NICOLA Sturgeon is forever banging on about the SNP making Scotland “fairer”, but what does that mean? Luckily, a recent FoI request asked just that. The answer? “The Scottish Government has not formally outlined a definition of 'fairness', as this is subject to the lens, or context, to which it is attributed.” In other words, whatever we want it to mean. Fair play?

MILLIONAIRE Tory MSP Alexander Burnett gave a revealing speech in Tuesday’s Brexit debate, rhapsodising about the opportunities for energy firms outside the EU. There could be so much more “state support” after Brexit, he panted. Only belatedly did he draw attention to his register of interests. Funnily enough, he just happens to own two energy companies.

FAIR fa’ his honest sonsie face, Alex Salmond held a ‘Burns n Brexit’ special on his Kremlin TV show. “What, I wonder, would Rabbie Burns have made of Brexit?” mused co-host and fellow failed MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, before ceasing to wonder and assuming. Apparently we can be “certain” the Bard “would have seen the comic and poetic possibilities of this putative anti-Brexit alliance between the unelected House of Lords and the friends of the people in the Scottish and Welsh parliaments”. So that’s cleared that up, then.

Loading article content

SO, farewell then, Alan Roden. The top spindoctor is leaving Scottish Labour after his clients - Kezia Dugdale, Anas Sarwar and Kez of the Jungle - proved unpolishable flops. Hang on, did we say farewell? We obviously meant welcome back! In a twist he would have damned when Political Editor of the Scottish Daily Mail, Red Roddo is back at Holyrood suckling dreamily on the public teat - as a gopher in Kez’s office.

NOT that his talents stop there. On alandroden.com, he is also touting his considerable comms and public affairs skills. “An unrivalled contacts book following years of stakeholder engagement with decision-makers,” purrs the blurb. We especially liked the gallery: Roddo hobnobbing with Nicola Sturgeon, David Cameron, JK Rowling, and, er, Donald Trump’s helicopter at Turnberry. To his credit, he also includes his sweat-soaked jungle wear look. Although future employers may be disappointed to note he now insists on a very sober suit.

MUCH head-scratching on Thursday as the count came in for the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. Despite the big occasion, one SNP MSP was absent. Unspun hears a flu-ridden Stewart Stevenson dragged himself from bed in Linlithgow only to find the trains cancelled by a rockfall. He grabbed a cab, but got to Holyrood five minutes late. A former transport minister, he may want a word with the current incumbent, Humza Yousaf.

AFTER a fallow period in Unspun, Nat MSP Richard Lyle returns with a vengeance after a stellar turn on Wednesday, heroically defending Michael Matheson. All the criticism of his spotless idol had a “deeply personal undertone,” he growled. “That is why I want to start my remarks by focusing on my personal experience of the Cabinet Secretary for Justice.” At which point the Official Report records the immortal line: “Members: Oh, come on.”

MSPs “can be bored with that if they want to be,” Mr Lyle snapped back. But they weren’t for long, as he recalled his first meeting with Mr Matheson in 1997 when he was an “excellent” election candidate. “You’ll go far, son,” Mystic Dick told his future superior. This was all too much sycophancy for Deputy PO Christine Grahame: “I gently chide Mr Lyle. This is not a job reference.” Mr Matheson’s crimson mug suggested no job is ever likely.