As Donald Dewar, secretary of state for Scotland, struts his stuff at the Labour Party conference, Strathclyde University's principal John Arbuthnott has been putting a new gloss on the year's political dramas. Professor Arbuthnott has revealed that when Mr Dewar was helping to carry the ancient Stone of Destiny across the border to Scotland last November, he spotted a small frog sitting on it. The frog explained it had been guarding the stone for centuries, and if Mr Dewar ensured it could stay with the stone, it would grant him his dearest wish.
Mr Dewar promptly asked for a landslide Labour victory at the election, and for the Scots to vote by 74 per cent for their own parliament. The frog looked doubtful and asked for Mr Dewar's second dearest wish. "Partick Thistle to win the league,'' Mr Dewar said. "Let's go back to your first wish,'' said the frog.