A ROUGH old week for SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford after the Budget. In the Commons, the Edinburgh banker turned Skye mini-laird, declared he was “just a simple crofter with 10 acres”. Tory Greg Hands was sceptical. “I had a career in the City of London and I do not recall him being a simple crofter at that time,” he said. “Perhaps that was his codename on his Bloomberg terminal as he was buying and selling financial assets.” Ow.

ANOTHER Tory, Anna Soubry, then chipped in. “If my right honourable friend would like to do a Google search, as I have just done, he would discover that, apparently, the small, simple croft... is valued in the region of half a million pounds.” Not bad, but nothing compared to Mr Blackford’s furious expression, which was absolutely priceless.

SUSPICIONS the Scottish Tories never got over devolution were confirmed this week when MP Andrew Bowie suggested Scots would be better off without Holyrood. “In Scotland, we have two Governments, sadly,” he said in the Commons. After Nat jeers, he flapped: “Well, sad in terms of who is in government in Edinburgh.” Happily, there is only one Mr Bowie.

BESIDES a successful career behind him - he made his mint as head of Deutsche Bank’s equity activities in The Netherlands - Mr Blackford could also have another career ahead of him. On Radio Scotland the day after the Budget, he started directing the show. Asked if he cared about Scottish taxes, he spluttered: “That is a ridiculous question. Frankly that’s just insulting. I really don’t think this is interesting. If you think this is the way to conduct an interview…” His own Salmond-esque show surely beckons.

TALKING of which, Eck celebrated his first anniversary with Kremlin-TV this week with a greatest hits compilation. Co-host Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh bragged the show had been to Geneva, Beirut, New York, Washington, Gibraltar and Barcelona. Ah, happy memories. Though somehow she failed to mention its biggest claim to fame - managing to breach broadcasting rules on its debut when Mr Salmond read out “audience tweets” that were nothing of the sort. No doubt the jet lag made them forget.

NEIL Findlay is having a spot of difficulty as Labour’s new business manager. This week, he struggled to find MSPs willing to respond to a ministerial statement on climate change. “They’re not exactly queuing up to help,” moaned his researcher in an email accidentally sent round all of Holyrood. Worse, a Tory MSP jumped in on the back of it. Sir Edward Mountain replied loftily: “I think you can stand down, as I have applied for the slot – as I think the story I can tell is a good one and I will need no guidance.”

THERE was more Carry on Corbynites at FMQs. Labour has a seating rota so favoured MSPs can cluster round Richard leader, get on the telly and cheer him. Normally, the rota only covers the first two rows. But this week the Comrades also decreed who should sit in the third row. No only did it infuriate MSPs, it also revealed Team Leonard can’t count. They thought they were three seats, when actually there are four.