Taxing times
WORST tweet of the week belonged to careless millionaire Nadhim Zahawi, who has been miserable about getting stick over his footling £5million tax bill and penalty. The Tory party chair, under investigation but somehow still clinging on, tried to change the subject on Wednesday by posting a picture of the Bard and the message: “A very happy Burns Night to all who are celebrating- especially to those in Scotland.” At which point, droves of folk in Scotland and elsewhere reminded him Rabbie, when not being a poet, was also... a tax collector. 

Poster boys
In last week’s Unspun, we reported the new SNP political broadcast had raised eyebrows over at Indy rivals the Alba Party. “Enough is enough,” said the SNP ad, exactly like the poster campaign Alba ran last autumn. Now Alba has taken revenge with its new spring line in billboards, which declare “It’s time”. This was the SNP’s winning slogan in the 2007 Holyrood election. It was usually accompanied by a picture of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon smiling side-by-side. Funnily enough, Alba haven’t tried to resurrect that bit.

Schoolboy error
GRUMBLES on the Labour benches at Holyrood after Anas Sarwar went yet again on the NHS at FMQs. Besides being unable to touch the trans row because of his party’s confusion on the issue, he also swerved the big education story of the week. Instead of him asking the FM what she was doing to stop skint councils cutting teacher numbers, an SNP MSP finally did it. Why so coy? Because the Hutchesons Grammar-educated son of a millionaire also sends his own kids to Hutchie, something he once agreed made him a "hypocrite". His MSPs are noticing the gap in his questions. Ah well, only three years of not talking about state schools until the election.

Granite expression
A TOUGH week for Aberdeen FC and its sadness-soaked fans, as the side crashed out the Scottish Cup 1-0 to Ayrshire minnows Darvel on Monday. However there was glee for some, with Kilmarnock Nat MSP Willie Coffey swiftly tabling a parliamentary motion congratulating sixth-tier Darvel on beating the premier league team, somehow shoehorning in the fact Sir Alexander Fleming was a son of the “historic town”. Weirder still was the SNP's Audrey Nicoll signing this propaganda. She’s the MSP for Aberdeen South - for now.
Decile dysfunction
JOHN Swinney has been forced to correct the record at Holyrood after muddling his deciles and quartiles at the finance committee. He originally denied taxing the “two top quartiles” too much, but has now told the parly he meant the “top two deciles”, confusing half the population with a mere fifth of it. He’s the acting finance secretary, you know. We could mention imbeciles at this point, but that would be infantile, puerile, juvenile, facile and ultimately futile. So we won’t.

Fox that
Fresh from their festive slog over the trans bill, MSPs had another epic sitting on Tuesday for the hunting with dogs bill. Their focus was less than laserlike. As Green Ariane Burgess rose to speak, dozens fled to the exits like foxes from baying hounds. “I am going to stop for a moment,” she grumped to the Presiding Officer, “because I am finding people leaving the chamber distracting." Rather harsh, we felt. They can't get a signal to read their phones in the chamber all at once.