Time to roll out celebs in Holyrood vot­ing race

Which big names will put their weight be­hind par­ties? Here’s a tip ... cut the charge

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

DO you re­mem­ber the days of the very pub­lic back­ing Mar­garet Thatcher re­ceived dur­ing Gen­eral Elec­tion cam­paigns from un­likely sources, like Lulu, or that other co­me­dian, Bob Monkhouse? As the Scot­tish par­lia­men­tary elec­tions step up a gear, who might we ex­pect to be dragged out, dusted down and put be­fore the cam­eras to en­cour­age us to vote this way or that? No doubt the SNP will blow the cob­webs off Sir Sean Con­nery. But, be­cause of his age and – it may be ar­gued – his in­abil­ity to en­gage with the younger gen­er­a­tion of vot­ers, they'll need to start think­ing se­ri­ously about a re­place­ment “name”. The Con­ser­va­tives will find it tough to find a fa­mous Scot brave enough to state “I vote Tory” just in case the en­dorser’s ca­reer should hit the skids this side of the bor­der. They'll prob­a­bly have to un­earth a cap­tain of in­dus­try who isn’t still in shock over the un­ex­pected tax raid on North Sea oil rev­enues. If Labour’s Scot­tish leader Iain Gray had a hot­line to Alas­tair Camp­bell, Tony Blair's for­mer com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, per­haps the ser­vices of Sir Alex Fer­gu­son, who is pally with Ali, could have been wheeled out to help. As for the Lib­eral Democrats, they would have had Os­car win­ner Colin Firth, but he could stom­ach them no more. So, who are we likely to see stand­ing along­side Holyrood hot­seat hope­fuls Alex Sal­mond, Iain Gray, Annabel Goldie and Tav­ish Scott in the com­ing weeks? And would they re­ally in­flu­ence the way we vote? The en­dorse­ments of celebri­ties, should the politi­cians not al­ready know this, are a waste of time. I WAS re­minded last week­end about the greed of some Aberdeen restau­rants. Not con­tent to of­fer the chance to give a dis­cre­tionary tip, the eatery I at­tended slapped on a com­pul­sory 11% ser­vice charge. It wasn't so long ago that, in an­other over­priced restau­rant, I asked for the ser­vice charge added to my bill to be re­moved on the ba­sis the for­get­ful wait­ing staff were con­sid­er­ably less than per­fect. Let the own­ers pay for their staff from their prof­its, not from the add-ons.

FA­MOUS FACES: Sir Sean Con­nery. In­set, Bob Monkhouse and Lulu.

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