Question timing
RED faces at Holyrood on Wednesday as Nicola Sturgeon highlighted just how scripted her backbenchers’ questions are. After Uddingston & Bellshill’s Stephanie Callaghan raised NHS Lanarkshire, the FM read out the answer to the next question, before Stirling's Evelyn Tweedy had even asked it, banging on about Stirling and twice naming Ms Tweedy. The latter tried to cover for her bungling boss by saying she may not have heard the question because of a noise, but a mortified FM had to confess there was “confusion on my part”.

Counterfeit corner
IN fairness, Ms Sturgeon may still have been reeling from the previous speaker, Tory Graham Simpson, who boasted of monkeying with his Covid vaccine passport. “Within a minute, I managed to create a copy of the certificate in which I was able to change every single detail. That is not a particularly robust system, is it?” At which, the FM pointed out he couldn’t change the important bit, the QR code, and warned him “not to travel on the forged document that he just admitted to having”, as he’d surely get nicked.

Get a Fife
WHINIEST speech of the week came from the SNP’s Peter Grant on Monday. The Glenrothes MP raised a point of order in the Commons after some of his Glenrothes constituents got leaflets from LibDem Wendy Chamberlain, MP for next door North East Fife. “Constituents who receive it are encouraged to contact her with any queries, rather than me,” he bleated, forgetting they could never actually vote for Ms Chamberlain, despite the mix-up. “What corrective action might you suggest?” he asked deputy speaker Rosie Winterton. “I am not responsible,” she replied, with supreme patience. 

Children's party
TALKING of tantrums, we see the SNP online store has some new items of interest to the little diddums in your life. After flogging facemasks in the pandemic, and only grudgingly giving the profit to charity, the party is now going in for politicised kids’ stuff featuring a cartoon bee carrying an SNP-branded pencil. Besides the Let it Bee teddy bear, there’s a tote bag, water bottle and children’s T-shirt for ages 3 and up. Perhaps the nippers who wear them might even see Indyref2 delivered one day.

Et tu, Kenny?
AS is traditional, the party conference season coincides with the launch of a hugely uncomfortable book for certain of our politicians. This year it’s Break-Up, the tell-all story of how Eck and Nic hit the skids. There’s no index, so we don’t know if Unspun gets a mention, but we did spot an interesting quote on p300 about why Alba flopped at May’s election. “Alex was a factor. He is tainted... He did things that he maybe shouldn’t have.” Which traitor to the Great Man said it? Er, one Kenneth MacAskill, now an Alba MP.

Charged debate
ALEX Cole-Hamilton’s belief that he possesses an electrifying personality may not be as deluded as we first thought. During Thursday’s decision time at Holyrood, the LibDem leader said his internet had crashed and he’d been unable to vote electronically. Green Maggie Chapman then chipped in: “It seems that Alex Cole-Hamilton has infected this little area of the chamber and I have no internet connection either.” Richard Leonard was also frazzled. “I, too, was disconnected,” he reported. Alas for Scottish Labour, it was three years too late.