2005-08-28 12:11:38 UTC
ribbon, the British prime minister tours a ward, filled with patients
who seem to have no obvious injury. He greets a bearded chap, who
replies: "Fair fa' your honest sonsie face, Great chieftain e'the
puddin' race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or
thairm: Weel are ye wordy o'a grace. As lang's my arm."
Blair -- somewhat confused -- nods, grins and moves on to the next
patient, to ask how he's getting along. The man shakes his head and
mutters: "Some hae meat, and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit."
Blair turns to a third patient, an older man in a tam, who cries:
"Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy
breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, Wi bickering brattle! I wad
be laith to rin an chase thee, Wi murdering pattle!"
Sweating bullets, Blair turns to the senior doctor accompanying him.
"What sort of ward is this?" he whispers. "Are they psychiatric
"No," replies the doctor, "It's the Burns unit."