Poor old Torch. Carried round Britain by 8000 local heroes on a route cleverly designed to pass within ten miles of 95% of Brits – now complaints are mounting that the holders in each location have not been "local" at all. Paul Lawrie's grouse about Ayrshire-based Colin Montgomerie carrying the torch through his own native Aberdeen in today's Scotsman is not unique. Torch Relay organisers originally allocated Doreen Bowie a slot in "local" Dumfries (the much-loved Stranraer-based dance teacher who carried the flame off the boat at Cairnryan) despite the fact a woman in Dumfries had been allocated "local" Stranraer." At the last minutes they were allowed to swap after Doreen was about to pull out and the pupil who nominated her told the local paper. One day later – hey presto – a sensible swop was permitted. The Torch Relay organisers' response to Lawrie's complaint about Monty speaks volumes; "He's from Scotland so, when a slot was available in Aberdeen, we put him there."
Local for these guys means the whole of Scotland. Jings. I've heard the same sort of remarks round Fife where folk carrying the torch on each leg haven't always been "local" either. It's hard to tell, ironically, because our sense of local in Scotland is so diminished by lack of local democratic muscle, civic activity and functioning shops, post offices etc that many folk couldn't be sure who was a local lad and lass and who wasn't. Shame – cos this whole relay has only succeeded DESPITE the Coca Cola, Samsung overload and BECAUSE of Scots attachment to place. In fact this whole rammy speaks volumes about the real problem with localism in the UK. Local just means not London to the UK's decision makers.