THE Scottish Politician of the Year Awards continued its descent into trolling, this year awarding the top prizes to Jackie Baillie and Alister Jack.

Jack was given the award for his services to overruling the Scottish Parliament and traducing democracy. It says a great deal about the state of the Scottish media that undermining the devolution settlement in the name of stoking up the culture wars, and presiding over pork barrel politics in order to distract from the many and manifest failures of a right-wing British nationalist government, should be deemed something worthy of rewarding with a prize and not the complete and utter condemnation that it really deserves.

However at the time of writing it had still not been confirmed whether the main reason for giving the award to Jack was to see if he'd show up when he receives an invitation from Scotland.

Who hurt you, Penny Mordaunt?

The National: Penny Mordaunt

Someone really needs to show failed Conservative leadership candidate Penny Mordaunt a teddy bear in a tartan bow tie and Tam o Shanter cap and ask her to point to where the nasty Scottish separatists hurt her.

She clearly seems to have some deep-rooted feelings of hurt and rejection stemming from Scotland's obstinate refusal to embrace the Tories' right-wing, British nationalist, God Save the King, hating on the poor and migrants project.

Following on from her remarks that Scotland is plagued by rats and Victorian diseases, Mordaunt acidly claimed – during a reply in the Commons to SNP MP Deidre Brock, who mocked Mordaunt's cringe-worthy conference speech in which she repeatedly urged people to "stand up and fight" – that the only legacy of SNP government at Holyrood was that Scots now have “somewhere warm and safe to take heroin”.

This is of course in marked contrast to the legacy of Mordaunt's Conservative Government, which is depriving many thousands of anywhere safe and warm to take anything at all.

If the SNP or anyone else had urged people to "stand up and fight" against Mordaunt and her dismal government, her party would call it hate speech and incitement to terrorism.

Mordaunt's borderline racist and downright nasty comment, playing to the English Conservative stereotype that Scots are all heroin addicts who shoot up on solid gold toilets paid for by the English taxpayer, was condemned by the chief executive of the Scottish Drugs Forum, Kirsten Horsburgh, who said that Mordaunt's comments could "cost lives".

The condemnation was echoed by prominent safe consumption campaigner Peter Krykant, who suggested that the remark proves that Mordaunt sees drug users "as disposable".

Keir Starmer’s latest Brexit blunder

The National: Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer, the Labour party leader who wants us all to accept the Conservatives' hard Brexit and refuses to consider the UK rejoining the single market or customs union never mind the EU, has chosen the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's ninth symphony as the piece of music which best “sums up the Labour party”. The song is widely known as the official anthem of the EU.

There are any number of songs which characterise Starmer's Labour party rather better than the anthem of an international organisation that he wants the UK to turn its back on, such as "Somebody that I Used to Know" by Gotye. This is a song about the betrayal of trust and how those we formerly trusted and relied upon turn into "somebody that I used to know" after a breach of trust. Or in Labour's case, a political party that working class people used to know before it turned into Thatcher with a sad face.

Alternatively there's "Backstabber" by Kesha, a song about a former friend who is revealed to have been a hypocritical two-faced manipulator all along. That sums up Starmer perfectly, a man who was happy to make all sorts of left wing and socially liberal commitments in order to secure himself the leadership of the Labour party – but the moment that he attained that power he turned his back on those promises and revealed that he has been flirting with conservatism the whole time.

Alex Salmond’s legal case

The National: Alex Salmond

Former first minister and current leader of the Alba party Alex Salmond has announced that he is taking legal action against the Scottish Government, seeking millions in damages over the mishandling of the investigations into him following allegations of sexual misconduct which were not upheld in a subsequent trial.

This new civil court action will confirm Alex Salmond's standing as a divisive figure.

It will be lauded by his supporters who will doubtless see it as the latest chapter in his and their vendetta against Nicola Sturgeon, whom they accuse of not really being interested in pursuing independence. Supporters will point to the fact that no one has suffered any consequences for the botched investigation, and see it as an attempt to seek redress and to hold someone to account.

On the other hand, others will see it as more evidence of Salmond putting his ego before the unity of the independence movement, and an attempt to regain the spotlight after the failure of his Alba party to make any significant electoral or polling impact.

This piece is an extract from today’s REAL Scottish Politics newsletter, which is emailed out at 7pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from the Wee Ginger Dug.

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