1 December 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Aitken's penguin shame...

Sources close to Baillie Bill Aitken have informed me that his parting shot before leaving Holyrood in May 2011 was to be a private member's bill unilaterally claiming Scottish regulatory sovereignty over Antarctica. Aitken suffers from an unusual psychological syndrome, the tragic result of a traumatic, humiliating experience which occurred in Edinburgh zoo during his late middle-age.

This obsessive neurosis penguinus means that the People's Baillie boasts an obsessively keen desire to hold tyrannical sway over the lives of Emperor Penguins. This wheeze risked significant public embarrassment for the Scottish Conservative Party, who have privately confirmed that Aitken had been informed by "short, meatily proboscised party figures in black tie" that the end of his parliamentary career was necessary "in the national interest".

Bill is nothing if not a doughty prosecutor of his causes and was not to be dissuaded and has apparently been taking soundings behind the scenery to secure enough votes to see his proposal debated by the whole parliament, a la Margo MacDonald's End of Life Assistance (Scotland) Bill, being debated and voted on this afternoon in Holyrood. 

Ministers and Conservative party figures have been showing signs of mounting panic as Aitken secured signature after signature from spiteful fellow backbenchers, keen to make fun of Baillie's penguin peccadilloes. It is understood that SNP MSP Christine Grahame backed Aitken's proposal on account of her long-standing, bitter feud with an Antarctic Snow Petrel. Ms Grahame hopes to use planning laws to disrupt her snowy foe's nesting sites.

Evidence of how closely the Liberal Democrats have come to identify with their Conservative coalition partners in Westminster, Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore entered the fray on behalf of his Tory colleagues to head off Aitken's South-Pole-tending imperialism. However did he do it I hear you cry? The sleekit Secretary sneakily introduced a novel clause to the new Scotland Bill, launched yesterday, to foil his plots. Section fourteen of the draft enactment reclaims the Scottish Parliament's powers to regulate activities in Antarctica - for instance orders requiring all penguins to wear epaulettes and march only in full military array - and innocently explains, in the Bill's explanatory notes, that:

60. This clause re-reserves the regulation of activities in Antarctica. The effect of this clause is that it will no longer be within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament to pass Acts which relate to the regulation of activities in Antarctica. The Scottish Parliament has never in fact exercised this competence.

Rather inexplicable? Not for you, my fortunate readers, who have the inside scoop. Christine Grahame has angrily denounced the move as a "snowscreen" tactic. The veteran Nationalist suspects American involvement and has called on Wikileaks to release all diplomatic cables in which the Snow Petrel was discussed. Aitken is reportedly furious at the development and was spotted brutalising a robin in Edinburgh's Meadows yesterday.


  1. Weird. No, very weird!

  2. Cabin Fever, LPW?

  3. Now we know who killed Cock Robin.

    On another more mundane non ornithological note,I note that Margo's assisted end of life bill has been chucked oot the windae.

    Who could have predicted that?

    Members of Parliament, any parliament voting for something which would have required courage and integrity.

    Long grass, too big a personal risk.

    It reminds me of the former Soviet bloc Eastern European countries just after the collapse of the imperial masters in Moscow.

    I used to haunts these countries after the fall 9of the Wall. Nothing worked and there were a hundred reasons why something could not be done, and not one, not even the bleeding obvious, why it should never mind could be done.

    Shrug of the shoulders, embarrassed look a feet. The collective squirm of Holyrood.

    No votes in it you see.

    "I'd like to help you son but you can't vote for me when you are dead"

  4. Who gubbed cock robin?
    "I," said the Baillie...

    Jim, Bugger,

    I am nervous to ask whether you are speculating on (a) the oddity of these reclaimed powers (b) whether Aitken really is entirely compos mentis in his interactions with the onrithological world or (c) whether I'm odd for writing the foregoing!

    On your point Bugger, I'll be publishing something this afternoon on what happened yesterday in Holyrood.