Drumlanrig: Salmond meets expats | Pope | Pensions

Alex Salmond will be meeting some ex-pats. Picture: Getty
Alex Salmond will be meeting some ex-pats. Picture: Getty
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THIS week Alex Salmond will take part in a charming ceremony with a group of ex-pats, who have made their home in Scotland.

The First Minister will be greeted by women in their national costume and will take part in a traditional “bread and salt” welcome – a ritual that sees a guest presented with a loaf on a towel with a salt cellar placed on top.

Reserved for an important, respected or admired guest, Salmond should be grateful that he has been given such an honour – given that the “bread and salt” welcome is being provided by the Edinburgh-branch of the Association of Ukrainians in GB. Salmond has been summoned to the group’s headquarters to explain himself after he said he admired “certain aspects” of Russian president Vladimir Putin (left) after Russia had invaded Ukraine.

The Pope has spoken and it could get a bit Messi

POPE Francis’s intervention in the indy ref debate has led to much speculation about the possibility of a hotline between the No campaign’s Glasgow HQ and the Vatican.

A well-placed source at Better Together told Drumlanrig that rumours of a direct line to the Buenos Aires-born Pontiff are wide of the mark.

What is true, however, is that the Argentinian World Cup team has suddenly found a few new supporters in Blythswood Square.

Master Mariner’s advice on pensions ‘chust sublime’

WITH arguments over pensions raging in the indy debate, Holyrood observers were given an insight into the latest thinking on the issue by that wonkiest of SNP policy wonks, Stewart Stevenson (right).

In a debate on the subject, the SNP MSP drew on his vast knowledge of Scottish literature to pontificate on retirement packages. Recalling Neil Munro’s classic Para Handy Tales, Stevenson remembered that the skipper of the Vital Spark had plans to take advantage of the introduction of the half a crown per month pension introduced by Lloyd George.

“Para Handy contemplated starting pensioner farms to exploit that money. He would keep a few healthy pensioners on a Scottish island somewhere and make huge profits,” Stevenson told his fellow MSPs.

It all sounds like a grand scheme as long as one remembers Para Handy’s own advice that “wan pensioner mibbe wouldna pay ye, but if he have a herd, like my frien’ in Mull, there’s money in it”.