From Bush's bike crash to crying in public - Jack McConnell reveals it all

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London, May 27 (ANI): From crashing into a policeman, to crying in public, former first minister Jack McConnell spoke of some of the most comical gaffes former US President Bush exhibited in public.

In an interview for BBC Alba, Cuide ri Cathy, McConnell also explained why he cried when he was happy, how he was turfed out of Bute House, the official residence of the First Minister, overnight following his defeat by the SNP, and how he was convinced by two Dublin smokers to pioneer the smoking ban in Scotland, reports The Scotsman.

The former minister spoke about how Bush knocked down a policeman, while mountain biking with his security men, in the hills at the back of Gleneagles Hotel where he was to meet McCullen.

"That night I asked him, 'How did the mountain biking go?' He said, 'I'm all bandaged up', and he showed me his back and he had a big red mark. I said, 'What's happened?' and he said, 'We were up in the hills, me with two of my security men, three of us on bikes coming down the hill at great speed and we turned a corner and this policeman was standing in the middle of the path and I've gone right into him, over the top of my handlebars and he got knocked out and he's in hospital in Perth'.

"So I said, 'Mr President, I've had two days of 2,000 anarchists in Edinburgh trying to knock out a Scottish policeman and they never managed it, and you were here for two hours and you did it'. He said, 'I'm really sorry'. One of the things about being First Minister was, there were a lot of special moments with people that I would never have had a chance to meet normally. That was just one of them," The Scotsman quoted McCullen as saying.

McConnell also revealed how he decided to implement the smoking ban in Scotland after consulting two old drinkers in a Dublin pub.

"I went in to this pub and these two old guys were sitting and they both said that they had been heavy smokers, had been against the ban and had been really angry about the ban, but now believed that it was the right thing to have done and that they had gone from 20 a day down to five or six," he said.

McConnell realized that peer pressure was driving people to start smoking, but a public ban would take care of this - and encourage people to stop smoking too.

He added, "I wasn't really in favour of the smoking ban before I made the decision. I thought it was going too far to have a complete ban."

Talking of his tears in public, the former Motherwell and Wishaw MSP also said, "I tend to get emotional at happy things rather than sad things. It runs in the family, I think. It's very embarrassing." (ANI)

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