Modesty blazing

SNARKY scenes in the Holyrood chamber on Tuesday after publication of the first slice of the Scottish Government’s new independence prospectus. SNP Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson was in no mood to take a slagging from Tory Stephen Kerr over the thing, calling him an “election loser” for failing to dislodge Nat limpet Michael Matheson in Falkirk West last year. “I know that humility does not come easily to Stephen Kerr,” he sniffed. At which lots of giggling broke out, as Angus is not exactly famed for his humility either. But in recognition of this unsuspected quality, he has now been dubbed the Minister for Modesty.


THE ribbing of Tory list MSPs as election losers has also raised eyebrows. At the 2017 election, with the exception of Alex Salmond, Mr Robertson was the highest profile loser in Scotland. Despite all that humility, the then SNP deputy saw his 9,065 majority in Moray turned into a Tory win of 4,159. Still, takes a loser to know a loser, we reckon.

Out for the count

AFTER letting slip on the radio that his boss wants to hold Indyref2 in October next year, Mr Robertson sat with arms folded and a huffy look through FMQs, as if he was in the dog house. His mood wasn’t lifted when Douglas Ross mentioned the census shambles. “The constitution secretary - who is looking up to the sky, maybe for divine inspiration - was too busy updating the ‘UK bad’ bar charts to actually count the number of people in Scotland,” the Scottish Tory leader quipped. Bested by Douglas Ross? How bad can it get? 

New blue?

HOWEVER MR Ross shouldn’t get too cocky. After his excruciating gyrations over Boris Johnson’s future, Partygate and the MPs' confidence vote, we hear Tory high command wants him to patch things up with the Prime Minister, yet again. And if Mr Ross can’t stand the thought of doing that, then like his short-lived predecessor, Jackson Carlaw, he will be “replaced”. Gulp.

Gaels Aloud

DESPITE being only five minutes long, the audio version of the prospectus is a surprisingly tough listen. It’s delivered in a weird singsong by some sort of Gaelbot that reads the junk as well as the contents. “This is an audio version of a Scottish Government document,” it begins. “Summary. Marketing code PPDAS109522206 slash 22.” By the end you’ll vote for anything.

Cash stramash

WITH the prospectus emerging in many slices over the coming months, not all will have their own SNP-Green press event, perhaps not even the vital currency paper. Pity, as it could be great telly. The Greens want a new Scots currency immediately after independence, but the SNP hierarchy are so worried about spooking voters, we hear they don't want a new currency mentioned at all now! 

Jack, hack & crack

SCOTTISH Secretary Alister Jack hosted a drinks do at Edinburgh’s new Queen Elizabeth House on Thursday, with hacks and politicos hobnobbing on the roof terrace. There was a nice send-off for one veteran reporter who was coincidentally leaving the trade that day. Mr Jack presented him with a bottle of Commons whisky signed by Boris Johnson. “Although it doesn’t look like he needs any,” he observed of the crumpled newsman.