Drumlanrig: Gordon Brown | Nelson Mandela | Geoff Hurst

Gordon Brown and Nelson Mandela. Picture: Getty
Gordon Brown and Nelson Mandela. Picture: Getty
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GORDON Brown was recalling his best memories of Nelson Mandela following the great man’s death last week.

Brown attended a fundraiser in London with him some years ago. Also there were celebs such as Oprah Winfrey and Elton John. The latter pair became locked in a bidding war for a letter written by Mandela. The price reached a staggering £1m before finally John won out. “Quick,” said Brown. “Write another letter!”

Would World Cup win mean independence?

SCOTS have long had their fill of Geoff Hurst, the England striker whose goal in the 1966 world cup final triggered decades of jingoistic tedium. Might he now have dealt a blow to the cause of Scottish independence? It was Hurst (right) who, in Brazil last week, pulled out England in the draw for the 2014 World Cup, placing them alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Most observers believe this ensures England will be on the first plane home. “The one thing that might have pushed Scots to back independence would be England winning the World Cup,” one source declared, only half joking.

Twitter howler goes beyond the pale

The prize for questionable tweet of the week has been won by the pro-independence blogger Jeff Breslin. Known in political circles for his blogs SNP Tactical Voting and Better Nation, Breslin was moved to comment on the death of Nelson Mandela. “Might as well say it since everyone knows it,” he tweeted. “History will view Salmond as Scotland’s paler Mandela.” Breslin’s talent for being so wrong for so many reasons in so few characters triggered a Twitter storm at #Salmandela. As Labour MP Tom Harris put it: “Salmond’s struggle through uni, banking, the oil industry, the Commons and Holyrood is very similar to Mandela’s. #LongWalkToACurry.” Better Together’s Blair MacDougall was more succinct: “27 years in prison ≠ giving up puddings on the Beyonce diet.”

Transformational tedium sets in

FOLLOWING the launch of Alex Salmond’s White Paper, his SNP acolytes have leapt on the party’s latest buzzword – “transformational”. Most notably used to trumpet the White Paper’s child care proposals, it is now trotted out ad nauseam to describe any of the “transformational” benefits that will accrue after independence. Labour has now begun a “transformational tally”, which records how often the word is used. After one half-hour parliamentary session the total stood at nine. At this rate, the 283 days leading up to 18 September 2014 are just going to fly by.