Bridge beamer

A REDDER face than usual this week for Jackson Carlaw after he slagged the Queensferry Crossing for closing due to falling ice. It later turned out the Scottish Tory boss led the obscure Holyrood committee that chose the “stunning” design and approved the route. So who dobbed him in? Jackson may like to thank his predecessor, Ruth Davidson, who on the day of the closure was doing The Stooshie podcast and chirpily volunteered: “It was Jackson Carlaw who was head of the steering group on the bridge, as I recall.”

Chest intentions

STILL, Mr Jackson had a better day on Friday, when he trounced rival Michelle Ballantyne in his party’s leadership race. Mr Carlaw won by three-to-one in a result dubbed the Ballantyne’s Day Massacre. Mr Carlaw is desperate to shed his image as a 19th hole Tory throwback and look to the future. Very odd then to see his deputy Liam Kerr in an open-necked black shirt with a quiff of chest hair showing. All that was needed for the full retro disco look was a gold medallion and a splash of Old Spice.

Comfort food

TEAM Ballantyne put on a brave face. ‘I think it’ll be 53-47 to Jackson,’ said one naive soul just before the result was declared. Ms Ballantyne’s husband Neil, who knew the truth, was more grounded as he scampered around among the troops. “We’ll go for lunch afterwards, that’s the main thing,” he told them. In search of crumbs of comfort, no doubt.

Yer tea’s oot

MUCH grumbling among Holyrood underlings at Holyrood magazine’s bid to drum up nominations for its annual awards. The mag’s editor has urged MSPs to put their aides forward for Staffer of the Year as the category “is the vitally important one that is going to ensure you get a cup of coffee when you want one”. Who knows? You might even get your biscuit dunked. ‘It’s mortifying,’ huffs our mole. ‘It’s like we came into politics to make the tea.’ Oops.

Taking the pizza

HOLYROOD’S chefs love to experiment on their customers - sorry, with food. The primordial gloop of their banana and chocolate crumble is testimony to that. This week saw even wilder gastronomic daredevilry with the ‘Nutella calzone pizza’. As daunting mentally as physically, the vast hazelnut-choc bridies seemed to have few takers on Tuesday. With Storm Ciara threatening to snow people in, one wag observed: “I bet they’re still untouched when the cannibalism starts.”

Been there Don that

SO farewell then, finally, to Richard Lyle. One of Unspun’s regulars, the Lanarkshire leg-breaker has told colleagues he’s standing down at the 2021 election. Mr Lyle, famed as ‘Salty Dick’ at Holyrood for once claiming a bag of chips on his expenses, was part of an SNP faction dubbed the Monklands McMafia. Now his Uddingston & Bellshill candidacy is up for grabs, a Nat turf war looms over who gets it. There will be tears. Some salty, perhaps. But most, Unspun hears from local activists, of pure joy.