Drumlanrig: Salmond-Darling debate | Indyref

Alistair Darling. Or possibly John Swinney in disguise. Who knows... Picture: John Devlin
Alistair Darling. Or possibly John Swinney in disguise. Who knows... Picture: John Devlin
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A look at the lighter side of Scottish politics...

Both sides on a role ahead of great TV debate

A SHROUD of secrecy has been drawn around Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling’s preparations for the great STV debate on Tuesday – with both sides determined not to give any of their tactics away. There has been much speculation, however, over which individuals have been roped in to be Salmond and Darling’s sparring partners during rehearsals.

When asked if John Swinney was dressing up as Darling to imitate the Better Together leader, a friend of Salmond said: “We are keeping all of that under wraps to spare Alistair Darling’s or anyone else’s blushes – and those indeed of the person who is playing him.”

Straight-talking family keep Darling grounded

AHEAD of the TV debate, friends of Alistair Darling have been emphasising the former Labour chancellor’s “grounded character”. As one friend put it, “he doesn’t have to leave the house to be told the truth” – a remark to illustrate the fact that his down-to-earth family stops him from getting an inflated opinion of himself. The friend went on to say that during the financial crisis Darling got a text from his grown up daughter Anna, who was working in South Africa at the time.

“Is it true that you’ve crashed the economy?” it said.

Stay-at-home MSP brings sunshine to Coatbridge

WITH parliament back from its four-week recess this week, the returning MSPs will be able to swap holiday stories about the sunny destinations they went to, to get away from the referendum. At least one of our elected representatives, however, shunned the hedonistic delights of the Mediterranean or the Caribbean. The SNP MSP John Wilson spent over a fortnight as a volunteer driver – ferrying older people and those without transport to community clubs in his Coatbridge constituency.

College piping down on independence question

SCOTLAND’S cultural figures have been only too willing to make their political views public – some on behalf of Scottish independence (any number of actors and novelists) and others defending the United Kingdom (JK Rowling, CJ Samson). One cultural institution is studiously avoiding taking sides.

The College of Piping in Otago Street, Glasgow, has published a blog saying: “Someone on Facebook was asking about the College’s attitude to the independence referendum. We don’t have one. Irrespective of who wins, we will continue to operate as a leading charity working for piping as we have done for the past 70 years. Remember, politicians come and go but the great music lives on well above the hurly-burly and hot air.”

A hearty heedrum, hodrum to that.