BIG changes at BBC Scotland’s Holyrood office, where new staff are being squeezed in for the forthcoming digital channel. The need for space forced one TV producer to wrestle with some cupboards to make way for a desk. As she struggled with the furniture, deputy First Minister John Swinney walked past. “What’s this?” he quipped. “A cabinet reshuffle?”
A bit fishy
ALEX Salmond was back at Holyrood on Tuesday to film his RT-TV show. Purely coincidentally, his legal team had just had rather a good day in court in his case against the Scottish Government. Filming an item on, er, a WWII naval disaster, Eck naturally set up shop outside the media tower and was instantly spotted by the hack pack. Our mole reports Schadenfreude Salmond was shocked – shocked! – by their appearance as he bounced over to grant them an audience.
ELSEWHERE at Holyrood, a reporter recently heard sounds of mild panic from the debating chamber, and discovered a frazzled group of sight-seers unable to get out. Security were called. An MSP’S aide had taken the party in without realising most doors lock automatically in the evening. He then failed to spot one door had stayed open all along. D’oh.
REMARKABLE scenes at the Court of Session on Thursday as two big beasts of the legal jungle clashed in a case about Brexit. Tory Advocate General Lord Keen may be nicknamed The Rottweiler, but he was thoroughly out-growled by QC Aidan O’neill, who was acting for a group of Remainers. At one point, Mr O’neill raised his voice to bark over Lord Keen to shut him up as they bickered over a timetabling
issue. Seasoned bench watchers declared it the closest thing to a stairheid rammy they’d ever seen from m’learned friends.
THE argy bargy was all the more unexpected for taking place before Scotland’s top judge, the Lord President Lord Carloway. However Unspun suspects he may have secretly enjoyed it. He was clearly unimpressed by much of Lord Keen’s presentation, repeatedly telling him the court had heard it before. Lord Keen’s motion was swiftly refused. “Nothing unexpected,” the Advocate General was heard muttering philosophically.
TALKING of lawyers, Tory advocate Gordon Lindhurst was on classic form in a Holyrood debate this week. Dubbed “Chloroform Gordon” and “man-sloth” for his ponderous delivery, he interrupted Tory colleague Graeme Simpson with a point that seemed to last for days. The Presiding Officer ruled it so “lengthy” he gave Mr Simpson extra time to continue. “I think that I can agree with Mr Lindhurst, Presiding Officer,” said Mr Simpson. “You can see why his catchphrase is a dry pause...”
NEW Nat press officer Jack Middleton quickly made an impression by emailing a private document to all of Holyrood by mistake. A template press release titled “Callous Tory benefit cap hurts [Figure A] in [Area],” it invited Nat MSPS to fill the blanks with local data, then express their Hq-approved shock. “SNP MSP for [Constituency], [Name], has criticised the ‘heartless’ Tory austerity that is driving up child poverty and dependence on foodbanks,” ran one suggestion for outrage. “Dear Jack, Thanks for this,” replied grinning Tory Sir Edward Mountain.