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Sketch: Presiding Offcer gives First Minister taste of his own medicine

FMQs was a bit of a rum stew - the Budget, the Scottish Tory conference and Labour's devolution hodge podge all got thrown in the pot.

It was not exactly appetising, but at least there was a Gordon Ramsay to direct the warring chefs.

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick has let FMQs drift recently, but yesterday she brought the firm towel snap of discipline back to the chamber, flicking all who erred before her.

Even her voice, normally that of a 60-a-day raven, was silky smooth. It was good to see her back on form.

First in the order, if not in the polls, Labour's Johann Lamont accused Alex Salmond of promising "jam tomorrow when independence comes". Within seconds she was barely audible. It was that "jam tomorrow" reference.

Given Labour's devolution commission promises "vinegar forever" in the form of higher taxes, the SNP backbenches erupted in acid laughter.

Scottish Tories' leader Ruth Davidson did better with the SNP's "wildly overstated" estimates for oil wonga.

Suffering from the same fact allergy as their boss, SNP MSPs started grizzling. The PO jumped on them: "Order! I'd like to hear Ms Davidson if you don't mind."

The SNP had not published oil revenue estimates in a year, Ms Davidson noted, where were they?

Mr Salmond rambled around the question but conspicuously failed to answer it.

SNP backbencher Aileen McLeod then asked breathlessly if the FM was as horrified as she was at Tory plans to end free prescriptions.

Did he agree it was "an utterly obscene tax on ill health", would hammer the poor, blind kittens, block out the sun, etc, etc. "I think we've got the question," sighed the PO.

After Jackson Carlaw jumped up to defend the policy, the FM joked the Tory deputy had been ordered to flog voters the bad news. At which the Tories exploded into laughter, given Nicola Sturgeon's daily chore of bleaching the FM's dirty laundry.

Riled, Mr Salmond careered off at a tangent about empty seats at the Tory conference.

"First Minister!" interrupted Ms Marwick, in a patronising drawl worthy of the FM himself. "It's very interesting, but it's nothing to do with prescription charges."

Judging by his face, if there is one thing the FM hates, it is a taste of his own medicine.

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