ALEX Salmond’s decision not to go to Muirfield for the Open because of its strict men-only policy has rather landed enterprise minister Fergus Ewing in it.
Keen to keep both sides sweet, the Scottish Government confirmed that the Inverness MSP would still be heading along to the links to represent the Scottish Government. Is Fergus’s mum, aka Winnie Ewing, happy that her offspring is supporting this women-free zone? Is his sister, MSP Annabelle Ewing? Perhaps their combined pressure will soon see the conservative Ewing become, after Alex Salmond, the next great feminist of his age. We await with eagerness.
In good company with the Iron Lady
The sad passing of Lord Fraser of Carmyllie has sparked an affectionate stream of reminiscences. A Miss Garrow, who was the schoolmistress of Carmyllie Primary has always been grateful for a wonderful speech that he gave for her retirement. The then Tory MP turned up for the event and was spotted by the jannie polishing his shoes on the back of his calves. Before he knocked on her study door, he confided: “I only do that for Mrs Thatcher and Miss Garrow.”
Thatcher, Thatcher the pencil monitor snatcher
Miss Garrow taught Lord Fraser’s son Jamie. Pencils were given out at the beginning of the lesson and then collected at the end by a pupil, given the title of pencil monitor. At the end of one lesson a five-year-old Master Fraser was still practising his writing when the wee girl who was pencil monitor arrived. Jamie insisted on finishing the task in hand as the monitor repeatedly demanded his pencil. In exasperation, he eventually threw the pencil on the desk exclaiming: “There you are Maggie Thatcher!”
Carlaw is no butt of the late-night joke
The final week of the parliamentary term saw a lot of business crushed into the last few days. So much so that MSPs (the poor dears) were in danger of breaching standing orders by sitting past 7pm. As the clock ticked into the evening, the Tory Jackson Carlaw remarked that the session had developed into “what constitutes an all-night sitting of this parliament”. Then he expressed his gratitude at being able to contribute to a debate on the dangers of smoking “at the fag end of the day”.