Thursday, January 21, 2010

'The Snarl' misfires again at FMQs

A truly Alice in Wonderland set of questions from Iain 'the Snarl' Gray at Holyrood today. Like PMQs, FMQs is a forum that can be used to vastly increase the publicity for a particular cause or topic that might otherwise be destined to languish, unloved, in the shadows - but only if one of the opposition leaders chooses to favour it. Iain Gray today chose to use this formidable power to shine a bright light - nay, a sheet of technicoloured laserbeams - on two footpaths on the Balmoral Estate that the public are legally entitled to access. You might think that the only conceivable purpose to be served by bringing these paths to wider public attention would be to encourage their use, to evangelise for greater public access of some fabulous country paths. Er, not quite. Gray was in fact criticising Roseanna Cunningham for not keeping the paths secret enough, thereby endangering royal security. At one point he even earnestly chided Alex Salmond - "I advise the First Minister to take royal security seriously". Oh-kaaay, Iain. I'll try very hard to keep a straight face the next time you talk about the need for more 'joined-up thinking' in government, I promise...

So a truly vintage performance from 'the Snarl', which clearly did the trick on me because I must admit I hadn't previously been aware of this issue, or of the footpaths. A quick internet search suggested that it was the Daily Record that had uncovered the dastardly Nat plan to "promote" the footpaths, and had then fearlessly broken the news to its hundreds of thousands of readers. You really couldn't make this up - although perhaps we should just be grateful the Record didn't also provide a helpful map pointing out the precise location of the paths, just to illustrate how dangerous it would have been if the "red-faced Nats" hadn't been foiled.


  1. deary deary me Mr Grey the clentched teeth, beady eyes the taught neck muscles the stench of old cigarette smoke and stale beer so very labour

  2. I think this whole incident sums up the disdain with which New Labour views the Scottish Parliament.

    A total numpty like Iain Gray leading the Labour group, and using his one opportunity of the week to grill the First Minister to talk about a couple of foot paths on Balmoral.

    Salmond, as ever, was masterful throughout FMQs.