I don't have a huge amount to say about tonight's BBC leaders' debate, which unfolded pretty much as anticipated. Gray didn't quite live down to his snarling, finger-jabbing worst, but if anything Salmond was also better than before, so the gap between the two remained intact. I can give Tavish Scott some credit this time for finally dispensing with his 'have his cake and eat it' approach to whether or not he wants to be associated with Clegg and the London government, although I have a feeling he might still have lapsed back into it if he'd been pressed. There was, however, an unfortunate repeat of his indignant "this is so unfair" moment from a previous debate when Salmond suggested that the unionist parties talk Scotland down. I'd have thought that charge was fairly unanswerable - after all, we've heard within the last week from Ed Balls that an independent Scotland is a "crackers" idea that would lead to "catastrophe". No-one can pretend that's an insult to the SNP as a party - it's a straightforward denial of this country's capacity to govern itself competently under any leadership.
Although I was glad that Glenn Campbell prodded Gray on Labour's recent inconsistency on an independence referendum, I still long for the day that an interviewer properly nails the Labour leader on his absurd insistence that his current stance on the issue is in some way perfectly reconcilable with Wendy Alexander's. Yes, Wendy said she wasn't signing a blank cheque on the wording of the question, and yes, she said she preferred an early referendum to a later one - but the bottom line is that she clearly indicated that a referendum wouldn't be blocked, even if it occurred as late as 2010. Gray straightforwardly, unambiguously reversed that policy upon becoming leader, and it's staggering that he's repeatedly been allowed to get away with the fiction that he didn't.
Here's how I rated the performances this evening -
Alex Salmond 9/10
Annabel Goldie 7/10
Iain Gray 6/10
Tavish Scott 6/10