Talk of the Town: Joke’s on councillors as the lights go out

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IT’S not entirely unusual for things to get overheated during debates in the City Chambers. But when it is the lighting that is getting overheated, you start to worry.

During a debate about council sickness absence, a loud sizzling noise followed by a sudden puff of smoke came from one of the lights above in the Dean of Guild Room.

With councillors looking unsure whether to head for the exits and raise the fire alarm, it was left to council officials to maintain a cool head and turn off the affected light.

Still, at least it has settled the debate about how many councillors it takes to change a lightbulb – none. They let the officials do it for them.

No great burning desire to raise a dram to our Bard

Dig out your whisky, hunt down a haggis and dust off that old book of Scots poems – it’s Burns Night once again, and as always the city has found plenty of ways to celebrate the Bard.

As well as some rather unusual cupcakes from Bibi’s and spiced haggis chocolates – not to mention the fantastic haggis pizza in the shape of Robert Burns’ face revealed in yesterday’s Talk of the Town – there will be the usual parties and events toasting Burns’ birthday.

Not everyone will be celebrating, though, with brewer Crabbie’s suggesting that 38 per cent of Scots will not mark the occasion.

McLetchie swipes Salmond

THE row over whether 16 and 17-year-olds should get the vote provoked Lothians Conservative MSP David McLetchie to take a swipe at First Minister Alex Salmond.

During a debate at Holyrood, he noted that the Electoral Commission had found only nine countries had a voting age below 18, and he observed: “It seems the SNP wants to put Scotland on a par with Cuba and North Korea — two countries also led by people with outsized egos.”

Foulkes lords it at Tynie

THE 70th birthday party for ex-MSP and former Hearts chairman George Foulkes at Tynecastle the other day included a pitch invasion – incited by the noble peer himself.

Fond tributes from old friends recalling George’s student days at Edinburgh University and his time in the Commons prompted Lord Foulkes to say he felt as if he was attending his own funeral. Then he told the assembled company of around 150 that since they were at the theatre of dreams everyone had to go out on to the pitch.

The guests did as they were told, but soon found themselves shepherded back inside by staff.