THE past year has been filled with torrid political tales and newspaper headlines dominated by allegations of corruption, second jobs and illegal Christmas parties in Number 10.

But it wasn’t all awful news, and there are some political stories that have made us belly-laugh throughout the long months of 2021. As we head into 2022, The National has picked out the funniest news items from the past 12 months, in no particular order.

Storming the gates

IN a twist to the pandemic that no-one saw coming, in August a group of anti-lockdown protestors “seized” Edinburgh Castle claiming they were acting lawfully under the Magna Carta. Their Scots law may not be up to scratch but you have to give them points for effort and creativity.

Tag team

COWDENBEATH SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing must have been completely confused by her Twitter notifications on February 15 this year. WWE wrestler Mick Foley accidentally tagged her in a post congratulating a fellow wrestling star on his move to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), much to the hysteria and amusement of wrestling fans and Scots.

Facebook fail

IN all honesty, we could probably pull together a list of Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross’s gaffes for its own article, but a particular favourite in The National newsroom this year was the absolute failure of his Facebook live streams. From being tricked into reading out the phrase “Mike Oksmells” to watching him slowly lose the plot over the comments section, it was no wonder he stopped doing them.

Mr President

COP26 dominated headlines in November, but one particular moment put the backs up of Unionists across the country – when Nicola Sturgeon was pictured meeting with US president Joe Biden. One Tory MP had told the Mail there were three objectives at the climate summit, one of which was to stop the FM from getting a photo with Biden. Unfortunately for them, the two leaders did meet and Biden even sent the FM a gift. You could almost hear their blood boiling.

The National:

Vroom Vroom Peppa Pig

THERE were a few moments this year when it looked as if Prime Minister Boris Johnson had lost the plot, but his speech to the CBI in November was so bizarre Downing Street had to confirm he was “well” afterwards. In a cringeworth address, Johnson lost his place in his notes for a couple of minutes, muttering “forgive me” three times, told business leaders about a trip to Peppa Pig World, imitated a speeding car, referenced Vladimir Lenin and compared himself to Moses. Cringeworthy doesn’t even cover it.

‘Colin, you can make me whole again’

WE did say Ross had a few gaffes this year but his rendition of Atomic Kitten’s Whole Again in response to Colin Mackay from STV asking what his dance-off routine for second place would be –after Anas Sarwar displayed his dancing skills to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk – was particularly mortifying. Never mind Ross’s obsession with that particular song, but the fact that he had a pre-prepared dance routine was almost too much to take.

First Minister’s Lengthy Questions

OPPOSITION parties continually kicked off at the First Minister during COP26 for spending too much time at the summit, but when Sturgeon took the time to give detailed responses during FMQs at Holyrood, which lasted for 59 minutes, Tory MSP Murdo Fraser called for the parliament to step in. Next year, we would suggest the Scottish Tories consider picking one side of the argument and sticking to it as their New Year’s resolution.

Racer Rennie

SCOTTISH Parliamentary election campaigns won’t be the same now that Willie Rennie has stepped down as Scottish leader of the LibDems, replaced by Alex Cole-Hamilton. Rennie had a particular love of large props and even spent some time in a race car during the May election campaign, the reasons why are still unclear. 

The National:

Kerr’s bubble burst

TORY MSP Stephen Kerr tried to claim that the Scottish Government was “bloated” after the historic SNP-Green co-operation agreement added two Greens ministers, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater, to the Cabinet. But Sturgeon swiftly hit back and agreed that Scotland is “over-governed” and there is “some bloating”, adding: “Some people call it the Scotland Office”.

A smarter man would have seen that one coming.


IN a beef that absolutely no-one saw coming, US rapper Nicki Minaj branded BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg a “dumbo” in a row over Covid vaccines and impotency. Minaj also posted a bizarre clip of herself imitating a British accent after she was criticised by UK Government ministers, including Johnson, for spreading false information.

Raver of the Duchy of Lancaster

THE last thing you would want to see in an Aberdeen nightclub would be Tory MP Michael Gove showcasing his dance moves. But for some punters, this was unfortunately the case in August when they were left gobsmacked by Gove waving his arms, twisting his hips and strutting across the dancefloor. Let’s hope next year doesn’t see a repeat.

Up the Fa-RA-ge

GB News presenter and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage had a bit of a howler when he was tricked into reading out a controversial slogan linked to the IRA during a personalised video on Cameo. He was later left red-faced on his lack of knowledge about Northern Ireland after being humiliated when Irish journalist Claire Byrne ripped his argument to pieces.

E-scooter emergency

A MEMBER of the public wrote to Police Scotland after the First Minister was pictured riding on an e-scooter, which are still illegal to ride in public places, in the run-up to the May Holyrood election. But when officers said it was “common sense” not to take action against the FM, it sent Scottish Tories into a tailspin. Pathetic.

The National:

Offord parachuted into Scotland Office

MALCOLM Offord donated £147,500 to the Conservative Party before being given a peerage in the House of Lords and made parliamentary under secretary to Alister Jack in the Scotland Office. Although this is wholly undemocratic, it was amusing that he was brought in instead of Scots Tory MP Andrew Bowie, who later quit as vice-chair of the Tory party. At least the UK Government is consistent at overlooking not only Scotland but our elected MPs as well.