There have been some appalling shenanigans going on in the House of Lords during their examination of the Energy Bill. In order to understand what has been going on, one needs to wind back a few weeks to a ruling in the Court of Session in Edinburgh. In that case, Lady Clark ruled that wind farm operators need an Ofgem licence under the terms of the Electricity Act 1989 and since operators have never bothered themselves with actually going through these hoops, the decision seemed to force the SNP administration to slam on the brakes - at least temporarily - in their headlong rush to cover the country in wind turbines.
Remarkably, however, Mr Salmond and his colleagues decided that they would continue to rule on wind farm planning applications anyway, pending an appeal that will be heard next year. Their grounds for doing so were apparently "the national interest" (a position that seems to me to be of dubious legality, although I confess I am no expert on the law in this area).
The new wrinkle in the tale is that yesterday a Liberal Democrat peer put down an amendment to the Energy Bill that would have negated Lady Clark's ruling.
And who was that peer? Why, none other than Nicol Stephen, the former deputy leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and a man who is up to his neck in windfarm-related business interests.
Lord Stephen has issued declaration that is customary in these circumstances that it was all "a mistake" and that he was "surprised to see his name on the amendment".