The retirement of veteran Sunday Post political editor Campbell Gunn after 45 years with the newspaper was celebrated in grand style at Holyrood last week at a do attended by the great and the good of Scottish politics.
Journalistic colleagues and rivals paid tribute to the journalist, but the best quip came from Alex Salmond. Gunn had been at the paper so long, declared the First Minister, that when he joined “the Broons only had one bairn”.
Branson in a pickle over choice of spirits
Sir Richard Branson’s latest venture is “Little Red”, Virgin Atlantic’s new short-haul service which will be running a new Edinburgh-London shuttle from this spring. The Blond One issued an invitation to a launch party in the capital last week which suggested he may still have plenty to learn about Scotland’s ways – the party, the invite declared, would lay on plenty of “whiskey”. The planes are flying to Scotland, Sir Richard, not Ireland.
Crumpet, beer and baccy shocker
The big political shock of the week came in the Eastleigh by-election. Not that the Lib Dems survived allegations of sexual harassment and brushes with the law to take the seat, but the fact that Ray Hall (right) of the Beer, Baccy and Crumpet party only polled 235 votes. At least he had the satisfaction of beating David Bishop of the Elvis Loves Pets party, which got a miserly 72 votes.
Politics no longer a cardinal virtue
The resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien last week remains a personal tragedy for all concerned, but that hasn’t stopped the political implications of his departure being analysed. Back in 2006, the cardinal gave his backing to the idea of an independent Scotland, causing jubilation in the SNP ranks. With his fall from grace, the pro-independence cause is now deprived of a potential backer. It is not thought that Archbishop Phillip Tartaglia (below), the new de facto “head” of the Church, will be expounding on the political scene quite so explicitly. Or on anything, for that matter. So far, the new archbishop appears to have decided to adopt a radically different position from his predecessors: no interviews are to be given.