A LOOK at the past week’s events in the political sphere.
They’re behind you, Mike...
EDUCATION Secretary Mike Russell endured another bashing in parliament last week after admitting the government had misled MSPs by telling them that funding for FE colleges was not going down, then admitting that it was, only then to claim it was rising – but all unintentionally. Having tasted humble pie for the first time in recorded history, Russell rose on Thursday evening to face down his accusors. “People at home will wonder what on Earth is going on,” he declared. “Let me tell you what is going on. I’m going on!” It sounded good, but the quote was a straight lift from Harold Wilson in the 1960s. This was in response to a series of plots from within his Cabinet to unseat him as Labour leader. Does Russell fear something similar is taking place today?
Radical reason to vote
YESTERDAY’S Radical Independence Convention spelled out in detail how a “Yes” vote in 2014 would help to bring about the ideal of a Scottish socialist republic. Best received line of the day went to Jean Urquhart, the ex-SNP MSP, who quit her party over its loving embrace of Nato. “I was visiting a man in Drumchapel recently,” she said. “His dad said to me while I was there that you’ll win this vote. The son shouted: ‘Well, it’ll be nae thanks to you for you’ve never voted.’ To which the father replied: ‘What you don’t know son, is I’ve never had anything to vote for before.’” Pro-Unionistas, beware.
99p submarine for sale
MEANWHILE, the pro-Independence writer Greg Moodie had some fun at eBay’s expense last week after hearing of the problems with Britain’s Trident subs – by sticking them up for sale on the website for 99p. His advert declared: “Nuclear submarine fleet. One previous owner. Reason for sale: riddled with construction and design flaws. Some corrosion. Painfully slow…Bought it from a guy called Boaks for £9.75bn a few years back but it’s not quite what I had in mind.” Unfortunately for those interested in a cheap sub, the page has been taken down.
Elaine’s tram offer
A RECEPTION hosted by VisitScotland to highlight the Year of Natural Scotland got unexpectedly flirtatious when deputy presiding officer Elaine Smith suggested the minister responsible for foreign folk coming to Scotland, Fergus Ewing, should share a tram ride with her. Not the Edinburgh trams of course – by that time any ardour would have cooled – but the trams at the Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life in Lanarkshire, which, as Smith pointed out, are the only working trams in Scotland at the moment. Not only that, she added, they go into a drift mine, and would, she coyly asked, the minister care to take a trip with her? Ever gallant, Ewing assured her he would. What would their party leaders think?