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Unspun - the politics diary

1966 and all that

1966 and all that

BEHIND the necessary public bravado, is Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg actually somewhat pessimistic about England's prospects for victory in Brazil, perhaps befitting someone who is married to a Spaniard?

We ponder this because his Cabinet colleague and fellow Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael was asked about the impact an English World Cup triumph could have in fuelling a Yes vote.

He replied: "Yes, there is a small voice at the back of my mind saying do we really want to spend another 40-odd years reliving the glory of an English World Cup win? We'll deal with that if it happens. All my friends who are interested in football, who do think this is an exciting prospect, tell me it's not likely to be a problem."

Man of Irn

FORMER Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy has pledged to deliver - from the top of two Irn-Bru boxes - 100 speeches across Scotland arguing against independence between now and September. Or is it now 101?

On a ferry back from Western Isles, where he was speaking earlier this week, he was called upon to give an extra impromptu performance. Listening was not compulsory for the other passengers, however, as he refrained from borrowing the ship's loudspeaker.

Sharp elbows

MUCH ironic laughter in Scottish Labour at the latest defection to the Yes camp, Unspun hears. Anum Qaisar, 21, local head of the Muslim Friends of Labour group, embraced Yes last week in a blaze of Sturgeon-hugging publicity.

Her Labour status surely unrelated to a family friendship with ex-MP Mohammad Sarwar, Ms Qaisar apparently jumped after being told she faced a long wait for a parliamentary seat.

It seems the SNP made more positive noises. "Now she's their problem," chortled one Labour insider familiar in the ways of sharp elbows.

Fashion statement

Tessa Hartmann, the uber-stylish organiser of the Scottish Fashion Awards, appeared to Unspun's untutored eye to be the best-dressed person at Better Together's rally marking the 100 day countdown to the referendum. But, unkindly, a wag professed surprised she had found her way to the event ... in the fashion desert that is Maryhill.

Also in evidence at the Better Together rally was the Sky News roving referendum sofa, which will be ferried the length and breadth of Scotland in the coming weeks. Unspun's heart goes out to the poor fellow whose job it is to lug it on to the roof of the Sky Volvo every day.

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