Drumlanrig: Kofi acts the part in mistaken identity

Kofi Annan was in Glasgow on Friday to speak at the annual Scottish Council for Development and Industry dinner.

The Ghanaian diplomat recalled how, after retiring as secretary-general of the UN, he and his wife travelled incognito to Italy and privately rented a remote Italian villa in order to get away from everything. After a while, however, Annan got bored, and he and his wife wandered down to the local village. Immediately, his presence was noted by a group of local men. “I said to my wife: ‘Our cover has been broken’.” One of the locals came up to him. “Morgan Freeman?” he inquired. “May I have an autograph?” Annan continued: “I said ‘sure’.” He and his wife then walked back to their villa, his cover intact.


The trials of the SNP backbenches go on. With so little to do, what with there being so many of them, it appears that jobs are being created for the swathes who sit behind Alex Salmond. Holyrood gossip has it that every week, one SNP MSP is given the water boy shift, with responsibility for ensuring that the front bench stars have a continuous supply of bottled or glasses of water. Last week, it appeared that MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden Fiona MacLeod had the job. Whatever next, someone to bring in hot towels?


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Paradise lost indeed. At a parliamentary reception last week, Murdo Fraser, below, hosting an event to celebrate the launch of the Scottish Social Enterprise Coalition – an umbrella group for social enterprise companies – was at least able to make a joke about his failure to capture the Scottish Conservative Party leadership earlier this month.

Chief commiserator was none other than SNP finance secretary John Swinney who told the assembled gathering that losing the leadership – or, in Fraser’s case, never getting it – had its plus side, not least being able to attend parties like these. “I should know,” insisted Swinney, harking back to his own rather bleak days as the head of the Nationalists.


The Scottish Tories boasted with great fanfare last week that their annual conference, at which they would showcase their new leader Ruth Davidson, was to be held at the plush venue of Ayr Racecourse next March. However, there were a few red faces in the blue corner at party HQ this week when Scottish Tory official Kirstene Hair wrote a memo to colleagues informing them that the venue was now “not going to be available” for the conference.

Perhaps next time, the new-look Scottish Tories will take the trouble to book their conference venue, before they announce the new location of the annual event.