TORY troubadour Brian Whittle whipped out his acoustic guitar to twang at bemused MSPs in the Holyrood bar on Wednesday evening. His repertoire was suitably royalist, featuring lots of Queen. Alas, it was “bad Queen, not good Queen”, according to an audience member. A Nat MSP also asked bluesman Brian what the new national anthem should be in an independent Scotland. “He just slowly put the guitar back in its case,” they reported. Another MSP boasted disturbingly afterwards that they had been “#jamminwithWhittle”. Yoiks.

Terminal boredom

SNP megadrone Stewart Stevenson out-did himself at a committee on ScotRail, flourishing his trainspotter knowledge to the company’s boss. “This week, I will be on 12 trains - two HSTs, one 170 and one 158, as well as eight 385s, which are absolutely lovely trains…. lovely, quiet, comfortable and more spacious”. The comments had others wondering if Mr Stevenson might take one to the end of the line and never return.

No Show business

MUCH gnashing of teeth from Coatbridge Nat Fulton MacGregor after he featured in another newspaper’s diary column. As is traditional, it called him ‘No Show’, a nickname bestowed because of his gift for missing hustings. The tag has enraged him ever since. So, out of charity, we offer an alternative. Also famous for being late, Fulton’s SNP colleagues have now christened him ‘Full-Time MacGregor’. We hope No Show likes it more than No Show.

Crisis management

MEANWHILE, Full Time’s local branch continues to be the most dysfunctional in the land, with the SNP’s national executive agreeing to keep it in “special measures”. The latest feud is over SNP HQ imposing a hasty online ballot to elect office bearers, many of them Full Time’s pals. Angry members then passed a vote of no confidence in the process, but HQ airily told them it had “no effect”. Is it any wonder insiders call it the Coatbridge & Crisis branch?

Weed all about it

SCOTTISH Enterprise took flak this week for spending £100,000 to help its bosses take ‘brave’ decisions. But it’s small beer next to the £450,000 it's also spending to rid the Caledonian Canal of New Zealand pigmyweed via its Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund. Rather awkwardly for SE boss Steve Dunlop, the non-native plant invaded the waterway when he was head of, er, Scottish Canals. If only braver action was taken at the time…

Rugger chuggers

CHRIS Law, SNP MP for Dundee West, keeps a clean nose at Westminster, hardly ever accepting freebies. However the latest register of interests reveals he was tempted by two tickets to a Six Nations match “and associated hospitality”, a package worth £400. Then again, the donor was Heineken. Evidently it refreshes the MPs other beers cannot reach.

This just in

NEWSFLASH of the week came from Green MSP Patrick Harvie in finance committee. He informed Brexit Secretary Mike Russell: “While you were speaking, a UK minister was on television and said that ‘There is absolutely no point in Theresa May meeting with the SNP over Brexit’. To which the interviewer said, ‘We’re just hearing that May is to meet Nicola Sturgeon today’, and the minister replied, ‘That’s fantastic news’.” Mr Russell smiled: “Mr Harvie, you have illustrated perfectly the world in which we live.” Ain’t that the truth.