NICOLA Sturgeon broke bread with the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists Association just before the Scotland v Japan match kicked off in the Rugby World Cup.
Before the match, the First Minister revealed she had gone to Murrayfield to wish the Scotland squad good luck before their World Cup campaign. To her delight she found herself in the Scotland changing room. “I have to reflect on the sacrifices the First Minister has to make… As I was led into the changing room, the team had just finished its training session and I found myself thinking ‘this is a really, really tough job’. But someone has to do it. I believe there are photographs of the occasion, but they are being kept strictly under lock and key.”
Saxon angle on Queen’s Park and Rangers
It is not often that prime ministers of Lower Saxony know much about Scottish football. An exception has been David McAllister. As the son of Scottish parents, McAllister was forced to listen to the Scottish fitba’ results every Saturday.
“I remember as a child my father listening to the football results being read by James Alexander Gordon every Saturday. We went through umpteen English leagues until finally we got the Scottish results. He always turned off after the Queen’s Park result. He hadn’t been to a match for about 25 years but it was very important for him.”
Despite this, it has often been assumed McAllister is a Rangers fan. So much so, he was even tipped as a possible saviour of the Ibrox club.
“I remember when Rangers were in financial trouble there was a rumour that a politician with a lot of money was trying to get involved to save them,” he said. “A journalist phoned me and asked ‘Are you going to invest your money in Rangers?’ I said I’m a politician but I don’t have a lot of money and I’m certainly not the one who is going to invest!”
Hellish contribution to digital age
LAST week’s prize for the most bizarre contribution to Holyrood debate again went to Stewart Stevenson, the SNP’s answer to Pythagoras and, it appears, now a keen student of all things hellish.
In a debate on Scottish education, Stevenson (right) was singing the praises of all things mathematical. To illustrate his interest, he thought it would be illuminating to inform MSPs that one of the keepers of the gates of hell is Belphegor, who has his own special prime number. Stevenson was most of the way through reciting all 31 digits of the number before deputy presiding officer John Scott interjected: “Mr Stevenson, whenever you wish to return to the motion, feel free.”
Dining out on a crackling good gag
THE unsubstantiated claims that Prime Minister David Cameron’s private parts were somehow involved with a dead pig’s head made for a rich seam of comic material last week.
Leading the way when it came to “pig-gate” gags was First Minister Nicola Surgeon, when she addressed hacks at a Scottish Parliamentary Journalists Association (SPJA) lunch.
Having been treated to Lord Ashcroft’s account of what may or may not have taken place at the Piers Gaveston Dining Society when Dave was at Oxford, Sturgeon wondered if an SPJA lunch constituted a private dining club.
As a lass from Ayrshire, Sturgeon admitted to not having much experience of such exclusive organisations.
“I thought I had better play it safe and phone up somebody who does have much more experience than I do of private dining clubs,” Sturgeon told the assembled hacks.
“I phoned the Prime Minister yesterday. Unfortunately, all I got was crackling on the line.” «