John Gibson: Let’s put Salmond out to graze

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He had a habit, did Tom Ponton, to pontificate. At length. Mostly I’d listen and pass his spiel on to Evening News readers.

After all, he was a city councillor for 23 years and he’d speak, rant, from a Conservative viewpoint and he had enough experience and maturity and the majority of his colleagues – call them opponents – listened.

Ponton’s voice, alas, has been missing from the City Chambers. While he still calls Edinburgh home, he keeps a property in Florida and from there, semi-retired, he fuels business contacts .

Back here for a few weeks, he told me: “For the first time in 40 years I’m not a member of any political party but – and put this down – I strongly support the ‘No’ campaign, against Scotland’s independence.

“I’m confident the people of Scotland have enough sense not to vote for independence. Complacency among voters is a big worry. That and Salmond, in desperation, giving the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds. Laughable if it wasn’t so ridiculous.

“Ideally I’d settle for a 70-30 split. Salmond would be humiliated, then put out to graze.’’

The vote for bairns of 16 and 17? Desperation, I have to agree. It’s a joke.

Pup in for a look

Pause for a sec and think dogs, delightful creatures most of them. Blackhall St Columba’s Art Club, courtesy of the church on Queensferry Road, are running their annual exhibition and sale, the charity this time supporting Canine Partners.

Ends at 1pm on Sunday and treasurer Irene Mason hopes the club’s record take of nearly £1,000 will be equalled. They once got me to open a sale at the church. That was in councillor Moira Knox’s era. The outspoken Moira was in the papers every other day.