Demob happy

17th November 2000 at 00:00
The parliamentary education committee was an exciting place to be last week, dull-sounding though its "future work plans" agenda might have seemed.

"Why are you looking like that, Brian?" inquired convener Mary Mulligan of Tory Brian Monteith. "I am eating a lovely Gypsy Cream," he replied. A bit early for lunch, surely, even for such a noted trencherman.

Mulligan is leaving the committee after the exams inquiry is over, and Jamie Stone, the Liberal Democrats' kenspeckle rep from the far north, is on his way as well. This can be the only explanation for the fllowing zany dialogue. "In the words of Queen Dido, remember me after I have departed the committee," Stone pleaded.

The SNP's erudite Mike Russell reminded him that "the line continues 'but ah, forget my fate'. What will happen to you Jamie?"

"Touche," said Stone.

Mulligan informed members that Stone had been "relegated" to the Holyrood progress group, charged with keeping an eye on the building of the new Parliament. This is "the cheerio, bye-bye, take-the-blame group", Stone replied cheerfully. The committee will not see their likes again.

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