Age Concern

We all know politics ages you, but Katy Loudon, the SNP underdog in the Rutherglen by-election seems to be piling on the years at an alarming rate. In August, keen to stress her local credentials, she declared she had “lived in the constituency for nearly 14 years”. Last week she got even more local, discovering she had “lived in this constituency for the best part of 20 years”. What next? A seventh of a century?

Part-time party

Hardly out of Rutherglen is Anas Sarwar, who smells a rare win for Scottish Labour. When not pestering the voters in Main Street, he’s occasionally to be found in Holyrood or in the Daily Record, where he writes a fortnightly column. Or as the paper’s blurb bills him: “Anas Sarwar leader of the Scottish Labour Party every second Monday.” As our Nat mole wonders: “Just who manages Labour’s branch office on the other Mondays?”

The Herald:

Sticky situation

We’re not sure how it got past their firewall, but one Holyrood party this week received an email inviting them to get into bed with Lovehoney (please don’t Google it at work), an online shop selling, er, erotic paraphernalia. The party didn’t take them up on the offer, but not before much joking in the office about possible election slogans, such as ‘Vote for us and you’ll be f***ed”.

Memory card

Titters too at Decision Time on Wednesday after Nat Kenny Gibson tried to say he’d didn’t vote because of glitchy software. Well, he tried to say it. He stood up and no one could hear as his mic wasn’t working either. “Could you ensure that your [activation] card is in, Mr Gibson?” sighed Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone. “I really should have the card in, shouldn’t I?” a sheepish Mr Gibson replied.

Ping-pong table

Far better at cards is former SNP spindoctor Fergus Mutch, now with own consultancy True North. At the recent Holyrood magazine party, Fergus could be seen furiously switching name cards around at the firm’s two tables so that his clients hobnobbed with the right politicos. Between main course and dessert he then swapped them again to move folk between tables, elevating the hobnobbery to a new level. Not just a Mutch, but much much more.

Deer deer

The most mind-boggling exchanges of the week were at Rural Affairs Committee, where Green biodiversity minister Lorna Slater, of all people, wanted to make it easier to “manage” deer by killing them. Opposing her was Tory toff Sir Edward Mountain, no stranger to managing the outsized rabbits of the glen, who thought her proposals inhumane. “I would love to have a long discussion about ballistics with the minister,” he said. After opining on bullet weights, night sights and muzzle velocity, Ms Slater insisted that her plans would have “no detrimental effect on deer welfare”. Except by, you know, offing them. 

Bus terminal

A late entry from last week’s meeting of Glasgow City Council, where the SNP’s Malcolm Mitchell managed to slip the knife into his Labour opponents by linking public transport policy and Keir Starmer. “Their interest in our buses is to be welcomed,” he said. “If any Labour colleague fancies a career change, retraining as a bus driver would offer a job that requires them to make less U-turns.” The faces on the Labour benches suggested they’d all drive straight over him.