Call me a sadist, but what a pleasure it was to see Jim Murphy well and truly floundering on Reporting Scotland tonight on the subject of tidal and wave power. You might say that, in fairness, it's impossible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but isn't this guy supposed to be Scottish Labour's latest Messiah? Water into wine is the required standard, I'm afraid, and any party that freely chose to elect Iain Gray as its leader is in dire need of some miracles soon.
Murphy would have been even sicker when he saw the context in which his feeble soundbite had been inserted into the report. First, it was pointed out in a straightforward factual way that it costs £21 per kilowatt to connect this new source of renewable energy to the National Grid from the north of Scotland, whereas in Cornwall you would actually be paid £6 per kilowatt for your trouble. Then, we heard from Alex Salmond in full statesmanlike mode noting that, while this outrageous discrimination wouldn't stop developments like this, it clearly wasn't helping matters. And only then did Murphy have his chance. So not the most helpful build-up when all you've got to offer is a load of incoherent mumbling about how "there is no evidence to suggest" that any of this is really a problem. If it turned out it was a problem, the UK government might just get round to doing something about it eventually - but no promises, mind.
And surely Jim missed his cue? Given that the UK government had just been shown to be cynically stacking the economic odds against Scottish renewable energy, could there ever have been a more propitious moment to break into some passionate Brian Wilson-style evangelising about how nuclear is the only conceivable option, given that renewables are famously so 'uneconomic'?