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Salmond left mixed up by the class struggle

IT was class war, but not as we know it.

FMQs began with BP boss Bob Dudley, an American who presumably loves independence at home but on Tuesday said it was all wrong for Scotland.

A TV camera jammed in his puss, Alex Salmond had insisted that "many, many" other chief executives did want a Yes vote.

Labour's Johann Lamont smelled a bluff: could the FM name any from an oil company such as BP?

Mr Salmond's expression betrayed a mental Rolodex of pristine and unending blankness.

"Eh, there are hundreds of people in Business For Scotland," he offered, referring to the Yes campaign offshoot for sole traders and above.

Ms Lamont twice more demanded names - in vain - and threw in a quote from the head of Sainsbury's about independence making Scotland a dearer place to run a grocery business.

The SNP backbenches, already bridling at that B in BP, started whinnying their disapproval.

The FM burst into a gallop and charged.

"Johann Lamont has talked about nothing else but the political elite," he cried hotly.

"Do not cite the elite; cite the people of Scotland who are rallying to independence!"

Slack-jawed Labour MSPs did a double-take. This was Alex Salmond talking, wasn't it?

The luxury hotel junkie with the official residence, five pensions, a trembling entourage and his herd of pedigree chauffeurs?

The one Rupert Murdoch's got on speed dial?

Yet suddenly here was Eck Guevara attacking the business titans his previous incarnation had sucked up to for years.

It was as bizarre as it was panicky.

Ms Lamont's heroic struggle was not to laugh.

Like all revolutions, it didn't last.

Pressed by Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie on the shambolic reform of corroboration, Alex Salmond immediately turned to the elite for rescue.

Not to fear, he said, Lord Bonomy was on the case, a judge of undisputed "distinction".

It was like a 30-minute version of Animal Farm.

The SNP MSPs looked from elitist Salmond to Leninist Salmond, and from Leninist Salmond to elitist Salmond again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

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