IT’S the last week of campaigning for the council elections and we gather for a final push and a pep talk from Nicola. She’s on great form and leaves us with a rousing message: “You’re doing this not only for our futures, but for the futures of Scotland’s children. And remember, let’s be positive and let’s show the world that we can bring a new morality to Scottish politics.”

I have an idea to set the Toriesgas at a peep. I contact my friend Chloe at the Glasgow Conservatoire and ask her to gather some of her drama students and to have them pose as travelling folk.

My plan is to have them stalk Douglas Ross on one of his walkabout tours of Edinburgh on the day before the council election. It’s to remind voters that the Scottish Tory leader’s main concern – as expressed in an old interview – was to get rid of Gypsy/Travellers.


AS I enter my office in St Andrew’s House my senses are piqued by the delightful late-spring musk of flowers in bloom. A large bouquet of roses is waiting for me and I quickly inspect the little card that accompanies them. “To our favouritest (very) Special Agent. Thank you for making our dreams come true. Stewart and Alyn xxx.”

It’s from Stewart McDonald and Alyn Smith, the free west’s twin tormentors of Vladimir Putin. Following years of warning the British people about the dangers of appeasing Russia’s mad president they were more than a little put out when their names didn’t appear on the Kremlin’s blacklist of UK politicos who were to be refused entry to Russia.

“Please help us get on that list,” they’d begged. I like Stewart and Alyn and once spent an enjoyable evening with them playing Risk at my Westminster pied-a-terre where I had to admit defeat after Stewart deployed his famed virtual battlefield skills by swooping to take the decisive territory of Kamchatka on which my annexation of Europe had hinged.

And so, I’d phoned my old friend Colonel Olaf, the former Soviet Spetsnaz black-ops specialist who was now building a rather formidable property and leisure portfolio in Edinburgh’s New Town. The Colonel, who once served with an uncle of President Putin on the famous Lev Yashin nuclear submarine during the Cold War, placed a single phone call to an unknown Moscow number.

And – lo and behold – Stewart and Alyn have now received notification from the British secret service that their names will duly be added to Moscow’s banned list in the not-too-distant future. They were also advised not to be unduly distressed and to upgrade their personal security measures.

“Distressed,” declared a delighted Stewart, “why, we’re absolutely buzzing about it.”


THEY say that karma’s a b**** if you leave her unrequited for too long. And now it seems I might have to pay for being neglectful in my duties towards her.

I’d first solicited the services of Colonel Olaf and his former Soviet black-ops comrades to help rescue Peter Murrell from the clutches of the Durty Nellie Irish racing syndicate when our esteemed chief executive had attempted to make a sizeable return on the fabled £600k in party funds.

Peter’s idea (which I fully endorsed) was to buy a part-share in a horse which was a cert to win the main prizes at the famous Leopardstown Racecourse in Dublin. And thence to cash in on the expected stud fees. Wretchedly, the Irish connections reneged on the deal, kidnapped Peter, and began making threats regarding the immediate future of some of his limbs and appendages.

Colonel Olaf and his team stepped in, rescued Peter and disposed of the entire syndicate during an “accidental” explosion at a remote farmhouse on the outskirts of Dublin. Of course, we’d had to reward the Colonel for services rendered and managed to get him and his associates a sizeable slice of the planned Edinburgh tram extension and a couple of contracts in the capital’s vibrant waste disposal sector. They were also building a rather eye-catching portfolio of assets in the city’s relaxation industry down by Scotland Street.

Perhaps, though, I’d over-reached myself when I asked them to deal with the senior civil servant who’d threatened to blow the cover of Murdo Fraser, our top independence sleeper in the Conservative Party.

This has returned to haunt me more than just a little as I take a call from Jeremy Surbiton-Potdevin, of The Daily Telegraph and a semi-literate popinjay who normally couldn’t find a story even if it came up and bit him on the nose. But he’s obviously stumbled

across my stratagems by accident. “It’s about the missing £600k and the government’s connections to a former Soviet hit-team,” he says. We agree to meet the following day at Lambert & Burley’s on George Street.