Green finance

THE Scottish Greens hold their first spring conference as a party of government today. Judging by the brochure, they’re learning the ropes fast, as it includes an absolute whopper. An appeal for donations on the back page bleats: “Unlike big parties we don’t get any state funding... we rely on individuals like you.” Er, a quick check with the Electoral Commission reveals the party has actually pocketed more than £300,000 in public funds courtesy of Holyrood down the years, a third of its income. And despite being in power, it’s still getting a subsidy meant for the opposition. With a brassneck like that, this lot could go far. 

Boss loss

TOUGH times at the Scottish National Investment Bank after its CEO scarpered just 18 months into the job for vague “personal reasons” amid rumours of a turf war with Scottish Enterprise. But could help be at hand? The SNIB has just struck a £66,000 deal with a blue chip consultancy to help it up its game. Odgers Berndtson will provide “LeaderFit Assessments as part of our Executive and Senior Leadership Recruitment Processes”, says the bank. Crikey. How many fleeing staff do they expect to replace? 

Blight & Mackay

HUSTINGS-ducking Coatbridge MSP Fulton ‘No Show’ MacGregor may be even more anonymous than we thought. At a recent meeting of the criminal justice committee, Tory deputy convener Russell Findlay absent-mindedly referred to him as “Fulton Mackay”, forcing Mr MacGregor to deny he was the late Porridge actor. “Just for the record, it is Fulton MacGregor. I get ‘Fulton Mackay’ all the time.” After Mr Findlay gave a cringing “Oops”, Mr MacGregor then turned to Nat colleague Rona Mackay. “I think that you have called me Fulton Mackay once or twice as well, Rona,” he girned. You should hear what the rest of them call you, mate.

Virtual headache

SPARE a thought for new Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton. His party had to abandon its plans for a spring conference because of Covid, denying him a platform to share his greatness with the nation. However plan B hasn’t worked out either, we hear. Although the UK LibDems are holding their spring conference online this weekend, Mr Cole-Hamilton will not be appearing. Sources close to the event tell Unspun that organising a video of him was deemed to be, and forgive the technical jargon here, a “pain in the a***”. Such a pity. As many MSPs view ACH in a similar light, it could have been the perfect marriage of technology and personality.

Dougie Bane

TALKING of tricky conferences, there was consternation on Thursday when it was announced that Boris Johnson would appear at the Scottish Tory bash in the North East next week. It is, of course, a moment of pure agony for Scottish leader Douglas Ross, who was praying the Prime Minister would have been forced out of office by the partygate scandal by now. It was compounded by news that Mr Ross had also withdrawn his no confidence letter in Mr Johnson, leading to him being dubbed spineless by his sniggering opponents. Holyrood's press corps is now mulling headlines to apply to the meeting between the leaders. It can't be another Rumble in the Jungle, but perhaps the Climbdown in the Cairngorms? Or how about Fudge of Don? All merciless suggestions gratefully received...