POL­I­TICS

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

A sheep­ish Lib­eral Demo­crat spin doc­tor has ad­mit­ted he was em­bar­rassed af­ter book­ing a photo op­por­tu­nity with party leader Nick Clegg at a Cathkin dog­ging hotspot.

The bizarre story was re­counted by Ben Rathe, Clegg’s for­mer cam­paign man­ager, on his blog and de­scribed as be­ing like out of TV com­edy The Thick of It.

In 2013 the Lib Dems’ party con­fer­ence was held in Glas­gow, and the party an­nounced their new pol­icy of a 5p charge on plas­tic bags.

Mr Rathe picked Cathkin Marsh as the lo­ca­tion for the an­nounce­ment, due to it be­ing a “lovely na­ture re­serve”.

How­ever it was only af­ter he vis­ited the site for the first time that he dis­cov­ered what else the marsh is no­to­ri­ous for, af­ter Po­lice Scot­land of­fi­cers tipped him off.

His blog states: “A dog­ging site. I’d ar­ranged for the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter to visit a dog­ging site. Ar­mando (Ian­nucci, cre­ator of the Thick of It)him­self couldn’t have writ­ten this script.

“Think­ing that the po­lice might be play­ing a cruel joke on me, I raced to my ho­tel room and promptly searched for any links re­lat­ing to Cathkin Marsh and dog­ging.

“In hind­sight, search­ing for lo­cal dog­ging sites on a work com­puter prob­a­bly wasn’t a smart move, but I wasn’t think­ing clearly.

“And what did I find? I found a Daily Record story about the ‘dog­ging hotspot’, as well as a num­ber of links that I sim­ply can’t post on a fam­ily friendly blog.

“That’s right. Just four weeks be­fore our con­fer­ence, two pen­sion­ers had been caught do­ing what the Daily Record chose to de­scribe as ‘un­savoury’ things to one an­other in the very bird hut I’d walked past that af­ter­noon and signed off as a

A dog’s life Nick Clegg pic­tured at Cathkin Marsh

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