Drumlanrig: Ed Balls|Royal links|Lord Lyll|MSP

IN SCOTLAND last week Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls recounted an awkward situation when he had gone to Elland Road to watch Leeds United against Norwich City.

Labours Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls. Picture: JP

Balls, whose constituency adjoins the Leeds ground, was sitting in a corporate box with his good friend Delia Smith, Norwich’s best known supporter.

When Norwich scored, Delia leapt up to celebrate. Balls’s reaction was more muted. He remained glued to his seat with a grim expression on his face in order not to annoy his constituents.

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Despite his best efforts to look displeased, Balls couldn’t help noticing that he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from the Leeds faithful nonetheless.

Government guilty of making royal links

SCOTLAND may not yet be independent, but the Scottish Government has already started bestowing baubles. A press release headed “Scotland tees up for golfing bonanza” looked forward to the Ryder Cup later this year.

One event highlighted was Catriona Matthew defending her Scottish Open title at the “Royal Archerfield Course in East Lothian”.

Eh? Since when was the admittedly very fine Archerfield links known as Royal Archerfield? Perhaps it has been given royal appointment status by His Majesty Alex Salmond when no-one was looking?

Lord Lyell rises to defend his Peter Pan heritage

THE former Tory minister Lord Lyell of Kinnordy is a splendid chap.

Not only is he an enthusiastic Forfar Athletic supporter, but he never misses an opportunity to mention Kirriemuir, the picturesque village that lies next to his extensive Kinnordy estate in Angus.

In a recent Lords debate Lyell argued against Scottish independence by referring to the “tiny town” known as “Kirrie” of which he is “very proud”.

“Kirriemuir was the birthplace of JM Barrie who wrote the immortal Peter Pan. Where did Peter Pan operate? A place called Never-Never Land. I do not want Kirrie, Angus or Scotland to turn into that land.”

Sidecar for MSPs at the Holyrood speakeasy?

IN THE past, a trip to the Scottish Parliament bar wouldn’t necessarily conjure images of flappers dancing the Charleston during the jazz age.

Recently, however, the Great Gatsby-era has come to mind when some MSPs have ordered their drinks. A new craze for drinking cocktails has been in evidence with Christina McKelvie, the SNP MSP at the forefront of this new craze for Manhattans, Long Island Iced Teas and Sea Breezes. All this is to be encouraged, so long as this homage to the Roaring 20s doesn’t extend to introducing Prohibition.