Yet another First Minister's Questions disaster
Dean recently criticised me for the blog's habit of criticising Labour in general, and Lamont in particular. I make no apology for doing that. I'm not anti Labour. At heart I'm a socialist. I should find Labour a natural home.
The trouble is, of course, that although I'm a socialist, Labour isn't a socialist party.
And Lamont in particular is simply not up to the job. A government with an absolute majority needs an effective and clever opposition. That is good for the country and for the government. Scotland doesn't have one.
Ruth Davidson, Cameron's choice, is a silly lassie, not fit to lace Annabel Goldie's boots, who should not have been a party leader within weeks of taking her seat in the chamber. Her lack of skills in the chamber is understandable. She should still be on the tea duties...and learning her trade.
But Lamont has been in the business for years. She was deputy leader before she was leader. She watched as Iain Gray and before him Wendy Alexander were caught out week after week with poorly research material that left them with egg all over their faces as Alex Salmond batted away their out of date or false accusations.
Surely you'd think lessons (as they say) would have been learned.
How on earth then could she have managed to ask a question about what the First Minister was doing about fuel prices when she must have known that the First Minister has no power to do ANYTHING whatsoever about fuel prices?
How could she have gone on to criticise the First Minister for being absent from his desk over the last two weeks... on holiday... when he had cancelled other engagements to play a very substantial part in the discussions that saved as many as 5,000 jobs in and around Grangemouth?
Indeed as a member of Unite and leader of the main opposition in Scotland where the hell was she during this industrial crisis? You would have thought that she would have had a major role to play.
Finally, like a fishwife scratching around for something with which to wound the First Minister, she accused him of being 'for' Fred Goodwin during the financial crisis (the same Fred Goodwin Tony Blair knighted for services to banking), for being shoulder to shoulder with Rupert Murdoch during the Milly Dowler scandal (the same Rupert Murdoch to whose child Tony Blair is godfather) and then she repeated that he was with the Big 6... although it had already been explained that it was a reserved matter for Westminster.
As Salmond said, most families in Scotland wish that he had the power to intervene... for he certainly would.
This piece by Tom Gordon from the Herald captures the mood perfectly.
Undeterred by the lesson of Frankenstein's monster, from whom she recently borrowed a haircut, Labour's Johann Lamont took her own stab at radical transplant surgery at First Minister's Questions and botched it horribly.
With the issue proving catnip for Ed Miliband at Westminster, she asked Alex Salmond what he thought of Labour's energy bill freeze.
The imported plan was to make the FM squirm like David Cameron on a Unite picket.
"Why won't the First Minister stand up to the Big Six energy companies on behalf of the people of Scotland and back a freeze?" she asked, hoping for Milibandesque success.
Instead, brows furrowed along the SNP backbenches like a caterpillar conga.
But surely energy law is reserved? Did she want voters to dwell on energy-rich Scotland having no say on the issue in the UK?
"Johann Lamont seems to have forgotten that we don't, in this parliament, have the power over energy bills," Mr Salmond swiftly reminded her. "Just about every family in Scotland would like to see this parliament have control."
Her transplant clearly heading for rejection, Ms Lamont fumbled for some needle.
"You would think with a fortnight off, the First Minister would think about doing his job properly," she sniffed.
"Actually," the FM replied, "I have devoted, with others, a huge amount of time over the last two weeks helping to save Grangemouth. I'm not quite certain what Johann Lamont's role was."
Clawing at the air, stitches popping, Ms Lamont ended in a death rattle of low blows.
"During the banking crisis he stood up for Fred Goodwin," she howled at the FM. "At the height of the Milly Dowler phone-hacking scandal he stood shoulder to shoulder with Rupert Murdoch. Now he stands with the Big Six!"
Mr Salmond's vampire smile said it all.