Pizza nonsense

BRUISED by the Gary Lineker fiasco, BBC bosses played nice with journos on Tuesday, laying on pizza at the SNP hustings in Edinburgh’s stunning Mansfield Traquair. “Hopefully you’ll remember this when you come to write your next story bashing the BBC,” a corporation honcho told Unspun. Of course. While the four seasons went down well, the one thing the BBC didn’t get right was, er, the BBC. Ropey wi-fi meant the big screen for reporters was stuck in a loop showing the last five minutes of EastEnders and the first five minutes of The One Show, leaving hacks watching the debate on their phones. 

Beer Beer see 

EVEN when it comes to hospitality, the Beeb was a poor second to Channel 4, who put on a buffet of top-notch sandwiches, salads and cakes for their SNP hustings. They even gave intrepid journos a few bottles of beer to take home. Meanwhile, Sky and STV didn’t even invite the media. Not a freebie between them. Clearly exposing the harms of privatisation. 

Glass Act

Tory MSP Sir Edward Mountain shed decades of guilt at Holyrood this week, confessing to colleagues about a delinquent childhood. As his Net Zero committee quizzed Green minister Lorna Slater about the Deposit Return Scheme, she said she was confident Scots would understand it. “People in this country often are nostalgic and have memories of similar schemes from when they were young and returning their bottles to get their money back,” she said. At which Sir Ed, the committee convenor, said he was “nostalgic about returning other’s people’s bottles as well - which may have been fraud.” It was only enough for a 10p mixture, but a crime’s a crime, your honour. 


THE deposit return scheme also generated some classic cattiness on Tuesday after runaway Nat Fergus Ewing launched into a fresh attack on it, branding it immoral. That didn’t go down well with Ms Slater’s defender, Green Ross Greer. “Perhaps the real reason that the Scottish Tories and their colleague Fergus Ewing seem so desperate to bring the DRS into disrepute is that they object to the fundamental principle of the scheme: that the polluter pays instead of the taxpayer,” he scoffed at his joint government ‘colleague’. 

Phantom pain

WHOPPER of the week came courtesy of Nicola Sturgeon. After FMQs, she was doorstepped by hacks about the SNP’s slapdash leadership contest. She put it down to party “growing pains”. Er, the SNP was founded in 1934 and has been run for 20 years by her hubby Peter Murrell. It’s hardly youthful. Plus it’s not even growing these days, it’s shrinking. Adding to the surreal air, former Labour FM Lord Jack McConnell wandered past. “Is it a comeback?” one reporter shouted. “Well, I heard there was a vacancy,” he grinned. 

Truth ache

THURSDAY was also painful for Humza Yousaf, as his record on dentistry was pummelled at FMQs and he made his ‘Where are all the men?” gaffe to female Ukrainian refugees. Before putting his foot in it, he talked to the women about life in Scotland. They needed more help with housing and learning English. “Anything else?” he asked, trying to help. “Dentistry,” said one woman. “It’s a huge problem.” Sometimes there’s just no escape for a Health Secretary in search of promotion.  

Eye eye

ALSO having a lousy time by the look of it is Tory MSP Graham Simpson. Lugubrious at the best of times, he appeared extra doleful as he asked a question at FMQs while sporting a corking black eye. Unspun hears he has been telling colleagues he “fell over”, but not all seem convinced. “We’re all asking him what the first rule of Fight Club is,” said one MSP. Such kind hearted souls, Tories.
Ferry bad

AN unfortunate look too for Ayrshire Nat Kenny Gibson, who has just put out constituency bumpf reporting his visit to the shipyard building the long-lost CalMac ferries, dressed in overalls and a hard hat. The Glen Sannox will set sail “in the coming months… greatly increasing capacity and resilience” on the Troon to Arran route, he gushed. Alas, on Thursday, the boat was delayed another six months. Kenny should perhaps wear his hard hat when talking to the locals.