They look a little queasy, these days, on Labour's backbenches.

Perhaps it has something to do with things the colleagues are being asked to swallow.

Johann Lamont, their leader, was trying to make a big, happy meal yesterday out of government dishonesty. You could probably rustle up a snack or two from that, most weeks.

"When will the First Minister face up to reality," said she, "and be straight with the people of Scotland?" It counts as a fair question. If Alex Salmond is straight with them, the opposition will be straight with him, and then with the rest of us. That would be the way of it, surely?

"When will he face up to the cuts happening now, in the real world?" asked the leader of the party formerly known as socialist.

Ms Lamont wanted us to know that the Auditor General isn't entirely optimistic about NHS finances. Who'd have thought? For Labour, though, this is "a public spending crisis".

When last we heard, the SNP had more spin doctors than decency should allow. So why didn't one of them supply Mr Salmond with the obvious riposte?

This one: so what would Labour cut? If Ms Lamont is doing fiscal responsibility under a Tory Coalition – pour encourager les autres, no doubt – where would her little hatchet fall?

Mr Salmond said she was after bus passes for senior citizens, he mentioned the notional £163 million we pay for Trident. But – to give him his official title – the Longest Blethering First Minister the World has Seen missed a trick.

What would Labour cut? As a supplementary, why would Ms Lamont cut? Is there something going on within Ed Miliband's party that has to be tested first, out of harm's way, on Scotlandshire?

On the Labour backbenches, lunch wasn't going down well. What Scotland can afford and what the former People's Party can entertain involve two different sets of calculations. Ms Lamont might care, one day, to share her sums with the rest of the class.