Sam's scalpel

21st January 2000 at 00:00
Uncle-like he was not. "Somewhat uncharacteristically, Nicola Sturgeon started off rather well," Education Minister Galbraith told Parliament last week, referring to his SNP shadow. "However, true to form, she let her guard slip and once again she resorted to her usual standard of abuse." Unlike the minister, of course.

Next in line for the good doctor's treatment was Fiona McLeod, the SNP's deputy shadow for education - and culture and sport. "One of the most stupid suggestions that I have ever heard from the SNP in my time," he told her gently as she suggested the Parliamet's education - and culture and sport - committee take a leading role in the Hampden Park saga.

Brian Monteith, the Tories' education spokesman , got off comparatively lightly. To his refrain of "Play it again, Sam", Galbraith responded: "If I had a hair on my head for every time I heard the phrase, I would not be bald - and neither would Mr Monteith."

Such compliments have their reward - the SNP-Tory alliance broke down in the debate on looked-after young people and all bar the one Tory baldy went where they had not been before, voting down an SNP amendment.

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