Honest to a fault

MILLIONAIRE Tory donor and wholly coincidental Tory peer and Scotland Office minister Malcolm Offord made a rare public appearance on BBC Scotland’s Debate Night on Wednesday. Joining in with the mood of the rest of the panel, he wasted no time slagging off Boris Johnson. While insisting the PM had some sort of “vision” or other for the country, he admitted: “Boris does not play well in Scotland. We all know that. Boris does not play well in Scotland.” A little while later, Lord Offord let the audience in on another secret. “I’m not a politician,” he declared. Er, we had noticed. 

For heaven’s sake

THE SNP representative on the show was MP John Nicolson, an actual politician, albeit one with a dodgy sense of geography. In the 2019 election he famously told a hustings in Ochil & South Perthshire that only the SNP could “beat the Tories here in East Dunbartonshire”. It was where he used to be an MP before losing to Jo Swinson. His compass seemed a bit off on Debate Night too. Denying independence was a silver bullet, he said: “There’d be all sorts of struggles ahead if we were independent. It would be utterly immature to pretend that it will be Valhalla if we vote for Scottish independence.” We hope not. Most of Valhalla’s residents are dead.

Comfort food

READERS may recall Keith Brown’s recent ignominious retreat from the media through the Holyrood lobby when asked about the CalMac ferries fiasco. The former Falklands soldier ended up in the canteen, where they keep the jellies. Holyrood bosses have now informed the press that people’s privacy “should be respected in catering areas”. So if politicians fancy waiting out a scandal, all they have to do is cower by the salad bar. Thoroughly unimpressed, hacks have renamed the canteen the ministerial creche.

Fergus a bogeyman

OTHER bolt holes are available. After reports he had been found guilty of bullying staff while a minister, the SNP’s Fergus Ewing was the object of the hack pack’s attention on Thursday. “He’s probably hiding in a cupboard,” said a passing Labour MSP to the phalanx of voice recorders and notebooks. It turned out Mr Ewing was safely ensconced in an MSP-only room next to the chamber. He then left the building early to scarper back to the Highlands. Under the Scottish Government's preposterously secret complaints system, bullying findings against ministers and former ministers will not be made public. So in theory we'll never know what the verdict was on Mr Ewing. Thank goodness he gave us a clue by acting like the guiltiest MSP in the place.

Richard the second

PLENTY of fresh faces at North Lanarkshire Council after the recent elections, where we hear the SNP's celebrations got very lively indeed. One of the additions to the enlarged SNP group is Richard Sullivan, who has just been elected in the Airdrie North ward. Well, we say the SNP’s Mr Sullivan, but a few years back he was actually an ardent Tory. In 2011 he stood against James Dornan in Glasgow Cathcart, but failed to stop him becoming an MSP. As luck would have it, Unspun has one of Mr Sullivan’s leaflets from that election. In it, he urged voters to back his plan to create “rewards for recycling”. The joke at the council is that he’s now been rewarded for recycling himself.