Unspun: the political newspaper | Herald Scotland
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THIS week’s Virtual National Economic Forum – attended by Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP bigwigs, and based on the theme of ‘the transformation of the Scottish economy’ – featured captions provided by Wordly, a real-time translation software powered by artificial intelligence. He did a remarkable job. Highlights included the prime minister bragging about “peeing” taxi drivers, while SNP minister Michael Matheson reassured businesses that the transition to net zero would “hurt” business opportunities.
SNP MP Pete Wishart is well known for appearing before parliamentary committees with a background of gold records adorning the walls of his Perth home, a reminder of his heyday in the Runrig and Big Country groups. He recently tried to recreate that rock vibe by chairing the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster. Realizing he had forgotten his normal glasses, the only pair of specs the former keyboardist had with him were his prescription sunglasses … which he wore proudly throughout the session, ignoring the chuckles of colleagues deputies.
TRAGIC scenes in Holyrood on Thursday as staff tried to make the most of the good weather by hosting a barbecue in the central garden. By the time a horny hack came down for a burger, everything had been packed and moved inside. Not because of the weather, but because the honey bees of the parliament – there are 11 beehives there – were “everywhere”. Sources say the atmosphere buzzed while it went on. (Sorry.)
AN outbreak of class warfare, as green spinner Tom Freeman slammed young Scottish conservatives on Twitter. “Obviously, you don’t learn to be careful in exclusive private schools anymore,” he chuckled in response to one of their online spikes. “Sorry to break your illusion, but our entire school board went to public schools,” retorted the little capitalists. More than can be said for the Green MSP group, to be fair. In party defense, education spokesman Ross Greer made his way to the top after surviving the wicked streets of … Bearsden.
The madness of euros
Scottish politics came to a halt on Monday as Scotland faced the Czech Republic in euros. “Anyone else having problems with Zoom, work emails and the phone signal? Worse and worse…” an SNP spinner wrote on Twitter as the game approached. The best line went to party leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford, riffing on his usual Brexit complaint. “I wish Scotland and England good luck ahead of Friday night’s football match,” he told PMQ on Wednesday. “But if I may, I hope we don’t see Scotland breaking out of the Euros against our wishes this weekend.
In a recent Unspun article, Salty Rides Again ?, we reported speculation that former SNP MSP Richard Lyle will return to the political front line in next year’s council elections in North Lanarkshire. Mr. Lyle made it clear to us that he was retired and had not applied to SNP HQ to be considered a candidate. We are happy to set the record straight.