WHO SAYS politicians of opposing parties can’t co-operate? Last week saw a cross-party team of the SNP’s Bruce Crawford, the Tory leader Ruth Davidson, the Labour leader Johann Lamont and the Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie take on a team of Scouts in a tent raising competition.
Held outside Holyrood during YouthLink Scotland’s Wild in the Park event, the politicians looked as if they were going to be on the wrong end of a thrashing as the Scouts took an early lead.
The politicians, however, eventually emerged victorious when the Scouts’ tent collapsed.
Baden-Powell would be birling in his grave.
Lords ponder executing their final solution
A fairly drastic approach to Lords reform was raised by a Government minister in the Upper House last week. The noble Lords discussing the rising number of people being elevated to the peerage and the difficulties that posed for running the Second Chamber.
“Given the number of people who are attending, one can see that it is extremely difficult for this place to function sensibly… Unless there is a way of getting rid of people… the number will rise exponentially,” said Lord Dubs.
“There is always execution,” suggested Lord (William) Wallace of Saltaire, the Lib Dem whip who seemed a trifle eager to mete out the punishment handed down to his illustrious Scottish patriot namesake.
No guarantees from Major on future admirers
Sir John Major was in jovial form when he addressed a lunch in Edinburgh’s Calton Hotel organised by the Scottish Political Journalists Association. He told the hacks and their guests that he admired Alex Salmond for sticking to his independence cause – although he didn’t admire the cause itself. “Do I get on perfectly well with him? … well… thus far, I have. But I offer no guarantees for the future,” said the former PM.
Commenting further on the SNP leader, Major added: “I knew him all the time he was in the House of Commons. We even met at Wimbledon, I don’t know whether he had a Saltire with him. He had Moira with him, so it was entirely possible it was in her handbag and he just chose not to show it to me.”
Sporting opening hits the stumps
If he didn’t know it already, Major was reminded of the cultural differences between Scotland and England when he attempted to make sporting small talk with a journalist, whose sporting knowledge does not extend beyond the travails of York City and the on-going World Cup.
Interested to learn that the hack was originally from York, Major drifted on to his favourite pastime – cricket. Major remarked that it was marvellous was to see the young Yorkshire players doing so well in the England Test series against Sri Lanka.
Sadly, he was met with a blank look from the sporting philistine.