The headline item on Reporting Scotland last night featured Labour MP Ian Davidson saying something about Christmas coming early for the Duke of Sutherland. In reality it's Mr Davidson Christmas has come early for. What other explanation is there for the Beeb concluding that his comments - complete with bizarre reference to the Highland Clearances - justified top billing? The point he was making, if anyone's remotely interested, is that the £12.5 million spent by the Scottish Government on saving Titian's painting Diana and Actaeon for the nation was an obscene waste of public money, and worse still, would end up lining the pockets of a very privileged man, from a very privileged lineage. And, admittedly, when you phrase it like that, it doesn't sound great.
But the thing is there'll be a return on the money, as the presence of the painting continues to help draw visitors to Edinburgh for decades to come. The return on public money isn't always so clear-cut. I'm trying to think of a salient example, just off the top of my head...Ian Davidson's salary, maybe?