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Unspun: The politics diary

Fergie hairdryered

Fergie hairdryered

THERE, buried near the end of Alex Salmond's interview with Judy Murray in the New Statesmen, "guest-edited" by the First Minister this week, is a terrific joke and it's hers rather than his. Talking about her family investment in the Cromlix House Hotel near Dunblane she spoke of an exchange with Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I told Alex when I saw him at Wimbledon: 'By the way, Andy has called one of the rooms in his hotel after you.' He said: 'Has he now?' And I said: 'Yeah, it's the wine cellar.'"

Sums wrong

As a former English teacher perhaps it was no surprise that the general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland got his sums wrong at Holyrood's education committee on Tuesday. Asked how many members his union had in the secondary sector Larry Flanagan replied confidently "24,000".

A few seconds later he added, not quite so confidently, "I think I might have just made that up". Indeed he had. The real total is about 19,000 according to the EIS office. Unspun applauds making things up. It's our stock in trade.

Force majeure

ON THE morning of Cabinet Wars last Monday the presenters of BBC Radio 4's Today show, which had itself hijacked all BBC facilities in Aberdeen, were left with the uncomfortable threat of dead air because Alex Salmond was late for his interview. The FM was trapped in his car because of street closures imposed to let David Cameron and his UK Cabinet travel through the granite city from the airport at Dyce. Is there a metaphor in all this struggling to get out?

Dambusters March

ALTOGETHER now: dah- dah-dah-dah-di-di-dah-dah ...

Given that the UK Government's anti-independence drive has been dubbed the Dambusters strategy, George Osborne and Danny Alexander could be forgiven for humming the theme tune of the famous film as they stride the corridors of the Treasury.

The Chancellor obviously sees himself as Wing Commander Guy Gibson but who is Danny?

Mum's the boss

WE HEAR young Cyrus Constance, son of youth employment minister Angela Constance, was asked in class if anyone knew who Alex Salmond was. "Yes," he said. "He works for my Mum."

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