THE Scottish Tories are hunting for fresh blood. Douglas Ross’s mob are advertising three senior posts at the party of perpetual opposition – chief of staff to the leader, head of media and head of research. Of the three, Unspun reckons the head of research is the position most urgently in need of filling. The job ads were placed on the website of that famous Conservative hangout, The Guardian.
AS for what lies in store for applicants, details are vague. Pay is cryptic but “competitive”. While the “person specification” for both the media and research roles declares: “We value diversity, welcome applications from all backgrounds, and appoint on merit.” However this worthy line is missing from the chief of staff’s job spec. Instead, there is a requirement to be “sympathetic to the aims and values of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party”. So mates not merit seems fine. Tory cronyism? Who’d have guessed!
MORE maiden speeches, with Green MSP Ariane Burgess lighting up Wednesday’s debate on Gaelic. “My sense is that Gaelic at the moment is like a tiny little glowing ember in a fire, and it’s that moment, for those of you who light fires, where you’re not quite sure whether that ember is going to take or just go out,” she told MSPs. We must “fan the flames of the fire”, she urged. A new Gaelic high school in Edinburgh would lack “the potential for that fire” if not well located. “When you build a fire, you need to put your twigs together so the flame catches light and moves through the fire,” she explained. An MSP to watch. Seriously: keep her away from matches.
SNP MP Joanna Cherry was raging at PMQs after Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey demanded her prime spot to bang on about his byelection win. The querulous QC later tweeted he “made me give up my seat for him… in a very forceful manner”, implying her “gender critical views” had made her “fair game for nasty behaviour. No one, including in my own party, will defend me.” No names mentioned, but Unspun suspects she may have Nat Stephen Flynn in mind, as he was next to her throughout. Chivalry may not be dead, but it seems at a low ebb in the Aberdeen South MP.
What a load of Boris
ALSO at PMQs, Boris Johnson insisted he was “seldom away from Scotland and cannot wait to be back there as soon as possible”. Really? Recent trips have seen him go behind the barbed-wire at two military bases, to a remote farm, and to an even remoter whisky distillery where he insisted he had met the public in Scotland “loads of times” but failed to give examples of where and when. It seems “seldom away from Scotland” actually means “seldom near Scots voters”.
FINALLY, as we bid adieu until the autumn, a last mention of Ian ‘Two Crofts’ Blackford. The SNP Westminster leader popped up lathered in tweed this week in a political documentary. Keen to boost his rustic cred, the Edinburgh financier turned Skye MP was shown feeding a lamb and filling a water trough.“Despite what some of my opponents say, I am a working crofter,” he chortled. A slight rewriting of history there. Ian famously told MPs he was not merely a crofter but a “humble” one, which caused great mirth. A new £40,000 Land Rover, for example, was tactfully out of shot.