Drumlanrig’s end of year awards

Thomas the Tank Engine: blamed for lack of female train drivers. Picture: Complimentary
Thomas the Tank Engine: blamed for lack of female train drivers. Picture: Complimentary
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Your source for political snippets turns its attention to awards for those who might want to forget 2013

Daftest warning about Scottish independence: In a crowded field, Labour’s shadow health secretary Andy Burnham wins by a nose after telling Holyrood magazine earlier this year that “I don’t want to drive up the M6 and get my passport out [at the Border] or have to drive on the right when I want to drive on the left.” Suggestions this was a political metaphor simply won’t wash. Burnham has been sent homewards to think again – on the left hand side of the road.

Worst political campaign of the year: In a late entry, Labour MP Mary Creagh scoops this coveted category after berating Thomas the Tank Engine last week for the lack of female rolling stock in the cartoon. “The only female characters are an annoyance, a nuisance and in some cases a danger to the functioning of the railway,” she declared. Creagh blamed the programme, based on the series of stories and books written in the 1940s by Rev W Awdry and his son, for a lack of female train drivers in Britain. Next up, Walking with Dinosaurs 3D blamed by Lib Dems for Britain’s poor dental hygiene record.

‘Most Spectacular Attempt to Ruin Own Political Career’ Prize: Two words: Rob Ford. Toronto’s mayor first denied having taken crack cocaine, then admitted it, but excused it on the grounds he was “probably in one of my drunken stupors” at the time. Then he knocked over a grandmother during a set-to in Toronto’s parliament. There were also court documents alleging heroin use and consorting with gang members. Mr Ford, the world thanks you.

Worst attempt to convince people of the merits of Scottish independence: Drumlanrig’s judges were won over by the efforts of Yes Scotland’s communications person Stan Blackley. The Friends of the Earth campaigner was not impressed earlier this month after a series of supermarkets flagged up some issues that might arise for their business if Scotland did separate from the rest of the UK. Tweeting in a personal capacity, Blackley gleefully opined: “Wouldn’t it be great if @Tesco @Sainsburys @Morrisons @Asda just left Scotland after Yes vote”. To which most Scottish families replied, er, well no actually.

The ‘Please 2013, Just Go and Don’t Come Back’ Prize: Awarded to the public figure in Scotland who had a total stinker. Ex-Labour MP Eric Joyce didn’t have a good one, ex-SNP MSP Bill Walker also had a serious turkey, but the efforts of both pale by comparison next to Cardinal Keith O’Brien. The less said, the better.