Beware the killer bees of Holyrood

Bees Image copyright PA
Image caption Holyrood's bees have been up in arms. Or possibly wings

Inside, the temperature rises, relentlessly. Anxious inmates loosen clothing, decorously, and glance at each other in empathy.

Outside, the killer bees swarm, driving each other collectively berserk, as they perform their frenzied, circular dance, while massing for a final attack.

An episode from John Wyndham? A scene from Gogol? Nah, the final day of the session at Holyrood.

And, ok, they might not be killer bees. They might belong to one of the other 16,000 varieties. But nobody is taking any chances. And there are strict warning signs everywhere, imploring us to avoid the kitchen garden outside Queensberry House, where lurk the bees.

Sagacious advice. Never trust an angry bee. I mean, just think of the daft things folk say about their cousins, the wasp.

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The benefits of listening

mother and daughter Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A payment of £10 a week will be made for every child in families who already receive benefits.

Intriguing statement at Holyrood, with political, pragmatic and philosophical implications. Anent the subject of benefits.

Ministers had been under considerable pressure to do more to tackle child poverty, particularly since announcing a specific strategy on this scourge in 2017.

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Parliamentary politics at its best

School protest
Image caption Parents and pupils have turned out to support strike action by teachers at Buchanan High

Love, we are told, is a many-splendoured thing. Fret not. I'm not going to sing. Not that you would hear me, of course, but it might distress my colleagues at the BBC, who already have enough to tolerate with my many and varied eccentricities.

Politics is comparably diverse, although not always imbued with splendour. For instance, how about those two spoiled ballot papers in the latest round of the Conservative leadership contest?

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First Minister's Questions: One eye on the Tory leadership race

Johnson Davidson 2016 Image copyright WPA Pool
Image caption Ruth Davidson and Boris Johnson famously clashed during the EU referendum campaign, but might they soon be fellow leaders?

It was cupcake day in the Scottish Parliament. Or, more precisely, in the fine wee coffee bar which graces the garden lobby.

There they were, cakes on a plate, defiantly resplendent, tempting alike ambient politicians, staff and members of the wicked media.

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Tory contest: gag of the day

Ruth Davidson and Sajid Javid Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ruth Davidson is one of Sajid Javid's highest-profile backers in the Conservative Party

Two more campaign launches in the Conservative contest. And, of course, there is one big, outstanding question as a result. Who told the best gag?

One could normally rely upon Boris Johnson. But he appeared to be determined to practise restraint, to display a New Model Boris: subdued, serious, settled.

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Conservative leadership race: outrunning the lion

lion Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption I would run if I were you

There is a tale told of two guys who are running away from a lion. OK, stick with me. I think it has some vague salience for the Conservative leadership contest.

Anyway, back to the anxious pair fleeing from the King of the Jungle. One yells breathlessly to the other: "What do you think, do you reckon you can outrun that lion?"

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FMQs: D-Day and a deputy debate

John Swinney Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption John Swinney was deputising for Nicola Sturgeon at first minister's questions

The tributes were solemn. The words chosen well. Variously, political leaders paid tribute to those who had fought, notably those whose lives had been lost in winning the battle for freedom.

All aimed at swelling the high tide of commemoration for those who took part in the D-Day Landings in Normandy, 75 years ago.

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FMQs: Renaming Rennie

Willie Rennie
Image caption Willie - not Edna, mind - Rennie

Willie Rennie, he who shepherds the Scottish Liberal Democrats, was mildly entertained to receive a missive from the first minister in her role as leader of the SNP.

He was even more amused to discern that the letter opened with the salutation "Dear Edna".

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Future first minister? Nicola meets Nicole

Nicola and Nicole Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon met a group of young people - and potentially her successor in Nicole (pictured to the right of her)

Ah, the certainty of youth. Today, Nicola met Nicole and encountered, once again, the confidence occasionally exuded by those whose experience of life is charmingly limited.

Nicola is, of course, the first minister, who was publicising her new Referendums Bill by chatting with the younger generation. The theme being contemplation of the future.

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Labour's woes after European elections

Richard Leonard faces the media Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard faced the media at Holyrood

Entertaining scenes at Holyrood today. In the Garden Lobby, the wicked media, self included, formed a scrum outside a prolonged meeting of the Labour group.

Yards away, in the Holyrood kitchen garden outside Queensberry House, one could spot Michael Portillo, sporting a natty line in strawberry cords.

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