Early doors

ANOTHER vital cross-party group has been set up by MSPs thirsty for knowledge. The Beer and Pub CPG will “celebrate, recognise and enhance the contribution of the brewing and pub-related hospitality industry in Scotland,” Tory chair Craig Hoy told Holyrood’s standards committee. Selfless members will even endure “occasional visits and an annual event at which the best of Scotland’s beer and pub sector can be showcased.” The committee nodded it through, but not before convener Martin Whitfield chided Mr Hoy for the “unfortunate” error of putting him down as a member, when he had to stay neutral. Have they started, er, celebrating already?

Where’s Willie?

WEDNESDAY’S virtual education committee at Holyrood reminded Unspun of our own schooldays, when pupils didn’t always do as teacher said. “I don’t want to lose the point that Willie Rennie made because it’s important to get everything on the record,” Tory convener Stephen Kerr said, handing the discussion onto Mr Renniethe former Scottish LibDem leader. Answer came there none. “Willie?” At which point the camera cut to a shot of Mr Rennie’s empty office. “Ahh, he’s not at his desk,” said Mr Kerr, adding generously “That’s ok”. And we thought Tory traditionalists disapproved of truanting.

Oh crumbs

THE SNP were fake-furious after PMQs when Boris Johnson suggested their Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, might not win dieter of the year. After he had a go at the PM over parties and cake, Mr Johnson, no stranger to the odd calorie, muttered: “I don’t know who’s been eating more cake…” a joke at both himself and his opponent. The SNP duly rushed out a demented press release accusing the PM of “body shaming”. But was their anger actually about the PM again saying how well he gets on with the Nats in private? “Behind the scenes the right hon. Gentleman and I cooperate well, and I want to continue to do so,” he told MPs. Buddy sharing with a Tory? Far worse than body shaming any day.

Hand in Gove

AND it’s not just the PM and Mr Blackford. The Scottish Government this week published toe-curling texts between SNP Indy secretary Angus Robertson and Tory Union boss Michael Gove. “Hi Michael… wanted to make sure you had my personal number, Best wishes,” gushed Angus upon getting his cabinet gig. “Hi Angus! Very much looking forward to working with you. Feel free to contact me on this number at any time,” came the reply. Uber-Brexiteer Lord Frost joined in. “Dear Angus, it’s David Frost here! Congratulations on the new role. I suspect we’ll be seeing a fair amount of each other!” Angus was chuffed. “We will no doubt bump into one another sooner rather than later. Glad you have my mobile number.” Awww... It’s almost like those rows over the constitution are whipped up for effect.

History Man

HE may give good anonymity, but it seems John Swinney may be as egotistical as the next politician. At Tuesday’s finance committee, the deputy FM mused on the annual release of government files by the National Records of Scotland. “They contain the judgments and comments of ministers,” he said, hinting he censors his own scribbles lest he be judged harshly by history. “I often think about them when I feed back on submissions from civil servants and consider what, in 30 years’ time, I want my children to hear I was saying.” Well, John, now they’re going to hear you were way more vain than anyone ever imagined.