The impending Westminster election appears to be taking its toll on the cooperative cross-party relations enjoyed in the Scottish Parliament.
Alasdair Morrison, deputy minister for enterprise and lifelong learning, this week rose from his sickbed to give evidence to the enterprise and lifelong learning committee. He had been unwell at a previous hearing but said that this time there was no need for Conservative Annabel Goldie to come to his rescue. "I have brought my own lozenges," he announced.
Those academic skills are eminently transferable to other walks of life. Alex Neil, convener of the Scottish Parliament's enterprise and lifelong learning committee, was anxious to wind up a lengthy session and asked for one more question.
Des McNulty, committee member and former head of strategic planning at Glasgow University, said: "I'll ask one question - it's in three parts."