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Is it a rollover?

Brian Taylor | 18:19 UK time, Thursday, 1 November 2007

Oh, dearie, dearie me. It seemed a wonderful wheeze to hold the draw for the CIS cup semi-final in Holyrood. Parliament for the people, open access, all that sort of stuff.
Doesn’t look so smart tonight with the confirmation that the draw was mucked up. The numbered balls came out alright, drawn by the first minister Alex Salmond.
But the Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson inadvertently linked those numbered balls to the wrong names.
The draw had been Hearts v Dundee United; and Rangers v Aberdeen.
All day here at Holyrood, the gossip circuits have been buzzing. And we in the wicked media have been posing questions.
Tonight it’s been confirmed. There was a blunder. So the draw is rescheduled as per the version produced by the Voice of the Balls, Alex Salmond. It’s United v the Dons and Rangers v the Jambos.

And there’s more;

You’ve heard of the pub with no beer, but have you heard of the political pub with no licence?

The members bar at the Scottish parliament had to stop serving drink for two hours today when it was discovered that the licence had run out. Officials failed to spot that the licence should have been renewed last night. A tense couple of hours ensured while Holyrood bargained with the licence authorities. During that period they were unable to serve beer, whisky, wine or indeed any of the trendier tipples that MSPs might fancy.

In fact they weren’t able to serve anything.

Tonight order has been restored and the boozer is back open. A temporary deal has been struck to allow the pub to stay in business until a formal licence can be sorted out at the end of November. Trebles all round.


  • 1.
  • At 07:14 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Keith wrote:

So not only are they unable to organise a competent election, they cannae pull four balls out of a bag and get the numbers right, or even organise the proverbial in a brewery (appropriate, given the original use of the Parly site!)

  • 2.
  • At 07:17 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Ken Currie wrote:

And this is the bunch that want to organise Scotland's elections! The counts there go higher than 4.

  • 3.
  • At 09:51 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Jimmy G wrote:

I think the press are being a bit unkind. It was the first time this had been attempted at Holyrood and maybe was over-ambitious; no harm in aiming too high and failing! With hindsight it may have been wiser for our politicians to have waited until after the semi-finals had been played, and then to have taken part in the final draw....

  • 4.
  • At 10:28 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • David Halls wrote:

I agree. A fiasco.

However, BBC Scotland News had a bad day as well with this event. It was timed to go live on the news at 1.30 pm. However, during the midpoint of the UK News at 1 pm, the producer went too early to Jackie Bird for the Scottish headlines. You could see her talking but no sound. The production team realised their mistake and went back to London for the picture, but switched the sound to Jackie. You could here very obviously peeved because she was being told by phone that she had to switch the lead story to this rather silly staged event.

  • 5.
  • At 10:52 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Martin wrote:

Couldn't they fix it to get Celtic back in the draw?

I heard Alex Fergusson was banging at the door for a drink!!

Why didn't they just put the names on pieces of paper inside the balls - then all that would have been required was an ability to read.

  • 6.
  • At 11:44 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Joe Friday wrote:

The mistake was made by the "ex " Tory presiding officer: not Alex Salmond. The problem with the Parly licence is the responsibility of this "ex" Tory Presiding Officer. Why mention it ? Because Jackie Bird made a quip about the competence of the Scottish Government's ability at the closure of the Scottish News. She should understand the Separation of Powers. We have 1. Government (Executive) 2. Legislature. 3. Judiciary. The balls problem was the "referee" of the Legislature: the Presiding Officer ( an "ex" Tory) and not our revered and wonderful SNP Government!

  • 7.
  • At 01:14 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Graeme wrote:

I see that there is no report on the BBC website about the findings of two Herald reporters (who are not fans of the SNP but were motivated by the growing unrest in England caused by the claim we are subsidy junkies), I have just read that they have done research and found Scotland to be paying it's own way and in fact we receive less subsidy per head than London and we are the biggest tax raisers outside of London... and this is all before you bring in oil!

Surely these findings deserve a little space on the BBC perhaps even on the main news page so that all can see and this rising unrest can be settled?

