Ross Rage
It’s been a belter of a week for Douglas Ross. Not only was he labelled a "man-child" by the SNP’s King of Smug Angus Robertson, he had to endure humiliation from his Tory colleagues. Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt stuffed him by extending the windfall tax on North Sea oil and gas firms, which Dougie said would cost thousands of jobs. According to one report, it almost cost his. Scottish Secretary Alister Jack was apparently tasked with talking Mr Ross out of quitting as leader. For which dubious success he has now been dubbed the Ross Whisperer. 

Revolting journos
Perhaps Mr Ross should have seen it coming. There was an ill-omen at his party conference in Aberdeen last weekend, when he lost control of his speech at the media reception. After appearing to mistake a Scotsman reporter for the Sun’s Conor Matchett, the former indignantly cried out “I’m not Conor”, triggering a Spartacus-style wave of other hacks shouting “I’m not Conor” too. It was, Mr Ross admitted, funnier than any of his jokes.

Silent Witness
Mr Robertson also featured in one of the other serio-comic events of the week, the launch of the Government’s latest independence paper . This was about defence and foreign relations, which he declared was his specialist subject. So keen was he to bestow his wisdom on the media, that he opined for almost 45 minutes, while Jamie Hepburn, the nominal minister Indy, sat next to him looking as miserables the ghost of 2014 and barely got a word in. 

Nat so Nato
Mr Robertson’s loquacity dramatically ran out, however, as press scepticism mounted about the SNP’s plan to join Nato while simultaneously hobbling it by turfing Trident out of Faslane. Despite being told the event would last to 130pm, Mr Robertson scarpered early while the questions kept flying. “That was interesting,” observed one official. “Yes,” replied a scribbler, “I’ve never seen him want to stop talking before.”

Head count 
Talking of talkers, Unspun was interested in a recent speech issued by the Government's press office on behalf of finance secretary Shona Robison. This mistakenly included the line “15 mins to open @160 wpm = 2400 words. Wordcount 2298 words.” So now we know how quickly the deputy FM can speak. But is it, as many suspect, twice as fast as she thinks?   

Dirty words
John Daly, the Tory councillor for Baillieston in Glasgow’s east end, has been telling Holyrood magazine about his ward. The former teacher loves the local lingo, especially “gaddin’”, which he defined as “close talk for dirty”. As in “I’m no’ talkin’ to her, it’s her turn to do the close and it’s gaddin’.” However words almost failed him when he was asked to name the best-known person in the area. “I hesitate to say these words, but it’s Nicola Sturgeon,” he admitted, feeling utterly gaddin’ inside.

Let it flow
A poorly Mr Yousaf asked for leniency at a recent press huddle. "I've got my four year old's cold," he explained. "She was in my bed coughing all over my face. I ended up spending the night in her bed because I got kicked out. I don't know how that works. I'm pretty sure my wife got a picture of me with the Elsa [from Frozen] sheets, so if you pay her enough...." He then added hastily: "I should have said off the record." Too late, too late.