Blueness Envy

NEW Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw is obsessed with the size of his mandate, Unspun fears. Last week, he boasted it was “a bigger share of the vote than Boris Johnson achieved in his leadership election, a bigger share of the vote than Ruth Davidson achieved, a bigger share of the vote than David Cameron achieved”. This week, he said he had “the largest mandate any Conservative leader’s received across the UK in any leadership election… The key thing is 76% of the party backed me.” Remarkably, he added: “I haven’t dwelled on this.” Modesty personified!

Last Christmas

THE ripples from the December election are still being felt, with two delayed Christmas parties on Wednesday. Tory toff Sir Edward Mountain and his staff went Italian, while BBC Scotland hacks went French. Both began in the Holyrood bar. Arms full of cheese and onion crisps, Sir Ed bragged: “Theirs won’t be as rip roaring as a mine!” Trust a Tory to declare war on the BBC.

Santa clawed

ALAS, it did not all go Sir Ed’s way. After being upbraided for his casual attire - “Did you go into the chamber dressed like that?” asked SNP deputy Keith Brown, pointing at his dodgy purple jumper - Sir Ed jokingly asked BBC producer Kirsten Campbell if the Beeb would pay his bill. “Not while you’re attacking us over the licence fee,” she shot back. Ouch.

ACH, tishoo

TEAR jerker of the week was Alex Cole-Hamilton welcoming Jenny Gilruth as a new SNP minister. “The symmetry between my career and hers is uncanny - apart from all the successful bits,” sad-smiled the Scottish LibDem leader manqué. “Not only were we elected on the same day, but we went to the same school: Madras college in St Andrews. Our modern studies teacher, Mrs Lynn Brown, will be as pleased as Punch for Jenny today,” said ACH. “She will rightly be asking when it is my turn - you and me both, Lynn.” Quick, the tissues!

Amour Wullie

ACH also poked fun at his bed-blocking boss. He recalled that when Ms Gilruth, whose partner is former Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale, came out as gay, she told her mum she was dating a political party leader. “Of course, her mother naturally assumed that she meant Willie Rennie. She could do a lot worse than Willie Rennie.” Ah, but could his party do a lot better?

Choked Salmond

THE media scrum was thick with BBC folk for Alex Salmond’s latest High Court appearance. It turned out the BBC has not one but two Salmond documentaries in the works - one for BBC1 and one for BBC2, the latter fronted by Newsnight legend Kirsty Wark. Oh, and Channel 4 have one too.

Cherry picking

MP Joanna Cherry QC and Angus Robertson are set for an epic clash over the SNP Holyrood candidacy in Edinburgh Central. Talking up her claim, Ms Cherry detects “a substantial overlap” with her Edinburgh South West base. The map shows it’s a tiny corner near Haymarket station, in a seat that runs to the Pentland Hills. Still, a toehold’s a toehold.