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Salmond's smugness gets the better of Lamont's laments

THE world is not Salmond-shaped.

The globe, maybe, but not the political sphere, as the First Minister has been finding out.

George Osborne, Ed Balls and the LibDem one have all dished his plan for sharing the pound, while Senor Barroso has pooh-poohed EU entry.

Even the nation's favourite warbling mystic pensioner, David Bowie, stuck his oar in overnight, asking Scotland to "stay with us".

Problems thick as knotweed and gravely allergic to being thwarted, Alex Salmond ought to have endured a thoroughly miserable FMQs yesterday.

Instead he and his MSPs had a hoot as Labour's Johann Lamont managed, almost magically, to turn this fertile ground into a personal wasteland.

Reading from the roll call of those he'd "insulted" for doubting his infallibility, she asked: "Can the First Minister explain to us why Bowie is preposterous, bluffing and bullying?"

But Mr Salmond had a plan: ignore all questions (standard manoeuvre) and link Ms Lamont to the Tory chancellor in every available sentence.

"Most people will feel that George Osborne has insulted the intelligence of the Scottish people," he replied, harping relentlessly on the damage being done to Labour by its Tory ally.Not helped by a Thatcher blue outfit, Ms Lamont spiralled from miffed to riled to totally bealing, her voice rising at each escalation.

She thought she'd played an ace with new figures saying the failure of the SNP's currency union meant a cost to businesses of £75 a head in Scotland, against £9 in the rest of the UK.

But Mr Salmond only chortled; and oh how she hates that smug chortle.

"The rest of the UK do not want a currency union!" she cried, vocal cords buckling.

"We cannot make them have a currency union!

By the end, she sounded like a bag of cats being tipped down a blackboard.

The FM feasted on her pain as if it were manna.

Later, he surgically monstered Ruth Davidson and effortlessly patronised Willie Rennie.

The world may not be Salmond-shaped, but Holyrood's chamber remains his perfect fit.

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