Cameron, the Queen (and independence) at FMQs

Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs Image copyright PA Media

Nicola Sturgeon was nearing the end of an exhaustive (no, not exhausting, exhaustive) answer. Building to a conclusion, she noted: "Finally on independence…"

Cue ironic cheers from the Tories and others. It is not common, in truth, for Ms Sturgeon's opponents to laud the FM. But this seemed like a gift.

To her credit, the first minister rallied swiftly and effectively. She paused. She smiled. She clarified. For the avoidance of doubt, she reserved the right to return - more than once - to the topic of independence.

To be fair, she had been bowled a single transferable question by Patrick Harvie of the Greens. Climate change plus indyref2.

On the environment, he urged her to abandon fossil fuels in whatever form. She responded, not for the first time, that said fuel must play a part in Scotland's power grid for the foreseeable future, while renewable alternatives were developed.

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'Worst case' or 'base scenario'? Words matter

John Finnie
Image caption The long hand of John Finnie landed on the wrong shoulder this time

Words matter, as politicians and pursuing journalists will attest. Such was amply demonstrated at Holyrood today.

John Finnie of the Greens rose magisterially, with evident intent (he does magisterial rather well, as a former senior copper).

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What question would a fresh Brexit poll ask?

EU referendum ballot paper
Image caption What might the question be if there were a second EU referendum?

Just when you thought Brexit couldn't get any more complicated, here's a further thought to add to the cumulative clanjamfrie.

Humour me and suppose that there might be a further referendum. On membership of the European Union, that is.

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Scunnered? MSPs debate no-deal Brexit

Nicola Sturgeon Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon stressed her opposition to Brexit in any form

We are nearing the end, declared Donald Cameron of the Conservatives. Above the chamber hovered the spectre of public disenchantment, sighing "if only".

Said spectre, whom we will name Scunner, spoke sibilantly for many. But successive MSPs at Holyrood warned against heeding this ghostly presence.

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Spending Review: Sajid Javid departs from the formula

Sajid Javid Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sajid Javid set out his spending plans at a tumultuous time for the UK government

Every Chancellor has his own style. I say "his" advisedly as, thus far, there has not been a female occupant of the office.

William Ewart Gladstone used to numb the House with the length of his speeches, as well as their erudition. His first Budget address endured for nearly five hours.

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One insult, one apology: Holyrood is back

Nicola Sturgeon Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged the existence of a climate emergency

The Holyrood head count thus far today? One insult (at least). One apology. Tame, of course, by comparison with the visceral, permanent feud that is Westminster. But give them time.

I write "head count" advisedly. The topic was tonsorial. Raised, very unwisely, by Jackson Carlaw, he who once again finds himself the interim leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

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Johnson in Scotland: PM says he is 'at one' with Ruth Davidson

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Media captionNew Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson's "number one fan"

Every party conference has them; trigger lines which are guaranteed to draw a thunderous round of applause, accompanied by much cranial nodding.

For the Tories, it is, of course, the Union which generally sparks such responses. Or, if you are really trying to work the audience, "our precious Union".

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Bombastic Boris Johnson is back

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Media captionBoris Johnson says Britain would be “clean, green, prosperous, united, confident and ambitious”.

It used to be said of the SNP, by critics and also by pragmatic adherents, that if passion were sufficient then Scotland would be independent by now.

Critics made the point to sound a broadly dismissive note. Internal pragmatists sought to encourage their fellow Nationalists to accept that the sceptical section of the electorate needed explanation as well as exhortation.

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A solemn start for Prime Minister Johnson

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Media captionBoris Johnson's first speech as UK PM: "Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here"

With self-effacing drollery, Malcolm Rifkind is wont to recount his own experience of losing office: climbing portentously into the back seat of a car, only to find it goes nowhere.

Sans chauffeur, sans power, sans everything.

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Prime Minister Johnson's political honeymoon is already over

Boris Johnson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boris Johnson gave an energetic performance in his victory speech - but energy may not be enough

So how was it for you? The Boris Johnson political honeymoon, that is. For the avoidance of doubt, it is now over. In truth, it never started.

No doubt you followed the Conservative leadership announcement on the BBC, with the wonderfully energetic Norman Smith proclaiming the scene outside the London venue to be "plaza del chaos", replete as it was with competing demonstrators.

Read full article Prime Minister Johnson's political honeymoon is already over