Drumlanrig: No vote | Alex Salmond | Reflection

John Pentland. Picture: TSPL
John Pentland. Picture: TSPL
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No vote for marathon man’s diet

A LEADING Scottish Tory built more for comfort than speed was entertaining journalists at the Birmingham conference last week.

Reminiscing about the referendum campaign, the Tory was talking of the role played by Jim Murphy on his 100 Towns in 100 Days tour – a marathon expedition that saw abuse and eggs hurled at the Labour MP.

The Tory was talking enviously of Murphy’s whippet-like build when it was gently pointed out to him that the shadow international development secretary was a teetotal vegetarian.

“I don’t know how he does it. All I want to do after a long day’s campaigning is to slump in front of the TV with a Chinese and a bottle of red,” said this Tory paragon of healthy living.

Jaw-dropping moments taken into 19th hole

FOR those journalists and civil servants who have to turn up to work at Holyrood when they would much rather be on the golf course, there was a day of torture last week when MSPs debated the Ryder Cup.

Like the worst clubhouse bores, MSPs replayed the stunning bunker shots, the holing of serpentine putts and the fairway-splitting drives. Among those at Gleneagles was Labour’s John Pentland. In parliament, Pentland gushed about Ian Poulter’s chip-in at the 15th and Jamie Donaldson’s match-winning putt for the European team. These were, said Pentland, “jaw-dropping moments”. His Labour colleague Neil Findlay retorted: “John Pentland mentioned a jaw-dropping moment – well, I too had a jaw-dropping moment when he bought me a pint in the pavilion.”

Sound move for Alex frae Strichen?

NOW that the outgoing First Minister has taken to ringing up Radio Scotland phone-in programmes and venting his spleen on air, speculation is mounting that “Alex frae Strichen” (as he is now known) is preparing himself for a new career in the media.

Salmond’s live evisceration of Aberdeenshire councillor Jim Gifford on Morning Call over poll tax debts was a master-class in brutish reality entertainment.

One imagines that the producers of The Jeremy Kyle Show would pay good money for such talent.

Haste ye back to reflect again

A STAR turn in the Scottish Parliament last week was Jamie Stuart, elder of High Carntyne Parish Church, who took the “Time for Reflection” slot at Holyrood.

As the author of the Glasgow Gospel and the Glasgow Bible, Stuart felt it would be appropriate to read the biblical passage I Corinthians, chapter 13 in Scots.

“When I wis a bairn, I had the speech o a bairn, the mind o a bairn, an the thochts o a bairn; But noo that I am grown tae manhood, I have pit awa bairnlike things. For just noo we can see an hear jist a wee bit aboot God,” was one of the more memorable verses.

His rendition was so splendid that it was greeted with a round of applause from MSPs and the sotto voce remark from Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick: “I think we will get him back another time”.