Drumlanrig: First names shouldn’t take sting out

Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty
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THE excruciating faux chuminess displayed by the former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond when he was questioned by MPs about the Libor scandal has led to a new phrase entering the Westminster lexicon.

Readers will remember how the banker insisted on addressing MPs on the treasury select committee by their Christian names as they grilled him about his role in the Libor-fixing scandal.

Particularly grating was his insistence on addressing the Tory MP Andrea Leadsom as “Andreeea” in his American drawl.

MPs have become wary of making the same mistake. So when Alison Nimmo (above), chief executive of the Crown Estate, appeared before the treasury sub committee last week the chairman George Mudie took care to ask if he could call her Alison.

“As long as you don’t mind. We don’t want to do a Bob Diamond on you … get over-familiar,” said Mudie.

The old ink-and-drink combination is back

REPORTS that an unnamed defence official suggested that the UK government is looking at making the Faslane nuclear base a little bit of Scotland that is forever England have fuelled the suggestions that the No campaign is engaged in “Project Fear”. Needless to say, a Whitehall charm offensive that saw Scottish hacks taken to the heart of the UK government last week was denounced by Yes campaigners as an attempt to engender more fear of independence. The hacks, however, were not referring to their trip as Project Fear. For those drouthy scribes it was more a case of “Project Beer”.

Labour man’s fine leg on show at Lord’s

WITH the Ashes series in full swing, Drumlanrig is delighted to report that it has discovered a keen cricket fan at Holyrood. It is well known that the Tory MSP Liz Smith played cricket for Scotland’s women’s XI. Less well known is that the Labour firebrand Neil Findlay is an aficionado of the game. So much so that Findlay is off to Lord’s for the second Test. We are assured that Findlay, who is on the left of the party, will not be in the members’ pavilion but will be happily ensconced in the cheap seats with his fellow workers.