Drumlanrig: ‘Sean Connery is not a foreigner, he’s the world’s most famous Scot, he’s a citizen.”’

Snippets from the past week in the world of politics

Is Alex Salmond’s word as good as his Bond?

James Wallace, below, the Dumfries-born lawyer who is campaigning to give Scots living south of the Border a vote in the referendum, makes an interesting point in a document he has prepared on extending the franchise. Wallace, who is about to move to London, backs up his argument by quoting Alex Salmond, who once said on BBC Radio 5 Live that “Sean Connery is not a foreigner, he’s the world’s most famous Scot, he’s a citizen.” Salmond was arguing that the 007 star ought to be able to donate more money to the SNP despite living in the Bahamas.

“So the First Minister thinks it is OK to claim that about someone who left Scotland decades ago for tax reasons but not when it comes to actually voting,” Wallace said. He goes on: “In addition, I would like to think that I left Scotland for more noble reasons and unlike Sean Connery will likely return.”

High price to pay to get back in the Black

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The Auditor General Bob Black is to retire soon as the country’s top beancounter after a distinguished period in office. As Scotland heads towards austerity and the pinch in the public sector worsens, his successor will have a huge job seeking out wasteful spending and eliminating it. Depending on your point of view, the advertised salary of a cool £140,000 is therefore either money well spent, or might be one of the first items of expenditure the new man or woman might want to run the rule over.

Strangely fitting as vote set to dragon and on With Chinese New Year falling tomorrow, Alex Salmond today sends his greetings to Scotland’s Chinese community. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, not a symbol, says Salmond “to be feared but one of good luck”. Chinese astrology also notes that the Dragon is “the mightiest of the signs”, symbolising character traits such as “dominance, drive and success”. Given the First Minister has delayed his independence referendum, it would appear his celebration of Chinese New Year is not entirely in keeping with its spirit.

SNP in a spin and thinking big

SNP and Scottish Government spinners are excited by the prospect of bus-loads of foreign journalists coming to Edinburgh on Wednesday for the launch of Salmond’s Big Consultation on independence. The interest in the plans means civil servants have been seeking a suitably large venue for the launch. “They’ll need a big place both for the hacks and Alex’s ego,” says one rather embittered MSP.