Since the general election Iain Gray has acquired a whiff of confidence - or perhaps the acting lessons we paid for are finally producing results - and he continued to emit an attempt at stature again today with his questions centering on business rates. Not knowing the location of Ballater didn't help his complaint that many main street businesses there were facing increases, some exceptional, this year. The FM explained the new business rates had been set by an independent group and not by the Scottish government. He also stressed that 60% of small and medium-sized businesses were benefitting from the new system.
Ms Goldie attempted to find out details of the Scottish government's 'secret' public sector cuts. Her tactics were swiftly answered with 'When we receive notification from the Westminster chancellor'. No joy Ms Goldie, if there is a list on John Swinney's desk then it's staying there under lock and key.
Tavish Scott complained about Alex Salmond writing to every Director of Education in Scotland suggesting a school holiday on St Andrews Day. Mr Scott was of the opinion that there were far more important issues in education which require attention. Mr Salmond explained his reasons for contacting each D of E about this subject. You can view it in the video.
All this was observed from the gallery by the wannabe labour leader David Miliband, the ex-Scottish secretary and a gum-chewing individual whose name escapes me for the moment.
The BBC website is down at present but I will place the video here as soon I can for overseas readers. It will be available on BBC iPlayer and HolyroodTV shortly.
Update: The BBC is not permitting embedding but the video can be viewed here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/scotland/newsid_8725000/8725670.stm