Postered missing

ALEX Salmond’s Alba party was very proud of its new billboard blitz this week. Posters declared “Enough is Enough. It’s time for independence" over a gallery of unionist foes centred on, er, Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss. New PM Rishi Sunak and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt were noticeably absent. It turns out the lead-in time at the billboard printers is longer than it takes to swap occupants in No10. Our Alba mole assures us Mr Sunak will appear on the next run of displays. Whether he’ll still be PM then is another matter. 

Second fest

WHILE the PM dithered over going to the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, Nicola Sturgeon, who almost selfied herself out at the last one, didn’t hesitate. As a result, she has a spot as a panel guest at a coveted New York Times Climate Forward event on Tuesday. Not bad. Until you see the series opens in Sharm El Sheikh on Monday with a one-man “fireside chat”. Its title? “In conversation with Boris Johnson.” Not sure she’ll go to that one.

Mercedes mendz

SOUNDBITE of the week came from Mercedes Villalba after she was called on to ask a question at FMQs. The North East Labour MSP appeared taken aback. “Oh s***!” the Holyrood microphones heard her exclaim as she got to her feet. However she kept her cool and suppressed a giggling fit. Tipped for the top she is.

Ashen faced

ALSO coming out with a memorable line was Nat Ash Regan, who quit as a minister over gender reforms. She held a press conference in the parly lobby on Tuesday and revealed the FM was “well aware” of her concerns, despite giving an impression to the contrary. Just before she spoke, former Tory leader Jackson Carlaw strolled by and asked what was going on. A mischievous reporter told him Ms Regan was defecting to the Tories. Judging by the look of undisguised horror on his coupon she would be unwise to apply.

Canada dry wit

FORMER Minister Regan’s replacement in the community safety brief is Elena Whitham, who as a newbie had to be approved as a minister by parliament, a formality that’s mostly knockabout. Ms Sturgeon noted she had campaigned as a student in the 1995 Quebec independence vote as well as the 2014 one here. “I am confident that for Elena it will, on the referendum front, be third time lucky,” she said. Replying, Tory Craig Hoy had a different take. “I also note that in 1995, Ms Whitham was a campaigner in favour of an independent Quebec, so can I wish her the same success in any similar future referendum, should it ever arise.”


MR Hoy then twisted the knife by reading out a roll call of SNP MSPs still hoping to rub their rump on a ministerial limo: Christine Grahame, Paul McLennan, Kenny Gibson, Stuart McMillan, John Mason, Michelle Thomson et al. Observers noted he could well have added all his own MSPs. None of them will ever be a minister either.

Sponge blob

MS Sturgeon’s spindoctor Stuart Nicolson hit the big five-O on Thursday, the day he faces the media at the post-FMQs briefing. The ever generous hacks presented him with a tiny candle-lit muffin and sang happy birthday. “Now I too have been ambushed by cake,” he reflected, albeit a pitifully small one. Don’t worry, he was told. Under independence it’ll be way bigger and everyone can have a slice - and somehow eat it too.