The Edinburgh Zoo pandas have been here for 18 months and have so far managed to avoid the First Minister. Until the other day. The way he pronounced on Tian Tian's medical condition like he knew it all was quite scary. If I were her, I'd have felt he was a bit impertinent, to be honest.
Then Willie Rennie reminded us all how Salmond had pandaed to China on human rights last year saying on Facebook:
The First Minister’s cuddle with the pandas reminds us that last year he was warned off meeting the Dalai Lama by the Chinese Government. Alex Salmond shamed Scotland by putting his narrow interest above human rights. I can only hope that he has reflected on his misjudgement then and won’t make the same mistake againAnd today, Johann Lamont had the Holyrood Chamber in hysterics at First Minister's Questions when she came out with what must be her best line ever:
The First Minister’s campaign started with a day at the cinema. A year on, he is going to the zoo. In our hearts, all of us know that his campaign is going nowhere. Scotland has a lot of sympathy for the panda, Sweetie. We know what it is to reject the unwanted advances of a big beast with only one thing on its mind.A good line, but not entirely true. Certainly, in what has become the Annual Panda Mating Standoff at Edinburgh Zoo, Sweetie was having none of the idea. In fact, she even growled at Sunshine.The zoo veterinary lot blinked first and artificially inseminated her. When we went to see the pandas last month, the keeper told us that after she had had the procedure, Sweetie was, shall we say, more than mildly interested. The keepers wouldn't let nature take its course by that stage, though.
Lamont returned to the pandas as she ended her FMQ section which, as usual, took way too long...
Perhaps the real reason why he went to see the pandas at Edinburgh zoo this week was to find out first hand from Sunshine how to deal with rejection.It's not like Salmomd to miss a trick, but if I'd have been him, I'd have pointed out that anyone on the Labour benches would be able to share more first hand experience of rejection, but never mind. It was a funny moment.