Drumlanrig: Scare tactics | Merchiston Castle

Alex Salmond chose not to attend last week's glittering awards ceremony run by GQ magazine, which saw him win the prize for Politician of the Year. Picture: PA

Alex Salmond chose not to attend last week's glittering awards ceremony run by GQ magazine, which saw him win the prize for Politician of the Year. Picture: PA

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Scare tactic draws chorus of approval for Nigel and Boris

POLITICIANS campaigning in North Berwick are discovering that the genteel seaside resort in East Lothian has a slightly different outlook to other Scottish towns.

With its two fine sandy bays and its beautiful golf links, it is a place where retired colonels clink their gin-and-tonic glasses while their wives take afternoon tea.

A recent independence debate put the Tory MSP Murdo Fraser and Labour’s Douglas Alexander on the No side against John Mason, the SNP MSP, and the Yes-supporting minister Rev Doug Gay. As 150 voters squeezed into St Andrew Blackadder Church, Gay argued that a No vote would see Scotland run by Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage from Westminster. “No-one here would want that,” said Gay, a claim that was met with a chorus from the audience of “Oh, yes we would.”

Putin casts a shadow over Salmond’s big night

ALEX Salmond chose not to attend last week’s glittering awards ceremony run by GQ magazine, which saw the First Minister win the prize for Politician of the Year.

Perhaps he was not keen to appear alongside Tony Blair, who picked up the Philanthropist of the Year award for the work done in developing countries by the former prime minister’s Faith Foundation.

Salmond’s critics, however, mischievously suggested he was reluctant to go because the award brought back unhappy memories of the interview published by the magazine in which the SNP leader revealed his admiration for “certain aspects” of Vladimir Putin’s leadership.

Old boy connection cuts no ice at posh school

A HUSTINGS event held at the prestigious Merchiston Castle all-boys boarding school in Colinton, Edinburgh, saw a resounding victory for the No side.

Arguing the case for Better Together was the Conservative MSP Gavin Brown, who very wisely concealed the fact that he used to be head boy at Fettes until after the vote.

Such is the rivalry between the two schools that any admission from Brown that he is a Fettesian would have surely boosted the Yes cause.

The 250 or so Merchiston pupils who are eligible to vote came out for No, despite one of their old boys being Douglas Young, a classical scholar and founding father of the SNP who was imprisoned twice for refusing to fight in the Second World War.

Day of Dialogue event a still point at centre of storm

DURING these feverish political times, a civilized atmosphere was in evidence at an event last week which concentrated on reconciliation and healing the divisions caused by the referendum.

Organised by John Sturrock QC, “Collaborative Scotland’s Day of Dialogue” was a 24-hour event held in the Grassmarket calling for a “mature and respectful” discussion “moving on from the fixed positions and point-scoring elements of the referendum campaign”.

The event even had a meditation room – which made for a relaxing antidote to the name-calling, barracking and vandalism found elsewhere.

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