THEY are being described as "comedy gold" by bloggers.

Scotland’s chief mandarin has become an unlikely internet hero after his regular staff messages were released under freedom of information rules.

Sir Peter Housden, the permanent secretary at St Andrew’s House, has revealed his musical tastes, hobbies and other details of his private life in supposedly morale-boosting communications with his staff that have been compared to the maunderings of fictional office boss David Brent.

While some consider it inappropriate for the head of the Civil Service in Scotland to be spending his time, paid for by the public at around £180,000 a year, speaking about his music collection, the Government has defended it as showing “a human face”.

Sir Peter’s musings extended to DIY and the merits of lubricant WD-40, the London sleeper train, the latest Kate Bush offering, the sitcom Are You Being Served?, and the merits of Paul Simon’s Graceland album.

In one, Sir Peter gasps at a Scottish Government garden show: “It was all very exciting. The price of giant leeks went above £1.50.”

Elsewhere he says: “Session with Transport Scotland colleagues ... Before taking to the stage, I was presented with a chocolate doughnut.”

Yesterday, the internet was awash with social networking comments on the extraordinary flurry of observations sent out by Scotland’s top civil servant.

One blogger, who described the comments as “comedy gold”, was directing hundreds of followers to the site where bulletins were posted.

Sir Peter was cleared by the head of the UK Civil Service recently after opposition attacks alleging he had become over-politicised and was backing the Scottish Government’s plans for an independence referendum.

The ruling made it clear that while it was the job of Westminster civil servants to back UK Government policy, it was the job of their Edinburgh counterparts to do the same for the Salmond Government.

Sir Peter, born in Shropshire and educated at a local comprehensive and at Essex University before starting his career as a teacher in his home area, is not a conventional Civil Service mandarin.

His weekly online messages to staff have reflected that, speaking about relocating in Edinburgh and “cat wars” with his neighbours. “There is a black cat next door, name of Stella (her sister is called Artois), who throws herself at the window glass in an attempt to get at our two,” he said.

He was criticised by Scottish Labour MSP Drew Smith, who said: “When our economy is flat-lining, thousands of nurses are being sacked, and one in four young men are on the dole, you’d think Scotland’s most senior civil servant would have something better to do with his time than pumping out these weekly torrents of irrelevance.

“You have to wonder how much time has been wasted by civil servants taking the time out to read this toe-curling drivel from Scotland’s highest paid civil servant. You would expect Scotland’s top civil servant to have a bit of gravitas, but he is rapidly becoming the David Brent of Scotland’s Civil Service.”