12:02pm (it's definitely pm now, right...?) Overall I enjoyed this much more than the UK debates, much more vim and vigour about the whole thing, and the audience seemed a lot more clued up than the Glasgow one, so to the scores...
Edinburgh 1 - 0 Glasgow
Murphy: 5/10 Had some decent lines but overall came across as antagonistic, patronising and occasionally quite nasty. That daggers look at Carmichael revealed the true character of the man.
Salmond: 7/10 Not at his best, and Murphy did get to him with the line about being in his bed (Salmond in Salmond's bed that is, just to be clear) during the minimum wage vote. But as comfortable as ever in front of an audience and made lots of good points.
Mundell: 5/10 Also had his moments, but for the love of God smile now and then man! He doesn't seem to enjoy himself in these events, and you just know he was the unpopular kid at school who had a hell of a time, and now thinks he'll show them all!
Carmichael: 7/10 I would have given him a higher score but for his slightly weak closing speech. But he spoke well overall.
Thandie Newton: 9/10 Highlight of the 90 minutes, but one mark knocked off for appearing so soon after Murphy.
12:00am (or is it pm? I'm never sure...) Aargh, it gets worse!! Now the foxy Irish Sky News weather girl is on. I'd better give the scores before I have a lie down...
11:57am That's it, they all shake hands and head off for a communal bath. Apologies for that last mental image. I think I was disturbed earlier in the proceedings when we went from Jim Murphy's iguanadon-like visage to the fair Thandie Newton in an advert in the space of 3 seconds. The juxtaposition obviously overloaded a few neurons.
11:54am Carmichael: an exciting election this time. He's not looking at the camera though. Reading his script a bit too obviously for my liking. Halfway through he remembers to address the viewers at home.
11:53am Mundell: this election is about the future, British election, Britain, Rule Britannia! The Tories have the policies to tackle the real issues. Don't leave the choice to Alex Salmond or the Lib Dems, choose the government yourselves.
11:52am Murphy claims the election is a choice between Cameron and Brown for PM - clearly he doesn't subscribe to Clegg-mania. Derisory laughs from the audience!
11:51am Closing speeches. Salmond: haven't covered spending cuts in this debate yet. We should cut the things that don't matter to protect the things that do. SNP are cutting 1/4 of the quangoes (quangos?) apparently. Way to tackle a budget deficit is to grow the economy. We'll badly need local and national champions for Scotland in the next parliament.
11:49am Salmond: given the financial pressures, how we can justify £5 billion on ID cards that won't stop crime? Carmichael points out the shifting reasons for the ID cards that have been presented over the years.
11:48am Carmichael was a procurator fiscal depute apparently. He had a real job?! Heavens above, no wonder he comes across well and sounds like he's from the real world.
11:46am Salmond: if you want people to trust your security measures, don't abuse the ones we've already been subjected to.
11:44am Mundell raises the spectre of the 90-odd year old Labour member who was held under anti-terrorism laws at the Labour conference for the crime of heckling. Carmichael: when we restrict our freedoms we do the terrorists' job for them.
11:42am Murphy: as science has progressed the DNA database has become very useful. Criminals are apparently more desperate than ever before. Wonder how he measures that?
11:41am Salmond: ID cards are not an answer to terrorism or crime, more police on the streets are needed.
11:40am Final question: erosion of civil liberties over the last 13 years. How would you stop this erosion?
11:38am Murphy repeats the mantra: stronger together weaker apart, you can't base an economy on the volatile price of oil. Salmond responds that the Chancellor is planning on £40billion from Scotland's sector of the North Sea over the next 5 years. FAO Jim Murphy: nobody is suggesting the economy of an independent Scotland would be based on oil/gas. But it's a nice extra.
11:34am Salmond points out that we are a major oil-producing nation. Why are prices so high? Carmichael points out that Norway has the highest fuel prices in Europe.
11:32am Salmond welcomes Mundell's belated conversion to the cause of stabilising fuel duty.
11:28am Murphy seems to think Labour have been doing a good job on this front. Remarkable. Mundell understands this question he informs us. Does that mean he hasn't understood the rest? Carmichael: fuel duty keeps going up because the Labour government keeps putting it up. You won't get a litre of petrol for less than £1.30 in Orkney apparently. Salmond: average is £1.20 across Scotland, 70% of which is duty/VAT. SNP would modulate fuel tax increases by taking more money when oil prices went up. Says Labour and Tories opposed this, Murphy would have been better off in his bed on that vote! He's back!
11:27am Inaudible question from the audience. Why does the tax on fuel keep rising, says the lip-reading Adam Boulton.
11:26am Apparently when Murphy became Secretary of State Against Scotland he phoned his mum first, then Alex Salmond to say they had to work together. Perhaps regretting his aggressive attack on the minimum wage earlier.
11:25am Salmond comes back with 20,000 modern apprenticeships, attempting to recover his usual statesmanlike demeanour.
11:21am Murphy talks about introducing the minimum wage. Points out that Salmond went to his bed while the minimum wage was voted on. Murphy hammering the point home. Carmichael restores sanity. But that was a decent jab from Murphy (damn it!).
11:20am Youth unemployment next. Mundell rightly points out that Murphy and co have been in charge of the UK for 13 years, and also Salmond has been in government for 3 years.
11:17am How's it going so far? Overall Carmichael and Salmond are performing pretty well, Mundell has had his moments but doesn't seem to be enjoying himself much, Murphy looms sepulchral, stage left (I wonder if he insisted on standing on the left by the way...).
11:14am Consensus seems to be no. Quite right too, except where such decisions affect the pocket money going to Scotland and Wales I might add.
11:13am Should Scots/Welsh MPs vote on England-only matters?
11:12am Odd point from Mundell: Salmond and Brown didn't discuss the al Megrahi decision...but surely by the law of the land it was a decision for the Justice Secretary alone David.
11:10am Would Thomas Hamilton have been released from jail if he had survived and had been diagnosed with cancer?
11:07am Murphy took a beating on that question. Next up Adam Boulton asks about the controversy surrounding memos from the foreign office on the Pope's visit to the UK. Salmond: I'm on the B-list with Wayne Rooney apparently, the memos are juvenile. Mundell: Wayne Rooney has as many policies for Scotland as Alex Salmond - a good gag, albeit delivered with an air of spite etched all over his face. Murphy confesses he should have been at mass this morning. Just what I was thinking Jim...
11:05am Murphy resorts to the "good faith" defence. I'm reminded of a phrase involving the road to hell...
11:02am Murphy confesses to mistakes in post-war planning in Iraq. As Salmond points out, there were mistakes in the pre-war planning too. Carmichael calls Murphy up on his "rewriting of history". Murphy attempts to stare down Carmichael! If looks could kill (Murphy would be classified as WMD).
11:00am Mundell scores some points, highlighting the good job the forces do and how Labour have let them down.
10:57am Next Q: can the loss of life in Iraq/Afghanistan be justified in relation to the "war on terror" (copyright GW Bush, 2001)
10:54am Nice line from Salmond on Murphy and Mundell and their "gospel of despair" on why Scotland uniquely wouldn't have handled the economic downturn.
Slightly tetchy stuff so far, particularly an ugly shouting match between Murphy and Mundell (although I don't think they could do anything together which wouldn't be described as ugly).
10:48am Q2 How would an independent Scotland have coped with the economic crash? Salmond: fine, just like other countries. Murphy: I don't want us to be like Ireland. Mundell: we're much better off in Britain.
10:45am The odd timing of the debate catches forfar-loon napping (literally). Already the ebst debate of the election thus far - it has ad breaks so I can make a cup of tea :o)