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

Front pagesHeraldScotland:

The Herald pictures Scot Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, with her fifth medal. The rowing champion has promised her parents she will not “put them through” another Olympics. Below the fold, political correspondent Daniel Sanderson reports on retailers’ job fears as Brexit takes shape. 

The National says today’s Court of Appeal ruling in London on who can vote in the Labour leadership contest “looks like leaving the party in tatters”.

HeraldScotland: Hundreds of drivers in Glasgow have been caught abusing the blue badge scheme for disabled motorists, reports Catriona Stewart in the Evening Times. 

“Ripper told his cushy life is over” is the headline in the Mail as Peter Sutcliffe, who murdered 13 women and attempted to kill seven more, is officially declared sane. “Bad not mad” is the Sun’s headline, saying his 32 years in Broadmoor had cost £11m. 

The Times reports on the London schoolgirl who ran away to Syria. She is now believed to have been killed in an air strike. 

The FT pictures residents of the Syrian city of Aleppo clamouring for food during a break in the bombardment. 

Camley’s cartoon


Pay talks Camley-style as UK Government publishes longest ever list of firms failing to pay the minimum wage. 

FFS: Five in five seconds

1. What’s the story? International Development Secretary Priti Patel starts a two day visit to India today.

2. Isn’t that what International Development Secretaries do? Sure, but eyes have been on Ms Patel (below) since she was given the job by Theresa May. 


3. Why? A prominent Brexit campaigner, she has been critical of the department she now heads. Outlining her preference for trade not aid, she told the Telegraph three years ago: “A long-term strategic assessment is required, including the consideration to replace DfID with a department for international trade and development in order to enable the UK to focus on enhancing trade with the developing world and seek out new investment opportunities in the global race.” Earlier this month she appointed another critic of the programme, Robert Oxley, formerly of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, as a special adviser. 

4. Why did May appoint her? It might have been an exquisite political joke, as when she appointed another prominent Brexiteer, Andrea Leadsom, to be the minister responsible for telling farmers how life after EU subsidies would work out.  

5. Is the UK aid budget under threat then? Labour believes so, but it would be a seismic move by May to cut it.  The commitment to spending 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid was a totemic policy for David Cameron, meant to demonstrate the party’s shift from nasty party to nice. But it has been unpopular with some Tory backbenchers and sections of the press.

Afore Ye Go


“Grouse shooting for 'sport' depends on intensive habitat management which increases flood risk and greenhouse gas emissions, relies on killing foxes, stoats, mountain hares etc in large numbers and often leads to the deliberate illegal killing of protected birds of prey including hen harriers.”

Dr Mark Avery’s petition on parliament’s website calling for a ban on driven grouse shooting. As of this morning it had attracted 86,447 signatures. If the number reaches 100,000, the petition will be considered for a debate in parliament. 


"It would provide football with a much-needed boost, both as an attractive event to attend and financially.”

A Scottish Conservatives spokesman calls for the ban on selling alcohol at matches to be scrapped after a junior club was granted a temporary licence. The Scottish Government poured cold water on the idea. Carl Court/Getty Images


"I would like to do Putin. He’s good looking, he's a smart guy and he's interesting. We haven't got many interesting leaders.”

Scots photographer Harry Benson, who has photographed everyone from Eisenhower to Trump, has a retrospective of his work on display at the Scottish Parliament. Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP


“A private audience with Donald Trump.”

What 19-year-old Stephen Rogata, of Great Falls, Virginia, said he was after when he scaled the glass facade of the Trump Tower in NYC. Police grabbed him when he reached the 21st floor, arresting him on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespass. Alex Cannon via AP


"I would hope that whoever is the leader of our party that never happens. Any split of that kind will only be detrimental to all of us.”

Corbyn ally Dave Anderson, MP for Blaydon and Shadow Scottish Secretary dismisses talk of Scottish Labour becoming independent. He also denied Kezia Dugdale had snubbed him, blaming diary clashes for their not meeting. Above, Dugdale at a rally with Jeremy Corbyn in June. Matt Cardy/Getty Image

Mr Anderson also put the cat among the pigeons by raising the prospect of a Labour-SNP pact at Westminster.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale responds


"Labour is in danger of becoming the new 'nasty party' if this behaviour continues unchecked.”

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis combines an announcement of his union’s backing for Jeremy Corbyn with a warning about the “abuse, threats and aggressive language” from some members. Nick Ansell/PA Wire


"The JCIO has received complaints regarding HHJ (Her Honour Judge) Patricia Lynch's comment in court which will be considered in accordance with the Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014.”

The judge had responded, “You’re a bit of a **** yourself” to a defendant who verbally attacked her after sentencing. She was hailed on social media as “a legend”. 

How times, and foreign secretaries, change.


“They’re all lean muscle, strength and flexibility, flying through air and water in lycra so tight it wouldn’t fit round my little finger. But while for Olympic women the games are about prowess, stamina and victory, for the predominantly male commentators it seems – alas – to be the same old story:  condescending, infantilising, ogling sexism.”

Zoe Strimpel condemns some of the attitudes in the commentary box in Rio. Telegraph. Above, Ruby Harrold of Team GB. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Image


"There has been more than one conversation [on the topic].”

A US secret service official tells CNN agents spoke to Donald Trump over his gun remarks. He denied any such meeting or conversation took place. Above, Trump talks to the National Association of Home Builders. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Media (sound) bites man at Trump rally.

From the Sunday Herald's Tom Gordon.

Thanks for reading and see you Monday. Twitter: @alisonmrowat