Drumlanrig: Alex Salmond | Cowdenbeath by-election

DRASTIC measures can be called for to avoid politicians on the campaign trail – but a journey Down Under is surely taking things a bit far.

1980s TV legend Anneka Rice. Picture: Contributed
1980s TV legend Anneka Rice. Picture: Contributed

Alex Salmond was on the stump at an engineering firm in Inverkeithing last week when he was told of one worker who had gone on holiday to Australia. Co-workers at Lamond and Murray urged the First Minister to leave a jocular message for the young engineer. “Stevie, I know you wanted to avoid my visit – but, really, Australia??” Salmond quipped. The note is now framed and adorns the factory’s walls.

Spin doctor answers the call of the Eighties

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LABOUR spin doctor Alan Laing proved to be a bit of a 1980s throwback when he prepared to organise the party’s formal by-election campaign launch this week in Cowdenbeath, where Gordon Brown was the star turn. Just before Brown’s arrival, Laing, who is running Labour’s media, took a call on his mobile, which had the theme tune from the cult 1980s gameshow Treasure Hunt. The Labour spin doctor confessed that he was a big fan of the show that, to refresh memories, involved Anneka Rice frantically trying to solve clues in search of treasure with the use of a helicopter. Laing will be hoping Labour has a successful treasure hunt in Cowdenbeath on 23 January when voters go to the poll in the by-election.

Holyrood dryathlon: race may be called off

The festive season has taken its toll on the Holyrood bar. New Years resolutions abound with Thursday night end of week sessions of the parliamentary drinking club much depleted. For those in attendance last week it was mineral waters and espressos with some even giving up the fags. One wonders how long this clean living will last. Drumlanrig gives it another week at best.

Road to independence goes dark for Nicola

Nicola Sturgeon could have been forgiven for thinking that pro-union sabotage was afoot as she delivered a keynote address in St Andrews last week. The Deputy First Minister was barely a minute into her speech, urging her 400-capacity audience at the town’s Buchanan Theatre to consider the impact of their referendum vote on future generations, when the lights suddenly went out and the hall was plunged into darkness. “I hope that wasn’t a judgment on this speech thus far,” the Deputy First Minister quipped. Her patience was clearly wearing thin when the lights failed on a further two occasions.

But underhand tactics on the part of the pro-union campaign were later laid to rest when the culprit was later exposed as a cameraman. It remains to be seen if the poor chap is blacklisted from future events with the SNP Deputy Chief.