Protective ones may have been on as Boris Johnson held a crab in each hand for a photo opportunity in Orkney, but the gloves are well and truly off in his campaign to keep Scotland in the UK.
Nicola Sturgeon, still behind the lectern from which she delivers the daily Covid-19 update, chastised the Prime Minister for choosing to smell the sea air of the Northern Isles rather than deal with the crisis.
That’s the crisis that has pressed SNP Inc into action by offering branded face masks, a snip at £8 or £14 if you prefer one of those scarf-like jobs you can pull up over your face.
A nice little piece of opportunism, don’t you think?
BoJo gave Scotland a few hours of his time because he felt it would calm the nerves of anti- independence supporters as polls show that 55% of Scots now wish to go it alone.
However, he needs to be told he is as popular north of the border as a picture of England’s 1966 World Cup winners.
The Tories will be unable to penetrate the minds of the First Minister’s fanatical, flag-waving followers, unable to accept that her record on health, education and infrastructure is sub-standard.
From behind their Covid “yes” masks muffled cries of “she’s done a great job handling the coronavirus problem” will be heard.
Trying telling that to the families of the care home residents who make up 47% of the deaths in Scotland through Covid-19.
Yet, as we prepare for next year’s Holyrood elections, it is doubtful if other parties will manage to capitalise on the visible cracks in the independence movement as two new organisations, impatient with Ms Sturgeon, toy with the idea of fielding their own Braveheart candidates.
So for Jackson Carlaw, the Scottish Tories’ leader, there will be a need for more centrist policies and plans to fix health, education and a £12bn deficit.
Meanwhile, Labour, like the Lib Dems, will be mere spectators as Carlaw and Co try to prevent a runaway victory for the Nats.
The uplifting tale of Jimmy Nicol came to my attention this week.
The successful cattle breeder became known as the benefactor of Boganlochy, his farm near Portlethen.
He bought Stonehaven’s Bay Hotel for £50,000 in 1969 and gifted it to the Church of Scotland as a home for the elderly – renamed Clashfarquhar House – where he later became one of its residents.
A former Gordon Highlander in World War I, Jimmy died in 1982, just short of his 100th birthday.
He’s a character I’d love to have met.
Politician is getting to art of the matter
Money must be burning a hole in the collective pockets of those responsible for a proposal to deliver a series of art “installations” to complement Aberdeen’s new transport arrangements.
Is it the local authority or, as one councillor suggested, Sustrans – the charity “making it easier for people to walk and cycle” – who will be answerable to council taxpayers?
The idea is to commission a bunch of artists to create a variety of sculptures as part of the Spaces for People measures introduced to accommodate social distancing.
Encouraging exercise through walking or cycling is to be supported, but will those who prefer shanks’ pony or two wheels to reach their destinations benefit from works of art – £100,000, thank you – being dotted around their routes?
They won’t, which is why people like Aberdeen South MP Stephen Flynn are right to question it.