I see that the Guardian's resident cartoonist Steve Bell (famed for sparkling, thought-provoking wit such as "Scotland should go f*** itself") has paid tribute to Nicola Sturgeon becoming this country's first female political leader by suggesting that her supposed belief in both nationalism and socialism makes her a Nazi. Well, what a truly original "joke", Steve, and please rest assured that we haven't already heard it seventeen billion times before from the London commentariat. Tell you what, if you want to continue with this groundbreaking humour, I've got a brand spanking new Knock-Knock joke that you could use in your next cartoon - it features the words "doctor" and "who", and the punchline is hilarious.
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I haven't been watching FMQs on a regular basis for quite a few years now, but for obvious reasons I was keen to see yesterday's edition. I can honestly say that what took me by surprise about it was just how dreadful Jackie Baillie was. She comes across as such a confident speaker, and yet the content of what she was saying was, at times, utter gibberish. She started by asking Alex Salmond to describe himself in one word, and laughed along with his very witty reply ("No"), but it then became excruciatingly clear that she had scripted her rambling follow-up question on the basis of an incorrect assumption of what his answer would be, and had just ploughed ahead regardless -
"I asked for one word but actually I got a whole dictionary full."
Er, no, you didn't. You anticipated that he would describe himself in more than one word - but he didn't. He just said "No".
"But, you know, it's interesting that he didn't use the word 'proud'."
Well, that might have been interesting if he'd used any words at all to describe himself, but he didn't.
Now, there's nothing wrong with taking a punt on what the First Minister might say, and having a prepared question up your sleeve if you guess correctly, but surely you've got to have (to coin a phrase) a Plan B just in case the wheeze doesn't work out? I can't help feeling that Baillie would have stuck to her script even if Salmond had indeed used the word "proud", leaving the Labour MSPs behind her with fixed grins and pretending not to cringe.
In one sense this doesn't matter, because she's only in the role on a caretaker basis. But I just hope for Labour's sake that Kezia Dugdale or Neil Findlay (presumably it'll be one of them) is a bit more agile when facing Nicola Sturgeon over the next eighteen months.