Feeling woozy

Scotland Office minister John Lamont has shared his musical passions in the new Holyrood magazine. He wants Can’t Stop the Feeling! from the Trolls movie played at his funeral. Now, we’re no doctors, but that seems a poor fit. The Borders MP also revealed he agreed to be Rishi Sunak’s Scotland campaign manager in last year’s Tory leadership race on condition he could skip the sole Scottish hustings to see Coldplay at Wembley. A solo Mr Sunak was duly mauled to ribbons by compere Colin Mackay of STV. Remarkably, Mr Sunak later promoted Mr Lamont. He was probably still in shock.

Island Life

THE trees are in leaf, the sun is shining, it must be junket time. Holyrood’s corporate body usually rubberstamps MSPs’ requests for overseas jollies. So Unspun was shocked to see Liberal Democrats Liam McArthur and Beatrice Wishart get a knockback after asking for £4,380 to spend four nights in the Faroes talking about fish and 5G. Mr McArthur, a deputy Presiding Officer, did however get the nod on £3,120 for eight nights in Guernsey in July. His selfless work on behalf of the Orkney Islands Games Association is quite vital, apparently. 

Fishy story

BRAVE face of the week belonged to the SNP’s Mairi McAllan as she defended plans to ban fishing off 10 per cent of Scotland. A popular and utterly scathing protest song likening it to the Highland Clearances was actually a “beautiful and important way to express ourselves”, she insisted to MSPs. She then burbled: “People are telling me today, Cabinet Secretary go back to the drawing board. The truth is that I never left the drawing board. We are at the drawing board. I have invited, rightly, Scotland’s communities to the drawing board with me.” How about that for a fun night in? 

Paper tiger

THURSDAY saw a welcome blip on Unspun’s radar in the shape of comrade Conrad Landin, who is fondly remembered at Holyrood as the dogged spindoctor to hapless Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard. As his boss’s PR got ever worse, Conrad’s nickname went from Hard to Bumpy and finally to ‘Crash’ Landin. This week the ex-Scotland Editor of the Morning Star popped up on the front of the Daily Mail of all places, as co-author of a tale about an SNP minister. Needless to say the once impeccable Leftie has now been renamed ‘Soft’ Landin. 

Claws wars

THE delicious sniping between SNP MP Deidre Brock and Commons leader Penny Mordaunt continue, we’re glad to report. This week, Ms Brock imaginatively managed to needle Ms Mordaunt about marine conservation. Ms Mordaunt however got the last word, taking the nautical theme to raise the dreaded CalMac ferries, then pivoting to the police investigation into the SNP's finances. “We’re wondering not just how much longer those ferries will be in the dock,” she purred, “but how many SNP figures will be as well.” 

Taken to school

EDUCATION Secretary Jenny Gilruth proved less agile with words at Holyrood, alas, after Tory deputy leader Meghan Gallagher read out an absurdly long list of moans, and asked which Ms Gilruth planned to focus on first. “What a dispiriting question,” Ms Gilruth replied. “I don’t really know where to start.” That’s the problem, retorted the Tories.