Drumlanrig: Scottish Conservative conference

IN ARGYLLSHIRE, the Conservative MSP Sir Jamie McGrigor has an almost messianic following among the Tory blue-rinse brigade.
Malcolm Chisholm MSP. Picture: TSPLMalcolm Chisholm MSP. Picture: TSPL
Malcolm Chisholm MSP. Picture: TSPL

Following his contribution to a Holyrood debate about the River Clyde last week, it is now a bit easier to understand why.

McGrigor (right) was recalling how he and his mother – the redoubtable historian and biographer Lady Mary McGrigor – used to go sea angling off Tarbert.

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“We quite happily caught a box of haddock, codling and whiting which we took back and fed to the whole village,” he said.

The good folk of Tarbert (population slightly less than 5,000) are waiting to see what he can do with a couple of loaves.

Tory boy put into wrong gear for conference

ONE of David Mundell’s sons is a big fan of Top Gear, the TV show for petrolheads.

So there was much excitement when the Scotland Office minister told his lad that the big speakers at this weekend’s Scottish Conservative conference were: “Hammond, May and Clarke, son”.

Imagine the child’s disappointment when Mundell then told him not to expect Richard “the Hamster” Hammond, James May or the denim-clad Jeremy.

The only Hammond at conference would be Philip, the Defence Secretary. Representing the May clan was Home Secretary Theresa. While Ken Clarke can take some comfort from the fact that he has little in common with Jeremy Clarkson.

Heartfelt welcome to an ageing membership

THE Scottish Conservatives have long struggled with an ageing membership. At this weekend’s conference, however, many stalwarts have been encouraged by the youthful appearance of some of the activists.

Spotted in the main hall, fringe meetings and conference bar, have been some promising youngsters in the 55-65 age bracket.

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Nevertheless, the overall age-profile is betrayed by the sign greeting Tory members queuing to enter the conference hall.

“The security gates will not affect your pacemakers,” it reads.

Goldie embraces Malcolm as her ‘honorary sister’

IT IS some time since the Labour MSP for Edinburgh North and Leith was known by unkind parliamentary sketch-writers as Malcolm “Jessie” Chisholm.

The origins of that soubriquet are lost in the mists of time, but had little to do with his excellent record of defending women’s rights.

Chisholm’s work for female victims of violence was recognised by Baroness Goldie in a debate on women in Scotland.

Goldie remarked that Chisholm (left) had a fine reputation amongst women before adding: “I do not have to say that; I think that he knows it for himself and is a kind of honorary sister in his own right.”

Welcome back to the sisterhood, Malky.