Uniformly bad

STRANGE goings-on in the Whitehall ‘XO’ Committee led by Michael Gove, we hear. The elite Brexit outfit is in charge of preparing for no-deal on Hallowe’en. It seems one wheeze is for ministers to go on TV “next to a reassuring presence in uniform”. Quite what would be reassuring about the military and emergency services filling up the telly isn’t clear. But if you don’t like it, complain to that bloke over there with the gun.

Blair raising

LUNCH of the week was held by the Holyrood hack pack with Tony Blair as guest speaker. The former Labour PM was on good form, joking with reporters in the Q&A. “Look, you work for the Daily Telegraph,” he told one. “I mean, that’s not your fault, everyone’s got to work, earn a living...” As for Jeremy Corbyn: “As you’ve probably guessed, I’m not privy to his innermost thoughts. I think he’d prefer to talk to the allotment rather than me.”

Tony’s cronies

SUCH was the gravitational pull of TB that Scottish Labour’s new press officer, Conrad ‘Smooth’ Landin, even offered to pay his own money to attend. As the former editor of the Morning Star in Scotland, we doubt he wanted to say well done on Iraq. Alas, he failed to get an invite. Adding to his distress was the fact his predecessor, Alan ‘Red’ Roden, not only wangled a seat but got a selfie with the great man afterwards. Nae luck, Comrade Conrad.

Decapitation game

SNP spindoctor Fergus Mutch had a much better week. Not only did he see TB, after carpetbagging round Scotland, he finally got an SNP candidacy. So at the general election he will take on Tory Andrew Bowie in Aberdeenshire. With his customary media flair, Mr Mutch put the news out on Twitter, adding a picture of himself that, er, seemed just neck and torso. He has inevitably been dubbed “Headless Fergus”.

Picture this

TALKING of odd snaps, the agenda for this weekend’s SNP conference uses one of Nicola Sturgeon. The FM is shown smiling serenely in front of a colourful mural. The only trouble is it’s half-a-premiership old. It was taken just before she lost a third of her MPs in 2017, and before grumbling activists began nipping her to hurry up with Indyref2. A contemporary mugshot would presumably be too strained.

Toe be or not toe be

THE big question hanging over conference is whether Glasgow’s footwear-loving Lord Provost will show up. Eva Bolander has been big news after billing taxpayers £8000 for clothes and clogs to swank around on civic duties. Ordinarily, she’d be a stick-on for Aberdeen, but she’d have to run the media gauntlet in those publicly funded heels - and every hack is desperate to quiz the reclusive ‘Shoolander’.

Swedish message

BUT where did Ms Bolander come from and how did she bag the coveted LP’s gig after just 18 months as a councillor? Try anti-Brexit tokenism and Glasgow SNP MP Carole Monaghan, who backed her “good friend” for the council in 2015 and kept her in shoe money by giving her a job in her office. When her pal became LP, Ms Monaghan tweeted: “Glasgow’s First Citizen, Eva Bolander, is Swedish EU National. What a powerful message to world. EU citizens are welcome and valued here!” Alas, some value themselves too much.