sour TASTE: Alex Salmond's 'Reshuffle Special with Freedom Sauce' is putting Johann Lamont off her food..Picture: Stewart Attwood
Just the thought of Alex Salmond seems to put the Labour leader off her food.
On such occasions, her face is a picture. In Lamont's case, it's the picture of someone who has just tasted something nasty. Fresh tripe, perhaps.
That would be SNP tripe, of course, the dish that only Salmond serves and only Lamont can smell everywhere and anywhere. If you believe her, it's also the only recipe he can cook up.
The First Minister might call it his gourmet Reshuffle Special with Freedom Sauce. Lamont says it's the same old reheated tripe, unfit for consumption by sensible Unionist folk.
If she trusted the chef, she'd send the platter back to the kitchen. Lamont, not to put too fine a point on it, barely trusts the First Minister to say "Hello". In the finest traditions of Scottish dining, she replies instead, "I'm not touching that."
There's no accounting for taste, of course. There is, though, a need to explain your complaints now and then. Yesterday Lamont's own culinary skills extended no further than the making of a fine old hash.
First she wanted to say that Salmond's reshuffle was of no consequence, less a rearranging of Titanic deckchairs than "swapping the mopheads on the Vital Spark". Then she tried to say that shifting Nicola Sturgeon to a constitutional brief was bad news for the NHS.
Not so long ago, you might remember, Sturgeon was supposed to be the bad news afflicting the NHS.
Besides, the independence referendum is allegedly the centre-piece of the SNP's programme. It makes a certain sense for Salmond to entrust the job to his deputy. But Lamont wasn't done with being disgusted.
On the one hand, Sturgeon should have been sticking with the NHS. On the other hand, she was being packed off to deal with "Scotland's biggest decision in 300 years", plus "the biggest economic crisis since the depression".
So which task is, in Labour's view, the biggest waste of time?
Here was the Unionist problem in a nutshell. Either the independence vote is a very big deal that matters to every Scot, or it's Salmond's private obsession.
Lamont wants to have her cake and eat it. Parts of the delicacy are still a bit hard to swallow.
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