There's petty vindictiveness, and there's Tory petty vindictiveness. 

Not content with vetoing Scottish Parliament legislation and illustrating the limits of the devolution settlement, Alister Jack has announced he intends to seek legal costs from the Scottish Government for having the temerity to challenge his Section 35 fiat in the courts. 

How very dare those uppity peasants try to overturn an order from their imperial master. The total cost of the legal bill is estimated to be around £150,000. 

The decision comes as the Scottish Government announced that it will not seek to pursue its objections to Jack's veto of the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform bill, having lost its legal challenge in the Court of Session last week. 

In an irony-free statement Jack pontificated: "The Scottish Government chose to pursue this litigation in spite of the cost to the taxpayer. These resources would have been better spent addressing the priorities of people in Scotland - such as growing the economy, cutting NHS waiting lists and improving our children’s education." 

This comes from a man who is part of a government which has splurged £250 million on a Rwanda policy which has yet to see a single asylum seeker be sent there, and which wrote off £10 billion in PPE that was either unusable, above market price, or was not delivered. 

The Department of Health and Social Care’s annual report and accounts for 2020-21 show that £8.7bn worth of PPE purchased early in the pandemic was written off. This included £673m for defective PPE not suitable for any use, £2.6bn for items not suitable for NHS use but may be suitable for other uses, £4.7bn from paying inflated prices because of global demand, and £750m for "excess" inventory that passed its expiry date and is held for resale or donation.

Then there's the eye watering cost to the public purse of Liz Truss's ideologically driven destruction of the economy which cost the UK Treasury an estimated £30bn. 

Compared to these figures the money spent by the Scottish Government on its legal challenge was insignificant. But it's not really about the money with Jack, it's about him flexing his British nationalist muscles and showing who the boss is, no matter how petty and pathetic it makes him look. 

Given the wider political context of what the unprecedented decision to use the Section 35 order means for the future of the devolution settlement, the Scottish Government had no real choice but to challenge it. 

Professor Paul Middleton of the University of Chester commented: "Whatever one thinks of the bill, it would have been irresponsible for the Scottish Government not to have challenged an unprecedented veto of entirely competent legislation." 

You might have thought that having deployed the Section 35 order and won the subsequent court case, Jack might have accepted the olive branch of the Scottish Government's decision not to pursue the matter further, and sought to rebuild bridges with Holyrood, but good grace and magnanimity are not in Jack's wheelhouse. 

What Scotland gets from Westminster is government by grudge. 

Apparently, London is in the north of England 

The Conservatives have now decided that London is part of the north of England. The Government announced that £235m from the £8.3bn extra investment made available from the scrapped HS2 scheme will be spent on repairing London's roads.

This is despite the fact that the government had promised that the extra funding would be used on improving transport infrastructure in the north of England. 

Although there appears to be an assumption amongst Tories from the leafier parts of Kent, Sussex or Hampshire that the 'north' starts at Gatwick airport, perhaps the government will take a leaf out of its Rwanda legislation and pass a new law ruling that London really is in the north, wiping out regional inequality within England at a stroke. 

Kim McGuinness, the Labour candidate for mayor of North-East England said not much shocked her about this government anymore and added: “It's incredible to think a Tory minister thought it was a good idea to scrap railway lines to the north and use the cash to fix potholes in London and then show off about it. They’ve given up on the north, haven't they?" 

Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester noted: "Network North seems to include everywhere – except the north." 

But then we should not be surprised by this Tory government thinking that London is in the north of England. It's also a government which cannot wrap its tiny mind around the fact that Scotland is not actually a part of England. 

Will no one think of the rich?

As with Jack's petty decision to seek the legal costs of defending his decision to veto the Scottish Parliament, the Tories are just trolling us all now. 

It was the final First Minister's Questions of the year and as expected Douglas Ross chose to whine about the idea that the highly paid should be expected to contribute a little more in tax to help mitigate the damage wrought to public services by Conservative austerity and funding squeezes. 

Will no one think of the rich? , sniffed the reverse Robin Hood. 

Ross bleated that it was "unfair" that "most Scots" would have to pay more in tax than people in England, a statement roundly denied by the First Minister. 

But unlike the politics of selfishness practiced by Ross and his party, most Scots are quite willing to pay more in taxes in return for better public services. 

NHS Scotland may have its troubles, but at least it is not being paralysed by doctors' strikes such as those assailing the NHS in England.