John Gibson: They’re all as mad as Hatters!

Roy Hattersley. Picture: comp
Roy Hattersley. Picture: comp
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Mad as a Hattersley. Who’d have thought it of Roy Hattersley? Quickie-divorced this summer, he has discreetly wed literary agent Maggie Pearlstine. He’s 81. She’s 65. So be it.

Me and Lord Hattersley, we’ve been on chatting terms for donkey’s years. Or, rather, dog’s years. Every time his lordship came up to Edinburgh, invariably for the Book Festival, he bunked at the Balmoral and he brought with him his dog Buster. Inseparable. They fussed over Buster at the hotel and the mutt was written up at length.

More to the point, Hatters and Molly had been married 57 years. Fifty-seven. Reportedly he’s “very happy”. Would a morsel from the wedding cake have been asking too much?

Trust me, I’m not a marriage counsellor but, yes, it’s sad and I’m sorry for Molly. She was 25 and he was a stripling 24 when they wed in 1956. Oh, it’s all so depressing. Buster, had he still been around, would have considered the lot of them barking.

A trew story

A First Minister Salmond jolly jape. Alex, where’s yer troosers? And if we can be so nosey, who’s your tailor? Or, we can be so facetious, what did you do in World War Three, dad? We converted my trews into barrage balloons to keep the German bombers from blitzing the parliament at Holyrood.

Yessir, the tartan trews, purchased in China for Mr Salmond for £259.40 for a black tie ball there in 2011, were brammers. A Freedom of Info query has caused a stooshie over non-disclosure of the purchase. All of which could have been avoided had Alex borrowed an old kaftan from Demis Roussos.