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Eleanor Bradford reports for BBC Scotland
"For some it's been a huge PR success, for others a sign that their losing their grip on reality"
 real 28k

Saturday, 8 January, 2000, 12:23 GMT
Reid swaps politics for a plectrum

Dr Reid and band Dr Feelgood - the Scottish secretary meets the band


Scottish Secretary Dr John Reid has joined the ensemble of politicians with musical ambitions.

Dr Reid has been made an honorary member of the Scottish group The Big Elastic Band, with a promised appearance on the group's next album.

He follows in the footsteps of those other figures who have sought to exchange their political tune for something more musical, including US President Bill Clinton, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.


Dr John Reid "Politicians have become too narrow"
Despite the pitfalls inherent in a rock'n'roll career, the Hamilton North and Bellshill MP joked that politics was not that different from life in the music industry.

And following hard on the heels of the Scottish National Party's Christmas Album, Dr Reid showed he was not afraid to display his musical talents when he met The Big Elastic Band for a photocall.

He said: "I have this theory that most politicians are failed rock stars but I don't know if that's something that's shared by everybody.

"I think for politicians to have horizons, as Denis Healey once said, and whether it's reading, music or art and whether it's crosswords or football is important because politicians have become too narrow."

While Dr Reid said he was delighted to be made an honorary member of the band, he stressed he still wanted to be remembered as a statesman.
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See also:
04 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Salmond and Reid clash on poverty
21 Oct 99 |  Scotland
Reid accused of 'empire building'
11 Oct 99 |  UK Politics
Reid remains at Scotland Office
01 Oct 99 |  Scotland
Dewar and Reid set out 'ground rules'

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