WHAT a week. If the UK Covid Inquiry, the Post Office Inquiry, John Swinney’s governmental priorities speech, and the latest development in Operation Branchform wasn’t enough, we’ve also had the launch of a General Election.

The first days of the election have gone generally how you might expect: with UK party bosses jetting up north to show that they actually do think about people in Scotland, sometimes, honest.

On Thursday, Rishi Sunak had his first campaign trip north of the Border.

The National was set to have a reporter on the scene, and even made arrangements – until it transpired that the “near Inverness” in the initial press call meant the Port of Nigg.

READ MORE: John Swinney cancels Shetland visit as plane forced to divert

The green freeport up in Sutherland is a worthy stop on any campaign trail, but it is almost an hour from Inverness by car.

Unfortunately, the late notice and difficult public transport situation led us not to send anyone to question the Tory leader.

Well, I say unfortunately, but one media colleague who did make the journey said they’d spent 25 minutes in the car for every one minute they were allowed to speak to the Prime Minister. And they hadn’t even been driving from the central belt.

The long journey might go some way to explaining the bags under journalists’ eyes at Keir Starmer’s own Scottish campaign launch on Friday.

The National:

Labour had chosen a much more accessible spot: A multimillionaire peer and party donor’s office building in Glasgow’s Gorbals area, complete with a shiny gold plaque on the wall proclaiming that “Prime Minister Gordon Brown” had opened it.

The office building came with some handy trappings that allowed Starmer to avoid some embarrassing moments – with protesters being quietly escorted away by police before they could even approach the security gates inside.

Giving a speech to the party faithful and no one else, Starmer was keen to insist that he represents a new Labour. Not New Labour like the old one under Brown and Tony Blair, of course – and definitely not Labour like under Jeremy Corbyn. A new Labour.

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In fact, Starmer spent so much of his time pledging “change” he seems to have largely forgotten to mention what exactly he will do differently to the Tories these last 14 years.

Same spending rules, same two-child benefit cap, same favours from mates in the Lords (which won’t be getting scrapped). Just “change”.

How will Labour convince independence supporters who are only going to lend them a vote to boot out the Tories to back his party – or the Union – permanently? “Change.”

How will Labour reach out to north east oil and gas workers? “Change.”

How will a change at the head of the UK Government filter through and deliver change for the devolved nation of Scotland? That, apparently, was a “really good question”.

The answer? “We've got to deliver change.”

It’s almost as if Labour realise that their strongest feature in voters’ eyes is, by far, simply that they are not the Tories.