UNSPUN

The Herald - - POLITICS -

Space race

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.

Heated de­bate

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.

Keen con­test

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.

Judge dread

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.

Slow speech

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...”

Blan­kety-blank

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.

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