Drumlanrig: Dutch treat for hacks

Dame Tessa Jowell. Picture: PA
Dame Tessa Jowell. Picture: PA
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NEVER mind Basil Fawlty’s botched attempts not to mention the war in front of his German hotel guests, the Holyrood hacks faced a far stiffer challenge in diplomatic tact last week.

The day after Holland were knocked out of the World Cup by Argentina on penalties, a group of political journalists were invited out to lunch by a Netherlands political attaché – Weijer Losecaat Vermeer.

“Don’t mention the World Cup,” were the instructions handed down from the senior hacks.

“Perhaps, he’ll be drowning his sorrows,” said one thirsty hack hopefully. In the end, the journalists enjoyed a modest drink in the company of a charming diplomat who was nothing if not a good loser.

Pipes calling Dame Tessa back to happy childhood

DAME Tessa Jowell, the Labour MP for Dulwich, has finally revealed why she was ideal person to be Culture Secretary in the last Labour Government.

As a child, she grew up in Scotland where her parents were medics in Aberdeen. Writing of her love of Scotland and her hope that the land of her childhood will remain in the UK, Jowell (left) revealed that she used to walk through the village of Boreraig on Skye. Boreraig was once home to the piping college run by the MacCrimmon family, the most brilliant pipers who have ever lived. What better introduction to culture could there be than that?

Better Together Braveheart calling tune for Union

ON THAT note, it is interesting to note that last week’s internet sensation “The Highlander” Nigel Hanlin, who made an impassioned plea for the Union on David Dimbleby’s Question Time is writing a bagpipe-inspired anthem for the United Kingdom.

For those who missed Hanlin’s Christopher Lambert-inspired battle cry, it went: “I am born in Inverness. I am a passionate Highland and I love Scotland. I will take a stand to keep the United Kingdom together. I will give my life for my country as my grandfather did in the First War and his brother Charlie. Highland Regiment, British Army. I am British forever. We will never, never change. We will keep our union together in the name of Jesus!”

‘Pathetic’ Economist short-changes Scots says SNP

HAVING infuriated Alex Salmond by publishing a satirical map which depicted Scotland as Skintland, it was perhaps no surprise that the Economist magazine should come out for a No vote last week.

Salmond claimed that the now infamous map “insulted every community” in Scotland when it replaced Edinburgh with “Edinborrow”, the Lowlands with “Loanlands” and Dundee with “Dunfor”.

This time around, the magazine managed to upset the SNP yet again – not just because it said it favoured No, but because of its cover picture – a man with a saltire painted face wearing a See You Jimmy hat. “Another stupid, patronising cover from the ‘economist’ Pathetic really#voteyes,” tweeted Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s Westminster spokesman.