Snooty and sheep
THE day after his lofty slapdown by Jacob Rees-Mogg, poor Douglas Ross had to face a second verbal wedgie at FMQs. Nicola Sturgeon quoted JRM saying the Scottish Tory leader was “not a big figure” and “lightweight”, tutting that even she wasn’t as mean about Dougie as his ain folk. Perhaps Mr Ross would prefer independence to such wicked treatment? “Absolutely not!” he bleated defiantly, but his body language screamed otherwise. His twisted arms and legs were the limbs of a man in the throes of an absolute beamer. He looked, one worried observer noted, “like a grilled spider”. 

Musical pairs
The return of partygate on Monday, when ITV news revealed the boozy May 2020 bash attended by Boris Johnson, had Westminster in uproar Most parties raced to condemn the event, but Alex Salmond’s Alba was rather quiet. Obviously it wants the PM to hang around and help the Yes cause. But our mole reports Mr Salmond was also otherwise engaged at the theatre in London that evening, watching The Book of Mormon with Alba pal Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. The gleefully obscene musical features a warlord called General Butt F***ing Naked. Sounds like he'd fit in perfectly at a Number 10 work event.

BORIS Johnson’s grilling at PMQs coincided with a flood of freedom of information responses issuing from the Scottish Government, a fluke we’re sure. One buried gem was about the polls run on the Government’s intranet last year. They included asking officials if they made New Year resolutions, owned a pet, enjoyed poetry, preferred tea or coffee, and other time-wasting fluff. Not that they’re bored out of their nut or anything, but each poll typically got between 2,000 and 3,000 replies from staff. Your money in their hands, eh?

Readers digress
SOME poll answers were fascinating. A fifth of workers rarely or never turn on their camera for virtual meetings. Asked if they had set objectives for the year, 68% said No. Can you remember the PIN number for your building? No 19%. And asked about reading, 11% said “I don’t read books”, a result that “actually quite appalled” someone in the comments section. “Sorry to have appalled you,” an unrepentant bibliophobe replied. 

Brain gain
WE wonder how such insights would go down with a new “psychological assessment” team hired by the Government to help with recruiting top managers. A public notice reveals ministers have splashed £1.2m on a three-year deal with the Keil Centre in Edinburgh, which says it provides “innovative, high-quality applied psychology and ergonomics solutions for business success” through “a range of award-winning products” and “bespoke solutions”. Yes, but can you make these dummies pick up a book? 

Bell zinger
UNSPUN has belatedly caught up with the wit and wisdom of East Ayrshire SNP councillor John Bell on Twitter. The Doon Valley democrat has been sharing his thoughts on the Scottish Government’s budget for local government. “I'm not standing again as an SNP cllr so I can say what the rest are too scared to: unless there is an improvement… Sturgeon has just thrown all her cllrs under a bus. They either cut already-stretched services or impose large Council Tax rises. And good luck defending that in May's elections…” Ouch.