Moaner Lisa

BRUTAL scenes in East Kilbride SNP this week over who should stand for Westminster. Incumbent MP Dr Lisa Cameron is in a proper strop after being challenged by newbie Grant Costello. Both wannabe candidates issued letters to party members. Mr Costello’s urged them to “send strong SNP MPs" south to fight for independence. Translation: my opponent is a useless lightweight. While Dr Cameon’s was modestly titled: “Re-select Lisa to win the next general election.” Who knew it was so simple?

Band of Blunders

THE STV hustings for the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election saw Nat Katy Loudon put on the spot over SNP plans to hike council tax. Asked repeatedly if she backed the Scottish Government proposal, she ignored the question before saying: “I support a conversation on this”. She then accused the Tories of wanting to protect people “in a Band H or above house”. That conversation can’t come too soon. There is no tax band above Band H, as Councillor Loudon really ought to know.

Power surge

Labour's Friday rally in Rutherglen also had its moments, as the prospect of victory got people all hot and bothered. One passionate female activist introduced Anas Sarwar as being "like a set of jump leads for me". While Mr Sarwar introduced Keir Starmer as "a man of hunger, a man of desire". We know power is an aphrodisiac, but at least draw the curtains folks.

Grass roots

The suspension of Fergus Ewing from the SNP on Wednesday caused an almighty stooshie. Humza Yousaf conveniently missed it because of “man flu”, but there was still big drama. Fergie fulminated at the punishment for voting against his party. A little odd, as he’s no stranger to suspensions. In 2007, he revealed his old boarding school suspended him for two weeks after he was caught smoking pot aged 16. Maybe he should skin up a fat one and relax like he did back in the day.

Trip hazard

Talking of altered states, MSPs have been riveted by an exhibition outside their offices on magic mushrooms. The Scottish Psychedelic Research Group has been promoting the medicinal and psychological benefits of local fungal favourite Psilocybe semilanceata. One of the organisers told Unspun they brewed a "mean tea" from them. Alas, MSPs trying to learn more found the group’s website was blocked by the Parliament's firewall.

Road warrior

Alex Cole-Hamilton’s speech to the UK Liberal Democrats conference in Bournemouth was a stirring tribute to himself. His devotion to the party was clear from his “well-thumbed road atlas" the Scottish leader said. "It’s why I drove a carload of young liberals nine hours down the M6 from Edinburgh to North Shropshire. It’s why I drove them 11 hours to Frome. And why I’ll do it again in the 7 hours it’ll take us to get to Mid Bedfordshire.” Curiously, the by-election on his doorstep, the LibDem no hope fight in Rutherglen, didn’t get a mention.

Word count

A gloriously pedantic FoI request to the Scottish Government has revealed how many times certain words have appeared in the minutes of meetings attended by the FM since July. Economy, growth and economic all made it into double figures. But independence cropped up just twice and referendum and Indyref2 were absent. As if the Alba party didn't have enough conspiracy theories on its plate...