Columnist Ruth Wishart backward casts her e'e on this week's Downing Street Burns supper – and on suggestions that Scotland's bard may not have been as harmless as some would like to think...

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Wha’s like us? Not Theresa May, whose Burns Supper guest list rounded up the great, if not quite the good.

It was a mish-mash of captains of assorted industries, landowners, and a clutch of shiny new Scottish Tory MPs, who shared the indignity of their Number 10 host managing to spell their names wrongly.

In addition, the Scottish Rugby Union found itself rebranded as the Scottish RFU, and the Scotch Whisky Association – a pretty obvious title you might think – also found itself Scottish.

Ach weel, at least they’d get a decent purvey, since the chef in charge was Masterchef winner Gary MacLean.

But I'm not sure the PM’s promo of Burns suppers being a symbol of our “enduring union” with our friends and neighbours down south had the merit of historical accuracy, given that the national bard described the Scots signatories to the 1707 document which joined England and Scotland at the political hip as “sic a parcel o’ rogues in a nation”.

Meanwhile, Rabbie’s friends and admirers got their sporrans in a fair old fankle when former Makar Liz Lochhead suggested that the ‘braw wooer’ was, in modern parlance, a lad who might be described as a purveyor of sexual harassment.

But you know what she meant. A man who fathered umpteen bairns by an assortment of lovers, was serially unfaithful to his bonnie Jean, and thought women were none the worse of a good skelping, doesn’t quite qualify as Mr Sexual Etiquette.

His ardent defenders pointed out that such behaviour was rather more in vogue and “acceptable” in Burns’ time than the circles in which the unlovely Harvey Weinstein moved. Which is quite true, if a mite disingenuous.

Cutting off the hands of sheep thieves was quite a thing at one point in the past, but it being relatively commonplace didn’t actually qualify it as a good idea.

(Trying to stifle a mental picture of two such farmyard villains meeting whilst boozing down the nappy, only able to grasp their pewter ale pot with their remaining single set of fingers. And murmuring sympathetically: "#MeToo.")