THE world's media arrived in Scotland to be treated to a case study in the Caledonian Antisyzygy.

There you go. I never thought I'd get that phrase into a news report. But there it is.

The term for our "zigzag of contradictions" was coined by the critic G Gregory Smith and revived by Hugh MacDiarmid describes Scotland's obsession with dualism - exemplified by James Hogg's novel Confessions of a Justified Sinner and Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

When the overseas media rolled up to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre they were treated to a vintage performance from a man from Linlithgow who demonstrated his ability to be both Dr Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde.

What will happen to visas in the event of independence? That question from an Indian journalist brought a response from Dr Jekyll, who replied that the curtailment of the right of students from her sub-continent to study and work in Scotland was a decision based on the prejudice of the Westminster establishment.

Al Jazeera wanted to know about military action against Islamic State; Russian media about sanctions over Ukraine; Canadians asked about the lessons of Quebec; Spaniards or Basques or Catalans asked about the constitution or about fishing; and an Australian asked about her Premier's criticism of Scots independence.

Dr Jekyll replied to all of these queries in impressively diplomatic terms.

What about RBS saying they would move their corporate HQ to London, asked the BBC's Nick Robinson? Mr Hyde decided to handle this one, turning the question back on the BBC for daring to break the story by releasing "market-sensitive information" from Treasury sources, a heinous offence which the head of the UK Civil Service was bound to investigate.

Mr Robinson's recent comparison of Yes voters to UKIP voters may have knocked him off the Bute House Christmas-card list, and his continued shouted questioning after the FM had moved on to another questioner did not help his case, but there was applause from the generous number of Yes Scotland staffers in the audience, which seemed inappropriate.

This was Mr Hyde in full bully mode, egged on by the payroll vote of those present who applauded the First Minister as if at a party conference.

Many overseas journalists then joined in the applause, while the Scots and Brits clutched their pens and notebooks. We don't do that here.

First Minister Jekyll is good. He makes uplifting speeches about popular sovereignty and Scotland being on the cusp of history. Mr Hyde we could do without.