THE walls of Drumlanrig Towers often shake to the beat of modern popular music. My Status Quo collection is second to none and I know almost all of the words to Gangnam Style by Psy (picture) which, even three years after everyone else stopped listening to it, I play every morning as I have my bowl of Alpen.
But my very favourite popular music group of all time is, of course, Scotland’s very own Runrig, whose blend of overbearing bombast and stomach-churning sentimentality seems to capture beautifully our modern politics.
So I was very pleased to learn this week that the band’s former keyboard player, Pete Wishart, now an SNP MP in another life, had been given the chairmanship of the Scottish Affairs Committee in the House of Commons.
He’s an inspiring fellow, Wishart. Who could forget his message to voters in advance of last year’s independence referendum?
“This is our moment, our time,” he wrote, before adding, poetically, “let’s cease it.”
Shandy wasn’t a kindness for Kennedy
A SAD day on Friday, as the late Charles Kennedy was laid to rest.
In the end the former Lib Dem MP couldn’t defeat the bottle and, like so many Scots, paid the price.
But even in his darkest times, he rarely lost his sense of humour.
When it became known some years ago that Charles had a problem, he was met with great sympathy from many constituents, including one who greeted him on a Fort William street with the reassurance that he was right behind him in his fight to regain his health.
Charles, who’d been sober for a spell, thanked the constituent for his kindness.
“Oh, nae bother, Charlie,” said the fellow.
“Anyway, can I buy you a drink?” Patiently, Charles explained that probably wasn’t a good idea.
“Maybe just a shandy?” ventured the well-meaning chap, desperate to extend support in the way he knew best.
“It doesn’t work like that, I’m afraid,” said the former MP, before strolling off, laughing heartily. «
Tory left to pick up the tab
DRUMLANRIG will admit to having broken bread with a Tory or two. Some of them can be quite civil if treated with the necessary caution.
So I was heartened to hear the story of a pair of new SNP MPs who fell into a drinking session with a Conservative in a Commons bar last week.
The Tory in question, a bluff northerner, was most taken with his new chums and the ale flowed.
But it soon became apparent that this bonhomie was, in part, because the nationalist members hadn’t bothered asking which party their companion represented.
When he revealed his allegiance, the SNP duo put down their drinks and left – without, he tells me, picking up their share of the tab.
Lack of talent hinders quest for deputy
UNLESS there is the queerest turn of events, Kezia Dugdale (right) is soon to be the leader of the Scottish Labour Party. But who will be her deputy?
With such an array of talent on display on the Labour benches at Holyrood, there’s sure to be a fine choice.
I am, of course, being appallingly sarcastic.
The Labour benches at the Scottish Parliament are a veritable Who The Hell’s That of politics. But two potential candidates are being discussed. Prepare (possibly) for a battle of the titans between Richard Baker and Alex Rowley, whose rise from obscurity (should it happen) will have more to do with the lack of talent among their colleagues than any personal gifts they might possess.