Labour in Scotlandshire reveal their pre-election spending plans.
By Dr Spin Freallie, our Political Correspondent,
The Leader of the Labour Party's most northerly branch office, Kezia Dug-Dale, has revealed her sub-party's spending plans for May's Holyrood election in a speech given this evening to a packed house in Harthill Rangers Club.
The headline pledges, as have been thouroughly trailed beforehand - not least on hourly broadcasts on this channel, were met with warm appalause from two thirds of the audience, both of whom had come along specifically to get out of the cold.
As pensioners, had they stayed at home, they would have been forced to sit by a candle to keep warm. A candle they could only afford to light on Sunday evenings due to 50 years of being protected by Ms Dug-Dale's party.
The other third of the audience, a councillor Broon N Felloap, was driving Ms Dug-Dale back home after the event, so he had little choice but to attend.
After her speech, I had the opportunity to speak with "oor Kez" and I asked her to outline her main pledges once again.
"Well Spin", she told me, "The most important new spending commitment is to give three grand of free cash to deserving first-time voters, to help them jump onto the property ladder.
"And, in a break from the 'something for nothing' policy brought in by my predecessor, Johan la Mont - who has now retired from front-line politics and is starring in Peter Pan at the Clyde Auditorium, this will be a means-tested policy.
"When I say 'means-tested', I mean that only couples wealthy enough to save up a deposit of around £15,000 on their own can apply. We are the party of strivers, not skivers, whatever that beardy twat in head office likes to think.
"Of course, the only real effect of this policy will be to push up house prices in Scotlandshire. But, as a middle class house owner myself, I can tell you that's no bad thing!"
I asked Kez how she intended paying for this expensive policy, and she replied: "We will save around £150 million by not lowering the rate of Air Passenger Duty, and we will allocate all of this additional cash to the 'bribe to buy' policy.
"We will also be offering free beer in Labour Clubs to anyone who takes up our discounted £3 membership. This policy will be fully funded by the money we make by leaving income tax exactly as it is.
"Finally, we plan to hugely increase the number of students studying at college this year by simply closing any courses lasting more than three days or offering any form of meaninful qualification. This will finally reverse the disasterous changes made by the @SNPBad in 2008.
"On top of these windfalls, we will deal with the this year's 4% cut in the Scottish block grant by sticking our fingers in our ears and shouting "We're Better Together".
I put it to Kezia that she was behaving as if she had already given up any hope whatsoever of winning this election and asked her if she was intending to resign as manager of the branch office.
"No, I'm definately not planning to resign. No Siree, not me, dangnabbit! Well, not until I get a prime-time spot on the Andrew Niel show, that is."
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