In the first of a regular series, new HeraldScotland blogger Andy Bollen casts a humorous eye over Scottish politics. This week, the Battle of Canons Gait, Gordon Brown's return to the frontline and Donald Trump's spat with Alex Salmond...

U Kipper head honcho, the bold Nigel Farage, was in Edinburgh yesterday and was locked in a pub after being confronted by a particularly angry mob. Not too much of a hardship, he likes a pint. The trouble would’ve started when he wanted to nip out for a fag.

Say what you want about his politics - and we will - there’s a chap who knows how to wear a Crombie. He goes around smoking the fags, drinking the real ale - a man’s man - and for comedy purposes, saying things like: "Those pesky French eh? Don’t trust the Turks! Don’t start me on the Greeks eh? What have they ever given us?" Well apart from maths, comedy, philosophy, language, literature, politics, art and I will concede perhaps a slight economic headache, not too much.

The truth is he isn’t racist; he’s married to a German. He describes himself as a classic libertarian. Ukip say they aren’t racist, they just believe in a very strict immigration policy. They want out of the EU and oppose same sex marriage. Nearly a quarter of those who voted in the recent local elections think he’s one of them. They shouldn’t - he’s wealthy, was a stockbroker and from the age of 21 earned 200k a year.

Those journalists and political commentators who know him claim he is funny, engaging and always gets his round in. Westminster has become so dull that he shines. He shines because the message has been allowed to become unclear and deliberately ambiguous.

He is portrayed as some funny far-right sitcom character, part friendly Delboy part benevolent debt collector. But U Kippers should come with a health warning - after a few days most fish decay and cause a dreadful stench. Coincidentally, a kipper is a whole herring - a small oily creature that is split, flattened down the dorsal ridge, gutted, salted and pickled. Which may have happened on Thursday if the angry mob had got any closer to him.

Still, no such thing as bad publicity. Apart from a questionable agenda and an economic policy that makes Tories look altruistic, can you trust anyone called Nigel?


It’s all turned nasty between Donnie and Wee Eck. Trump has launched a legal action over the offshore wind farm development he claims will spoil the view from his golf course. Wee Eck has deliberately got Trump’s dander up by stating he would turn the whole Aberdeen Bay into a crazy golf course, aim the wind turbines at Donnie’s shredded wheat hair and put him off tricky lobs. Wee Eck is so narked that on calm, listless days he takes to a special wbike in his gym which he has - don’t ask me how, I'm no spark - wired up to the turbines, just to irritate his old mucker.


Gordon Brown returned from political exile this week to help launch the United with Labour campaign. It was like he’d never been away. As he drove off he told an adviser - he thought he was off mic - that the tea lady was a horrible old bigot before suggesting Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont get their haircut at Vidal Baboon.


If Andy Murray isn’t a supporter of Yes Scotland he should be. Young, rich, fit healthy, successful, a great champion and sporting gladiator. A right moan as well - has a wee twinge in his back and he’s phoning in sick. He’s Scottish.


Showbiz Referendum Roundup

Sharleen Spiteri announced this week that she was backing Better Together (new album to promote?) and made it 5-3 to Nae chance.

Nae Chance

Sir Alex Ferguson

Ewan McGregor

Billy Connolly

Sharleen Spiteri

*Big Michelle Mone

Aye defos

Sir Sean Connery (Bahamas)

Annie Lennox (London)

Irvine Welsh (Chicago)

*Anyone undecided should remember that Big Michelle Mone has promised in writing that if Aye Defo win, she’s uprooting and taking her bras with her, so there.


It took an incredibly long time for very intelligent people to come up with this question: Should Scotland be an independent country?

If you could add any question to the ballot paper, what would it be?

Do you still want a Eurovision Song contest?

Do you say roasted or toasted cheese?

Should any person living in a modern European country ever, under any circumstances, wear a See You Jimmy wig?

Am I allowed to have a devil dog called Beelzebub?

Do you call Irn Bru juice or ginger?

Salt and Vinegar or Salt and Sauce?

Do you say scud book or nude book and if so, when was the last time you found one up the woods?

Do old people looking over their specs and peering at their phone then trying to text with one finger and using a phone like it’s a TV remote irritate you?

At what age is it OK to start wearing a fleece?

Why do the media always 'tackle obesity', rather than just suggesting people eat less and exercise more?

Reader, it’s over to you...