Have you heard anything about this or have seen any of the figures? They did not provide the figures in the report so we are still waiting to see the details but perhaps you could use your journalist contacts and give us a wee inside peek or just confirm that they the sums do show this to be true... I am very interested in seeing the figures to back up their claims.

Perhaps we may even see a positive election battle at the next Holyrood elections... that may be too much to ask but here's hoping.

PS - I have checked and it's not April 1st.

  • 8.
  • At 07:53 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Irving Parry wrote:

And these are the people who are running Scotland?. Heaven help us!!

  • 9.
  • At 08:11 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Wise Owl wrote:

So, last week was Scotland's alcohol awareness week, and this week health statistics suggest that reducing alcohol consumption is one of the ways we can reduce our risk of cancer. When are the government and the MSPs going to provide a positive example by NOT renewing the licence for their bar? Why on earth do they need a bar anyway?

  • 10.
  • At 09:10 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Chris C wrote:

Two mistakes on the same day? what with this and the bar liscence the Parliament has covered itself in glory !

Bodes well for an independent Scotland!

  • 11.
  • At 09:22 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Peter, Fife wrote:

I think we should be thankful he is not a major cog in that gearbox that is Holyrood; hold on a minute!

  • 12.
  • At 09:42 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Scott Graham wrote:

Perhaps all potential MSP's should first spend a day at a brewery with the sole task of organising a big alcohol-based party.

  • 13.
  • At 10:30 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • sandymac wrote:

You just could'nt make it up! Is it official now that everything involving politicians in Scotland becomes a fiasco? The jokes are too cheap, too numerous to mention and very funny indeed.

  • 14.
  • At 10:49 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Joe Friday wrote:

Now let us be clear. It was not the SNP First Minister but the Tory Presiding Officer who made the mistake so Jackie Bird's quip on the governance of Scotland was wrong. (second attempt to rectify this minor though too common anti SNP report) The same Tory Presiding Officer is in overall charge of the Parly building and its pubs!

  • 15.
  • At 11:21 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • HughB wrote:

Just slightly off topic, but there is a move on to get British astronauts in space.

How about once we get independent (or even before then) we have two new Scottish lotteries (wouldn't let A Fergusson near the balls though), one of them could replace the London Olympics lottery which camelot run (to provide funds for purely Scottish projects), and the other could provide the winner with a trip to space. Could be popular. We could get a regular flow of Scots in space.

  • 16.
  • At 11:26 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Dave "Boy" wrote:


Or alternatively.....

...some perspective please

1. It's football, its not life or death.
2. Its the CIS cup.
3. It was an honest mistake. These things happen.

I find it all quite funny actually. I'm sure Alex Fergusson will be finding himself on the receiving end of a few "gentle reminders" today.

  • 17.
  • At 11:28 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • EricH wrote:

United in the final suits me ;-) Who cares who made the draw as long as there was no lib-lab involvement! Ps: sorry to hear that the lib-labs 'post election drowning of sorrows and increasing negativity bar crawl (one bar?)' was interrupted for two hours. Let's hope they didn't have time to sober up.

  • 18.
  • At 11:31 AM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Browntheclown wrote:

WHO cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 19.
  • At 01:35 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Nick wrote:

I echoe the sentiment of 16. Who cares? There are a lot more important issues than what team plays who.

I really dont see what the big deal is but then again I never understand people's obsession with football.

Nice to see all the unionists crawling out from under their rocks to use it as an excuse to put Scotland and the SNP down.

  • 20.
  • At 03:16 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Neil wrote:

Ach well.

The Arabs (of the Tangerine ilk) have nought to fear, regardless of the CIS cup draw!

Poor Alex Fergusson. Shining one day over the leaked ministerial statement, and the next, calling the wrong draw for the cup!

  • 21.
  • At 05:11 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Jimmy G wrote:

Bloggers who ask 'who cares/it's just football' are of course correct. I just wonder why that proclaimed lack of understanding of the Scottish (and largely male, and OK mainly working class) public is something that is worth boasting about.
And, even if you think the outcome of the draw is neither here nor there, it's a teensy bit funny - you know why? It's something to do with pomposity.

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