DRUMLANRIG is a great enthusiast for the finer things in political life, such as the “very good lunch”.
There was a time when journalists could – to a man and woman – be depended upon to provide these in exchange for a few tawdry tidbits of gossip (do not judge me, for a man must eat) but expenses just aren’t what they used to be, and now one is lucky to receive a skinny latté and muffin for betraying one’s chums.
This arrangement always cut both ways, of course. A healthy contacts book meant endless excuses for boozing it up at the company’s expense for members of the Holyrood lobby (a disreputable bunch and no mistake).
So do spare a thought for a stalwart of what we call the right-wing press (the papers which can still afford expenses).
As SNP candidate after SNP candidate was elected in the early hours of Friday morning, he wailed: “What about all my contacts? What about all those lovely receipts.”
Hack pays high price for Murphy’s defeat
ONE weary political commentator (and what those rogues know about anything isn’t worth a penny) decided to vote early on Thursday, thus missing any queues and concomitant interactions with other humans.
Unfortunately, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy had chosen the same time to cast his, ultimately pointless, vote for himself.
Thus, my chum was forced to wait in the shadows while Murphy grinned and gooned for the phalanx of photographers waiting to capture this historic waste of time.
This pantomime over, my correspondent, a reckless cove, took the opportunity to ask Murphy about his chances of victory.
The hack in question, you see, had wagered a substantial sum that Labour’s chap would manage to keep his seat.
“Your money will be fine,” reported the Labour leader who is, even now, looking for ways to fill his days after humiliating defeat.
When Archer was way off target…
JIM Murphy was defeated by Kirsten Oswald of the SNP. Hers was a victory unthinkable just a few years ago.
As Oswald gave her triumphant speech, Drumlanrig was reminded of a certain Gordon Archer (right), a former adviser to the one-time leader of the SNP John Swinney.
Back in 2007, when it was thought that Prime Minister Gordon Brown would call a snap election, Archer agreed to stand as the SNP candidate in the then unwinnable East Renfrewshire.
Unfortunately for Archer, Brown then decided against going to the country.
This meant, in the words of one of the candidate’s chums: “Big Gordy spent three years having meetings with half a dozen blokes in a shed in Barrhead before being thrashed at the polls.
“It really was one of the most miserable times of his life.”
Such terrible timing, Archer. Such terrible, terrible timing.
Joy at Salmond migration
FORMER SNP leader Alex Salmond inspired great loyalty among people who were largely terrified of him. But even the great one has his critics in the ranks of the SNP.
Take the party official who was watching the general election results come in and saw Salmond announced winner in the constituency of Gordon. A ping from the Drumlanrig portable phone alerted me to a text message.
“It’s great we’re winning everything,” wrote this natteratchik, “but I could have coped with Eck losing.”
A second ping brought a second thought. “At least he’ll be 400 miles away.”
Shocked I was. Shocked. And amused.