“When I was a youngster, which is some time ago, way back in the 1960s, you tended to go to the pub and you were thrown out at 9.30pm or 10pm. That tended to be pretty well the end of the evening except perhaps at weekend when you went on to a party. Now what’s happening, and it’s not just at weekends, is that people are getting tanked up – or preloaded – then maybe at about 10 or 11pm going on to a bar and drinking even more,” Neil told Good Morning Scotland.
Did Neil’s colleagues detect a hint of jealousy in his voice?
Job pundits lost sight of a crucial issue Dennis Robertson, the blind SNP MSP, has made quite an impression at Holyrood – winning the Donald Dewar Debater of the Year Award last year.
Having found his niche as a politician, he has been casting his mind back to his younger days when finding employment proved to be quite a challenge for a young man without sight.
Recently he told MSPs that he signed on after leaving school. His prospects were not too promising, especially when the local unemployment centre offered him a job either as a “nightwatchman” or a “sign painter for boats in dry dock”.
As Robertson remarked ruefully: “I felt I had to refuse. I felt that such opportunities were beyond even my expectation of the challenge to which I could assign myself.”
Even with his trusty guide dog Mr Q by his side, Robertson would have struggled down those career paths.
Waiting list for a drop of the hard stuff
Minimum pricing of alcohol may be on its way if the SNP government has its way but that hasn’t diminished the allure of a wee drop of the hard stuff for our hard-pressed parliamentarians.
Last week’s Holyrood tasting of a range of premium blends was so well attended that at least 20 whisky folk, MSPs and other politicos had to be put on a waiting list.
Of the 100 who crammed into a committee room were at least two cabinet ministers, a stellar turn-out and one which the hosts, the Scotch Whisky Association, lobbying hard against minimum pricing, were keen to point out.
Quadruples – Johnnie Walker Platinum, Dimple, Old Parr and JB – all round!
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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