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Red Dave

Hutchie's has probably seen nothing like it. Having Tory leader David McLetchie round to an independent school in Glasgow is to be expected. But to have him deliver the James Maxton Memorial Lecture in such a privileged setting must have had the old Red Clydesider birling in his grave.

McLetchie has clearly turned over a new leaf. "No one could doubt (Maxton's) passionate commitment to eradicating poverty and improving people's lives," he told his Hutchesons' audience, "and we should be able to recognise that his motivations were sincere and his objectives right, while still disagreeing fundamentally with the methods he advocated."

Funnily enough, we have never heard McLetchie speak so warmly of First Minister Jack McConnell's sincerity in the same anti-poverty cause. But then again, McConnell is still alive.

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