And so Alex Salmond is to be called before a Holyrood committee to account for his role (or absence thereof) in the Trump planning application? Is he quivering? Not so as you’d notice.
The notion of an external inquiry (proposed by the Liberal Democrats) has gone, replaced by a Parliamentary investigation (first proposed by the Conservatives.)
The Local Government Committee now plans to take evidence from the First Minister; John Swinney, who called in the application; the Scottish Government’s chief planner, Jim McKinnon; and Alan Campbell, the chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council.
It is to be hoped that the inquiry by the Local Government Committee is searching and thorough. It is to be hoped that the politicians and the officials will be subject to detailed, precise interrogation.
But at Holyrood – and this is purely impressionistic – this doesn’t feel like an insuperable problem for Mr Salmond.
For one thing, he wanted a Parliamentary inquiry. For another – and, again, this is impressionistic – I don’t detect among opposition parties any real sense that they can “get” the FM over this, can inflict lasting damage.
A further point. The Trump plan has cross-party political support and, it would appear, widespread backing in the North-east. Which makes it more difficult to mount a sustained political attack if that might be perceived as undermining the project itself.
PS: I have, of course, been making daily checks re progress in the Electoral Commission’s inquiry into the funding of Wendy Alexander’s leadership campaign.
Don’t expect anything, now, until early in the New Year.