Well, it was always fairly predictable that Alan Cochrane wouldn't be able to resist marking Alex Salmond's impertinent dalliance with Respectable London Society (ie. going on Desert Island Discs) with yet another tedious Telegraph ramble featuring the word "Eck" rather a lot...
"But I'm afraid Miss Young's researches – or researchers – let her down badly in her estimation of Mr Salmond.
The idea that he is this Great Debater is, quite frankly, rubbish. I have seen every single formal debate – in parliament and elsewhere – in which Alex Salmond has taken part over the past 15 years or so and it is simply not his forte. Oh sure, he can do the smart one-liners, the often-personal put downs and he is a very good, sometimes brilliant, television performer and an often inspirational campaigner. However, there are too many holes in his basic argument for him to win many debates."
So the Cochrane logic seems to go something like this. I think Scottish independence is a bad idea. Alex Salmond argues for Scottish independence in debate. Ergo Alex Salmond is a poor debater. Oh, and Kirsty Young doesn't acknowledge that fact, ergo she and her team don't read my column (it goes without saying they couldn't have read it and - gasp - disagreed with it), ergo they haven't done their "research" properly.
On one small point we can probably all agree with Cochrane, though...
"...the London-based media is too lazy to find out what is really going on in Scotland."
Where we'd have to instantly part company with him again, though, is in his estimation that the only things of relevance "going on" in Scotland are his own thought-waves. And Jenny Hjul's, at a pinch. How else can we explain his bizarre insistence a couple of years ago that the SNP's planned local income tax was "universally known in Scotland as the Nat Tax", when to the best of my knowledge no-one other than him had ever actually used the term?
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The substantial gap between Labour and the SNP in the latest TNS-BMRB poll clearly makes for sobering reading at this stage of the electoral cycle, but the raw percentage shares for the parties frankly have very little credibility. Does anyone seriously think Labour has the slightest chance of achieving 47% on the list vote, when even under Donald Dewar they only managed 35%? On past form, it may well be that both Labour and the SNP are being overestimated - the million dollar question is whether they're being overestimated by a similar amount.