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The Flying Pigs: Dave ‘The Rave’ Cameron is facing some serious questions

The former prime minister is at the centre of the latest investigation into cronyism
The former prime minister is at the centre of the latest investigation into cronyism

Struan Metcalfe, MSP for Aberdeenshire North and surrounding nether regions

Blimey! The world has gone rump over bust, hasn’t it, what with all these investigations into cronyism? A challenge to the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications? It’s absolutely bally outrageous. That’s how the Conservative Party has operated for centuries.

Dave ‘The Rave’ Cameron (remember him?) is facing some serious questions, and I have to sympathise. I too have been accused of inappropriate lobbying, after that time I was absolutely banjoed in reception at The Marcliffe wearing nothing but a tutu and a great big grin.

The Flying Pigs

But that’s not the type of lobbying that’s caused the row. No. Davy Boy has been tapping up members of the Cabinet on behalf of Greensill Capital. “Who?” I hear you cry. Well, despite sounding like a charge card for people with dodgy credit histories, Greensill Capital is in fact a finance company set up by modest billionaire, Lex Greensill. The company made its moolah by acting as a middleman on large business transactions; paying suppliers early and collecting from the customers at a later date. Think of them as a payday loan company with spiffing PR.

So far, so yawnsville, but it turns out one senior civil servant had a second job with Greensill while still working in government procurement, something that’s being described as a “potential conflict of interest” by some and “all aboard the gravy train, toot toot!” by others.

The allegations against Dave the Rave are that he repeatedly texted Rishi (swoon!) Sunak, and other Treasury Ministers to persuade them to give Greensill access to government backed loans during a private boozy sesh involving himself, Sexy Lexy and the current Health Secretary.

That last bit in particular is beyond belief. I mean, who in their right mind would go for a drink with Matt Hancock?


J Fergus Lamont, Arts Correspondent

Even in these days of Reality Islands and Strictly Bake Offs, the humble medium of television, when utilised by creatives with skill and vision, still has the power to shock, intrigue and profoundly move.

Whilst settling down with, as is my wont, a milky tea to watch The Joy of Painting last Friday evening on BBC Four, I was stunned by a piece of broadcasting of unutterable audacity. Rather than the soothing swish of Bob Ross’s palette knife, I found an unscheduled programme consisting, with immaculate simplicity, of a plain black screen and solemn text proclaiming: “Programmes on BBC Four have been suspended. Please switch to BBC One for a major news report”.

The news of Prince Philip’s death delayed the MasterChef final (Photo: DC Thomson)

Positively thrilled by this portentous haiku, teased by its coy ambiguity; implored by its own words to reject it in favour of some ‘other’, more mainstream fare, I held firm – ignored the instruction and remained glued to it for the remainder of the evening.

You will not have heard of it, it has received little or no publicity, but this was BBC Four’s extraordinarily potent method of breaking the news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. The unchanging message reflecting his constancy by Her Majesty’s side; the black screen and absence of information alluding to how little we truly knew the man and the exhortation to switch to BBC One a reminder that I was missing the final of MasterChef.

But then, and in a very really sense; weren’t we all?

I wept.


Tanya Souter, Lifestyle Guru

I da ken aboot yoose, but I got real emotional fan I heard the rules on travel and meetings outdoors wiz gain tae be relaxed early. I hinna seen nae’n o’ my relatives in months, so fan I realised they could potentially start coming roon and pestering me again I felt like greeting.

Soon, o’ course we’ll hae non-essential shops opening again. That’ll be a fine change, will it? Especially for ab’dy fa’s getting a bittie bored o’ the limited shoplifting opportunities currently available.

As for the lifting o’ the travel restrictions, I mean I’ve nivver been a great een for pleitering aboot the countryside – unless ye coont joyriding oot tae Kintore wi’ my first boyfreen in a Corsa chored fae the Denburn carpark – but if I walk roon the block one mair time I’ll ging mintal.

Mind you, saying that, I dinna drive, and it’s freezing on the bus wi’ a’ the windaes open, so my options for getting oot o’ toon is limited. At’s fit wye I’ve borrowed Big Sonya’s mobility scooter for a wee trundle oot tae Bunk’ry. It’s a’right, she diznae actually hae it for ony medical reason, she got it fae her granda fa’s sadly nae langer wi’ us. He’s daein 18 months for benefit fraud.

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