That's politics

2nd June 2000 at 01:00
The scene is the Parliament's education committee and the first degree for Sam Galbraith, our brain surgeon minister, on his departmental budget. Nicola Sturgeon, SNP shadow - dubbed "Perry Mason" by Lib Dem Jamie Stone - threw question after question, vainly attempting a knockout punch. Dr Sam weaved and bobbed with his disarming style.

"Could the minister be specific?"

"I'm afraid not."

"Do you mind if I ask . . ."

"You can ask," replied the dodging do, "But I reserve the right not to answer."

"What provision have you made for funding the McCrone committee findings"?

"I'll have to see what McCrone comes up with."

"Are you aware of any other reserves?

"I'm not aware of any."

The smiling doc threw in a few Greenockisms to round off a splendidly entertaining bout. "I think that's an area that requires further examination, so I do."

That's the way politics sometimes goes, so it does.

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