Snippets from the past week in the political sphere

Murdoch’s mystery brush with Fox

Anyone who doubts the reach of the Murdoch clan would surely have to think again after reading through the reams of papers released by Rupert to the Leveson Inquiry last week. One sets out the meetings held by News International executives since 2009 with Government ministers. Along with the records of meetings on the usual issues of media ownership, is one surprise tête à tête that James Murdoch had with Dr Liam Fox – at the time, still Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence. The subject matter? “Update on strategic challenges”, the note records. What was Murdoch hoping to achieve? Bomb the BBC? Sadly no further details are available.

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Revealing view on the state of independence

There can be no doubt that Rupert Murdoch’s finger remains on the pulse. Asked about his views on Scottish independence at the Leveson Inquiry, the Dirty Digger replied: “Well, it’s a little emotional. I am attracted by the idea, but I’m not convinced.” If that doesn’t sum up the mood of hesitant Scottish voters right now, what does?

Copeland tees off night with a Trump tease

Alex Salmond must have been desperate for some light relief this week after his mauling at the hands of Donald Trump and the row over his “warm” relationship with “Sir” Rupert Murdoch.

Fortunately for the First Minister, there was laughter when he went to the Wits Dinner, the lavish charity do at Prestonfield House Hotel that raises cash for St Columba’s Hospice. Speaking there was the lugubrious former lawyer Bill Copeland. “I’ll say one thing for Donald Trump,” said Copeland. “I have been to see his golf course and it is unique. It is the only course in the world where the rough is combed over on to the fairways.”

Kevins to Betsy – time to find Pringle pronto

Surely it can’t be mere coincidence that whenever Alex Salmond seems to find himself in a spot of hot water, his spinmeister in chief Kevin Pringle is posted missing.

“Where’s Kevin,” was the cry echoing around the corridors of power last week as the criticism from Trump and the praise from Murdoch added to Salmond’s woes. Pringle’s devotion to his master is such that he hardly ever seems to take time off. He did have a break last year, a holiday that saw Salmond mount an intemperate and controversial attack on the Supreme Court.

Apparently, Pringle was unwell last week. Thankfully for Salmond, he has now risen from his sick bed and is doing his best to steady Salmond’s ship.