Unspun: the political newspaper | HeraldScotland


Conservative MP for ABERDEENSHIRE Andrew Bowie has regularly featured in Unspun for various blunders, but he better get some press on Tuesday. In the morning, he posted a photo of an ultrasound to announce that he and his partner Maddie were “ecstatic” over a baby Bowie on the way. Alas, after lunch he was overshadowed by SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announcing that she too was due for a joyful event. Bad luck, Andrew. What are the odds that if Maddie has twins, Kate will have triplets?

baby talk

Speaking of weird, Mrs. Forbes’ government proclamation had a line only a politician could write. “My husband Ali and I are absolutely thrilled,” she said of the clip. “I am also delighted to be the first Cabinet Secretary to take maternity leave in Scotland, which I hope sends a clear and strong message that holding a position of leadership in the public eye should not be an obstacle to starting a family.” Equally satisfied? Sending a leadership message equals the kick of a new life? They are politicians for you people.

Three men and one…

The maternity leave gap shines the spotlight on Ms Forbes’ three junior ministers, Richard Lochhead, Ivan McKee and Tom Arthur. Who will be able to intervene and audition for the firm? It should be a good scramble. Although, maybe that should be about the maverick Nat Kenny Gibson. Never having been a minister but smarter than most, he stormed through Thursday’s budget debate, easily eclipsing his bosses. We particularly liked his article on LibDem Willie Rennie. “I prefer to accept interventions from members of one of the two major parties,” he told her. Without thanks.

Mr Bosse

THE budget debate also saw MSPs congratulate Ms Forbes. The strangest effort was that of Labour’s Paul Sweeney, who chose to remind her of the horrors of childbirth. “I’m sure the experience will be even scarier than the budget,” he said, before adding hastily, “but it will turn out great.” He then somehow got worse with: ‘Labour won’t be supporting the budget today – I’m sorry if it’s not really a baby shower present’. Ah, the MSPs. They think they’re like us, you know.

cool head

The debate prompted a bizarre LibDems press release about their leader, which included the line “Speaking in the bedroom, Mr. Alex Cole-Hamilton said…” Well, up to a point. The disembodied leader of Mr Cole-Hamilton spoke on an internet connection, but he said: ‘I am sorry to join Parliament remotely, having tested positive for Covid-19 this morning.’

Listen with mom

Mr Cole-Hamilton was more prominent in a debate he held on Tuesday over BBC funding, although other MSPs continued to fill him with reminiscences. Nat Jenni Minto “grew up watching Swap Shop and Grange Hill.” Curator Donald Cameron worked briefly for the BBC’s Washington DC bureau after college. SNP’s Angus Robertson capped that off with the boast: “I worked for the BBC for nearly a decade as a correspondent in Vienna.” But Christine Grahame topped them all with fond sepia memories of “gathering around the wireless family – that is, the radio, for the members – listening to Dan Dare and Life with the Lyons”. And when a small television arrived in 1952, “we invited neighbors to watch with the accompaniment of Shippam pastry sandwiches and the luxury of a glass of lemonade”. Somehow, Sarah Boyack’s praise for River City didn’t quite add up.


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