It is not often, in truth, that one hears a leading Conservative voice sympathy for anyone connected with the European Union, far less the president of the European Commission.
It was a Tory government which took Britain into Europe. But these days, the Tories - particularly with UKIP at their heels - tend to appear far less communautaire than might have been the case in that Heathite past.
In the BBC interview, Jose Manuel Barroso looks ever so slightly uncomfortable - even perhaps faintly exasperated at being asked again to clarify the position with regard to an independent Scotland and the European Union.
However, there is little doubt as to the import of his remarks. While stressing that he is making no comment upon individual situations, he says that a country becoming independent is a new state and as such has to apply for membership and negotiate terms.
Scotland - Johann Lamont reminded us - is not Ireland. From this remark, one could deduce Ms Lamont's underlying suspicion: that the first minister might be seeking to create a constitutional issue out of Leveson.
Alex Salmond had suggested that Scotland might adopt the Irish model of a Press Council with an Ombudsman to pursue cases, real sanctions plus incentives for newspapers to sign up.
He was once tipped, in some quarters at least, as a coming force in the Scottish Labour Party, even as a potential leader. Now John Park MSP has decided that his future lies outside Parliamentary politics altogether.
He is taking up a post as policy and strategy director for the trade union Community.
A sense of Scottish identity underpins political and constitutional debate in the nation that is Scotland. It is a given. At issue, among many other elements, is whether that identity can only find full expression under independence - or whether it is satisfactorily addressed through the shared sovereignty of the UK.
That is a genuine debate. So neither side in the independence referendum debate can claim a monopoly upon Scottish patriotism. Neither side, therefore, can claim St Andrew's Day as its sole property.
In a very different context, Alex Salmond praised the beneficial impact of creative tension. It would seem that there is a fair degree of that phenomenon around with regard to reaction to the Leveson Report.
For one thing, we had the remarkable sight in the Commons of the Prime Minister delivering a response on behalf of the UK Government - followed by the other half of the coalition, Nick Clegg, offering a dissenting perspective.
A wee while back, I chaired a conference on education. The particular topic under discussion was the Curriculum for Excellence, then at the height of a controversy which has since subsided somewhat, if not yet entirely.
The keynote speaker was a very senior academic; highly regarded and charmingly mischievous.
Jeremy Purvis was a thoughtful, intelligent member of the Scottish Parliament in the Liberal Democrat interest, dealing primarily with financial matters, before his party succumbed to a hurricane of voter disquiet last year.
Given the extent of the defeat, there must have been moments when he felt like hiding in a cupboard for a spell before emerging to eschew politics in all forms.
The conclusions reached by the IFS - and others - require examination and debate.
They are that public spending is presently higher than in the UK as a whole; that, in calculating the financing of independence, the value of the North Sea presently trumps that; but that the oil and gas resources are volatile and declining, posing questions for the UK - but even more so in Scotland where the potential dependence upon such revenue is disproportionately high.
Controversy under way at Holyrood over college funding. The First Minister satirised Labour for demanding the resignation of pretty well every minister - except him. They may be about to break their duck.
The basics concern the cash available to the further education sector. In Holyrood, under questions, Alex Salmond said that the revenue spending available last year, 2011/12, was £545m and that this year, 2012/13, it was £546m.
Trite it may be to say so, but there is an obvious human dimension to the unemployment statistics published today. These are not just numbers - these are people; people without jobs; people who want to work; jobseekers.
Equally, there is an economic dimension to the figures. They tell us about the limited nature of growth. Study the detail - for example, the balance between full-time and part-time employment - and they may tell us more about the condition of the wider economy.
There is a susurration of mistrust - of anxiety, of concern - escaping lightly from the pages of the latest Lords report upon Scotland's proposed independence referendum.
The constitution committee of the Upper House has been casting an eye over the Edinburgh Agreement between the UK and Scottish Governments, particularly with regard to the proposal to transfer the power to hold a referendum from Westminster to Holyrood.
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