On the attack
Today at Holyrood, Alex Salmond faced a neatly-worded and carefully pursued attack from an Opposition party leader.
She combined wit, invective and politics to target the First Minister. She was not Wendy Alexander.
Not that Wendy did badly. She looked, understandably, a little nervous. But she spoke at measured speed and she pursued an important policy question (the issue of fuel poverty among pensioners.)
On the day, however, she was fairly comfortably dealt with by Alex Salmond – and outgunned by Annabel Goldie.
Ms Goldie attacked the SNP policy of replacing council tax with a local income tax, neatly linking that to the shares income of SNP Minister Stewart Stevenson, as reported by The Scotsman.
The Tory leader pointed out that income from dividends wouldn’t be caught by LIT.
Some, she said, would regard that with equanimity. Not Ms Goldie. She said: “I think it stinks.”
Mr Salmond replied by defending the overall equity of LIT. It wasn’t a bad answer – but the Tory leader had made her point. And made it well.
Other than that, though, Alex Salmond was in total control. He swatted his opponents aside.
For example, Robert Brown of the LibDems complained about uncosted SNP promises – moments after the FM had cited research indicating that the LibDems had three times as many such pledges in their manifesto.
The SNP benches, understandably, chortled – while the LibDems looked rather glum.
Mr Salmond offered comparable treatment to Andy Kerr of Labour.
In passing, however, we might note that these counter-attacks relied, in part, on ridiculing the previous administration’s efforts.
By definition, that is a wasting asset with the passage of time.