Drumlanrig: First, Alex Salmond woos a QC

Jim Murphy: Mars bar treat. Picture: John Devlin

Jim Murphy: Mars bar treat. Picture: John Devlin

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ALEX Salmond cut quite a dash when he promoted his book The Dream Will Never Die at the Hay Festival the other day.

At the luvvie love-in Salmond was in charming form with Helena Kennedy QC, even reciting poetry and presenting her with a flower.

Their encounter was breathlessly reported in the Brecon and Radner Express as: “Perfect Union in the Tata Tent”. Salmond gave Kennedy a “little white rose of Scotland”, similar to the ones worn by his Westminster colleagues during the Queen’s Speech.

He then recited the Hugh MacDiarmid poem of the same name. “The rose of all the world is not for me,” Salmond said. “I want for my part/Only the little white rose of Scotland/That smells sharp and sweet – and breaks the heart.”

Pass the sick-bag please.

... then he duels with a former president

IT WASN’T just the former first minister’s sensitive side that was on display during his trip to the Hay Festival. There was also a bit of braggadocio.

Salmond was conscious that Bill Clinton’s visit to the festival had seen the former US president set some sort of golfing record for the longest drive into the River Wye.

Salmond said he had got up at “some ungodly hour” with his clubs in an attempt to beat Clinton’s record. “It took me four goes,” Salmond said. “If I had not managed it, I would still be there.”

It’s Mars, Jim, but not as we know it

THE canteen at Holyrood serves up delicious grub for the lowlife that work there. None more so than the interesting dessert on offer last week as part of a culinary homage to the chip shop.

A variation on a deep fried Mars Bar theme was dished up. Rather than producing the battered sweet treat, the parliamentary caterers created Mars Bars in filo pastry. Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was so enamoured, he took to social media – posting a photograph of the dish with the caption: “Here’s the healthy option from today’s ‘chip shop’ themed menu in the Scottish Parliament. #healthy Scotland.”

Rumour has it that the Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick was not impressed.

Easy goal against transfer player Chic

ONE might have thought that the urbane Conservative Cameron Buchanan was more of a rugby union man than a football fan. (Buchanan’s father played rugby for Scotland and Buchanan himself turned out for Lismore RFC).

Buchanan, however, seems to know a bit about the round ball game as well.

Speaking in a debate in Holyrood on youth football called by the SNP MSP Chic Brodie, Buchanan talked about the SFA coaching centre saying the “special one” had earned his stripes there.

For clarification, he added: “I am not referring to Chic Brodie, but to José Mourinho.”

Buchanan then paid tribute to Brodie’s interest in the beautiful game, saying: “I believe that, if anyone in the chamber can help clubs to set aside rivalries, it is Chic Brodie, a man who has swapped sides more times than Mo Johnston.”

Buchanan’s dig was a barbed reference to the fact that Brodie departed from the Liberal Democrats to join the SNP.

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