So when does how you look come into politics?

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

I think I have said before that politics and religion generally do not dominate the conversation when I meet up with friends and family.

With all that’s going on in our respective busy worlds there is always plenty to catch up on and talk about when we get together for an espresso.

There are, of course, exceptions to the rule - if there are rules at all - which can focus the discussion.

Earlier this year, after running it by the ‘girls’, I put on record I was not totally convinced giving under-18s the vote at next year’s independence referendum was that good an idea. A few months down the line I said I was happy with the appointment of Pope Francis and, by the way, still am.

The issue of keeping the UK together – or not – however, came up again this week after the Lib Dem part of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition announced it was dispensing with the services of Michael Moore MP.

Up until Monday he had been Scottish Secretary, the official voice of the coalition at Westminster with the responsibility of getting the message across to us Scots that ‘one for all and all for one’ is best.

By all accounts, apart from his good looks and commendable dress sense (don’t you just hate grown men who spend a sizeable amount on a suit and shirt then ruin the look by refusing to wear a tie?) Michael was doing a fairly good job making his argument of behalf of Clegg and Cameron that the ‘No’ vote next September could be well worth considering.

Now a cabinet reshuffle has seen the poor man, always very presentable when it has come to being interviewed on television when, I’m told, the camera can be cruel, has been cast adrift in favour of colleague Alistair Carmichael, a ‘heavyweight’ in every sense.

For some reason we chatted about this at some length before realising that was because we all agreed that, while he might have rightly been labelled too ‘soft’ by his bosses to seriously dent Alex Salmond’s ‘Yes’ campaign, he is far easier on the eye than his successor from Orkney and Shetland.