Drumlanrig: Lib Dems urged come north to help SNP?

Alex Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow
Alex Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Willie Rennie made an impassioned plea for party members to get north to help win the forthcoming Highland Council by-election in Caithness Landward Ward. His plea at the recent Lib Dem conference in Dundee did not quite have the desired effect.

Lord Thurso MP’s Westminster office had identified one Hanna Miedema as their candidate, “a young and intelligent female who will work closely with our MP John Thurso”. What a surprise then when she emerged as the SNP hopeful. Party members can now relax – because now that nominations are closed, there is no Lib Dem candidate. Oops.

Listening to Alex is above and beyond

Alex Salmond paid tribute to the great Scottish philanthropist Andrew Carnegie when he addressed the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York as part of the Tartan Day celebrations.

The event was shown on the internet in a live webcast. Those in the audience who did not fancy their faces being broadcast were advised to move out of range of the webcam.

Salmond said he was “struck” by the announcement and immediately assumed that some people were wary of being seen by their bosses when they should have been at work.

“I would like to say to the people who are playing hooky from their place of work – that is above and beyond the call of duty,” Salmond said.

The joys of being the first is unequalled

Those who have ever wondered why the Scottish Parliament is run the way it is need look no further than Lord Steel of Aikwood, the former Liberal leader who was Holyrood’s first presiding officer. Steel gave the recent Scottish Parliament Lecture at Westminster – an event designed to give the London politicos an insight into life at Holyrood.

Discussing Holyrood’s procedures and committee system, Steel said: “One of the joys I had was that being the first [presiding officer], I made it up as I went along because there was no precedent, which was a wonderful position to be in.”

Deadpan humour from the Boy David

Lord Steel’s lecture was introduced by Commons Speaker John Bercow, who gave a formidable list of the famous Liberal’s political achievements. The abortion bill, his leadership of the Liberals, his service in Lords and Commons as well as his spell as the chair of the Scottish Government were referred to in glowing terms.

“That was so good, can I book you for my memorial service?” quipped Steel. Makes you feel old to think that a politician whose youth once earned him the nickname “the Boy David” is contemplating his demise.