Worst bar none
Fear stalks Holyrood as its denizens wonder what fate has in store for their beloved pub across the road. Its lease up for grabs, the Kilderkin is now closing at 8pm and running down its stocks. A blackboard grimly declares the chef’s special is “No nachos”. Folk are appalled at having to rely instead on Holyrood’s own sad little boozer, Margo’s, and its two awful metal-flavoured beers. As one hack put it: “It’s like drinking in a motorway service station - plus you’re surrounded by MSPs”. Truly, a vision of hell on earth. Still, it could be worse. BrewDog could take over the pub.

Booze control
Talking of the demon’s drop, the Scottish Whisky Association had a stand at Holyrood this week. To help pretend it was educational, the SWA asked MSPs to match five drinks with the units of alcohol they contain. Some went for speed over accuracy, with Nat Stuart McMillan the quickest on the draw at 7.5 seconds. But only one, Ivan McKee got all the answers right, and in just 10 seconds. Being good at something, he was naturally removed as a minister by Humza Yousaf last year.

North Sea turmoil
This week’s prize for slip of the tongue goes to Stephen Flynn on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show. Discussing UK airstrikes in Yemen, the SNP Westminster leader shocked his Aberdeen constituents with talk of “potential action in the North Sea”. Host Martin Geissler corrected him. “The Red Sea I hope you meant, rather than the North Sea.” Mr Flynn agreed. Although he wouldn’t put it past Westminster to try it.  

Pigging out 
Hollywood star Alan Cumming was on Laura Kuenssberg’s show on Sunday. In a gushing post on Instagram he thanked her  for being on with future PM Keir Starmer and former PM David Cameron. Also appearing was journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who co-wrote the book that included the infamous dodgy claim about Lord Cameron and novel things to do with a pig’s head. Mr Cumming’s Insta post wickedly concluded: “I will be forever grateful for eating breakfast in the BBC canteen... sitting across from David Cameron, eating bacon, just one person away from Isobel Oakeshott. #iykyk.”

Coffee mug
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove wasn’t the only UK politician giving evidence online to Holyrood this week. Energy security minister Graham Stuart also dialled in to the Economy committee. Alas, the serious tone was undermined by him talking about “energy supply” just as a flunky wandered in to give him a coffee. MSPs reckon his personal energy supply must be very secure.

The Herald:

Sugar gush
Deidre Brock has been sharing her dilemmas with the latest issue of Holyrood magazine. The Edinburgh North & Leith SNP MP discloses her “guiltiest pleasure” is a pineapple cake from the Bayne’s by her office. “I have to steel myself to walk past the bakery in Leith,” she confesses. In the interests of science, Unspun duly scarfed one down. We can report that Ms Brock is not alone. It is an anti-nutritious treat. No wonder it melts steel.

Double take
Finally, sight of the week was ex-Labour boss Kezia Dugdale deep in conversation with Nicola Sturgeon in the garden lobby, despite the former FM memorably stabbing Kez in the back in a TV debate.  Our optimistic mole reports: “Maybe even Humza will forgive Nicola. Well, one day.”