Queen Bee

Queen Bee

WHO is Holyrood's Queen Bee? If there were any doubts, they were extinguished when Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick took delivery of a pair of beehives for the Scottish Parliament's garden. Holyrood Honey, as the PO says the brand will be known, will be on sale in the parliament's gift shop as soon as the bees get busy.

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Rancour banker

IAN Davidson, sensitive soul of this parish, was so appalled by the brutish behaviour meted out to Professor Adam Tomkins of Glasgow University by a recent Holyood committee, that he has invited the academic to attend his Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee to discuss his trauma.

"We will then discuss with him the need for all points of view to be expressed freely without interruption, intimidation or rancour," said Mr Davidson.

That would be the same Mr Davidson whose sensitivity regarding the only SNP member of his committee is well attested to, and who once remarked that with the No side having won the argument "the debate will go on in the sense that there is a large number of wounded still to be bayoneted".

In the news

SCOTTISH Labour's education spokeswoman Kez Dugdale pulled out of a new BBC radio show after a backlash among corporation journalists over her proposed role as joint presenter, alongside former SNP MSP turned PR man Andrew Wilson. Unspun hears she may be about to win a pretty good consolation prize, however: a column in a Labour-friendly tabloid.

Tents moment

HATS off to the team of senior MSPs who defeated some Boy Scouts this week.

A charity event saw the Holyrood team of party leaders Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie, plus senior SNP trusty Bruce Crawford, take on the team from Merchiston Castle School in a race to erect a tent.

The footy factor

ANY hope Alex Salmond had an England victory in the World Cup might have helped clinch a Yes vote in the September referendum has been dashed by Uruguay and Costa Rica. Now he will have to fall back on political argument.

Airport security

WE HEAR that the First Minister's diet is having unforeseen consequences. Passing through airport security at Dyce he removed the belt on trousers. But such has been his progress he was unable then to put his arms out for a search without a risk of the First Ministerial breeks falling.