Holyrood’s Public Audit Committee issued a scathing report on the CalMac ferries fiasco on Thursday, spraying blame at ministers, officials and the firm building the long-lost boats. But perhaps the harshest sentence in the 124-page opus came as it mentioned Alex Salmond. Next to his name some tiny numerals directed readers to the bottom of the page, where he was identified as “The former First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014”. How the mighty have fallen. From El Presidente to a footnote. 


MUCH indignation in SNP ranks about Tory MSP Alexander Burnett claiming to have foiled a dastardly plot to delay FMQs for three weeks to let the new first minister get up to speed. The idea was certainly put to Holyrood’s business bureau on Tuesday. However a Tory press release portraying the comically posh laird as the hero who stopped it is more debatable. Unspun’s mole says Nat minister George Adam gave up without a fight and ‘Twee Burney’ didn’t even mention it, only belatedly going ape when smarter colleagues twigged there were headlines to be had.

Royal Mush

AS the SNP leadership race ends, frontrunner Humza Yousaf seems keen to ditch some of the wilder promises he made while chasing votes. His “unequivocal” vow to go to court over London’s veto of Holyrood gender reforms is now decidedly shaky. Thursday’s final hustings also saw the man who demanded Andy Murray as President of an independent Scotland get behind King Charles III. Asked if they would go to the Coronation if they won, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan said they had made other plans. But Mr Yousaf solemnly declared it would be his duty to hobnob with the royals on behalf of the people of Scotland. The self-styled First Activist has now inevitably been dubbed the First Monarchist.

Grand folly

GREEN minister Lorna Slater has come in for terrible criticism in recent weeks at Holyrood, and all for the harmless crime of being dreadful. She insists on droning from a script rather than trying to answer questions in the chamber and MSPs hate it. Alas, it now turns out she can’t answer written questions either. After telling Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton there was a £20million finance gap for nature in the coming decade, she has had to correct it to £20bn due to a “typographical error”. Ah, well, she was only out by a factor of a thousand.

History man

FORMER Tory leader Jackson Carlaw was among many MSPs who reminisced about their childhood telly habits in a debate on 100 years of BBC Scotland this week. “November 1963 was, of course, a month of international world significance -  the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast," he began. "I was furious the following week when Kennedy’s assassination meant that the BBC repeated the first episode rather than showing the next one, which featured the Daleks.” Ahem. Mind, he was four at the time. 

Location, location

NICOLA Sturgeon’s 'Smokin’ Rubble' farewell tour looks set to finish in fittingly messy fashion. The SNP usually hires Our Dynamic Earth next to Holyrood for its events. However Unspun hears SNP HQ left it too late for the leadership result and it was already booked. So the winner will be named miles from parliament in a sports venue preferred by the Tories.