Drumlanrig: Henry McLeish | Mr Q | Alex Neil

Salmond frequented Private Eye's Colemanballs column on a few occasions. Picture: PA

Salmond frequented Private Eye's Colemanballs column on a few occasions. Picture: PA

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SNIPPETS from the political sphere that you may have missed...

Salmond’s gaffes no match for McLeish

THE sad passing of David Coleman yesterday reminds Drumlanrig Alex Salmond once found himself in Private Eye’s Colemanballs column inspired by his gaffe-prone phraseology.

While expounding the benefits of Scotland’s hydro-power schemes in 2008, Salmond said: “That’s not just a legacy, it is there for the future.”

The First Minister got in Private Eye, but he has a way to go before he surpasses the Holyrood howlers king – predecessor Henry McLeish.

His verbal felicities were frequent and one remembers fondly the telling observation that: “We got a great future behind us”.

Mr Q makes tweetest of music at Holyrood

IN THE good old days, tweeting was associated with birds. In the Scottish Parliament it is now associated with a dog.

Those at Holyrood with anthropomorphic tendencies have delighted in the Twitter utterances of Mr Q, the SNP MSP Dennis Robertson’s guide dog. Now with 800 followers, over the course of 2013 Mr Q urged them not to bite posties, going to visit Princess Anne and underlined his CND credentials tweeting: “Can I speak on behalf of the animal kingdom? I don’t want to be nuked either!”

The affection shown by opponents was also mentioned. “I loved to hear the highlight of Annabel Goldie’s week is getting to stroke me in the lift,” was one yesterday in a list of his most popular musings.

Edinburgh Agreement will fail the test of time

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has long been recognised by this column as a font of trivia when it comes to parliamentary obscurities. Last week he led a debate criticising the effect of library closures on the Moray communities of Findochty, Hopeman, Portknockie and Rothes. The oldest library in the world, he told MSPs, was founded more than 4,500 years ago in Ebla in Syria.

“It remained unknown until the discovery of a text of an international treaty, inscribed on a clay tablet, in what people later realised was a library.”

What chances the Edinburgh Agreement will last another four-and-a-half millennia?

Neil filled with season’s greetings for opponents

HEALTH Secretary Alex Neil was filled with seasonal cheer at ministers’ questions. Labour opposite number Neil Findlay asked about low pay, poor working conditions and seven-minute visits blighting social care, Neil replied: “I see Mr Findlay is full of his usual Christmas cheer.” And Labour’s Jackie Baillie’s question on young adults’ respite care elicited more of his seasonal comfort and joy: “I am always willing to listen to the good fairy godmother Jackie Baillie,” said Neil.

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