Unspun: the political diary | HeraldScotland

ANAS Sarwar included a lot of personal anecdotes in his speech to Scottish Labour conference yesterday. Like the time he came home knackered after campaigning to learn his six-year-old son had been asked to write an essay at school about their favourite person and chosen him. “Quite sweet, right?” he sighed. The teacher had also asked him to sum up their favourite person in one word. He wrote ‘clown’. As if to prove him right, Mr Sarwar later declared his party had to be “rooted in the future”. Sounds totally secure.

Crystal mauls

TALKING of the future, SNP Finance Secretary Kate Forbes may have had a glimpse of hers on Tuesday as she launched her big economic plan in Dundee. In the Q&A, one stakeholder addressed her as “First Minister”, before adding: “Sorry, cabinet secretary. Freudian slip there.” But it proved to be more Nostradamus than Freud. Within hours, Ms Forbes was involved in a series of bruising rows, and got jeered by MSPs at Holyrood for excessive Government secrecy. It was almost as if she really was spending the day in Nicola Sturgeon’s shoes. 

Double trouble
Our irregular ‘Where are they now?’ feature turns this week to former Holyrood Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh, who has just updated the world (ok, his LinkedIn profile) about his new adventures. Since leaving parliament last year, the former Eastwood MSP has started helping four charities and become “associate director” of a local business. The firm is Arden Strategies, the consultancy run by ex-Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy. The pair used to share an office when one was the MP for the area and the other the MSP. That’s what you need in a consultancy – plenty of imagination.

You Indy Live twice

Unspun vaguely recalls Alex Salmond and Nicola Salmond describing the 2014 independence referendum as a once in a lifetime event. But it seems it was only a warm-up. SNP HQ is currently sending out letters to lapsed members begging them to rejoin, saying their support is vital as “we get set to undertake the campaign of our lifetimes”. It is signed by Ms Sturgeon, who evidently has more lifetimes than Indyref has scheduled dates.
Dancing Quine

ABERDEENSHIRE Nat Gillian Martin has become the latest MSP to bare their musical tastes in Holyrood magazine. Most of it appears to be deeply private. She doesn’t like dancing in public and only does karaoke overseas where no one knows her. Perhaps it’s for the best. She did once duet with her husband and his band in an Aberdeenshire pub on Fairytale of New York. “I did the Kirsty MacColl bit,” she said. Pause. “They didn’t ask me to come back the next year.” Not all fairytales have a happy ending…

Soccer shocker 

ON the subject of  broken dreams – and other shattered objects – Kilmarnock SNP MP Alan Brown came down to earth with a bump this week, Unspun hears. After a game of football with his fellow Nats, he picked up two broken bones and is now hobbling around Westminster in a moon boot. And we thought they were saving tackles like that for a second referendum. Mr Brown’s caring colleague David Linden then posted a picture of the group on Twitter asking mockingly, ‘Which of these Ballon d’Or winners ended the night in hospital?’ With teammates like that…

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