>Any political activist or their offspring who is unlucky enough to be born in April or early May is going to find that their birthday most years is subsumed by election campaigns, even if it’s a special one with a zero in it.
Today, Iain Smith, the Liberal Democrat MSP for NE Fife is 50. Now, I think on balance he would probably prefer that the election disrupted his birthday than his watching of the Test Match series, but even so, when he should be feted with champagne, basking in the adoring affection of his many friends from all over the world, he’s more than likely out there on the doorsteps of Largo, or Elie, or Pittenweem or Anstruther or Cupar campaigning for the re-election of Ming Campbell.
He’s one of my favourite people. I’ve worked with him on basically every other election so far this millennium when I was involved in and then chaired the Scottish Lib Dems Campaigns and Candidates Committee and he was in charge of the last two Westminster elections. He’s great fun – he’s one of those people who can come up with something really hilarious to say in any of the pitfalls that befall any campaign at some point or to cheer up and motivate tired staff. He’s so good at thinking of really sharply astute analyses of opponents’ policies on the spot – especially when he has the SNP in his sights.
Anyway, Iain, hope you have a fantastic Golden Jubilee. I’m sad that I can’t be there with chocolate cake but we’ll raise a glass of a decent red to you later.