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Last Updated: Friday, 21 July 2006, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Andrew Neil on the Glasgow Union
Glasgow University
Glasgow University is a fertile breeding ground for would-be politicians

The Cambridge and Oxford Unions have long been regarded as kindergartens for many politicians: the university debating clubs where political wannabees first cut their teeth.

For many of our Scottish politicians, political nursery was the Glasgow University Union. And it could be a much more demanding training ground for the infant politico.

Andrew Neil explains how some of the big figures of the Scottish Labour Party, the present leader of the Lib Dems and a top Tory all sharpened their debating skills before well-lubricated student audiences in late night sessions. Former students of the union recall that the Glasgow Union was not a platform for the faint-hearted.

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