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Tommy's tan puts failure in the shade

Come on up and learn to succeed: THE LEADER of the Scottish Socialist Party, only slightly less well known as the man with the most famous artificial tan in Scotland, was in fine form as he delivered his motivational address at the end of the summer academy.

Introduced as the man who defeated fellow MSP Frank McAveety in a poll of women council workers for the title of Glasgow's sexiest councillor, Tommy Sheridan modestly suggested that one reason for his success was the withdrawal of free eye tests by the Thatcher government in the 1980s.

When he heard that an Agatha Christie-type "whodunnit" trial had been one of the events in the academy's programme, he told his audience of a mock assizes at a youth club in Govan. In the face of overwhelming evidence, the young "jurors" delivered a verdict of not guilty on the grounds that the police told lies all the time.

Another of the academy's projects provoked consternation at Glasgow's famous Paddy's Market. A bus load of film-makers descended on Briggait flea market as part of a project to produce a French language tourist video of the city's sights.

At the first sign of a camera, most of the goods on display disappeared like the proverbial snaw aff a dyke. A very agitated woman stuck her hand over the camera lens while ordering the film crew to desist, in language as colourful as it was unexpected, and stallholders vanished round corners and up closes.

It would appear the traders mistook their eager young visitors for social security "snoopers". Discretion overcame valour and a strategic withdrawal was executed to a safer location.

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