Tuesday, 29 March 2011
A Tearoom Conversation
There's panic in the unionist camps with the publication of the latest poll. Who would have thought the SNP and Labour are neck and neck? I would.
Here in the east of Scotland there's hardly a word said in favour of labour and their candidates. Even labour supporters admit those standing on an SNP ticket are head and shoulders above the red rosette wearers.
Tonight, at 9pm on STV - unfortunately not for viewers in England - there is the first of the leaders debates. It's to the disappointment of many that the Green party aren't included, not least because I think Patrick Harvie is an excellent speaker, but I thought Scotland was about fairness.
There has been little of interest in the campaign trail today but I do have a wee story from visitors I have staying at present.
Yesterday they 'did' the tourist route through the Grampians and stopped for a drink at a Grantown-on-Spey tearoom. Sitting next to them was a group of local ladies, one of whom had obviously returned from some health spa, as they were all discussing the benefits of such places. The one who felt like a new woman was extolling the results of colonic irrigation and didn't hesitate to respond to her friends' queries descriptively.
During one of her answers a figure, dressed in a smart suit and wearing an SNP rosette, approached the table. Obviously he was known to one of the coterie who insisted he sit down and join in, meanwhile explaining the topic of conversation. They were extremely impressed by his nonplused demeanor, even when a few minutes later the faces turned to him in anticipation of a response. "I'll have to check out if we have a policy about colonic irrigation, but I can say I will definitely bring the subject to the attention of those in charge of policy and get back to you."
My visitors were still eavesdropping when the SNP chap rose and excused themselves, only the hear one of the ladies say, to howls of laughter, "He will you know, he will. He'll also tell us why they won't have a colonic irrigation policy in their manifesto."
My visitors were, to put it mildly, tickled pink by the informality of campaigning here north of the border because, coming from the south of England, they are used to candidates selecting their encounters with the public.
As I told them today, they now have another tale for their dinner parties which, I assure you, are absolutely wonderful. Can't wait until I can next visit them.