Nip of Dewar's

Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar was in particularly engaging form at the second Edinburgh CouncilTES Scotland conference - fresh from his appearance the previous night on BBC Scotland's MacCoist and Macaulay show.

A grilling by two professional wits had clearly sharpened his speech, not to mention his political correctness, and he was careful to refer to Edinburgh's education convener Elizabeth Maginnis as "a long-standing" rather than an "old" friend.

On lifelong learning, Dewar observed that when he returned to the Commons in 1978 "people said I must be mad giving up the security of the job I then held for the uncertainties of political life; I'm still a member of parliament and those who gave me that advice have had to change jobs two or three times. Serves them right, I say."

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