I first met the man when I was just a young cub reporter and I was doing an interview with him—I do not have the faintest idea what it was about, but I remember thinking, “There’s a good guy. Too bad there are strikes against him: he’s a Tory and he’s a Jambo.” [Laughter.]
I later had reason to change my mind about him. Just before we came here, we were both at a yee-haw concert by Reba McEntire—he was as big a country fan as me. We started to talk about that and found that we had a great deal in common at that level.
Although David was a wonderful debater—none better has graced this Parliament—he never let me in, and I had a slight girn about that. However, I am very grateful for something that he once told me. I do not know whether members will remember, but we had an unseemly row—I think that it was in the first Parliament—about whether we were worthy of our wages. Scottish Television had conducted an opinion poll and found that the Scots thought that we were not. Well, quelle surprise! I advised the Parliament to ignore all of that because rules had been laid down that we should stick to, or else we would not be able to ensure that other people would stick to the rules that we laid down. David came up to me after the debate and said, “I think you did the Parliament a good turn today.” The fact that he knew and recognised that and told me about it was worth a great deal to me. I will miss him and so will we all.