The latest edition of Unspun: The Political Diary.

Russian by
A BAD week for ex-SNP MP and now Alba darling Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. A tribunal found her guilty of professional misconduct (for a second time) in her old career as a solicitor and censured her for “recklessness by omission”. Asking for leniency, her QC Duncan Hamilton zipped through her CV from birth to Westminster, listing good deed after good deed. Oddly, however, her current job partnering Alex Salmond on his Kremlin-funded TV show didn’t rate a mention. Clearly not all omissions are reckless. Some are on the grounds of good taste.

TAS Mania
IN fact, the former First Minister didn’t get a namecheck at all. Instead, Ms Ahmed-Sheikh, or TAS as she’s known, produced character references from people of more suitable character. First, Mr Hamilton read warm words from Alba MP Kenny MacAskill, the ex-SNP justice secretary. No surprise there. More unexpected was a glowing write-up from former Brexit Secretary David Davies. “I will always trust her to act with honour and integrity,” said the uber-Tory. Although what Leave campaigners know of such things is hard to say. 

Wowie Bowie
HYPER-ambitious Aberdeenshire Tory MP Andrew Bowie had an unfamiliar sensation on Radio Scotland on Tuesday - hearing too much of his own voice. Trying to opine on the fuel crisis, he spluttered: “I’m terribly sorry, I’m getting really bad feedback. I can just hear my voice repeated back to me.” Now he knows how the rest of us feel.

Comrade Turncoat
MAGNETS for misfits, party conferences are weird events at the best of times. But UK Labour’s gathering in Brighton was particularly special. Unspun’s mole attended one fringe meeting where no less an exalted ego than former Commons speaker John Bercow himself was holding forth. Once an unrepentant Tory right-winger, he recently defected to Labour, in a twist wholly unrelated to his search for a peerage. Our mole reports that he was so keen to blend in, he addressed the room as “comrades” more than a dozen times. It’s the new “Order, order”, you know.

Campbell’s scoop
SO, farewell yet again, Wings Over Scotland, the on-off pro-independence website run by Bath-based exile Stuart Campbell. Bidding goodbye in frustration at SNP inertia on Indy, Stu this week provided a first breakdown of how he had gone through a whopping £885,000 raised from his crowdfunding appeals since 2013, including £210,000 paid to himself. Bafflingly, despite being a stickler for detail, there was no mention of how much the taxman got. We look forward to him coming out of retirement with a clarification.  

Beard money
Bizarre fact of the week comes courtesy of a hack in Holyrood's newly reopened bar, who informs Unspun that Bruce Adamson, Scotland's Children and Young People's Commissioner, was once a film extra in The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand-born Adamson played a warrior from Rohan but apparently angered producers by shaving off his beard, requiring some expensive fake facial hair to be stuck on instead. It's not known whether Adamson has been tapped up for Amazon Prime's upcoming TV series. But given the colossal amounts of cash involved, it could at least afford his beard budget.