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, social affairs correspondent Stephen Naysmith reports that further education lecturers are officially in dispute with management after a breakdown in talks over pay. 

“Trump won’t cross Hadrian’s Wall” is the headline in The National. The paper says neither the Scottish Government nor Police Scotland have been approached over the US president’s state visit. 

The Times says an NHS breast screening IT project was two years late and ran £700,000 over budget. 

“Attacks on NHS staff every 37 minutes” is the splash in the Mail, which says more than 28,000 assaults have taken place over the past two years. 

The Telegraph spotlights a warning from a government adviser that the pension age may have to rise if Brexit leads to a fall in immigration. 

The Guardian says media organisations and rights groups are alarmed at UK government proposals to prosecute journalists under the Espionage Act. 


Exclusive: In the Evening Times, Stacey Mullen has a report on the city's bicycle thieves. 

Camley’s cartoon


Camley reckons Scotland has a Valentine’s card on the way. 

FFS: Five in five seconds

What’s the story? The Baftas took place in London last night, and all ears were on the acceptance speeches.

For nuclear-strength levels of luvviedom? Tear factor? Political content. After Meryl Streep attacked Donald Trump in her Golden Globes speech, anticipation has been high that more actors would do the same at the Baftas and the globally-televised Oscars.

Did they cause political waves? It was more of a polite ripple. Emma Stone, best actress for La La Land, said the world was going through “a bit of a time” at the moment. Host Stephen Fry called the US president a “blithering idiot”. Kenneth Lonergan, writer-director of Manchester By the Sea, winner of best original screenplay, said his daughter had been on five demos in the last two weeks. Ken Loach, director of I, Daniel Blake, which won outstanding British film, attacked the UK benefits system sanctions and the U-turn on lone child refugees, saying: "The most vulnerable and poorest are treated by the government with a callous brutality that is disgraceful - a brutality that extends to keeping out refugee children we promised to help, and that's a disgrace too." Tory MP Tim Loughton was unimpressed:

Comedian John Bishop, with 3.6m followers on Twitter, was in turn none too impressed with Mr Loughton:


Any direct attacks on Mr Trump? No. It was left to Mel Brooks, awarded the prestigious Fellowship at the Baftas and the man who wrote and directed The Producers, containing that classic number Springtime for Hitler, to put the new US president into perspective.

How? He said: “I'm not afraid of him, I don't think he's dangerous. I think he's mostly an entertainer, a guy who wants audiences to love him.What I'm afraid of is all the guys around him, all the people who whisper in his ears, like the people who whispered in George W Bush's ears and we got the Iraq War. I just hope Trump stays the egomaniac he is, listens to no-one and then we will all be safe. But if he believes these guys we are all in trouble.”

Afore Ye Go


"Personally, I voted to Remain. I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not.”

Commons Speaker John Bercow, now facing a motion of no confidence, talking to students at Reading last February. Sunday Telegraph. Rick Findler/PA Wire


“I whispered in her ear, ‘Thanks for your vote’, hence the ‘F off’. I am not blind.”

What Brexit Secretary David Davis texted to a pal who had heard Mr Davis tried to hug Diane Abbott after the Article 50 vote. A spokesman for Mr Davis said it had been a jocular exchange with a friend and the minister was “very sorry” for any offence caused.


From broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer.


“Boring, fed up, looks like a scruffy school kid.”

Focus group comments on Jeremy Corbyn, as revealed in the Sunday Times. Pollsters BMG Research, who the paper claimed were “road testing” potential replacements for Mr Corbyn, also ranked leaders by popularity, with Jeremy Corbyn on -22, Nicola Sturgeon on 0, and Theresa May on +8. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images


"You can quote me on this. It is total b*******.”

Clive Lewis, former shadow business secretary, who resigned from the shadow cabinet over Brexit, denying that he is mounting a leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn. Rob Stothard/Getty Images

The Russian Embassy in the UK has had enough of hacking jokes at President Putin's expense so decides to try one of its own.


"Number Ten? There were cat hairs everywhere.”

David Cameron, having said last week he was missing Larry, the Downing Street cat, now seems to be over him. Mail on Sunday. James Glossop - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Alec Baldwin was back in full presidential mode on Saturday Night Live, as was Melissa McCarthy as White House spokesman Sean "Spicy" Spicer. 


Meanwhile, the El Nacional newspaper in the Dominican Republic has had to apologise after running a photo of Alec Baldwin impersonating Trump instead of the real thing in a report about the Middle East. 

Former Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt gets into the spirit of things while supporting Wales with her husband.

But no dressing up for Scotland's FM, alas. Maybe next time?

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