11:55am, Wednesday 26 January 2005
Tony Blair is visiting an Edinburgh hospital. He enters a ward full of patients with no obvious sign of injury or illness, and greets one of them.
The patient replies,
"Fair fa yer honest sonsie face,
Great Chieftan o' the puddin race,
Aboon them a ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe or thairm
As langs my airm"
Since Blair is confused, he just grins and moves on to the next patient. This patient responds to his greeting...
"Some hae meat and canna eat it,
And some wad eat that want it.
But we hae meat and we can eat,
So let the Lord be thankit".
Even more confused, his grin - now rictus-like, the PM moves on to the next patient who immediately begins to chant,
"Wee sleekit, cowerin, timorous beastie,
Oh whit a panic's in thy breastie
Thou needna start awa sae hastie
Wi bickering brattle..."
Now seriously troubled, Blair turns to the accompanying doctor and Asks, "What kind of facility is this?.... Do these people have mental problems?"
"No," replies the doctor, "This is the serious Burns unit."