Hello and welcome to The Midge, the e-bulletin that takes a bite out of politics in Scotland and elsewhere. 

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In The Herald, political editor Tom Gordon reports on the delay in setting up trauma centres aiming to help 6000 seriously injured patients a year. 

“The Trump files” is the headline in the National. The Times and Telegraph are among the papers to name the former MI6 agent who compiled the dossier at the centre of the row. 

HeraldScotland: Exclusive: in the Evening Times, Hannah Rodger reports on charity claims about elder abuse in Glasgow. 

The Mail pictures Donald Trump at his press conference, but the main story concerns whistleblower claims that Glasgow’s new super-hospital, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, is in crisis. The paper says patients on drips are being treated in corridors and the Red Cross is being used to ferry people home. 

The FT says Downing Street is considering a £1000 a year tax, paid by employers, on skilled EU workers who come to the UK after Brexit. 

“SNP to plunge Scotland into the red” is the headline in the Express which reports on how the Scottish Government will use new borrowing powers. See Afore Ye Go. 

Camley’s cartoon


Camley forecasts stormy political weather as delays hit the opening of new trauma units. 

Briefing: The Trump lexicon

What’s the story? Following yesterday’s extraordinary (see “E is for extraordinary”, below), the Trump lexicon has expanded considerably. 

Latest entries? 

K is for kompromat: compromising material gathered by Russian secret services. A private investigation, conducted by a former MI6 agent, is said to have unearthed kompromat held on Mr Trump. Details of the claims were set out in a two-page appendix to a report compiled by the US intelligence agencies and shown to Mr Trump and Barack Obama. The president-elect rubbished the notion that the Russians had anything on him. "It is all fake news. It is phoney stuff. It didn't happen and it was gotten by opponents of ours. It was a group of opponents who got together - sick people - and they put that c*** together.”

G is for germophobe: A person afraid of germs. Mr Trump is on record saying he hates to shake hands for fear of catching something. At the press conference he cited his keenness for cleanliness to dismiss any notion of goings-on in Russian hotel rooms. 

P is for pulp: As in fiction. How Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described claims of kompromat.

E is for extraordinary: The word now attached to anything the president-elect does. Usually preceded by the phrase, “Even by the standards …” Jon Sopel, BBC’s North America editor, particularly fond. 

B if for BBC: When taking a question from a BBC reporter after haranguing other members of the press, Mr Trump sighed: “BBC News, that’s another beauty.”

C is for CNN: The US news network Mr Trump snubbed at the press conference because of its reports on the Russia claims. He also attacked BuzzFeed news website for publishing an unredacted version of the appendix, calling it "a failing pile of garbage".  

C is also for Clapper, James: The US intelligence agencies director spoke to the president-elect last night following Mr Trump’s suggestion, made during the press conference, that the agencies had a hand in leaking the appendix, which was compiled by a private security firm. Mr Clapper assured him this was not the case. “I emphasised that this document is not a US Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC.” As for telling Mr Trump that the claims existed, he added: “Part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”

T is for To Be Continued … 

Afore Ye Go


"In terms of our new [borrowing] powers from the Scotland Act, we will use them to the max.”

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay (above right) to Holyrood’s finance committee. As part of the new powers, Scottish ministers will be able to borrow up to £3 billion, with a maximum annual limit of £450 million. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

HeraldScotland: Labour MP Ian Murray (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)

“[Theresa May’s] lack of priority for the single market is putting jobs in Scotland and the economy at risk. That means her Government is as big a threat to the Union as the SNP.”

Labour MP Ian Murray at PMQs. The PM said she wanted to see the “best possible” trade deal for the UK with the EU.


"I wasn't as p***** as I should have been. I mean, we get paid a lot, so it's hard to complain, but the disparity is crazy.”

Actor Natalie Portman, whose new film, Jackie, is out soon, reveals that her No Strings Attached co-star Ashton Kutcher was paid three times more than she was for the romantic comedy. Marie Claire. Ian West/PA Wire


"I must say to the honourable member for Dewsbury if she were behaving in another public place like this, she'd probably be subject to an anti-social behaviour order.”

Commons speaker John Bercow (above, centre) to Labour's Paula Sherriff after she took issue, rather vigorously, with an answer from Theresa May about the future of Dewsbury hospital's A&E. Matt Dunham - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow. Twitter: @alisonmrowat