It is often said that Napoleon was distinctly below par at Waterloo because he was suffering from piles at the time. Alex Salmond gives every appearance of being a man in the same predicament and it couldn't happen to a nicer chap - a mere Scottish pounder after all, as the Duke might have said.
How else to explain his tetchy and unconvincing replies to the really obvious and inevitable question he's getting on the subject of the currency ? He has had many months to see this one coming, it's a straight delivery (to switch idioms), yet it has caught him lbw and the the finger is raised.
Time was when Salmond held up Iceland, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries as exemplars of what a successful independent nation Scotland could be. Now it's, errr, Panama and Montenegro for the Scottish Pounder.
Perhaps, as we wait for the next televised debate, he could put on a one-man silly-season show at the Edinburgh festival to keep us all amused.