Snippets from the past week in the political sphere


NEVER mind pandas. Scenes in the SNP offices at Holyrood were more reminiscent of Goldilocks and the Three Bears last week.

After a mini-reshuffle, the new local government and planning minister Derek Mackay found himself in the ministerial tower in the Scottish Parliament.

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Mackay was startled to find that there was no vacant office for the new boy. The only empty one was that of Alex Salmond, who was on his trip to China.

“Who’s been sitting in my chair?” Salmond is likely to growl when the SNP’s “Daddy Bear” comes back to Edinburgh.


SCOTLAND’S stunning triumph in the European Curling Championships in Moscow led to much delight on Twitter, where politicians were rushing online to congratulate the winning team, led by Eve Muirhead, right.

“Brilliant result,” tweeted Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP minister for the environment.

According to Muirhead’s Twitter feed, she scored a second “brilliant result” when she discovered that Scotland’s other national drink Irn Bru was on sale at the stadium.


HURRICANE “Bawbag” was not so severe as to cause the structural damage warned of in forecasts running up to Thursday. Most buildings survived intact. As for the £400 million Scottish Parliament building, built to last a thousand years? Er. The parliament declared on Thursday that “two granite cladding panels had become partially detached from the south elevation of Tower 1. The situation was dealt with quickly; the panels were removed and the areas nearby were cordoned off as a precaution.” In these stormy times, democracy is endangering people in more ways that might be imagined.


WITH Tom Harris, Ken Macintosh and Johann Lamont coming down the final straight in the race to become the new leader of the Scottish Labour Party, it is the latter who is deemed the most likely to win. The talk within the party is that she may perform a Neil Kinnock role – taking on an unreconstructed shell and handing on something that looks more credible. At least Lamont avoided the embarrassment suffered by Macintosh, right, last week. The party’s education spokesman stuck out a statement criticising the approach taken at First Minister’s Questions by “Ian Gray”. Unfortunately, Mr Gray’s first name is spelt “Iain”. At least Mr Macintosh remembered Mr Gray’s name – unlike Ed Miliband, who forgot Mr Macintosh’s name when discussing the candidates in October.