Drumlanrig: Owen Paterson | Harriet Harman

Harriet Harman. Picture: PA
Harriet Harman. Picture: PA
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DESPITE being a member of David Cameron’s English public schooled Cabinet, UK energy secretary Owen Paterson was keen to emphasise his Scottish credentials when he appeared at Holyrood’s rural affairs committee last week.

The Radley-educated politician informed MSPs that his father had been at Loretto – a factoid that would probably not impress the levellers on the committee.

His attempts to ingratiate himself went further when he revealed that his wife’s family once had property in Perthshire.

This was said in such plummy tones that one observer misheard the disclosure as Paterson claiming that his wife’s family once had some property called Perthshire.

Answer is 129, what was the question again?

Forget rows about whether an independent Scotland would still have full access to Britain. Could Scots as it stands pass muster as true Brits? A scathing report into the current British citizenship test by Prof Thom Brooks of Durham University last week revealed that prospective UK citizens were asked, among other things, to declare how many MSPs work at the Scottish Parliament and what its contact number is. It is feared that, despite the enormous regard people hold for their representatives in Edinburgh, many Scots may not themselves know this.

A modest marque for highfalutin’ Harriet

Sinisterial Mondeos no more. Harriet Harman, below, turned up at the Aberdeen Donside by-election last week to show her support for candidate Willie Young, arriving in cramped style in the back seat of a Fiat Cinquecento. Was this really the only mode of transport Labour had in which to carry party royalty? Has it come to this? Then again, it is certainly not the first time that a Westminster politician has been seen wrapped up inside their own bubble (car).

Kenny’s call may smack of sour grapes

The SNP’s Kenny Gibson has submitted a parliamentary motion criticising the political make-up of BBC Question Time panel last week.

The motion expresses disappointment that the independence supporting Greens and the Lib Dems were excluded from the programme and was critical of the inclusion of Ukip’s Nigel Farage and George Galloway of Respect.

Critics of the motion may feel that it smacks a bit of sour grapes, given the doing that the SNP’s Angus Robertson got from Galloway on Thursday night.