Drumlanrig: All puffed out at SNP headquarters

THE SNP has taken a tough anti-tobacco stance during its time in power with policies such as the introduction of restrictions on cigarette displays.

Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone. Picture: Julie Bull
Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone. Picture: Julie Bull

However, the issue of smokers outside the SNP’s HQ Gordon Lamb House – close to the Scottish Parliament, came to the fore this week.

The management of the building that houses the SNP put up notices outside warning customers from a café opposite to watch where they smoke in the public area near Gordon Lamb House, as smoke was being blown through the windows.

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A billion reasons to be sceptical about police costs

THE Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland was quick to correct any impression of extravagance as he spotted MSPs in an audience he was addressing at Holyrood this week.

Iain Livingstone (left) was telling a conference of prosecutors how the new national force was among the biggest law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom with a budget of more than £1 billion to boot, despite the ongoing climate of austerity.

“But for any politicians who might be here, we are doing what we can to bring that down,” he quickly added.

Hopefully MSPs Jenny Marra and Christina McKelvie were suitably assured as they looked on.

Lovers’ note from Stewart, but let’s not lose our heads

The colourful love-life of Mary, Queen of Scots has prompted claim and counter claim throughout the centuries – but MSPs were startled to be told recently how it prompted breakthroughs in digital security.

That was the revelation from the ever-illuminating Nationalist backbencher Stewart Stevenson during an otherwise mundane meeting on electronic signatures in online documents.

“Mary, Queen of Scots was born in 1542, and she used the process of having single keys that no-one shared in order to correspond with her lovers – it is exactly that process that we are looking at here, albeit that the key is electronic,” he told a recent meeting of the Delegated Powers and Law reform committee.

A suggestion that the word “lovers” be written into the Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Bill was quickly shot down.