This morning saw Edinburgh's first real blast of winter. People were scraping frost from their windscreens and the ground appeared to be slippery. My wife warned me to be careful when walking to work. All was well as I proceeded from Haymarket, through Shandwick Place and into Queensferry Street. I went through the alleyway and on to the north side of Charlotte Square. Then I saw the ice. Someone had chosen this morning of all days to wash down the steps of, yes, Bute House and both the steps and the pavement outside were highly slippery. What are we to make of this? Of all the buildings in all the streets this one was dangerous. Are the civil servants incompetent or are they trying to get rid of another First Minister?