I’M still on COP26 manoeuvres, ordered to stay in Glasgow throughout the Climate Summit and be Nicola’s eyes and ears on the ground.

I’m growing very fond of this big, glad city and am almost tempted to purchase a little pied-a-terre here with what’s left of Grandmama’s endowment. I’m told there’s a place on the southern approaches known locally as the Castle of Milk and referred to charmingly by the locals as the Chateau du Lait. There’s also the Priest’s Hill and the Fossil Park which both sound rather enchanting and pastoral.


THE FM has given me an exclusive private number on which to reach her for the duration of COP26. Although the UK Government is trying strenuously to keep her at arm’s length, she’s planning a few speeches as a means of surreptitiously grabbing a piece of the action.

I’ve hit on a rather splendid idea that might appeal to her. I caught it on the BBC’s Breakfast news but am sure it could be owned and customised by Nicola. It’s called Shrinkflation.

It seems that some large household brands are making their products smaller, yet continuing to charge the same price for them as before. It’s a dastardly ruse by Big Business to maximise profits. But what if we were to take ownership of it in Scotland and turn it to our advantage?

Scotland has an obesity problem, especially in its poorest estates where bad diet and excess alcohol are taking a toll. This is hardly surprising given that healthy food products are often over-priced and the gas and electricity required to prepare proper meals often prohibit the art of cooking.

But what if we were to ensure that confectionery and unhealthy comestibles were all made in much smaller sizes? That would combat the obesity problem. We could also relax the minimum unit pricing of alcohol for a period so that the locals were less able to notice that they were consuming their steak-bakes and crispy pancake rolls in much smaller sizes.

And then once their palates had grown accustomed to this we would simply raise the booze price again. It’s all jolly sustainable and would steal the thunder from Boris.


I’M mortified. I had hoped that Nicola might pop through to Glasgow to discuss my idea further over louche cocktails in an intimate city centre wine-bar. I imagined her in her rather fetching lilac two-piece by Vialli & Conti sipping a Long Tall Swally in Blue Dog while a lone musician played soulful love songs on a pink trombone. She’d be rocking her Louboutins gently back and forth and circling her glass with her little finger in that way that women do. A La Pirlo bag would be at her feet, hinting at something dark and glorious.

However, she was not amused by my Shrinkflation suggestion. “Rupert; that would be like a tax on the poor. You’ll need to do better than that.”

There was ice in her voice and my ardour cooled more than just somewhat. I resolve to re-double my efforts to find something more substantial with which to embarrass Boris.


I’M feeling rather deflated, if truth be told and the morning greets me bleakly. I resolve to get howling in some benighted tavern as a means of drowning my sorrows. I alight on a rather startling little souk in the east end of the city called Barrowland, featuring a pub called The Hoops Bar. To my surprise and no great delight I espy two familiar faces. It’s none other than Alas Smith and McDonald, the SNP’s undeadly duo.

I’ve had my issues with this pair, but they’re great fun really and always up for a shimmy. They’re already a bit sparkling with the jungle juice and provide me with some startling information. They’re both well-connected at MI5 and tell me that a substantial group of top Tory politicians are involved in a property carve-up during COP26 which the spooks have been keeping an eye on.

Seems that since Glasgow was announced as the venue they got together with the Russian mafia to buy up dozens of properties at knock-down prices in the city’s arboreal west end. They were owned by drug barons unable to meet their financial obligations owing to the Covid. In return for holding on to their limbs they were only too glad to sell.

Half of them have been turned into high-class massage parlours offering extras at five grand a pop (if you’ll excuse the term) and the other half are being rented out at 100k a week for the duration of the Climate Summit, and on the understanding they’ll be sold back at cost price. This is a proper scandal. And what’s more Nicola will be delighted when I tell her about it.