The beautiful historic Whitehall home of the Scottish Secretary has welcomed a new lodger in the form of Nick Clegg who has squatted down in its suite of offices while his own gaff at the nearby Cabinet Office gets a makeover. Clegg’s arrival appears to be the latest in a long line of attempts by senior UK ministers to evict their Scottish colleagues from the stunning Grade 1 apartments which overlook Horseguards Parade. John Prescott once tried, too. And it looks like he is here to stay: rumour has it that sound-proofing has been installed in Clegg’s quarters as he seeks to settle in free from the madding crowd. A Cabinet Office response insists, however, that no public money has been splashed out.
Squeezing some gems into dull election TV
THE dull Aberdeen Donside by-election finally sparked into life in the wee hours of Thursday evening as viewers were royally entertained by the sight of both STV and BBC trying to fill three hours of political coverage prior to the result with precisely zip-all information. As the political pundits tired, so the gems emerged. “I know what it’s like to be squeezed at an election,” Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw informed viewers. “And it’s not a pretty sight.” At least we knew what he was trying to say unlike UKIP’s Viscount Monkton who declared that Alex Salmond had once quit the Labour Party because he was too left-wing. Eh? More! More!
And the monks said: let there be light
THE contribution of monks to Scottish society goes way beyond the production of Buckfast, Drumlanrig is thankful to report. Last week in parliament, the Tory MSP Mary Scanlon gave an insight into the pioneering role played in creating green energy by those who inhabited Fort Augustus abbey on the shores of Loch Ness. According to Scanlon, the monks were the first to develop hyrdoelectric in Scotland. Their 18KW scheme was established in 1891 and powered the chapel’s electric organ and the villages’ houses.
Grahame as a modern-day Godiva?
A SOLEMN occasion in the Scottish Parliament was enlivened by a mischievous comment from Sandra White of the SNP. Her Nationalist colleague Christine Grahame had called a debate to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden which saw the death of Scotland’s King James IV and the flower of the Scottish nobility at the hands of the English. Referring to the Selkirk ridings, which commemorate the terrible battle every year, White wondered whether Grahame “took part in the ride through the town that day – perhaps as a modern-day Lady Godiva”. The mind boggles.