Geoffrey Palmer, Scotland's first black professor

ON the way back from Kelso races on Thursday the bus stopped at the little village of Oxton and our hosts got up an impromptu dominoes tournament in the pleasant little pub there. I was swiftly wiped out in the first round by one Godfrey (''Geoff'') Palmer. He went on to contest the final, in which he was narrowly beaten by a senior Labour local government politician.

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White Settlers

ON these sunny mornings of our Indian summer it is hard to feel bad tempered, but there are people whose behaviour can nudge you towards irritation whatever the weather. Among these, the imperious Englishwoman is a world champion.

Such thoughts occurred to me as I queued behind one of the breed at the express till at our local supermarket this week. She caught my eye because she was carefully reading the notice explaining that transactions were cash-only.

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Jimmy Logan, selling water and playing safe

The Herald, Editorial Notebook, 29 May 1993.

THE water in the Grand Canal looks filthy but the fat lady from the Bronx reclines in the gondola and trails her fingers langorously in it. This early in the year the smells are not yet ripe but the occasional pong wafts up to the restaurant where we sit in the garden as evening falls.

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A defence of Malcolm Rifkind

The Herald, Editorial Notebook, 24 April 1993.

THERE appeared in the London Evening Standard, on Friday, April 16, a vicious attack on Malcolm Rifkind. It was written by a Matthew Norman. I have never heard of him and I entertain absolutely no desire ever to meet him.

The article is a critique of Mr Rifkind's considered response to pressure put on him by Lady Thatcher and others to support military intervention in former Yugoslavia.

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