Alex Massie

To A Foulkes

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George - now Lord - Foulkes is taking his leave of Holyrood and returning to the comfort of the red benches in the House of Lords. It's fair to say that Foulkes's ability to wind up nationalists has not endeared him to SNP supporters. Still,  Lallands Peat Worrier is quite right that the national bard would, were he still drawing breath, have felt the need to mark this heavyweight departure with some stirring lines in the old Scots demotic. Happily LPW was on hand to take dictation. It begins:

To a Foulkes


So ye're gaun at last, ye Lairdly ferlie?

Your impudence protect you sairly!

'Tis time again for struttin' rarely

In whitrat cape ~

Geordie, ha' no fears o' dinin' sparely

In sic a place!


Ye bumptious, waddlin', blastit scunner,

Bletherskite, neep-heid, cloun an' sinner,

Holyrood, ye set your rump upon Her ~

Sae fine a Parlie!

Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner

From some o'er Body!


Swith! To the Lunnon Parlie throttle:

There ye may slurp, then sprawl, then sprattle,

Wi' ither kindred Barons prattle;

O'er laws and nations;

Where votes nor proles ne'er dare unsettle

Your scarlet plantations.


Pray haud you there! Ye're out o' sight,

Wrapped in your ermines, snug an tight -

Fie! Gob ye yet? Ye'll not be right,

Till ye don it ~

The vera tapmost, tow'rin Knight

O' Thistle's bonnet!

Whole splendid thing here.


Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.