Alex Salmond made it clear last night that in comparing Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to the very dead secular saint, Mahatma Gandhi, he was merely drawing attention to his colleague's sense of self-sacrifice. Mr Salmond said he was proud to count Mr MacAskill among that intimate circle of people he sort of knew, vaguely.
The First Minister told The JT: "Like the Indian leader, Kenny demonstrated great compassion in releasing the Lockerbie Bomber to die at home. If Megrahi doesn't hurry up and peg it, I fully expect Kenny to do the decent thing and die instead. I mean, fair's fair."
Addressing criticism of the Gandhi/Kenny comparison Mr Salmond said: "I don't see what the problem is, I mean it's not as if I'm comparing Kenny to Jesus Christ is it?"
That particular comparison is, we understand, being reserved for Mr Salmond himself who fully intends to be crucified and then resurrected as Saviour Of All The World. Mr Salmond confirmed to the SNP conference that he had yet to be crucified, pointing out the absence of manual stigmata:
Yes, we have no stigmata, we have no stigmata today!"
Not Kenny, definitely not Kenny...